You may have heard about the practice of sage smudging amongst wellness and new-age communities, and this is for good reason.
Cleansing white sage has been used for centuries, particularly by the Native Americans, however it has also been adopted by many other cultures in recent times.
Its uses and benefits for yourself and your home are numerous, but before we delve deeper – let’s take a look at what sage is, in its many varieties.
Sage is a plant which is native to ecosystems of high deserts. The leaves of cleansing white sage are whitish-green, and if you rub the plant between your fingers, a strong, refreshing scent is released. Although white sage is the most common variety used for smudging, this plant also comes in many other forms – all of which aim to better your surroundings.
Common sage – has similar properties to white sage and is often used for the purposes of cooking, which is why it’s also known as garden sage. It originates from Europe and can grow in many climates. Regarding the metaphysical – it can be used for smudging, much like its white-sage cousin.
Lavender sage – is a form of common sage named for its clusters of purple flowers, with leaves which are rounded, green and fuzzy. It’s important to note that lavender sage is not the same as the lavender flower – although both can be used in smudge sticks.
Cedar – is one of the oldest types of trees on earth and it is believed that it existed at the same time as dinosaurs. The smell is woody and fresh.
There are many more varieties of smudge sticks, including Sweetgrass, Prairie sage, Palo Santo, Rosemary and Black Sage (just to name a few!).
The traditional way of working with sage is to burn it. Smudging is a ritual in which the cleansing white sage leaves are burnt, and the smoke is directed onto areas in need of clearing and protection. The Native Americans have used this technique for centuries, to ward off evil spirits and it has also been used in ceremonies to seek out blessings of prosperity and health.
Lavender Sage on the other hand, has benefits of a calming, peaceful, and sedative nature when burnt. It can work to inspire love and release anxiety. Often, it is paired with white sage to create a dynamic powerhouse of cleansing and conditioning.
Cedar smudges are one of the most aggressively cleansing you can choose from, especially for protection. It is often used to cleanse a home when someone is first moving in to invite unwanted spirits to leave and to protect a person, place or object from unwanted influences.
A common protocol of burning sage is to not stop your smudge stick from burning once it has been lit. This is because the spirit of the sage will know exactly how much negativity needs to be released at a given time, and will stop burning on its own, once all the negativity has been expelled. Sometimes, your smudge stick may only burn for a few minutes, other times the entire wand may be used in one session. If you have completed your smudge session and the stick is still burning, place it in a heatproof bowl and allow it to continue burning until it is ready to distinguish on its own accord.
Alternatively, for a quick cleansing boost – a smudge spray is another great option. The blend of white sage oil, palo santo, ylang ylang & lavender oil in the ‘Smudge Yo Self’ spray by New Moon Blends creates a calming and clear space. It is even infused with clear quartz crystals to cleanse and purify energy, ensuring those negative vibes stay at bay.
If you are feeling highly sensitive, particularly empathetic, or perhaps you have had the unfortunate privilege of being in contact with a toxic person, adopting one of the many sage uses could really help to protect your aura and clear those negative feelings.
Start by lighting your cleansing white sage stick, ensuring windows and doors are closed. Any draughts will cause the sage to burn more than needed – remember that you don’t need flames, only the smoke. Once smoke is beginning to form, use your hand to direct the smoke from your toes to your head. Intuitively repeat this as many times as you feel are necessary. In your mind’s eye, imagine the smoke removing all toxic energy, darkness and illness from your life.
The concept is that when you burn the leaves, you are expressing gratitude for its help, and the spirit of the white sage discharges its energy of clearing and protection into the air around you. As the smoke transfers over you, the smoke joins itself to any negative energy that is inside your being. When the smoke is cleared, the spirit of this plant transports the negative energy back to the spiritual light, and it may renew into something positive.
As mentioned earlier, sage benefits include cleansing a home or apartment when first moving in to expel unwanted energy. Of course, the following techniques can also be used for some spring cleaning in your existing home as well.
Start in one corner of the room, gently wafting the smoke from the floor, upwards towards the ceiling. Always work from the bottom and move to the top as this is the natural pattern of smoke – to move upwards and carry away. Repeat this process in each corner of the room and once complete, move to the centre of the room and waft the smoke up towards the rooms centre. Make sure to shut the door behind you once you have completed this, allowing at least 15 minutes for the energies to attach to the smoke before opening doors and windows to release.
Repeat this process for every room in the home, starting from the back of the house and finishing with the room which leads to the front door.
I release all energies that no longer serve me to be released from me and this space and into the divine light. You no longer have nor hold power here. Loving and peaceful energy is welcome and invited in now. This is my sacred space, and anything that no longer serves me is released with this sacred smoke. – Amanda Linette Meder.
We have a huge range of sage essentials to help you get on your way! Be sure to get in touch if you have any questions.
From the team at Wellness Beauty Rituals – Happy Smudging!