Often during the course of my work, all kinds of emotional and energetic issues can come up for a client on the table. I feel truly honoured to be a part of this process, helping people to move through and release the things that no longer serve them. And I’ve found that the shifts people go through can be so powerful, that there’s a tangible change in the ‘vibration’ of my workspace, especially after a particularly powerful release. This is where the ancient art of smudging can be so useful, to help neutralise negative energies and purify a space – and it’s something you can try on your home, your body or even on your car!
Smudging has been around for centuries. For indigenous cultures and groups like the Native Americans, the burning of sage and other herbs has long been know to assist with everything from purification and protection to longevity and even helping the spirits of the dead to depart. Smouldering sage is wafted around a person, object or space, with the idea being that the smoke attaches itself to any negative energy present, carrying it off into the ether and transforming it in the process.
Even science acknowledges that the smoke from burning sage can have a powerful effect, as it actually changing the ionisation polarity of the air. Ever noticed how clear and alive you feel after a trip to a waterfall, or a walk by the ocean on a windy day? Smudging does the same thing, lifting the heavier positive ions that make us feel tired and sluggish from our bodies.
Here’s how to do it. Simply purchase a sage stick (or you can also buy loose dried sage leaves) from any health food store, and place a few leaves in a ceramic dish or bowl. Once lit, blow gently to extinguish the flame and let it smoulder as you waft the smoke from the embers around your space, body or car. If you’re smudging a room, make sure to blow the smoke into each corner, where stagnant energy can often collect and build up, and pay particular attention to doorways and windows. If you’re smudging a person, start at their feet and work up the front of their body, along their outstretched arms and up to the head, before turning them around and repeating the process on the back of the body.
It can be even more powerful to combine smudging with an affirmation, prayer or intention. Saying something as simple as ‘I clean and purify this space, releasing all negative energies and blockages”, either out loud or in your head, can add extra energy to your clearing. I always feel a dramatic difference in my own energy levels and mood after smudging. Try it out and feel the difference this simple ritual can make in your body and your environment.