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Burning Sage History: The Spiritual And Health Benefits Of Burning Sage

Burning sage is a powerful way to get rid of negative energy. We'll talk about the burning sage history and how it can be practiced today.

Wondering if you can burn sage yourself? We’ll share a few tips on how you can use this powerful spiritual practice.

What Is Sage And Where Does Sage Come From?

You might have heard the word sage in various contexts. It’s used in areas like the culinary arts, spirituality, and medicine as well.

In general terms, sage is a plant that fits in the category of evergreen shrubs. Different types of sage can be found in many regions of the world. And there are several types of sage. Mother Earth is always plentiful and abundant, and sage is no exception to that.

When you say sage, a particular type of it will spring to mind depending on where you’re from and what type of sage is more common in that area.

Salvia Officinalis, also known as common sage, is native to the Mediterranean region. But common sage has been naturalized in many different parts of the world.

Salvia Apiana, also known as white sage, California white sage, or sacred sage, is native to the United States and Mexico region. Salvia Apiana cultivation and selling sage to satisfy the high demand of non indigenous people can be a sensitive topic. There’s some concern and controversy in the Native American groups and conservationists around over-harvesting of white sage, which affects the wild population and distribution of white sage.

There are other interesting varieties of sage. For instance, there’s Salvia Mellifera, also known as black sage, which is native to the California and Baja California, Mexico region. Salvia Azurea, also known as blue sage, is native to the Central and Eastern North America region.

The History Of Burning Sage

Sage has been used by many indigenous cultures ever since ancient times. The history of sage burning connects to numerous cultures, particularly those of Native Americans. It’s hard to pinpoint where burning sage originated from as a spiritual practice. What we’re sure of is that burning white sage is a widely known and embraced spiritual practice today.

Some speculate that the practice of burning plants is connected to the need of ancient people to repel insects. The practice could have grown and evolved from that specific and very physical need to keep themselves safe from insect bites and associated illnesses. A very physical and down to earth reason like that might have been the burning sage origin of today’s smoke cleansing rituals.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that many native cultures from around the world noticed the benefits that sage and burning sage brings to their health and well-being. In fact, sage burning history goes way back. There are descriptions of burning sage that trace back to shamans of the Siberian region.

There were many cultures and indigenous peoples who used sage and burned it for its medicinal powers and its ability to connect to the spiritual realm. Ancient cultures such as the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks used sage as medicinal plants. They believed that the plant itself and its smoke had the power to heal sore throats, cure infertility, and alleviate gastrointestinal problems.

Of course, the smudging ceremonies of Native American indigenous communities are very likely to come to mind in the context of burning sage and smoke cleansing spiritual practices. Sage plants are sacred plants to Native American cultures. The spiritual benefits of smudging sage are highlighted in many Native American sacred rituals.

In fact, many of today’s complex spiritual benefits of burning smudge sticks are directly connected to the Native American cultures. The topic of cultural appropriation is an interesting area to explore so you can formulate your own ideas and views.

Burning Sage And The New Age

The benefits of sage herbal remedies are not news to anyone at this point. Sage has been used for medicinal purposes ever since ancient times, as we’ve discussed. The spiritual benefits of smoke cleansing have also been embraced in our times.

The spiritual practice of burning smudge sticks has been embraced by the New Age movement. Along with crystal therapy and using essential oils, burning a smudge stick is an essential part of your spiritual well-being toolkit.

Burning white sage cleanses your own energy and the energy around. It’s a spiritual practice that helps remove negative energy. It’s inspired by the traditional medicine of native cultures.

The basic concept is that the smoke, resulting from the burning of the sage bundle smudge stick, cleanses negative energies. Burning a sage bundle is believed to neutralize positive ions and negative ions. The effect is that of neutralizing negative energies and creating a space that’s conducive to beneficial spiritual vibes.

You can add another powerful cleansing item to your practice, like a cleansing crystal. Use the Selenite Cleansing Lamp along with smudging in order to activate powerful cleansing of yourself and your space.

If you don’t have sage or gaining access to it is difficult for whatever reason, don’t worry. There are other plants that can be used instead of sage or alongside it. You can also use a bundle of other dried herbs and plants, sweet-grass, Palo Santo (holy wood in Spanish), Sandalwood, Cedar, or Frankincense.

Burning resins, saps, or smudging herbs for spiritual cleansing is a powerful spiritual practice. It’s included in many spiritual and religious practices from around the world.

Burning sage for spiritual progress

The most popular benefit of burning smudge sticks is that of cleansing negative energies. It’s a spiritual practice that is involved in many aspects of spirituality and spiritual life for various indigenous peoples.

The core idea is that the smoke resulting from burning sacred plants, wood, or resins is going to clear any negative energy it touches. That’s why you’ll even see an instance of a smudging equivalent in some Churches when they burn incense and/or Frankincense and myrrh.

The negative energies are repelled by the sacred smoke resulting from the burning process. When you add powerful artifacts to that smoke and use prayer, incantations, hymns, or any other forms of word-based ritual, you amplify the soul-cleansing power of the smoke cleansing.

The cleansed space within and without invites positive energy and well-being. With your body and soul cleansed of negative energies, you’ll be able to thrive and raise your vibration. You’ll make spiritual progress and achieve higher levels of wisdom and understanding.

But achieving to cleanse your space and your energy with the help of smudge sticks isn’t a one-off type of thing. You need to keep your space and your own energetic body at optimal high vibe levels. Part of that spiritual maintenance, if you will, is to burn sage or smudge sticks regularly.

Smoke cleansing should be part of your regular spiritual routine. When it comes to how to clean your soul, repetition is the key to success. Whatever else you’re doing in spiritual terms, whether it’s prayer, using crystals, meditation, yoga, witchcraft, or whatever else, you need to cleanse regularly.

Burning sage for spiritual protection

Smudging or burning sage is a powerful tool for spiritual protection. It should be part of your regular practice, as we’ve already discussed, in order to keep your body and soul working at optimal levels.

But you can also use smudging as a form of spiritual protection. If you feel or even know that there’s some malevolent energy, intent, or even spirit coming for you, smudging can act as a powerful barrier to keep you safe.

With the help of smudging, you can get rid of malevolent energies that linger around in your space. While it’s not a pleasant topic to discuss or thought to contemplate, there are such spiritual entities as well. If and when you have contact with them, smudging is one of your best friends.

The cleansing smoke of burning white sage is going to push out those low vibes from your space. The smoke is going to build a barrier that will effectively keep those malevolent energies away. But keep in mind that you need to employ this spiritual protection tool regularly and work on optimizing your space and your energy through other means as well.

Buy sage regularly and cleanse your home with it regularly to stay safe. If you’d like to amplify the protective powers of your smudging sticks, get some Obsidian or Black Tourmaline for yourself and your home.

Burning sage for your health

The smoke resulting from burning white sage has spiritual benefits, but also physical benefits as well. It has detoxifying and antibacterial properties. 

Even though there’s very little research on the matter, sage has potential cognitive-enhancing abilities as well. It optimizes your body’s ability to improve the functionality of your nervous system. It supports your ability to recover from illnesses and injuries.

You can use sage burning together with aromatherapy and essential oils as well. A lavender sage mix is going to help you relax and maintain a calm state of mind.

You can also use a mix of essential oils and crystals, like the Crystal Energies - Essential Oil Roller Bottle Set. It helps you elevate your vibe and improve the flow of energy through your body and soul. That’s going to help you through any recovery or healing process.

Be mindful if you’ve got asthma or any other breathing-related issues, because smudging creates smoke. If you have issues breathing well in the presence of smoke, ask someone else to do the smudging for you and protect your nose from the actual smoke. Always be sure to open a window too.

Can You Do Sage Smudging Yourself?

Sure thing! Natives and non-natives alike can burn sage as a spiritual cleansing method. In spiritual terms, we’re all one culture and part of the same higher consciousness.

If you pick sage burning as a cleansing method, then you’re qualified to do it. As long as your intuition guides you towards smudging sticks and the information on how to use them, then that’s the spirit’s way of calling on you to embrace the practice of burning white sage.

That’s not to say that a spiritually advanced practitioner doesn’t bring anything extra to the table. The more experienced an initiated spiritual practitioner, the more they bring to the table when they’re doing anything. But part of what makes burning sage such a beautiful thing is that it’s beginner-friendly.

The driving force behind the practice of smudging or burning white sage relies on the power of the sage itself. Or, if you decide to use other cleansing herbs, then the main thing fueling the process will be the power of the herbs themselves.

These herbs generate good vibes that have protective effects in and of themselves. When you do more research into its antimicrobial properties, you see that sage has a big effect on your health and well-being without you doing much. For spiritual purposes, sage repels bad energy by default. You just have to give it a chance to work its magic into your space and into your life.

How Do You Burn Sage Or Smudge?

Don’t allow the spiritual power of this process to scare you off trying. It’s actually much easier than you might imagine. There are a few things you need to have and just a few things you need to do.

We’ll go through them, so you’re ready to give smudging a try whenever you feel called to. First, let’s start with what you need to have:

  • An abalone shell, like the abalone shell you can see in the Keep Calm & Stay Home: The Ultimate Quarantine Set, or a plate on which you can safely place your smudging stick as it’s burning
  • A smudge stick, white sage or some other dried cleansing plants of your choice
  • A lighter, matches, or a candle to light up your smudging stick
  • A feather or some other implement to make the smoke waft around you, the object, or the space you’re cleansing

And that’s it! You’re ready to do a proper smudging of yourself, your space, and/or of some objects.

If you’d like to find out more about the process of smudging, read about it in our guide to smudging.

Once you’re done smudging, be sure that the smudge stick is completely extinguished. Don’t let it burn unsupervised and when you’re done cleansing, extinguish it with the help of the shell or the plate on which you kept it as it was burning.

Start Burning Sage Today!

Get your smudging game on right now. Burning white sage and embracing the cleansing smoke is going to improve your mood and raise your frequency. You’ll experience an improved energy flow through your chakras and your home as well.

Allow the power of burning white sage to optimize your energy, your space, and your life. Protect yourself and your home from negative energy and even malevolent intentions or spirits. You can never have too much cleansing and spiritual protection, after all.

Add some crystals for protection and support to the process. Experience the boost that the sage smoke offers to their protective and healing powers.

There’s so much to be gained from burning white sage and cleansing your energy and that of your space. Don’t hesitate to give it a shot. Cleanse regularly and you’ll go through everyday experiences in a more lighthearted mood and higher vibe.

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