It doesn’t work.
At least not how you think it does.
Some time ago, I was speaking to a woman who was telling me a dream she had. I think she wanted my opinion, although she didn’t ask, (she says she is very spiritual and can do things herself). After she told me the dream, she mentioned that when she got off the phone with me she would “smudge” (here smudging means a smokey fire) the house using Sage.
I smiled in my mind at her saying this because she was Jamaican, land of spirits, spirits who can come up to you like a human being and talk to you then disappear just like that. Speak to some old timers and they will give you some good stories. Like my father, for example.
He once told me that when he was a young man, he was walking home one night, (this was in the country where only the stars and the moon were lit, there were no street lights, and so the night was dark). The country nights were lonely and nature’s sound came from everywhere. He said he wasn’t afraid of anything non-physical, he had no belief in the supernatural, he only had eyes and ears out for bad men, criminals. As he walked, (he had miles to go before he got home) he spotted a man in a felt hat walking ahead of him. It seemed like an elderly man, although fit and sturdy. Daddy said he thought to himself “Yes! Mi have company now”, so he quickened his steps in hopes of catching up to the man, even if he just walked behind him. As he tried to do so, the man seemed to be further away, causing my Dad to jog trying to catch up to him. He never did.
He would try hard to catch up to the man, but no matter how he tried, the man was always steps ahead. After some time, still jogging lightly in between brisk walks, he got to a place that had some street lights and some men were outside on the side walk of a late night opened bar, drinking. Daddy said the man passed them, but by now, daddy had become suspicious of this man. When he got to where the men were gathered drinking, he asked them if they knew or saw the man who had just passed them? (this was rural Jamaica, everybody knows everybody). All of the men said no one passed them, that daddy was the first person to pass that way for hours. To this day my dad still tells that story and this is the only evidence that ghosts exists to him because he witnessed this himself.
I told this story to let you all know sey Jamaica ah de land ah duppy. Yes, land of wood, water, dancehall queens, and duppy. When the woman on the phone mentioned smudging with Sage, I kept quiet because I knew she always wanted me to teach her, but was too proud or too big to ask for help. After hanging up, I shook my head. I was amazed at a Jamaican woman talking about smudging when we grew seeing our parents “bun out de house” with Frankincense and Myrrh. You didn’t? Well I did. I know about smudging with Sage, after all they are always in the botanicas (spiritual shops), but being a knowledgeable elder, I have never used it. Why should I? It is not as effective as the things I know how to prepare and use, and using sage to smudge the home to remove negativity or bad energy does not work the way it is believed to.
Now I am not saying that Frankinsence and Myrrh (I have my own comment on this in fact, the dos of it and the dont’t) is the way to go, but it is sure better to use than Sage and there is a reason why:
Sage is a sweet aromatic herb that is excellent in many things. It has many health benefits and if you are a chef like me or even just a cook, you will know that to cook with sage is heavenly. But Sage like Rosemary, Basil, Marjoram, Mint, etc are what are called Sweet herbs or plants, and what Sweet herbs does is pull or influence positive energies to come around, or they can be used to heighten your senses spiritually where “light” is concerned. In other words, it can aid your consciousness if used a certain way.
Now Sage, when it comes to smudging, or using it as an agent to clear or remove negative forces, can not work on its own. The environment that needs cleansing or that needs to banish a dark energy that is suspected to be around, needs an agent that has the ability to dispel or to remove dark forces. In this case, Sage and its counterparts (aromatic plants) are too light to do this. While smudging (smoke) is good, there are other things that are needed to strengthen the work you need done; the smoke from the fire sends the message, but it is a concerted effort with the other ingredients.
Ancient Native American Indians (it is said) used Sage in smudging rituals to cleanse their space etc. Any plant that is picked or plucked from the earth to be used for spiritual purposes must be done in such a way that the knowledgeable person who picks this herb knows the incantation to use before removing the plant from the earth so that it comes with its life force, or so that it “wakes up” for the purpose that it is to be used for. In other words, if you go and pick a plant for the use of a particular ritual while not understanding the taboo of the plant itself, (everything has a taboo to it), most often it will not have the effect that you need it to. For some plants, they have to picked a certain time in the morning, for some you must whisper to them in a certain way and with certain words. I believe that those Native American Indians who used Sage for smudging accompanied it with other things along with when gathering it for their purposes, certain rights and rituals (incantory words) were involved in that process.
When trying to remove or dispel negative energies, “demons”, (I hate this terminology ) or unwanted spirits, or vibrations that are not conducive to the human spirit, the use of many things are required. For example, old time Jamaican people used to use Frankincense and Myrrh before moving into a new home. They did this also because spirits and their families reside in every house and space here in this earth realm. There is no home that doesn’t have its resident duppy and dem family .
They perhaps got the idea from out of the Bible when the Maggai’s brought it for baby Jesus when he was born. Frankincense and Myrrh is seen as a banishing agent, and quite frankly, it is. But there are dark forces upon our planet who are not at all affected by it, and so the knowledgeable person would have to know what to use, either in accordance with Frankincense or on its own, to have any affect on these particular destructive forces.
Sage, however, can be used if the environment is already clean and free of any bad or malevolent spirits. It can call good and positive beings to come from where ever they are. However, using Sage as a banishing agent can have an adverse effect on the user, where in which a bad spirit might be in the home, and the person using Sage not understanding what he/she is doing, can be affected because of the two opposing forces that are in the same space at he same time. The Sage, trying to bring light in to a dark space, and the Malevolent energy, resisting the light to come through. The physical effect of this can be a headache for the person(s) involved, an indescribable feeling that overwhelms the physical body like fainting or passing out (which you may attribute to the smoke, but this isn’t so), lunacy or temporary malaise, unwanted spirit attachment and then some. Light and dark can not be in the same room at the same time. So to bring Sage into a space that needs to be cleansed will not work and can be dangerous.
With anyone who has had success with using only Sage, know that there was nothing much that you had to fight there. No dark entity. For if there was, I assure you, just Sage alone would not have worked. So the spiritual rule here is: a spiritual cleansing of negative forces (whether you know if they are there or not, don’t take the chance) needs to be done before Sage or others like it can be used.
An alternative to Sage (for bringing in light and good energy) is the good old Jamaican White Rum. As a matter of fact, the rum has dual effects where in which it can banish the bad and bring in the good all at the same time. The rum is hot and potent, so it is able to banish, and the liquid is clear and clean, so it is able to call forth clean spirits. But please note that there are steps to doing it, especially if the forces in the home are like legions, meaning there are many all at once together within the space to create havoc.
Also note that I am not making any disparaging comments about Sage (read carefully), I am just informing you that it is not as simple as you may have seen it on Google or what your friend has told you. My concern with most people who are into this practice is that you should know that there is an adverse effect that can be quite detrimental for some, especially if you are facing things beyond this world that you may not know how to handle. Spirits are intelligent and much wiser than us. They know before we come at them to remove them, what we will come with.
If you’re using Sage, be sure that your space has been cleansed first, and in posts to come we will be dealing with more things that can assist us…