House Moves and Smudging
Two of our friends from the pub were offered the most amazing opportunity to go and teach in Thailand for a few years. Being the adventurers that they are, they jumped at the chance. Whilst we knew them for general chit chat over a pint or two, we wouldn’t class them as old or dear friends. However, they needed to rent their house out and they would prefer someone they knew (and liked) so they asked Es and I if we were interested. Whilst we loved our little house in the country, it was just that, in the country. This house was at the very bottom of Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, a short (but steep) walk to the shops but also a short, and leisurely walk to the quiet country walks, the best of both worlds. Plus, and this was a huge plus for us, it has a HUGE private garden hidden by mature trees and heavily planted with lovely flowers. I worried that it would be too big a financial commitment, as it was twice the size of our existing house, but they gave us a good price, well under it’s market value, so the deal was struck.
That Saturday in July I went to collect the large rental van, whilst Es waited in for the carpet cleaner to arrive. We had already emptied the first floor of all the furniture, it was just a case of filling the van now and making our way to the new house. A little nerve wracking to say the least, as I’ve previously said, the road was narrow for cars, never mind this huge van I’d rented. The driveway was narrow too and next doors thatch hung low, so I had to negotiate reversing into the drive whilst not hitting their roof. There were the usual panics, will the sofa fit through the door, where will this go and that go, needing to get the old house spotlessly clean after the second van load of furniture had been deposited at the new house AND having to get the van back. Oh and did I mention a trip to Bournemouth to pick up the new sofa too….very busy and very stressful day.
One of the intentions I had set was that I would smudge the house the day we moved in. I had purchased a white sage smudge stick a few days earlier from the spiritual shop at the top of the hill. Although I did not have the abalone shell, which is also traditional, it was not about to stop me. Now I am not saying that there was anything about the house or the previous occupants that needed to be cleansed, what I was doing was making the place clear of any lingering energy which may be different to that which was our intention for the space.
It is traditional to use sage, whose name in Latin (salvia) means heal, but it is also recognised that other herbs and plants can be used for this ritual.
Smudging is an ancient Indigenous American practice used to change and shift energies, it has become very accepted within western culture, particularly amongst people who are spiritual and believe in spiritual practices. Some people will burn sage during their yoga practice and others will cleanse themselves after being with particularly toxic people.
Was Es convinced? not really, but he would never say no to me and it was something I needed to do, so he sat back and let me do my thing.
This is what I did:
- Firstly I purchased a dried white sage ceremonial bundles, which is bound together with string. You can generally find these at herbal shops or shops that sell incense, crystals, dream catchers, that type of thing.
- Light the end of bundle and then blow it out again so you get a nice smoulder which releases smoke. This is much the same way you would light your incense stick.
- With all the curtains, windows and doors open, move room to room using your hand to direct the smoke into all the corners of the room. During this process you want to set your intention for the space and repeat this whilst going from room to room. For me it was ‘health, joy and peace’.
Now you may think this hocus pocus or hooey, but in actuality scientists have observed that sage can clear up to 94% of airborne bacteria. Burning sage also releases negative ions which can actually improve mood. Even though this ritual is over 2000 years old, it has a very modern application.
I did not burn the whole bundle and I intend to continue this practice when energies start to feel fraught. We all bring negativity into our homes, after a bad day at work or just feeling blue, so it is a good practice to continue, and one which can also use on yourself. Try it. You might like it.