Whenever I burn sage (aka smudging) at my yoga studio before a session, I've heard comments like: "It smells like weed in here!" Or, "What smells like barbecue?" And then there's my all time favorite, "It smells like my grandmother's cemetery."
Sure, dried white ceremonial sage has a distinctly beautiful scent when burned. And if you're new to this practice, just try to be open minded about it. You can take a moment of meditation to notice if the smell evokes a sense memory for you. Where does that resonate in your body? Examine whether you feel a spiritual connection, or an earthy, ancestral stirring within your blood.
This is the smell of thousands of years of spiritual communion and ritual.
Smudging your sacred space, your home or office, or even your body with sage is like taking an energetic shower, or doing a deep metaphysical cleansing. The smoke from dried sage actually changes the ionic composition of the air, and can have a direct effect on reducing our stress response.
Smudging is ritual alchemy — changing and shifting the air element, and transforming our current experience to a mystical one.