Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Cleansing

One way of purifying the mind is by attitude, by the right attitude towards life.  That is the moral way and the royal road to purification.  A person may breath and sit in silence a thousand postures but if he does not have the right attitude towards life he will never develop.  It is upon one's attitude that one's whole life depends. 
-Hazrat Inayat Khan


Spring is a time of renewal, of new beginnings and new intentions.  This can look many different ways for some of us.  Whether we give our homes an extra deep cleaning, make a vision board of our dreams for the year, go for meditative hikes, or do some journaling.  The goal is reflection and to start fresh.  To let go of old habits or inhibitions that held us back, working toward becoming our higher selves.  Creating ritual is an important way to celebrate and welcome the spirit of newness.  One way I like to do this, with the help of my green allies, is to make sage bundles or smudge sticks. The plants that are called sage can come from very different plant families, some from the salvias and some from the artemesia family.  But my favorite plant sister is California white sage (salvia apiana) for her powerful cleansing abilities.  Used for generations throughout the world, white sage can both heal and cleanse away or "wash off" the outside world.  Native American tribes use white sage for many purposes, among them for ceremonies and purification. 


We happen to have a gorgeous white sage plant growing in our medicine wheel.  After all the rain we have been getting it has leafed out and is ready for a small harvest.  You do not need to take much when you harvest sage.  It is strong medicine and a little goes a long way. 


Once you harvest several nice leafy tips, collect some attractive yarn or twine you like.  It must be either organic cotton or wool, no synthetic fibers.  (This is very important because the yarn will burn when you smudge.)  Separate your sage into small bouquets and gently wrap with the yarn.  You can wrap more densely at the bottom to make a handle. 


Dry your bundles for a week or two and when they are no longer wet they are ready to burn as smudge sticks. 


Sage or any other herb bundles make wonderful gifts and look beautiful hanging in your kitchen window or sitting on a mantel.  I also like to hang herb bundles in the shower to let off their essential oils with the steam or hide them away in our dresser drawers for wonderful smelling linens.   Try tossing one into the dryer with your clothes now and then.  Other aromatic herbs you can make bundles with to hang around your home are lavender, rosemary, geranium, marjoram, thyme, oregano, or any edible medicinal. 






4 comments:

  1. What a great idea! I am going to definitely try! Wish I could attend some of the classes that you provide... like the one on making body products! But I live in Alaska.

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  2. What else is good to use for cleansing/smudging !

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  3. Neat idea but growing the sage takes some time here in Southern California. Bet it works good though and smells great too.

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