Letting Go: Experimenting with a Sage Cleanse

By Danielle Ball

Danielle Ball
Danielle Ball

Growing up, I lived in a lot of different houses. Before the age of 14, I had lived in four different states. There was always the excitement of settling into a new place and exploring a new house. The one thing that all of these places had in common was that they were all new houses. No history, no previous owners, no skeletons in the closet.

A few years ago, when looking for a new place in Sacramento, I came across my current condo. Built in 1974, it wasn’t in great shape, but it was the right price. My dad spent several months fixing it up and I’ve been happily living here for the past eight years.

During the renovation process, we came across some artifacts from the previous owners. A woman’s will in the kitchen drawer, a child’s drawing in the bedroom. But maybe they left behind more than that?

I don’t usually consider myself a superstitious person, but I did insist on asking the realtor at every stop whether anyone had died in the house. (I’m not an expert, but I think that this is standard practice for all potential buyers.) Even though I was assured multiple times that no one had died/been murdered in my house, I still had my suspicions. Nevertheless, I’ve been happy here until recently.

A few weeks ago, the dog started acting strangely. She wouldn’t walk down the hallway and would disappear and I would find her crying in the kitchen, unwilling to walk over the threshold back into the living room. I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking that I heard a noise, only to investigate and tell myself it was just the house settling. In my own life, I felt like I was in a rut. Professionally, doing something that wasn’t quite fulfilling. Dating people who were not quite right. Creatively struggling to write anything interesting.

After doing a bit of research, I decided to do a cleansing with sage. I figured that it couldn’t hurt, and if anything, could rid me of some demons and bad juju. Luckily, one of my fellow Girls on the Grid was able to supply me with a bundle of sage and some general directions about smudging. A quick Google search and I was in business.

To start, I lit the sage and then encouraged my dog and roommate to stand together so that I could circle us all with the smoke. I walked around the house and made sure to cross over every window and doorway, letting the smoke fill the air to cleanse the space. I asked negative energy and spirits to leave the house and let good energy in.

It’s been a while now, and things seem to be going well. The dog is back to her old ways of roaming through the house, I’m sleeping better, and I’ve started writing again. I’m not sure if it’s actually due to the cleansing, or if it’s just a placebo effect, but either way I’d do it again.


Need to release some bad energy from your home? Here are some sources that I looked at when doing the smudging.


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