White sage is historically the most commonly used bundle to use when cleansing or blessing your environment. The use of white sage goes back to ancient Celtic times as well as having its roots in Native American culture, where it is used in the ritual known commonly as “smudging.” The burning of sage to cleanse and purify has been done for hundreds and hundreds of years.
But what do you do if you are allergic, don’t tolerate the somewhat acrid smell of sage, or can’t burn anything due to limitations (rental, asthma, etc.)? Anyone who has worked with burning sage knows that it can produce a prolific amount of smoke, and the smell lingers for quite some time.
Our top 10 alternatives to burning white sage include:
White Sage Liquid Incense Spray: White Sage Liquid Incense is made from the finest herbs, steam-distilled into a purified water base to create an incense perfect for sanctifying ritual space before work or meditation. Steam-distilled means these incenses are water-based, rather than oil-based, and will not leave an unpleasant oily residue. Because these incenses are so pure their scent and energy will linger as long as their traditional counterparts. The water base allows these incenses to be used in ways traditional incense cannot be used. For instance, they may be added to ritual bath water, used as a wash, used as a cleansing rise for ritual tools or ritual participants entering the ritual space.
Palo Santo Sticks: Palo Santo is a rosy sweet-smelling wood also known as holy wood. The sticks will smolder for several minutes once lit and blown out. Palo Santo is an excellent alternative to burning sage, as it generally produces less smoke, and a less intense odor. They last quite a long time, as you can use them over and over again, and they tend to burn at a slower rate than sage.
Lavender Bundles: Generally a less bitter odor, but still a lot of smoke. If smoke isn’t an issue, lavender is a great alternative to sage, due to its odor and its purpose. It not only cleans and purifies, it brings a level of peace and serenity to your home.
Juniper Bundles: Cleanse and purify with juniper bundles, using its fragrant smoke to attract positive energies and remove the negative, and help bring good fortune into your life. Juniper is a fresh smelling stick, and once burned has the scent of the forest.
Florida water: Florida water is a mystical spray mingling floral and citrus scents. It is widely popular in ritual offerings and purification rituals. The original production was 1808 by perfumer Murray of Murray and Lanman, and still in demand to this day. This is a fantastic option – no smoke, a very pleasant aroma, and highly protective!
Sacred resins: Resins are the sap of the tree considered to have many healing properties; it is basically the energetic essence, the lifeblood of the tree. Resins come in many different types (frankincense, myrrh, amber, etc.), and have a wonderful aroma. You can burn them with a charcoal disc or in an incense burner. I put a few pieces of the resin in foil, and burn it with a tiny grate over the heat source. It fills the house with fragrance and is purifying and cleansing in nature. The melted resin can be oily and can stain certain fabrics, so use with care.
Essential Oil Diffuser – using essential oil diffusers are a way to cleanse and purify your home with no fire, smoke, burning or acrid odors. You can use clary sage, frankincense, myrrh, lavender, rosemary, etc for your diffuser. Use an oil whose smell you enjoy – it’s all about the intention when performing the cleansing ritual.
Salt – using salt in cleansing… how may I count the ways! Salt can be spread on windowsills and at doorways to protect your home from negativity. You can sprinkle salt on your hard-surfaced floors, and sweep it out the front door with the intention of sweeping away the bad energy. You can use it to cleanse certain crystals (make sure to research which ones you can use salt with) by laying them in a small bowl of salt, I mix a teaspoon of salt in a gallon of moon water to spray in corners of my home to protect the energy, and using a salt lamp or tealight candle holder is said to add purification to rooms.
Sound – Using a singing bowl, bells, a chime, even your own cell phone (play an uplifting clear sound) can help to cleanse your space, your tools, and your crystals! High vibrational sound can re-attune the space to a high vibration (the higher the vibe, the higher the positivity). Not sure what to use? Gently tap a crystal glass or bowl, ring a bell, or use a sound like “Chimes, Crystals, or Illuminate” on your cell phone!
Moon water: Set out a jug or vessel of water in direct moonlight, if possible. Leave it overnight, and bring it in before the sun. This water is best created during a new moon, for new beginnings. Use it to cleanse your tools, spray in your home, trace protective sigils on your doors and windows, create a floor wash, or even use it to water your plants for a magical boost. You can add a clear quartz crystal for extra purification power, or some sea salt (but be careful if adding salt to not add to plants, and be careful when spraying in your home).
There are many many ways to cleanse and purify your living space, your tools, your crystals and yourself! While white sage is traditionally the most popular, there are many alternatives to it that might work better for you.