How to burn sage

How to burn sage

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Whether it's to cleanse your home of negative energies or to bring freshness and fragrance to your space, sage has been used since the dawn of time in purification rituals. In this article, we explain how to burn sage.


Before we look at how to burn sage, let's do a little history. Traditionally used in North America by Native American tribes in shamanic cleansing and healing rituals, fumigation is used to purify a place, a person, an event, crystals and many others. These purification rituals from aromatherapy involve the burning of fragrant herbs, the most common of which is white sage.

Purification ceremonies and rituals can be performed in many ways. The spiritual meaning and ceremonies vary greatly from culture to culture. Beyond the spiritual dimensions of the practice, sage fumigation has many healing benefits.

Types of sage

Types of sage

Sage comes in many varieties. When it comes to purifying indoor air, cleaning an object or warding off evil spirits, white sage is generally used. The most widespread variety is the white sage of California characterized by its powerful scent. There are also many other varieties of sage, each with their own virtues and fragrance:

  • White sage: White sage is one of the medicinal plants used in natural medicine, because it has many benefits and almost no contraindications. Its smoke with a very pleasant scent, generates a feeling of well-being, peace and good energy. It is beneficial in times of great changes in life, to eliminate stagnant energies, old and negative thoughts.
  • Lavender sage: lavender sage can be very helpful to bring peace and serenity to a place. Associated with the sage, its powers will be duplicated. If burned before bedtime, it promotes sleep. Lavender is ideal for those who have never purified their interiors before, its fragrance is sweet, and it represents a true natural balancer. Lavender sage attracts love, peace, longevity and eliminates negative vibrations.
  • Blue sage: Blue sage is related to abundance and prosperity, and is said to promote spiritual development and inner strength. This sage is said to have a strong Yin energy and is ideal for preparing meditation sessions or healing ceremonies. Also, the hot infusions of leaves stimulate and promote perspiration.The inhalation of the vapors was used to fight against the pulmonary congestions and to clear the bronchi.
  • Black sage: Black sage, also known as "mugwort", is one of the most potent salvias. Black sage purifies in depth and would be also used by the shamans for their rituals of black magic. Its smell is strong, pungent, and very pleasantly perceived when the ritual is successful during the fumigation.

In the esoteric world, blue sage is used in healing rituals, while desert sage, or, "Texas sage" is used in protection rituals to dispel negativity. Other aromatic herbs, including juniper, may also be burned for similar purposes. The use of incense sticks or cones is also a common practice in cleansing living spaces.

Sage kits

Steps before burning sage

  • Before burning sage, you can set your intentions if the fumigation is used for spiritual cleansing.
  • Remember to remove animals from the room you are purifying.
  • Leave a window open before, during and after the smudging. This allows the smoke to escape (it will also save you from setting off your smoke alarm!).
  • Have a bowl or abalone shell to deposit the sage ashes in.
How to burn sage

How do I burn sage

  1. Light the end of your sage stick with a match or lighter.
  2. Let the sage burn for a few seconds and then blow out the flame. The burning leaves should now give off a thick, fragrant smoke.
  3. Direct this smoke around your body and into your space with your hand while holding the burning sage in the other. You can also place the sage in a suitable container or abalone shell to prevent ash from falling out.
  4. Allow the smoke to permeate the areas of your body or environment that you wish to focus on. Using a fan or feather can also help direct the smoke, although this is optional.
  5. Place the ashes in a bowl or abalone shell.

Sage house cleansing

If you are performing the ritual in your home, systematically start at the door frame of each room and work your way inside. Be sure to direct the smoke into every corner of the room: windows, corners, and of course, closets.

Once all four corners are smudged with smoke, go to the center of the room and make a clockwise circle with the sage stick. The most important thing is that you smear every living room in the house to effectively eliminate bad energy and negative vibes. Be meticulous.

Cleansing with sage

Cleansing with sage

Sage can be used to cleanse objects such as jewelry, furniture or clothing, to protect or cleanse them of negative energy. In lithotherapy, sage is also used to cleanse crystals.

To do this, spread the smoke directly around the object of your choice. Use your hand or a fan to help direct the smoke.

What to do after burning sage

After you have finished purifying all the rooms, leave the windows open for 20 to 45 minutes to air out your space. This step is crucial in the purification ritual so that all the negative energies in your home can escape and make way for serenity and positive energies.

You can also burn a stick of incense right after your sage fumigation to counterbalance its resonance (yang) with the complementary energy of the incense (yin).

When you are finished, enjoy your fully cleansed space. Relax, take deep breaths, close your eyes and feel the scent and sweetness of a more peaceful, less anxious relaxing energy.

How often should you burn sage

In general, it is recommended to burn sage at least once a week. Some people choose to cleanse their space once a month or once every two months. But you can burn it as often as you like.

It really depends on how quickly negative energy builds up in your living space. Keep in mind that you don't always have to do the full fumigation ritual when you burn sage, especially if you do it regularly. Only you, know when it's time to repeat the ceremony.

Our advice:
If you are short on time, you can also burn a stick of sage as incense by leaving it in a bowl or other suitable container.

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