Sage and Smudge
by Donna Stellhorn
To Smudge is to burn Sage in a ritual manner to cleanse or clear space, objects, or environments. Chinese, Roman, and Native American cultures have used Sage as part of their personal, religious, and healing practices for thousands of years.
You can use sage to create sacred space in your home! Find out the practical process for drying and preserving sage.
Make your own Smudge Sticks.
Learn smoldering Sage and Smudging rituals . . . Bring the benefits of this ancient knowledge into your personal experience.
About the Author
Author, Astrology and Feng Shui expert, Donna Stellhorn, is a speaker, a supportive personal coach, and a practical business consultant, with more than 20 years’ experience. In addition to building three successful businesses of her own and logging more than 20,000 hours of consultations with clients, she teaches a variety of classes, offers apprenticeship programs, leads workshops, and continues to write on a variety of topics. She believes in encouraging others to achieve success in their careers and in their personal lives.Donna has written 11 books. One of them, Feng Shui Form, is a collection of many of her best and most popular concepts to help her readers create a supportive and comfortable living and working environment. Her best-selling booklet for more than 15 years, Sage and Smudge: Clearing Your Personal Space, shares the concept of how to cleanse and clear space, objects, or environments. Her latest book is a Feng Shui expert’s look at the puzzle of fertility. It’s entitled: A Path to Pregnancy: Ancient Secrets for the Modern Woman.
A guest on radio shows across the country. including Coast to Coast with George Noory, Donna has been seen on NECN s New England Dream House, and was invited to speak at the prestigious Build Boston Architectural Conference three years in a row. Donna is a Red Ribbon Professional and on the board of the International Feng Shui Guild. She also currently serves as a Board Member of NCGR-San Diego. When she takes a moment to relax, she enjoys her home in Aliso Viejo, California, spending time with her friends, her pets, and a good book on any subject.
“All About Smudging
Author’s Note: The real purpose of smudging originates from the part of you that remembers your true nature, which is calm, peaceful, and happy. Smudging isn’t simply the removal of negativity, but more important, it is the remembrance of love, kindness, compassion, and true happiness. Remember your magnificence! Connect with the wisdom of your ultimate nature. Find inner strength, cultivate self-confidence, and serve others with your love and joy. Know that your existence is truly meaningful!
Smudging is the traditional spiritual practice of clearing away negative thoughtforms (the manifestation of mental energy) and other negative vibrations with the smoke of burning herbs, typically dried sage. The sage used for smudging is usually either high desert sage or white wide-leaf sage and is often bound into a bundle called a smudge stick. Other dried herbs, such as cedar, are sometimes added to the bundle as well. Loose dried herbs and resins (like incense sticks) can also be used for smudging.
The origin of the word “smudge” can be traced back to the fifteenth century. According to various dictionaries, “to smudge” means to dirty, soil, or smear something. This is not the manner in which we use the word today. Rather, the alternative meaning of “smudge”–a smoky fire, especially one made to drive away mosquitoes or to safeguard fruit trees from frost—is more closely aligned with our present use. Today, in the world of metaphysics and spirituality, it is common to use smudge, or smoke, to drive away pests manifesting in the form of negative thoughts or bothersome energy and to make room for positive energy. In this case, the smoke safeguards one from negativity, rather than frost.
Because of its ethereal qualities and its tendency to rise toward the heavens, smoke has been used in spiritual practices for millennia. From China, India, and Southeast Asia to Europe and the Western world, many rituals include the element of smoking herbs or incense as part of the ceremony. Native Americans and other indigenous cultures around the world have been using smudging in ceremonies and clearings for many moons. —— Although some ceremonies are steeped in tradition and can be quite elaborate, a grand ceremony isn’t necessary to reap the benefits of this practice. Dried herbs or a smudge stick, matches, and a dish (such as an abalone shell) to catch or hold the burning embers are all you will need. The use of a feather to fan the smoke in the direction you want to go is also useful.
It is not necessary to make a lot of smoke to get the job done. Burning herbs in a small space with a smoke detector will likely set off the alarm, so practice using just enough of the materials to make smoke without creating a smoldering heap that is going to set off alarms and douse the space with sprinklers. Also, take great care not to start a fire with embers or flying sparks. Be sure to safeguard yourself and your space by taking the proper precautions. If you are worried about this, see the section below where I discuss a smokeless alternative to burning herbs.
When the herbs are burned, the smoke emitted is directed to all parts of the room or space being cleared. This is performed with the intention of releasing negative thoughts, words, actions, or other energy created by yourself or others that has accumulated there. In addition to clearing a physical space, smudging can be used for clearing the energy or aura of a person. You can even use it for clearing away any negative energy that has accumulated on specific possessions.
Once a space has been smudged, the most effective way to ensure complete clearing is to immediately replace the dispelled negativity with love and well-being. This can be done simply by setting the intention to do so, or you can be more elaborate by reciting your intentions and burning other herbs or resins. This refills the space with positive energy, creating a sacred and happy space for yourself and others.”