Smudging or Clearing Space
Burning sage and other natural herbs and oils to cleanse space can be known as smudging.
It's an ancient spiritual ritual. Lots of different cultures around the world use this practice for rituals and ceremonies.
Beliefs that burning sage clears out spiritual impurities, pathogens, and even insects have been fundamental to the practice of smudging.
Practically, sage and essential oils have antimicrobial properties. This means they keep infectious bacteria, viruses, and fungi at bay. Sage may help clear the air of lots more than bugs and bacteria as it's thought to help neutralise positive ions.
Common positive ions are allergens like:
If proven, burning sage may support those with asthma, allergies, bronchitis, and other respiratory conditions.
Smudging has long been used to connect to enhance intuition. For healers in traditional cultures, burning sage is used to achieve a healing state — or to solve or reflect upon spiritual dilemmas.
Said to dispel negative energy smudging may also be used as a ritual tool to rid yourself, or space of negativity. As part of a ritual, ceremony or meditation practice this gives the brain and body a sign that it's time to settle for practice.
It may help to soothe stress. A 2016 research project for the University of Mississippi established that white sage is rich in compounds that activate certain receptors in the brain. These receptors are responsible for elevating mood levels, reducing stress, and even alleviating pain.
It may improve the quality of your sleep. Some research suggests that sage contains compounds that could help ease insomnia. Classic garden sage, is sometimes burned like white sage. It’s also been used to improve sleep and soothe anxiety.
It can create an uplifting fragrance. For some, this may be the best of all benefits: Sage is a lovely incense with a divine aroma, pure and simple.
What you need
The practice of burning sage or smudging is fairly simple, with few necessary tools.
Basic tools include:
*Sage bundle (or smudge stick)
*Bowl or glass to hold burning sage for ash
*Lighter or matches
Before burning sage, some recommend setting intentions if smudging for spiritual, energetic, and negativity clearing purposes.
How to smudge your living space
Light the end of a sage bundle with a match.
Blow out quickly if it catches on fire.
The tips of the leaves should smoulder slowly, releasing thick smoke.
Direct this smoke around your body and space with one hand while holding the bundle in the other.
Smudge the smoke around yourself or an object or in a room.
For me it signifies the start of my practice, that could be any practice and I also use it before and after each client to create sacred space.