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Switch to Forum Live View The "proper" way to Sage a house?
8 years ago  ::  Feb 13, 2010 - 11:56AM #1
Posts: 2

When I went to go stock up on my sage the other day, a woman in the store told me that there is a prayer you are supposed to say while you are burning it; as well as burning it in different directions around the perimeter of the house.

Usually when I burn sage, I only do it in my room (I live with my parents), and I just let it burn in the areas of the room that feel strange to me. Then burn it over the bed and by doorways/windows.

I am a firm believer in mind over matter, so to me, whatever you believe should work for you; regardless of how anyone else does it. I actually had a friend that would carry it around with her, and if she felt any negativity from where she was or who she was with, she would just burn it right then and there. But I am just curious...

Do you sage your living space? If so, how exactly do you do it?

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8 years ago  ::  Feb 13, 2010 - 1:06PM #2
Posts: 1,244


Just passing by on my Host rounds and saw your post. It’s barely had time to age at all but I will give my 2 cents worth as I am here.

As you so aptly put it, whatever you believe should work for you, regardless of how anyone else does it. The key is what you believe after all and there is no one set of beliefs about sage. The different varieties of Sage (i.e. Common or Garden Sage (Red or White), Vervain, Clary) are found throughout much of the world. The name of the genus, Salvia comes from the Latin salvere or to be saved, a reference to its healing properties. This was corrupted into the Old English Sawge, from which we get the name Sage. As such, it has acquired down through human history what Pagans call correspondences within different cultures, belief systems and faiths. Something, in this case sage, is said to correspond to certain virtues, effects, feelings etc. So the use of it will impart these to the user.

(Note – never try any herbal remedy without checking with an experienced practitioner first, they can be dangerous if prepared or used incorrectly). Sage for example has often been included for healing, for such ailments as fever and palsy, snakebites(with other herbs), digestion, a tonic for quickening the senses and memory and soothing grief hence a custom in England was to plant it in graveyards. Dried leaves were smoked as a remedy for asthma. It was used for herbal tea, notably Sage or Garden Clary (from sclarea, derived from the Latin clarius or clear…popular name Clear Eye) known in France as Toute bonne for medicinal purposes. It has been used and still is as a mouthwash for various ailments. People would rub the fresh leaves on their teeth to cleanse them.

Those are some healing correspondences. Sage is recorded in ancient times as being associated with longevity and immortality. Amongst Native Americans belief systems, sage may be used to cleanse or purify when burned. Now outside of indigenous systems, modern Paganism has various correspondence systems that tend to be cobbled together from those ancient and indigenous sources. For example, you will find Sage corresponding to Jupiter and the element of air in some systems. Burning the leaves on your altar is said to work for divination. Having sage in your garden will indicate if you will prosper by how well it does. An older correspondence was that it is the wife that rules a marriage when Sage grows vigorously in the garden. Carrying sage leaves in a talisman bag can increase your powers of discernment and wisdom. Used in incense, it can protect from evil or works well in a spell to reserve something.

The woman you spoke to would have been using a correspondence (use with a specific prayer and in different directions around the perimeter) that made sense ot her from a singular or various indigenous or Pagan sources. You have a correspondence of banishing and cleansing associated with sage.

Personally as a Witch, I ritually cleanse a space only when needed. Negativity can be a bit like dust, it takes a while to accumulate before anyone will notice and living with minor accumulations can help strengthen your emotional immune system. Also proper house cleaning tends to neutralise a lot, I have found. I do my cleansings in three stages, incense, sacred water and bell or feather. If I use sage although I prefer sweetgrass, rosemary or Juniper in stick incense form, I start at whatever door or window I can leave open and work my way around and back through whatever space I am cleansing. If I am working with another Witch, she uses a fan to spread the smoke/fragrance into smaller spaces. I never let anything just burn or burn out, as like a candle flame unless you are right beside it, such can be a fire hazard. The second round is done with sacred water like Water of the World, lightly dabbed at the top and sides of all doorways, thresholds, windows and around mirrors. The third round is done either with a hand bell or sometimes with a large feather, depending on whether noise might be an issue. (A door or window is still open…) If again working with another Witch, she might do the bell or feather behind me as I use the sacred water. At this point, it is essential (within my belief framework) to invite positive energy into the space left by the banished negativity. Otherwise, the negative will just flow back into that void and settle back like dust again on everything. The opening is then sealed with sacred water as a pentagram and closed. Ritual done.


No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
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8 years ago  ::  Feb 14, 2010 - 5:10PM #3
Posts: 222

Smudging with sage is not a Wiccan practice.

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