When a woman I’d just met told me I needed to ‘smudge’ my house, I thought to myself“Ohhh dear... that’s a bit kooky.”
My new friend insisted there must be a build-up of negative energy in my house, evidenced by how I had hurt myself there several times recently.
I'm a curious and open-minded person, and things had been feeling a bit funky. The idea stuck with me after she'd gone and after a few more arguments with the family, I thought "Stuff it, I'll give it a go."
I googled how-to, bought a smudge stick, tidied up, lit it up and walked around my house, wafting smoke into every corner. The airy well-lit ones, and the cooler darker parts, quietly praying that our space would be somehow blessed.
Did I feel silly? A little, but it also felt good...
Burning sage smells great. It took me back to camping with my Dad. The act of moving through my house, thinking about my family and how much I love them, and willing it to be a good-vibes place meant that at the end of the process, I was indeed feeling content and positive not only about my house, but in general.
I kept doing it because it was so nice to do!
And then I kept doing it because I did some homework and discovered the cleansing properties that native peoples have relied upon for centuries have been confirmed in clinical trials. #happyleftbrain
(Want to read about that for yourself? Here’s a start point from the US National Library of Medicine: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17913417/ )
Nowadays, smudging is a go-to practice for resetting myself and my space.
Of course, there was a question I chewed on, one you might be asking too:
"Does the positive effect come from burning sage, or is it basically all in my mind?"
I think it's both.
Studies have shown that the smoke of certain plants (including sage and many others) can suppress bacteria - including multi-resistant (MRSA) strains - for up to 30 days in a smoke ‘cleansed’ room. That involves using lots of smoke - but even so, that’s pretty interesting in terms of the physical effects.
But what about the ‘energetic’ claims?
Does burning sage smoke somehow cleanse the energy of a space? Or is it all in my mind?
I'm not certain. I can't measure with a machine the energy of my house. But our whole life experience is subjective - created first in our minds (our nervous systems), in how we respond to and feel about things and events. So, if the good feelings are entirely generated inside me, with smudging simply a vehicle for changing my emotional state, so what? Would that make the experience any less real or legitimate?
I don't think so.
To me, this is another experience that demonstrates we can decide how we want to feel.
Tools like smudging (and cacao) can be beautiful props on this stage of life that help us tap into our own power to live intentionally, and they do have their own tangible physical benefits.
I rather suspect that these things do have subtle energetic influences, but I certainly don't have the tools yet to measure that.
Humans co-create our realities by changing what can physically be changed, and by changing our emotional state we can choose how to be with and respond to other people, situations, feelings, thoughts, patterns. When my family came home that day of the first smudging, the house was beautiful and I had intentionally created an atmosphere of positivity in both the space and in my heart, which showed through in my responses to each of them where I was more patient, loving and engaged.
Reset button hit!
Burning sage in my house has become part of a reverent approach to creating the kind of environment I want to have around me. If you’re looking for a grounding way to influence your living space and headspace positively, I recommend giving it a go.
Just make sure you turn your fire alarms off first :)
PS: Indigenous Australians have the oldest living culture in the world and have been holding smoking ceremonies for as long as memories go back. Have a look: