The Surprising Ritual That Will Give Your Home Positive Vibes

Photo: Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis

I can’t pinpoint when sage smudging first piqued my interest. It might have been the time I spotted sage bundles in Jenni Kayne’s chic Southampton, New York, store. Maybe it was when my friend—who works for a renowned high-end interior designer—told me they sage smudged their clients’ homes after each install. Or maybe it was the time I read about it in Vogue. If all these hip and fabulous people were doing it, why wasn’t I in with the It crowd? One thing’s for sure: Over the last year or so, sage smudging has transitioned from an alternative practice into a mainstream ritual beloved by the fashion crowds, interior designers, and celebrities alike. Naturally—like juice cleanses and dry brushing—I had to try it.

Let me preface by saying I’m no reiki master. I don’t own crystals, I don’t align my chakras, and I don’t really practice feng shui. I do read my horoscope monthly, I tried a psychic reading once (at a dinner party), and I’ve been trying to KonMari my apartment for what feels like over a year. In essence, while I’m partially intrigued by all things spiritual, it has never been a focus in my life. But as the quest for all things wellness has proliferated among my generation, I, too, felt like my life would surely be healthier, happier, and more organized if only I burned a bundle of white sage in my studio apartment. Throwing all logic out the window—along with bad vibes and negative ions—I lit up for the first time. This is the account of my first sage smudging experience—doubts, fire scares, and all. Find out if it made me a believer, and pick up a few sage-burning tips along the way.