Burning Sage

WOT’s Up / Let's Learn

How To Burn Sage

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Want to learn how to clear the energy in your space for the new year?

You may have seen Camila and MaMac on Instagram talking about a ritual Camila practices around the new year where you burn sage. If you aren’t familiar with it but are intrigued, then read on about this ancient practice that has been used for centuries by Indigenous cultures.

While there is no perfect way to initiate this practice, we wanted to share with you a quick general guide for how you can try it in your home.

Since prehistoric times, burning sage or smudging “has been one of the oldest and purest methods of cleansing a person, group of people, or space, and of getting rid of unwanted spirits. The practice has been documented as having been used in every corner of the world by our ancestors”, states energy practitioner Colleen McCann, who spoke to Vogue about the practice of burning sage. You can read more about her here. The concept is that the power of sage comes from its spirit. Since sage is a plant, it—like all living things—has a spirit, and sage perfectly embodies its name by offering a wise, protective energy to the world.

So how do you do it?

First, you need to get a California White Sage or a White Sage Smudge Stick. You can find these online, or most Whole Foods stores carry them.

Before you start, open a window or door; this is how “bad energy” and “excess smoke” will leave your space!

Next, set your intentions. What do you want to release in your space, and what do you want to draw in? You can have different intentions for different parts of your home.  You can also just stick with one mantra like ; I release what no longer serves me. Think about what energy you want to draw into your home, and go from there.

To light your sage, simply hold the bundle at a 45-degree angle and light it with a match. Let it burn for about 20 seconds, then gently blow on it until you see orange embers and the end of it is smoking.

Next, starting at the main point of entry to your home, start walking around your space and allow the smoke to come off your smudge stick and waft around. Some people like to let the sage burn naturally, others like to fan it with a feather, or you can also blow on it!

“Give special attention to areas in front of mirrors, in corners, and spaces like foyers, hallways, and doorways,” says Giselle Wasfie, L.Ac., a Chinese medicine expert and the founder of REMIX Acupuncture & Integrative Health, who spoke with MindBodyGreen about the practice of burning sage.

Be sure to always watch for embers flying off your smudge stick and extinguish them immediately. Also, never leave your lit sage unattended!

When you’re done, run your smudge stick under water or stomp it out in some sand and make sure it is no longer lit. Once the stick is out, you can store it and reuse it for another time.

This is a beautiful practice to incorporate in the new year as we get ready to enter a new calendar year.


Have you tried burning sage before? Let us know how you do this practice and share it with us on the WOT Instagram or Facebook! 


by Camila Alves McConaughey