Monday, November 14, 2011
"Wherever there is destruction, Sage will grow." This is a statement that I have heard over and over from many different sources of spiritual teachers throughout my lifetime. This says to me that the concept is universal, as my teachers have come from many different backgrounds and many different countries and continents. So when I hear that only "certain" people are "allowed" to utilize sage for smudging in ceremony, my blood boils. That is like saying, "Hey, you can't use candles in your ceremonies because those were first used exclusively by Anglo Saxons and therefore are the exclusive property of said Anglo Saxon descendants." How ridiculous. We don't OWN the earth and we certainly don't have copy write on any of Her gifts. They are there so that we can utilize them as needed. They are there so that ANYONE can utilize them as needed. I make smudges out of sage. That is sage that I have properly picked and sage that I have grown myself. I also make healing teas out of sage. I also use/grow/harvest my own sweet grass.
When the first people came to North America (and yes, they immigrated just like everyone else, only they did it first) they utilized the local herbs, just as they had when they lived in the European countries for thousands of years before. It just so happens that North America is not the only continent that grows sage in the wild. Go figure! So when my grandmother taught me how to smudge with sage, use it in ceremony, make healing tea out of it, she was basing her knowledge on multi-generational teachings that came from waaay back...in Europe. She did not "steal" anyone else's practices. These were HER practices and those of our ancestors. So not only is it ignorant and dogmatic when someone tries to "own" a practice, but it is also insulting.
Unfortunately there are still some circles who are so desperate to cling on to whatever remnants they have of their teachings that they are willing to trash others' practices, knowledge, and beliefs in order to do it. This is an extremely RACIST practice in and of itself, and my hope is that by publishing this entry in my blog there will be more who will read it, acknowledge the truth in it, and carry THAT forward into the world, thus obliterating this insidious racist practice.