cleanse & reset
Lately we can’t walk into a boutique or scroll Instagram without spying a smudge stick (like this one: hahahaha). Rarely, however, does anyone know what to do with them or is afraid to light the one that they bought on a whim after a boozy brunch. Maybe because yes, they can smell like a college house party or hippie den. But once you get used to the scent and what it symbolizes you’ll crave it.
Smudging, which commonly uses a sage bundle, is a sacred practice that can be traced back to ancient Egypt. The burning of herbs and other natural substances has been used throughout history for cleansing, healing and spiritual purposes. Unlike palo santo, which grounds or smooths energy, sage clears it.
bad day, bad date, bad mood—bye.
You’ve probably heard of burning sage in a new house to clear out the previous owner’s energy, or in a haunted one to rid it of pesky spirits. But even happy homes can accumulate negative vibrations and can use a good, positive clearing every once in a while. We also bring the sad or stressy vibes home with us. Smudge after a day with difficult clients, an angry boss, a fight with your partner, or to prepare for a new moon. Anything really goes if you’re feeling “off” and want to reset energetically.
How to smudge:
- Secure a sage or smudge stick. You can find them in most natural food stores and co-ops, as well as so many sweet ritual sets online.
- Open windows to give negative energy an escape route.
- Light the stick and let it burn for a few moments before blowing it out. This will allow it to gently smoke like incense.
- Set your intentions for yourself or the room(s). Perhaps you want to bless something, release a memory, clear out someone else’s energy or fill the space with a new, more nurturing energy. You can’t mess this part up as long as you ask the universe for what you need.
- Walk around the room and wave the stick along walls, corners, the ceiling and behind doors, all the while staying mindful of your intention.
- Now smudge yourself or ask a friend to smudge you. You can smudge your pet or partner while you’re at it! This can be incredibly powerful, especially when you’re with someone you love and trust, who knows where you’ve been and where you want to go.
Smudging is such a powerful and uplifting experience and yet requires very little effort or preparation. Consider keeping a stick on the nightstand (an empty clamshell half works beautifully as a container) so you can smudge before bed and start the next day clear and fresh.