THE BENEFITS OF SMUDGING
Smudging your space, your home or office, or even your body with White Sage or Palo Santo is like taking an energetic shower or undergoing deep metaphysical cleansing. It can leave dark and heavy places feeling light, fresh and positive and help lift negative emotions.
Smudging with Palo Santo in particular also acts as an air freshener, leaving the area with a fresh scent similar to that of lemon, mint and pine.
The smoke from burning sacred plant material such as White Sage and Palo Santo ignites ancient memories of thousands of years of spiritual communion and ritual. Smudging creates a change in the air element, helping to transform our current physical human experience into a mystical one.
ENERGY CLEANSING WITH SAGE
The ancient and mystical ritual of energy cleansing with Sage is a simple and highly beneficial practise to incorporate into everyday life. Smudging on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis can help you feel centred, grounded and positive and invoke a sense of harmony and balance. Smudging can be used when you are feeling drained, if you’ve had a hard day at work or any time you feel you need an energetic pick-me up.
Some examples of ideal times to smudge are:
- When you move into a new living space
- When you begin a new job or start your own business - this creates a sense of clarity and celebrates a fresh start
- Before and/or after guests enter your home
- Before and/or after practising yoga or meditation
- Before, during and/or after a healing session
- After any sort of trauma
- After any sort of argument or conflict
- After illness
- Upon returning home from crowded situations
- Upon rising
- Before retiring to bed
- Any other time you feel the need.
As it is such a positive thing to do for yourself, you can never really smudge too much. In modern times, we require as much cleansing as we can get, especially when we are surrounded by so much negativity in the world!
WHY IS SAGE USED FOR CLEANSING
White sage has been used for thousands of years for the clearing and purifying of energy. Historians have found that the cleansing effect of sage was well known throughout several parts of the world and dates as far back as the Ancient Greek times. The Latin word for ‘sage’ stems from the word ‘heal’. Sage is also historically believed to give clarity and wisdom and increased spiritual awareness.
White Sage is still used today for purifying the energy of individuals, groups of people, rooms, buildings and for ritual practises. Sage has been found to disinfect the air by clearing up to 94% of airborne bacteria, and scientists have also found the smoke from burning dried sage releases negative ions into the surrounding air. This can have a direct effect on reducing our stress response and increasing positive mood.
HISTORY OF SAGE
The most commonly known historical use of sage dates back to the Native American culture, where dried white sage leaves were used by shamans in the ritual practice of calling upon ancestral spirits. It was believed the smoke from burning these leaves would absorb the negative energy from conflict, anger and illness. Sage was also traditionally used to disperse evil or unwanted spirits, cleansing and releasing these energies from the energy field of a person undergoing shamanistic treatment. This process of energetic cleansing was referred to as ‘smudging’ with sage. Shamans would sometimes follow smudging with the burning of sweet grass to call forth the energy of peace and love.
SAGE CLEANSING A HOME
Energy cleansing home spaces can be important for shifting the energy in your sacred space. Your home is often your base, your cocoon in which you live. So cleansing your home can help to create a little oasis and keep the energy fresh and uplifting!
How to use sage to cleanse house
- Just like saging anywhere, you will set an intention before you light up the sage.
- Open all of the doors and the windows to allow the energy to flow through the space and allow any unwanted energy to leave.
- Light up the sage and spread it around all corners of the house while holding the matra close to you and fully embodying it.
Sage cleansing a home should really help to shift the craziness out of your space and create an uplifting and fresh energy. You’ll feel it and know it once you try it!
Sage cleansing prayer for home:
““Smoke, air, fire, and earth, cleanse and bless this home and hearth. Drive away harm and fear, only positive energy may enter here.”
ENERGY CLEANSING WITH PALO SANTO
Palo Santo has similar uses to that of sage and has been historically used for healing, cleansing energy, inspiring creativity and providing spiritual insight.
All parts of the Palo Santo plant can be used medicinally, including the oil.
In herbal medicine, Palo Santo is used to relieve symptoms of:
- lung conditions such as asthma
- low moods
- It also has a calming effect on a person’s nervous system.
Teas can be brewed from the leaves to relieve ailments such as stomach aches and traditional liniments have been produced to assist with the discomfort of inflammatory issues including rheumatism.
While smudging with sage requires the use of the leaves of the White Sage plant, smudging with Palo Santo requires the use of the plant’s wood. The smoke produced by burning Palo Santo has also been traditionally used as an insect repellent.
HISTORY OF PALO SANTO
Palo Santo has always been known by South American medicine people to be a mystical tree. The Incas referred to Palo Santo as ‘holy wood’ and shamans and indigenous communities believe the Palo Santo tree contains magical qualities and helpful spirits.
HOW TO SMUDGE WITH SAGE AND PALO SANTO
Here is our most expansive guide to smudging:
STEP 1. Hold the smudge stick as far from the end you are going to burn as possible while ensuring you’re holding it securely.
STEP 2. Light your candle, match or lighter and hold the smudge stick at a 45-degree angle over the flame. Let the smudge stick burn with flame for about 20 seconds before gently blowing out the flame so that you’re left with orange embers on the lit end.
NOTE: A White Sage Smudge Stick will remain lit for a long time and will not need to be relit during the smudging process. Palo Santo sticks will extinguish itself every 30 seconds (approximately) and will need to be relit repeatedly throughout the smudging process.
STEP 3. Begin the smudging process by cleansing yourself. Taking care to keep a safe distance from other people and objects, move your smudge stick through the air around yourself, and visualise any negative energy leaving your aura. Remember to smudge around your feet, behind your back and over your head as well as down your arms and legs. Some people prefer to start from the feet and work upwards to the head. Stay present with your breath and move slowly and consciously. You may wish to spend a little extra time over any area that is holding physical pain or discomfort.
- Before smudging, we recommend cleaning your house to create a physically clean and fresh environment.
- It is also important to open all doors and windows to allow for airflow and to provide a way for the negative energy to be released from the space. If smudging a person, it’s best to stand outside, in a quiet, calm and safe environment to allow the smoke carrying the negative energy to dissipate naturally.
- Be sure to keep hot objects including smudge sticks and candles away from children, pets and flammable materials such as curtains, carpets, papers and fabrics. Also, watch out for smoke alarms!
- Always have a fire-proof and heat-proof container containing water or clean sand close at hand for the immediate extinguishing of the smudge stick and/or lighting flame in case of an emergency. If using sand, it is very important that the sand does not contain flammable items such as bits of dried leaves or twigs. Clean beach sand is ideal.
- Place your smudging equipment on a table, desk, or any other appropriate surface. Do not place on carpet, couches or beds.
- It is best to perform smudging at a time when you will not be disturbed.
- Allow yourself at least 10 to 15 minutes to complete the smudging of a small home. It’s best not to rush the process, so allow for longer in larger homes.
- If possible, create a sense of ritual and ceremony when you smudge your space.
- Your choice of smudge stick – we recommend using White Sage or Palo Santo.
- A fire-proof and heat-proof container containing clean sand or water (a ceramic or oven-proof dish is ideal).
- A lighting flame such as a candle, lighter or matches. We recommend a candle, as it stays alight for a long time, allowing you to focus on holding the smudge stick rather than worrying about burning your fingers.
WHAT CAN BE SMUDGED?
Any innate object, space or living thing or can be smudged. Please always request permission prior to smudging a person or group of people and take into account anyone with lung conditions such as asthma that can be aggravated by smoke.
Some examples of things that can be smudged are:
- People – individuals and groups
- Homes - whole houses and individual rooms
- Land - particularly beneficial after negative events such as land clearing, fires or floods
- Gardens and plants
- Dorm rooms
- Furniture - great if bought second-hand to remove any negative energy from the previous owners
And so, so much more.
SAGE CLEANSING MUSIC
In our smudging ebook you will also find a link to a whole playlist that we have beautifully created for our clients. If you’d like to receive the link just reach out to us via our contact form and we’ll be happy to send it.
INCORPORATING SMUDGING INTO MODERN-DAY LIFE
The ancient and mystical ritual of smudging is a simple and highly beneficial practise to incorporate into everyday life. Smudging on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis can help you feel centred, grounded and positive and invoke a sense of harmony and balance. Smudging can be used when you are feeling drained, if you’ve had a hard day at work or any time you feel you need an energetic pick-me up.
How much does sage heal is something we sometimes get asked in our inbox and well, only you can tell for yourself! We think its pretty dang special ;)