Sage and Feather: A Cleansing Ritual

As we have mentioned, Neometheus and I are currently exploring Shamanism. Cleansing is a ritual entwined in both Shaman and witch rituals (NOTE: I will not use the term ‘Wicca’ on this blog, as that is a particular strain of neopaganism. Not all witches are Wiccans, though the term has become synonymous with witch-hood). This is something that I am discovering: that there are a lot of overlapping areas with these two paths, and I am amazed at how similar, yet different, they are.  I will not go into the details here, as we will continue to explore this in further posts.

As a witch, I have done cleansing rituals before. As a Shaman, I haven’t. The ritual I did the other night was the first experience I had with burning sage. Witches use sage too, but it wasn’t something I had ever used before, having had other means and other ways of doing things ‘my way’. This time, however, I decided to try it, spurred on by the content of an excellent book I am reading: ‘The Shamanic Witch’ by Gail Wood.

For the past week, I was immersed in every day routine and reality. This is fine – reality happens, but I realised I was slipping dangerously close to a slide towards depression. I felt disassociated from my emotions: nothing excited me, nothing moved me. I felt like I was living in a fog, in shades of grey. I felt flat and dull. There is no specific reason I can point to that made me feel this way. Except: I hadn’t connected Spiritually for a while-for a long while. I’d been ‘too busy’. I knew I had to do something about this – I couldn’t carry on this state. It wasn’t healthy, not for me nor my family.

I went and bought some fresh incense sage-not the incense sticks, but a ‘bundle’, and a smudging feather. That evening, we switched off the television and dimmed the lights. I did a Reiki session on Neometheus, immediately removing his on-going headache, which also had the added effect of ‘shifting’ my energy to a higher state – thus putting us both in the right frame to do a ritual.

We placed some small gravel-like stones in our little cauldron, and placed the sage on top of them, lighting it. Sage works like incense: it should smoke, not stay on fire. Neometheus had a rattle in his hand, which he shook around the areas I was cleansing. A rattle is a tool of the Shaman, used for cleansing, scaring away negative energy/unwanted spirits, and much more. He rattled, I cleansed. It was a very simple ritual. I used the feather to waft the sage-smoke around the front door of our house, the windows, and around the living room. I used simple words:

Cleanse this place, cleanse this space… Clear away the negative energy, let it be cleansed.

I repeated this at each space we wafted the smoke. After we had cleansed the room, I took the rattle and shook it all around Neometheus, then smudging him with the smoke, cleansing his energy. He did the same for me.

A very simple ceremony. I called on no deities, cast no circle. Some say you should do this, to respect the ritual and spirits. Sometimes, yes – but I wanted to make this non-ordinary reality part of everyday reality – a connection between the two ‘worlds’. It is INTENTION that matters most when you walk with magic.

Did it work? Did anything change? I certainly felt more relaxed that evening – happy, even. Next morning when I awoke – what a difference! I virtually sprang out of bed, fully awake, alert, and ready to face the day. That has not happened for a very long time! I was at peace – with myself, my family, and the world around me. I haven’t felt any negative energy around me since – and we did this ritual 5 days ago.

So yes, it worked!

Such a simple thing to do, that takes very little time – all you need is sage and a feather… as long as you do the ritual with respect and sincerity, with an open heart, then it will work for you. If you are have any negative energy in your life, I recommend doing a cleansing rite.

Please feel free to share any experiences you have had with sage, or cleansing rituals.

Blessings be,


Posted on February 12, 2013, in Rituals and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. I forgot to say that I use incense regularly and have had limited experience with sage. I am very curious about using it to cleanse. Sage is very prominent in Native American culture.

  2. I love drum circles and have gone many to ” sound baths” featuring singing bowls and an awesome gong. Sound can be very healing as any music lover can attest.


    I met someone last night, he told me I must have ‘negative energy’ because of all the bad things that have happened to me, but then he told me I have a ‘good aura’….

    I’m not a convert but I’m open-minded; I kind of feel like I’m doing something wrong, so I can’t be part of what you’re doing.

    • Hello you, nice to see you here 🙂
      ??- doing something wrong? Can’t be part of what I’m doing? OF COURSE YOU CAN!! You’re not doing anything wrong… your ego is just in just in control, rather than your heart-mind 😉
      Remember that Reiki session…?

  4. Cleansing and centering rituals are so soothing! Thanks for this one! (Where was your drum? 🙂 )

    • Haha, we left the drum out of this one, as we are still in the early stages of shamanic drumming and I wasn’t quite sure how to fit it in with this… it is something we will continue to explore and hope to add it in as we become more confident with it! In fact, we went out yesterday and bought Neometheus some panpipes (he’d had some but they’ve taken themselves off on their own journey!), some more rattles, and a drum for me – so now we can practice our own drumming circle! 🙂

  5. Thanks for sharing your lovely yet practical ceremony with us. I’ve realized over the years that focused intention does reflect a shift in our reality, states of being. Great post! ♥

  6. Great blog, great site, luv it. We got lots in common with our rituals. PS; I am angie_healer and Metaphyzgirl, just complimenting you from both my sites! Blessed Be. xx

  7. thank you for sharing this. I too carry out this ritual in a similar mannor to you, the only difference realy is this: I dont have a rattle but I do have ‘singing bowels and Tuning Forks’ so I use these whilst smudging the areas to be cleansed. This blog site is gonna be great, so glad you started it. Namaste

    • Dear Metaphyz, thank you for sharing your knowledge 🙂 Neometheus has a singing bowl, and they do sound lovely – I can’t work it though!
      I bet that adds a wonderful energy to the ritual?
      Namaste x

    • Thank you angiehealer/Metaphyzgirl, as reikiheidi said we also have a singing bowl and an OM tuning fork, it had never occured to me to use them in that way! I will try that out and let you know the results. Thank you for your creative insights and for your brilliant blogs. Blessings be )O(

  8. Congratulations for starting this awesome blog site. I am following and will read with delight whatever is in your heart to share. Blessings and love, alia

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