Why do people use sage to 'cleanse' a person or house?

14th July 2017. Reading Time: 4 minutes General. 8957 page views. 7 comments.

Those who conduct cleansings or practise personal protection during investigations often use sage. Why?

Whether you have attended a house cleansing or seen people waving smoke around after an investigation during your paranormal journey, you have likely come across white sage. People that work with house clearings use it to clear a house and others use it as a form of protection after a paranormal investigation. It is referred to as 'smudging'. So why do they use white sage and what exactly does it do?

House Clearings

A lot of people conduct house clearings or cleansings and they all have a different way that they perform this ritual. The general theme is that they start with an intent as this is important in the ritual of burning sage. Usually the intent is to clear the space of any negative energies. In most cases they would open windows and doors in the house and walk around to ensure every area of the house is 'smoked'. Every corner every crevice. You watch the smoke blow out the window and with it, take all the negative energy away. Again everyone does this differently this is a generalisation and is not a how to guide on how to sage. Most people use this when they want to rid their house of a negative spirit causing them trouble or it is also quite popular to do when you move into a new house. It clears out all of the left behind negative energy. They then encourage filling the space with positive energy - but again everyone works differently.

Self Cleansing

Whether you feel you have been affected during a paranormal investigation or it is just part of your ritual afterwards so that nothing follows you home, everyone has a personal reason as to why they would sage themselves. Again it starts with intent and again the intention would be to rid the body of any negative energy. You generally start at the feet and work your way upwards in circular motions making sure to get in between legs etc until you get to the top of the head. While this is happening you may also practice visualisation techniques such as white light or bubbles. Picture all of the negative energy blowing away with the smoke. Again this is a generalisation and not a how to guide on how to sage.

Why Sage?

The question is .... why sage? What does it do? When I refer to sage, I am referring to 'White Sage'. Whilst used in many different cultures, it is traditionally a Native American practice of burning herbs and resins which healers use to offer blessings and purify people, places and objects. It does however date right back to ancient Druids of Ireland who used it for both medical and spiritual purposes. The general belief among all cultures is that the practice the burning of sage can heal not only physically, but spiritually as well. They also use lavender, cedar and sweet grass, however white sage is the most common and is most definitely the most common used in paranormal investigations and clearings. With the spiritual side being a very important part of the paranormal, it is no wonder that sage is used to spiritually heal a person or rid them of any negative energy that they may have picked up during and investigation. Sage comes in different forms. You can simply burn an incense stick or you can go as far as having a sage stick - again individual choice.

How do you know if it is working?

There are a few different beliefs as to how sage will work. People often believe the smoke will go where it needs to go and if you point it in the general direction, the smoke will go where it is needed. It is said that the smoke starts out white or grey and turns black when it comes in contact with negative energy in a room or within a person. So how would smoke know where to go? Sage emits negative ions just like running water does. A person's aura holds positive ions or any 'negative energy' in a space holds these too so when these positive ions meet the negative ions in the sage, it clings to the positive ions and neutralizes them - cleaning them. It works in a similar way that a salt lamp does. If the smoke is quite thick again it indicates it is attracted to a certain area, however if it is thin and light, it means that area is 'clean'. So there is actually a natural reasoning behind it all, regardless of your spiritual beliefs. Even if you are not a spiritual person, try a cleansing, I assure you, you feel fantastic afterwards!

So now you all the basic stuff you need to know about sage! Now I want to hear from you? Do you use sage? What do you use it for and does it work for you? Share your rituals!

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  • George A Sanchez 5 years ago

    Last night finished a successful space cleansing session. I used ( white sage ) & ( sea salt ) and my positive intention .

    Excellent way to start the weekend In addition to dissipating negative energy, improving mood, and strengthening intuition, smudging with sage is also thought to increase one's focus. Some research shows that Salvia white sage can enhance cognition and alertness.

  • Joseph Kapusta 5 years ago

    It is my personal opinion only but I'm not much of a fan of claims of salt lamps being a generating source of negative ions, particularly high-density negative ones. Measurement testing just doesn't back the claims of producing a beneficial result. It is important to separate 'beliefs' from 'facts' just as one should when using the popular ghost hunting electronic devices. Studies have shown that negative ions can help to balance our levels of serotonin, a chemical affecting almost every part of our bodies and of which low levels have been associated with depression. It stands to reason that increasing negative ions increases our benefits. What makes it additionally advantageous to using sage is the ceremonial aspect which adds a positive psychological, beneficial outlook to the results that in essence sets it apart from any device you have to plug into an electrical outlet. Interestingly enough, when using sage it is advised to open a window to 'let out' the negative energy. In doing so you are most likely to 'let in' sunlight which generates negative ions as well. Differing from simple folklore, the associated Native American mythology with regards to usage of sage establishes the validity of the belief in its benefits.

  • Ray 5 years ago

    The only problem I have with this theory is the same one I have with salt lamps, which don't work. There's a really good reason for it as well: the amount of negative ions you need to come into contact with to have an affect are astronomically high. The salt lamps don't get hot enough to even produce them at low levels. With sage, I cannot imagine there being enough of the ions to do anything.

    Sage may work for other reasons, but the negative ion theory seems to be weak.

  • Jenny Alderton 6 years ago

    I have a white sage bush growing in my garden. I love the smell of the leaves and often use it for cleansing my home.

    • Living life in full spectrum 6 years ago

      What a wonderful idea! Think I might have to get one myself

  • nerida scott 6 years ago

    thanks for your info we live in a house where everyone has seen or experience forms of the paranomal and the atmosphere is very tense and even sometimes violent hopefully your help with the sage will be the 1st step to becoming normal again. keep you informed nerida

    • CURIOUS ONE 5 years ago

      Truly curious to see how it turned out