What herbs should a basic Witch's Cupboard contain?
In a world with so many herbs, one wonders what should a basic Witch's Cupboard contain? You know...especially if you are just starting out? After reviewing many sites and looking at the consensus in social medias, I compiled a list of what I found to be the TOP TEN most common herbs. Over the next 10 "Metaphysical Mondays", we will discuss these 10 magickal herbs.
First up in the series: SAGE
Used for self purification and dealing with grief and loss. Carried to improve mental ability and bring wisdom. Used in healing sachets & incense. Promotes spiritual, mental, emotional & physical health and longevity. Removes negative energy. Place near a personal object of a person who is ailing when performing healing spells or rituals.
Also Called: Garden Sage, White Sage, Red Sage, Sawge
Ancient Egyptians used sage as a fertility drug!
Sage Smudge Set
Be of Sound Mind
And no..I don't necessarily mean "sound mind" as in what society considers "sane".
By "Sound Mind", I mean you should be sure you won't be disturbed during your smudging. Set aside some time to center and ground yourself. Become one with your element. Breathe with control and ease. We have several articles on mediation and grounding that can help.
Health Benefits, too!
It has health benefits, too!
Antiseptic and antibacterial
Reduces muscle tension
Reduces menopausal symptoms
Reduce menopausal sweats
The Art of Smudging
Even the happiest of homes can accumulate negative energy. It is a good practice to smudge your home on a regular basis. This can be monthly, quarterly, etc. I also recommend after larger gatherings/parties, where you have a mix of people that are not normally in your space. It is important to understand is that smudging is an ancient and sacred ceremony, so it is best to do it with full awareness and in a slow, mindful manner. The intent you put in, is the result you will get out. You can smudge your home (or any area that needs clearing of negative energy) by using a smudging wand over an ash receptacle or loose sage in a censor. If you are just beginning, use a heat resistant dish...you can get affordable ones at your local dollar stores. It is ritualistic to have a feather to spread the smoke, however, using your hand to waft it around works just as well. Again, it is the intent that has the power. The tools just help focus it.
Mystics say the Native American practice of smudging, or purifying a room with the smoke of sacred herbs, can help clear negative energy from a space. And the apparent benefits are steeped in science—when burned, sage and other herbs release negative ions, which research has linked to a more positive mood.
It is best to close all windows and open all doors...all the doors in the house - cabinets, too. You don't want any closed off space in the home when you clean it. Pick one exterior door (front or back). Light your sage and let it smolder. Wash your hands in the smoke and wash it over you. Now, begin wafting the smoke around the perimeter of the room in a clockwise (to your right) direction. If you follow the wall around the thresholds and not across them, you will eventually wall the full perimeter of every room. It's like if you were blind in a maze and needed to find your way out. Place your hand on the wall and walk...never take your hand off...you will eventually get out. So...walk to the right :) and using your feather/hand, waft the smoke along the wall area, getting in every nook. When you get back to the door you started, thank your deity for escorting out the negative energy. If you used loose sage, it is good practice to bury the ashes just outside the door. If you used a wand, be sure it is extinguished (pressing it down in sand for a minute usually works) before setting it down and/or storing it.
We are not physicians. If you are ill, please seek professional advise before using anything. Sage should not be used by pregnant or nursing women or by people who have epileptic fits. The plant is toxic in excess or when taken for extended periods.
Everyone has his/her own style of smudging..across the globe.
What are your methods?
What all do you use sage for, aside from smudging?
Leave your thoughts below and be sure to return next week for Metaphysical Monday as we continue the Witch's Cupboard series: Bay Leaves!
Blessed Be, In Love and Light