What’s The Big Deal About Using Sage For Smudging?

There has been an awakening. I love that it is commonplace to talk about “energy”. People are aware of the idea that their intentions can affect their lives and that their space can be shifted and cleansed. Our consumerist society is curious but not fully spiritually educated and thus, a little misguided.

There has been an influx of people using sage for clearing their space because word has gotten out that this is the thing to do. We can buy sage in major supermarkets, trendy retail stores and anywhere online, including Amazon Prime.

So why is this a problem? Two reasons. A large portion of the plants are being unethically harvested and most people have no idea what they’re doing.

Let’s tackle sage being harvested unethically. When something is trending and it gets to the level of big business supplying it, the amount that is needed to have in stock is overwhelming. sage was abundant in the dry areas of southern California, but not so much anymore. White Sage is now on United Plant Savers’ watch list. The ways that herbalists have been taught to mindfully harvest, aren’t being followed. This leads to whole areas left barren where White Sage once was, and Blue Sage may take the same route. It causes disruption in the environmental ecosystem and in time, the plant can become extinct. One wouldn’t think that a plant could become extinct because they need so little to survive but if we rip all the plants out, do not replace them and the consumer demand is high, the outlook is bleak for sage.

Why do I say people have no idea what they’re doing? Because most don’t have the underlying knowledge behind sage smudging. This is the result of a society that is growing and changing so rapidly that we, as a whole, have not figured ourselves out yet. The way we identify ourselves, our roles in society, our belief systems, what is acceptable behavior and how we should navigate through this life are being questioned, broken down and re-established. Our society is working on its foundation. People turning to different forms of spiritual guidance and adapting parts of others’ cultures, is a product of this.

I was raised partially by my grandparents. My grandfather was a first generation Mexican American and primarily raised by his Apache grandma. At home, we spoke about honoring the earth and the magic that it holds. I knew at a young age that our conversations and my lessons were not the norm for the average American home, so I kept them to myself. But without old lessons being spoken, how would the general public really know how to cleanse their space?

My biggest question is, how did the general public decide that to clear a space, you must have a bundle of sage? I grew up in NY at a time when no one really knew about sage or how to get it. We used our prayers, intentions, spoken words, totems, candles, and sometimes just good ol’ fashioned hand waving with conviction. These worked just fine.

Now I live in Los Angeles and am a practicing energy worker, I do use sage from time to time. I use it because it is a very strong plant with equally strong energy. It is like using a super strength bleach mix on your counter instead of a gentle cleanser. The shop’s storefront is all windows on a busy street with lots of people and my room has people in and out of it. The topics spoken in that room can get quite heavy. All that energy coming from in and around the place can benefit from a smudge. I take one leaf out of the bundle and smudge the room. That is all it takes to clear a 100 sq. ft room, one leaf. In other scenarios, using sage is not my preferred method to clear because of the power behind it. It can be overkill for most situations.

So, you want to smudge your home with sage to clear energy? To be responsible, there are four things that you should do. Learn about:

  1. The plant you are using
  2. The source you are buying from
  3. The culture you are adapting
  4. Your relationship to energy

There are many great resources and herbalists that can give you additional information on plants. I am a student of Green Wisdom Herbal Studies and can guide you on which plants are best for you and how to use them.

To expand your knowledge of sage smudging traditions, I recommend attending a class in the spring with TigerMoon. She is from the Choctaw Tribe of Oklahoma and the founder of Tribe Project. Tribe Project was created to bring awareness about indigenous cultures. TribeProject7.com

If you are interested in energy clearing and how to clear your space in alternate ways, I can guide you. The best way to know about energy is by understanding our own personal relationship to it. Clients have practiced feeling energy, as well as clearing it, in my sessions. You are more than welcome to message me.  MiaXMarksTheSpot


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