A Guide to Smudging with White Sage…
Smudging with white sage offers the benefits of purifying the mind, body and also to purify the atmosphere and to dispel negativity. It is said that sage banishes negative energy and/or entities, clearing haunted spaces. White Sage aromatherapy benefits include cleansing, energising, relaxing, purifying and calming to people, pets and spirits.
Smudging is the common name given to a powerful cleansing technique from the Native North American Tradition. Smudging calls on the spirits of sacred plants to drive away negative energies and restore balance. It is the art of cleansing yourself and your environment using simple ritual and ceremony.
How can smudging be so powerful? The answer lies in the world of spiritual energy. Homes and bodies are not just made of just the physical matter; they also vibrate with quiet, invisible energy. Cleansing a space or ourselves with techniques such as smudging helps to cleanse away all the emotional and psychic 'trash' that may have gathered over the last few days, months, years or even hundreds of years. In a very real way, it is a form of spiritual spring-cleaning!
The effects of smudging can be surprisingly quick and dramatic. Smudging can help you banish stress, rid yourself and the area around you of negativity and even give you more energy. Smoke from White Sage can help dispel anger and calm frayed nerves, thus helping to avoid a fight or argument even before it begins! Smudging with White Sage can turn any space, no matter where, into a calming sanctuary - a place of renewal and increased happiness.
White Sage drives out negative thoughts, energies, spirits, and all "bad" influences. Many enlightened people see smudging as a way of shifting between various levels of reality, connecting us here in the physical world to the subtle realms beyond the visible, the realm of Spirit.
How to Smudge. Before you begin, please read the cautions.
• Make sure the area you are smudging is well ventilated. This is a health precaution, as well as a spiritually practical one as well, as the negative energy will need an "escape route".
• Smoke from herbs can lead to allergic reactions or trigger asthma or other forms of respiratory distress in sensitive persons.
• Do not use near infants or very young children or people with respiratory problems such as asthma.
• Do not begin using smudge if you are pregnant.
• Never leave burning smudge unattended.
• Place some sand or soil or even salt in the bottom of the container to provide insulation as otherwise the container could scorch a surface it is placed upon.
First, for a total cleansing, open all doors & windows of space to be cleared, providing an "exit" point for all the old energies. (This opening of the windows, etc. is not always necessary, but it is useful to have at least one open door or window whenever smudging)
Focus on your intent:
Any action, undertaken with intention and belief can become a potent ritual. Consider your intention before you smudge and hold it clearly in your mind. You may wish to invite the spirit of the herbs to join you and guide and assist with your intention.
Light the smudge stick using the flame from a candle. Once there's a flame, put it out so that the herb is smouldering, not burning. Wave the flame with your hand or feather to put out the fire. Allow the smudge herbs to smoulder, freeing the smoke to circle in the air.
Group Smudging: If you are smudging a group, smudge yourself first. Offer smoke to the seven directions (east, south, west, north and up, down and centre) sometimes called the cardinal directions.
Smudging yourself: Fan the swirls of smoke around your body from head to toe with your hands or feather. You may want to especially focus on chakra areas where you feel there are blockages or where there has been or is physical, emotional, or psychic pain. Visualise the smoke lifting away all the negative thoughts, emotions and energies that have attached themselves to you. If you are feeling depressed for instance you could visualise the smoke carrying away all your feelings of depression.
It is often appropriate to smudge guests as they enter the space at a ritual, ceremony or special event. Smudge as if you were smudging yourself, fanning the smoke all over their body. You may want to speak an intention or a suggestion for the smudging as you do it. For instance, "Allow the sacred smoke to cleanse your body and spirit and bring you present and available into this moment".
During healing work, the smoke may be fanned over the person either by your hand or with feathers. This clears out unhealthy energies and brings in the special attributes of the herbs. You may also direct smudge to each of the person's chakras and as you do so visualise each chakra coming into balance as it is purified by the smudge. If you can see auras, look for discoloured places in the aura and direct the healing smoke towards those places on the patient's body. (Using precautions and common sense in the case of people with respiratory difficulties and/or pregnant women).
For cleansing a house, first whenever possible, offer smoke to the four directions outside the house, starting with the east, then south, west and ending with the north. Beginning with the lowest level of your house, and moving upward, light the smudge and walk about the perimeter, giving special attention to the corners and the places behind doors. You can also fan the smoke throughout the room with a large feather. Repeat the following either out loud, or in your mind: "I break up and release all negative and stagnant energy in this place. May peace light and divine love protect us and be ever present."
Cleansing objects: Hold the objects to be purified in the smoke or fan the smoke over them. If you are clearing your crystals prior to programming them thank both them and the herbs for helping you to realise your goals.
Extinguishing the smudge: Have ready a fireproof receptacle such as another shell or a glass or ceramic dish to put the smudge in when you've finished. It's ideal to damp the herb out in sand, or earth or you can just press it against the bottom of the receptacle. If using a lidded container, just close the lid. Always make sure that a smouldering smudge herb is out before leaving the room where you keep it.