The Beginner's Guide To Sage Smudging

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Guest blog post written by Ashley Graf.

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How I Got Into Smudging

In the spirit of dabbling, I decided I was going to enroll in a spiritual teachings course that was going to last 6 weeks. I was stoked. Like seriously stoked. Our first task was to was create a self-care ritual. I froze. I knew I lacked the sense of grounding that simple routines provide, but they felt so far away from my life that I didn’t know how to make them important enough again. I never went back to class.

It wasn’t until about a year later that I started to slowly recognize how many rituals I actually did have, and how many of them I practiced every single day. We are constantly participating in routines, self-made or community-bound, they are everywhere.  Adding mindfulness to these daily tasks change them from being routines to rituals.

I was ready to take the challenge, and intentionally create a self-care ritual. Without the pressure of feeling like it had to be perfect or take all day I turned to something I had been doing most of my adult life, smudging my space using sage.

Sage is a light grey plant with a healing aromatic purpose when ritually burned with the intention of cleansing a person or a space. It typically comes in a bundle. These bundles can be large or small. It’s tradition to use a large shell to catch any of the ashes the sage creates while burning, and a feather to keep the sage smoldering. It’s a simple practice that can take as long as you want it to.

Getting Started

I use smudging as dedicated time to check in, to ground myself, and feel safe. Doing it often keeps me on track. Here’s a few tips on how to start.

Sage with intention! Create an affirmation for yourself and your practice. Pick something that you want. It can be a feeling, a thing, a situation, an experience… anything. Speak into this as if it is already happening. Some of my favorites…

I am Strong

I am independent

I am beautiful

I am loved

I am love.

Your affirmation can be safe words like above, or more detailed like…

“I am thriving in a job I love that allows me the ability to be creative, I am abundant in all things.”

This is up to you and is part of the process of looking inward. What do you need? What are you lacking in your life? Speak into those things.

Be alone, or with friends you trust. Smudging can be a very personal practice, but sometimes it’s nice to have someone there with you to help you sage yourself. Make sure you choose someone who is just as interested in being a part of the practice as you are. You want to feel safe taking this self-love ritual seriously.

Relax. You can’t do this wrong. Know that.

Lastly, how do you actually do it? There are two ways you can practice.

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How To Sage Smudge

Sage your space: Simply light the sage, letting it burn heavy for a moment before blowing it out and letting the smoke start moving through your space. Use the feather to keep creating smoke, while holding your shell or bowl under the sage.

Next, start at the entrance to your space, smudging close to the walls and making your way around the whole room. Think of it as cleaning the energy.

Tip- sage around doors, making an entire square around the doorway.

Saging Yourself: This is where a friend comes in handy, but if your alone- don’t worry you can do this yourself too! Go around the entire body, breathing and relaxing. You can create a circle motion with the sage as you take your time. Start at your crown, making your way down and under your arms, even picking up your feet to sage your whole aura!

The most important thing to remember is taking time to give yourself your undivided attention. Creating intentional living will help you let things go easier and let new things in more naturally, as it is supposed to be. Happy Smudging.

You can follow Ashley on Instagram here.

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Elizabeth Manuele