Sage Burning: The Ancient Practice for Cleansing Your Space and Your Energy

1st November 2023

In a busy world that’s constantly buzzing with energy, it’s important to find ways to protect your peace, your energy and your space. One practice that has been around for centuries and is well known for its benefits, is the act of burning sage to cleanse the air around you. This ancient ritual, often referred to as smudging, has been practiced in various cultures around the world. While the practice has deep spiritual roots,the benefits of burning sage extends beyond spirituality and I want to share how this has helped myself and my clients while being part of a much loved daily practice for grounding and healing.

Sage burning around the world

Burning sage has formed part of traditional practice in many cultures of the world. Although the methods and reasons for burning sage vary,  there is commonality in the use of sage for purification, cleansing, and spiritual practices.

  • Native American Cultures: Sage burning, particularly white sage (Salvia apiana), is a well-known practice among various Native American tribes. It is used in purification ceremonies, rituals, and as a means to clear negative energy and promote healing.
  • Celtic Traditions: In Celtic and Druidic traditions, the burning of herbs, including sage, is used for both spiritual and practical purposes. It is believed to clear negative energy, protect against evil spirits, and promote healing.
  • Ancient Egyptian Practices: Historical records suggest that ancient Egyptians used various aromatic herbs, including sage, for purification and religious ceremonies. These practices were a way to prepare the mind and spirit for spiritual connections.
  • Indigenous Peoples of North and South America: Indigenous cultures throughout the Americas have their variations of smudging rituals using different types of sage, sweetgrass, or other aromatic herbs. These practices are deeply rooted in their spiritual traditions and are used to connect with the spiritual world and cleanse both individuals and spaces.
  • Hinduism and Ayurveda: In India, sage (known as “Salvia officinalis” or “Dharba grass”) has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine and Hindu rituals. Burning sage is believed to purify the air and create a sacred atmosphere during spiritual ceremonies.
  • Chinese and Taoist Traditions: In some Chinese and Taoist traditions, smudging with specific herbs, including sage, is believed to cleanse spaces of negative energy, enhance chi (energy flow), and bring balance and harmony.
  • European Traditions: Sage has been used in holistic and spiritual circles as medicine for purification, protection, and healing purposes. It was often hung in homes or burned as an incense to ward off illness.
  • Metaphysical Spirituality: In metaphysical spiritual practices, sage burning has become popular as a means to clear energy, cleanse spaces, and promote positive energy. It is often used in meditation, crystal cleansing and energy healing practices.

I have personally found many benefits to burning sage around my home

  • Air cleansing: A different feel to the quality of the air that I breathe in
  • Energy cleansing: A way to help me to feel more grounded and disconnected from other peoples energy that might be impacting me
  • Reducing stress: Burning sage takes me to a ‘marshmellowey’ and I notice how my muscles relax and I feel more at peace
  • Focus: Helps to clear my ADHD mind and focus with clarity
  • Sleep: Helps to set me up for a good nights sleep in a fresher air environment

The method:

    1. Choose the Right Sage: White sage (Salvia apiana) is the most commonly used type for smudging. Make sure you buy it from a safe source so you get a pure form that is ethically sourced! Its all about the energy.
    2. Use a Fireproof Container: Place the sage in a fireproof container! I love to use an abalone shell to catch any falling embers and its an extra gift from Mother Nature to enhance your practice.
    3. Light the Sage: Light the sage with a candle or a lighter. Let it burn for a moment and then gently blow out the flame so that it smoulders and produces smoke.
    4. Smudge Your Space: Wave the sage bundle around your space, paying special attention to corners, doorways, and areas where negative energy may accumulate.
    5. Open Windows and Doors: Create space for the negative energy to escape, open a window or door while smudging.
    6. Put out the smoke: When you’re finished, gently press the sage bundle in your fireproof container to extinguish the smoke and double check to make sure that it isn’t still burning.

I would love to hear how you get on with this practice and here’s to your success on the path of being whole, healthy and healed.

The practices I share offer a holistic wellbeing approach to overall wellness but cannot and should not replace sound medical advice and or treatment. Please do talk with your GP if you have any concerns about your health.

Copyright: MBFI is a registered trademark under Tanja Sharpe Ltd


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