I see this move that my boyfriend and I are making as a fresh start. I don’t know why since nothing is changing besides our apartment. But I really want to take the opportunity of the change of environment to try to change some bad habits and negative, destructive thoughts and patterns. Maybe that is why I felt compelled to smudge the apartment with sage before we move in next weekend.
This is not something I have ever done before and I can’t say exactly why I wanted to do it this time. Maybe it’s because we are moving into an older building, maybe I just wanted the ritual, but ever since I decided to smudge the apartment I have been beyond excited to do it. I bought some smudging sage at Whole Foods for $4.99 for a 3 pack of smudge sticks, which it turns out will be enough to smudge every place I ever live in for the rest of my life.
If you’re not familiar with smudging, it is the process of burning sage around a dwelling or area where people are residing. It comes from Ojibwa and Cree tribes who burn sage and other herbs in cleansing ceremonies. It was picked up by Pagan and Wiccan beliefs and can be also used in non-denominational ceremonies. The thought is that the sage smoke picks up any bad energy and takes it out the window or door. We started by smudging ourselves, then around the front door and all the other doors and entrances. Then we did the four corners of the room and around the center of the room in a circle. We ended the smudging ceremony by saying a little house blessing we found. Neither myself nor my boyfriend are particularly religious or spiritual so it didn’t feel like there was much of a spiritual presence during the whole process. I tried to imagine the smoke grabbing on to any negative energy and sucking it away, but my boyfriend just stood there humoring me.
Word to the unfamiliar: It really smells like pot. Like, really a lot. Overall, it was pretty underwhelming. Everything that I read on the internet said that you and the environment should feel cleansed, but it felt the same. I will say this for it though, almost immediately after we were finished our down-the-hall neighbor Judy (How long are you planning to live here? I mean, I don’t know if you’re planning on getting married. But of course it’s none of my business) Levine stopped by. I at first thought she was coming to yell at us for smoking grass, but it turned out she just wanted to see how they had updated the apartment. A result of the smudging or a nosy neighbor? There’s no way to know, but I will say this ““ in over a year of living in my current apartment I have never even seen my neighbors on either side and have only caught a few glimpses from the other 10+ residents on my floor. But the very least we were able to say a nice secular blessing about our new home. And I’m still pretty psyched for the fresh start.
We believe in living deeply, laughing often and loving always. We believe we were brought together to support and care for each other. We believe in celebrating together — our faith, our heritage, our traditions. We believe that everyone’s feelings count, and that the uniqueness of each of us strengthens all of us. We believe in the power of forgiveness to heal and the power of love to carry us through. We believe in one another, in this family, in this home.