The Benefits And Uses of White Sage
White sage smudging is an ancient practice used for healing, ceremonial, and energy clearing work. It’s also a common tool that many spiritual practitioners and seekers use today to energetically clear and even protect spaces.
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So what is is? How does it work? And how can you tap into the benefits of white sage in your life?
Keep reading to learn all this and more, in this guide to the benefits and uses of white sage.
What Is White Sage?
White sage, (salvia apiana) is an evergreen shrub that grows across the United States, and is most prevalent in high altitude desert ecosystems.
Native Americans are well known to have used the healing properties of sage to drive out negative energy and evil spirits. They also use it in ceremonies for blessings and prosperity. For generations, white sage has been used for purifying, cleansing, and protection and many consider the plant to be sacred.
According to tradition, all plants and animals have a spirit. The spirit of white sage is devoted to clearing, protection, and blessings. Tapping into the power of white sage will amplify any healing or clearing that you do on yourself or others.
How to Use White Sage…
The easiest and most popular way to tune into the benefits of white sage is by burning the dried leaves. This ritual is known as sage smudging – and it’s practiced by burning a bundle of dried sage and then directing the smoke onto the areas that you want to clear or protect.
As the bundle is burning and the smoke spirals, wafts, and begins to fill a space, it is cleansing. As you're burning white sage it’s important to express gratitude for the help of the plants spirit as well as to express your intention for why you're burning sage in the first place.
In this very simply way, the energy of white sage, brings cleansing, protection, and blessings into the space it's burned in.
The smoke attaches to negative energies, and as the smoke then begins to dissipate it transforms those negative energies into universal energy. And so, your intention for cleansing, clearing and protection is fulfilled.
What Can You Use White Sage For?
White sage can be used in any number of situations including to cleanse yourself, others, objects, a room, building, crystal, or even a piece of land.
I regularly burn white sage in my home, when traveling, and to cleanse my crystals. Just the other day I brought home a couple of used books from the bookstore, and right upon bringing them home, I lit my bundle of white sage, set an intention for clearing, and held the books in the path of the smoke to cleanse and dissipate any energies of others lingering in the pages of the books.
Smudging with white sage is simple… But there are a few things to keep in mind when performing the ritual.
Exactly How to Use White Sage
To begin tapping into the powerful cleansing properties of white sage, you first have to obtain it. The good news is that there are many places that sell white sage, like natural and whole foods markets, crystal and metaphysical shops, or you can purchase white sage online.
White Sage Bundle or Loose Leaf?
When you go to buy your white sage, you'll likely have the option to purchase either a bundle of white sage, sometimes called a wand or stick, or a bag of loose leaf sage. Honestly, either option is fine.
It is important though to be aware of your source! Wild white sage sources are being depleted and endangered. Check your source and choose a sustainably harvested option. Alternately, you may wish to simply use another cleansing herb like Black sage, Garden sage, Holy Basil, Mint, Rosemary, Cedar, Juniper, Pine or Wormwood. Is there anything growing in your yard you can sustainably wild-craft? Start there!
If you do choose to purchase white sage, I find the bundles to work well for cleansing larger areas, while loose leaf white sage can be more precise. Oftentimes when I buy a bundle and then pull out a single leaf of sage to light alone. This effectively transforms a white sage bundle into a single leaf, and you can be conservative with the amount you use and still get the full benefit. You can also fill a fire proof bowl with loose leaf sage, and light multiple leafs at once to use loose leaf white sage to cleanse larger spaces.
General Tips For Smudging With White Sage
1. Set A Clear Intention.
Your intention is immensely powerful when it comes to cleansing with white sage. Make your intention clear.
In addition to asking the sage to clear and protect your energy and space, invite in your guides and angels to help release negative energy into the light as well.
For example, as you smudge, set your intention by saying something like:
I now ask that my guides and angels, along with the energy of this sage assist me in releasing all negativity, density, and energies that no longer serve, into the light of the Divine. I ask this for the highest and greatest good, according to Divine Will. And so it is.
Read a more detailed Sage Smudging Prayer here!
2. Treat Sage as you would Incense
Light your sage at the very tips of the leaves, and once ignited, quickly (but carefully) blow out the flames to allow the leaves to smolder.
It's the wafting of the smoke, not the flames that allows the cleansing energy of sage to be released into your energy and space.
3. Use Smooth Movements When Smudging
While you're smudging, use smooth movements when wafting the smoke around your home, body, or objects. This is for safety as much as spiritual purposes.
In addition, turn off fans, and close windows and doors to minimize the wind, and drafty breezes. Remember, you're playing with fire here, so use respect, common sense, and be safe!
Once your sage is smoldering, I recommend holding it over a fire-safe bowl, plate, or shell so you don't drop ashes on yourself, in your home, or out in nature! You can then waft the smoke using a feather, your hand, or by actually moving the sage upwards and then down in a smooth motion.
4. Let The Smoldering Sage Burn Out On It's Own.
When it comes to sage smudging there is a general rule that once the sage is lit, you don’t want to put it out. Rather, the spirit within the sage knows how much negativity needs to be cleared and will burn accordingly. I mostly honor this rule. However, for it to really work, start small!
If you light many sage leaves at once, or completely torch your sage bundle with a lighter, it will burn hotter, faster and create more smoke than if you carefully light the tip of the bundle, or pull out and set fire to a single white sage leaf.
I recommend lighting a small amount of sage, and if it burns out before you're finished, there's no harm in lighting more.
Once you have wafted the smoke in the areas you need, expressed gratitude and stated your intention, you can set the smoldering bundle in a fireproof bowl or sea-shell and allow it to burn out naturally as you move on with your practice.
Step-By-Step Guide for Smudging a Room or Home
Before you light your sage, and begin the process of smudging a room or your entire home, it's best to start with a prayer and set your intention to cleanse the space and release any and all negativity into the light.
Next, it's a good idea to close the windows, and any doors to the outside. Remember, you are playing with fire here, so you want to be sure you're doing so consciously and safely, by eliminating drafts.
Okay, now you're ready to light your sage!
Carefully light your white sage at the tips of the leaves, making sure you have a fireproof bowl or plate ready to catch any ash as it burns.
Again, sage smudging is the most powerful, not when the sage is burning with a flame, but simply smoldering and smoking. If your sage is burning and you can see the flame, just blow it out and you're ready to begin smudging.
When smudging your house, you'll want to start from the back of the house and move to the front. If you have multiple levels, start from the bottom of the house and move to the top.
When you select the room you're going to start smudging in… Begin in one corner of the room, and move methodically around the room or rooms.
As you smudge, make sure to waft the smoke up toward the ceiling and down to the floor, starting from the bottom and moving to the top. Try to get behind furniture and in all other nooks and crannies in the space.
You can use your hand, a feather, or a small paper fan to waft the smoke, or simply push the smoke where you want it to go by carefully moving the entire smudge stick (and your fireproof bowl to catch ashes) in that direction.
When you reach a window or door, waft the smoke into all four corners, beginning at the bottom left and moving in a clockwise direction.
Open cabinets and closets and waft inside, holding in your mind the intention to release density, stuck energy and negativity into the light.
The last room you smudge should be the one with the front door.
When you're finished, move outside and waft around the four corners of the door.
And finally, close with a prayer of gratitude.
Steps for Cleansing Your Energy With Sage
The steps for using white sage for cleansing your own energy, are very similar to the above process described to energetically cleanse your home.
Begin with a prayer and by setting your intention to cleanse your mind, body, and spirit of density, stuck or stagnant energy, and negativity in any form.
Carefully light the tips of your white sage, so they start to smolder and smoke.
Begin at your feet, allowing the smoke to waft around you, and work your way up along your body, towards the top of your head.
As you move the sage around you, hold the intention for cleansing negativity, and gently waft the smoke in an upward direction.
Do your best to waft the smoke behind you as well as in front of you and along your sides.
If someone else is helping to smudge your energy, have them stand in place while wafting, while you turn in a few slow clockwise circles. They should also move the bundle from bottom to top.
When finished, close with a prayer of gratitude.
Steps for Smudging Objects
White sage smudging is also wonderful for clearing crystals, jewelry, books, tools you use in your healing practices, objects used by someone who was recently sick, as well as any object you simply wish to clear.
The process is simple.
Begin with a prayer and set your intention.
If the object you will be cleansing is small enough, hold it in your hand, if not, set it on the ground or a small table.
Light your sage, and begin by wafting smoke underneath the object so that the smoke covers it from below.
Swirl the smoke around the object several times; continue until your intuition tells you to stop or until the sage stops smoking (which is usually a great indication you're finished).
White sage is a powerful tool to use to regularly cleanse crystals that you use for healing and protection, Oracle cards, and really any objects that make take on energy from others, or you feel have some dense or stagnant energy attached to them.
When you're finished, close with a prayer of gratitude.
What About Sage Resistant Energies?
I do want to point out that while a very useful and effective process for cleansing out energy of others, negative thought forms, and even some negative entities if they are present, smudging with white sage will not release all negative entities that are out there.
I do not want you to be afraid of them, but I do want you to be aware that there are some entities which are resistant to the effects of smudging with sage.
This is why I always call in the angels, ascended masters, and my Angel Energy Healing team to clear the space too. This is also part of why I teach Angel Energy Healing, and offer Spiritual Cleansing Sessions. Both of these methods offer deeper support in clearing people and spaces of these types of negative energies and entities.
But for the most part, and in many cases… Sage works!
The great thing about smudging is that anyone can do it, the benefits are practically immediate, and the positive effects can be clearly felt by those who are energetically or psychically sensitive.
Smudging your home and energy is a great thing to do on a regular basis, especially if you live in the city, do healing work with others, interact with lots of people, meditate, have encountered a negative person, or if you do consider yourself to be walking a spiritual path, or you want to connect more deeply with your angels.
In working with the angels, and deepening your spiritual connection, clear energy is key. While not the only tool available by any means, white sage smudging is a valuable tool for keeping clear, staying positive, and remaining free from negative or foreign energies.
So Does White Sage Smudging Really Work?
Can burning a little sage in your home really dispel tension and negativity as many people claim it can?
Based on my personal experience, while smudging is definitely not a cure-all, it is a very simple and incredibly effective way of cleansing and releasing negativity into the light.
Smudging is so simple in fact, that I use it all the time.
You see, I’m really sensitive to the energy of others, and I also happen to travel a ton which leads to me staying in all kinds of different places, which often have lots of energy (positive and negative) which has accumulated from others.
In addition to invoking the angels to energetically clear the new spaces I will be staying in (which you can learn more about here); I also bring white sage with me wherever I go. And when I check into a new place, one of the first things I will do is light a white sage bundle, and walk around the entire room, home, or condo, and do some smudging.
It is super easy to do, I happen to love the smell, and it is a nice, physical and tangible way to cleanse the space which helps me to settle in, feel at home, and sleep much better too.
But the question remains, can white sage help you?
If you are walking a spiritual path as a light-worker, meditator, energy healer, intuitive, channel, yogi, spiritual seeker, etc… It is highly likely that you are going to encounter negativity in one form or another. And really, even if you’re not on a spiritual path, you probably already come into contact with negativity on a regular basis, because we all do!
While darkness, negativity, and dense energy are definitely not to be feared (since the love and light filled vibrations are infinitely more powerful), negativity is also not to be ignored.
If you do just ignore negative energy which is accumulating around you, it can build up and cause all sorts of challenges and disruptions in your physical body, emotions, and in the energetic climate of your home, office or surroundings. This is true even for people who are really positive and who hold in their heart have the best of intentions.
Therefore, this is why regular energetic cleansing is so important for everyone, and especially those on a spiritual path, as we tend to be more sensitive.
Call Upon Help From Your Angels
Always remember that in addition to just lighting the sage on fire and letting it smoke, your intention is powerful.
Call in your angels, place the intention for negativity in all forms to be released into the light, for the highest and greatest good of all, and then light some sage.
Give it a try… And then let me know what you think!
Need some sage? Check out this great Home Cleansing & Purification Sage Kit!
Or make your own Sage Kit with the best-selling White Sage Sticks, an Abalone Shell, and a Turkey Feather.
You can also find sage locally at many natural food stores, crystal and metaphysical shops.
With many blessings of love, light, and gratitude,
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P.S. White sage is wonderful, but it's not the only option when it comes to smuding and energetically clearing your home! Cedar, wild sage, palo santo, juniper, sandalwood, and others are wonderful choices to cleanse, purify and raise the vibration of your home, objects, or even yourself!
Or if you don't enjoy the smoke from saging… Essential oils are a wonderful way to cleanse and uplift the energy of your home as well!
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