Smudge sticks- shed leaves uses

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loona wynd
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Smudge sticks- shed leaves uses

Post by loona wynd »

I have a pure white sage smudge stick that has reached the end of its life. There are only two or three small bundles of leaves left together that can burn for the scent and the effect. Most of the leaves have shed and are in the bottom of my cauldron. I started to carry my cauldron around with me when I would smudge so I could catch the ash and the leaves that fell. Now I have a cauldron full of partially burned white sage leaves.

I dont know what to do with the sage leaves that have been partially burned that are in my cauldron. Does any one have any suggestions on what I can do with the leaves? They are still quite useful. The spirit is strong in them. I dont want to just toss out some of the leaves because they aren't in the bundle any more.

I was thinking of crafting a powdered sage incense that I could still use. The leaves are still workable. I lit a few of them a few moments ago to do a quick smudge in the ritual room. By grinding them into a powder I could burn the powder. I might also be able to sprinkle the powder around for a similar effect. I don't know.

I've occasionally lit a little of the leaf and put them on my various altars for offerings to the spirit. They seem to like the scent and approve of the offering. Which is good. I like giving incenses as an offering to the various spirits I work with. In general they seem to like this gift.

Part of my intuition is saying use some to make a powdered blend and use the other to work with and create black salt. Though I have not made black salt before. I have heard that you can use burned sage in the process of making black salt. So it would be a new craft for me to learn.

I know I have options. I'm hoping you all can help me out. Thank you for your time.

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Re: Smudge sticks- shed leaves uses

Post by Kassandra »

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I think using the sage leaves to incorporate into either a black salt recipe (here's one posted by Ravencry a while back), or an incense recipe, are great ideas. I usually just save my loose leaves in a jar, and use them later in an oil, or whatever.

Speaking of which, I worked with a sage stick recently that wouldn't stay lit. Does anybody put anything on their sage sticks to make them keep burning during a smudge (not as strong as lighter fluid, I hope, lol). Just wondering.

Thanks.



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Re: Smudge sticks- shed leaves uses

Post by loona wynd »

Kassandra wrote:.
I think using the sage leaves to incorporate into either a black salt recipe (here's one posted by Ravencry a while back), or an incense recipe, are great ideas. I usually just save my loose leaves in a jar, and use them later in an oil, or whatever.
I hadn't thought about making an oil. What sort of base oil do you use?
Kassandra wrote:.Speaking of which, I worked with a sage stick recently that wouldn't stay lit. Does anybody put anything on their sage sticks to make them keep burning during a smudge (not as strong as lighter fluid, I hope, lol). Just wondering.
I try lighting it in more than one place. I've also found that sometimes let the flame go for like 30 seconds and then blow out the flame. The glowing cinders are enough for me to do my whole home. Its also been enough to do my parents whole home as well (and they have a rather large house).

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Re: Smudge sticks- shed leaves uses

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Hi Kassandra, I think when the bundle won't burn is that is was picked at a time when the oil content was low, or it wasn't dried properly. I run into this problem now and again. Have to keep the matches handy, and light it over and over, or keep a candle lit. ( I try to stay away from a lighter whenever possible, but it is a handy tool :| )

Loona, you might want to use the loose leaves to bomb the house in a smudging. I think oil with leaves that have been partly burned would smell burnt, but I like the salt idea. I also have herb burning celebrations, when I do the spring cleaning, anything that is too old or can't really be used, I burn in ceremony.

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Re: Smudge sticks- shed leaves uses

Post by loona wynd »

firebirdflys wrote:Hi Kassandra, I think when the bundle won't burn is that is was picked at a time when the oil content was low, or it wasn't dried properly. I run into this problem now and again. Have to keep the matches handy, and light it over and over, or keep a candle lit. ( I try to stay away from a lighter whenever possible, but it is a handy tool :| )
I've heard that matches can add negative influences to workings because of the sulpher in the tip which is why I have never used them unless they were all I had on hand. Is this true or something that has been thrown around that has no basis in reality?
firebirdflys wrote:Loona, you might want to use the loose leaves to bomb the house in a smudging.
Can you elaborate on this a bit more?
firebirdflys wrote:I think oil with leaves that have been partly burned would smell burnt, but I like the salt idea.
Making Black Salt was the first thing that came to mind so its probably what my intuition wants me to make. Still I thought that asking for advice an other options might be a good thing. As for the oil I think that would depend on just how burned the leaves were.
firebirdflys wrote:I also have herb burning celebrations, when I do the spring cleaning, anything that is too old or can't really be used, I burn in ceremony.
How do you burn them in the ceremony?

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Re: Smudge sticks- shed leaves uses

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firebirdflys wrote:Hi Kassandra, I think when the bundle won't burn is that is was picked at a time when the oil content was low, or it wasn't dried properly.
I realized that almost immediately after I posted my question. But, I figured I'd leave my post up, rather than delete it, so others could learn from my mistake, lol. So, I had been so excited to use my sage bundles because it had been the first time I had both harvested and put together my own bundles. But, I dried them for about 3 weeks, and yeah, I don't think the oil had completely dried in them yet. I think I used them way too soon. The store bought ones have probably been drying for many months, if not over a year or more.

loona wrote:I hadn't thought about making an oil. What sort of base oil do you use?
Almond, though I love olive oil, but it's too overpowering (smelly) as a carrier. I would probably not use already burnt leaves in an oil though, as firebirdflys mentioned, because the burnt smell would overpower the oil blend, even if you cut the burnt part off.


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Re: Smudge sticks- shed leaves uses

Post by loona wynd »

Kassandra wrote:Almond, though I love olive oil, but it's too overpowering (smelly) as a carrier. I would probably not use already burnt leaves in an oil though, as firebirdflys mentioned, because the burnt smell would overpower the oil blend, even if you cut the burnt part off.
That seems to be a favorite oil base among many different people I have spoken to that craft oils and the like. I did say in the OP of this thread that the leaves were fallen off from the bundle as it was burning so they are only slightly burned. More thank likely though I am going to try my hand at crafting black salt to use for protection rites and practices. Its something my intuition told me to do and it also seems sort of fun. I may need to wait for better weather though. This seems like something I might want to do outside, or at least with the windows open so I have ventilation.

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Re: Smudge sticks- shed leaves uses

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loona wynd wrote: firebirdflys wrote: Loona, you might want to use the loose leaves to bomb the house in a smudging.

Can you elaborate on this a bit more?
I like to put the loose leaves on a charcoal and smudge the house, opening all the doors and windows. Work widdershins, and waft the smoke out of each opening as you go around the house. This is good for a general cleansing, spring cleaning, or if a creepy entity has wandered in. Follow up with something sweet (like sweet-grass or frankincense) and work this smoke throughout the house in a deosil manner.

loona wynd wrote:I've heard that matches can add negative influences to workings because of the sulpher in the tip which is why I have never used them unless they were all I had on hand. Is this true or something that has been thrown around that has no basis in reality?
I think that fear may be based in the remnants of Christian thinking and the whole idea Fire and Brimstone. Sulpher was demonized and associated with Hell, the Devil and the smell that Hades would emit.
It has been used to fumigate, so I would suggest it is excellent to drive out any bad energy. Considering the sulpher is burned off shortly after the match is lit, it should be a non-issue, but some would feel the remnants are still there.
In Native American culture they prefer matches to lighters feeling that it is more natural and the propellants of lighter fuel are absent (this is not to say all NA use only matches)
In some magical circles Sulfur is elemental.
Sulphur is amazing and here is more info by our good friends at Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfur
loona wynd wrote: firebirdflys wrote: I think oil with leaves that have been partly burned would smell burnt, but I like the salt idea.

Making Black Salt was the first thing that came to mind so its probably what my intuition wants me to make. Still I thought that asking for advice an other options might be a good thing. As for the oil I think that would depend on just how burned the leaves were.
No matter how lightly burned they are the smell will transfer to the oil...Salt is your best bet.
loona wynd wrote: firebirdflys wrote:I also have herb burning celebrations, when I do the spring cleaning, anything that is too old or can't really be used, I burn in ceremony.

How do you burn them in the ceremony?
I don't know about you... but I tend to have way too may herbs that don't get used...if they have been hanging from their rafters for more than a few years... then into the spring bon-fire with them, I will open sacred space for a spring cleaning, and while I am taking care of the moping and window washing, any herbs that have reached the end of their useful-ness go in to a fire that burns all the day long. White sage doesn't make it to this fire though, it is for all other herbs. White sage is always used before it gets too old!

I may be somewhat spoiled in the sense I can access white sage at anytime, as it is endemic to Southern California. I can gather it most of the year. There is a time when it is said that it is taboo to take parts of the plant when it is in it's time of flowering, as it is considered to be in the Mother aspect.
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Re: Smudge sticks- shed leaves uses

Post by loona wynd »

Oooops. :oops:

I was going to start making some Black Salt Today. But I forgot to go downstairs and get the sage burning on the porch outside. It was relativity nice and I could have probably kept it going but I sort of panicked. The alarms in my apartment are crazy. Even when the problem stops it can take forever to get them to stop. So I opened up some windows to get the smoke out so the fire alarm would shut up.

I just hope that they dry out without getting mold on the from being put out by water. I strained the water out with the one cheesecloth I had on hand. So I didn't loose any leaves or charcoal blocks that wont lit or stay lit (I know once there was an actual fire or something for them to burn from they would burn and light) or even the woody stem of the sage leaves. I just hope they dry out for me.

I have to bag up a bunch of new sage bundles in a day or too any way. So when I do that I will have hard stems to save for the purpose of making black salt. I'll also have any pieces I don't feel are up to quality. So on the plus side my supply of sage for the making of the black salt isn't gone. I just may need to start from scratch.

The other thing that did come out of this mistake was that I came up with a different type of protection salt to try and work with. I bottled some up and used the rest today in a protection spell around my home. I used it in every room and on the window sills as well as on the door ways, porches, and steps.

So a mistake turned into a different inspired act.

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Re: Smudge sticks- shed leaves uses

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firebirdflys wrote: I like to put the loose leaves on a charcoal and smudge the house, opening all the doors and windows. Work widdershins, and waft the smoke out of each opening as you go around the house. This is good for a general cleansing, spring cleaning, or if a creepy entity has wandered in. Follow up with something sweet (like sweet-grass or frankincense) and work this smoke throughout the house in a deosil manner.
So you carry the charcoal disc around with you as you smudge the house that way or do you have a censor and disc in every room and light it in each room and bomb smudge that way? Just trying to see what you actually do. I read your statement as the practice going both ways and probably could work both ways. I just wanted to see what you did yourself.


firebirdflys wrote:I think that fear may be based in the remnants of Christian thinking and the whole idea Fire and Brimstone. Sulpher was demonized and associated with Hell, the Devil and the smell that Hades would emit.
Well I think I originally got the idea that suplher was bad for blessing candles and smudging through a Silver Ravenwolf book so take that as you will :roll: :oops:
firebirdflys wrote: It has been used to fumigate, so I would suggest it is excellent to drive out any bad energy. Considering the sulphate is burned off shortly after the match is lit, it should be a non-issue, but some would feel the remnants are still there.
In Native American culture they prefer matches to lighters feeling that it is more natural and the propellants of lighter fuel are absent (this is not to say all NA use only matches)
I haven't worked with sulfur. I know that it has uses in both positive workings but also has a history of being associated with baneful actions as well. I see sulpher in a lot of the Hoodoo spells I have seen and its a mixture for good or baneful.
firebirdflys wrote:In some magical circles Sulfur is elemental.
Sulphur is amazing and here is more info by our good friends at Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfur
I believe that is one mineral that is associated with fire. It does work well with fire. Its also why its a common ingredient in explosives for that reason. I also think its beautiful. It has a lovely yellow color when its in its pure mineral or crystal forms.
firebirdflys wrote:No matter how lightly burned they are the smell will transfer to the oil...Salt is your best bet.
The other idea I had was grinding down the rest into a powder and use the powder to burn on a charcoal block or to uses the powder to dust smudge a place.
firebirdflys wrote:I don't know about you... but I tend to have way too may herbs that don't get used...if they have been hanging from their rafters for more than a few years... then into the spring bon-fire with them, I will open sacred space for a spring cleaning, and while I am taking care of the moping and window washing, any herbs that have reached the end of their useful-ness go in to a fire that burns all the day long. White sage doesn't make it to this fire though, it is for all other herbs. White sage is always used before it gets too old!
I can see white sage always being used before it gets old. Its a good cleansing herb, its also a protective herb. Plus I like the smell myself. It seems to also have a sedating property to it...

I have several packets of herbs that are probably 2 or three years old now. Maybe longer. I know I bought one of them in 2009 when I was in my training for the Temple tradition so yeah its old and overdue. This sounds like a wonderful ceremony to remove any unused materials.

We don't have a bonfire or even a place for a fire. I may be able to do something similar with my cauldron though. I can even see making it into a bit of a spell by adding wishes and banishing of winter issues and welcoming the spring planting new ideas and concepts.


firebirdflys wrote:I may be somewhat spoiled in the sense I can access white sage at anytime, as it is endemic to Southern California. I can gather it most of the year. There is a time when it is said that it is taboo to take parts of the plant when it is in it's time of flowering, as it is considered to be in the Mother aspect.
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Yeah you are lukcy in that regards. White Sage can grow in Maine during the summer. I actually want to get several plants this summer. I want to try my hand at making my own smudge sticks. I learned the hard way that you need to actually do that while they are still alive or before drying otherwise it doesn't work properly.

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Re: Smudge sticks- shed leaves uses

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loona wynd wrote:So you carry the charcoal disc around with you as you smudge the house that way or do you have a censor and disc in every room
Loona :shock: , of course I have a censor ....I don't recommend anyone try to carry a charcoal disk with their hands, I use a small cauldron. The brand of charcoal I linked, lights sooooo fast I wouldn't even hold it as I'm lighting it. I take the censor and usually waft the smoke with a feather as I move through the house the censor comes with me. (type of feather depends on the work) for bad energy out..a vulture feather or black feather, for good energy in a white feather (or hawk if you have one) maybe a dove feather... but this would seem a topic for another thread.
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Re: Smudge sticks- shed leaves uses

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firebirdflys wrote:
loona wynd wrote:So you carry the charcoal disc around with you as you smudge the house that way or do you have a censor and disc in every room
Loona :shock: , of course I have a censor ....I don't recommend anyone try to carry a charcoal disk with their hands, I use a small cauldron. The brand of charcoal I linked, lights sooooo fast I wouldn't even hold it as I'm lighting it. I take the censor and usually waft the smoke with a feather as I move through the house the censor comes with me. (type of feather depends on the work) for bad energy out..a vulture feather or black feather, for good energy in a white feather (or hawk if you have one) maybe a dove feather... but this would seem a topic for another thread.
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What I had meant was do you carry your censor or do you have one in each room. It didn't get worded properly. Sorry about that. Your response does answer my question though. You carry the censor (a mini cauldron from your description) with you in each room and use a feather to waft the smoke through the room. Thats cool. I had a feather I used for smudging and ritual use at one time. That feather was also my tool for invoking the element of air so it was a big use for incense spreading and smudging when I used it.

I do still like the idea of your herb burning spring cleaning ritual. I wonder how I could make that work for my apartment. I'm getting ideas for different sorts of rituals I can try and work. The smoke detectors in my place are extremely sensitive though. I've been interrupted in a smudging because of it.

Smudging seems to be the only use most people talk of when they discuss white sage. It makes me wonder if there are any other uses for this type of sage aside from smudging.

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Re: Smudge sticks- shed leaves uses

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I will have tea occasionally with a white sage leaf in it. Or, I also stuff small pillows with the leaves, to be used as a drawer freshener or maybe with a combo of other herbs for a charm or dream pillow...and every now and then I will pop a piece in the ceremonial pipe.
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Re: Smudge sticks- shed leaves uses

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firebirdflys wrote:I will have tea occasionally with a white sage leaf in it.
I did always find it some what funny that white sage was the only sage I never saw listed as a culinary herb. I'm sure you could use it in cooking. When you drink the tea is it just one leaf of sage and something else?
firebirdflys wrote:Or, I also stuff small pillows with the leaves, to be used as a drawer freshener or maybe with a combo of other herbs for a charm or dream pillow...
I actually like the poprui drawer freshener. I can't use any of those sorts of prodcuts. My fiance' is incredibly sensitive to those scents and scented products. I could do something like that for an air freshener though.
firebirdflys wrote:and every now and then I will pop a piece in the ceremonial pipe.
:flyingwitch: I'm with you on smoking herbs for their effect. I've never considered white sage though. I typically think of tobacoo, mugwort, catnip, and mints.

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Re: Smudge sticks- shed leaves uses

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Yea..not too much in the tea, (maybe one small leaf in combo with a regular tea bag) and not very often as it contains a lot of thujone, which isn't really great in large quantities. Same reason in the pipe.
As for cooking, it should work well with anything you would use sage in, I'm not particularly fond of sage in my food, but it might work with lamb or venison.
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