Whether you're moving into a new home, cleaning out your apartment or feeling like you need to "clear the air" in your space, burning sage, or sage smudging, has become a popular practice in the wellness world.
Sage smudging is a practice used in feng shui and Native American traditions to clear negative energy. Since feng shui is all about having good "Chi" (energy) in your home, burning sage is one way to purify spaces and improve the flow of energy.
Sage has long been used to energetically clear and cleanse objects, people and spaces. The smell can be intense, but when it dissipates you can smell the difference in the air.
Here's everything you need to know about the potential health benefits of burning sage and how to burn it. Even if you're new to energy work, there are a few good reasons to burn sage that could benefit your health.
"Burning sage releases negative ions in the air (like that smooth essence you get from the warm glow of a salt lamp in a room), which naturally cleanses a space and can make you feel more positive," says Sheena Mannina, an energy healer in New Orleans.
The key to utilizing the stress-relieving, calming benefits of sage is to use the practice of burning it after a particularly stressful day. Some people also like to burn sage in the morning so they start their day on a relaxing and positive note. You can also sage your energetic field after being around large groups of people, after work, before meditation, or just feel like your energy is in a low place.
If you're busy and don't have time to burn a bundle of sage, you can use an aromatherapy diffuser with a sage essential oil or a sage room spray. They can work just as well to help relieve stress. The burning of sage is necessary to cleanse your energy and space, so do keep that in mind when you choose to diffuse or spray.
You can burn sage to focus on your goals. If you're in a bad mood, sometimes taking your focus away from what's bothering you can make the world of the difference. As we mentioned earlier, the purpose of burning sage is to also set an intention, specifically one that's positive and uplifting. A sage burning practice can fit well into your de-stressing routine, like before you meditate, take a hot bath, or make your evening tea. Cleanse your energy and focus on what you want in life.
The smell of sage can also help you recenter your thoughts if you're feeling confused and unfocused. At work and school, using aromatherapy in your office is best. The smoke from burning sage can be distracting and add to the confusion, but diffusing oil can help you reap the benefits quickly and give you the mental clarity you need to get through your day. You can use the same intentional practice while diffusing sage or even palo santo oil in the home.
There's more meaning to burning sage than lighting a stick and waving it around your home. It all comes down to setting an intention and purpose.
Set an intention by taking a few deep breaths in and out. Think about what negative thoughts or feelings you would like to clear in the space or objects around you. Close all windows and shut off fans and air conditioners so there isn't a draft. Light the sage bundle with a match or candle and blow on it gently to get it smoking. Wave the bundle around your head and body to clear your own energy field and then the space or objects around you.
To clear your space, walk around the length of the room with the sage. Wave it into corners, trace the outlines of the room from ceiling to floor, and be sure to wave the sage behind furniture and in nooks and crannies. Carry a singing bowl or other dish underneath the sage to catch the burning embers. And of course, use fire safety precautions at all times.
As you use the smoke, visualize or imagine the intentions you want to set. When you're done, place the stick on the fire-safe dish and let the sage burn out on its own. A last step you can take is to burn something sweet. A floral incense can work perhaps to fill the space you've cleared, if you so choose. It's not needed, but if you have a scent you prefer, go ahead and fill your newly cleansed space with an enjoyable scent.