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How to Smudge

The art of smudging is ancient. It’s been practiced by tribes in the Americas, as part of Buddhist tradition, ancient Rome and Egypt, even in Celtic traditions in the time of the Tuatha de Danann.

Today, we think of burning sage as a way to banish negative energy, but there are so many more benefits than just a spiritual reset. Smudging can reduce stress and anxiety, help with sleep, purify the air, boost cognitive function, and, yes, bring in positive vibes and positive energy.

The ritual is simple enough, and if you’ve been wanting to start, you’re in luck.! Follow the steps below.

Step 1: Prep your space. Before you gather your tools or take a lighter to that bundle of sage, open the windows of the rooms you’ll be working in. Be mindful of your space and map your path, starting and ending at the front door. Allow clean air in and give the negative energy a path out.

Step 2: Gather your tools. Make sure you give yourself enough time. This ritual is not something to be rushed. Energy matters. Intention matters. What you bring will expand. Feel free to take a few minutes to meditate for a calm mind and a calm heart. As to the tools themselves, you’ll need:

  • Sage or palo santo
  • An abalone shell or fire safe dish
  • A feather

Step 3: Set an intention. What are you trying to release with this ritual? What are you looking to invite in? This is your intention. Use a mantra or a prayer to repeat while the sage burns. It can be as simple as “I release that which no longer serves me.” Or, it can be more specific.

Step 4: Spark it up. With a candle or match, light the sage. Let it burn for 10 to 20 seconds then gently blow it out. The sage will glow and smoulder as it releases a thick smoke. Using the feather, wave the smoke throughout the room, including the corners and high spots. Don’t forget closets.

Step 5. Room by room. Move clockwise through each room, repeating your mantra. If you come to a set of stairs, go up or down and keep moving clockwise.

Step 6. Show them the door. Make your way to the front door and wave the last of the smoke out. Repeat the mantra or prayer one last time. Visualize your entire home or space filled with light.

Step 7. Closing ceremony. Extinguish the sage by pressing the burning tip firmly into a shell or fire safe dish. Repeat your intention and close out the ritual with a prayer of protection. Do not use water to put out the embers. Not only will this ruin the tip, the sage will be harder to light when you next use it. The shell is a good place to keep the remainder of your sage until your next smudging.

Everything you need for your first smudge — or your next — can be found in the Magic Shoppe. The tools are available separately, or get them all in a kit — and save even more.

You know what to do…

– B