Sage smudging – how did it begin?
The use of smoke to clear space, often as part of a ritual, has been known for almost as long as the spiritual practices themselves. This is exactly the sphere of human life for which incense was made. People smoked nice-smelling plants to create a sacred space with them, to lift their prayers to heaven with the smoke, or simply to make the incense area smell nice and clean. However, the use of white sage in smudging is a much more specific practice, rooted in the spirituality of many Native American tribes occupying the lands where it grew. White sage is native to the southwest of America and northwest Mexico. It is a sacred plant for many tribes, incl. Lakota, Comanche, Szejeni, Arapaho and Navajo.
For example, the Cahuilla and Kumeyaay tribes used white sage to fight disease and fever. The leaves of this plant were eaten or burned on hot coals in “sweat-houses”. It was believed that inhaling smoke would remedy their disease and purify them. In addition, infusions of its leaves were drunk as a cough medicine. Cahuilla also collected white sage seeds, which, after drying in the sun, mixed with flour and sugar to make gruel or cookies. In turn, Luiseno’s people ate the peeled, young tops of the stems of this plant. In addition, they built ceremonial white sage hunting fires to bless the upcoming hunt. Another use for this plant was to increase hygiene: crushed sage leaves were mixed with water and then used as a shampoo or conditioner or applied to the body to eliminate its unpleasant odor and cleanse itself.
Properties of White Sage: sage as incense
As you can see, the uses for this sacred plant were very diverse, but most had one thing in common: cleansing.
White sage is considered to be the most effective cleansing incense, making it also the most common plant for smudging. Research on the properties of white sage smoke has shown that it stimulates mental functions, has a soothing effect on depression, and even has a stimulating effect on the memory functions of the brain. Sage smelling is intended to provide good energy and can be used to clean rooms as well as objects or people. It frees us from heavy negative energy that takes away our strength and joy, and cleanses the soul, body and mind so that we can receive more positive energy and higher vibrations. It allows you to free yourself from bad feelings or experiences and unfavorable external influences. The smoke of burned sage relieves conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression. Used during a cleansing ritual or as a support for practices such as meditation or yoga, it helps to calm the mind, relax the body and positively influence the mood.
Smudge sticks with White Sage
We offer 3 types of incense with sage: pure white sage, dragon’s blood and eucalyptus with white sage.
Dragon’s Blood is a natural plant resin, obtained from the Calamus Draco palm or various varieties of the Dracaena plant. It owes its name to its natural, dark red color, and has been used since ancient times as a dye, medicine or incense. Its aroma is described as sweet, reminiscent of vanilla and spices. It is believed that adding Dragon’s Blood to any other herb enhances its effect. As incense, it is traditionally used in rituals of cleansing bad energy because it promotes purification and love. It is also roasted in order to cheer up and create a unique atmosphere of peace in the room.
Eucalyptus has been an important plant for the indigenous peoples of Australia for centuries. In Aboriginal culture, traditional healers used it in incensing rituals to evoke positive healing energy. He is credited primarily with healing and protective properties, which is why it is often used in times of illness, requiring events and absorbing experiences. It is also great for supporting mindfulness practices such as meditation or yoga. Sage with Eucalyptus creates a soothing and relaxing atmosphere that deepens the feeling of security. As incense, it is perfect for a cleansing ritual after arguments or misunderstandings, when an increased level of unwanted energy is felt. Eucalyptus also has a powerful relaxing effect and helps increase blood flow to the brain, relieving physical and mental fatigue.
How to energetically cleanse the space with sage?
Smudging is a mindfulness practice that increases awareness and spirituality. It enhances concentration, harmony and balances the energy that surrounds us. The cleansing ritual can also be performed when we want to free ourselves from unfavorable situations or emotions that currently accompany us. Carrying out such a ritual can become a sign for us that a given stage (for example worrying, uncertainty) is behind us and it is time to move on. Cleansing with medicinal plants affects not only the cleansed space, but also directly us, cleansing our aura.
You can learn more about smudging as a practice here.
If we feel tired, overwhelmed with tasks in our home, and we are just not comfortable with the energy around, a space cleansing ritual using white sage can help return to higher vibrations.
The practice of smudging should always be started with a general cleanup, because the mess introduces additional energetic chaos and our ritual may not bring the expected results. To start clearing the space, stand with the sage at the front door, and then set fire to the incense by holding it over the flame (matches or candles) at an angle of 45 degrees. We wait for it to light up and then blow it away, letting it smoke. This is the moment when we can think about our intention – what energy we want to surround ourselves with, what is important to us, and what desires our incensed space should favour. However, intention is not a necessary element of this practice if we do not feel the need to do so.
We start smudging with ourselves – from our feet towards our head, not forgetting the sides and back. Then we slowly move around our space with the burning sage, entering all rooms. We move around it clockwise and pay attention to all nooks and crannies – this is where negative energy most often accumulates. If, in the meantime, the incense goes out completely and stops smoking – go ahead and re-burn it again. If, after the end of cleaning, it still smokes – we can extinguish it ourselves or leave it to extinguish spontaneously in a suitable dish, preferably in the central part of the apartment. The next step is to open windows and doors so that the energy can evaporate with the smoke. According to traditional beliefs, the sage has a unique power that collects the energies present in space and purifies them.
It should be remembered that cleansing with sage will leave a space that is energetically empty. Therefore, it is good to recharge the energy in the room, using incense in accordance with our intention. In traditional practices, Sweetgrass was often used after cleaning – a plant considered sacred grass that attracts positive energy. Another great incense to use at this point would be Palo Santo – grounding, relaxing, and inviting the positive vibes back into the space. The choice of incense used after cleansing is free, but necessary to complete this ritual so that we can fully feel the positive changes it has made.