Happy Harvesting; How to harvest your own white sage!
Harvesting my own sage was something I did for the first time this year! Out in the East County of San Diego is a whole lot of hiking, mountains, hills, and fresh wild white sage come the fall months.
I set out for a nice hike along McGinty mountain with my backpack to get some exercise, chat with nature, and ask for permission to snag some sage for my own practice as well as in my treatments.
If you are unfamiliar with white sage it is a cleansing and versatile plant. The Salvia Apiana plant, commonly referred to as white sage is a shrub primarily found in Mexico, southern California and along the edges of the western Mojave and Sonoran deserts.
Native Americans used the seed of the sage plant in their Pinole; a staple grain originating with the aztecs mixed with wheat flour, sugar. The leaves and stems were used in teas as well as burned and used in many purification rituals. Typically deemed 'smudging' by mystics or seers. (someone who uses their intuition to guide them)
And its the same way we use it today and the same way I use it for myself and my clients. The aroma and essence of sage just feels clean. When I smudge the house with a bushel of sage, it feels lighter afterwards. And people comment on how serene my home and office feel when they visit.
But to work with a plant requires respect and communion with it in order to reap its helpful benefits. So when I set out on McGinty, I knew I would be talking to a lot of plants. Once I saw my first sage plant I gave it a loving 'hello' and held my hand out to it as if cupping it gently. In my mind I asked for permission to grab some stocks, in which I heard an emphatic- Yes! and grabbed a few, making sure to utter a heartfelt 'thank you' in return. I did this the entire way up only grabbing a few stocks from each plant and never taking the young leaves, allowing them full maturity.
Also on my hike I kept seeing blocks of color in my vision. Not actual matter being colored in front of me, but an intuitive imprint of a color on top of the real scenery. I often have this happen, get winks or nudges from my higher self, and I always stop my mind to try and receive. I was seeing the colors pink and blue, together and the color green. Since I was experiencing this color scheme while harvesting sage, I took it as a sign to wrap my sage in those colors thread.
Blue is the color representing the throat Chakra and speaking truth. Blue is the color of sky and symbolizes freedom and urges us to unleash our highest truths in speech and to ourselves. Green and pink are both associated with the heart Chakra and remind us to maintain our heart centered living. Seeing the common thread in all and loving unconditionally.
So when I got home I got my colored threads together and got wrapping my fresh sage. Its easiest to wrap when wet and fresh off the plant but to use it in ceremony you will want to wait until it is dried out as it burns much cleaner and easier. I sat in my treatment room which is always buzzing with loving and healing energy, and wrapped my sage.
As mentioned, this was my first time picking and wrapping my own sage and it was a moving experience. I felt all the thousands of years that sage has provided for our land and for all the people that inhabited it before the modern 'us'. There is something very special about ceremonial work. It brings a deeper meaning to the task at hand and the extra time you sit with that intention does make a difference.