+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 48
  1. #1
    Senior Apprentice Achievements:
    Tagger Second ClassThree Friends1000 Experience Points1 year registered
    Bastemhet is on a distinguished road Bastemhet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Last Online
    15 Dec 2013 @ 11:31 AM
    Country
    USA
    Location
    Granada, Spain
    Religion
    Kemetic Orthodox
    Posts
    94

    Burning sage: Universal to all fluffs or specific to some Native American cultures?

    OK, so recently I was in a discussion about whether one could use sage to cleanse negative energies even for people who are not working within a Native American practice/context.

    -I argue that I think itīs somewhat pointless to use a practice from an unnamed Native American culture (seeing as there are various tribes and practices, and since Iīm ignorant I am not about to assume that sage, its meaning, and its usage are universal for all of these tribes). Itīs important to know the three things I listed above and also for it to make sense because youīre working within a context in which "energy" doesnīt just mean "vibrational stuff" because different practices (not just Native American ones) will have different ideas about what is considered pure and how to become pure. I donīt think it makes sense to cherry pick practices and mend them together to do whatever unless youīve first checked that the contexts you take from donīt have glaring compatibility issues, or even if part of working in other systems is making sure that the deities of these systems wonīt get pissed if you work with other deities, etc.

    -Another person who apparently argues heīs "part native", says "the natives...would celebrate the spirit of the plant they were using, and would invoke the great spirit or thunder-bird to whom they addressed their prayers." He says "there is no special religious specific use of sage as a etheric sanitizer and clearer of ībad spiritsī." And that it is "purely vibrational."



    Is there any truth to what he says? Am I mistaken in thinking that sage should not be considered a universal vibrational cleanser if you donīt adopt the rest of the system that it comes from?

  2. #2
    Master Member Achievements:
    Tagger Second Class1000 Experience Points1 year registered
    Mahjong Champion Starglade is on a distinguished road Starglade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Last Online
    2 Feb 2014 @ 03:35 PM
    Country
    USA
    Location
    Midwest, about an hour's drive from a Great Lake
    Religion
    Tibetan Buddhism with FlameKeeping overlay
    Posts
    403

    Re: Burning sage: Universal to all fluffs or specific to some Native American culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Bastemhet View Post
    FWIW, back in the early 80's when I was taking a correspondence course in Wicca (you know, by the US Postal Service delivery system), sage was one of the herbs we were taught to use for general cleansing.

    If it matters, the course was from Our Lady of Enchantment in Nashua NH.
    "The Eightfold Path is sometimes called the pathless path. Each step brings a growing awareness that enlightenment is in the here and now--in the world and in our relationships as we read these words . . . now." -- Jonathan White
    http://grammargeddon.com

  3. #3
    Senior Apprentice
    Achievements:
    1000 Experience Points1 year registered
    DomesticWitch is on a distinguished road DomesticWitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Last Online
    10 Jun 2014 @ 09:40 AM
    Country
    UK
    Location
    Manchester
    Religion
    Wicca
    Posts
    85

    Re: Burning sage: Universal to all fluffs or specific to some Native American culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Bastemhet View Post
    OK, so recently I was in a discussion about whether one could use sage to cleanse negative energies even for people who are not working within a Native American practice/context.

    -I argue that I think itīs somewhat pointless to use a practice from an unnamed Native American culture (seeing as there are various tribes and practices, and since Iīm ignorant I am not about to assume that sage, its meaning, and its usage are universal for all of these tribes). Itīs important to know the three things I listed above and also for it to make sense because youīre working within a context in which "energy" doesnīt just mean "vibrational stuff" because different practices (not just Native American ones) will have different ideas about what is considered pure and how to become pure. I donīt think it makes sense to cherry pick practices and mend them together to do whatever unless youīve first checked that the contexts you take from donīt have glaring compatibility issues, or even if part of working in other systems is making sure that the deities of these systems wonīt get pissed if you work with other deities, etc.

    -Another person who apparently argues heīs "part native", says "the natives...would celebrate the spirit of the plant they were using, and would invoke the great spirit or thunder-bird to whom they addressed their prayers." He says "there is no special religious specific use of sage as a etheric sanitizer and clearer of ībad spiritsī." And that it is "purely vibrational."

    Is there any truth to what he says? Am I mistaken in thinking that sage should not be considered a universal vibrational cleanser if you donīt adopt the rest of the system that it comes from?
    I find that quite silly in all honesty - the native americans didnt make sage a cleansing herb, thats just the way it is and it just so happens that people tend to associate smudging, using sage, with native americans, possibly because they were one of the first to discover its use, probably because its native to southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.

    Native Americans didnt invent sage.

  4. #4
    Senior Apprentice Achievements:
    Tagger Second ClassThree Friends1000 Experience Points1 year registered
    Bastemhet is on a distinguished road Bastemhet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Last Online
    15 Dec 2013 @ 11:31 AM
    Country
    USA
    Location
    Granada, Spain
    Religion
    Kemetic Orthodox
    Posts
    94

    Re: Burning sage: Universal to all fluffs or specific to some Native American culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Starglade View Post
    ...when I was taking a correspondence course in Wicca...sage was one of the herbs we were taught to use for general cleansing.
    Thanks for sharing. Did they ever tell you where this practice originated and how/why it works?

  5. #5
    Journeyman Achievements:
    1000 Experience PointsVeteran
    Caroline is on a distinguished road Caroline's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Last Online
    13 Aug 2014 @ 04:34 PM
    Country
    Canada
    Religion
    polytheist
    Posts
    134

    Re: Burning sage: Universal to all fluffs or specific to some Native American culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Bastemhet View Post
    OK, so recently I was in a discussion about whether one could use sage to cleanse negative energies even for people who are not working within a Native American practice/context.
    You're right, burning sage is specific to some FN/NA cultures, but not all. I see the practice of burning incense (which literally means burning, so heh, redundant) as having a universal quality, not the particular substance involved. (In some cultures the *scent* isn't as important as the *smoke* produced.)

    My thoughts are this: if you are working in a particular context that requires a particular incense substance/blend, by all means use that. Something that is dedicated to a particular purpose (like incense blends made for a particular deity or practice) I'd use those only for that purpose (I wouldn't buy a temple blend and use it for a non-intended purpose). I see the intent/dedication involved in the creation of a particular incense to be of more significance than any inherent quality.

  6. #6
    Senior Apprentice Achievements:
    Tagger Second ClassThree Friends1000 Experience Points1 year registered
    Bastemhet is on a distinguished road Bastemhet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Last Online
    15 Dec 2013 @ 11:31 AM
    Country
    USA
    Location
    Granada, Spain
    Religion
    Kemetic Orthodox
    Posts
    94

    Re: Burning sage: Universal to all fluffs or specific to some Native American culture

    Quote Originally Posted by DomesticWitch View Post
    the native americans didnt make sage a cleansing herb, thats just the way it is
    I'm not really buying the "sage is a cleansing herb because it's a cleansing herb" argument.

    and it just so happens that people tend to associate smudging, using sage, with native americans, possibly because they were one of the first to discover its use, probably because its native to southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.

    Native Americans didnt invent sage.
    But if it's native to these areas and used specifically for the spiritual properties and symbolism that make sense within that/those religious context(s), would it make sense for me to use it if I'm not of that religion?

    For example, natron in the Kemetic religion is a cleansing agent. By its very nature it is pure, and washing with it and chewing it helps adherents to gain a state of ritual purity. It is considered necessary to purify one's self before entering into the presence of a god. It is considered so pure that even the gods' statues are bathed with it themselves. It was used for thousands of years. We continue to use it today because the gods have asked it of us. And for any Kemetic who has done a Kemetic ritual with natron, you know it works.

    But for anyone not working within the Kemetic tradition, natron is nothing more than baking soda and salt: glorified soap, not even that great of a soap considering what modern soaps we have available today. Why would it mean anything for someone who's not Kemetic to use it to purify things? I ask the same about using sage.

  7. #7
    Senior Staff Achievements:
    Three Friends1000 Experience PointsVeteran
    Ocelot is on a distinguished road Ocelot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Last Online
    13 Jun 2014 @ 12:38 PM
    Country
    USA
    Location
    The Hudson Valley
    Religion
    Flamekeeper
    Posts
    125

    Re: Burning sage: Universal to all fluffs or specific to some Native American culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Bastemhet View Post
    OK, so recently I was in a discussion about whether one could use sage to cleanse negative energies even for people who are not working within a Native American practice/context.

    -I argue that I think itīs somewhat pointless to use a practice from an unnamed Native American culture (seeing as there are various tribes and practices, and since Iīm ignorant I am not about to assume that sage, its meaning, and its usage are universal for all of these tribes). Itīs important to know the three things I listed above and also for it to make sense because youīre working within a context in which "energy" doesnīt just mean "vibrational stuff" because different practices (not just Native American ones) will have different ideas about what is considered pure and how to become pure. I donīt think it makes sense to cherry pick practices and mend them together to do whatever unless youīve first checked that the contexts you take from donīt have glaring compatibility issues, or even if part of working in other systems is making sure that the deities of these systems wonīt get pissed if you work with other deities, etc.

    -Another person who apparently argues heīs "part native", says "the natives...would celebrate the spirit of the plant they were using, and would invoke the great spirit or thunder-bird to whom they addressed their prayers." He says "there is no special religious specific use of sage as a etheric sanitizer and clearer of ībad spiritsī." And that it is "purely vibrational."

    Is there any truth to what he says? Am I mistaken in thinking that sage should not be considered a universal vibrational cleanser if you donīt adopt the rest of the system that it comes from?

    Well, a couple things. I don't think burning sage was exclusive to Native Americans, but I could be mistaken on that.

    IMHO, I'm in the camp that it isn't always a problem to borrow from other practices. Some people feel very strongly that integrating practices is bad or wishy-washy, but I look at it as more enriching, than cherry picking.
    ~<>~ Flame of light, flame of dark, working together, never apart.
    Dancing in harmony, balance assured, dark absorbs so light may endure.
    ~<>~

  8. #8
    Senior Apprentice
    Achievements:
    1000 Experience Points1 year registered
    DomesticWitch is on a distinguished road DomesticWitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Last Online
    10 Jun 2014 @ 09:40 AM
    Country
    UK
    Location
    Manchester
    Religion
    Wicca
    Posts
    85

    Re: Burning sage: Universal to all fluffs or specific to some Native American culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Bastemhet View Post
    I'm not really buying the "sage is a cleansing herb because it's a cleansing herb" argument.
    Then why is it a cleansing herb to Native Americans?

  9. #9
    Senior Apprentice Achievements:
    Tagger Second ClassThree Friends1000 Experience Points1 year registered
    Bastemhet is on a distinguished road Bastemhet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Last Online
    15 Dec 2013 @ 11:31 AM
    Country
    USA
    Location
    Granada, Spain
    Religion
    Kemetic Orthodox
    Posts
    94

    Re: Burning sage: Universal to all fluffs or specific to some Native American culture

    Quote Originally Posted by Ocelot View Post
    Well, a couple things. I don't think burning sage was exclusive to Native Americans, but I could be mistaken on that.
    If anyone does know, please tell me.

    IMHO, I'm in the camp that it isn't always a problem to borrow from other practices. Some people feel very strongly that integrating practices is bad or wishy-washy, but I look at it as more enriching, than cherry picking.
    You say enriching, I say cultural appropriation. That's not really the focus of my post here, though. I'm more interested in whether it makes any sense to take from other cultures if you're also going to ignore the symbolic value and the rich cultural practices and history that surround the ritual act. I'm of the opinion that turn clockwise and spit three times isn't always the best way to achieve your goals, although I understand that some witches do work this way, and it's not necessary to have a divine system to work within. However, I was under the impression that sage does come with its own history within a context. Again, someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

  10. #10
    Senior Apprentice Achievements:
    Tagger Second ClassThree Friends1000 Experience Points1 year registered
    Bastemhet is on a distinguished road Bastemhet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Last Online
    15 Dec 2013 @ 11:31 AM
    Country
    USA
    Location
    Granada, Spain
    Religion
    Kemetic Orthodox
    Posts
    94

    Re: Burning sage: Universal to all fluffs or specific to some Native American culture

    Quote Originally Posted by DomesticWitch View Post
    Then why is it a cleansing herb to Native Americans?

    What I know is it's associated to Native Americans. I don't know why or where this idea came from. You might want to actually ask someone who works within that context. They would probably be a better source of information. That's kind of part of my point.

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. ADF-specific question re: nature of deity
    By Elizabeth in forum Neo-Druidry SIG
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 23 Sep 2011, 04:29 PM
  2. "Core Shamanism" or Culture-Specific?
    By AlisonLeighLilly in forum Worship and Ritual
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 21 Jul 2011, 12:22 AM
  3. DivEx - Sage
    By Sage in forum The Divinatory Arts
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 14 Jul 2011, 10:02 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts