Wow! Thanks. Help. These are the Three Essential Prayers, according to author Anne Lamott. What I learned in my church-going experience backs that up: there are prayers of thanksgiving and gratitude; of praise, awe, and adoration; and of petitions and requests. To Lamott’s top three, I would also add prayers of forgiveness—a simple I’m sorry or Forgive me.
These are just the basics of course. Some go even further, refining prayers, and accompanying rituals, into ever specific categories. For example, Edward Hays has prayers for Fingernail Trimming, Lighting Candles and Writing a Difficult Letter. Actually we can pray for just about anything.
Yet to get the whole self into the process of prayer, we need to invite the senses too. Incense is one of the most ancient ways to invoke the power of smell, as it is able to stir up memories and create moods and shape attitudes. As Hays says, “…Scents can return us to our childhood faster than the speed of light.” Indeed. For me the smell of pasta boiling in a stovetop pot transports me to the kitchen of my Italian-influenced childhood home.
The queen of all ceremonial cleansing scents is Sage. Ceremonial sage comes in many forms: in smudging sticks large and small; in loose leaf clusters, in sticks and even in sprays. It can come straight by itself or blended with other fragrant herbs or plants, such as lavender, rosemary or cedar.
One of the uses of this noble incense is for preparing sacred space for ceremony and prayers by cleansing your space with its smoldering smoke or sensuous spray. Prayers offered during the cleansing ritual can consist of words elaborate or short, rhyming or prose and they can be memorized or spontaneous from the heart and soul.
Sometimes a rhyming verse makes a prayer easy to remember. It seems that rhyming stays with us. For example one short prayer goes like this:
Cleanse this space, remove the past
I’ve found my happiness at last.
Fill this space with Joy and love
Send Your Blessings from Above.
This one also rhymes:
Negativity of this my sacred space
I banish you by the light of my grace
You have no hold or power here
I stand and face you with no fear
Be gone forever you will obey
From my sacred space you must away.
Here is another:
God of All, Goddess of Light,
Shield & Protect Me Day & Night
Positive Feeling Alone Come Near,
All Others Wither & Disappear.
Sometimes the sentiment expressed is enough to help one remember.
Into this smoke I release
All energies that do not serve;
All negativity that surrounds;
And all fears that limit.
Even a simple “I cleanse my sacred space now as I prepare for ceremony and prayer” will work. Take a look at Shamans Market offerings of this special herb. You are sure to find a type that suits your ceremonial needs.
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Gabrielle – Long-time student of Native American and Peruvian Shamanism, and Seeker on the Path. Gabrielle has worked at Shamans Market for many years with intimate knowledge of our products in her role as product listing specialist, writer, photographer, and major contributor to the Shamans Market newsletter. She is an avid nature and animal lover and a proud companion of a Peach-faced Lovebird.
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The other day, my friend asked me how to do a sage energy cleansing of her house. I thought maybe you all would like to know too!
Saging your house is also known as smudging. It’s roots are in Native American cultures and traditions. It is a ritualistic way to cleanse a person, place or an object of negative energies or influences.
The theory behind smudging, is that the smoke attaches itself to negative energy and as it clears it takes the negative energy with it, then Mother Earth reabsorbs the negative energy and filters it herself.
To cleanse your house with sage, you need a bundle of dried sage like this:
You can find them at natural food stores, or specialty bookstores or you can buy some online. And if you’re feeling adventurous, it’s even possible to make smudge sticks yourself!
To start, you set your intention. You can say a prayer or an affirmation, whatever feels right to you. The exact words do not matter for it to work. Simply set an intention, to clear your house of any lingering negative energy. I like to say a prayer, because I am Catholic, and I then I say something like “anything that is not of the highest Christ light and energy please leave you are not welcome here.”
Then light your sage. You want to get it lit completely. It is the smoke, not the flame, that clears the energy.
Then wave your sage stick around your whole house. Try to get the smoke into every area of your house. Every corner, every closet, etc.
Sage also helps the flow of energy (a la Fung Shui) in your house, every house can have stagnant areas where the energy is not necessarily negative, but it’s stuck. The sage helps move it along.
Also do the front and back porches and all around your door.
So when would you want to sage?
-After you have had a large party or gathering at your house. Energy is fluid, so people can leave bits of their energy field where ever they go. Have you ever felt yucky after going to the mall or a sporting event? It’s because there are 5 million people there and you are rubbing up against and mixing with their energy. Sometimes this feels wonderful, like when you are at retreat with like minded people, but other times it feels like you need to take a shower to get the gunk off! Just FYI, there are ways to protect your aura from negative energy, I will show you how to do that one day soon.
-If you have had a fight with your spouse or children. Me and Peter fight all the damn time (while Penelope is sleeping). I do my best to sage after every fight (I also always tell Penelope that we are just working things out and we get angry, but that it is not about her and that she is safe).
-If a negative/grumpy/mean person comes into your home.
-If you just moved into your house or apartment. You want to clean out the last families energy. I would also sage a hotel bed or your bed if you are house guest. You are literally laying on someone else energy, and it can make you restless.
-If a virus or illness just went through your house. Sage does have anti-bacterial properties to it. But really its good to do, because usually all illness is just a physical manifestation of an issue in your energy field that has been taken care of.
-If something sad or traumatic happened. Grief is not necessarily a negative energy, but it sometimes lingers longer than is healthy, and sage can help it along.
Hope that helps! Happy Saging!
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How to Smudge, When to Smudge
Today I want to provide you with a good overview of smudging definition, a little smudging history, a quick how to smudge your home and smudge yourself instructions, as well as when to smudge your home, what to expect to feel when smudging, what to say when smudging and the tools used to smudge and perform a clearing ceremony.
What is Smudging?
Smudging is a way to purify a location, object or person(s) by burning sacred plants.
Why We Smudge Smudging techniques
Native Americans traditionally smudged as the initialization of a ritual. Many cultures have used their own form of cleansing for centuries with some continue this ritual today. to cleanse and clear self or home after interaction with those with negative energy or to send prayers and offerings to the heavens. Today, there are many people who smudge in order to clear out their space of unwanted spirits, bad vibes and negative energy. As I say, maybe you just want to rid your space of that crummy energy from your ex. It happens!
When people today think about smudging, they typically envision white sage leaves bound with string into a small bundle, called a smudge stick. Depending on your intentions and culture, there are also many other plants, herbs, resins and oils used to clear and cleanse.
Smudging for Beginners details over a dozen plants, herbs, and resins that are used in ceremony, their plant genus as well as their individual spiritual significance.
Not all Spirits are Bad Ones Not all spirits in your home are negative ones. It could be grandma dropping by to say hey. It’s just that you’ve not known that she’s been visiting you every Sunday, until recently. Fortunately, I’ve never encountered a spirit that was truly evil, impatient, confused and frustrated, perhaps, but so was my ex-husband. I do know that if there is some less than positive energy in your space, then smudging can help.
When to Smudge
Anytime is a perfect time to smudge your home or smudge yourself to remove negative energy The rule of thumb is to smudge if you’re feeling uneasy in your space, then smudge. You will feel lighter if you do. Other times to smudge include:
- Full Moon for letting go
- New Moon for new beginnings
- When you first move into a home or apartment
- With the change of seasons (Smudge as part of spring cleaning)
- When you begin a new job or business.
- Before you meditate.
- During an illness.(smudging has been proven to kill airborne bacteria)
- To lift your mood
- After a breakup
- After negative guests enter leave your home.
- After an argument with your loved ones or work associates
Smudging Supplies: The below is what I have handy in my complete smudging tool kit, each with specific spiritual significance.
- A smudge stick
- A lighter or candle
- A shell or Dish
- Salt (I prefer pure Himalayan salt)
- Anointing Oil
What to Say when Smudging
There are prayers and affirmations said when smudging. It can be words from a religious book like psalms, Native American prayers, spiritual prayers or a special affirmation of intentions that you feel strongly about. Pick one that resonates with you and say an affirmation to your higher power out loud.
Striving to Help people move forward
PS – I LOVE questions, so please keep them coming! [email protected] I answer every one and depending on the topic, add them to a question and answer section at the bottom of each article. There are no stupid questions, just unasked ones. We are all here to help each other. Open your heart and share your question. You just may be helping another by asking it. To shy to post a comment. That’s okay. email me.
Want more information?
From Author LeeZa Donatella.
Want the Whole Enchilada?
Are you interested in cleansing your space and raising your vibration? Or are you looking to rid your location of that crummy energy tied to your ex-partner who you can’t get out of your head? Either way, this book can assist as LeeZa Donatella helps readers understand the basics as well as tricks of the trade when it comes to smudging their space, person or objects in her book, Smudging for Beginners. The book answers many questions like:
- How do you smudge a person?
- Why do you burn sage?
- Can you reuse sage?
- Why do we use Sage to smudge a home?
- What kind of sage is used for smudging?
- What is a smudging ceremony?
- What is Palo Santo wood used for?
- What other materials can be used to smudge?
- What does saging the House do?
- How do you cleanse your house?
- How do you cleanse a house of spirits?
- How do you get rid of negative energy?
- What is the spiritual significance of smudging?
- What should I say when I smudge?
- When is the best time to smudge?
QUESTIONS YOU HAVE ASKED ABOUT SMUDGING Below are answers to some questions I have received:
What is Anointing Oil? Oils have been used since before Christ by every religion in ceremonies to assist in purification, protection, raising vibration, clearing negative energy, consecration, prayer and healing.
This is a “go-to” blend because of the specific significance each has to raise vibration and used in healing, smudging and clearing or just to release any negative energy accumulated
I want to emphasize that if you walk into someone else’s home and the energy feels, well, not so good, you can smudge yourself when you get home and tactfully speak to them about smudging, but be gentle about it, not adamant about it or try and sneak it or you just may lose friend. I get countless emails from people asking how to smudge someone else’s home without their knowledge. Sorry, but it’s not yours to own darlings.
Should I hire Someone to Smudge? I get asked a lot, “Should I hire a professional to come and smudge my home?” Professionals that will come in and deal with what could be a house full of negative energy are not cheap and can cost upwards of $500 for a local pro to come in and cleanse your home and family. But if you’re dealing with something that you can’t handle, then seeking a professional like myself who performs the entire cleansing and smudging ritual is worth every penny.
I grew up in Long Island, NY a few towns away from fellow channel, Theresa Caputo, who also smudges her location with sage prior to connecting with the passed loved ones of her clients. If Theresa or I were smudging your house you may get more than you bargained for. Theresa might have messages from your passed loved ones helping you heal and me, the unwilling channel, will information from all the spirits in the room regardless of whether they are related to you or not, because I pick up information from all the energy in the room to determine what they want and help them on their way.
Unfortunately not everyone lives close to where I’m located (my current residence in the Lake Tahoe, Nevada area and although you can fly me in, it can get costly.)
So darlings, let me save you money….. you DO NOT have to hire someone to perform a general smudging of your home or a person. Why don’t you try it yourself first and see if it solves your problem before you reach out to a professional like me, okay?
Can start smudging with one smudge stick then light another one if I used up the first one? Answer: Yes you can light a new smudge stick after starting with another one.
What if I can’t find sage and desperately need to smudge. What do I do?Answer: Although I prefer and typically use white sage to smudge, if I’m in a place where I absolutely can’t find any and need to smudge, then I use what is available. At times I’ve tied a few incense sticks together and used them to make one. Hey in a pinch when I was in the woods and had nothing with me and gathered some grasses and tied them together.It is all about intention my dears!
Where Can I Buy Smudge Sticks?Answer: I am working on a complete house blessing and clearing kit. I have NOT seen smudge sticks at Costco, Samsclub, Walmart, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or Sprouts, but I hear that they may now be available in some Whole Foods locations. I do not sell smudge stick separately at this time. I would also try New Age bookstores and shops. Some new age organic farmers markets carry them as well. Happy searching. Remember if you must smudge and have no local resources, while you are waiting for your online order, use what is available until it arrives. It will make you feel lighter. Be Blessed in knowing that!
Can I reuse a smudge sticks for cleansing?Answer: Absolutely, there are no issues with reusing a smudge stick, so light it back up.
How many times can I reuse a smudge stick?Answer: Until you can no longer hold it comfortably without getting burned. I get frustrated when I hear about charlatans telling people that they can only use a stick once, just to sell more product. That’s why I started this blog, I wanted the information to be available to the public. Can more than one person smudge?
Answer: Absolutely. My friend Michele of Healing Spirit in Sedona and I have joined forces many a time to smudge.
When should you smudge? Answer: Anytime you feel at odds with the energies that are around you. Did you ever get the feeling that there was something not right in your home? That’s a good indicator that it’s time to smudge. There are times though that depending on what you want to accomplish, better times for smudging. All that detail is in Smudging for Beginners. I hope that you all enjoyed today’s article and look forward to sharing with you in future.
An energy master, Shamanic practitioner, 5 time Reiki master, spiritual life coach, emotional coach and certified EFT practitioner, .LeeZa Donatella has been involved with alternative modalities, having worked alongside many other masters since the early 90s.. She’s been fortunate to have been shown Shamanic practices during her travels from the 1990’s in South America. Her studies have included but are not limited to: Bio-Energy, Japanese Reiki, Anapana and Vipassana Meditation, Monroe’s Gateway Experiences, Balancing and Harmonization, Eastern and Western Herbalism, reflexology and Acupressure, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).
Videos: Update 10/19/2015: Some Smudging Videos
The Proper Way to Light a Smudge Stick
How to Put out a Smudge Stick
Materials in a Smudging Kit
Update October 19, 2015 : Visit my YouTube Smudging Playlist for more upcoming videos
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Smudging and Blessings Inspirational Rituals to Cleanse and Heal
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We recently had a question about the practice of “saging” one’s home in order to clear the house of “bad vibrations.” Is this practice compatible with Christianity?
In a word – no.
Saging is a shamanistic ritual that goes back to ancient Rome. The herb, sage, has long been used by indigenous peoples around the world for its medicinal properties and is often burned in the home by people who believe its scent is able to “cleanse” a home of “bad vibrations.” Also known as smudging, this practitioner explains how to go about the saging of a house:
“Place a small amount of loose leaves in a bowl that can take heat ie terracotta pot/dish (not glass) and light the sage. Wait for the flame to come up a little and then whilst leaning over kitchen sink (as ash may blow out onto carpet), blow the flame out. This will then leave you with MAGICAL ENERGY CLEARING SMOKE ! Walk around your house and bedrooms, or space/business – and as the smoke rises up and out the windows negative energies and ‘stuff’ is released. I suggest you wear old clothes and make sure windows are open and a windy day is wonderful as it allows for the winds to carry any blocked energy and ‘stuff’ you have released out to the heavens and this neutralises the energy” .
She goes on to say that intention is all important when saging. “You may like to say your own little prayer or ‘intention’ to clear, let go and surrender anything you wish. There are no rules, just positive intentions to clear the energies.”
If this doesn’t sound New Agey enough yet, the author adds that she believes allowing the smoke to flow over a person’s aura and “energy fields” will have a cleansing effect on the person as well.
“You should notice a clearing and more peace and calm usually very soon after,” she says.
Evidence of the occult roots of this practice can also be found in those who engage in the practice because they believe it enhances a person’s ability to communicate with the spirit world.
Aside from lending a pleasing aroma to your home, saging is utterly useless for clearing “negative vibrations” from a home. The source of those “negative vibrations” could be evil spirits, in which case the sprinkling of holy water or blessed salt will be far more effective.
Send your New Age questions to [email protected]