Ten Tips For How To Sage Brilliantly

How to sage a house? Here are ten brilliant tips to maximize this super-effective, fast-working practical magic.

Many ancient cultures used saging (also known as smudging) to elevate energy and clear spaces. If incense sanctifies space, sage is the ultimate space clearer.

So here are my top ten tips for how to “sage” brilliantly.

(1) Be prepared for your neighbors to think you are a gigantic pothead. It smells like weed billowing out of the house. You can either say that you’re Pagan, into “indigenous customs” or a witch.  Alternatively, devise a way in which the stoner image could be advantageous to you. A third way? Care less.

(2)  Choose a reputable brand, one that is committed to sustainable agriculture, wild-crafting or organics.

(3) To sage a house, room or a person, light it and wander around the place waving it, feeling the smoke cleanse the air. It does more than that of course; it removes negativity and lifts the vibe. Saging shifts stagnation of the soul and psyche.

(4) Clean and declutter your house beforehand. Saging otherwise is like putting moisturizer on a dirty face. It does not feel right. But there are definitely exceptions to this. If something acute has occurred, such as bad news or a horrible conversation, just sage. Who cares if there is rubbish or clutter? Your aim then is to give yourself and house some cosmic first aid.

Never Sage While Even Slightly High Or Drunk

(5) But if you have more time, thoughtfully declutter beforehand. As you wander from room to room, let your intuition guide you to pockets that feel darker or denser. Note also what occurs to you as meander about – often sage will prompt realizations or releases.  Be prepared for it to shift some things that you don’t feel ready to let go of yet – as well as the crap you consciously want to go.

(6) Never sage or smudge while high or even slightly drunk. I am sure some people would disagree with this. And I am aware that there is a strong argument for the ritual use of some substances. BUT in my opinion, any energy shifting work can stir things up and just as doing (say) a candida cleanse can evoke a herxheimer reaction, so can doing a sage smudge. And it’s old witch/magic lore that alcohol-drug use can make you more porous to negative energy. Sobriety works better for energy work.

(7) What if you have a real situation going down – as in you feel under psychic threat or just not in a good place? First do what you have to practically do – call a friend, police, a therapist. But once things are contained and you’re calm enough for magic, do this: line the threshold with salt and reach for the heavier duty version of sage – mugwort. The Latin name for this herb is “Artemesia” or herb of Artemis; It is said to be the most magic herb ever. That’s despite its banal-sounding name – my theory has always been that it was called thus to keep persecutors from realizing its powers.

Artemesia Is Herb Of Artemis – It Was Called Mugwort To Deter The Witch-Hunters

(8) Sage lightens the energy and induces calm. Do it regularly or make it part of a weekly sage/cleanse ritual and you WILL notice the difference in your space AND consciousness.  It is particularly brilliant to do on the Dark Moon, those days just before the New Moon. But once you get used to it, you begin to know when you need it.

(9) In a hurry? You can just smudge your aura – wave the sage around your entire body – remembering to lift each foot to do underneath and set the intent that you don’t carry any psychic grunge in your aura,  no barbs, no grotty residue from the resentment or ill intent of another.

(10) Sage is a sacred, ancient and magical plant – to be treated with respect – but that does not mean you cannot deploy it for simple means. It is fantastic for dispelling a Love Zombie trance or for banishing that sort of hopeless, stagnant feeling when you think you’re stuck or trapped. If you’re using it for an apparent reason like this, combine it with an action plan, scrawled out right after the saging.

57 thoughts on “Ten Tips For How To Sage Brilliantly”

  1. Yet again you’re bang on time, Mystic! I’ve been in a horrible mood this week and allowed my flat to get into a relatively gross state (which always drags my mood down even further) so I’d put today aside with no plans other than to seriously sort my space out. The nature of my funk has been point 10 to the absolute letter so I’m taking this post as the sign it was meant to be and saging the hell out of myself, my flat, my aura, everything. Cheers!

  2. I grew an amazing bush, that lasted a few years. I harvested enough for my daughters to sell a few bunches, give some to a friend, and have ample stored. It passed away, poor gorgeous white sage, RIP.

  3. I have sage as a rule but have recently started growing mugwort too. It’s thriving. Excited but not sure what I’ll experiment with first. I always loved it from my first acupuncture experience with it.

    Yes, always under the feet too and if I’m particularly keen and/or resilient to neighbour perceptions I’ll do the exterior fence line as well. I used to get strange looks with the Tibetan bell too which is another great way to vibrationally clear space and your own energy field as you can really change up the frequency to repel non aligning energies. I might have to dig it out again.

    1. sound is amazing. i think i work better with sound than anything else. Actual Vibrations.shaking out the dross and recalibrating all Objects and Beings.

      1. You should try one then Pi. It is quite powerful and works similar to the singing bowls. You can keep the sound going for as long as you want or until it feels like it needs to abate or strengthen. They are cool.

  4. I actually smudge before AND after cleaning. Usually it’s when I feel the energy is so stuck that I don’t know where to start. Usually unlocks the qi.

    Another helpful tip that my therapist (of all people) recommended to me: in areas where there is really stuck energy, clap vigorously into the space. I swear this and sage work wonders when my piles get too high.

    1. Yes! Clapping does work – it’s kind of satisfying doing it too – though the neighbours might start to wonder about abuse. I used to do it after particularly depressed clients to clear the room. But now i use Tingsha bells & they work really well too. And they charge the room with polite & uplifting vibes as well.

  5. Also for those that may not want to burn sage in their smudging, you can purchase sprays with sage oil in them that you can use to clear spaces too. I use it at home and in my office between clients

  6. I have some sage plants in my back perennial garden…also planted some up in front of house…when i planted it i felt like it was kind of a protection too 🙂 i’ve never collected it as it died off but maybe i’ll try this year! (last year i had ‘archangel’ annuals out front 🙂

  7. Anytime is a great time to smudge! 😀 I esp like to smudge just before a full moon, when the air feels particularly thick with energies. Grounding for us.

  8. Goodness me, you are so uncannily on point with some of these posts it blows my mind.. Last night I saged n this morning.. THIS! THANKS MUCHLY

  9. SleepfulInBrisvegas

    I used to smudge my writing space on the dark moon as part of a clean and declutter but as the clean/declutter fell off as I got sick, so did the sage. I think the sage needs to be a priority in there.

    I never thought to do under my feet (I can be so slow sometimes!) Shall remedy that when I remedy the creative space.

    And I always have a giggle when I use it because my writing room is on the side of the very nice Christian neighbors (the one who is a retired exorcist so I use ‘nice’ broadly) and I am certain it wafts in. Also certain they probably think I am smoking something weird.

    1. Maybe not so weird: have you been in a church where one of the crew is wafting thick frankincense smoke through the space? It’s pretty amazing.. there’s no missing that scent. I wonder what the astro of an official exorcist is. Surely some Pluto in there. Maybe a Katakan or a strong 4th house?
      In a slightly related question has anyone read Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space. Each chapter is about a different kind of enclosed space. E.g.:
      House and universe
      Drawers, chests and wardrobes

      I got to thinking… Looked up a birthdate… Kataka .

      1. Yes I love that book! Thanks for reminding me about it. I lent it yo a friend and I think it’s time it returned. My favorite section was about the dream house that should never be realized.

      2. This is one of my favourite books, Pi. And i suppose that it’s only fitting that a Kataka could be such a topophiliac!
        It was because of this book – and despite my 9th House Sun/Moon of massive wanderlust & restlessness – that I fixed up an abandoned shepherd’s stone hut near where i was born and converted it into my zen den.
        I love his daydreaming hypothesis and the importance of space as the abode of human consciousness.

        “The house is one of the greatest powers of integration for the thoughts, memories & dreams of mankind. The binding principle in this integration is the daydream”.

        So by honouring your space in cleansing & consecrating rituals with holy herbs, woods or resins you are ultimately honouring your self and your creative powers.

  10. I read that Sage smudging can also ‘disenfect’ rooms which is why it’s great to do after you’ve been ill, or visited by someone who has been ill.

    Also, has anyone seen the movie Sherry Baby, with Maggie Gylenhaal? She is a recovering drug addict and there’s this beautiful scene where this American Indian man ‘smudges’ her naked body.

    I have been getting into palo santo lately, too. It’s very grounding and ‘holy’, the scent.

  11. Just a comment on species, particularly for those not in the States, to allay confusion. The sage that we grow in our gardens here and use for sore throats in Oz is Salvia officinalis and that’s not the one that is usually used for smudging in the States. They use white sage Salvia apiana, or sagebrush Artemisia californica. These are the ones that will be in the sage sticks that we purchase here.
    That said, there is enormous flexibility in what you can use in smudge sticks and if you are making your own you can really make whatever you like tho usually they will have volatile oils. Lots of suggestions if you google it.
    And one of the best ways to smudge in Australia is with eucalyptus leaves – and other native plants. Plus you get the smell of the bush in your house.

    1. Yes I like the idea of local plants for local conditions. It would be cool to understand more about Aboriginal traditions and practices, at the same time I am mindful that maybe it’s not ok to just use these randomly.

      1. I have an Australian Bush Flowers essence spray – space clearing – with angelsword, boab, fringed violet, lichen and red lily – it is also good and especially for spritzing the bedroom. i find the sage and frankincense a bit ‘much’ for that space.

  12. WHOA. Literally have never done any sort of housewitchery stuff in my life, just yesterday stumbled upon an article about sage ritual to cleanse, decided to do it because my life has been all over the place (not in a good way) and purchased sage sticks online…log in to Mystic and voila – first blog post I see? Tips to Sage! Synchronicity is at work! Love it.

  13. I recently smudged my house when I got it back from a totally crappy tenant and then again after it had been deep cleaned with all things modern. Sage just lifts the energy. I paid special attention to the bedroom his wife had died in (Just don’t ask)
    And after reading this I’ll do it again tomorrow. And I’ll as a swift swipe around me too
    Thanks Mystic

  14. I work for a company that sells retail and wholesale white and dessert sage among other sacred herbs and the risks of over-harvesting sage was remedied when it became illegal to harvest on public land and it is surely prosecuted. So any store-bought sage, at least in the states, is ethically harvested on private land – cultivated, picked and wrapped in accordance with benevolent intentions.
    On another note: my mother always kept a lidded pottery with some dessert sage and a stone inside to protect the home as a baseline.

    1. Completely respect your POV on this being “in the biz”, but just want to say peeps still should not automatically assume their sage is responsibly harvested by default.

      For example, a friend went sage gathering in the Southern California desert and picked a CRAPLOAD of it; enough where she saw fit to gift me five 1 gallon-sized bags stuffed to the gills! She picked much more, too – this was just what she had given ME, and it was probably more than I would use in 5-10 years. I felt really, REALLY bad when I subsequently found out this plant is endangered – I thought about throwing it all out but then I figured Pachamama would be *super* pissed if the fruits of her labor went for naught and the death of the plants were totally in vain.

      Lots of peeps do wildcrafting and forage for natural supplies (whether for their own use or to sell to boutique retail establishments – buying “locally sourced X” is huge) – it’s the “cool” thing to do now. They don’t always know enough to understand which species are endangered, or don’t care to research; nevermind what might constitute a sustainable harvesting process that respects the life cycle of the plant and leaves it as intact as possible. And there are also those who scavenge so they can capitalize regardless. Regardless of a plant’s “protected” status, more people do NOT get caught than do – it’s far too much ground to cover to police every plot of public land. So please do not be complacent or complicit (as I unknowingly was) and just assume it’s all good – I humbly implore everyone to perform due diligence when sourcing their sage!

      Related – https://nativenews.tumblr.com/post/137579023161/why-i-dont-use-white-sage-anymore

      PS: Plants species can also be important in the diet/habitat/life cycle of specific critters or pollinators. I don’t know about you, but if (for example) bees rely upon a native flower, I don’t feel good about literally taking food out of their mouths. Bees especially need our help now, and sage is a flowering plant so this could be a potential additional cause for concern. We may also gain a false sense of security and take plant species for granted when they grow right outside our back door in seeming abundance, but in reality they may only grow in a comparatively small range or selective habitat so we must take this into account relative to the quantities we globally consume.

      I think I’m done nature nerding-out now, LOL. As you can tell, I’m pretty passionate when it comes to flora & fauna so please forgive – we now return to your regularly scheduled programming! 😛 😀

      1. i’ll never understand the “pick everything in sight” mentality. I mean, this isn’t the last pair of Louboutins in our size at a 90% off sale. It’s a plant. we could just grab a handful of stems and leave the rest there. and amazingly, come back next season when it’s grown a bit more. It’s a bit like netting the whole school of fish when you only need four or five. so everyone gets a freezer full of fish, but also, no more school of fish. sustainability ain’t rocket science. I’m all for diversifying the purifying!

    2. Living here in (drought-riddled) Southern California, we’re lucky to have white sage literally growing in the canyons and nature areas like Griffith Park and Malibu.

      I am not sure about the overharvesting elsewhere, but you can’t stop tripping over sage here.

  15. Scales and Horns

    Does anyone get nauseous from the smoke/smell?
    I do smudge often but will get nauseous as soon as I light it.

  16. You can also sage vehicles too!

    Palo santo can also accomplish a lot of the stuff sage can. But i try o get the shards of fallen ones cos i think it is becoming endangered.

  17. I read somewhere recently that in North America at least, wild sage is becoming an endangered plant due to over-harvesting for smudge wands as it’s been considered trendy recently. So it may be worth taking a closer look at where you’re buying from.

    I had always bought mine from whatever new age store I happened to stop into but I recently found a local company owned and operated by First Nations people. Their products are amazing. I’m also a fan of sage and sweetgrass sprays for spritz/smudging on the go such as hotel rooms and cars.

    1. Yes, I too have heard that wild sage is in trouble in the western US – thank you for bringing this up! Sage is a hardy perennial – it’s really easy to cultivate your own, harvest it sustainably and dry it for smudge bundles. But if you’re not into this degree of DIY (which is understandable – it’s not going to be everyone’s cuppa), please do consider these other alternatives in order to help protect endangered native flora:

      Copal resin
      Cedar (my personal favorite)
      Yerba Santa
      Paulo Santo & Frankincense – Be careful about these! The trees themselves are endangered. Palo Santo wood should only be harvested when branches or the tree itself dies naturally. Frankincense resin is harvested by making cuts in the trunk of the tree & the damage makes it more susceptible to disease & predation from pests, which can in turn kill the tree. They are presently making progress working on a more sustainable method of obtaining the resin, but try to look for sources that engage in responsible harvest practices.

      Do remember that both witches & indigenous peoples have known for centuries how to make use of whatever Mother Nature gives them – you can consult a witchy reference manual (such as Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs) to familiarizes yourself with the basic energetic or planetary correspondences and smudge with any of those marked as being for protection or “exorcism”. Experiment! You may find one does a better job for you than another – it’s purely a matter of personal preference. For example, I can’t smudge with Palo Santo as it gives me a *wicked* headache – it does a great job of setting up Sacred Space, sure, but it is not my go-to for smudging for this reason.

      You can also go more freehand and augment your energy-cleansing smudge with other herbs that harmonize with your specific intention, such as dried rose petals if you want to bring more loving vibes into your household. Shout out to @katycoyote above for mentioning sweetgrass – it’s a great follow-up to lighten the vibe after regular smudging! I also like to pray while I smudge – I think it’s a good opportunity to connect w/ Divinity and invite holy blessings into your home.

      And yes to sprays! My shaman girlfriend makes an incredible line of hand-made energy clearing and augmenting sprays! They’re awesome if you’re at the office or a place where you can’t smudge but need a vibe cleanse ASAP. You also won’t smell like a pothead, LOL!

      1. Thanks for the heads up, LV. I usually can’t afford Frankincense despite it being one of my favs but my Palo is for specific reasons and I use it sparingly.

      2. cedar, nice.
        one of my slowly-realised personal indicators that an essential oil is a current go-to is when I open an oil bottle and i sniff, if it smells so ‘right’ that i just want to keep inhaling so that I have an enormous lungful of the aromatics, i take this as a sign that it’s the one i need right now. this is how i added Atlas Cedarwood to my collection, lol. It did this for me. It’s the ‘pencil shavings’ smell but that’s not the thing about it. those sweet woody resiny scents.
        thank you for the reminder.

  18. Right on time with this article Mystic. Just had my Qi Vamp boss swoop in again. Looking for sage room spray I can use in work for these moments.

    1. Scales and Horns

      Hey, check out recipes for smokeless sage. I too was looking for something I could use at work without tripping the fire alarm

    2. Yes plant essentials have a sage and frankincense spray. I spritz my office every night to clear the vibe. Also wipe desks clean and sage spray before new moon

    3. A friend gave me some sage room spritz and I think you can buy it online from new agey type shops that see oracle cards, crystals and the like.

  19. follow smudge with sweetgrass or “hair of the mother’ as ts also known, so beautiful like the hayfields I remember as a child . it brings positivity and joy. and traditionally comes in a braid like hair. Also dried lavender flowers are said to bring beauty…smudging is a way to pay attention to the sacred in the every day. I smudge my crystals and everything that goes on the altar each full and new moon

    1. “smudging is a way to pay attention to the sacred in the every day.” <–exactly. Love these words.

      I made a fire last night and threw in my large sage bundle because there are some serious things going down for people near to me and I needed my entire space to be clear as well as my self.

      I also just pulled some mugwort out while going through my herbs, put it in the pile of "do something with this" and wasn't sure what that would be, but now I know. (I have had it as tea before bed but it messes with my nervous system too much.)

  20. I have always decluttered, opened windows, lit a few candles and wondered clockwise with incence sticks through the house with positive thoughts or blessings for the specfic people that sleep in rooms or just general happiness, contentment, safety etc for whole family n friends. Feels wonderful.

  21. I grow sage outside for cooking and keep it onside INSIDE to cleanse. Between sage, frankincense and Palo Santo, I’m cool.

  22. I LOVE sage!! It is very relaxing and does make your place feel clean for anything that you think is holding you down.

    There was one time I had a dream of a man (spirit) holding me down while I was sleeping. I couldn’t move and I tried to scream. The next day I saged my bedroom. I think it helps to clear out any “spirits” that might try to haunt you. (I think).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *