To stride boldly into the new year, we must forgive the burdens and trespasses of 2017. Freeing their weight from our mind and heart will “make some room” for new, hopeful energy and experiences.
I suggest a sage ritual to cleanse and renew your personal space and your home. Even if you are skeptical of these sort of practices, I ask that you consider this simple ceremony. Taking a few moments to meditate on the concepts of renewal, the undressing and casting off the old and unsavory, will create a sense of calm and lightness of being.
So, I’ll share a prayer for the new year; some simple words that may lift your heart and make ready for the year ahead. Blessed be!
Into this smoke
All energies that did not serve me,
All negativity that surrounded me,
All fears that limited me,
From the last year.
I walk into the new year
With light in my heart
And great hope for better things to come
So it is.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with the ritual of sageing, here is a quick overview:
1. Use loose dried sage or a ceremonial sage bundle. This is also known as a wand. If you have a sage plant, you can make your own — just bundle and tie with string, and hang in cool dark space until it has dried out.
2. Next, place it on any heat-proof surface such as the traditional abalone shell. I do not have an actual abalone shell, but I use a large shell that I found on the beach some years back. Light the bundle by holding a flame to it until it begins to smoke. If a true flame appears, shake the bundle gently or blow until it is just embers and smoke. I often find that I have to re-light my sage bundle a few times during the ritual process.
3. When you have a nice smoke going, use a feather, or your hand, to direct the smoke over your body from your feet up to your head, then back down again. I use a large feather, another gift from Mother Nature that I found and kept as a little treasure. Visualize the smoke taking away with it any negative energy from your life, any darkness or malady. Find a prayer that speaks to your soul, or, just the words from your heart. As you speak words of intent, you are willingly shifting and managing your energy. After you have smudged your body, move through your home, or whatever you consider to be our personal area. Wave the smoke into all corners, across doorways and into shadow spaces. To maintain the atmosphere of ritual, repeat the words of your prayer or intent either out loud or in your mind as you diffuse the smoke.
Once the space is cleared, allow the sage bundle to either burn out or gently press it out in your shell or heat-proof container. You can bury the remaining wand in your garden to feel the completeness of the ritual. Once buried, the sage has done its work in completing the elemental cycle.
A quick note on feathers, stones, shells and such… A few years ago, I began finding feathers. They were blatant, I couldn’t NOT notice them! During this period, I would find them directly on my path; one even hit me in the head while I was sitting at an outdoor table at Starbucks in the company of a dear friend! As a spiritual person, I took note; now, I am sensitive to these beautiful treasures. I consider them gifts from our natural and spiritual world; feathers are my favorite, but sometimes it will be in the form of a beautiful shell, stone or even a leaf that will inspire creative feelings. I urge you to accept these lovely gifts as they come to you. It is said that when you accept things, be it objects, a coin dropped on a sidewalk, or even a kind gesture from a stranger, you are creating an energy within the universe that is open to receiving good things. Blessed be!