Sage Advice Saturday: All About Sage
For this Sage Advice Saturday, I’m going to focus on sage itself! Sage is one of the most important and powerful magical herbs a witch can use, so I felt it deserved a lengthy and dedicated post on all of its uses.
Sage is indigenous to the Mediterranean and then spread throughout Europe, and eventually further west towards the Americas. Native Americans used sage frequently for its healing and spiritual properties. Among many Native American tribes, it was seen as one of the most sacred herbs on Earth.
Sage is essential in any witch’s garden as many rituals and practices call upon its use. When growing sage, you can keep its energies pure by planting it near rue. Sage requires easily drained, light soil, and lots of sun. Its best planted in spring.
You’re probably most familiar with the concept of burning sage via smudge stick to cleanse a room of negative energies and evil spirits, but you can also use it to cleanse and organize your thoughts. Burning sage before and after practicing magic can purify and cleanse the room and tools you use, as well. A besom that includes sage or is rubbed with sage will be more effective when sweeping and cleansing your Circle.
Sage is best burned as incense during important meetings and discussions, as it will invoke the deity Consus—the God of councils.
This herb is best used in spells of immortality, longevity, wisdom, protection, and wishes. It can also be used in money spells. For wish spells, write your wish on a sage leaf and tuck it under your pillow. Sleep on it for three nights. If you dream of your wish, it will come true. If not, bury the sage leaf, wait a while, and try again.
Sage should be carried on your person to promote wisdom and to guard yourself from the evil eye. For the latter, it is best worn in a small, hollow horn.
It also has a wide variety of medical uses—including great strength as a styptic. If you cut yourself in the midst of kitchen witchery, try chewing a few fresh sage leaves and applying the poultice to the wound. It should stop the bleeding almost immediately. Its healing powers as a styptic can be compared to comfrey, and an ointment of either should always be kept on hand. It also works well as a liniment, soothing sore muscles and arthritis.
Taken internally, sage can calm an upset stomach and treat stomach ulcers. It tones the tissue and its astringent qualities fight against the ulcer itself. When gargled, sage can treat oral infections and prevent cold and flu germs from spreading. This can also help with sore and bleeding gums, or loose and aching teeth. It is also a strong expectorant and makes an excellent addition to any remedy for respiratory problems. Not to mention, it can reduce fevers.
For a gargle, steep 1 tsp. dried sage or 2 tsp. fresh sage in boiled water. Let it cool to just above room temperature before using.
In Traditional Chinese medicine, sage is used as a yin tonic to support the nerves. This tonic can strengthen the nervous system, relieve anxiety and depression, improve your memory, and sharpen your senses.
To make a sage tonic wine, add 7oz of dried sage or 3.5oz of fresh sage to 2 pints of white wine. Drink a small glass every day with dinner.
In general, in most magical and medical lore, sage is said to increase longevity. One Chinese proverb asks: “How can a man grow old with sage in his garden?” Even its botanical name—Salvia officinalis—comes from the Latin “salvere” (to cure or save).
So there you have it: the ultimate cure-all and save-all for anyone who lends it power.