Updated October 19, 2019
Whether you’ve moved into a new home or you want to improve the energy of your current home, burning sage is one of the best ways to purify a space and rid it of negative energy. Sage is an herb that is used both for cooking and for medicinal purposes. When you burn sage, a process that is known as smudging, the smoke from the sage is believed to carry away negative energy, leaving the space around you clean and purified.
Some reasons you might want to smudge:
- You’ve just moved into a new home and want to get rid of the energy of the previous occupants.
- You’ve had a breakup with someone and want to get their energy out of your home.
- You’ve had visitors to your home and you want to make sure you get rid of any unwanted energy that they may have brought in.
- You’re preparing to do a spiritual ritual.
- You just want to improve the energetic flow in your home.
While the idea of smudging your home may seem like a complicated process, it’s actually quite easy to do. You can buy a smudge kit for less than $20. They typically come with instructions and all of the materials you need to get the job done.
To prepare for your smudging ceremony, pour clean sand or fine dirt in a ceramic dish. The dish will be used to hold the smudge stick when you set it down and to catch the ashes and embers as you smudge, and the sand will also help you to put the smudge stick out when you are finished.
Light the stick, and then blow it out and allow the smoke to permeate your rooms. You can use your hands to guide the smoke in the directions you want it to go, or you can use a smudge feather to guide the smoke where you want it to go. As you smudge, you might want to state an affirmation of your intention. For example, you might say, “I release all negative energy and reclaim my space as a place of pure positivity and love.” You can say anything that resonates with you; use your intuition to guide you and trust what messages you get.
Pay special attention to the corners, as negative energy tends to settle in the corners. Don’t forget to open the closet doors and cabinets to allow the smoke to make its way throughout your home. You don’t want bad energy to hide inside of a drawer or cabinet. Again, as the smoke moves through the room, it will attract the negativity and take it away.
Ideally, you also want to give the bad energy a place to go. Open a door or some windows so that the smoke can take the negativity outside of your space. If you are smudging your entire house, start at the front door and end at the back door. If your intention is it rid your home of negative energy, go through the house in a counter-clockwise direction.
When you are finished, say a prayer of gratitude. Then, you can allow the smudge stick to simply burn itself out. Or, if you want to use the smudge stick again at another time, you can put the smudge stick out by placing the burning end in sand or dirt. You’re basically depriving the burning end of oxygen, so you put it out similarly to the way one would put out a cigarette. Be careful to make sure the fire is completely extinguished; don’t leave it unattended as long as it is smoldering, and never leave a burning smudge stick where children or pets can get to it. Safety is of utmost concern whenever you are using the powerful element of fire.
How often should you burn sage?
There are no rules for how often you should burn sage or smudge your house. Some people smudge when they’ve experienced a traumatic event or when they feel that negative energy has entered their home. Others smudge regularly, such as once or twice a day, once a week or once a month. Some people smudge whenever they are beginning a spiritual ritual. It’s always a good idea to smudge when you move into a new home so that you can get rid of any negative energy that might have been left behind by those who previously lived there.
There is also no rule saying that your home is the only space that you can smudge. For example, you can smudge your car or workspace. Just make sure it won’t cause any problems at work. For example, your employer could say that the smoke that results from smudging violates the company’s ‘no smoking’ policy. You may also want to make sure that co-workers who may not understand what you’re doing aren’t around when you perform the ritual unless you’re prepared to answer all of their questions.
Perhaps more important than how often you smudge is your state of mind when you do smudge. Smudging is a very sacred ritual and you should be clear about your intention to create a sacred and pure environment before getting started.