Herb of My Childhood
Sage is an herb that has been with me for as long as I can remember. I recall my childhood autumn seasons coming in with smells of spiced apples in September, pumpkin spice in October and sage infused dressing in November. I have always associated this herb with the amazing smells of dressing in Thanksgiving turkey that lasts well into the winter season. Sage has dotted my life with this unusal yet uphoric odor that gives me what I call warm fuzzies. There are poultry dishes of my former carnivorus life that I have eaten with hints of this potent herb; I could not quite figure out the taste but I was always happy for its presence. Sage has been and contiues to be a cuisine staple of mine.
Present with Sage
My relationship with sage has grown stronger in my role as an urban gardener and user of herbal medicines. Sage is a companion plant to carrots I plant to deter pests that have potential detriment for carrot seedlings. It is also part of my medicinal arsenal I use to reduce inflammation associated with the type 1 diabetes I have lived with for 27 years. Not only does this herb have impact on my earth stewardship and personal health, it is also part of the Humble Herb Tea product line of my company GrowAsis Urban Garden Consulting, Inc. Sage has become my companion in my land stewardship, entreprenuerial endeavors, and health maintenance.
Power of Sage
While learning my role in indigenous garden practices, I have also learned the power of sage. I have created sage sticks, a.k.a. smudge sticks with my frequent harvests of this herb. Smudge sticks are branches of dried sage leaves wrapped with cotton string or twine; they are burned to clear negative energy, purify and protect from negativity in a physical space. An article from People of Our Everyday Life discusses how white sage is usually used according to customs of Native American traditions in various rituals. "The Ancient Art of Smudging" is an online article
from Spirituality and Health magazine that explains the sacredness of sage. This powerful herb has done more for me than just deter pests from my carrots and relieve inflammation in my body, it has enhanced my spiritual life as I pray, meditate and acknowledge the lunar cycles. I use it to clear my body stagnant energy, breathe it in to clear my lungs and burn it as a symbol of release during the full moon. Sage is a potent herb in the garden as well as in the spiritual realm.
Smudging for Standing Rock
In recent days, I have been acknowledging my Sioux brothers and sisters defending the land of Standing Rock in North Dakota along with the injustices they experience due to the disregard to sacred land and waters. I burn my sage sticks for them. As I pray for peace and the dismissal of a pipeline through the sacred land, I smudge the negative energy that is trying to destroy a sacred spiritual people. I do this as an earth stewardess who defends the land, who knows the sacredness of sage and as a descendant of indigenous people who have honored water that cultivates the earth. Using sage in times of negativity has been done for generations in order to protect and preserve individuals and sacred spaces like Standing Rock. The struggle of the Sioux people for centuries and even now at Standing Rock affect me here in Chicago due to my role in sustainable urban gardening and my obligation to stand with my brothers and sisters of the land ready to burn sage...by any means necessary.
What Do You Think?
I wrote this blog to share my experience with sage. What are you experiences with this herb? Do you use other garden herbs that have helped or and enhanced your livelihood? If so please share, add your comments below.