Sage Use, Space Clearing, and Cultural Respect

So I’m not going to lie…..this blog ended up nothing like I thought it would when I sat down to write it.

As I’m working on clients during Reiki sessions, especially long distance ones, I often feel that their homes are energetically “full” and need to be cleared out to bring it’s occupants more sanity and clarity. To help with this, I usually recommend opening windows up for a while to let some fresh air in and then saging their homes. In the past couple of weeks I’ve had a couple people ask how to sage. So my intention today was to sit down and give some step by step instructions on how to sage a space.

Long story short, after some research and personal reflection, I’ve decided to bring some awareness to more collective issues on bringing respect to the use of sage and the cultures who’ve historically been know to use sage for “smudging.”

As people are searching for ways to reconnect to their mind, body, and spirit in these tumultuous times a lot of us (myself included of course) have turned to Eastern, Native, and/or New Age (just to name a few) practices to help us on our journey. The practice of saging has become increasingly popular and the demand for sage has increased. This has led to people buying sage from non-ethical sources and going through the motions of smudging without the respect for the cultures that traditionally smudged, and the sacredness of the process of smudging.

When the first European colonies came to the Americas, Native people and their spiritual practices were brutally persecuted and suppressed. Just within the last 50 years have Natives been legally able to practice their traditions freely, including the process of smudging.

Now as the demand for sage increases, Natives are concerned about the sustainability issues around sage and other plants traditionally used in ceremony.

So how can we move forward in a more positive way that’s culturally and ethically respectful?

Take some time to educate yourself

So this is literally how this blog came to be. I was doing research on the history of saging to share with you and several articles came up on smudging and cultural appropriation. Learn a little bit about the historical use of sage and how you can honor the process and the cultures that traditionally smudge.

Sage Responsibly

  • Make sure that you purchase your sage from a company that uses sustainable practices in growing and harvesting sage. Here’s a Native American family owned business that you could support: /
  • Try growing and harvesting your own sage
  • Sage with much presence, love, and respect. Say a prayer thanking the plant for it’s healing energy and to the elements that helped it grow. Ask that it create space for much more love and light to be generated by its sacrifice.

Use Other Methods to Space Clear:

  • For those of you that are Reiki attuned, draw the power symbol in your palms and direct them around the room. Intend for that energy to clear and protect the space, and to bring lots of love and light into the room
  • Move around the periphery of the room with the intention of clearing the space and pray that love and light replace the stagnant energy
  • Use chimes, bells, or other sound instruments to break up the energy
  • Open up windows when the weather permits

We’re living in times where we need to have more awareness for the people around us and what it’s like walking in their shoes. I hope this blog brings some more of an awareness for you, as the process of writing it did for me. I need to re-look at the process of saging and hosting drum circle for myself too as I want to make sure that I’m doing my part in being respectful, learning, and growing. While most (really all!) of my blogs just don’t see to convey exactly what I want them to, I hope that this was helpful!

Much love and light to you today, and always,