Simply Nahala

Writer. Photographer. Soul Traveler.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sacred Sage

Burning sage has been a healing ritual in my life for some time now. It's a practice that seems natural and comforting to me, maybe from lives past. I use it to purify the energy of myself, others, places and objects. For example, if I buy something at a thrift shop, burning sage around the object helps to release any attached energies. Burning sage can also be useful when you are feeling depressed, angry, resentful or upset after an argument with someone.

You may be thinking, well how does burning sage work? Every object including humans have an aura, which is the energy field that surrounds the object. When burned, sage emits negative ions, and our aura holds positive ions that can make us feel sluggish or tired. The smoke of the sage is attracted to the positive ions and neutralizes them out of our aura or living space. Thus, sage smoke is used to cleanse unwanted energies that get entangled in our auric field. Just as we bathe our physical body, we must also cleanse our energetic body or it can manifest into physical illness.

Smudging has been used as a sacred ritual for healing and energy clearing by Native Americans and other cultures for thousands of years. In traditional cultures that use herbs for smudging, the ceremony is treated with great respect. Before lighting sage, it is very important that you begin with a clear intention.  If you are cleansing yourself, then this needs to be in the forefront on your mind. I always start with a prayer and end with a prayer, giving thanks to the sage for its medicinal and healing properties.

You can purchase sage at a natural health food store, local farmer's market, metaphysical shop or from Mountain Rose Herbs. It comes loose or bundled in a smudge stick. Now that I live in the high desert of Oregon where sagebrush grows abundantly, I make my own sage bundles. You can burn sage loose or bundled and place it in an abalone shell, clay pot or bowl with sand. If you burn the loose leaves of sage, make sure that you use a fireproof container. A metal bowl is not ideal because sage burns very hot and may cause burns.

Light the dry sage, let it burn for a moment then blow out any flames. It is the smoke you will be working with, not the fire. You can use a feather or your hand to fan the smoke in the direction you desire. If you are clearing yourself, fan the smoke towards your body. If you are clearing a room, fan the smoke away from you, walking in a clockwise direction until you fill all areas of the room. Once sage is lit, the sage knows just how long to burn in order to neutralize the ions around it. The quality of the smoke is an indication of the amount of positive ions or negativity in the vicinity. Thick rolling smoke means the place or person is in need of some intense clearing. Light smoke indicates that the area or person is fairly clean.

Once your are finished smudging, then set the bowl on a fire proof surface and let it burn itself out. There is no need to snuff the loose sage or smudge stick out because the Spirit of sage is sacred and wise. Pay attention to where the smoke drifts, such as towards a particular person or part of the room, because that is where healing of energy needs to take place. After smudging, the energy always feels much lighter.

Sacred Sage How It Heals by Silver Wolf Walks Alone is an EXCELLENT book for anyone interested in the smudging ceremony. It is clear and concise, offering a short history of sage, practical uses, and the ceremonial gathering of sage. It is a quick read (about thirty minutes cover to cover), but quite profound.

Sage is a wonderful tool to focus your intention on clearing unwanted energies. Above all, trust your inner guidance when using sage, it will guide you through the process of cleansing. If burning sage sounds like it might help with your healing process, then try it, if however, the thought of it does not resonate with you, trust that :)

With Love,

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