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Sage and Smudge rituals take place in homes and public spaces all year around. Here are some particularly useful tips for the holidays and the beginning of the New Year. Full descriptions of these and many more can be found in Sage & Smudge, the Ultimate Guide, by Diane Ronngren.

For the Holidays 

It's really wonderful when you receive gifts you like, but that doesn't always happen. Sometimes you receive things you feel obliged to keep even if you have no use for them, or don't like them. Perhaps you have received a gift you really like from someone with whom you have unresolved issues of one kind or another. Or maybe you received a "gift" from someone who was trying to manipulate you, someone who gives presents while at the same time expecting you to do something for them that you really would not choose to do - if you were given the choice.

Whether you receive gifts you enjoy from people you love, or whether the gifts come with strings attached, keep in mind that objects are surrounded by their own complex energy field by the time you receive them. On their journey into your life, many people (both those you know, and many you do not) have touched, handled or been in contact with the gift you now hold in your hands!

When people touch objects, especially when there is an "emotional charge" between the person and the object, some of the energy in the aura of the person "touching" enters the energy field surrounding the object "being touched". When you touch something that has been packaged up and given to you as a gift, some of the energy you feel will be that of the person who gave it to you!

Sage and Smudge Clearing Ritual

To remove traces of other people's energy from the items you receive this holiday season, prepare a Sage and Smudge Clearing. The living room is a good place to carry out this ritual. Place your gifts on a table or on the floor. Place a comfortable chair in front of the gift(s). This ritual can be performed for one gift at a time, or for many/all of them at once.

If a gift can be lifted with one hand, you can use a Sage wand or stick for your clearing. But if a gift requires you to use both hands to lift it, you may want to burn loose herbs in a shell or other heat-tolerant vessel for your sacred smoke ritual.

I often recommend Sage as an excellent herb to use for clearing in general, however, if you are clearing a variety of objects you may consider using a combination of herbs to clear the energy fields of a variety of gifts or objects. Cedar is especially good for clearing negative emotions; Mugwort will ensure the speedy removal of negative energy (and will help you to be really clear about your own feelings in relation to the object). Juniper is considered excellent for both purification and protection.

Begin your Sage and Smudge clearing ritual sitting in the chair and facing the object. When the smoke is rising thickly from your wand or your container, gently blow the smoke in the direction of the object(s) to surround it/them with aromatic smoke. Turn each object so that you can see another side of it and gently blow the smoke towards it/them again. Continue in this manner until all sides of each object have been smudged. Lift up each object individually into the air and either pass your smudge wand under it, or move it four times through the sacred smoke rising from your smudge vessel.

A very simple statement is all that is needed for clearing an object of unwanted energy: "Cleanse, clear and remove all negative energy from this object!" Repeat this phrase each time as you smudge every side of the object(s). When you have completed this part of the ritual, it is time for an affirmation: "This object is now cleared of all negative energy. I claim this object as my own. Only positive energy will surround this object. This object serves to benefit me in the future."

Allow any remaining smudge herbs to burn themselves out in your smudge vessel. Or, if you have used a Sage Wand or Sage Stick, you can put it out at this point after saying the "claiming" affirmation. (Use either water or earth to put out the burning Sage wand - whichever you prefer.)

Year End Sage and Smudge Rituals

At the end of each year it is helpful to carry out a Sage and Smudge House Clearing to remove any negative energy that may have collected in your home during the past year. Even if you regularly clear your home during the year, it is symbolically very helpful to start a New Year with new energy surrounding you in your personal space. Refer to your Sage and Smudge, The Ultimate Guide for a variety of information on carrying out such a ritual.

Holiday Tip: Allow plenty of time to focus on clearing your space when you are performing a Sage and Smudge House Clearing at the end of the year. And don't forget to take ample time to focus on the things you want to accomplish and experience in the coming year as you pronounce your positive affirmations following the clearing in each area of your space.

I wish you Happy Holidays and much success in 2012!



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