• Lydia Ojuka Riley

Burning sage to cleanse the energy in your space

Updated: Aug 14, 2019

Negative vibes?!Who even am I right now? Look, regardless of what it looks like from the outside, with me having this crunchy mama blog, I have never been this person. Im very pragmatic. I would have called you a liar if you told me I would regularly sage cleanse my home after "energy shifting moments". And yet, here I am.

Burning sage to cleanse the energy in your space

What is Sage Cleansing?

Sage cleansing definitely isn't a new practice. Also known as smudging, it's not only used to detoxify your space, but it's also linked to muscle relaxation and stress relief. And believe it or not, there's science to back it up! Give me all the science.

Cleansing your environment with sage has been an ancient and indigenous practice for centuries, and used in many Asian and Native American cultures. And I'm a big fan of utilizing self care methods that are proven, natural and used by those who believe in the energy and power it has.

Benefits of Sage Cleansing

Antimicrobial properties

The smoke from the sage releases negative ions which combat against positive ions in the air. Toxic chemicals from household cleaners ( have your switched and ditched out your chemicals yet?- click here ), pet dander, dust, and mold are common positive ions known to be harmful and exacerbate allergies and asthma.

And when they accumulate in the body, positive ions can manifest into respiratory symptoms. So sage cleansing allows you to free your environment of contaminants and allergens so you can come home to a truly clean and healthy home.

Self Care Practice

In some Native American sacred ceremonies, the ritual of burning herbs is done as a spiritual blessing or cleansing. And over time, the use of sage became the preferred choice to help stimulate mental clarity and creativity. So if you love meditation, incorporating smudging would definitely elevate your game. 

Anxiety and Stress Relief

Ceremonial sage has been found to chemically release psychoactive compounds that help relieve you of tension and relax easier. One of the more commonly found compounds is thujone, and some cultures swear by its ability to increase your intuitive sense. And the more relaxed you feel, the easier it becomes to quiet your mind and tune into your inner voice. 

Sleep Aid

Because of sage's therapeutic properties, smudging before bed is a great way to help you sleep more soundly. Coupled with cleaner air and maybe even a drop of lavender essential oil on your pillow, you can say goodbye to restless sleep for good!

When to Sage Cleanse

Honestly, there is no specific time when you should sage cleanse. But when you're intuitively picking up negative vibes or have come into a new space, it's the perfect time to trap any suspicious energy. 

Also, maybe you've started a new job with office space. A few sprits of a smudging mist will add your own personal touch before you've even set up your family pictures. Smudging mist? What?! Don't worry, I'm getting to it!

Other good opportunities to sage cleanse are when you've been surrounded with a variety of different people, personalities, energies and auras- like after a party, yoga session, or house guests. And of course, in your meditation!

How to Sage Cleanse

Before sage cleansing, first make sure you've got all the goods. To do a proper smudging, you'll need your dried sage. I'm not talking the kind you sprinkle on your pasta, but white sage or white prairie sage. You can find these types easily online or in any bohemian accessories store. And of course, you'll need a lighter.

Now you're ready to get your smudging on! First things first, make sure that you have good ventilation to let out the smoke. You can't get the full spiritual effect if you're coughing and choking! Also, open all closets and doors to really shake up the energy in your space.

Next, go ahead and light your smudge stick as evenly as you can. Allow the leaves to burn for a few seconds and blow it out, leaving a slight glow. This method is very similar to burning incense.

Now slowly move through the rooms you want cleansed, making sure to direct the smoke towards any filters or ventilation. And last but not least, replace the neutral energy and air with positive vibes. There are so many Mantras to repeat that can invite positivity in. You can also write in a gratitude journal, work on a creative project, or even talk on the phone with a good friend.

That's it!

Different Ways to Sage Cleanse

If dealing with smoke isn't your cup of tea, there are plenty of other ways to effectively cleanse your environment:

Sprays & Mists

Want the benefits of sage cleansing without the smoke and smell? Its easy to DIY a energy clearing mist- see my recipe here. With powerful and potent essentials oils in the ingredients, you are getting a very concentrated cleansing agent. These are great for a truly relaxing experience on the go too. They're perfect for the office and shared public spaces.


Get the benefit of sage cleansing with some aromatherapy! In scents like sage, lavender and cedar, lighting a smudge candle can clear the negativity not only in your space, but in your mind and body. 

Salt stones

A salt stone functions almost exactly like that of a ceremonial sage stick. But instead of immediately neutralizing the air of negative ions, it first absorbs the positive ions in the air. Then when the stone begins to heat, negative ions are released, riding your space of dust, pollutants, and toxic chemicals.

Smudge Kits 

Smudge kits have gotten so popular that you can even find them on Etsy. Included are smudge sticks, a ceramic bowl, and even natural crystals like selenite and amethyst for clarity and to calm worry and anxiety. Everything you need to add sage cleansing to your self care routine!

If you're looking for the full traditional smudging experience like the ways the shamans practiced, you'll need a few things to help create the perfect environment:

A flat surface

Feather: the elevated energy of birds

Sea shell: represents the natural element of water

Raw egg: represents life

Brass bell: symbol of the vast universe

With sage cleansing, not only are you purifying your mind and body, but also incorporating some spiritual self care. No matter where you are, you can take control of the energy and create your own personal sacred space. 

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