Smudging is growing more and more common in the modern age. While it might seem to be firmly in the ‘woo woo’ category for some skeptics, science is beginning to prove its effectiveness.
The journal of ethnopharmacology produced a study that found smudging was capable of clearing up to 94% of bacteria over 24 hours. It’s not just the antibacterial properties of herbs like white sage that make it so appealing, though. It may remove dust, pollen, and chemicals from your environment, but one of the main reasons so many people love smudging is because of its ability to enhance mindfulness.
If you’re learning how to smudge sage, this could be one of the benefits you’re hoping to achieve. It works by removing pollutants and negative energy from your immediate surroundings, which leaves you feeling more relaxed and present at the moment.
Think about it, we absorb energy from everywhere we go. If we talk with friends or family, we take on some of their energy – good or bad. This goes for shopkeepers, pedestrians, or even people on the TV. We’re constantly exposing our energy to others and allowing it to be influenced by our surroundings. White sage and other sacred herbs can separate these absorbed energies from your essence through the act of smudging.
It doesn’t take long to learn the basics of smudging for beginners, so the best thing you can do is get your smudging gear and try it out for yourself. Keep these tips in mind as guidelines.
Prepare for Smudging
Sage is the perfect herb to use when learning smudging for beginners. It’s simple, easy to get a hold of, and works wonders, similar to clear quartz in the crystal world. When smudging sage to purify the home, gather the following materials:
- White Sage·
- Fireproof Dish ·
For extinguishing the smudge stick, you may want a bowl of sand too, but you can just as easily extinguish it in the fireproof dish.
Before lighting your sage, make sure you do the following:
- Vacuum the house, sweep the floor, and tidy your belongings
- Open the windows
- Open the internal doors
Cleaning your home and tidying up will make the sage’s job easier. Opening the doors and windows allows the smoke to leave your home, carrying with it all the negative energy that it’s collected. Skipping this step will leave the damaging smoke inside your home.
How to Smudge Sage for Your Home
Now, simply light the sage stick over the fireproof bowl and blow at the flame so that it smokes gently. You don’t want to set off all the smoke alarms with billowing black smoke. A light, thin trail will work fine.
Some people recommend going around the house clockwise, but so long as you cover every nook and cranny, it really shouldn’t matter which direction you take. Start at the door and waft the smoke with your hands (or a feather) into every corner of the room. Be sure to give extra attention to the space behind the doors as stagnant energy can build there over time. Open cupboards, wardrobes, and drawers to extract the old energy from your storage spaces.
A lot of people often ask, can you relight sage? The answer is yes! If you find that the sage stick goes out before you’ve finished smudging, you may well have to relight your sage before you can continue. If, however, you want to cleanse a smaller area, then reuse your sage again another time, this is perfectly fine too. Some smudgers suggest watching the stick burn itself out in an almost therapeutic way, but this is purely a personal preference.
How to Smudge Sage for Yourself
If you want to know how to smudge yourself, then the steps are almost identical. The key difference being the direction that you direct the smoke. Follow the same steps as before, but instead of taking the smudge stick around your home, wave it up and down in front of your body.
This is a great cleansing technique to use before bed. It naturally relaxes the body and helps clear the air of your room, detoxifying it for you before going to sleep. As mentioned earlier, its mindfulness abilities really come in handy here. It enables you to be calmer and more content before sleep, which in turn helps you drift off faster.
So the answer to the question, can I smudge at night? Yes! Just make sure you monitor it. Never leave a burning smudge stick unattended, and always double-check that it’s fully extinguished before going to sleep.
How to Smudge Sage for Your Crystals
Smudging is a great way to cleanse your crystals. Whether you’re purifying your new gem from the energy of the people who handled it before you, or you want to refresh your crystal after a significant healing period, smudging is a great way to liberate the stone from negative energy and start anew.
- Place your crystals on your altar or space them out on a flat surface.
- Light the sage over a fireproof bowl.
- Hover the sage over your altar and above the crystals you want to cleanse.
- Use a feather to direct the smoke to envelop every crystal.
- Focus on the new intentions for your crystals and opening a new chapter in your life. Welcome to the new with lots of love.
- Smudge the area and room where your crystals are as well to ensure that all of the negative energy is removed.
When you’re cleansing crystals, make sure to smudge all corners of your home with wide-open windows, so that all negative energy can escape.
Many people wonder what to say when smudging a house, and the truth is, you don’t need to say anything. If it feels good for you to recite some words, then by all means go for it, but it’s certainly not an obligation for smudging.
It’s wise to set an intention before you start, and if you find it beneficial to affirm it to the universe as a smudging prayer, then don’t hold back! It can help to maintain focus and direction for your smudging session. For example, consider the following possibilities:
- You’ve just moved somewhere new - If you’ve just moved into a new home, it’s a good idea to smudge the entire place to remove the old energy and welcome in the new. You could say thanks to the energy that was there before you and state your intention of creating your home there.
- You want to invite productivity or creativity - You may wish to call inspiration from your muse or state your goals with confidence and clarity. This will boost your motivation and refresh your vigor.
- You want to open your home to love - Call upon the universe to open this space to love, light, and positive energy. Welcome all benevolent beings and let in compassion, forgiveness, and infinite truth.
- You want to remove negative energy and protect your home - Command old and stagnant energy to leave. Let low vibrational energy know that it is not welcome in your home any longer. Only love and light may enter.
- You want to relax - Command the smoke to take your stress with it and free your body from tension. Direct the heavy and dense energy out the window and let your worries go with it.
The Negative Effects of Smudging
While smudging has many positive, and scientifically-proven, qualities, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows for everybody. The act of smudging produces smoke, so people who suffer from respiratory problems may find it uncomfortable. In severe cases, it’s best to cleanse your home differently.
Likewise, smudging for long periods at regular intervals can even cause respiratory problems. It’s not healthy to breathe in the smoke of any kind, so when cleansing your home, always be mindful to leave windows open. This is so both the smoke and the negative energy can escape. Otherwise, they’re both stuck inside the home and it defeats the entire purpose.
Providing you’re a healthy adult with a good set of lungs and open windows, the negative effects of smudging do not counteract the positive.
How Often Should You Smudge?
As with everything, this is entirely subjective. Some people like to smudge their homes once per day at precisely 8 am, while others prefer to smudge it once per month whenever they have some free time. It’s not necessary to decide upon a strict schedule in advance, though it can be useful to set a reminder if you’re likely to forget.
Trust your intuition. A good rule of thumb is to smudge when you feel you need to. Smudge if you’ve just taken a new direction in life, entered or ended a relationship, or if you’re feeling a build-up of stagnant energy. Always listen to your gut.
Your Turn to Smudge
It’s easy to get lost in advice for things like smudging for beginners, rather than doing it. There is no right or wrong way to smudge, there is only your way. If you want to know how to smudge sage, then the best thing you can do is get sage and start smudging! You should have sufficient knowledge now to give it a try and see what works for you.