ritual burning of herbs and herbal resins is common to many cultures in
the world. From the rich frankincense of the Church and the Middle
Eastern bazaar, to the heady incenses of Asia, to the raw energy of
brush burning in many native cultures—the purification of space through
this modality is a global phenomenon and one you can benefit from
sage is one of the oldest and purest methods of cleansing a person,
group of people or space. While Native American sage burning is the
most commonly recognized form of it today, it has nevertheless been a
shared practice in other cultures too.
the ancient Celtic druids who used sage as a sacred herb alongside Oak
Moss for burning as well as medicinal purposes, to the Indigenous
Peoples of the Amazon whose Palo Santo (sacred wood) sage burning ceremonies are still practiced to this day.
Sage is for healing
who eschew the burning of incenses and herbs as a cleansing method and
think that the only purpose in this tradition is to make dwellings
smell nice, have perhaps never smelled sage burning. No one who has
smelled the distinct acrid tang of burning sage would say that it could
only be for ‘aesthetic’ olfactory purposes.
Latin for sage, ‘Salvia,’ stems from the word ‘to heal.’ The other
qualities of sage when burned, such as giving wisdom, clarity and
increasing spiritual awareness, are also indicated in the name. It’s no
accident that we refer to wise people as sagely.
benefits of burning sage can be harnessed very simply by burning sage
in your home, office or any other place in need of cleansing.
How to burn sage properly
burning cleansing rituals can be as elaborate or as simple as you want
them to be, but it’s of the highest importance that your intention be
clear before you begin. If you are burning sage to purify a space, or a
person (even yourself) then this needs to be clearly planted in your
mind before you the light the sage, and while taking the smoke around a
home, or through a space.
best sage to use for such purposes is white sage, although if you have
garden sage then this will work fine also (just make sure it is dried).
Any local farmer’s market or health food store should carry it, as well
as new age stores. Of course, you can order online as well. See below
for a recommendation.
process is simple enough. If you have a heavy earthenware pot
(something heatproof), then place the bundled sage into the pot and
light it for a few seconds before extinguishing the flame and letting
the smoke billow up. Really dry sage will catch fire quickly, so watch
Focus burning sage on gateway and high traffic areas
careful not to breathe in the smoke directly, and not to fill the area
too thickly with smoke—this is not a fumigation, just a cleansing, so
no need to go overboard. Then slowly walk around where you are and take
the smoke to each area you would like to cleanse. Concentrate on
gateway areas, such as windows, doors, closets, as well as hallways.
Also concentrate on the corners of a room. Most importantly, use your
intuition. If you allow it, your space will usually inform you as to
which areas need to be cleansed the most.
may want to focus on particularly busy areas, both foot traffic wise
(kitchen) and mentally (computer workstation). If you have a pet, be
sure to sage them a little (if they allow it) and their sleeping area.
burning incense immediately after a saging session. Sage has a more
masculine/yang aspect and is nicely coupled by the feminine/yin aspect
of incense. Also experiment with bell ringing or hand clapping in
between saging and incense burning for a total cleansing effect.
you can at least burn sage in your living space on a weekly basis, then
you are guaranteed to notice a lightness of energy and calmness descend
into your home from this practice. It can be a way to cleanse the old
energy from the previous week, and welcome in the newly beginning week
and all the possibilities it holds.
Where to buy high-quality sage
If you're looking for high-quality, ethically cultivated and offered sage, go no further than the Shaman's Market.
Don't go to Amazon or large commercial vendors because with a
ceremonial, sacred product, intention matters, cultivation matters, as
does the intention of the seller—all of these subtle vibrations pass to
the product and ultimately into the space you are saging.
Market is a fantastic small business, independently owned and operated.
They offer a multitude of high-quality ceremonial goods, and in many
cases work with indigenous peoples offering a market for their precious
and beautiful handicrafts. It's a business you want to support. They
are kind and here to assist in the healing work of humanity and the
Shaman's Market offers a wide variety of sages.
If you're just starting, go for the White Sage Smudge Sticks, which are
cultivated in California. You can't go wrong with white sage, which is
used extensively by Native Americans. It's bundled, making it slightly
easier to handle than loose leaf sage. If you have extra to spare, then
pick up a few different varieties and see which one works best for you,
each will have slightly different scents and energetic imprints.By movingtowardspeace.com