First, congratulations on completing Sage Cleansing 101! If you have slipped in through the back door, you can catch up here for a background and history on sage cleansing.
Now that you successfully satisfied the prereq, and you did your homework (a.k.a. you gathered all your materials), we’ll be moving into the lab portion of this course. Yay! So get out those protective goggles and set out your beakers, we’re headed in!
(Okay, you don’t really need protective goggles or beakers, but I fully support expressing your inner nerd. 😊)
First, let’s recap our discoveries from last week's post on the background of sage cleansing.
We went on a deep dive into the history of sage. We learned about how sacred the practice of a sage cleanse or sage smudging is. The plant, its oil, and even its smoke has medicinal qualities that we are only just beginning to scientifically understand. It is a powerhouse of great energy.
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Today we’re going to activate all those amazing qualities and health benefits of sage by performing a sage cleanse in five easy steps.
And bonus: there’s one more benefit of a sage cleanse that I have yet to mention and it's actually my fave. I'll get to that in just a moment...
So, have your materials out, or, if you don't have them yet, this Sage Smudge Kit from Amazon has everything!
Items needed for a home sage cleanse:
Sage smudge stick
Abalone shell or other vessel for burning sage (for catching embers)
Feather or other fanning object
Long match or candle
Step 1: Open Up Windows and Doors
Yeah, we’re dealing with fire and smoke here people! So let’s be careful with this!
Open up all your windows and doors. Even open your closet doors. Make it so that both you and the smoke can move freely into spaces and the smoke can move out of your home.
Do this both for your lungs’ sake and to expel the negative energy from the home.
Step 2: Light It Up
I recommend lighting the sage smudge stick with a match because it’s more natural than burning from fuel in a lighter. Or if you have a long candle, that’s great, too.
Hold the smudge stick at about a 45 degree angle over your abalone shell and light it up. Once you have the smudge stick lit, let it burn for about 20 seconds.
Now, gently blow it out so that only embers remain. This should cause it to mostly be producing smoke and do a nice, slow burn.
It should go without saying, but, hey, safety first--if any embers miss the shell and fall on anything when you are walking around, please make sure to immediately tamp them out. Smokey the Bear thanks you. ;)
Step 3: Set Your Intention with a Mantra
This is the one aspect of a sage cleanse we have yet to talk about, and I think it's the best part about performing a sage cleansing ritual yourself.
Any good sage cleanse first begins with an expressed purpose, mantra, affirmation or even a prayer. Think of it like you are telling the universe what you need. And yes, you do this out loud.
Have you just moved into a new home and want to encourage family love in this new space?
Have you experienced a loss or change this past year and are ready for a transition?
Are you just ready for a fresh start?
Whatever your specific desires are for this sage cleanse, express those with a mantra.
When you repeat this mantra, you are setting the tone, in your mind, for what you want out of life.
By consistently repeating it and doing the same actions, you are allowing yourself to get into a meditative state.
Sync your movements, your breath and your speech. If you realize your mind is wandering, don’t beat yourself up, simply get yourself back on track and continue to recite your mantra again.
When we do meditative practices like this, it helps our minds free ourselves from past experiences and helps to instill new and more positive beliefs.
If you’re not sure where to start with your mantra, here are a couple ideas to get you going:
I give gratitude to the spirits
Having guarded this home before me.
I thank you for your continued protection.
Negative energies, I release you from this home.
I welcome the new and the positive,
Fill this home with love.
Into this smoke I release
All energies that do not serve me,
All negativity that surrounds me
And all fears that limit me.
I am open to possibility
And I invite in positivity.
Maybe all or just a section of those resonates with you. No need to overcomplicate it or spend forever thinking of the perfect words.
If your intention is set in a respective, mindful manner, then you are good to go.
Step 4: Walk, Waft and Express Your Mantra
Begin wherever you would like to in your home.
Your main entryway can be a natural starting point. Plus, there's going to be a lot of smoke when you first begin, so being near an open door is wise.
As you spread the smoke either with moving the sage stick itself or wafting it with a feather, say your special, personal mantra.
You want the smoke to reach into each and every space, every corner, every closet, every little nook and cranny you may have. Some nooks and crannies are small or unreachable so use your super handy feather to waft the smoke in those hard-to-reach spots.
Move in a clockwise direction through each section or room of the home to keep it simple and methodical so it helps you remain in a meditative state.
As you move, notice how you feel in each space. Feel the words you are saying. Feel them expand throughout your home with every billow of smoke.
Remember, this isn't a race. Take your time doing this.
Going slowly will help you get more in touch with the words you are saying, plus walking too fast can extinguish your sage smudge stick. If you do have that happen, though, don't worry.
Just get out another match or the candle you used, get it re-lit and begin where you left off.
(Typically, I have to re-light the smudge about four times if I'm doing my entire home.)
Step 5: Reflect on the experience
Once you have completed going around your house, you can now tamp out the sage into the shell. If you have enough to use the stick again, you don’t want to use water on it so it won’t spoil it for next time. No one wants a moldy sage stick.
Take a few moments to reflect on how you feel. Do you feel lighter, more open? Do you feel more connected to your home? What about feeling connected to yourself?
Maybe write down your impressions in a journal so you can recall your thoughts later or when you do a subsequent cleanse and see how your thoughts progress over time.
I did my first sage cleanse of our current home about a year after my boyfriend and I moved into it.
Had I known more about the benefits of sage cleansing prior, I not only would have done it right when moving this home, but I would have done it the other seven times I've moved in my adult life.
When I was smudging, I felt like I was really connecting with my home, going into every corner, watching the smoke billow and escape with ease...I felt closer to our house.
Even after all the renovations, all the furniture selections, all the blood, sweat and tears I've poured into this home, I found I actually have never felt more connected than after performing the sage cleanse.
There's this sense that you officially take over in the "caretaker" position for the home when you do a sage cleanse. Whatever energies might have been there, it feels like you not only know your home better, but it now knows you.
Whether you call it sage cleansing, sage burning or sage smudging, the sacred ritual can have many positive effects for your mind, body and home. I encourage you to continue to practice the art of sage cleansing whenever you feel there is a dissonance between yourself and the energies in your home.
By setting the right tone with your intentions, you can expel negativity and bathe in the presence of positivity.
Stay well and be inspired,
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Hi, I'm Amy!
I'm a knowledge seeker, dog parent, nature lover, and a big fan of bubbly water. I'm also the owner of Inspired Design Inc, an biophilic interior design and flooring company in Kansas City. I help homeowners wade through the many decisions needed while renovating their homes, including how to add more natural elements into the space. Let's find the perfect solutions so you can finally be living in the home you've been dreaming of.
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