The ceremonial use of incense dates back at least to the ancient Greek world. The practice is found in every major religion and in most cultures throughout the world. In this article a simple technique for using white sage to cleanse and purify yourself is revealed. We hope that you enjoy it (and use it).
….Some ideal (or necessary) times to sage smudge your aura and/or space would be:
- When you move into a new living space
- When you begin a new job or start your own business
- Before and after a guest enters your home
- Before and after a yoga or healing session
- Before meditation
- After an argument or any illness
- Upon returning home from crowded situations
And here is a simple 3-step sage smudging ritual to try:
1. Use loose dried white sage or a white ceremonial sage bundle (aka wand), which is usually bound together by a thin string. You can find sage bundles at your local herb shop or health store, Wiccan/pagan bookstore, metaphysical store, and even some yoga and healing arts centers. Or, if you have a sage plant, you can make your own — just bundle and tie it, and then hang upside down in cool dark space until it is completely dried out.
2. Next, place it on any heat-proof burning surface like an Abolone Shell — a traditional vessel used by Indigenous American people that represents the element of water. Light the bundle by holding a flame to it until it begins to smoke. If a true flame appears, shake the bundle gently or blow until it is just embers and smoke. I often find that I have to re-light my sage bundle a few times during the ritual process. If you are burning loose leaf sage, the best method is to use a charcoal burning disk inside of a censor or small cauldron.
3. Once you have a nice smoke going, use you hand or a feather to direct the smoke over your body from your feet up to your head, then back down again. As you do this, visualize the smoke taking away with it any negative energy from your life, any darkness or malady.
If you feel comfortable with this incantation, repeat the following:
“Air, fire, water, earth. Cleanse, dismiss, dispel.”
The sage ceremony lifts the veil between the everyday and the sacred. As you say your incantation, you are shifting energy at will.
Once you have smudged your body, begin to move through your space. Wave the smoke into all corners, across doorways and into shadow spaces. To maintain the atmosphere of ritual, keep repeating the incantation in your mind as you diffuse the smoke.
Once the space is cleared, allow the sage bundle to either burn out or gently press it out in your heat-proof shell or container. You can even bury the remaining smudge in your garden to really feel the completeness of the cleansing ritual. Once buried, the sage has done its work in completing the elemental cycle. Ideally, you should try to use a new smudge for each cleansing.
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