Have you spiritually cleansed your home yet?

By Mitch Rustad

Given all the bad juju of the past few years—global pandemics, endless quarantines, political toxicity, shall I go on?—who isn’t in the market for any way possible to feel better? And while any therapist, life coach or guru will tell you to think more positively, eat healthier, get wellness treatments, do yoga and whatever might help you chill out and find some peace, what about putting some loving attention into your living space? 

Clearing out bad, negative energy in your home or apartment isn’t airy fairy dust stuff. For many, it’s a practical—and even essential—part of living their best life. And one of the oldest and most frequently used methods of cleansing a space is burning sage, a perennial herb in the mint family known for its heavy floral aroma. 

“Saging and energy cleansing is a form of purification, and to balance the energy of the space, particularly since we’ve been spending so more time in our homes,” says Jennifer Llewellyn, chief wellness officer of Majestic Hudson Lifestyle, a spiritual boutique and wellness sanctuary in Katonah, NY. 

All you need is a pre-dried bundle of sage—get it in local store or online—and before you get started, take a minute or two to meditate and set a positive intention for your space, yourself and everything within it. “Everything has energy,” says Llewellyn, who does private sage house cleanings, readings, crystal healings and spiritual attunement for clients throughout the Hudson Valley, “so it’s important to set the highest possible intention.”

Here’s a quick ‘how to’ on properly lighting the sage: Hold the sage as far from the end you are burning as possible. Hold the bushel at a slight angle, light it, allowing the flame to burn for about 10-20 seconds and then gently blow out the flame until the orange embers appear on one end. 

“You don’t need a lot of smoke to be effective,” says Llewellyn. “You don’t want it burning, you want a gentle amount of smoke.”

More tips: Use a tray or bowl to catch the ashes, start from the main entrance and be sure to go from corner to corner (“Nooks and crannies are important, that’s where the negative energy may linger,” Llewellyn says) and then back to the center of each room. 

Be prepared to endure the noise of your smoke alarm going off during the session (if it gets extra smokey) and if possible, pick a nice, sunny day—you definitely want to open all your windows. “If you don’t open your windows, the negative energy is just bumping off the walls like bumper cars, you want to let it escape,” says Jenn Nowicki, also known as Amarellys, an intuitive healer who does personal energy readings at the Awareness Shop, a metaphysical shop in New Paltz. She also does sage house blessings, reiki and other healing therapies.

Once you’ve saged your entire home, you’ve still got some work to do. “It’s also very important that you fill the space afterwards with positive energy,” says Nowicki, who suggests using sacred mists or burning blessed candles. “You don’t want to leave a vacuum for the negative energy to return, you want to fill it with positive energy, love and light.”

One last thing: Llewellyn suggests doing a closing ritual, such as ringing a chime or bell to conclude the cleansing, and you even might want to sprinkle a pinch of Himalayan salt outside the front door. “Salt purifies the aura in general,” Llewellyn says, “so it will help all energies be cleaned with positivity.”

How often should you sage your space? “It’s a very personal thing,” Nowicki says. “I clean my own home weekly, but at minimum I’d tell people to use sage once a month. I normally tell my clients, especially if they work at home in a high stress job, to sage as much as possible.”

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