I’ll be completely honest, I don’t smudge my surroundings or myself nearly as often as I’d like to. But next month we are bringing home our second child and while I’m knee deep in nesting, I figure saging the house needs to be part of preparing our home for the new baby.
Smudging the home with herbs or cedar has been a staple in Native American tradition for centuries. The herbs used in smudging are dependent heavily on the particular region and tribe as to what is traditionally used. Today, white sage is the most common herb used in household smudging, but far from the only option.
I have a bundle of white sage and a beautiful abalone shell that I picked up from an amazing spiritual shop in Austin (https://www.ancient-mysteries.net/). I decided to get an abalone shell to hold my sage because the shell itself is not only gorgeous but has amazing protective and balancing energies itself. I like having as many natural elements in my sacred space as possible, so the abalone shell was the perfect choice. I personally like to use white sage because sage grew wild where I was raised in the mountains of NorCal, so it reminds me of home. Saging is about clearing your energies and grounding yourself, so I figure what better way to help ground myself than to have a small reminder of my roots.
To start, I lit my bundle of sage and let the flame dance around for a moment or two before I blew it out. Long enough to catch the herb and create a nice smoke. Hold the sage over the abalone shell (or whatever dish you choose to use) as you walk through the house so any piece of burning herb that falls from the smudging stick doesn’t land on your floors. I started in the entryway and worked my way through the natural progression of my home, following the hallway and into the kitchen. Working my way through my entire house in a clockwise circle, finishing the tour in my bedroom. As you make your way through the house, think very clearly about cleansing every corner in every room of negativity. Invite balance and growth into your space.
When you have reached the last corner in the last room, take a moment to finalize your intentions and gently stamp the sage bundle out in the abalone shell. You can also spray it with water, but at this point in your smudging journey, the sage smoke will start going out on its own. So it’s super easy to finish it off this way and save it for your next cleansing ritual.
I have been saging my home at least annually since I moved into my first apartment in 2010 (so long ago). Personally I don’t believe there is a right or wrong way to smudge, as long as your intentions are clear and you do what feels right in your heart. I’ve been told very particular practices, such you can’t reuse a bundle of sage once you’ve smudged with it or you have to recite a specific chant, but that’s just personal preference, not law.