Not a problem, it’s good that you asked. :)
Smudging is a term that refers to certain rituals performed by several different Native American nations. These rituals, which involve a lot more than just burning sage bundles, are sacred and not open for use by outsiders.
For some silly reason, New-Age authors seem to think that Native American rituals and practices are open for anyone to use, and that any activity where you wave around burning herbs is the same thing as smudging. They are NOT open, it is NOT smudging, and using the word in that way is appropriative and disrespectful to the people for whom the practice is sacred and reserved. (Remember, witchlings: Cultural appropriation is for assholes who don’t care about other people, so don’t do it.)
Now, mind you, burning herbs for magical or ritual purposes is a widespread practice. This is called “smoke-cleansing,” or “recaning” (pron. “reekening”) if you want to use a fun Anglo-Saxon term.
So go ahead and burn those purification herbs. And if you can, use something other than white sage. Again thanks to the New-Agers, the demand for the plant is so high that wild populations are becoming threatened.
Any of the herbs listed below are viable substitutes for white sage in smoke-cleansing:
- Green or Purple Sage
- Basil (any kind)
- Cedar Tips
As a native to the same deserts that sage lives in, I can attest to its wonderfulness. I can also attest to the rapid disappearance of its homelands, of the drought we were in for a good chunk of the 24 years I lived there, of how L O N G it takes for *many* desert plants to grow to maturity.
The casual consumerist attitude I see towards sacred plants such as sage, palo santo, even marijuana! is extremely alarming. They need to be approached with respect, used with reverence, protected with a vengeance. We NEED to be more careful!
PLEASE consider using the plants listed above for more and more of your smoke-cleansing practices. They work just as well, smell just as good, and I think, for all magical intents and purpose, it can be much more powerful to use plants that are local to your area. Some combos I just thought of, just to get your witchy self in the mood:
Rosemary + Mugwort
Cedar + Lavender
Pine + Cedar
<3 <3 <3
I found a 100 acre farm in New York for a very reasonable price. The only problem is it’s in New York.
New York only allows the sale of raw milk on farms and not in a retail store. And I am hoping to make boutique dairy the cornerstone of my operation: raw milk, raw cheese, raw butter from miniature cows, goats, sheep, and maybe even yak.
I’m very conflicted right now. This offer is too good to pass up, but I need to be able to get my products to the consumer.
that sounds amazing! through good social networking and marketing you may be able to create a market for pick-up by your customer, and delivery by yourself. I know here in Vancouver, a lot of farms are just a little too far away for frequent pick-up, so they do a once-weekly drop-off of crops and animal products to customers who have “signed up”.
raw milk isn’t legal to retail here either :( I would kill for some raw brie or mozzarella.