The beginning of the year is a perfect time to take stock of where you have been and where you are going. It is also an important time to let go of things that have been holding you back. Saging or smudging with sage can be a great way to cleanse yourself of negative energy and keep it from following you into the New Year.
There are several ways to accomplish this. One is to have a bit of charcoal burning down until it is white, then drop bits of dried sage onto it. Sit in front of it and focus on the negative things that have happened to you this past year. Imagine that you are sprinkling the memories as you add the herbs to the charcoal. As the smoke rises and drifts away, so too will the things that you have gone through that have been holding you back, leave you, and allow the healing process to begin.
Letting go of pain and sorrow from the past year can be difficult. Sometimes it takes an act of physical purpose to begin the healing process. To do this you can sit in front of your sage as it is smoking and journal about your last year, putting into words all that has hurt you or held you back and when you are finished, get up and hold the journal, or piece of paper you have written things down on, above the smoke, allowing the smoke to drift over the words and cleanse them from your mind and your life.
A more intense way of using saging or smudging is to use an actual smudge stick which is usually made out of white sage or other cleansing herbs. Light the bundle then blow it out so that it continues to smoke. Pass the smudge stick around your head and then down the front of your body and around to the back of your body, focusing your mind on letting go of the heavy emotional things you have been carrying, as the smoke drifts around you. Imagine the pain and negativity drifting up into the air and disappearing the way the smoke does. Imagine your first steps away from where you were standing create a fresh start or new beginning for you going into the New Year.
Any of these processes will help you to start the New Year off with a clean slate and prepare you for the exciting year to come with an open heart and open mind.