Sacred Sage How It Heals by Silver Wolf Walks Alone
An exploration of traditional Native American healing practices, this volume looks at the ceremonial uses of sage to help with physical, mental and spiritual healing. Includes information on gathering sage and the author’s personal reflections on healing.
About the Author
Around 7 years ago, Wendy Whitman on a walkabout outside of Taos, New Mexico in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains found herself harvesting sage. The messages and feelings she received during this time motivated her to relocate to this area, change her name to Silver Wolf Walks Alone, and write about her spiritual healing and the use and sacredness of sage. Her Wolfwalker Collection sells products for smudging online. She has also adopted traditional ceremonial Native Ways and she offers spiritual retreats for healing.
“Smudging is the traditional spiritual practice of clearing away negative thoughtforms (the manifestation of mental energy) and other negative vibrations with the smoke of burning herbs, typically dried sage. The sage used for smudging is usually either high desert sage or white wide-leaf sage and is often bound into a bundle called a smudge bundle.
When and Why to Smudge Yourself or Your Space
Because old thoughtforms and other negative vibes tend to accumulate no matter how clear you try to keep yourself or a space, it is a good idea to smudge every so often to continue to attract positive vibrations into your life. Smudge any time you feel that negative thoughtforms, including your own, have gotten stuck in your energy field.
You know you need to smudge or clear your space when chaos is present, arguments abound, anger presents itself, or general feelings of agitation and frustration exist. If an argument just occurred, clear your space. If you encountered an unpleasant situation, clear yourself. If your children are unruly and your spouse is cranky, clear your space.
Sweetgrass is a wild long grass found in low-lying or wet areas in North America. It has a sweet fragrance and is also known as vanilla grass or buffalo grass. It is typically braided and then dried. Many Native American tribes use sweetgrass for purification, smudging, and prayer. It smolders when it burns and provides a sweet scent, which is pleasing to most people. It attracts good spirits, and its scent brings in sweet loving energy. The actual herb is usually used because sweetgrass oil is uncommon.
“Mental uses: Use cedar to help you remember to ground yourself. Use it when you are experiencing mental fatigue to replenish your mental focus. Cedarwood has a grounding effect and aids those challenged by the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The energy of the tree helps you to strengthen your inner potentials.
Emotional uses: Cedarwood helps you reclaim your balance through nature. Allow this scent to encourage you to spend time outdoors to release emotional challenges. While in nature, use this scent to imagine emotional toxins draining from the soles of your feet into the ground. Cedarwood can be used to calm your nerves, helping to reduce stress and anxiety.”
How to Smudge
You can use either a ready-made smudge bundle, make your own smudge bundle, or use loose herbs. Smokeless alternatives are also available and will be discussed a little later. To use loose herbs for smudging, you will need herb-burning charcoal discs as well as a dish to hold the burning herbs. Abalone shells are often used for this purpose since they are sturdy and represent the element air. When a shell is used, the vibration of all four elements—earth, fire, air, and water—is present. (The dried herbs represent earth, the burning embers represent fire, and the smoke represents air.) When all four elements are working together, the cleansing effects are magnified.”