So I don’t speak on behalf of Indigenous People, but rather as a person of privilege about something that needs to change. But wait — is using palo santo cultural appropriation? 3 Comments on From Appropriation to Extinction: White Sage is Becoming Endangered to Indigenous Communities ZENAPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES Associated with purity, the popular medicinal herb— salvia apiana or white sage—is held sacred in many Indigenous communities for its traditional use in smudging rituals and metaphysical purposes. That may mean harvesting your own sage or other herbs sustainably, contacting brands to ask them to stop selling white sage without giving due to Native cultures, or using another material. Harvesting and Storing White Sage. Itâs so important to certain indigenous cultures, that Native people are fighting to be able to perform it in hospitals. When the dominant culture in society takes aspects from another culture that’s experiencing oppression, that’s best understood as cultural appropriation. Using a closed spiritual practice without knowing its roots, meaning, or power is a form of cultural appropriation at its worst. A note: all spells work best when catered to you and your craft. Frankie Desdemona’s Shower Cleansing Ritual. let me start, at the start, which is that several cultures, and several regions have burned ritual herbs in a variety of ways over several millennia. Due to its current trendiness, white sage is being over-harvested along the Southern California coast, harming the land and making it harder to find, thus increasing its cost. Decolonize Spirituality. Burning White Sage and Appropriation. Commodifying its cleansing qualities, … If the article helps you personally, great. Google defines cultural appropriation as this: “the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. Which materially means that Indigenous people who may have had open and free access to a plant sacred to their practice might now not be able to access it or have to pay more and more to have it. Growing up I burned common sage which was what grew in my yard in southern California. Therefore, in this post we will try to be sensitive to those cultures and will only use the sacred term as little as possible. Using the correct terminology helps protect indigenous culture by avoiding appropriation. But do we know why we use it? Sage (Salvia officinalis) is a salvia plant that is a part of the larger family of mint. It was illegal for Natives to practice their religion (including smudging) until 1978 in the U.S. It’s something they’ve had to fight for. Cedar, lavender, rosemary, juniper, pine, rose, peppermint, aspen, lilac, and even herbal pre-rolls are some great options. This article examines how white youths culturally appropriate hip-hop by adhering to the demands of color-blind ideology. I recently stumbled upon white sage being used by people outside of the native American culture as very disrespectful and cultural appropriation. !…” I’ve been reading a great deal about this topic and wanted to know your thoughts on whether burning white sage is a practice I should consider replacing with something else. It's important, however, that in the process, you're respecting Indigenous cultures and the land's ecosystem. Some cultures may have spiritual practices connected to smoke cleansing, but the act of smoke cleansing is not inherently spiritual or specific to a certain culture, like smudging is. The plant itself is not endangered in the US-stamped-on-a-list kind of way, though many online are saying that, but what is endangered is Native peoples’ ability to access and use wild white sage in the ways that they and their ancestors have done for thousands of years. I felt very connected to this small part of my ancestry growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. let me start, at the start, which is that several cultures, and several regions have burned ritual herbs in a variety of ways over several millennia. Don’t remove more than 30% of new growth in the first year. Sage Burning and Cultural Appropriation. Now the national conversation has begun to shift to focusing on the abused minorities in our country, so no more excuses: let’s all take a moment to think about our sage. There are innumerable easy alternatives to white sage and palo santo, and it is a disservice to smoke cleansing to place everything on one solitary plant. The way it smells, the calm energy shift in the air after its been burned… I’ve long been a fan. Associated with purity, the popular medicinal herb —salvia apiana or white sage—is held sacred in many Indigenous communities for its traditional use in smudging rituals and metaphysical purposes. The plant itself is not endangered in the US-stamped-on-a-list kind of way, though many online are saying that, but what is endangered is Native peoples’ ability to access and use wild white sage in the ways that they and their ancestors have done for thousands of years. Here are some links you can visit on cultural appropriation in contemporary Neo-paganism and witchcraft and an article on land and identity in the US pagan and Native American communities. White sage has also been harvested unethically and, as a result, has become endangered. The only reason you’re aware of this plant, like the rest of us, is because some early witch learned about smudging and tried to sell it to the rest of us. Because white sage is in such high demand, thanks to this recent trendiness, the Chumash people (of what is now called Southern California) are concerned that the plant is being overharvested. The appropriation of "smudging" from Native Americans means white sage has become a staple of the wellness era, but the increased demand is decimating the species. Not the least of which, for example, is the disappearing wild white sage plant. Instead, advocates say non-native people can learn to cleanse their spaces in ways that are culturally and ecologically sensitive. A note: all spells work best when catered to you and your craft. Some alternatives include cinnamon, juniper, lavender, pine, rosemary, and clove. To explain further, itâs important to leave the root, because thatâs how the plant grows back. Bye Thanks x 5; Disagree! White women across the Bay Area are smudging potentially problematic public spaces in preparation for the main event. When we pick sage, we always leave the root and say a prayer of thanks for our harvest. âIt was illegal for Natives to practice their religion until 1978 in the U.S., and many were jailed and killed just for keeping our ways alive, including my great-great grandfather,â Ruth Hopkins, a Dakota/Lakota Sioux writer, tells Bustle. White sage, the plant used in smudging practices, is being harvested on Native territory. Landscaping With White Sage. It’s considered to be a plant of special concern by conservationists and illegal to take from public lands. If you’re not a member of an Indigenous community, purchasing white sage, Palo Santo, or other sacred herbs and quickly Googling “how to smudge” will not make you qualified to do so. See more ideas about smudging prayer, smudging, sage smudging. And we’ve already done enough. The United States Department of Agriculture says that white sage has important medical benefits â it is used to cure colds and aid postpartum healing â and itâs a crucial part of the surrounding ecosystem. I admit that it took me a while to really think about what it means to burn sage. If you’re using it in a quasi-spiritual way without proper knowledge or training, yes, probably. If the article helps you personally, great. Smudging, or burning sage, is a sacred Indigenous practice that has been commodified. This, of course, also applies to burning sage. Traditional white sage plant (Artemesia califoncia) normally used in the practice of smudging. in order to “clear negative energy”) has become increasingly popular among non-native people. But some brands continue to sell white sage, despite Native communities speaking out against it. Smudging, therefore, is not to be taken lightly. 628 386. Which is cultural appropriation. It’s hugely popular in the (predominately white) yoga and spiritual communities. This isn’t an opinion or debate, it’s fact. Very soft and clean and Instagram-y. The United States Department of Agriculture says that white sage has important medical benefits — it is used to cure colds and aid postpartum healing — … This is continuing systemic racism and oppression against Indigenous People. August 29, 2020; Posted by Admin; 29 Aug On August 22, we shared a video that included burning sage as an insect deterrent when spending time outdoors. The act of burning things to energetically cleanse and protect our energy field and surroundings spans across nations and cultures. It’s also not always harvested correctly, in a way that leaves the roots and allows the plant to regrow. You can practice smoke cleansing with different kinds of wood and herbs. Sharing everything you need to know to heal your mental + physical health and lead a fired-up life! White sage grows in Southern California, where yoga, holistic health, and spirituality are booming, along with cultural appropriation of the origins of those practices. The popularity of white sage, tied into tight bundles called smudge sticks, is not as simple as a nice smell. âItâs exploitative and amounts to silencing Native voices and erasing our cultural heritage,â she says. Use of white sage and the term smudging by Non-Natives is cultural appropriation. Avoid FOMO: sign up for the Infinite Embers newsletter! There are lots of ways to achieve the benefits of smudging by using more ethical practices, terminology, and materials. Jan 26, 2019 - Explore Christy Slaughter's board "Sage Smudging Prayers", followed by 109 people on Pinterest. For Hopkins, the appropriation of sage is made worse because the plant is often not being harvested correctly. When I began my practice, I started out with white sage, then switched to Palo Santo because I learned about the appropriation involved and, admittedly, because I really dislike the smell of sage, anyway. We did that. Smudging is part of those practices. ✖️ I’ve been, Hey friends! But now I do know better, and I’m making a conscious effort to avoid appropriation in my practice. this year has started to shift some foundations, illegal for Natives to practice their religion, We live in c y c l e s. The flow of the seasons. When Non-Native People Burn Sage, It’s Cultural Appropriation—And We Don’t Support It Abbey Stone 9/18/2020 New Mexico promised its students free college. smudging, cultural appropriation, and a confused white girl . We were alerted by Monserrat Matehuala and Bam Mendiola about our irresponsible appropriation and usage of White Sage, and we quickly removed the post from our social media accounts. It's cultural appropriation of a threatened plant. The most important takeaway from this post is to respect sage and the original Native American practice of burning it to smudge. The appropriation of "smudging" from Native Americans means white sage has become a staple of the wellness era, but the increased demand is decimating the species. 011: Witch Kits, White Sage and Indigenous Appropriation. smudging, cultural appropriation, and a confused white girl. When you have witches using white sage to “smudge” their altars, doing meditations to balance their chakras, and calling on Santa Muerte in spells, all without making any effort to understand the cultural roots of those practices, you have a serious problem. A quick side note on Palo Santo, another popular source to burn: it’s also being over-harvested and near being endangered, so please avoid and do not buy! I don’t thin, Shortcut to Calm: A Breath-Centered Meditation Course, The Ultimate 2020 Holiday Wellness Gift Guide, The Meaning of Savasana: Why We Do This Final Yoga Pose. Do we know what it means? 04:11 AM - 01 Sep 2018 It’s never sat right, but I didn’t look as closely as I/we should have. While that may be the case, white sage — the kind typically sold in those chic little bundles — is native to North America and therefore, to Native cultures. One step closer to unity. Decolonize Spirituality. Appropriation has impact. Jul 11, 2019 - Many of you who follow me on Instagram, have probably heard me talk about white sage. 2020 Bustle Digital Group. Beneficial Properties of Sage . Palo Santo has been added to the International Union for Conservation of Natureâs (IUCN) list, because its overharvesting can lead to extinction, although the tree is not nearing extinction currently. It was illegal for Native Americans to practice their religion/spiritualism until 1978. Sage is not the only sacred medicine used for smudging. Palo Santo ("holy woodâ in Spanish) sticks have been getting more popular as an alternative to sage, but buying this Central and South American tree used by Amazonian tribes can also be harmful, in similar ways to sage. Cultural Appropriation of White Sage in the Outdoors On August 22, we shared a video that included burning sage as an insect deterrent when spending time outdoors. The first step is educating yourself—so thanks for taking the time to read this article! Neelou Malekpour, owner and co-founder of Smudged, challenges the … Cultural Appropriation of White Sage in the Outdoors On August 22, we shared a video that included burning sage as an insect deterrent when spending time outdoors. Now that Sephora jumped in, everyone’s fake angry. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society.” However, that definition seems too vague for most white people. It leaves me feeling spiritually focused and relaxed. Cultural appropriation is a huge issue in modern witchcraft. And there are other materials, including lavender, pine, and cloves, that can be burned safely. Yoga, to the beat, It’s really hard to be happy when you’re in pa, Happy Small Business Saturday! Growing up in NM, I assumed sage was pretty common stuff. Avoid trimming the woody part – stick to removing the softer, green growth. by Susan Leopold This year it was evident due to the social media reaction that people were expressing anger and concern over the increase in commercialization of white sage (Salvia apiana) and the cultural appropriation and offensive marketing that overlooks ethics and ecological, cultural awareness of a deeply sacred and spiritual plant. Appropriation has impact. White sage the ideal plant if you’re doing xeriscaping because it doesn’t need much water and it looks great next to broadleaf desert plants such as aloe and yucca. If you feel uncomfortable burning white sage or palo santo for any reason, there are many other fantastic smoke cleansing tools that are widely available. Hopkins says that this behavior is unacceptable. People accused the kit of all kinds of appropriation. My theory? We were alerted by Monserrat Matehuala and Bam Mendiola about our irresponsible appropriation and usage of White Sage, and we quickly removed the post from our social media accounts. Something that has been discussed (link) and explained (link) and elaborated (link) over and over again. The only reason you’re aware of this plant, like the rest of us, is because some early witch learned about smudging and tried to sell it to the rest of us. Ahhh… do you love sage as much as I do? So keep burning away! But there are a few things you need to do: Picking up what I’m putting down? The burning of California white sage, especially, has become an accepted form of cultural appropriation. Discover (and save!) Use a pair of sharp scissors or pruners to cut your white sage so that you don’t damage the stems. Ultimately, being intentional about how you implement this practice in your life â and being mindful about its origins and significance â is helpful for everyone. So when non-native people burn sage to "smudge" their homes or other spaces, it can minimize the cultural importance of this ritual, and have a negative impact on how the herbs are grown. I use sage a lot because I love the smell and it really connects me to my practice but I also want to be respectful of Native American culture and history. It will also highlight plants with small flowers such as sedum and yarrow. I'm not exempt just because I'm a person of color who has also experienced appropriation of my traditions. Nov 5, 2018 Ratings: +7,439 / 379 / -106. I’m back after a 3 day break from I, GIVEAWAY TIME ✖️ Are you ready? 9. As Indian Country Today expertly explained, white sage is a sacred plant used in indigenous medical and spiritual practices.There have also been points throughout history when indigenous people were banned from these practices. As this article in the Huffington Post puts it: “there’s a problem when retail chains sell the idea behind smudging completely separate from the practice.” Businesses are profiting while we co-opt Native American culture. You can also try energy-clearing practices for your space that don’t require any burning, like Himalayan salt lamps, crystals, and diffusing essential oils! You wouldn’t be picking white sage and sweetgrass up from metaphysical stores if popular culture hadn’t associated Native religion with Paganism and Witchcraft in the late sixties. âWhen using medicinal plants, itâs important that the plant is used sustainably. Decolonize Spirituality. Full Disclosure about Sage: As many are aware, white sage is currently over-harvested. White Sage and other smudge products (burning sweet grass, palo santo, etc. Smudging, or saging, has become a trendy wellness practice that some people use to cleanse "bad energy" from their homes or their space. In addition, it strips wellness practices of their authenticity and sacredness. White Sage Ah, yes, the herb of growing controversy. This isn’t an opinion or debate, it’s fact. I have this one piece that was gifted to me that I don’t burn out of symbolic respect. 3 Comments on From Appropriation to Extinction: White Sage is Becoming Endangered to Indigenous Communities; ZENAPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES. If you buy a smudge kit at a health food store or on an Etsy site that includes a feather and a fan for blowing around the smoke, you’re participating in cultural appropriation. And can we all agree that sage should no longer be sold at the checkout counters of expensive (white) clothing boutiques? “appropriation,” and how the two are not mutually exclusive in terms of white performance of black music. Firstly, I want to say that the following is about a systemic problem and while perpetuated by individuals, is not something individuals can “fix”. … Using WHITE sage is appropriation. I hope this article can nudge people in the right direction but ultimately nothing will change unless the system that causes this is dismantled entirely. in order to “clear negative energy”) … (Responsibly, of course.). I'm half native. As a white woman, my track record is not perfect when it comes to cultural appropriation. I use sage a lot because I love the smell and it really connects me to my practice but I also want to be respectful of Native American culture and history. When I first started my witchcraft journey, I burned white sage and worked with the chakra system.
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