Burning Sage

written by Joy

Every life transition has its “zero hour,” that moment when everything that came before it is different from everything that comes after. I hit that moment this weekend when I went to Visit my sick father at Virginia Beach in ICU.
The whole weekend was a blur of movement, following the rules of the hospital,( only two at a time in the room) ( family members fighting over who should stay) waiting long hours for test results,( Doctors using medical terms I don’t understand) worry( is daddy going to be alright) and stress (I left my children in Georgia are they ok?!). There was assurance too, chirping somewhere deep in the stress maelstrom, but it was hard to hear it.
And at the end of the weekend I was left drained and relieve that Daddy was doing better and would be able to go home before the week was out. Now of course I brought my white sage and bowl with me along with some stones for comfort and ease. At the house I was staying I notice their was a window in the bathroom. I was so relieved that before I take my shower and wash away the dirt, I can burn my sage and wash away all of the negative energy that I pick up over the weekend,( that way I can leave it right there in Virginia Beach). I’m not generally one who performs ancient cleansing ritual used by Native American and shamanic cultures outside of my home, but the same way I needed a shower before I hit the road to drive eight hours back to Georgia. I needed to shower my soul. The trip had been so mind consuming and stressful, that spiritually I was drained. I wanted to feel grateful that my family was all together, grateful that daddy was doing better, grateful that my children at home in Georgia was doing good and grateful that the “zero hour” was behind me. In anticipation of this moment, I let my sister Sarah know she might smell something burning , no worries I was just doing a little sage smudging. A ritual that will close out this weekend and clear the house for daddy’s future life. Awkwardly She said ok. I went into the bathroom open the window , closed the door( I was not blessing the house I was just taken a sage shower)and began my sage shower.

How you can perform a Sage Cleansing Ritual

1. Buy a sage smudge stick and find a bowl to hold it over (traditionally, abalone shell is used). Also set up a cup of water to extinguish it after the ritual.
2. Open every door and window in your house, and turn on fans if you have them.
3. Light the stick, and when it catches fire, blow it out an
4. Set your intention for each room. Say a prayer of cleansing. I suggest, “I cleanse this room of any impurities, negativity, or anything that does not suit or support the people that live here.”
5. Walk around the room, waving the sage stick so its smoke drifts into corners, along walls, around windows, and along ceiling lines. As you do, imagine the smoke absorbing negativity, problems from those who were in the space before you, toxicity, and anything else you want to go away. See the smoke dissipating and floating out the windows, and imagine that bad energy flowing out of your space, making room for positive, fresh energy.
6. After you’ve blessed every room, give yourself a sage shower. Cup your hands over the smoke and “wash” your face with it, then wave it all over your body as you would in a water shower. Visualize any residual negativity sailing out of your body, out of your home, and into oblivion.
7. Extinguish the stick in the cup of water or – if your stick was very small or is almost done – flush it down the toilet. You can also bury it in your back yard (if you are very sure that it is extinguished).
I have to say that my sage shower was very refreshing. I felt like it made me whole again, it cleared away all of the anxiety and stress of the weekend, and left me with the opportunity to say, cleanly , I am so grateful for this experience. The Doctors and Nurses. My Father. My children. My Family.