If you smudge your home with sage, you are practicing a smoke ceremony that creates good feng shui and transformation while blessing your space and its inhabitants. It takes some supplies, plus patience, when learning how to sage a house.
What Is Smudging?
Smudging is a way to energetically cleanse a space to invite positive energy. When smudging a space, you burn plant material (but there are alternatives if you can't tolerate the smoke). The smoke fills and purifies the environment. As the smoke rises, it takes your wishes and intentions and mingles them with the universe as a way to connect heaven, earth, and humanity. Burning aromatic herbs and resins was practiced in antiquity and is found in many cultures and spiritual religions. Smudging, though, is primarily associated with Indigenous traditions in the United States.
There are many different plant materials you can use for smudging. Some common ones include sage, cedar, sweet grass, and lavender. White sage is probably the most common and popular herb for smudging. It is associated with purity and has a strong and heavy presence. It's very useful when you need a major space cleansing. Read on for methods on how to cleanse your house with sage and more about what saging a house can do for you.
Gather Your Materials
Before you begin the ceremony to sage your house, it's important to take a couple of other steps. First, tidy up your home. Then, take your time to gather materials for the ritual. The mindfulness of a smoke ritual begins when you collect your supplies, so practice this with ease and care. Do your best to slow down and not rush through this first step.
Keep the ritual materials sacred by using them only for space clearing. You can store your other materials on your shrine or altar. If you are gathering materials to sage your house from negative energy for the first time, look for a smudge stick that has bundled materials that appeal to your senses, such as rose, mugwort, rosemary, and more. Besides a smudge stick, here are more supplies you will need to sage a house.
Candle and Matches
It’s recommended to have a candle nearby to relight the smudge stick during the smudging ceremony. Matches or a lighter is used to light the candle. You will light the smudge stick with the candle flame.
It's useful to have a fireproof container like a small clay bowl to hold underneath the smudge stick to catch any ashes or embers. It's tradition to use an abalone shell for this, which also brings into your home a beneficial water element that's important for good feng shui. The container (bowl or plate) or shell should only be used for smudging ceremonies.
Bowl of Sand
A bowl of sand is a must. It is used to properly extinguish the smudge stick safely after the ritual is complete.
Before You Begin the Smudging Ceremony
Allow enough space and time for the ritual so you don’t feel rushed. If possible, meditate for at least five minutes to calm your mind and heart.
It's calming to smudge a home by yourself. But, if anyone else is present during this smudging ceremony, you can include them in the ritual. Prepare some other space-clearing tools that they can use while you are smudging. For instance, they can work with sound and ring bells.
Remember when performing a space clearing, your intention is key. Take some time to contemplate what your wishes are for your home and family. When you clear your house, there’s a vacuum that’s created. You want to welcome your intentions into the newly cleared and open space.
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Smudging the Space
Now that you have all your tools and preparations in place, you can begin the smudging ritual.
Start at the front door of the home and light your smudge stick. Then, begin to move slowly around the home. Move mindfully and with care, walking clockwise around the entire interior perimeter of the home. Be sure to allow the smoke to drift into even the hidden spaces, like inside closets, basements, and dark corners. If there are stairs, just go up or down when you encounter them so you can smudge the upper or lower levels in the same manner. Then keep moving clockwise until you meet the stairs again. Then continue to go down or up the stairs and resume smudging on the main floor.
Moving around a space like this is called “circumambulation.” It’s a practice that’s been done for centuries in ancient cultures to make a space more sacred.
If you feel comfortable doing so, there are things you can say when you sage your house. It’s helpful to chant a mantra or a prayer that is meaningful to you as a way to fill the space with more cleansing vibrations.
Closing the Ceremony
When you arrive back at the front door, chant your final mantra or prayer. Visualize the entire home filled with bright white sunlight. Then speak your intention one last time to close the smudging ceremony.
A smudging ritual is a beautiful and effective technique to clear a space. You'll know if smudging worked because you will likely feel better after each ritual. A smudging ritual can be done annually, once a season, or more often. It’s especially powerful to perform a space clearing as part of the cleaning process when you first move into a new home.