Who said spiritual cleansings were for kooks? The practice has gone from hippie to haute, as Manhattanites bid bye-bye to negative energy (and they don’t care how much it costs!)
- Last Updated: 11:00 PM, July 26, 2012
- Posted: 10:13 PM, July 25, 2012
Adam Glassman, the creative director of O, The Oprah Magazine, does what any good boss would do to welcome new hires. He warmly greets them, hosts a first-day breakfast meeting — and then rids their cubicles of bad aura by waving around a burning bundle of herbs (otherwise known as a smudge stick) like a magician brandishing his wand.
“When new employees come, I sage the desk in their offices from the energy of the past employees,” says Glassman.
“I’m always smudging the office and all the corners of the room. It’s really about cleaning house.”
“Spiritual clearing” or “cleansing,” the act of removing all negative energy from a space via herb-burning, noise and concentrated thought, has gone from hippie to haute. (Sage is the herb traditionally employed in cleansings, per ancient Native American ritual.)
Designer Isaac Mizrahi, actress Uma Thurman and Cosmopolitan Editor-in-Chief Kate White have all cleared their NYC abodes. According to a March Page Six item, Rachael Ray even ordered her staffers to sage her new Chelsea TV studio in order to chase away the negative spirits of past owner Martha Stewart. Indeed, New Yorkers are clearing their homes and offices with a never-before-seen fervor and faith. Whether it’s a new family moving into a flat fatale, or a desperate home seller who thinks the vibrational remnants of his breakup are tarnishing the space’s market appeal, city folk are getting zen-y with it.
“It is like wildfire right now. It is really extraordinary,” says Madalyn Aslan, a spiritual clearer who’s been at the sage game for more than two decades.
“I average 20 houses or apartments a year in NYC, but this year already — since January 2012 — it’s been 32, so that’s over double [the normal pace] in half the time,” says Aslan, who credits the boom to the growing popularity of home renovation, design and brokerage shows that have featured saging.
The cost for her sage advice?
Between $500 and $750 a clearing, based on apartment size.
For some, there’s no price too great for peace of mind. Just ask HGTV star Genevieve Gorder, who owns a two-bedroom pad in Chelsea. The 37-year-old recently purchased the mirror apartment next door, but in the midst of renovating the new digs, she realized something was off.
“My former neighbor, he’s [now] in adult care. He lost his wife, and there was definitely some unraveling after that,” says Gorder. “There was a heaviness about the space and some sadness, so I knew that I needed to lift the energy a little bit.”
She enlisted the aid of Aslan, 48, who has a deep celebrity clientele, including Mizrahi and Thurman, and a penchant for salvia sage. Aslan, who sages French SoHo restaurant Raoul’s yearly as a sort of good-luck ritual, got her start in the early ’90s while doing psychic readings for interior designer Albert Hadley’s clients.