A Note On White Sage
"Smudging" is a closed practice common to many indigenous people of North America which involved burning white sage, as well as other sacred herbs, and using tools such as an abalone shell and a feather as part of a sacred ceremony for cleansing and protection. Due to a recent increase in practices similar to Smudging, the sale and harvest of white sage has increased significantly. Due to over harvesting and also harvesting the plant incorrectly we are seeing stunted growth patters and many conservationists are concerned about the future survival and distribution of the species.
In addition to the environmental impact of over harvesting white sage, the use of this sacred herb as well as using the word "smudging" by individuals outside of the indigenous communities to whom this closed practice belongs to is a form of cultural appropriation.
There are many ways to cleanse and protect your space - including forms of smoke cleansing - in an environmentally and culturally responsible way. There are many herbs that you can burn that have been used for centuries by many cultures, in open practices, that are available to you. As we all continue to learn and grow, we should also strive to decolonize our own spiritual and magical practices. Remember, spiritual work IS social justice work.