Clearing Crystals With Sage: Why It Works and How To Use It

I use many methods to cleanse my crystals, and using sage is one way that I’ve done this. Recently I caught myself wondering if I was actually doing it right, and realized I had never formally researched different methods to use sage in energy cleansing methods. I’ve looked into it and uncovered the most common ways to use sage to cleanse your crystals.

So, How do you cleanse your crystals with sage? The main way to cleanse crystals using sage is by a method called “smudging” which means using smoke from smoldering dried sage leaves in and around the energetic field surrounding your crystal. This smoke is used to cleanse negative energy from an object, space or person.

How is this smudging ritual done? And are there other ways to use sage to cleanse negative energy besides smoke? There are questions that I’ve researched, and I uncovered some interesting tips, tricks and information about using sage in cleansing rituals.



What is Smudging and How Do I Do It?

Smudging is a Native American tradition that utilizes the smoke from burning dried plants in a ritual to cleanse and purify an object, place or person and to bring it to a place of balance. It is powerful because uses all four elements found in nature: water, earth, air and fire.

If you follow this tradition, you should use an abalone shell as your container for the sage bundle – this represents water. The sage that is being burned represents the element of earth. Lighting the smudge is the fire element. The smoke from the herbs is the air element. You can use a feather to spread the smoke around the object, which also represents the element of air.

What You’ll Need:

  • A lighter
  • A sage bundle of your choice
  • An abalone shell or heat proof vessel
  • Feather (optional)
  • Sand (optional)

Take the lighter and light the tip of the smudge bundle of your choice. Let it burn for 30 seconds, then blow out the flame so that the tips of the leaves are smoldering and releasing smoke. With you hand or a feather, spread the smoke around the crystal so that all parts of it have contact with a smokey current of air. Do this until the smoldering goes out and the smoke stops, or extinguish the burning sage in a bed of sand.

Be careful not to breathe in the smoke directly, and not to fill the area too thickly with smoke. Open up some windows or doors to keep air flow. Also, be mindful that too much concentrated smoke in a smaller room can cause your smoke alarm to go off.



Are There Different Types of Sage? Which One Should Be Used in a Cleansing Ceremony?

There are many types of sage, and researching all of them is complex. It is important not to get overwhelmed by choosing the right type of sage, as all of them will have some type of cleansing effects. The most commonly used sage for smudging is White Sage, but I will go over common ones that are used or inquired about.

Above all, I recommend choosing a source that supports and respects the cultures that developed the practice. Try to purchase sage from native gatherers, crafters, and artists.

White Sage (Salvia apiana)

White sage is the most common type of sage that you will find for smudging rituals. These are the bundles most often found in metaphysical shops or health food stores. It covers the basic ritual cleansing needs, such as transmuting negative energy, healing, protection, etc. It has been harvested by Native Americans for centuries, and is highly regarded as a sacred plant used for rituals, connecting to the spirit realm, and used in medicinal healing practices as well.

Garden Sage (Salvia officianalis)

Garden sage is the edible sage found in the average home and garden. Garden sage, if dried and bundled correctly, could have cleansing effect, but I believe the best way to use this type of sage is internally as a medicinal ally. For smudging purposes, it is probably best to stick with White Sage, which has been dried and bundled specifically for smudging rituals.

When burned, the smell of garden sage is also a bit less pleasant that other types of sage, so if you are sensitive to smell, this might not be the best option for you. However, it is an option if you have sage at home want to do your own DIY sage bundling project.

Lavender Sage (Salvia leucophylla or Salvia mellifera)

Lavender Sage is known for its sedating and calming effects, so it is great when dealing with anxiety. It also helps transmute that negative energy into peaceful loving energy. It also has a very pleasant floral scent when burning. You will often find that Lavender Sage is combined with White Sage in smudging bundles, as these two energies together are wonderful to cleanse negative energy from your crystal and transmute it into loving energy.

Black Sage (Salvia mellifera)

This is probably the last option you should explore when smudging your crystal, as it has more of an effect on the psyche of the brain, rather than cleansing of an object.

Also, this type of sage of commonly confused with Mugwort, which is not part of the Salvia family. Mugwort can be used as a smudge, but has a different smudging effect which is focused more on inducing spiritual visions, lucid dreams and divination abilities.

True black sage will work to induce visions, as well as have a cleansing effect on your crystal’s energy. But, if you purchase Black Sage, be aware that you will probably end up with Mugwort, or a hybrid of different types of Blue or Purple sage, as black sage is hard to identify when cultivating it.



How Does Sage Work To Cleanse Negative Energy?

  • Science has discovered that the smoke from sage clears bacteria from the air and is a disinfectant of the air quality in a space.
  • Sage smoke releases negative ions, which balances out positively charged ions from electronics, cars, EMFs and pollution. This helps the energy around an object become more in harmony with its environment, and gives you a greater sense of relaxation and a positive mood.
  • The aromatherapy of sage sends messages to the brain to bring in more oxygen to the brain and body, producing a sense of energy and relaxation. These aromatherapy signals also assist you in processing lower vibrational emotions such as depression, anger, fear, heartache and jealousy into loving, positive energy. In terms of how this can help your crystal, it can heal the rapport you have with your crystal, which is one of the greatest ways to cleanse it.
  • The smoke from sage shifts the molecular structure of the air and the energy around an object, letting the object release any energy that was stagnant or lower in vibration.



Other Creative Ways to Use Sage to Cleanse Your Crystals

Many people cannot smudge because they are sensitive to smoke, but would still like the cleansing benefits of sage. Here are some creative alternatives to sage smudging:

Essential Oils of Sage

An alternative to the smoke is to use the essential oil of the sage plant, which also has wonderful cleansing properties. This is essentially the spirit of the plant. You can get regular sage essential oil, but I prefer to find white sage essential oil for clearing purposes.

You can burn the essential oil in a diffuser and run your crystal over the evaporating oil, or put a few drops in a steam essential oil diffuser, and run your crystal through the steam. This will also have the same air cleansing properties as the smoke, and is less harsh on your lungs.

Another option is to put a few drops of the white sage essential oil in a spray bottle with filtered water. Spritz the crystal with this diluted concentrate, and imagine the negative energy being transmuted, just as if there were smoke.

Sage Tea

You can find loose White Sage leaves and steep the tea leaves in water until the water is lukewarm. Filter out the tea leaves and pour the tea over your crystal over a sink or bowl. Imagine the negative energy being transmuted into loving energy.

Make sure to only use this method with crystals that can get wet. If you want to know how to identify if your crystal can or cannot get wet, check out the article I wrote about that here. Some crystals can get damaged if they get wet.


Dried Sage Leaves

A very simple and hands off way to use sage to cleanse is to collect loose died sage leaves and place in a bowl. Put your crystal on top of the bed of sage leaves and let sit for 8-12 hours or overnight. The energy from the sage will gently cleanse your crystal over this period of time.



When Should You Cleanse Your Crystals Using Sage?

You should always energetically cleanse a crystal right after you acquire it. You don’t know what energy it was exposed to on its journey to you, so it’s best to start off your relationship with a good cleanse.

If you wear the crystal frequently on your body, you should cleanse it once a month, roughly once every completed moon cycle. This way it can resync with your energy systematically and rhythmically it can keep up with your growth cycles.

If you have a crystal in your home but it does not have much contact with you, you should cleanse it once a season – or four times a year. Similar to the previous paragraph, it is good to resync your crystals to the environment it is exposed to.

Finally, and most importantly, you should energetically cleanse your crystals anytime you feel like they need it! Feel your crystal, and if you intuitively pick up it may need a cleanse, why not do it? It is a very simple process and gives you and your space an energetic boost in the process.


Related Questions:

Can you clear negative energy from a crystal without using sage?

Yes. Using sage is just one method to clear negative energy, but there are many other options that can be explored. You can use other dried plants/woods to cleanse your crystals such as Palo Santo or Sweetgrass. You can use water, sun, sound, salt, burying in the earth, putting on a bed of uncooked rice, programming, visualizations, and many more.

My sage smudge isn’t burning enough to let off very much smoke. What does that mean?

It is believed that if your smudge bundle isn’t keeping a flame, or isn’t putting off much smoke, that your space or object doesn’t need clearing. Wait a day or two, and try again. Or, it could be that the sage you are using wasn’t dried properly and is still has moisture. Purchase a new sage bundle if this continues.

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Have you had any special  experiences clearing crystals with sage? Do you have spiritual interpretations you would like to add to this article? Please share them in the comments below! 

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