smudging with sage
Native Spirituality

Smudging with Sage

Smudging with sage is the practice of burning sage and using the smoke as an energetic cleanser.  Smudging with sage has been used for thousands of years by many cultures as a method of transmuting negativity, cleansing both the physical and energetic body and bringing balance to the energies flowing around you and through you.  The smoke has a beautiful, calming scent and has been shown to have antibacterial properties.  In North America there are two widely used forms of sage: White Sage (Salvia apiana) and Prairie Sage (Artemisia frigida).

When negative emotions take over, smudging with sage will help release them.  Sage is one of many plants that can be used to release resistance.  For example, if you are nervous for an upcoming job interview and you feel that you ‘absolutely MUST get this job’ – you are actually in resistance to getting the job.  Smudging with sage will allow you to release that feeling of need and help open you up to receive what you desire.  Just remember that clinging to one possible outcome will only work against you.  Allow yourself to be open to all possibilities because the universe may have an even better opportunity available to you, one that you aren’t even aware of.  Smudging with sage to release resistance is an effective method of utilizing the law of attraction to create the life you want and releasing emotions and thoughts that no longer serve a purpose in your life.

Sage is a high vibration plant that works optimally if that vibration was maintained in tact by the time it reaches your possession.  For this reason, many Native Americans will wild harvest their sage using traditional methods and rituals as opposed to buying it from a nursery or specialty shop.  However, buying the sage from a shop or nursery is better than not have any at all!  If you choose to buy it, consider a live version to plant in your yard.

Note: I use prairie sage as it grows wild in the area and wild harvested herbs almost always have  clear energy.  *If you plan on harvesting anything from the wild, please remember that your relationship with the earth should be reciprocal – leave an offering.  Offerings can be traditional offerings like tobacco or you could leave something that will decompose into helpful fertilizers.*

Sage can be picked from the wild in the southwestern and midwestern North America or bought from herbal, occult/witchcraft, new age or Native American shops.  You can find sage in bundles wrapped in thread, or in loose leaf form.  Sage should not be stored in plastic but should be wrapped in cotton cloth and stored in a wooden box however a glass jar or paper bag is better than plastic.  Sage can be burned in an alabone shell or in a glass, metal or wooden bowl.  If you choose to use the loose leaf form, you can burn the sage using a charcoal disk.  When burning sage, I was taught to always use a natural flame like a candle or even matches.  You don’t want the sage to be on fire, but smoldering so that a thick smoke is rising.

When you have started to burn your sage and you have a thick stream of smoke rising – 20160523_162122you are ready to start smudging with sage.  In Native American tradition, sage is considered to be a medicine that embodies the divine feminine and is used to cleanse the spirit.  Native Americans will typically bathe themselves in the smoke, using their hands to wash the smoke over their faces, heads, through their hearts, and down over their legs and feet.  This practice is thought to bring balance and transmute negativity, getting rid of anxious feelings and negative entities.  Sage is considered to be a medicine that embodies the divine feminine and as such is excellent at cleansing the spirit, balancing emotions and basically hitting the energetic ‘reset’ button.  Smudging with sage is especially helpful for women during their moon time.  Sage can be used to smudge your sacred areas and tools, recharge crystals, rid yourself of negative entities and can be used in rituals for protection and cleansing.  In everyday use, smudging with sage can be used to attract positivity, repel negativity and balance energies.

Sage can be used to smudge your home, car and of course, yourself!

Personal Smudging Ritual

  1. Sit on the floor in a clean, comfortable space with your sage, alabone shell and source of flame.
  2. Set your intention.  ex “my intention is to clear my home of negativity” or “my intention is to feel more grounded and balanced”
  3. Burn your sage so that it is smoldering and releasing a stream of white smoke.
  4. Introduce yourself and express your gratitude for everything you have.
  5. Focus on your intention.
  6. Use your hands to bring the smoke to your face, neck and chest.  Use your hands to bring smoke over your head and back over your shoulders.  Bring smoke to cover your torso, stomach and legs.  Ensure that all you chakras have been bathed in smoke.
  7. Allow sage to burn out on its own.

Home Smudging Ritual

  1. Set your intention.
  2. Burn your sage so that it is smoldering and releasing a stream of white smoke.
  3. Introduce yourself and express your gratitude for everything you have.
  4. Focus on your intention.
  5. Carry the sage bundle or loose sage and shell into every room in your house moving in a clockwise fashion.
  6. When entering a room, state intention and carry smudge to each corner of the room moving in a clockwise fashion.  Allow the smoke to rise up and fill each upper corner of the room.  Pay special attention to dark corners.
  7. Repeat for each room.
  8. When each room has been smudged, allow the sage to burn out on its own.


Growing up as a Native American, smudging with sage has been a part of my regular routine for as long as I can remember.  Sage is a beautiful, powerful plant and I believe that anyone can benefit from the healing, protective vibrations that sage provides. 

Thank you for reading,










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