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The Truth About White Sage and Palo Santo

April 07, 2019 19 Comments

The Truth About White Sage and Palo Santo
The Truth About White Sage and Palo Santo - by Shae Windsong

19 Responses

Vicki Botta
Vicki Botta

November 04, 2020

This was very helpful. My son told me that it is not disrespectful to burn sage, but call it anything but “smudging” to be respectful.

Allison Moroz
Allison Moroz

August 19, 2020

Also it should be noted that almost every culture through history has done some sort of smudging/cleansing in the past using local herbs/plants for specific healing/cleansing purposes. I for one am Scandinavian and of Viking descent and have Scottish…both cultures in the early days practiced smoke cleansing/smudging. So being of European descent I feel I have jut as much of a right to practice it using whatever local herbs/plants I find on my property – including wild prairie sage and sweet grass that grows quite crazy in the Alberta Prairies. I make sure to only take a portion of each plant and to wait until it blooms so that it can help it to replenish for the following year.

Kristen
Kristen

July 06, 2020

I use various plants and herbs that I grow on my own as a means of both spiritual and physical healing. It’s not difficult to do. I think people need to be more educated in their practices instead of jumping on whatever said bandwagon just because it’s popular now. It’s very much more about intention than what kind of plant you’re burning and if you don’t put any intention behind your practice, you’ll leave yourself open to the old anything goes energy which can be very dangerous! Please, for your own well being, do some reading. Educate yourself before buying and practicing anything. This goes for crystals and gemstones too. I’ve seen so many people doing all sorts of things with crystals just based off of the fact that they’re pretty and “oh! This one says that it’ll help me make more money!! “ Again, intention is everything when it comes to using healing crystals just the same as it is with the types of plants/herbs you use. You get what you put in. I don’t use white sage at all. Even before all this came out about it being disrespectful to Native American cultures. I couldn’t grow it so I didn’t use it and now I for sure won’t use it. If it’s deemed disrespectful to an entire indigenous people/culture, people who’s ancestors were here waaaaaaay before my ancestors were, then I’m not going to associate myself with that kind of energy. That’s bad juju people.

Malachi
Malachi

May 04, 2020

I agree there should be laws to protect these endangered plants its just a travesty to hear this .i grow my own white sage i have a bush in oriville ca. Butte co a long ways. From its natural habit its doing quite well here up north.

Nana
Nana

July 06, 2020

Oh we humans and cultural appropriation. Plants belong to the earth not to us. Native cultures to certain areas understood this and is why they treated the plants with love and respect. We need to look more into this practice and bring it back.

Eric S
Eric S

May 04, 2020

I have handpicked sage from my in-laws property near Yosemite and the way that I always go about wildcrafting is not to take the whole plant but a small piece off of 1 and a small piece off of another, leaving a healthy plant to regrow more branches. After the devastation are the fires near Yosemite I still see a lot of sage on hikes. Maybe more then I saw before the fires. I am taken aback by the obviously non-native commenters and their pseudo activist bravado. We have an author who is sharing other things that we can use if we like to smudge. I was taught by a shaman how to smudge properly and he “never said never do this because you’re white” (actually I have a good degree of Cherokee blood in me but you would never know by looking at my face). if we look really deeply there is not a single thing in the United States of America that is not culturally appropriated and this crosses racial and cultural lines.

Ajax the Great
Ajax the Great

December 08, 2019

Well-said, Shae! Excellent insights overall. As is always the case, at the end of the day, facts > feelings, even in a “post-truth” society and world.

Emily
Emily

November 18, 2019

Why on earth are you interviewing someone who ISN’T Native about this? A non-Native’s person’s opinion on whether something is cultural appropriation is completely irrelevant. This is deeply irresponsible and harmful. Imagine a man being interviewed on whether something is sexist or not, or a white person being interviewed on if something is racist or not. They’re certainly not the experts, they don’t have the lived experience, people in marginalized groups are likely not honest with them as it’s often necessary for their safety and access, AND they have the most to gain and least to lose by saying it “isn’t cultural appropriation/racism/sexism” etc.

Plus, if you’re using the tradition (tradition including the specific plant involved) of a marginalized group for spiritual purposes, and people from that group have spoken out against doing it, and you continue doing it anyway, do you really think it’s going to have good spiritual results for you? That’s the epitome of selfishness, disrespect, and entitlement. Not good energy. Just use a plant that isn’t appropriative and call it a day.

Pat Kelley
Pat Kelley

October 21, 2019

This is such a settler apologia it’s gross. You should be ashamed and get educated on why it’s gross. And you should stop providing excuses and misinformation for other settlers, and stop speaking over indigenous voices for your own profit.

Fabrizio Vera
Fabrizio Vera

June 27, 2019

Good afternoon, we greet you from the company EcuadorianHands. We have read your website, and we are very interested in the subject of palo santo. We are aware of current concerns in social media about the future of the Palo Santo Bursera Graveolens tree and its “danger of extinction”. We have been working for around 5 years in restoring the dry forests of Manabí and make the Palo Santo sustainable. In this year only we reforested around 4000 trees of palo santo. We would like you to please learn about our work to preserve this sacred wood and can be an useul source of information. With respect. https://www.ecuadorianhands.com/en/blog/372_is-palo-santo-really-endangered.html

Scott
Scott

May 04, 2019

This was a very informative article.Shared on our Facebook group page – Psychic Awareness & Spiritual Support.Thanks, Shae!

Anna
Anna

May 01, 2019

Instead of wanting to get the perspective of someone who is “friends and business partners with many Native American artists and tribes” maybe you could have taken the time to speak with some actual Indigenous people and get their perspective. Just because one non-Native woman doesn’t think she is appropriating Native culture doesn’t mean she is not appropriating it…. While you may be well-intentioned these issues are a much larger and more systemic. If you really want to be well-intentioned and do good, ethical work, make an effort to decolonize, and start by listening to Indigenous voices.

Cami S Smith
Cami S Smith

April 17, 2019

Thank you for this informative article. It helps put things in perspective. I especially like the suggestion about using what is local. That seems so obvious.

Aimee Cartier
Aimee Cartier

April 14, 2019

Wonderful article Shea. Very informative thank you. I didn’t know about the other alternatives sages in smudging. Much appreciated both you and Debbie.

Andrea Andrews
Andrea Andrews

April 13, 2019

Thank you for this info! I’d not heard these concerns but as a SoCal native remember waking by plants in the desert asking myself if it was sage, thought of harvesting, and decided up keep walking.

Graces
Graces

April 12, 2019

Thank you for this helpful article!

Kacey Hawker
Kacey Hawker

April 10, 2019

Such excellent information! Thank you for the clarifications especially on the Palo Santo – much appreciated! And, I had no idea about the abalone situation……..

Teresa Rafael
Teresa Rafael

April 10, 2019

Thank you for this information. I am comfortable with what you are selling and appreciate the integrity and thoughtful process. And, I learned a lot!

Deni Luna
Deni Luna

April 09, 2019

Thanks for your a well-written article!

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