California White Sage Smudge Stick
California White Sage smudge stick.
California White Sage: For hundreds of years, white sage has been considered a sacred, cleansing, purifying, and protective plant.
Native Americans started the tradition of using Sacred Sage to ward off evil spirits and negative energies, and white sage has been used in ceremonies to seek blessings of health and prosperity, banish spirits, encourage protection.
What you’ll need:
The practice of burning sage or smudging is fairly simple, with few necessary tools.
Basic tools include:
• A sage bundle (or smudge stick)
• Some recommend a seashell or bowl of ceramic, clay, or glass to hold burning sage or capture ash
• Some recommend matches over a manufactured lighter
• Optional feather or fan for fanning smoke
How to prepare for a smudge:
Before burning sage, some recommend setting intentions if smudging for spiritual, energetic, and negativity clearing purposes. Remove animals or people from the room.
It’s also important to leave a window open before, during, and after smudging. This allows smoke to escape.
Some believe smoke also takes impurities and negative energy with it — so don’t skip this step.
How to smudge your living space, an object, and more:
These steps apply whether you’re smudging yourself, your home, or an object. You can smudge any of these as often as you’d like.
1. Light the end of a sage bundle with a match. Blow out quickly if it catches on fire.
2. The tips of the leaves should smolder slowly, releasing thick smoke. Direct this smoke around your body and space with one hand while holding the bundle in the other.
3. Allow the incense to linger on the areas of your body or surroundings you’d like to focus on. Using a fan or feather can also help direct the smoke, though this is optional.
4. Allow the ash to collect in a ceramic bowl or shell.
Smudge your home or living space:
In this instance, direct sage smoke over all surfaces and spaces in your home or living area. Be thorough.
Some recommend working in a clockwise direction around your home, ending back where you started, especially for spiritual purposes. Others recommend counterclockwise.
Do what feels best for your situation and follow your intuition.
Smudge an object:
Direct smoke around and over the object of your choice.
This can be done to a new item, such as jewelry, furniture, or clothing, to protect or dispel it of negative energy. Items related to negative experiences or memories may also be smudged.
Some people burn sage over special objects, to acknowledge the object with sacred meaning.
What to do after a smudge:
Make sure your smudge stick is completely extinguished. You can do this by dabbing the lit end into a small bowl of ash or sand.
Check the end closely to make sure there are no more embers burning. Once it’s completely put out, store it in a safe, dry place out of the sun.
Are there any side effects or risks?
When done correctly and respectfully, smudging is completely safe and the effects last after the smoke clears.
Be careful with sage when it’s lit. If you aren’t careful, burns and even fire is possible. Have water nearby.
Never leave burning sage unattended. Make sure to put your sage bundle out completely after every use.
Setting off smoke alarms is common. Consider this if smudging in a public building.
People with asthma and other respiratory conditions may be more sensitive to the smoke and have adverse reactions.
Always leave a window open while smudging. Inhaling smoke can be hazardous to your health.
The bottom line:
Burning sage has many benefits as a spiritual practice. Some research supports certain health benefits of sage, such as antimicrobial properties and enhanced alertness, but more research is needed.
There is very little research on smudging as a practice beyond the cultural practice of the ritual.
Keep in mind: Burning sage is a sacred religious practice in some Native American cultures. Treat the ritual with respect.
Information from: https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-burning-sage#takeaway
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