Updated: Jun 3
Whats the big deal about sage- The spiritual and physical interworkings
You've probably oftentimes seen the memes of people holding sage or even saying "better go light some sage", but do you know the true history or even to utilize it?
Burning sage is one of the oldest and purest methods of cleansing a person, group of people, or space and of getting rid of unwanted spirits. The practice dates back to prehistoric times and it’s been documented as having been used in every corner of the world by our ancestors.
There’s a long history of Native Americans using sage to connect to the spirit world and cleanse the body and space of impurities before a ceremony
The life force energy of its smoke penetrates deep into the ether and alters the vibration of a space, or living being, by absorbing any heavy, dense energy.
Ever had an interaction with someone and felt so drained by them? Yeah- that's negative energy. When sage is burned, it releases negative ions, which is linked to putting people into a positive mood. The Latin word for sage salvia stems form the word heal. Other qualities believed to be associated with sage when burned are giving wisdom, clarity, and increasing spiritual awareness.
However if you're not interested in the spiritual aspects of cleansing your energy field sage is a natural antibacterial. Simply put, sage clears bacteria in the air. Sage smoke offers rapid delivery to the brain and efficient absorption to the body. Scientists have observed that sage can clear up to 94 percent of airborne bacteria in a space and disinfect the air.
Ok now you know what it's about- how should I burn it?
Open all windows, doors, and closets to allow the full extent of energy to be released.
Hold the sage at a 45-degree angle, light the sage, let it burn for about 20 seconds and then gently blow out the flame so that you see orange embers on one end.
Blow it out so the embers are glowing. With both hands, bring the smoke into your heart, over your head and down the front and back body to cleanse yourself.
Then you can start the process of clearing your space by starting on the lowest level of your space, move room to room and use your hand or a feather to waft the smoke into all four corners, where the ceiling and walls meet. Then, direct the smoke out through windows and doorways by waving it around slowly, yet with intention. Think about the energy you want to bring in to the space as you walk thru.
Once you’ve finished smudging, extinguish your sage by rubbing it in dirt or sand, or pavement of such or stamping it out in a ceramic bowl. Don’t put sticks out in water—you won’t be able to reuse them. Any ash may be disposed of on the earth.
Once you've cleansed a space it’s important to fill the space with the energy of love. You can do this however it resonates best with you. Simply by saying some internal words, or even speaking them out loud. You can also bring fresh flowers to the room, or spray an essential oil and water blend to refresh it.
Depending on your dedication to the ritual, it is often helpful to have a designated space set aside for your saging tools such as your meditation table,
Trouble keeping it lit?
If you notice your sage is not holding the burn, it may be woven too tightly together. You can loosen the strings, or even re-band the sage into a smaller bundle.
If you also start to see the glow of the embers fading you can gently blow on the end that is lit up and remember to do this gently, otherwise you can send sage ash flying onto your surroundings.
Other steps I personally take when saging
I utilize a mediation table for my sage holding and also an abalone shell. You can have whatever items are of meaning to you if you like. Some items I hold dear to me are crystals, feathers, and photos of loved ones. Some may even write positive words of affirmation down and use those as a stationary reminder of what they are wanting to accomplish by cleansing.
I return to this space often, not just during saging. If I need peaceful time alone, or oftentimes just to touch some of the items that resonate with me. It's almost a different sense of grounding. Oftentimes our safe places mentally are very different. It's important to find what takes up meaning in your heart.
Sensitive to the Smoke?
There are some sage infused oils you can find and utilize with purified water to cleanse your space physically and spiritually as well!
Other Smudging Herbs/ Sticks/ Resin
Palo Santo (my favorite! blog post coming soon)