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When Should I Sage it?

Guide to Smudging

To smudge or not to smudge? That is the question. People often say, "Just get some sage" without any thought. If you don't know when, you should actually be using sage & when it is most effective, you have come to the right place! Keep reading and all of your questions will be answered. Like magic!


Sage has been burned for centuries among Native Americans and other cultures, to cleanse a space or person.

This is often done as a spiritual ritual and is called

"Smudging" or "Cleansing". Smudging is the act of burning sacred herbs, woods, & resins, such as sage, palo santo wood, or frankincense & myrrh with the intention of inviting in positive healing energy. Spiritual cleansing allows a space or person to heal on a deeper level.


Cleansing a person with sage can help them release lower emotions and negative energy that could be causing them to feel heavy. Releasing this negative energy can help a person feel lighter and become more balanced. This also stands true for cleansing a space. Emotions are energy, therefore, buildings can have an imprint and harbor energy of those who entered before. This is when you would want to do a cleansing on the space.

How Will I Know When to Smudge?


There are some general rules to decide if you should smudge (cleanse a space).

  • Moving into a new building

  • Relationship has ended

  • Multiple visitors have come & gone

  • A negative event has taken place

These are some reasons why you may opt to cleanse your place; but in general, simply desiring a reset is reason enough to go for some cleansing tools.



What do I need?

If you are new to smudging, choose a white sage bundle as this is the type of cleansing tool that is the most well known. Burning white sage cleanses all of the energy in a space. White sage has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties as well, so it is known to keep bugs & germs away.


It is important to set an intention when using white sage as it cleanses all energy: negative & positive. You will want to say aloud or mentally why you are cleansing the space what you would like to come forth afterwards.


Other tools:

  • Candle, lighter, or matches

  • Fireproof dish: Abalone Shell, Metal can, or glass dish


Smudging: Here’s how to do it:

  1. Safety first! Always have a fireproof dish on a flat surface prepared to put the sage bundle out in when you are done.

  2. Open all of the windows and doors that are capable of opening. This is important as you want the negative energy to be able to flow out.

  3. You will start at the back of the building and work your way up to the open front door. If there is a basement, or multiple levels, you will start on the lowest level and work your way up.

  4. Light a candle and hold the sage bundle in the flame or light the sage bundle directly. It helps to use a candle as sometimes the bundle can be difficult to light. Holding the sage in the candle flame can save on the amount of lighters that are used up lighting bundles.

  5. While holding the bundle to the flame, set an intention. This means fix your mind on rhe results that you want.

  6. The bundle will ignite in the flame. Take the bundle out of the flame and allow the flame to go out on it's own.

  7. Now the bundle will start to emit smoke. Use this smoke to go around your space, allowing the smoke to touch all 4 walls. There can never be too much smoke.

  8. Continue to set an intention as you slowly walk around your home fanning the smoke in each room. You can speak the intention aloud or just in your mind.

  9. Once you have cleansed each room, place the sage bundle in a fireproof container. Push the bundle down into the container and ensure that all embers go out.

  10. Now give thanks for a new beginning.




You can use this same process to cleanse yourself starting at your root to crown. Start fresh!


  • LaDeidra N. Wooten, BSN, RN, CCM, LMT


Want to know more?


Put your questions in the "contact me" box at www.thelisteninghands.com or send an email to info@thelisteninghands.com. We would love to hear from you!

LaDeidra Wooten is a Registered Nurse who specializes in Holistic Nursing & Holistic Therapy. She attended the University of Memphis and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing in 2008. During her 13 years as a Nurse, LaDeidra completed extensive training & obtained several certifications in Holistic Health and Nursing. She is a member of the American Holistic Nurses Association. LaDeidra is also an avid reader and enjoys sharing the knowledge she gains to help all individuals be happy and healthy. She continues to study and stay abreast of clinical information, through nursing scholastic journals , training programs, holistic literature, and personal experience with holistic therapy. After a number of years in Emergency/Trauma Nursing, and meeting so many people during transitions in life, LaDeidra realized Holistic Nursing is her passion . She now works in private practice as a Holistic Nurse and provides Holistic & Complementary Therapy . She is also a Licensed Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, Certified Nurse Case Manager, Life Purpose Coach & Spiritual Counselor. Through her work as a Nurse Case Manager, she was able to witness that a personalized, and culturally sensitive plan of care creates a healing environment and leads to better outcomes for the patient.  When not with patients, LaDeidra enjoys creating unique products to help people relax and heal naturally. She believes Holistic Health is extremely important and this is her life's work. She is very proud to offer holistic & complementary therapy to be integrated into a conventional medicine plan of care to help heal the whole person: mind, body, spirit, and emotions. To learn more about Holistic Therapy & to book an appointment with LaDeidra visit: www.thelisteninghands.com.


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