01 Jun 2004
By Eileen Nauman
Copyright 2004-2011. All Rights Reserved.
Every Nation has its sage for ceremonial purposes. I was shown specific white, ‘female’ patches of sage a long time ago by my medicine man teacher, who was western Cherokee.
Sage is used for clearing negativity inside and outside ourselves, from our dwellings, a room, an office, an attic or any other type of structure. We use it to cleanse our auras, too, when we have a ‘bad hair day’ and we’re carrying around a lot of junk that we want to get rid of in a hurry.
Sage emits negative ions, just as a waterfall or running water emits the same thing. This is why, when people are near running water, they always feel cleaner, cleaned off or just ‘better’ for seeming no reason at all. But there is a deeper reason. Our aura holds positive ions, much like a carpet when you walk across it, creates static electricity. Only, these positive ions are like dust in our aura and it simply makes us feel sluggish, tired, or just not our usual frisky, peppy self.
The smoke from the sage meets the positive ions, clings to them and neutralizes them out of our aura, or from the room or house where you live or work.
PROTOCOL FOR THE USE OF WHITE SAGE
Let me take you, step-by-step, on how to utilize a wand or stick of sage:
The first rule is this: Once the sage is lit, you do not stop it from burning. The spirit of the sage knows just how much negativity or positive ions are around and it will burn accordingly. When the ions have been neutralized, it will cease burning on its own. You can tell how ‘bad’ it is by the quality of the smoke the smudge stick emits: thin, light smoke indicates the place or person is fairly clean; thick, rolling white smoke means the place or person has a lot of positive ions or negativity around them and it needs this thicker smoke to deal with it. If you are done smudging, then set the bowl on your electric or gas stove and let it burn itself out until it is done. Under no circumstances are you to put it under water to douse the smoke or do something to stop it from burning. The spirit of the wand knows what is needed, and where. If you watch the smoke, you will see it drift to a particular part of the room, car, or person because that is where the healing/catalyzation of energy needs to be done and accomplished.
- Always have a heat proof bowl to put the sage in, after it has been ignited. We use an abalone shell; but any piece of thick, fired pottery (or even a Pyrex bowl) will do. If you are using a bowl, you may well want an oven mitten on your hand to prevent burns because sage burns HOT. It is the spiritual nature of it to do so. Do not use a container that is not bake or tempered for high heat–it will crack it and it could cause a fire. Do not use anything metal, because heat is conductive and you will get burned.
- Be safe. Do not have doors or windows or a fan on when you “smudge” yourself, a room or your house. It can blow sparks out of the bowl and onto the floor or surrounding area. Don’t wear billowy, long-sleeved blouse or shirt when you fan the smoke. Don’t have long hair draped down near the bowl with the smudge stick being held in it. Be common sensed about this.
- Light the sage with a match at the very tips of the leaves on top of the wand. Once they flame to life, blow them out quickly. It’s important to NOT let it flame and burn. Once it is lit, and the flame is blown out, it will smoke. The catalyzation comes with the smoke, not the flame.
- Place the lit, smoking top of the wand of sage deep down inside the bowl and steady the rest of it, using the stick portion at the other end, with your other hand.
SMUDGING A ROOM
Keep the windows and doors closed to the room you have chosen to smudge. You can take a fan or a small piece of cardboard and start in one corner of your room, and gently waft the smoke after it clears the bowl, from the floor, up, toward the ceiling. Do this in a clockwise circle in each corner of your room. When you are done with the fourth corner, move to the center of the room, raise the bowl chest high and waft smoke up toward the center of the room. You are now done. When you leave the room, shut the door behind you. When you go back in an hour later, you’ll see that the room feels better and is even ‘lighter’ appearing to your eyes than before.
SMUDGING A HOUSE
If you are doing a complete house, then do each room in this fashion. Do not miss a room. Get all of them. If you want only one room done, then close the door behind you and smudge the room–and leave the smoke in that room–do not open windows or doors to let it out. It will dissipate surprisingly swiftly. You can also smudge your garage and basement in the same, above manner. Just make sure the garage door is closed and that the door leading to the basement is closed while smudging and closed after you depart from it.
Bend over, so that the bowl is about the level of your feet and ankles. Gently waft the smoke, with your fan, upward. As you slowly unbend and straighten up, you are bringing the sage/bowl and fanning the smoke up, up, upward until you’ve sent the smudging smoke up above your head. You are now “smudged” and clean, as we say.
SMUDGING AN ANIMAL
Take care not to burn the animal, or have sparks fly out on their coats or hair. Start at their head and gently waft the smoke from their feet to their head, and then move back, over their spinal area, and to their rear feet/tail region. They are now smudged.
SMUDGING AN OBJECT
If you have a piece of jewelry given to you, an heirloom piece, or something that you love, but it has ‘bad vibes’ or just a bad feeling on it, then you can do the following: Lay it out on a table or some place where it is flat. Start at one end of the piece and gently fan the smoke across it, so that the smoke covers and flows across the entire piece. When it’s done, let it sit for 24 hours, and then you can use it. The feeling/vibes will be very different. On a stubborn piece, you might have to do this 2 or 3 times, once a day, to get it entirely cleansed.
USING IT AS A TEA
I was taught to take 3 leaves, crinkle and break them up and put them into the bottom of a tea cup. Pour boiling water over them and let it steep 10 minutes. You can then drink it and eat the leaves. This is used to break a fever or induce a sweat. We drink this during a sweat lodge to cleanse ourselves of our inner negativity and darkness. If you’re feeling bad, sometimes a cup of white sage tea helps a lot. Drink only one cup in a 24 hour period.
A SAGE BATH–AHHHH…
One of the nicest things you can do for yourself is crinkle up an entire wand or one ounce of dried leaves, into your bathtub. Fill it with warm to moderately hot water (don’t burn yourself). Then, settle down into this big cup of tea for about 10-15 minutes. The sage is a natural cleanser and your physical body and aura both get cleaned up this way. It is particularly wonderful after a highly stressful time.