There's No Place Like Home: How to Smudge Your Apartment [and Your Cat] with Sage

I can't remember the first time I heard talk of smudging to clear the stagnant energy from your home, but the second I did, I knew I wanted to take part. Smudging, or the practice of burning dried herbs and dispersing the smoke around your home, is done in several cultures and has become sort of a modern new age girl's rite of passage. Every hip chick I know that owns tarot cards and meditates has smudged at least once. Opinions vary on how often you should clear the energy from your space, but it's mentioned most in reference to moving into a new place. After all, it's a great way to make your new apartment feel like your own AND because burning herbs smell pretty pleasant, it's also a great way to get rid of any unwanted smells left behind by the previous tenant.

For my first smudging experience, I took the easy route and purchased a two pack of bundled herbs from Whole Foods. Yes, you can bundle your own, but since I'm a beginner I thought it best to go with a professional bundle, lest my own version fall apart mid-ceremony and ignite my bedspread or something.

After a little research in the library of Google, I've come to the conclusion that smudging is really what you make of it. You can say a prayer while smudging, use feathers to disperse the smoke, walk in a certain pattern around the room, or really you can just make it up as you go along. The important part is indulging in the ritual for whatever your purpose may be...and fire safety. Also very important.

For my ritual, I chose to move around the room in a clock-wise direction, partly because it was recommended online and partly because it's simply the direction that made the most sense in the layout of my apartment.  Not having any feathers on hand [being vegan and all], I chose to do a combination of swirling my sage bundle through the air like a magic wand and gently fanning the smoke into corners I couldn't reach. I found that I had to re-light my sage stick several times to make it all the way around the small room. You see, you don't smudge with a full flame, but rather the burning embers that are left smoldering after you blow out the initial flame. These can cool off quickly, especially when you're having a little too much fun doing the magic wand swirl. I made sure to give a little sage-love to the areas behind my clothes and in the corners of closets. That being said, I didn't worry too much if I might have missed a few crevices here and there. Again, this ritual is what you make of it.

For my own little spin on things, I decided to focus special attention to certain feng shui areas of my home. If you've ever mentally laid a feng shui map over your apartment, you'll see that every third region has a different claim to an area of your life like Love, Family, or Career. Generally these regions are used for decorating your home in certain colors or textures to create positive energy in your life, but I figured it couldn't hurt if I did a little energy cleansing in the regions most important to me as well. I even smudged myself and my cat...who was unusually calm, but intrigued by the whole scenario.

For more information on smudging your space, check out:

About.com - This article in their Feng Shui section was my main source on the how-to before getting started. Miseducated.net - This lovely & straightforward article is by my friend Amber Renee. I actually had forgotten about it until after performing my ritual, but I love her step by step with included prayer.

And speaking of Miseducated.net, after an extended hiatus, my ask a healthy life stylist series is now back up & running! You can read my most recent advice on how to cut back on caffeine as well as submit any questions you might have by clicking Amber's lovely graphic below:

♥ & Light,

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