Sage has a lengthy history of being used for various purposes, particularly for smudging. But can you use all types of sage for smudging?
In this article, we’ll explain what sage is used for, what types there are, how to use it in rituals, and what the ideal smudging frequency is.
So, let’s begin!
What Is Sage Used for?
Throughout its lengthy history, sage has been used for various purposes, from warding off evil spirits to enhancing female fertility. Said to have originated in the Mediterranean, sage was one of the most important plants in ancient times, and continues to bear relevance today—in particular, sage for smudging is said to aid your physical, mental, and emotional health. Sage for smudging is a mix of two or more herbs, and this bunch of herbs have specific properties good for balancing energy whenever you feel low vibrations.
Smudging can be helpful as:
- A spiritual tool
- To relieve negative energy in a person
- To cleanse negative energy in your home
Sage as a Spiritual Tool
Although burning sage is used by healers and laypeople in traditional cultures to achieve a healing state or solve or meditate on spiritual difficulties, this practice could also have a scientific basis—certain types of sage best for smudging for cleansing and spiritual purposes like white prairie sage contain thujone, which is somewhat psychotropic and present in a variety of plants used in cultural spiritual rituals to boost intuition.
Sage for Relieving Negative Energy in a Person
This ancient sacred ritual is considered helpful in relieving any signs of negative energy in a person, like past traumas, terrible experiences, or other people’s negative energies. This could assist you in creating a spiritual atmosphere for meditation, yoga, or another activity that helps uplift your spirits—choosing to release negative energy in a ritual like this is a big step toward self-improvement.
Sage for Cleansing Negative Energy in Your Home
As we all carry different energy, some people whose energy doesn’t match yours can negatively impact you and leave their negativity in your home. In such cases, smudging rituals can come in handy to clear your space from negative energy.
In traditional Native American culture, apart from being used as a traditional remedy for fending off infections and purifying the body, burning sage is supposed to promote healing, wisdom, and longevity—and you can invite these values into your home by cleansing it with sage.
|DID YOU KNOW: Sage was a valuable crop in the early 800s AD due to its therapeutic virtues and rich trade opportunities—the Romans used sage to help with digestion, as well as to treat ulcers, wounds, and sore throats.|
Types of Sage for Smudging
There are different types of sage for smudging:
White Sage Smudge
Also known as sacred sage, bee sage, or California sage, white sage for smudging is the most extensively used smudging stick. This herb stick is widely used for various purposes, including meditation, yoga, protection, and warding off evil spirits. When white sage smudge is burned, it emits a pleasant, herbaceous, and somewhat astringent perfume, which is why this herb stick is also associated with cleansing, purification of the body, and preventing illnesses.
Yerba Santa Smudge
Translating to ‘holy herb’, yerba santa was given its name by Spanish monks who used the plant’s powerful healing properties. Bear weed, mountain balm, and consumptive’s weed are other names of the same plant. Yerba santa’s smudges have an uplifting, energizing scent that encourages you to find your inner strength, and they’re also said to increase psychic powers and facilitate healing. Various conditions like coughing are traditionally treated with this type of herb.
Blue Sage Smudge
Also known as New Mexico sage or grandmother sage, blue sage for smudging has a beautiful, mild perfume perfect for cleaning your space of negative energy and creating a quiet and relaxed atmosphere. Burning blue sage smudge during meditation or just for fun is a great choice because of its relaxing aroma, and it’s also a great substitute if the strong perfume of white sage smudge is too much for you.
Black Sage Smudge
Due to its rich, heavy odor, the black sage plant for smudging is considered to have the ability to attract your energy and consciousness into other dimensions. Also known as dream weed, magical sage, and mugwort, this herb promotes introspection and self-healing and induces restful sleep and peaceful dreams. Since it’s supposed to protect during astral travel, shamans preferred this smudge for shamanic journeying.
Cedar Sage Smudge
Cedar, an ancient tree and one of the world’s oldest thriving beings, evokes ancient woodlands and their wisdom and protection. The fresh, woodsy scent of a burning Cedar smudge works wonders for cleaning old energy and unpleasant spirits from a new home, welcoming fresh, energetic vibes and safeguarding the new resident from negative influences.
Lavender Sage Smudge
Because of its medicinal powers, traditional healers refer to lavender sage as “the mother plant.” Despite their physical similarities, lavender sage isn’t related to the widely recognized aromatic herb Lavandula angustifolia, or lavender. Smudging with lavender sage clears negative thoughts, and it’s the best sage for smudging for harmonizing the mind, improving intuition, and promoting feelings of love. Due to inducing calm and relaxation, lavender sage is the smudge of choice for burning at bedtime.
Desert Sage Smudge
Desert sage types of sage are best for smudging, cleansing, spiritual rituals, and detoxifying. The desert sage smudge stimulates your inner courage with its warm, herbaceous, peppery aroma, and the smoke of desert sage is said to cleanse and heal. Inhaling the aroma of a smudge stick is said to reduce headaches, ease anxiety, and stimulate good thoughts. Some of the other names for this type of sage are desert magic, sagebrush smudge, mountain sage, and grey sage.
Palo Santo Smudge
The perfume of palo santo, also known as ‘holy wood,’ is smooth, aromatic, and spicy, with a hint of gingerbread. Its sacred status of a sage known to facilitate healing and aid cleansing rituals extends back to the Incas. Burning a palo santo smudge can assist in cleansing negative energies, promoting quiet and relaxation, and bringing joy and harmony into your house. For these reasons, Spaniards frequently burn palo santo smudges on Catholic holy days and processions.
|DID YOU KNOW: Different sage types can also be used in rituals for achieving spiritual manifestation, the art physically manifesting your internal convictions—these internal beliefs will reflect in your external world, whether you believe you’re powerful enough, skillful enough, or worthy enough.|
How to Make the Most of Your Smudging Rituals
Below, we’ll discuss the steps for a successful smudging ritual:
1. Set Your Intention and Say a Mantra
Smudging is all about intentions, so think about what you want to purify or discharge from your environment before lighting the sage. Then, while saging, choose a mantra or prayer that encapsulates this objective.
Intentions can be used as a set of guidelines for how you want to present yourself to the world—they can be about anything in your life, from your work to your relationships. You must plant these intentions into your consciousness for them to grow and thrive.
- Example for intention: “In stressful situations, I will remain calm”
Often known as mantras, affirmations are useful tools for interrupting negative thought patterns. It’s good to take some time to journal about an idea, feeling, or goal you want to focus on while crafting a personal mantra.
- Example for the mantra: “ I’m a completely healthy person”
2. Light Up
Once you’re ready, fire the sage plant for smudging with a match or candle, and let it burn for about 20 seconds. Then, slowly extinguish the flame on one end until only orange embers remain. At this point, the smoke should be rising up from the sage.
3. Slowly Walk Around Your Space
Allow the smoke to float through your environment as you slowly walk around it holding your type of sage for smudging, and open windows or doors for the smoke and the negative energy to leave.
Experts advise paying special attention to regions in front of mirrors, in corners, foyers, halls, and doorways, as well as smudging communication technologies like phones and laptops.
4. Be Present
Always be present at the moment—focusing on your intention while saying your mantra or prayer, wish for the things you want to relieve from your place, mind, or body from. Release all the negative energy from your system, your feelings of anxiety, stuck energy, thoughts, and things you want to change in your life.
Also, remember that burning types of sage used for smudging should never be left unattended, and make sure not to inhale too much smoke, as experts suggest this could be bad for your lungs.
5. Extinguish Your Sage
When you’re ready to put out a sage smudge stick, firmly press the burning tip into a fireproof vessel, dirt, or sand until the smoke stops rising. A pro tip is to not get it wet, as water will destroy the tip of the stick and make it more difficult to light next time! Once it’s extinguished, store the smudge stick in a container until next use.
|DID YOU KNOW: Successful smudging rituals can help in achieving spiritual awakening—a subjective experience in which an individual’s ego transcends their typical, finite sense of self to encompass a wider, infinite sense of truth or reality.|
|Burning sage is used by healers and laypeople in traditional cultures to achieve a healing state or solve or meditate on spiritual difficulties.|
|This ancient sacred ritual can be also be to eliminate signs of negative energy in a person, like past traumas, terrible experiences, or other people’s negative energies.|
|Smudging is all about intentions, so think about what you want to purify or discharge from your environment before lighting the sage.|
|Smudging your home to clear stuck energy can be done at any time, but it’s a good idea to do a complete smudging four times a year, when the seasons change.|
How Often Should You Smudge?
Smudging with sage is a wonderful technique to clear your space and mind. Doing so regularly can ensure the energy surrounding you isn’t murky or stagnant. In case you’re wondering if it’s possible to smudge too much or too often, there’s no straightforward answer.
Only You Can Decide How Frequently You Need to Smudge
Which sage is best for smudging and how often to smudge depends on your specific needs. If you you’re feeling negative energy or you’re sick, tired, or sluggish, weekly smudging may seem excessive, but won’t harm you.
Do a Complete Smudging at Least Four Times a Year
Smudging your home to clear stuck energy can be done at any time, but it’s a good idea to do it whenever the seasons change. Smudging your living space at least four times a year according to the seasons can keep it clear from any negativity or foreign energy.
Smudge After Negative Energy From Others
Whenever someone enters your home, they might leave lingering energy that needs removing from your home. After your visitors leave, use one of the different kinds of sage for smudging to smudge your house or apartment and get rid of overpowering cologne, anxious energy, or someone’s negative outlook on life in general.
While excessive smudging generally isn’t detrimental, some healers advise against it in certain situations—for instance, smudging won’t assist a presumably stuck soul pass on. However, although sage burning may not be the finest method for assisting a soul’s transition, it’s still believed to be an effective ghost-busting instrument.
Nevertheless, you should think of smudging as a tool to assist your needs first and foremost.
|DID YOU KNOW: Aside from sage for smudging, amethyst is one of the most well-known manifestation crystals that can help break bad habits and encourage positive routines.|
How to Make Your Own Sage for Smudging?
There are different types of sage for smudging for purchase, but you can also choose to make your own. While they require a little more effort, homemade smudge sticks are equally as powerful as store-bought smudge sticks, if not more so. Making your smudge sticks also allows you to tailor the herbs to your specific requirements and preferences.
Here’s what you’ll need for making your own smudge sticks:
- Sage (or any other herbs or woody shrubs such as lavender, thyme, rosemary, etc.)
Once you have all the tools and ingredients, follow these instructions:
Step 1: Prune Your Flowers
Begin by pruning your flowers and herbs to the appropriate size. Then, wrap a long piece of twine around the base of your herb bundle and to the top. To ensure it stays tied after the flowers dry and shrink, wrap the twine as firmly as possible.
Step 2: Tie the String
When you reach the top, secure your string and trim the excess herbs protruding out of the bundle.
Step 3: Allow Your Smudge Sick to Dry
Dried sage for smudging is important for this ancient sacred ritual, so you should let your stick dry for at least two weeks before using it.
Step 4: Use Lighter or Match
To light your dry smudging stick, use a lighter or a match.
Step 5: Start From the East and Purify Each Room in the House
Starting with the most eastern room of your home, circle around the room clockwise, wafting the smoke as you go. Then, continue purifying each room in a clockwise direction through the rest of your house.
Step 6: Put Out the Stick
Finally, put out the stick using a paper towel and leave it aside. You can keep using the same type of sage for smudging until you run out of sage to burn.
Different kinds of sage for smudging can be helpful when it comes to your physical, mental, and emotional health. Using sage in rituals can help you purge negativity from your life or home, relieving negative energy you receive from others as well. Combining the practice of smudging with a spiritual activity like yoga or meditation can be a big step toward self-improvement.
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