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Author Topic: Advice needed: white sage leaves  (Read 2173 times)

Louisvillian

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Re: Advice needed: white sage leaves
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2016, 12:24:19 am »
Quote from: Morag;194893
snip

When I've obtained white sage, the people from whom I obtained it didn't play up the Native use of white sage for sacred purposes, as a marketing gimmick or for their own image. They went at more from the tack of it being used in Neopagan rituals for smoke cleansing, which I've seen mentioned in books and online quite a bit, with no attempt to convey a borrowing from indigenous traditions.
If I were to claim I was smudging with it, sure, that'd be wrong, for the reasons outlined. But what is so offensive about using it for smoke cleansing a room or sacred space, especially if it works?

Morag

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Re: Advice needed: white sage leaves
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2016, 07:32:11 am »
Quote from: Louisvillian;194979
When I've obtained white sage, the people from whom I obtained it didn't play up the Native use of white sage for sacred purposes, as a marketing gimmick or for their own image. They went at more from the tack of it being used in Neopagan rituals for smoke cleansing, which I've seen mentioned in books and online quite a bit, with no attempt to convey a borrowing from indigenous traditions.


Neopagan traditions did not arise in a vacuum. As white sage (both Salvia apiana and Artemisia ludoviciana) is native to North America, burning it for smoke cleansing as a "Neopagan tradition" is borrowing from indigenous traditions whether one is aware of that or not.

While I'm sure it's possible that there are people who spontaneously figured out that this plant is good for burning and cleansing spaces with no knowledge of it being used in indigenous cultures in a similar way, this is not the case overall and it being "Neopagan tradition" in any way is certainly borrowing from indigenous people.

Quote from: Louisvillian;194979
If I were to claim I was smudging with it, sure, that'd be wrong, for the reasons outlined. But what is so offensive about using it for smoke cleansing a room or sacred space, especially if it works?

 
You might want to reread my post, especially the bit where I outlined that the main problem was the commercial purchase of white sage (and overharvest of Salvia apiana) and then linked a video where a First Nations elder gives instructions on how to harvest it and what to use it for (including burning it for sacred and ceremonial purposes).

Personally, I'm not offended when people burn white sage to cleanse a space, regardless if they were raised in a Native culture that does that or not. Offense wasn't really what was being talked about here; what was being talked about was desecration of a sacred plant by commercial selling or misuse of it. But I mean if you want to water that down and paint it as "offense" then, like, have fun I guess. Really misses the whole point, though.

On a side note, though, there are other things that work for smoke-cleansing too, which are actually easier (and cheaper!) to get a hold of than white sage. Like, say, Salvia officinalis, otherwise known as culinary sage. Works a treat and doesn't have any ethical complications attached to using it. Or rosemary! Bay leaf! Parsley! Thyme!

So I have no clue, really, why white sage for smoke-cleansing is a hill anyone wants to die on.
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Starlight

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Re: Advice needed: white sage leaves
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2016, 12:58:41 am »
Quote from: Louisvillian;194979
When I've obtained white sage, the people from whom I obtained it didn't play up the Native use of white sage for sacred purposes, as a marketing gimmick or for their own image. They went at more from the tack of it being used in Neopagan rituals for smoke cleansing, which I've seen mentioned in books and online quite a bit, with no attempt to convey a borrowing from indigenous traditions.
If I were to claim I was smudging with it, sure, that'd be wrong, for the reasons outlined. But what is so offensive about using it for smoke cleansing a room or sacred space, especially if it works?

For me, it's a matter of personal ethics. I'm not in North America. White Sage is not native to the country I live in. It was gathered up (and overharvesting is a big problem), shipped, imported and sold, which I've learned is neither respectful to the spirit of the plant itself nor to Native American traditions who consider the plant sacred. And so, according to my own conscience, it does not feel right to continue doing as I have been.

I'm not trying to convince anyone else.

Just looking for advice for my own situation.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2016, 01:08:38 am by Starlight »
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leeza567

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Re: Advice needed: white sage leaves
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2016, 01:26:12 pm »
Quote from: Starlight;194775
Hi everyone, I'm looking for advice on how best and respectfully to deal with some white sage leaves I purchased a couple of years ago.

Between one thing and another, I recently discovered the whole area of cultural/religious appropriation and the concept of open/closed religions, and learned that white sage is sacred to some Native American religions and is used in a very specific way.

Because they have asked that white sage not be used outside their tradition, I won't be burning the leaves any more for space clearing purposes - there are other methods I can use.

My question is now, what should I do with the white sage leaves? What is an appropriately respectful way to let them go?

Thank you for your help.

 

My name is Leeza Donatella. I am an energy master, reiki master, and shamanic practitioner, author and inspirational speaker, living in Arizona for decades, the last years in Sedona. I have worked with many in AZ and in the Amazon since the 90’s with whom smudging is a regular ritual. Smudge actually refers to the bowl Native Americans use to hold the sacred herbs used to cleanse and clear the energy in the space.  Every culture and religion has performed some sort of cleansing ritual at one time starting with the Egyptians where they burned incense. You will see similar rituals in some Christian religions at Easter. That's the smell of burning frankincense and myrrh. There are many experts that can provide insight, especially if you are seeking to use a native traditional ceremony to respect the Sage Leave that you have in your possession. It is afterall, all about your intention.. Blessed be.  Leeza

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