Cleansing your space our yourself can be done in several ways, you can make an energy cleanser from many different types of plants & materials, in fact you can cleanse with sound energy (one of of my favorite ways btw) and not use or burn any tangible material. I am drawn to using florals & medicinal herbs & choose to create with them.
White Sage is often used in similar types of bundles. I choose NOT to use it because it is considered a sacred medicine to Native American people. There is talk about over harvesting creating scarcity, but this isn't actually true. White Sage like other varieties of sage grows very fast & in abundance & in the wild with little or no cultivation. *(I use regular garden sage, you can also use rosemary & other herbs)
The issue is that companies or individuals will come into scared lands & just take the plants, which the Native People only take when there is a need. The Native people harvest in respectful ways & do not devastate the plant, allowing it to continue to flourish.
The Native People believe these plants are medicine & many will not sell it as their culture believes in giving healthcare versus selling it (maybe we could learn something here)
There are many other issues to unpack, but in my opinion one of the deepest ones is that, up until relatively recently there were actual laws in place that made it ILLEGAL for Native people to practice their cultural ceremonies.
Only in 1978 the Indian Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) was passed & gave back religious freedoms. So for LESS than 50 years American Indians have been "granted permissions" to practice their religious rights. (Almost unbelievable)
So, it is very understandable that Native American people aren't too keen on NON native people coming into their lands grabbing up plants that they can commercialize, while picking parts of their culture to comically emulate. Yikes! In addition many Native American groups have spoken out against these activities and asked non native people to stop using the plants they deem sacred or fear are in danger of over harvesting. (another plant in question is Sweet Grass).
It's tricky because someone like me who is drawn to those elements, really, really wants to use them, and they are in nature, and who really owns nature right? I get it, when I first came to see these gorgeous creations I just wanted them, but it wasn't until I became aware of the issues and concerns that came from the culture I was appropriating. It was a tough pill to swallow.
*I know people who grow their own white sage & other plants and I think that is amazing. I see that they have tried to be respectful, but because I'm selling my energy bundles, I have chosen to not use any of the elements that are in question, or could pose as comparisons.)
For me, the main reason I choose to use alternative, but equally powerful elements is because the pain from cultural persecution and honestly cultural assimilation of the Indigenous people is still too recent and fresh, the wounds are deep.
So for that (amongst others) I choose to not use any ingredient that Native American groups have spoken out about. I also try not to use any language that is specific to their cultural practices, but most of all I try to educate people on using plant energy in their own personal way versus trying to copy a ritual or ceremony that doesn't belong to us and we don't understand.
If you are drawn to using plants, (as I am) and as all our ancestors from all over the world have been since the beginning of time, do so in a way that is meaningful to you. Create your own method and ritual. In my next few posts I'll give examples of how I use these bundles, some of those ways might resonate with you and could be something you choose to personalize and incorporate in your life.
I'll also explain why I use the words Energy Cleansing or Smoke Cleansing as opposed to 'Smudge or Saging' and I will give examples of how I use these bundles in my own personal way, some of those ways might resonate with you and could be something you choose to incorporate in your life.
I hope that was informative for you & if you have any questions or want to chat about it, feel free to email me or reach out.