With a name that means wise-one, and a history of purification, sage seems a good place to start my herbology endeavour.
Salvia officinalis – a grey-ish, wooly-branched shrub.
Traditionally used in Native American Indian smudging ceremonies, so the smell of it burning reminds me of the moment before the magic begins. Therefore, as incense: focussing, purifying, cleanses the space, opens the senses, dedicates the moment.
James Wong’s Grow Your Own Drugs tells me that its good for dealing with coughs, colds and congestion, and hot flushes. My book on Herbal Teas reveals that this last is because sage contains oestrogenic substances.
Herbal Teas also says it is good as a general tonic, is antiseptic, and a general nourishing stimulant.
The booklet accompanying a deck of cards called The Flower Speaks describes sage as a white lion, a teacher, and a cleanser.
I acquired a packet of sage, its scent is familiar from drying bunches years ago and I remember that it is a regular ingrediant in stuffing at Christmas. I pour a small pile into my palm and pour blessing energy into it before placing it into an incense burner. This week I have singed it most days to purify and bless the space and day I am living in.
I made it into tea, and it certainly has wake-up properties, though I’ve found the taste has swiftly become unpalatable (I tend to grow sick of something if I ingest it too often over a short period) so I’m revising my original idea of a cup of herbal tea each day.
Magically it seems well suited, then, to cleansing and stimulating… adding a boost to a spell… or preparing the space/ground for work. Clearing the way.
It has been easy to involve the dried herb in my day, through tea, devotional burning and adding it to cooking. Later I would like to find a live sage plant and engage with it directly!