1.  Buy a sage smudge stick (mine was white sage and lavender, and I got it at a natural foods store) and find a bowl to hold it over (traditionally, abalone shell is used).  Also set up a cup of water to extinguish it after the ritual.

2.  Open every door and window in your house, and turn on fans if you have them.

3.  Light the stick, and when it catches fire, blow it out and allow the embers to smoke (just like incense).

4.  Set your intention for each room.  Say a prayer of cleansing.  Laurie Sue suggested, “I cleanse this room of any impurities, negativity, or anything that does  not suit or support the people who live here.”

5.  Walk around the room, waving the sage stick so the smoke drifts into corners, along walls, around windows, and along ceiling lines.  As you do, imagine the smoke absorbing negativity, problems, toxicity, and anything else you want to go away.  See the smoke dissipate and float out the windows, and imagine any bad energy flowing out of your space, making room for positive, fresh energy.

6.  After you’ve blessed every room, give yourself a sage shower.  Cup your hands over the smoke and “wash” your face with it, then wave it all over your body as you would in a water shower.  Visualize any residual negativity sailing out of your body, out of your home, and into oblivion.

7.  Extinguish the stick in the cup of water or – if your stick was very small or is almost done – flush it down the toilet.  You can also bury it in your back yard (be very sure that it is extinguished).

I have to say that I found genuine meaning in the ritual.  I felt like it made the space ours, and it cleared away all of the anxiety and stress of the past few weeks and left us with the opportunity to say we are grateful for this place.  Our place.  Our home.