It was the early 2000s and we had just moved into a new house - my husband, two young children, and me. Within a week I was uncomfortable. Heavy presences drifted and hung around me. Flashes of light in the stairwell. A feeling of unease – of being watched – was my constant companion. The only other person who seemed to notice was my daughter, who was 5 or so at the time. She refused to sleep alone and often said she didn’t like to be in certain rooms. Having spent a lifetime of “feeling” things unseen around me, this wasn’t new, but having my young daughter afraid in her own home wasn’t acceptable. A good friend who was an avid fan of all things spiritual advised that I sage my house. I didn’t know what that meant or what it would do so on her instruction (and a lot of reading), I armed myself with a bundle of white sage and smoke cleansed the house from top to bottom. I did it while home alone and I didn’t tell my family what I was doing, because my husband would probably die from fright (he hates ghosty things) and I didn’t want to scare my kids either! To be honest, I didn’t expect much from this procedure – but I figured what the hell, I have nothing to lose. Imagine my incredulity when days, then weeks, then months went by without incident. It was as if the whole house was “lighter”. I didn’t have any more issues with unseen guests. Even better, my daughter stopped complaining, so I knew I had sent our guests on their way. I have witnessed the power of smoke cleansing in every home we have ever lived in since then – and there have been many. Now, I clear my home with the change of each season and my studio even more often than that. It is believed that the presence of spirits is a signal that they are simply trapped between our world and the next and sometimes need a little help to find their way home. It’s one of the reasons why incense was burned around a body lying in state before burial – a tradition thousands of years old and holds to this day in modern churches.
After diving deep into the history of smoke cleansing to understand and respect the practice fully, I can’t imagine my life without it. It is a sacred ritual to many religions and sects alike worldwide, steeped in tradition and history.
I created my very first white sage bundle as a piece of jewelry a year ago, and I wear it as a talisman of protection and a reminder of the power of the unseen and unknown.
Sterling silver, cast from real sage leaves that I bundled myself. 24" sterling ball chain.