In Native American culture, sage smudge sticks are widely used in special ceremonies to clear negative energies and attract more positive energy. Many of our customers use smudge sticks to clear their homes of stagnant energies, or to cleanse the aura prior to meditation or prayer. Others such as Reiki practitioners and holistic therapists use sage as part of a cleansing ritual before treatments. House or dwelling cleansing using sages is often incorporated into Feng Shui too. There are several different types of sage and we also stock sweetgrass and several resins. Some herbs can be burnt directly (such as bound sticks and loose white sage), but others can be broken up and left to smoulder on hot charcoal tablets.
Smudging is usually carried out as a simple ceremony, aimed at clearing away negative energies to attract ones that are more positive. Native Americans have traditionally used many herbs for this purpose, with the belief that each has a different effect on the individual's aura and well being. We find that it's best to light the end of the smudge stick, but you may also break off fragments so the can be burnt in a safe container (shells are often used). The idea with smudging is to allow the sage to smoulder and create a fine smoke, that you waft with your hand (many use a feather for this purpose) in a slow methodical way. We recommend that when you carry the sage around the house you use a special container such as a shell or earthen pot (or just use a saucer) to ensure no burning embers fall onto the floor. When smudging a room, waft the smoke into all of the corners. Many people say prayers or mantras whilst wafting the smoke, but whatever you do try to enjoy a gentle moment of calm intent. Afterwards, carefully extinguish the sage and then open the doors and windows to encourage a good airflow. The belief is that using cleansing sage during a smudging ceremony will remove any stagnant, bad energies so they can be blown away with the wind.
Please note that all of our sage is packaged in plastic bags. This is an occasion where plastic is the best option, to retain as much of the sage's natural oils and aroma so it can be fully enjoyed by the customer.
Californian White Sage
Californian white sage (Salvia Alpine), is probably the best known of the smudging sages. It has a strong aroma and is a scrub plant with spiky flowers that grows in Southern California in the USA. It is usually harvested and tied into bundles with cotton ties before it is dried. Sage is a cleansing and purifying herb, traditionally used to remove feelings of negativity. It is usually the first sage that people try, since it is perfect for cleansing and clearing ceremonies of people, places and objects. Many people also burn sage before meditation or prayer. We stock superior quality, environmentally harvested sage (this means the plant is trimmed at the correct time to ensure it is not killed during the harvesting of the twigs and leaves).
Available to purchase as:
Large Californian Smudge Stick - approximately 8 inches in length, bound with cotton thread.
Californian Smudge Stick - a thinner bound stick approximately 5 inches long.
Californian White Sage Clusters - we bag these ourselves, and it's a cheaper way to try smudging. Contains a small number of dried sage clusters.
Blue sage, is a well-known and widely used product among the indigenous people of Central America. It is used in purification ceremonies where these plants are smoldered and their smoke is released. It is believed to stimulate visions and expel negative energy. Scientific research has shown that 94% of the bacteria in the room have been broken down after burning this herb. So blue sage is a purification method and is made from the salvia azurea plant, which grows on the coast of Mexico and California. Blue sage can be distinguished from white sage by the smell that is released when it's burnt. White sage has a sharp, pungent aroma, and not everyone finds the aroma to be pleasant. Blue sage is more pleasant, with some finding it similar to lavender. Blue sage is also known as Grandmother sage. Price is for one 10cm bunch.
Desert sage (Artemesia Tridentata) grows in the plains and high desert areas of the Western USA (usually New Mexico). As well as being burned, desert sage is often worn, held, or stored with objects to ward off negative influences. Native American tradition states that that wherever sage is present, evil spirits cannot enter.
Some consider these sticks to be milder than Californian White Sage, and they tend to be a little cheaper producing lots of smoke.
Sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata) is another plant found on the plains of the USA, and parts of Canada (Alberta), and is a tall green grass with a red base close to its roots. It is used in the same way as sage and was traditionally used in native American sweat lodges (a purification ritual) where the grass was sprinked on hot coals to fill the air with its sweet fragrance and clear the energies inside the lodge. It is usually sold as a plaited braid, and is another nice choice for dispelling negativity, purifying and encouraging a positive attitude during meditation.
We also offer a sage and sweetgrass combination smudging stick.
Whatever you decide to use, we suggest you try smudging your home. It's hard to explain, but afterwards the house definitely feels lighter and the sage aroma lingers for a little while making it feel fresher than before. A few years ago, a customer suggested to us that we smudge our house on New Year's Eve as a way of clearing out the old energies of the year. We tried it, and the house felt so much better and we started that year on a brighter note...a tradition that's now repeated every year!