For Hopkins, the appropriation of white sage is made worse because the plant is often not being harvested correctly. “When using medicinal plants, it’s important that the plant is used sustainably. When we pick sage, we always leave the root and say a prayer of thanks for our harvest.
It grows wild, but because of over-harvesting due to high demand from non-Native users, white sage is threatened and supplies are growing harder to come by for Native users. We’re talking about people sneaking around national and state parks with garbage bags, illegally harvesting sage to sell.
This of course begs the query “Why don’t people leave the root of white sage?”
If someone is harvesting white sage and doesn’t know to leave the root, they’re preventing more plants from growing. If you’re browsing your fave place to buy herbs and look at the options for smoke cleansing next to white sage, you might find Palo Santo (“holy wood” in Spanish).
While we have discussed the scarcity of white sage many times across different channels, many people are still unaware of the ‘ at risk ‘ status of white sage. It is something that we need to be aware of when making conscious purchases, especially online where you don’t really know where something comes from.
What is the use of white sage for cleansing and ritual?
And the use of the plant, and misappropriation and abuse of Native American culture, is far more controversial and fraught than most people know. The use of white sage for ceremonial cleansing and ritual, also called smudging, is a Native American practice.
Is white sage cultural appropriation?
The use of white sage for ceremonial cleansing and ritual, also called smudging, is a Native American practice. Let’s be clear on that from the get-go. These cultures have already been exploited, suppressed, and misunderstood by so many people for centuries and are the victims of cultural appropriation.
Well, as with the ceremonies themselves, when it comes to non-Native people following Indigenous practices, there is no single point of view; there are certainly some who believe it is possible for non-Indigenous people to respectfully burn white sage and other sacred materials.
Can white sage help with negative energy?
You encounter negative energy in all aspects of your life, and while your aura does an excellent job of blocking it, sometimes negative energy can begin to affect your life. White sage can be used in a variety of ways to improve the strength of your aura. Consult your Guardian Angel to learn more!
Why is white sage so important to Native Americans?
It is a sacred plant to tribes such as the Lakota, Comanche, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Navajo. It grows wild, but because of over-harvesting due to high demand from non-Native users, white sage is threatened and supplies are growing harder to come by for Native users.