How to Respect Native Culture When Burning Sage

Sage is often burned as part of cleansing ceremonies, but many people don't know the history and meaning behind it. In this blog post we will discuss how to respect native culture when using sage; we also explore why those who first used burning techniques did so in a way that was respectful for indigenous cultures like ours today!

How to use sage bundles

Sage is an aromatic plant that is used in cleansing ceremonies to help rid a person or space of negative energy. Sage is often used to cleanse the body and mind before ceremonies. Sage is said to not only cleanse negative energy But also impart wisdom and protection.

The smoke from the burning sage bundle helps to purify the air and lift away any unwanted vibes. Simply light the end of the smudge stick and allow it to smolder, then waft the smoke around yourself, your home, or your office. 

Why was sage burning originally used?

Sage has long been considered a sacred herb because of its many healing properties. It's thought to be cleansing and purifying and is often used in ceremonies to bless people or places. Sage burning was originally used for ceremonial purposes, to cleanse and purify people, places, and objects. It is thought to work on both a physical and spiritual level to cleanse and purify.

How to respect native culture when using sage

Respecting native culture includes understanding that different cultures have different beliefs and practices. Burning sage is a traditional way of cleansing and purifying spaces, and it's often used in ceremonies or rituals. For some people, burning sage is a way to cleanse the energy of a space or to bring in positive vibes. For others, it's a sacred ritual that has spiritual significance. For some tribes, such as the Navajo, burning sage is a way of cleansing and purifying an area or object. And while there may be some cultures that do view the act of burning sage as disrespectful, it's important to remember that it's always best to ask permission before performing any kind of cleansing or purifying ritual to avoid offending.

It's important to be respectful of these beliefs and not dismiss them. Instead, try to learn more about why they hold significance for the people involved. This type of respectful curiosity can help build bridges between cultures and create a more understanding world.

You can show respect for native culture by learning about the traditions and ceremonies that are important to different tribes. You can also show respect by not taking things from indigenous cultures without asking permission, and by not interfering with or damaging sacred sites.

Here at I Am Blessed Mala Beads, we work with Spansa from the Nuxalk Nation - Valley of Nuxalkulmc - Bella Coola Valley, Village Nut’l - Stuie - Tweedsmuir. Spansa harvests and creates herbal bundles using techniques passed down to her by her aunt and grandparents. She locally harvests the Cedar & Sweetgrass in Bella Coola and ethically sources the Sage from Indigenous-owned businesses.

Incorporating sage into your spiritual practice

Sage burning is a sacred act that should be done with respect and reverence. Make sure that you are only burning sage in designated areas, such as outdoor ceremonies or sacred spaces. Do not burn sage in places where it could interfere with other people's ceremonies or spiritual practices.

Always ask for permission before burning sage. This is especially important if you are not from the culture or community where the sage is being burned. Make sure that you understand any traditions or protocols around burning sage before proceeding. Here are a few ways to use sage burning in your spiritual practice:

Cleansing and Creating Sacred Space

Sage can be used to create sacred space by burning it, sprinkling it around the area, or using it as incense. To cleanse negative energy, light the sage on fire and let it burn for a few seconds. Then blow out the flame and allow the smoke to billow out. Hold the sage over your head and walk around your space, allowing the smoke to enter every corner. Visualize the negative energies dissipating with the smoke. When you're finished, dispose of the sage in a safe place.

Cleansing items

One way to cleanse an item is to place sage in a bowl of water and then use the water to rinse the item. To use sage for cleansing, first, make a strong infusion of sage by boiling water and adding fresh or dried leaves. Allow the infusion to cool, then pour it over the item you'd like to cleanse and let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse the item off with warm water and dry it thoroughly. You can also use a diluted infusion of sage to clean counters and other surfaces in your kitchen.

A second way is to use the aforementioned-burning technique, except you surround an item with the smoke from the burning sage bundle. Be aware that in some cases, long-term effects of sage smoke on an item (such as cards) can affect the quality or longevity of the item.

Cleansing crystals

To cleanse crystals with sage, first light a sage bundle or loose sage leaves, then blow out the flame. Hold the crystal in your dominant hand and use the other hand to wave the smoke around the crystal. Visualize any negative energy dissipating into the smoke and away from the crystal. As you do this, say a prayer or mantra for purification.

Sage is a powerful tool that can be used to cleanse lower frequencies and restore balance. Our connection with Spansa has allowed us to inherit knowledge and continue learning more about the Nuxalk Indigenous practice of Smudging.

You can purchase ethically sourced, indigenous-made sage bundles right here at I Am Blessed Mala Beads. Each purchase supports our brilliant indigenous creator and keeps traditional generational customs alive.

- Amber Stricklin

Amber is a certified hypnotist that combines meditation techniques, NLP, yoga, and storytelling with a gentle, reassuring approach. She facilitates spiritual education and energy work through workshops, courses, and distance sessions. You can email her at