The word sage comes from the Latin word “salvia,” which means, “to feel healthy.” Sage has been burned for centuries by Native Americans and other indigenous people as part of spiritual rituals. It's been used since the time of the ancient Egyptians and Romans to treat many bodily issues.
I have personally been using sage to cleanse/clear my home for over 20 years and grew up around it. I've noticed in recent years its become a trend and with many trends the root and/or purpose of things may be lost in translations.
Below is a guide for anyone wanting to sage an item, person or their home. I include this with every purchase of sage because I think it's important to do this ritual correctly. I'm also including it in this blog to make it accessible to anyone wanting to do this ritual.
Why sage? Burning sage has deep roots in Native American tradition. Lately, science is catching up to the potential healing benefits of sage. Aside from the metaphysical uses of sage, it can also be used in aiding mental, physical, and emotional health. There are many studies showing sage having antimicrobial and antibacterial qualities as well as studies proving it benefits mood, mental clarity/cognition, and can even aid in helping insomnia. Metaphysically, sage is used to cleanse negative energy, purify specific objects, enhance your intuition, and get rid of unwanted spirits.
What do I need to sage my home? You will need a bowl/container for your burning sage, a match or candle, a fanning tool (traditionally a feather, but you can also use an actual fan or your hand even), a bell, and of course sage itself.
Steps to clear your home:
- Gather all your tools (listed above) and get prepped. In order to properly sage your home, you need to open doors and/or windows to make sure you have somewhere for your negative energy to leave, otherwise you are not really doing what you set out to do. Also, you should open closet doors as well. As you are walking around opening the doors and windows of your home, remove any excess clutter and ring your bell. This will awaken any energies present.
- Prepare your mantra and set intentions. Intentions are the key focus of using sage. There is no point to simply sage your house without setting an intention. You need to connect your mind, body, and soul to this intention and approach the sage with gratitude for what it will be helping you achieve. This is a spiritual tool, treat it as such. Clear your mind and figure out what you are trying to release from your space. You do not need to say this out loud, but it does need to be on the forefront of your mind throughout the process. Before beginning, you also need to say a mantra or prayer. It can be as simple as “I let go and release what no longer serves me”. Another good prayer is “Into this smoke I release all energies that do not serve, all negativity that surrounds, and all fears that limit”.
- You will now light your sage. Hold your sage at a 45-degree angle. You then treat your sage very similarly to incense in the sense that you light the tips of your sage, then quickly and gently blow out the flame and allow the leaves to smolder so that you see orange embers on the end. The smoke should now be flowing.
- Cleanse yourself and then walk slowly around your space. Using both hands, bring the smoke towards your heart, over your head, and down your front and back to cleanse yourself. Then begin to slowly walk around your space. Use your fanning tool to guide the smoke into all four corners of your home, starting at the lowest point. You should pay special attention to door/entry ways, mirrors, and high traffic areas of the home. You then will guide the smoke out the window/door.
- When you are finished, extinguish the sage. Do not wet the sage! You will want to press the tip firmly down into your bowl/container (if fireproof) or into sand/dirt. You can store your sage in your bowl until the next time you need to use it.
What do I do after the smoke clears? Clearing the home of bad energy, just essentially presses reset and neutralizes your energies. It is important to fill your space with positivity and love, otherwise you have not completed your intentions.
- Be cautious and present when using sage. If embers fall while using safe, be sure to safely extinguish them. Do not let sage burn unattended.
- Do not directly inhale sage smoke.
- Sage use is sacred in many communities, for this reason be sure to use respect when using it. Therefore, we always set intentions and use it with gratitude.
A special thank to Stephanie with Ruby Willow Readings for creating this guide.
Love and light,