Some friends recently visited my home. When they left, I really felt the need to do some serious energy clearing, (also known as space clearing, smudging, or saging) in order to remove some negative energies that were still lingering in the house. I love my friends but the baggage they carry around with them from their previous marriages is enough to stagnate my space for several lifetimes. Let it go already. It’s been 15 freaking years. Move on.
Anyway, I found myself in my kitchen with my white sage bundle and my turkey feathers (no turkeys were injured in the gathering of these feathers). I called in my angels and guides, lit the sage, waited for it to really catch and then gently blew out the flame until I had billows of smoke all around me. I have no idea what was going through my mind as I continued to light the bundle repeatedly and blow it out until my kitchen was completely full of smoke. If some is good, more is better, right? Not always. The idea is to cleanse the space not to fumigate it. My kitchen looked like something out of a Cheech and Chong movie. (Please tell me you know who they are). Sage has a wonderful aroma but I guess it could be likened to marijuana if you’re not familiar with the smell. My eyes were tearing, I was choking and sputtering, my dogs were sneezing and in walks my daughter. I saw her look at me dumbfounded, sniff the air and shriek. “MOTHER, what the HELL are you smoking?”
The ritual of burning sage, called saging or smudging, is one of the oldest and purest methods of cleansing negative or impure energy from a person or a space. Native American sage burning (did you ever wonder what was really in those peace pipes?) is the most commonly recognized form of this ritual although this practice exists in many other cultures throughout the world – from the Catholic Church’s use of the rich aroma of frankincense to the use of the pleasant and uplifting scent of palo santo (sacred wood) in purification rites by indigenous people of the Andes.
I use white sage (salvia apiana) which is commonly found in smudge sticks. The leaves of the sage plant are burned and the smoke is directed into and onto areas that are in need of clearing and protection. As the leaves burn and you speak and express your gratitude for its assistance, the spirit of the sage plant releases its positive energy into the space or onto the object that needs to be cleansed or cleared. As the smoke billows through the room or moves over a surface, it attaches itself to any negative energy that is within the space. As the smoke clears, the spirit of white sage carries the now unattached negative energy up to the divine light for transmutation. This heavy energy becomes released, so that it may transform to positive energy.
“Salvia,” the Latin for sage, stems from the word ‘to heal.’ Sage leaves are a grayish-whitish-green. Rubbing them between your fingers causes a wonderful cleansing scent to be released. Aside from healing and purification, benefits of burning sage include increased spiritual awareness, protection, clarity and, of course, wisdom. Is it an accident that we refer to wise people as “sages”? I wonder if “sage” could just be another name for stoner. Hmmm. This is definitely something worth pondering for a future post. 🙂
There are many different types of sage, including “diviners sage” (salvia divinorum) which, according to Wikipedia, is a hallucinogenic. I actually think I got some of that diviner stuff by mistake last week. Yikes.
When I first started communicating with the spirit world, I realized that sometimes energies would linger in the spaces where I conducted readings. I would always set the intention that by doing a visualization my space would be clear. This comes in handy when I’m at a place where I can’t use the sage.
It’s very simple to do. Just imagine that the impure energies (either yours or energies you have picked up from others), are released from your energy field, back to the earth. This is called grounding and clearing. It is a highly beneficial practice for any intuitive or energy worker. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Call in your angels and guides and ask them to protect and assist you. Visualize yourself in a bubble of pure white light. See any dark or heavy energy that may have attached itself to you, exit through your feet and become released back to the earth. You can use this routine to clear your house, or any space where the energy feels thick or heavy. Many times I use this technique after I have a fight with my husband. 🙂 I see him disappearing with the negative energies. Bye bye, Al!
Sometimes the mental clearing isn’t enough (Al is still there) and you have to use the white sage. Again, it’s important to set an intention. You can repeat a mantra or a prayer. I call in my angels and guides. After placing a bubble of white light around me, I ask them to assist me by transmuting all negative energies into positive energies. I do this as I walk through the house or around the space or object I am cleansing. You should do and say whatever feels right for you in your cleansing ritual.
I suggest you use a heat proof container or bowl to put the sage in after you light it. I use white sage bundles or sticks which are readily available in metaphysical stores or on the internet. Once the stick begins to flame, blow it out. Once the flame is blown out, it will smoke. (Don’t be an idiot like me and let it flame and burn). The movement and release of the energy comes with the smoke and not with the flame.
Place the lit, smoking top of the sage stick, down inside the bowl and use your hand or a feather to “waft” the smoke to the areas you want to cleanse. When doing my entire house, I usually start in the basement and then walk clockwise around the house. It’s important to let the sage smoke get into the corners and into closets and other small spaces where negative energies can linger. When you are finished, open a window to release the smoke and attached energies.
I self-smudge too. I usually do this every other day or so. You can take your bowl of lit sage and put it on the floor between your feet and ankles. Bend over and waft the smoke upward until you have sent the smoke above your head.
I also like to burn rosemary and palo santo in my space while I am doing a reading or meditation. Palo santo is a mystical tree that grows on the coast of South America and is related to frankincense and myrrh. In Spanish, Palo santo means “holy wood”. Also readily available in metaphysical stores and on the internet, it has sweet notes of pine, mint and lemon and is enjoyed by many for its energetically cleansing and healing properties that are similar to sage. It provides an uplifting scent that raises your vibration in preparation for meditation and allows for a deeper connection to the Source of all creation. It is also said that palo santo enhances creativity and brings good fortune to those who are open to its magic. It’s also fabulous for helping to keep away mosquitoes! I throw some in with the wood in my fire pit. Palo santo does not affect the taste of smores so no worries there. Oh my gosh! Have you tried smores with bananas and peanut butter cups? Yummie!
Hmmm. I wonder if burning sage and palo santo is giving me the munchies!