Shamanic Tools: How to Use Sage

Shamanic Tools: How to Use Sage

Sage is an easy-to-use spiritual tool, no matter if you are a spirit work newbie or a long-time lover of the divine: it is simple, refreshing and so effective.

Essentially, sage just clears the air and gets whatever space you’re in a bit ‘cleaner’ and energetically neutral. It’s genius at quickly moving dense energies, especially when you set a pretty clear intention to do just that. If you’re just starting out, trust that the sage is working on its own, and don’t worry too much about the intention bit – there’s always time to learn and grow.

Many people also use sage to clean their crystals or healing tools. I am definitely partial to Agua de Florida, but sage also does the trick nicely. I find that if I use it to clean my crystals I’m impelled to hold the stones between two fingers one at a time and really let the smoke surround them. Otherwise I don’t necessarily feel the sage got into the stones properly (but that’s me – you may feel totally fine with smudging your crystals!).

I use sage pretty frequently as I see clients at home, so I like to keep my living space clear of energies that can be released in a session. And of course, I use it between sessions to freshen up the energetic space so every incoming client walks into an even energetic field. When I work at healing centres here in Dubai, I also burn a bit of sage or incense to prepare the room and get it ready for my clients. I also tend to give clients a spray-down or a few inhales of Agua de Florida to get them in the room and grounded.

Since my husband has a high-stress job, he can bring home a bit of dodgy energy soaked up throughout the day when fighting with contractors, negotiating with suppliers and overall kicking ass/taking names. So, when he’s not travelling and coming home more, I’m just a bit more mindful of it and sage the house a bit more. He doesn’t particularly fancy the smell of sage, so after I smudge the house, I open the windows and let a bit of air circulate, and burn a candle. Mostly, this does the trick.

There have been moments and times that I have forgotten to smudge the house, or just been absolutely out of time, sage, or matches. You do not have to fear energy. Anything we don’t master, masters us – so watch out for any high-strung tendencies to smudge and re-smudge your space. What are you afraid of? Trust that whatever energies there may be, you can handle it because you’re strong. I used to worry that energies released by my clients would be in my space and we would soak it up. Or that my husband would bring home some gnarly energy and my clients would soak it up. This can be true, but your body is also really strong and capable to release what is there, so trust in yourself. Plus, you likely won’t get triggered by an energy unless there is something there for your to explore; without a ‘charge’ against it, you won’t even notice it.

sage smudge how to use sage bundle

Technically speaking, sage is largely burned using one of two methods: burned loose in an abalone shell, or in a ‘wand’ of sage that is tied up. Sage in a wand is always my first choice, as its easy to use and can be packed up to take with you anywhere (you just want to have a handkerchief on hand to wrap it). I tried the abalone shell, but it just didn’t feel authentic to me personally, and I found the bits of sage flying around irritating, so I left it alone. Do what works for you!

It’s also important to note that you while you can buy ‘wild’ sage, which does smell wonderful, keep in mind it likely burns much quicker and stronger than a typical sage wand. If you’re used to a packed wand of sage, test it out first slowwwwwly. Wand sage can be notoriously difficult to light and get a good level of smoke (hence why I also recommend buying long fireplace-style matches, the extra lighting time helps), but wild sage is a 5-alarm fire in no time at all. If you’re in a housing complex there’s always that second likelihood: setting off the real-life fire alarm.

Also, since it’s not tied up in such a tight pack, bits of ash and burned leaves tend to fall off easily as you move about and if you’re particular about your house and your furnishings this is a serious NO-GO. Take it from someone who now has attractive small amber burn spots on her melamine kitchen counters (Dear Landlord,…), and has turned over cushions on her sofa and kitchen banquette due to burn spots.

But don’t get discouraged by that – sage is really easy-to-use and one of the best tools you can easy implement in your own practice. Soon, I’ll be able to offer Peruvian sage wands available for purchase here in Dubai. If and when this gets sorted out, I’ll link it here.


Always interested to hear tips and experiences from others below regarding sage! Have you had any intense experiences using sage at home??