White Sage Smudging Stick
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However, White Sage is far more than a pretty native plant of California. Historically, it provided food and medicine for a number of Native American tribes along the Pacific Coast.
Due to reverence for its usefulness and the powerful incense-like fragrance of the plant’s leaves when burning, California tribes incorporated White Sage into religious rituals. The plant’s smoke was intended to remove negative energy surrounding people and places.
Seeking Peace Through Smudging
Today, bundles of White Sage leaves are still tied together to create torch-like wands called smudge sticks for purification ceremonies. Yet smudging – using a bowl filled with burning sage or a smudge stick to waft sweet smoke around a person or place – isn’t limited to Native American religious ceremonies or to classroom lessons on early American cultures.
From San Francisco to London, homebuyers nervous about the economy and other problems in their lives are participating in smudging ceremonies to create a feeling of good luck and a peaceful fresh start in their new residences. One of the top smudging plants is White Sage.
Some real estate agents also use smudging ceremonies in apartments they need to sell.
Whether you call it superstitious, soothing or sacred, smudging is going mainstream when people ask Yahoo "Where can I buy a smudge stick near Cleveland, Ohio." Diversity education intended to help students be more sensitive to cultures other than their own is responsible, in part, for creating interest in and respect for sacred smudging ceremonies... Article Reference: Here
"The practice of smudging, when done with the right understanding, is a healing ritual," say Shilo and Shawna Clifford, owners of Native Botanicals, who are Oglala Lakota tribal members and consulted with their mentor and Lakota spiritual leader Warfield Moose, Jr., when talking to Women's Health. "We use sage for all manner of healing—physical, mental, and spiritual."
With those benefits—not to mention scientific studies that back up what Indigenous cultures have known for generations—it's not surprising that smudging has taken off in the wellness community. However, as often happens when a practice becomes trendy, some of its historical context disappears as quickly as an Instagram Story of an influencer showing you their regular sage smudging practice.
That doesn't mean that if you're a non-Native person who is interesting in tapping into sage's healing powers that the idea has completely gone up in smoke. It just means that you shouldn't go striking up a match just yet. "Listening to Indigenous people and what this ceremony means to them is the first step in using sage for all people," the Cliffords explain.
What a lot of people misunderstand about the purpose of smudging is that it helps us to welcome good spirits and positive energy back into our lives," they say. "It’s not so much about removing the negative, because that will always be there. Too often, we forget that instead of searching on social media or in a book to feel better, we can welcome goodness into our lives."
What are the other benefits of burning sage?
The benefits of saging your home aren’t just spiritual. Sage is considered incredibly purifying and is able to clear away many of the toxins you breathe every day, including fumes from paint, chemicals, and cleaning supplies.
- It's antibacterial. A 2007 study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacol linked burning sage to reducing airborne bacteria, meaning it can help you get a fresh start in more ways than one.
- It helps you feel less stressed. A University of Mississippi research project discovered white sage was rich with the compounds that activate the brain's receptors that are responsible for reducing stress.
- It can help you sleep better. Studies have shown that sage might help ease insomnia, which is definitely another way to help improve that positive energy.
- It can improve your mood. In 2014, researchers found that white sage has been used to treat anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.
- It can help you think better. While more research is needed, a 2016 review found that sage might enhance cognition functions and may even be useful as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease.
All right, I'm in. How do I sage my house?
First things first, you have to think about what you're going to use for your practice. You don't have to use white sage to cleanse your home (it's your place, after all), but, considering the over-harvesting of white sage in recent years, if you do choose to go with sage, it's incredibly important to buy from a sustainable and Native business. If things like candles are no-nos in your apartment building, or if you're just a little fire-adverse, there are also several smudge sprays currently on our shop that will give you all the benefits with none of the flame; you can try Reiki Lunas Smudge Me Sage Spray.
Once you're ready, the first step is to set an intention. Think about the energy you want to surround yourself with and what you want to create and cultivate in your space.
When you’re ready, light the sage. Just make sure to blow out the flame once the bundle starts smoking. You’re looking for a steady smolder, not a wildfire, here.
Start with smudging yourself by trailing the smoke down your body before moving on to each room. Waft the smoke from corner to corner, before eventually making your way back to the front of the house.
How exactly does sage welcome positive energy?
The power of sage comes from its spirit. Since sage is a plant, it—like all living things—has a spirit, and sage perfectly embodies its name by offering a wise, protective energy to the world.