My sister lives in New Mexico and once in a while, she’ll send me smudge sticks made from sage grown in her backyard, which I burn at home for a ritual cleansing of my space.
Over the past few years, I’ve been hearing more about sage smudging from friends who are distinctly not woo-woo. I don’t pretend to understand the ancient native rituals that have inspired our mainstream practice of burning sage sticks. But here’s what I do know: there’s a discernable shift in my living space after I smudge. After years of smudging, the smell alone calms me and clears my mood.
How to Clear Your Space with Smudge Sticks
1. Get a sage stick, preferably a freshly dried bundle. If gathering wild sage yourself isn’t an option, you might try a natural foods store. (These days, it seems like you can find packaged sage sticks everywhere – from Walmart to Urban Outfitters!)
2. Set your intention. Take a moment to close your eyes, breathe deeply, and think about what you’d like to clear from your space: stress, anxiety, sadness, heaviness. Or maybe you’re marking a transition – a new home, a new job, a new relationship. Whatever the occasion, think about what you’d like more of in your space: lightness, joy, clarity, love.
3. Light your sage stick. It may take a little while to get the end going. Once the end is burning strong, blow out the flame until the embers begin to glow (like incense). Notice the scent of the smoke as it swirls gently in front of you.
4. Begin in whatever room you like. Trace the corners of the room with your sage stick, allowing the smoke to fill that space. Imagine the smoke absorbing all toxicity and heaviness. Trace each window and doorway and watch the smoke dissipate, carrying away all that you’re ready to let go. Move to the next room and do the same – corners, doorways, windows, quietly repeating your intention to yourself.
5. Hold the smudge stick in front of you quietly for a moment after you’ve cleared each room. Cup your hand and wave the smoke gently toward your face. Breathe in and exhale slowly. Say a prayer of gratitude and letting go.
6. Extinguish your stick in a bowl of water, giving thanks. You’ll likely have a section of your smudge stick left unburned. You can dry it and use it again. Allow yourself to sit quietly for a few minutes, becoming aware of how your newly cleared space feels. Enjoy!