I recently started burning sage after I found a cheap bundle of it at the Pearl River Mart here in Chinatown. I had heard of and seen some of my friends talk about burning sage or palo santo to clear the energy around them, and while I’m skeptical of any talk of energy, chakras, or stress-inducing negative ions, I love the idea of any spiritual-leaning practices that make my apartment a homier, comfier, safer place to be in (even if it’s all in my head).
Growing up, my family burned incense daily, and, to this day, I really dislike the smell of those… you know what I’m talking about? The sticks that stand straight up in front of the red wooden shrine? I never thought I’d burn anything besides my fragrant candles, but now I enjoy these woody, smokier notes in the air. Sage is not quite as intense as those Chinese incense, so it doesn’t bother me. Also, it’s kind of fun to light up my bundle of sage and walk around expelling demons from every room… at least thats what it feels like I’m doing.
Jokes aside, I realize this is a real spiritual practice for a lot of people, and I do have intentions for each time I burn, or smudge. My physical space is connected to my mental and emotional space, so when I’m purposefully trying to cleanse or refresh the vibe in my house, a part of my mind feels it too.
If anyone else is interested, there are tons of articles and videos on how to sage online. I personally like to clean the house first and get rid of any extra junk, then I open the windows and light up the sage. After it begins to produce smoke, I wave it around every room in the house, spending a little more time in high traffic areas, like the entryway, doorways, the couch, etc. I also go over my bed and wish for restful sleep. When I’m done, I snuff it out in my ceramic plate (kind of like you would a cigarette) and make sure any little flame is gone.
And, just like that, the demons are out.