How to Smudge with Sage

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Smudging, or burning sage to clear negative energy, is an ancient ritual. Native Americans have practiced smudging as part of their spiritual practice for centuries. Learning how to smudge with sage is easy, and it will bring a feeling of peace and harmony into your personal space.  Let’s get started!

Why Do We Smudge with Sage?

Smudging with sage is all about cleansing your space, both physically and energetically. While smudging is a spiritual practice at heart, it also has practical benefits! Burning sage can help:

  • purify an object or space
  • dissolve negative energy
  • repel negative entities
  • calm nerves and relieve stress
  • repel insects
  • kill airborne bacteria

Smudging with sage can be done any time, but this cleansing ritual is perfect for: 

  • moving into a new home
  • after an argument or unwanted visitor  
  • before bed to release negative thoughts 
  • workspace cleansing
  • before meditation to raise your vibration

How To Smudge With Sage

You should feel free to smudge whenever and however you are guided. After all, this is a highly personal and intuitive ritual. But as a general guideline, keep these three steps in mind. 

1 - Choose Your Tools

You have two main choices for smudging. You can either smudge by burning a bundle of dried sage, or you can use a smudge spray that contains sage essential oil. Both work beautifully, so use your intuition to determine what the situation calls for. I personally always have both on-hand.

For traditional smudging you’ll need:

  • a sage bundle
  • a lighter or matches
  • a feather to direct the smoke
  • something to catch the ashes of your bundle (either a shell specifically for smudging, or an ash tray)   

You can get everything you need (except the lighter) in a sage kit like this one, for under $25: 

Sage kit includes 3 sage bundles, a shell with stand, and a feather. Click to see more on Amazon.

Organic sage bundles. Click to view details on Amazon.

Not everyone loves the idea of burning anything inside their home, and that’s okay! You can absolutely still smudge your space. You’ll just want to opt for Clear The Air smudge spray instead. It smells amazing, and delivers the same powerful effects as burning a bundle. Smudge spray is perfect for:

  • apartment living/concerns about smoke detectors
  • those sensitive to smoke   
  • people who don’t like the smell of sage 
  • smudging a public space, like your office 
  • clearing confined spaces, such as your car  

2 - Set Your Intention

Once you’ve settled on your tools, it’s time to get into the proper headspace. Every spiritual practice is rooted in intention. So to prepare for smudging, affirm aloud or in your mind that you intend to clear away negative energy. You can phrase it in your own words, or use the affirmation that appears on the Clear The Air bottle: 

All negativity is expelled from my energy field. Peace and light fill my sacred space.

You should also feel free to call in your spirit team, angels, or passed loved ones to assist you. They always want to help!

3 - Cleanse Your Space

Sage Bundle: Pull back the twine that binds your bundle so it doesn’t catch fire. Hold your sage bundle at a 45 degree angle in your non-dominant hand and light the end. Allow it to burn for 10 seconds or so, then blow it out. You’ll be left with a stream of smoke, which is what you’ll use to smudge your space. Have your feather handy to direct the smoke. 

Clear The Air Smudge Spray: Give the bottle a quick shake. 

To Smudge Your Home:

Repeat these steps for each floor of your home.

  • On the main level of your home, start at your front door. For basements and second stories, pick any room/corner as your starting point. 
  •  Move clockwise around the room, spritzing or directing smoke into all four corners of the room. Get in corners at the ceiling and also near the floor. Don’t forget inside closets.
  •  Move through each room of your home, in order, repeating this process, until you end up where you started.
  • When you get back to your starting point, open the door, or closest window, and envision all negative energy being swept outside, leaving your home peaceful and fresh.

To Smudge an Object:

You can purify the energy of objects with smudging, too. Even if you don’t feel negativity coming from an object, it’s still good practice to clear out old energy that doesn’t serve you. For example:

All you need to do is waft the smoke above, below, and around your object, or give it a spritz with your smudge spray. Remember, this is all about intention! So as long as you hold your intention to clear the object’s energy, it will be so.

To Smudge a Person:

Yes, you can absolutely smudge yourself! This is a wonderful self-care ritual to raise your vibe and let go of negative energy that you pick up throughout the day. This is where the smudge spray comes in extra handy. Simply close your eyes, and spritz your face, chest, back, as you feel guided. Or have a partner do it for you, and return the favor.  

How To Store Your Sage

Once you’ve let your sage burn out, be sure that it’s completely cool and there are no remaining embers (I recommend leaving it in the sage shell or ashtray for several hours, to be sure). Then, you can leave it right it the shell and pop the whole thing in a drawer. Or if you want to contain the aroma, try storing your sage bundle in a mason jar, like this. The important thing is to keep your sage dry, so you can easily re-light it.

sage bundle in a mason jar
This is a 12 ounce mason jar. These come in handy for storing so many things! Click to buy on Amazon.

Did you have fun learning how to smudge with sage? Share your experience in the comments!

XO,  Andrea

About The Author

Andrea has been practicing aromatherapy and reiki in Central NY since 2016. She's been featured in publications such as Energy Magazine.
Andrea Scalisi wearing yellow shirt
Andrea Scalisi

To read more about Andrea, click here. Feel free to reach out with questions or feedback on the Contact form.

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