Why do we…..burn White Sage (Smudging)

In Native American rituals, smudging with Sage has been practiced for centuries. Each nation had its own methods… but there were many common threads. All believed in the power of Sage to heal, not only the physical body but the spirit as well. For the body to heal and be strong… the environment must also be free of negative energy. The smudging was usually practiced by the healer, or shaman, however it was not limited to them and these days any Lightworker will be able to do this.


At one time, herbs were crushed into a special bowl and burned, as the smoke surrounded the person or the area needing cleansed. Later, these herbs were bundled together into sticks and became known as “smudge sticks”. The concept was the same… letting the herbs burn and cleanse an area of unwanted energy.


Sage is the most commonly used herb for smudging. With its botanical name of salvia… a word derived from the Latin “salvare” meaning “to heal”… many believe in its power to protect against evil. Sage has many medicinal uses, including effectively treating strep throat and as an antibacterial agent. When burned, it is believed that the smoke clears away anything negative that might be in a certain area or emanating from a person. It is also believed to provide long-lasting protection against further negativity.

White Sage Bundle


While many people indigenous to the land now known as the United States have practiced smudging for centuries, it is not a concept unique to those nations alone. As far back as Ancient Babylon, the burning of herbs has been done during the offering of prayer or to ward off evil spirits. As a side bonus, they also discovered that it helped keep insects from destroying crops and bothering livestock. This added to the belief of its mystical powers. Many pagan religions also burn Sage and other herbs for protection and healing.



Step-by-step Guide – How to Smudge: 


You can tell how ‘bad’ the energy in a place is by the quality of the smoke the smudge stick emits: thin, light smoke indicates the place or person is fairly clean.

Thick, rolling white smoke means the place or person has a lot of negativity around them and it needs this thicker smoke to deal with it.



When you have finished smudging carefully put out the Sage by rubbing the stick in to the ash collected in your bowl. Under no circumstances are you to put it under water to stop it from burning. The spirit of the wand knows what is needed, and where. If you watch the smoke, you will see it drift to a particular part of the room, car, or person because that is where the healing of energy needs to be done and accomplished.


1. Always have a heat proof bowl to put the sage in, after it has been ignited. We use an abalone shell; but any piece of thick, fired pottery (or even a Pyrex bowl) will do. If you are using a bowl, you may well want an oven mitten on your hand to prevent burns because sage burns HOT. It is the spiritual nature of it to do so.

Do not use a container that is not bake or tempered for high heat–it will crack it and it could cause a fire. Do not use anything metal, because heat is conductive and you will get burned.


2. Be safe. Do not have a fan on when you “smudge” yourself, a room or your house. It can blow sparks out of the bowl and onto the floor or surrounding area. Don’t be wearing billowy, long-sleeved blouse or shirt when you fan the smoke. Don’t have long hair draped down near the bowl with the smudge stick being held in it. Be common sensed about this.


3. Light the sage with a match at the very tips of the leaves on top of the wand. Once they flame to life, then blow them out quickly. We use a feather fan to do this, but you can use a piece of stout paper or even cardboard or a paper fan. It’s important to NOT let it flame and burn. Once it is lit, and the flame is blown out, it will smoke thinly or thickly, afterward. The catalyzation comes with the smoke, not the flame.




Keep the windows and doors closed to the room you have chosen to smudge. You can take a fan or a small piece of cardboard and start in one corner of your room, and gently waft the smoke. Start by aiming the smoke at the floor, up, toward the ceiling. Do this in a clockwise circle in each corner of your room. When you are done with the fourth corner, move to the centre of the room, and waft smoke up toward the centre of the room. Ask your Angels and Guides to replace the Negative energy with Love, Light and Positive energy from the Highest Realms’ of the Universe. Open a Window to allow the Smoke and Negative energy to leave the room. You are now done. When you leave the room, shut the door behind you. When you go back in an hour later; you’ll see that the room feels better and is even “lighter” appearing to your eyes than before.




If you are doing a complete house, then do each room in this fashion. Do not miss a room. Get all of them. You can also smudge your garage and basement in the same way.




Gently waft the smoke towards the Chakra Points, starting at the Root working up to the Crown.




Take care not to burn the animal, or have sparks fly out on their coats or hair. Start at their head and gently waft the smoke from their feet to their head, and then move back, over their spinal area, and to their rear feet/tail region. They are now smudged.




If you have a piece of jewellery given to you, or something that you love, but it has “bad vibes” or just a bad feeling on it, then you can do the following: Lay it out on a table or someplace where it is flat. Start at one end of the piece and gently fan the smoke across it, so that the smoke covers and flows across the entire piece. When it’s done, let it sit for 24 hours, and then you can use it. The feeling/vibes will be very different. On a stubborn piece, you might have to do this 2 or 3 times, once a day, to get it entirely cleansed.


Smudging Tarot Cards

If you use Tarot Cards then these will need to be Cleansed about once a week, or every time they start to “stick” together and don’t shuffle well. Fan your Cards out across a table, gentle waft the smoke over them. Once a month or so (I usually do it on the night of the full moon) pass each individual card through the smoke for a really deep cleansing.



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