White sage grows wild in the southwest. It is considered sacred to many indigenous peoples of this continent, and many have shared concerns about the widespread commercialization of this plant. To some indigenous people sacred plants such as this should not be sold commercially, and to do so brings up issues of cultural appropriation.
Along the same lines, the term "smudging" or "smudge sticks" are terms many native peoples feel refer specifically to their indigenous practices related to sacred plants. For that reason, we use and suggest non-native peoples use the terms "burning bundles," "smoke bundles" or "incense."
Additionally, white sage is becoming at risk in the wild due to over harvesting according to United Plant Savers, and many so-called sustainable wild crafting sources of this plant are not actually sustainable.
In order to honor and respect native peoples, their traditions, and this sacred plant, we encourage non-native people to use abundant plants such as garden sage (pictured) and mugwort for making your own burning bundles. Or, if you feel the need to use white sage in particular, we'd suggest growing this plant yourself.
Smoke has been used for centuries to ward off negative energy, clear personal aura space, and hold sacred containers. Working with plants in this way is a tradition we all can embrace and bring into our lives in our own personal way.
Want to learn more about making your own smoke bundles? Check out the following:
Learn more about issue related to white sage from United Plant Savers here.
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