Salvia comes from the Latin word “salvere”, to heal.
Officinalis refers to having been used medicinally.
Sage, salvia, is the largest genus of the mint family, Lamiaceae.
Sage has numerous powers. In addition to its healing properties, it is associated with wisdom, longevity and protection. It’s a delightful and healing tea, and the Thanksgiving turkey wouldn’t be the same without it. With the present concerns about the coronavirus, it seems a good time to focus on sage’s clearing, cleansing, protective qualities.
Sage has antimicrobial properties that keep infectious bacteria, viruses, and fungi at bay. Burning sage decreases the levels of aerial bacteria by up to 94%. It neutralizes dust, mold, and pet dander. It dispels negative energy, soothes stress, improves your mood and aides in better sleep.
My illustrated journal summary is below.
Instructions for creating your own smudging bundles from sage grown in your garden and here. The steps to the process are in my illustrated journal, above. After the sage was harvested and wrapped it needed to dry. That process takes about 4 - 6 weeks.
We smudge for a variety of reasons. One may be a general cleansing or you may want to remove germs and bacteria. You may want to clear your space to become more open to creative ideas and beautiful thoughts.
If you are smudging because someone had violated your space or made your angry or uncomfortable, it is imperative that you center yourself and come to a more positive frame of mind before you begin. It you need support, find a friend or two to help you feel positive and loved. You are clearing negative energy and adding positive to replace it so keeping a positive frame of mind during the ritual and following are vital.
It might be helpful to find, or write a prayer or poem to express your intentions. When I was in Stone Harbor, my friend Lisa had a book with a beautiful prayer to accompany a smudging ritual.I hurriedly copied it into my illustrated journal and will probably redo it on parchment, but for now, it gives you the words you need. I'm not sure who wrote it. I looked on line and found several people acknowledged. Thank you to who ever wrote such a lovely piece.
The next step is to gather your materials. If possible, use natural materials.
It is best to declutter each room before you begin. Open all of the doors, closet doors and windows so you can move from room to room easily and without interruption.
1. Light the candle and set your intention. You may use the prayer above or something you have written or found that expresses your personal perspective.
2. Use the candle flame to light the sage. Once the sage has caught fire, blow it out and watch for glowing embers. When you see the smoke begin to roll off of the smudge stick, it is ready.
3. Guide the smoke toward your heart, over your head and around your body to purify yourself before you begin.
4. Go the the lowest area you will be smudging. You will be working clockwise in each room. Use your feather, or your hand, to direct the smoke from the lowest part of the room to the highest as you move in a circle around the room Be certain to direct smoke into the corners of the room. Direct the smoke out the door or windows before you move on to the next room.
5. KEEP THE SHELL CLOSE BY TO COLLECT BURNING EMBERS. I tap the smudge stick on the shell when I begin in each room and usually another time or two as the leaves burn.
6. After you have completed smudging each room extinguish the sage by rubbing it onto the shell or on sand or dirt. Check to see that there are no burning red embers.
DO NOT wet the sage. If you do, you won't be able to use the sage again.
After the smoke clears and the negative energy has been released, fill the space with love. You can say prayers, meditate or journal about love, have dear friends over, read inspirational materials or do what ever feels best for you!
The legend states, "those who kiss under the mistletoe
Wheat and roses are also associated with St. Barbara.
"Barbara, the Saint, was elected of God,
She gave her bread to the poor,
Her miserly father rebuked her
And threatened her with his sword.
When he caught her with bread in her lap
She cried unto God in her fear,
God turned the sword in his hand
Into a crochet needle.
When here father demanded to see
What she concealed in her lap,
She cried unto God for help
And the bread in her lap turned to roses."
~ Translation from The Syrian
I was in an arithmetic class in elementary school and as I looked at the number 8, I realized that "half of eight equals 4" wasn't the only right answer! This discovery thrilled me and I immediately raised my hand to share this with my teacher and the rest of the class. The teacher was neither impressed nor pleased. She was visibly annoyed.
By the time I got home, my dad, a calculus professor at an engineering school, had received a call. He sat me down at the dining room table to have a conversation. His face was expressionless (my dad had made a considerable amount of money in the Korean War playing Black Jack and unlike me, had an enviable poker face).
He told me that my teacher had called and given her perspective, quite negative, on my discovery, and he asked me to explain mine.
"Well, I just realized that half of eight can be zero," I said quietly, my head down.
"Can you prove it?" he asked, and I saw a grin cross his face. He knew I could!
So I drew an eight, and covered the top. 0!
My dad was not angry. He was pleased! And as I looked at the 8 I realize it could be an E or a 3! And if I turned it on its side, it could be an m or a w!
It was then that I realized being creative in school might not be well received. Over the years, many teachers wanted me to memorize and regurgitate. Thankfully my dad, a Calculus professor, wanted me to think.
My life would have been very different if he has scolded or reprimanded me as my teacher had. I have often wondered over the years as I've worked with young people, how many times their creative ideas and potential contributions have been squelched. Seeing things in new and different ways adds such joy to life.
Just this morning my daughter Mycala came up with an idea that i could see changing everything in her life, and have a humorous and joyful impact on others! I've been smiling since and thinking of how blessed I was to have support in my life for looking for more than one right answer!
Let’s join them!
This newsletter from my dear friend Rameshji and his beautiful wife will give you more information. You can also read about his new book, Soul Selfie, below. It is available on Amazon and I enthusiastically recommend it!
A SPECIAL DIWALI
This year the festival of lights (Diwali) coincides with the festival of joy and happiness (Children’s Day) and teaches us how we can live life, childlike:
1. Children may create a mess, appear untidy, have runny noses and sticky, dirty hands but we love them nonetheless as their hearts are always clean. They neither hold grudges nor nurture feelings of anger, ill-will or negativity; thereby showing us that the inside matters more than the outside.
2. Like children, our focus should be on bhavana and not merely on rituals and ceremonies. We should aim to express internally, not just impress externally.
3. Children are always eager and enthusiastic to burst crackers, design rangoli, meet relatives, taste sweets and participate in all festivities. We too, should have the same level of energy and excitement towards life and should make the most of every moment given to us.
4. The innocent smiles, mischievous giggles and infectious laughter of children shows us that life should not be taken seriously all the time but should be filled with lighter moments which spreads joy in everyone’s life.
5. Just as the diyas light us up soon after we light them, children also begin to impart valuable life lessons to us while we raise them. We must be open to their perspectives and allow them to be our guiding lighttoo.
So, this Diwali let us not just light up our homes but light up our lives by cherishing our children and embracing our own inner child!
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the whole world revolves.
Slowly, evenly, without rushing towards the future.”
~ Thich Nhat Hahn
We live in an “instant” world. Handwritten letters, carefully thought out and elegantly penned, were once delivered by mail. The anticipation of an artistically caring response could last for days or even weeks, and reread for a lifetime. Now we send rapid fire e-mails and abbreviated text messages and respond within seconds, often more reactive than thoughtful.
At one time, preparing a meal, from harvesting to artistic preparation and delivery to the table, could take hours. Once seated at at the table, which was often adorned with handmade linens and a center piece, we took the time to savor the flavors, share conversation, and recognize and appreciate the effort that went into the meal. Now, too often we fly through the drive through window on the way to here or there to buy over processed, fatty and over-salted food. At times, a meal is rapidly devoured in the car, or taken home to be gulped thoughtlessly in front of a television set blaring with upsetting messages. No wonder we’re still hungry after the meal. We haven’t really been fed!
During leisure time, people gathered to share hobbies: to knit, crochet or make quilts that took months to finish. Now many of us have no idea what it is like to experience the satisfaction of completing a long term project, either alone or with others. Taking time to learn new skills and complete creative projects feeds the soul in a way that nothing else can replicate.
Even simply drinking a cup of tea can be done without presence or appreciation. Finding ways to slow down and value each moment will enrich every aspect of our lives.
Slow down. This activity is one of the most powerful concepts you can apply. Pay attention to the moment. Live mindfully. Take the time to experience the senses, the flavors, the simple joys that we often rush through.
There are two steps to this process. The first is awareness. The second, consider ways to become more mindful.
Buy or create a notepad that is beautiful and romantic. Why would you use anything else, now that you’ve discovered how much beauty can enrich your life? As you go through your day, make notes when you find yourself beginning to rush. Don’t judge or make any changes - just capture the activity or moment when you find yourself rushing instead of savoring. It might be a hurried exit after gulping breakfast. Or a quick goodbye to a family member, sharing a conversation that you don’t even remember moments later. Keep your notepad close at hand and add throughout the day and into the evening.
2. Consider alternatives to create more mindful awareness
Find a quiet time to sit and reflect on each item. What could you do differently? How could you slow down and savor the moment? Are you aware of activities that you rush through because of poor planning? Are there thing you do you don’t enjoy that could be delegated or completely discarded? Is there a way to increase the joy so that you truly want to slow down and savor the moment?
As with previous action plans, you’ll find that change begins with awareness. When you are ready, apply the changes that you’ve noted. Begin to thoughtfully incorporate a slow and deliberate, mindful awareness and appreciation of your life’s precious moments.
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Do The Write Thing
Fashion And Fabrics
Lessons From Nature
Pay It Forward
Take The Rose Instead
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!