white sage

Purifying rooms with herbs has been a tradition in many cultures for thousands of years. While burning frankincense and incenses are still common practices to this day, neither are as popular as the burning of sage, which was most recognized with Native American tribes, but made its way to numerous other cultures, such as the Celtic druids and the Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon. People from all corners of the world participate in the ritual of purification for their homes.

A home could require purification for many reasons. For example, moving in or out of a living space often calls for herbal cleansing. Another example is beginning a new chapter of your life, such as a job, the birth of a child, or even a new job. In addition, before meditation, yoga, after an argument or illness, and for something as simple as relaxation are all reasons to purify your home. Also, while some cleanse their entire home, it isn’t always necessary. Just one room can be purified at a time, if that’s what you choose.

Here is a simple guide for you to try it out yourself.

Purifying a Room with White Sage

Buy a sage smudge stick or sage bundle and a bowl to hold it over (traditionally, an abalone shell is used). If you choose a stick, set aside a cup of water to extinguish it after the ritual. Open all windows and doors in your home, and set up any fans you may have. Once you light the stick or bundle, blow out the flame and allow the smoke to roam, as you would with any incense. A prayer of cleansing should be said in each individual room, as part of the traditional ritual.

Roam the room and let the smoke envelope any negativity. All negative energy should leave the room through this, therefore cleansing the room and filling it with the positive energy from your prayer. Repeat this process in all rooms of your home. Once every room is blessed, you will take a sage shower. Cup your hands over the smoke and bring it to your face, as you would with water. Let all negativity leave your body and replace it with positive, happy thoughts and ideals.

After extinguishing the stick or bundle, some believe that setting it aside on a shelf or burying it in your backyard is the key way end the ritual. Burying it would be a sign of elemental completion. However, if you don’t have the time or means, feel free to throw it away.