Burning sage is a powerful ritual that Indigenous communities have been using to clear negative energy for thousands of years. If you’re going to burn sage in your own home, office, or apartment, be sure to do so safely and with respect for the origins of this sacred practice.
Today, I’m going to talk about how to cleanse your space using a sage, smudge stick. This is how I like to smudge my own home, and feel free to use this as a template for how you can begin your own Ritual. Of course, over time you’re going to develop your own way on how to cleanse your special space.
sage your house
1. Gather your tools and have an exit strategy
First and foremost, ensure you have all the above-mentioned tools handy and that you’ve opened a door or window before lighting up. After all, that negativity (not to mention smoke) needs to have a pathway to get out.
2. Set your intention and say a mantra
Intentions are central to the practice of smudging, so take a moment before you light the sage to determine what exactly it is that you’re trying to purify or release from your space. Then, decide on a mantra or prayer to repeat while saging that encapsulates this intention.
It can be something you come up with on your own, or for a little guidance, Wasfie, suggests, “I let go and release what no longer serves me.”
Once you’re ready, hold the sage at a 45-degree angle, light it using your match or candle, and let it burn for about 20 seconds. After that, gently blow out the flame so you see orange embers on one end. The smoke should now billow up.
4. Slowly walk around your space
Slowly walk around your space and allow the smoke to waft around. Guide the smoke—and the negative energy—toward the open windows or a door, so it can escape. Give special attention to areas in front of mirrors, in corners, and in spaces like foyers, hallways, and doorways.
I’m also a big fan of saging technology like our phones or laptops. I usually hold the sage wand underneath them and then wave it around them.
5. Extinguish your sage
Once you’re ready to extinguish a sage smudge stick, press the burning tip firmly into your fireproof vessel, dirt, or sand until the smoke no longer rises.
And lastly, make sure you sage yourself too!
If you’re interested in saging yourself, you can essentially follow the same steps as above, but the focus will be on your body instead of your space.
Stand in the shape of a T with legs slightly spread like you’re in the TSA line at the airport. Then, keeping the sage stick at an arm’s length distance away from you, work your way up from your feet. Repeat your mantra (either internally or aloud) as you go, envisioning the smoke clearing you of any and all lingering negativity.
Finally…If you see little embers fall on the ground, tamp them out immediately. Never let the burning sage stay unattended for any reason. Also, take care not to inhale too much of the smoke.
There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to how often you should sage yourself or your space. We are our best guides when it comes to identifying negative energy—so pay attention to your intuition. If you feel weighed down by stress or worry, it’s usually a good indication that cleansing is in order.