Sage: A Healer’s Guide to Clearing Space

“I need to sage” has quickly become a popular modern day pun! But, how does one properly sage? Want to when and how to smudge? Keeping reading to discover the healer’s guide to properly sage!

What Does Saging Do?

Saging is so much more than modern day humor.  Saging (also known as smudging) is an ancient and sacred Native American ritual used during shamanic healing ceremonies.  Burning sage is done in order to clear and cleanse negative energy, as well as to set positive intentions.  Before you laugh this off as simply an esoteric or witchy practices, know that there is actual science to back me up!  Studies have shown that the smoke from sage releases negative ions.  Negative ions have been linked to boosting moods, helping people feel happy and lifted.  Some studies even suggest that sage can cleanse the air by clearing away airborne bacteria.  Yep, it’s true! 

Elle Woods has a point, happy people don’t shoot their husbands. They likely sage often!

When to Sage

I use sage in my home and while I am working.  At work, I generally sage before I start working, in between patients, and before I leave for the day.  It is a great way to clear away any energy left behind or lingering that may leave patients feeling uneasy.  It is also a fantastic way to keep your mind clear, grounded, and open.  At home, I sage whenever guests come over (and when they leave), as well as whenever I feel the energy in the home has become stagnant. 

If you are not overly sensitive to energy, then “crowded” is the best way I can describe the quality of energy that needs to be cleared.  Saging rituals are also important when you first move into a new home or office.  You want to clear away any negativity that might be lingering behind from previous tenants.  We all have shit to deal with right?  Let’s not try and take on other peoples nonsense!  

I tend to recommend saging whenever patients tell me they are experiencing insomnia, feel uneasy or unsettled, have fallen into a rut, lack creativity or imagination, are having repetitive bad dreams, are fighting often with people they live or work with, sense negative energy, are in need of inspiration, or whenever guests leave their space.  However, trust your instincts when it comes to this sacred ritual.  If you feel you or your space needs clearing, light it up!  A little bit of sage will go a long way!

How to Properly Sage

Today, you can purchase sage on Amazon, Whole Foods, and your local crystal shops.  However, sage does not come with a manual.  Like most shamanic and esoteric practices, there is indeed a method to the madness. 

So how do you sage?  First things to know, what is clearing and cleansing is the smoke from the sage (not the flame).  Second, make sure you are being safe! There will be sage leafs dropping randomly as they burn.  I usually hold a shell or a small tray underneath the sage bundle in order to avoid setting fire or burning anyone! 

When you are safe and ready, light the end of the sage bundle with a lighter.  Get a good flame, and once a decent amount of smoke starts to release blow the flame out.  Then, start working the smoke around the room.  Make sure to get the smoke into corners and around door frames.  I find negative energy tends to stick and hide in the upper corners of rooms, so smoke them up! 

While smudging, it’s also important to ask (out loud or with your intention) for your space to be cleared and cleansed.  I know it’s odd, but it’s a very important aspect of this sacred ritual.  I personally always ask for any negativity to leave my space, to leave it feeling light and cleansed.  Once you feel you have filled the space completely make sure you douse out the bundle.  I use a shell with sand to make sure I safely extinguish the sage bundle.  These bundles have many layers so pay attention.  Make sure to completely extinguish before stepping away!  Then after some time has passed you can either open the door or open windows.  Allow all the energy to escape.  Voila! You have properly cleared and cleanse your space, bravo!