We draw the elements of soundwork from sage. Namely its qualities - cleansing, mental clarity, and revival of the senses. Here’s an introduction.
Quality and historic uses
Sage (Salvia officinalis) is a perennial herb in the mint family. It has aromatic greyish-green leaves, and blue to purple flowers.
The Romans considered the herb to be sacred and had special ceremonies for harvesting it. Arab doctors in the 10th Century believed that sage promoted immortality. The herbalist John Gerard wrote in 1597 that sage “is singularly good for the head and brain, and quickeneth the nerves and memory.” Another herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper agreed - describing its “excellent use to help the memory, warming and quickening the senses.”
The Indigenous practice of smudging
For the last few years, the energetic cleansing practice of the Native/Indigenous Americans - smudging with ceremonial white sage or “saging” - has become popularly gentrified. Smudging is where you burn a bundle of dried plants and let the smoke waft over the person, object or space that you are cleansing or protecting. The smoke attaches to any negative energy, and carries it away.
The major issue with adopting this (insanely instagrammable) practice is due to the exploitation of both the plant and the cultural practice. Concerns have consistently been raised about the cultural appropriation, as well as the fact the plant has to be protected now that it’s at risk due to commercial harvesting.
Incorporating into your practice
Firstly, consider whether you need to burn ceremonial white sage in your smudging practice. It is easy to make your own smudge sticks with other plants (for example - locally grown mugworts, rosemary, or another type of sage).
If you are using white sage, burn just 1 stem at a time - rather than the whole bundle. It’s also just a lot more practical, as the smoke is not nearly so overwhelming when you burn single leaves.
Or you could come along to one of our sound baths. Our crystal singing bowls are specially made from pure quartz crystals infused with sage (in the manufacturing process). We also have our own Field of Sound scent incorporating sage, which is used each session. Our intention is to draw on the qualities of sage outlined above - cleansing, mental clarity and revival of the senses - and weave it into the vibrations.