What is Sage?
Sage is a type of herb or sub-shrub that grows plentiful in many regions. It has become a naturalized species in many countries, though it is believed to have originated from the Mediterranean.
Where Did Burning Sage Come From?
Sage is traditionally utilized as a folk remedy for various ailments from infertility in women to snake bites. It is also traditionally used as a ward or protection against evil. Burning sage is said to have a purifying effect on a person and space where the smoke is present.
In ancient Roman times, it is used as a remedy for skin lesions, and it is also said that it was used as a mild anesthetic. Throughout the Middle Ages, sage was part of the folk remedy chest and easy go-to for sick people. It was understandable since medicaments were hard to come by, and modern medicine was yet to be born.
Sage was also processed in various ways, as it was believed that changes in the application of heat and liquids could bring out some of its more special healing powers. It has used for so long that even Pliny the Elder had written about it. It was taken to encourage urination and to balance the production of blood as well.
What Does Burning Sage Do?
In the West, the ritual practice of “smudging” or burning sage has its roots in Native American culture. Originally, smudging was done by shamans or elders who had a special connection with the spirit world. The process was part of the general system of practices that expressed knowledge of the spirit world and the wisdom of the Universe. Smudging was done to bless people and places, and it was also done to ensure that bad spirits and negativity were kept at bay.
You see, the idea of having evil within a given space is so old that rituals like this have existed for thousands of years. It was passed on from generation to generation, and through trade, the knowledge of such rituals was also passed on from culture to culture.
According to Native American culture, smudging can bring about healing in the persons blessed with the smoke. There is also the possibility of gaining wisdom and improved longevity.
Here are some of the benefits of burning sage:
It may be physical purifying.
The components of ceremonial sage have antibacterial properties, so the smoke of burnt ceremonial sage can help ward off not just evil, but also bacteria and other human pathogens that may be lurking in the air. If you have ever wondered how you can have natural air purification, burning sage may be the closest you can to this process.
It may help people with respiratory conditions.
While we have to rely on anecdotal references, it is believed that burnt sage produces negative ions. Negative ions can bind a neutralize free-floating irritants in the air, such as mold, dust, dander from pets, and general components from air pollution. This may be a good thing for people who have conditions like asthma. Unless the smoke itself is irritating to the person with asthma, you can probably burn a bit of sage now and then to purify the air.
It is a spiritual tool.
We already know this, but we need to go into a bit more detail. The smoke of ceremonial sage occupies a higher rung in the field of magic and spirituality. It drives away bad elements and entities. It cleanses magical stones and gems. It can wither away the tentacles of psychic vampires. The smoke of ceremonial sage also contains a compound called Thujone is known to have a mild psychoactive effect on humans. This can be useful for meditating and other similar activities.
It can help protect you from negative energies.
When we speak of negative energies, we’re talking about what’s in the present and what happened in the future. Using ceremonial sage can help open up your memories and senses so you can relinquish your hold on past emotions and traumas. It will surely help all your other efforts make yourself healthier and happier through various forms of spirituality.
How to Dry Sage for Smudging?
If you have access to the branches of white ceremonial sage, that’s what you need for rituals. Break the branches up into several long pieces and tie them together with a long piece of string. Hang the sage branches upside-down for at least seven days. This should be enough time to drain the sage of all its moisture. If you can go longer, do it. The drier the sage, the better. Ensure that the bundle you create is comprised of uniformly-sized branches so they would look good and easier to hold.
How to Burn Sage?
To burn ceremonial sage for clearing of negative energies, follow these steps:
- Use a fireproof ceremonial bowl or any old bowl that won’t catch fire.
- State your intention: you want to cleanse yourself and the space around you of evil, bad intentions, and negative energies.
- Light the tip of your sage stick. There is no need to light the whole thing, as it is not meant to be a candle or torch.
- When some embers catch on, fan the tip of the sage stick to produce lots of smoke. Make sure that the doors and windows of the space you wish to bless are open.
- State your intention once again and ask for the help and guidance of the good spirits protecting you and the space you are a blessing.
- Place the burning sage stick on the ceremonial bowl and proceed with meditation.
To be on the safe side, do not over-fan the sage and make sure there is appropriate ventilation to remove the smoke (and negative energies).
Where to Buy Burning Sage?
White ceremonial sage can be purchased online through Amazon, or if it is available in your area, you can collect sage branches. Feel free to combine your sage stick with other herbs and flowers to add additional blessings to your cleansing rituals.