When we first bought our house a few years ago, we did a sage smudging ritual. It was something the girls had done in elementary school, so it was familiar to them, and the ritual has some beautiful symbolism and tradition behind it. Sage has been known through many cultures as an herb symbolic of cleansing. "The Latin for sage, ‘Salvia,’ stems from the word ‘to heal.’ The other qualities of sage when burned, such as giving wisdom, clarity and increasing spiritual awareness, are also indicated in the name. It’s no accident that we refer to wise people as sagely."(from movingtowardpeace.com).
We still had a small sage stick and sweet grass braids from when we did this three years ago (Sage to clear; sweet grass to attract positive energies). We followed the guidelines from Inspired Everyday Living, but made some modifications that felt right for us. I woke early, opened every window and door letting in fresh air and sunlight. I gathered up the sage stick, sweet grass braid, paper, pen, candle, and safe containers for burning paper and smouldering sage. I made a pot of coffee, lit some candles, and then roused the rest of the family.
We started with setting our intention. Each of us wrote out some negative things we wanted to let go of, and then some positive things we desired to have more of in our life and/or felt gratitude for. We read aloud the negative thoughts and then burned those pieces of paper letting go of: ego, negative words, negative thoughts about others, arguments, anxiety. We then read aloud our positive thoughts: time together, time in nature, peace, happiness, health, creative inspiration. These we kept, placing them where we would see them every day.
Then we lit the sage and first 'washed' ourselves with the sage smoke - reminding ourselves of our intention, focusing on positivity, and making sure we discarded any negativity. Then we said a blessing as we walked through the house from room to room, in a clockwise pattern, starting on the front porch. The blessing we used was:
We banish all negative energy from our home.
We enlighten our home with the positive energy of love, prosperity, and peace.
When we finished blessing every room, closet, and even the (now clean) garage, we came back inside the house and extinguished the sage. We lit the sweet grass and read the following blessing:
Let our home shine with light and beauty and provide a warm, comfortable haven from the world.
Let our home be filled with an ambiance of peace, prosperity, health, happiness, harmony, and love. May only beings that are kind-hearted and well-intentioned enter here.
We believe in one another, in this family, and in this home.
We walked the same path as before, blessing each room and saying a loving kindness meditation phrase in each room "May we be safe, may we be healthy, may we be happy, may we be at peace." We made this directional in each of the girls' rooms, and when we came across one of our pets. Fiona got silly and added her own ideas to the phrase, which was fine. Our home was already feeling lighter and happier.
We agreed to make this a ritual every spring, maybe on the solstice, or maybe when it was warm enough to open all the windows and doors. Even if you don't believe in the idea of positive or negative energy in your physical environment, rituals like this can help your mindset shift from being negative to more positive. Whatever is going on in (environmental cleansing and/or psychological re-framing) it works for us.