Smudging Sage 101

Brief History and Meaning

While Sage is a staple herb used in various cuisines around the world, it is also a sacred plant that was widely used among Indigenous Americans in spirit and energy practices over 2,000 years ago. Burning of sage used to clear out negative energies and set intentions for positives energies to flow into a space.

The Purpose of Smudging

The goal of the ceremony or this ritual is to clear the space of lingering energy that is “different from what you may be intending for that space.” That confirmed that a sage smudging was a good way to kick off new year and new outlook on your life’s goal and purpose.

Benefits of Smudging

Burning sage for an hour decreased the level of aerial bacteria by 94 percent. Beliefs that burning sage clears out spiritual impurities may be tied to its ability to repel pathogens and insects that cause disease;

Smudging is thought to release negative ions. This is said to help neutralize positive ions. Common positive ions are allergens like pet dander, pollution, dust and mold;

For healers and lay people in traditional cultures, burning sage is used to achieve a healing state — or to solve or reflect upon spiritual dilemmas. Smudging has long been used to connect to the spiritual realm or enhance intuition.

Smudging may also be used as a ritual tool to rid yourself — or your space — of negativity. This includes past traumas, bad experiences, or negative energies from others.

Burning sage creates fragrant smoke central to smudging’s benefits. You can use this incense to smudge yourself or specific spaces. Or, you can smudge specific objects.

Tradition suggests that smudging can literally lift one’s spirits to banish negativity, thereby improving your mood and could also be a great ally against stress.

Some research suggests that sage contains compounds that could help ease insomnia, thus improving the quality of sleep.

It creates an uplifting fragrance to boost your level of energy and strengthening intuition, increase one’s focus on things that matters.

Basic Tools for Smudging

A sage bundle (or smudge stick);

Some recommend a seashell or bowl of ceramic, clay, or glass to hold burning sage or capture ash;

Some recommend matches over a man-made lighter;

Optional feather or fan for fanning smoke.

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