Looking for alternatives to Smudging with White Sage to cleanse unwanted energy from your life? White sage is a wonderful plant. It has been considered magical and sacred to many cultures over time. White sage has notably been used by several Native American segments in sacred rituals such as Smudging. This ritual involves the burning of white sage to clear negative or unwanted energy from people and areas. Smudging with white sage is considered by native people to a ‘closed practice’ since 1978.
The sacred ritual of Smudging with white sage has become part of mainstream culture over the past few decades. The practice of Smudging by non-natives has become a hotly debated subject and understood and cultural appropriation of native culture. There are also issues arising from naturally growing white sage plants being unethically sourced in large quantity for commercial sales and profit.
Without going deep into the specific politics and debates about modern day Smudging, I want to offer some alternatives to clearing unwanted energy from a space or from your person. There are many methods that produce the same result while not appropriating Native American culture.
Don’t Call it “Smudging”
The word Smudging has so much tradition and history attached to it for native cultures. Some of that history is not so pleasant. If you are burning herbs to clear energy, it will be most respectful to avoid calling it “Smudging”.
Simply consider your personal ritual/practice as a “cleansing” or “smoke cleansing”.
Don’t use White Sage
White Sage is considered a sacred plant by Native Americans. It is the main herb used in their traditional Smudging rituals. The use of this plant for modern-day cleansing rituals can also be considered insensitive to the plight of America’s indigenous people. Here are some alternative herbs and flowers to burn instead of White Sage.
Clearing with Salts
Any type of salt will do! There are many ways to use salt to clear your space. Saltwater spray can be used or you can simply place salt in various areas of your space. This can be done as a ritual or you can simply ‘salt’ the desired areas that you want to be protected and remove the salt after some time has passed.
Burning incense is one of the best alternatives to Smudging with White Sage. You can even get White Sage scented incense!
Various healing crystals are known to block and clear unwanted energy. Place your crystals around your space, carry them in your pocket, and wear them as jewelry to take advantage of their energetic cleansing properties. My favorite crystals for energy clearing, blocking, and recharging are:
- Black Tourmaline
- Tiger’s Eye
- Blue Calcite
Energy can be cleared by various sound frequencies. Here are some methods for clearing energy with sound.
- Sound bowls
- Tingsha Bells
Rearranging Furniture and how the Space is used
Energy flow can be drastically changed and improved simply by refreshing your space. If you are challenged by the energy of your surrounding, try moving your furniture or changing how space is used. At a very basic level, this is a principle of Feng Shui. If your surroundings are pleasing to you, your energy will naturally shift in a positive direction and challenging energy will flow out.
Prayer and Meditation
Prayer and meditation will release the most beautiful energy throughout your space and your personal aura. If you wish to clear negative energy and replace it with positive energy, pray and meditate on that intention. You may be surprised by how effective this is!
The Most Effective Alternatives to Smudging with White Sage
The most effective way to clear a space is the way that you connect with the most. Whatever you are most comfortable with. That is always the best way to go. However you choose to carry out this task or ritual, remember to be respectful and responsible in your methods. Carefully pay your respects and show gratitude to the people and cultures that came before you with these methods and tools. One other thing that I would suggest is to treat your cleansing ritual as a sacred moment. This may be a moment best left out of your social media feed.