Performing a Proper Space Clearing: How Important is Sage?

The key components to a space clearing - is sage essential? 

By Sarah Petruno, Shamana

White sage is often touted as the ultimate metaphysical cleanser.

All you need to do to cleanse your space is:

  1. Get some sage bundled up in a wand-like fashion

  2. Light it

  3. Methodically wave around the smoke

And that’s it. If you do it properly, your space should be cleared of all lower energies and Spirits that are no longer serving you.


Not exactly.

Sage can be cleansing, but that’s not all there is to it. Sadly, not by a long shot.

Traditionally, sage is used as a physical, tangible object to represent the intention behind the cleanse. And yes, it is true the smoke does cleanse and help to carry away the lower energy.

But only if you mean it. And most of the time, it only works for residual energy, not intelligent, free-willing Spirits.

If sage is used with the serious, intentional act of removing and releasing all residual lower energy that no longer serve you - then it will do that for you. But no Spirit, including sage, will do anything for you if you don’t actually mean it and aren’t serious about the cleansing. So, if you cleanse your space with the half-belief that it might work - it likely won’t.

In fact, no one wants to be made into a joke or a farce, not even sage.

The degree to which your space is cleansed lies entirely in your intention and your belief that whatever act you take to cleanse it will work.

Performing a Proper Space Clearing: How Important is Sage?

But there’s one other piece - you have to very specific about what exactly you want to be removed and released in terms of “negative” or lower energy.

While using sage, or any other physical implement to cleanse, you can almost always release residual energy of an argument, a fight, old residents, or whatever. But only rarely, can you actually remove a Spirit in this way.

Think about it.

If you were a Spirit, standing in a space, and someone walked around and through you holding a stick of burning sage, declaring that all negative and lower energies leave their space and be carried away by the sage - you might think, “I’m not an energy, this doesn’t apply to me, I’m a person - if they want me to leave, they can talk to me directly.”

And that’s really what happens, in most cases (Yes, really).

If you want an entity, a Spirit, or anything that isn’t just residual fight energy to leave - there’s more you have to do then take a stick of sage to the place.

There’s more to just the cleansing of the Space, too.

If you want it to feel better inside, you have to replace the energy with that which feels better to you.

You also have to heal the space.

This cannot be done with sage. Other plants? Perhaps yes, but the near exclusive purpose of sage is release and removal. Not replacement with new energy. This is why traditional saging is almost always followed up with a smudging using at least one other plant species - generally, sweet grass or cedar.

But you don’t necessarily need those things, either.

In fact, in my own sessions with clients, I have never used sage. Or any other physical element. It’s not necessary. In my own home, sage is not often used though we do have it. 

So what do you do? How can you completely (energy AND entities) and properly cleanse a space without sage?

The key components to a space clearing - is sage essential? 

First and foremost, it’s important to know that my own space clearing sessions with clients often take over 3 hours to perform, with follow-up work and sessions for complete cleansing and healing. For the purposes of this article, and just logistics, this is simply a framework of key components and by no means a complete how-to guide to cleanse your space, as each situation is entirely different.

There are 4 primary components to any space clearing that I do, and you don’t need sage for any of it:





Let’s break them down.

The 4 components of Space Clearing


You and everyone that lives in your space has to want the space to be cleansed and healed. If you want to cleanse a collective or shared space, in order for it to work, your roommates have to be on board.

Imagine that everything you intend to remove from the space - dark Spirits, dark energy, whatever, once they get removed, they get shoved behind a door. We can call it the Door of Darkness. You can certainly clean everything up and put it behind that door, but because you live in a house with other people, ANYONE, can open that door that you closed at any time.

They can open it by introducing disbelief, doubt, not wanting clearing, making fun of you, and otherwise any form of not taking it seriously.

You have to mean it and be specific as to what you want gone. As specific as possible, if you mention Earthbound Spirits leaving, but you’re dealing with demons - there will still be a problem if you don’t say that, too.

Everyone in the space has to agree to the clearing and take it seriously. Everyone. No exceptions.


Angels, Archangels, and Ascended Masters are the key Spirit helpers in a space clearing. In sessions, Spirit Guides have attended to help orchestrate and provide support, but in my experience, they have never had hands on involvement in clearing a space.

This is the work of these Ascended Light Spirits. To remove dark and lower energy, you need the exact antidote. The most powerful antidote. In the Spiritual world, this is whomever and whatever contains and can harness the most Divine Light Energy in the quickest and most powerful way.

The only Spirits that have the ability to inherently work to this level are typically Angels, Archangels and Ascended Masters.

These are who I call upon to assist in my sessions, and most of the time, 4-6 of these guys attend and assist in the clearing and healing. Who you call upon is entirely a personal choice and depends upon who your assigned and called upon helpers are and who would be best served to assist in the case at hand. I like to work with Archangel Michael, and sometimes Azrael and Raphael, and whoever else attends the session depends on the Spirits that assist and guide the other party.


Everything can be cleansed and healed using purifying Divine light as your guide. It’s the purest of pure white light you can get to combat the lower and darker energy and Spirits you are so often dealing with in a space clearing. But, there are 2 stages of using Divine Light in a space clearing - the clearing and the healing. Call upon your Angels and Ascended Masters to assist here. You must cleanse the living people in the space and then the space itself. Finally, you must replace the energy that was removed from each individual and the space with Divine White Light; this is the healing portion.  

Sage can help you do this, of course, but it’s not necessary. All you need here is a knowledge of how to use Divine Light for this purpose and a desire to do so. This is something that can be learned by anyone, with so many applications beyond clearing a space.


When you are transforming a space, much like when you are transforming a life through healing, goal setting, intentions, or resolutions, it takes more than one commitment to your values and intention to change for it to work. For anything to work, really. You have to continually restate your new goal, whatever that may be, and why it’s important for you.

This continual act of reminding yourself of the importance of what you’re doing serves a dual purpose as an inward healing and an outward projection of the new you. You have to change your old energetic state of being internally, and externally, so the outside world, Spirits and all, know that you’re serious. And if you’re leaving behind darker energy and Spirits, you can be sure that they’ll come back to double check that you meant and you’re serious about choosing only the Light from now on, just as is everyone who lives in your space.

For this reason, follow-up is always required in space clearing.

Think of it as setting a New Year’s resolution of weight loss.

It’s one thing to set the resolution, clear out your fridge and pantry, then eat healthy for the first day only, but the goal of weight loss doesn’t work if you don’t follow up each day with some act to affirm your seriousness of your new resolution.

You need to keep making healthy choices. As you move forward, you’ll make less and less intentional acts of eating healthier and exercising, and these new behaviors will simply become second nature.

Performing a Proper Space Clearing: How Important is Sage?

In space clearing sessions with me, the ideal follow-up process for you and your space are always artfully chosen by Spirits of the Light, your Guides and Angels, and aligned with your highest and greatest good at this time. In other words, the routine work-out plan is tailored for your success - and everyone is different, so each plan is different. It can include written intentions and affirmations, the use of salt as a barrier, crystals, specific acts that you need to take each day for a certain number of days, etc. Just like to lose weight, you may place photo reminders of your goal and positive affirmations of beauty around your home. As we work together, we identify the best way to initially clear - and work together to keep clear - your space.

Clearing a space and having it feel like your space again is so much more than burning sage. It’s intention, seriousness, resolve, Divine Light, and follow-up care. You’re setting a resolution for your home and for your new life - a single stick of sage can’t do that. Sage can get you part of the way, but only if the intention exists behind the act.  To see change, you have to know it is possible, believe it works, and want it in your heart.

This is my very loose framework for a space clearing and healing.

All the core components are present, but each life is different, each space has a history and unique residents, and each situation is entirely fluid. The process for clearing each space changes in detail and pattern to work best for each situation. When the above four components - Intention, Angels, Energy, Follow-up - are taken into account before, during and after any work begins, the space clearing will have the highest chances for continued success. While the components may differ, most shamans and mediums strive to perform all clearings as a carefully orchestrated act, joining with many individuals, both living and in Spirit, working to achieve an idealized, cleared, and healed result.

With Love,


A note about safety

DISCLAIMER: Space clearing can be extremely dangerous. You are often dealing with unknown Spirits and entities, who are NOT pure, harmless, and of the Light. Before you engage in ANY space clearing behavior, and before you even consider it, you must take full precaution to protect yourself, your own energy, that of your own home, and your entire family. If you are clearing a space in which these Spirits are benefiting from destroying the lives of someone else, or wreaking havoc on another family for their own enjoyment, make no mistake that they will make every effort to prevent you from completing the clearing. This includes coming to your home, entering your space, and potentially scaring and harming your own family. As a space clearing professional, you must be careful.

LAST UPDATED: December 31, 2014

Disclaimer: By law, we are required to state that we are not a medical doctors, the information presented here is for education purposes only, and our advice is not meant to be replaced for medical diagnosis and/or treatment by your doctor. This website is run by a shaman and an herbalist. The statements made on this blog and website represent our view of the world given our unique set of life experiences. These are truths as we see and understand the world at the time the words were written. Statements here have not been evaluated by the FDA and are meant for educational purposes only. We cannot guarantee successful outcomes. Your health is your responsibility. Please view our full terms & conditions and site disclaimers, located in the webpage footer.

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