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(Sun Herald)   Newagers using the ancient ritual of "smudging," using sage smoke to drive away disembodied spirits   ( divider line
    More: Interesting  
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3482 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Jan 2005 at 10:19 AM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2005-01-08 12:43:28 PM  
I know some cultists who believe in transubstantiation, resurrection and apocalypse.

Same here. One of the freakiest things about that cult is the regularly practiced ritual human cannibalism. Scary bunch.
2005-01-08 12:51:14 PM  
After consulting with the divine oracle, I have determined that you must cleanse yourselves with the Divine Nectar of the Gods, which comes in little green bottles and is generiocally called Heineken, and fortify yourself against evil spirits by copulating vigorously with twelve strong women every day for the next 90 days.

Might not work but at least I'll never get sued for malpractice. . . . .
2005-01-08 01:05:11 PM  
"New Agers" may have been doing this "crap" for decades - but the ancient Native Americans and even the Pagans did this centuries before the "New Ager" even existed.

Yeah, but the people in this article are "self-respecting conservatives with MBAs" - not the typical new agey type.

Still not really news. I've seen otherwise very intelligent people get shaken to sheer stupidity by cases of the 'heebie jeebies'.
2005-01-08 01:13:19 PM  
Being intelligent doesn't necessarily mean you're smart.

BTW, the burning of Sage is also used to change your luck. You're supposed to place some on a plate, get it smoldering and turn in a circle and/or spread the smoke around a bit. However, you never know how your luck is going to change.

I prefer Sage in poultry dressing.

Certain types of Sage are also smoked like pot but they're hard to find.
2005-01-08 01:17:28 PM  
I actually performed this ritual very recently. Only I didn't have any sage, so I had to "smudge" with marijuana. And instead of "smudging" my house, I only smudged my lungs.
2005-01-08 01:26:45 PM  
Speaking as a recovering Pagan (Not that I've gone Christian, I just tired of all the ridiculous bullshiat and idiocy surrounding the pagan religions nowadays), I HATE New Agers, especially ones who name their stores such ridiculously stupid names like "Aphrodite's Dove". It's like there needs to be two signs in front of the door. One is with a little elf, hand about an inch from the floor, saying "Your IQ Must Be THIS Low To Enter!"

Followed by a picture of Christopher Lowell, from that home improvement show on Discovery that my mom used to watch, saying "Boys, you must be at LEAST as gay as me, or accompanied by a woman to enter!"

God I hate New Agers and what we like to call "Fluffy Bunny Pagans". Mostly because I DO have some heartfelt beliefs in some of this stuff, on a religious level, and they really give us a bad name.
2005-01-08 01:38:03 PM  
You guys must be living in a hole. Sage does NOT smell like marijuana.

Yes, yes it does.
2005-01-08 01:38:29 PM  
Stupid or gullible...

The trick to all of this is simply stated as:
"What are you willing to accept as true"

reality revolves around this...

If you are willing to beleive in it, it IS true.

the more vauge it is the more easily it is to
convince some one to beleive in.

This opinion is a culmination of Aliester Crowleys various writings.
2005-01-08 02:09:53 PM  

I agree with you. I think the fluffy, poofy New Agers give paganism a very bad image. I loathe them.

I especially hate "four year Wiccans" and those who jump on the bandwagon because they saw it in an anime cartoon or movie, so they pick up one of Silver Ravenwolf's "teen witch" type books and viola! They're suddenly a know-it-all "witch" who bears more resemblence to Sabrina than anything else.

I'm not a pagan myself- not really. I'm an antitheist, in that I wholeheartedly deny that there's any organizing intelligence guiding everything, and that the silly ceremonies are just a waste of time. Prayer and Magic do work, but mostly because of the power of confidence and the ability of the human mind to make things happen if we want it badly enough.

As someone who has made a sometimes-career out of dealing with hauntings, I can also say that most new-agers are COMPLETELY wrong in their understanding of the subject. Wiccans are also off in several regards. Pure-science parapsychologists also miss the mark due to their skepticism. The truth is- as always- somewhere in-between.

I want to open an occult/pagan book store (working on it now) but I'm still puzzling over how to get the message across to the fluffy bunny pagans and new agers that I really don't want them hanging around the place driving away the real pagans. On one hand, profit is proft. On the other, I would have to become a place that is stuck with a bunch of overweight crystal-clutchers as my only clientelle.

Either way, any pushy or obnoxious Christians are kicked the fark out of my store it they darken my doorway.
2005-01-08 02:12:27 PM  
wtf? after reading the headline as using sausage smoke to drive away disembodied spirits.
2005-01-08 02:45:52 PM  
smell my finger
2005-01-08 02:47:38 PM  
This is hardly new. This smudging BS has been going on in the new age movement for 25 years or more. Where have these folks been?
2005-01-08 02:52:30 PM  

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Appetizers Seasonings

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
36 Whole sage leaves
-- washed and dried
Hot oil for deep frying
-- to depth of 1 inch
1 c Lager beer
2/3 c All-purpose flour
Salt & pepper -- to taste
1 Egg white -- at room temp.

Select whole, unblemished sage leaves with stems left
on, for easy handling.

Combine beer, flour, salt and pepper in small bowl
until smooth. Batter should have the consistency of
cream soup. Let stand at room temperature at least 15

Meanwhile, beat the egg white until it is fairly stiff
but not dry. Fold into batter. Dip whole sage leaves
in batter to coat both sides.

Deep-fry in hot oil or shortening until crisp and
golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels;

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
2005-01-08 02:58:37 PM  
Everywhere you look, there's a rise in superstition and mythology.

/Hoping it's just a fad

Unfortunately not. Here's an appropriate blurb from Edward Gibbon's "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire."

A state of skepticism and suspense may amuse a few inquisitive minds. But the practice of superstition is so congenial to the multitude that, if they are forcibly awakened, they will regret the loss of their pleasing vision. Their love of the marvellous and supernatural, their curiosity with regard to future events, and their strong propensity to extend their hopes and fears beyond the limits of the visible world, were the principal causes which favoured the establishment of Polytheism. So urgent on the vulgar is the necessity of believing, that the fall of any system of mythology will most probably be succeeded by the introduction of some other mode of superstition.

This crap's been going on forever, and unless all the stupid people suddenly die off, it's going to keep going on forever.
2005-01-08 03:12:31 PM  
All I can say is, -smudging is Native American from the get-go and not mentioning it in the article and associating it only w/"New Age" and "Pagans" is total BS.
2005-01-08 03:17:49 PM  
And then there's smudging's country-kitsch cousin: potpourri.

I'm pretty confident that the practitioners of each think the others are nuts.
2005-01-08 04:06:23 PM  
Speaking as a Four-Tribe Native American, (not to be confused with four-cheese fettuccini) may I say: ppfffttt! I was raised with quite a few traditions, and wish the Caucasoids would just find out where they originally come from, and practice those pretty cool rituals and stop co-opting my cool things and giving them weird names. Or at least research the tribes in just your area and find out what they do. I've had the Fluffy-bunnies (good one, Wilder) and other types ask me about things that aren't even any of my tribes, and get mad at me for not knowing. I was raised in mostly Kiowa traditions, quit asking me about the Mohawks! When my brother was doing a resarch paper on Crowley, he had to fight crowds of housewives and gay men in order to find the book he needed at the bookstore. I could ramble on forever, but I'll just say 'roud these parts, we just call it getting smoked, we usually use a bit of dried cedar piled up in the middle of a small tin, turn clockwise north, west, south, east, maybe ask politely for any thing lurking about to leave, and that's about it. No fancy words, even any native tongue is just plainspoken. No complicated props, aside from maybe a hawk or eagle fan. and that's all. Your individual tribage may vary. Smudge, heh. Sounds like when my sister-in-law's cat wipes her snotty nose on your leg.

/sorry about the length, this kind of thing just irritates me, is all.
2005-01-08 04:43:42 PM  
I've heard that burning sage actually changes negative ions in the air, to positive. Is there any truth to this?

Either way, I've done it in all of my houses. I love the smell, and maybe it's all in my head, but it makes me feel better.
2005-01-08 04:45:18 PM  
Western Civilization has been struggling with superstition for the last 1000 years or so.All the scientific breakthroughs,discoveries,and enlightenment of thought that were so hard-won, pissed away by a pack of idiot New-agers, wiccans, pagans and all the other assorted idiots among our so-called "educated" population. Jeeeez.
2005-01-08 04:55:38 PM  
Not just Eastern. Dream Catchers are one of the many things that were smudged.
2005-01-08 05:06:55 PM  

My crazy ex-wife used to do this shyte and stink up the whole apartment.

She also thought that she could heal people by manipulating their aura... Reiki, I think it was called.

She was crazy like a passive aggressive eight ball with a violent streak.

/no more red-heads.
2005-01-08 05:19:09 PM  
Well, since having sex and sputing out babies doesn't require any brains (even Down's Syndrome people can do it) we will have these sorts around for a long time. The wife of the couple who bought my house told me she was going to do it. Judging by her gazongas he didn't marry her for her brains...
2005-01-08 05:20:43 PM  
Why is someone an idiot if they do something that

1)Makes their house smell nice


2)Gives them a little piece of mind even if its just a little silly superstition?
2005-01-08 05:32:53 PM  
FooFarker I hope smudged sage causes brain cancer.

May you drown in your jesus juice.
2005-01-08 05:36:34 PM  
I was wondering that, too, LazerBeems

As far as I can tell, the couple felt there was something not right about their house. They did a ceremony that harmed no one using an inexpensive, readily available herb. This ceremony was intended to fix the not-right feeling. Now, the not-right feeling is gone.

And they deserve heaps of abuse why, exactly? For not feeling comfortable in their new home? For doing a ceremony? For feeling better afterwards?

Seems harmless enough to me.
2005-01-08 05:45:20 PM  
I've been a lurker until now, I decided this would be a good enterance topic for me. Hello fellow Farkers!

I've been raised a pagan my whole life, and "smudging" is pretty common, although I rarely hear it referred to as that. It's just a generally useful little mini-ritual used to give you a fresh start in a new place, remove past psycological residue, that sort of thing. It's simple and common, and I do think it was originally a native american practice.

/my thoughts
2005-01-08 06:19:02 PM  
I don't have ny sage handy, can I use Herbs de Provence?
2005-01-08 06:37:48 PM  
It's just that, from my perspective, some of the more annoying treat this like it's brand new.
2005-01-08 07:25:14 PM  
neat thread. My input:

not red sage; white sage for cleansing

though burning sage is acrid, it does not smell like weed (of course I don't know what someone has been selling you as pot)

one story:
I had a friend dealing with some harsh hallucinations from a drug. I burned some sage. They say it cleared the bad images away and they slept like a baby on the come down. Could have all been in their mind. Suggestion is a powerful thing.

this isn't some expensive new age thing. It is a common practice in many traditions. I hate the new-agers too, but don't shut your mind to it because they adopted the practice as well. Drop $5 on a wad of white sage and give it a try before bed. You tell me if you notice a difference. I'll bet you do.
2005-01-08 07:32:58 PM  
HELLOOO!!! 1989 called, they want their worthless hippy non-sense back!
2005-01-08 08:17:40 PM  
They had us do this a couple of times at boarding school, on girl's floor night. Our school was loacated on the Episcopalian Diocese in Burlington. Interesting.
2005-01-08 08:19:32 PM  
*girls' floor...*located...
2005-01-08 08:21:46 PM  
My wife used to make me go to these hippies-who-wanna-be-Indians drum circles when we lived in KS. They always "smudged" everyone beforehand. The site of these Woodstock types pretending this stuff was cleansing them made me nauseous. It really just made them smell like pachouli, sweat, AND a burnt Kansas pasture. Then they'd come to me and I'd look all p-whipped. I was. I just wanted them to go to the next person so I could get started pounding drums. I liked doing 7/8 against the typical plodding typical 4/4 just to fark with them.

It's silly to burn incense at Christian church services, too, but no one tries to fan the smoke on themselves like it's holy water.
2005-01-08 08:47:24 PM  
I started smudge'n a year ago, not sure why this is news though and it does help in my experiences.

I notice the difference when I'm away from my house/room long enough and come back home. That is because my room is, spiritally, a very safe place, thanks in part to smudging.

I also used it get rid of a nasty spirit that was hanging around and sucking the energy out of everyone @ my friends cabin.

It could be due to a number of reasons, why this is, that has nothing to do with anything else, but it works for me so I do it.

The only problem is that if you do spiritual work and such it seems to actually block most everything out, good or bad - but only while it's still "active"...

It's not like it's expensive or anything either and it does have a odor that can be mistaken for pot. I'm sure the pot heads disagree though...
2005-01-08 10:06:10 PM  
Personally, I prefer eating sage to wafting the smoke from it around my apartment.

All the rituals are for the spiritual tourists. Those of us who know who we are don't need the dog-n-pony show.
2005-01-08 10:07:11 PM  
Same here. One of the freakiest things about that cult is the regularly practiced ritual human cannibalism. Scary bunch.

Just to make things perfectly clear--it's ritual cannibalism, not symbolic, allegorical, or any otherwise fake cannibalism.

It just happens to look, feel, smell, taste like bread and wine.

But, dogma says that's flesh and blood. That little flat disc is flesh. Not bread, not a cookie. It's human flesh. And the stuff in the chalice is blood. Real live human blood. Not a symbol.

And it's not a joke. It's a holy mystery.

So, when my friend asks me to smudge before a ceremony, I show him the same respect I'd expect if he attended Mass with me.

Fact, people, is empirically testable and provable or disprovable.

Belief is what you believe. You can't disprove belief. You either believe it or you don't.

And no matter how many people tell you that you MUST believe, or that your beliefs are crap, and you MUST NOT believe, it's still up to you.

It doesn't matter how stupid or serious, how fun or punitive, how popular or fringe your belief is.

It's whatever gets you through the night.

2005-01-08 10:25:22 PM  
Say what you like about burning sage, but I observed its use in driving away "bad spirits". Not ghosts, mind you, but people with both bad intent and general neurological screw-up, specifically: undercover police officer and tweakers.

I was sitting at an outdoor table at a coffee shop when a guy there pointed out, quietly, two UCs sitting at the next table that he knew. He put some sage in the ashtray and lit it with a lighter. As soon as the odor wafted up in any amount, the two UCs acted like they had been sprayed in the face with bug spray--they were physically repelled by the smell--and hastily and disgustedly took off. Then, as the smoke spread out, three different know tweakers at two tables several yards away had the same powerful response.

Just anecdotal, mind you, but try it out in an outdoor public place and see what happens. I personally like the idea of not having cops around when you don't want them. Tweakers, too.
2005-01-08 10:38:51 PM  
WilderKWight: so, what you're saying is ... that you're a hardcore, veteran nutjob rather than a newbie nutjob?

it sounds like you're making fun of people who are exactly like yourself
2005-01-09 12:05:25 AM  
I love when idiots take old traditions and deem them as "New Age" so they can make fun of them. Who cares if someone wants to burn an herb in their home for peace and clarity. I feel dumb for having read so many of the responses above.

My family has always smudged a new home. Whether it "works" or not can't be scientifically proven, but I've always felt more at ease once it's been done. To each his own.

And, no.. sage does NOT smell like pot.
2005-01-09 12:13:05 AM  
Because if it can't be measured by science, it can't possibly be real, right?
2005-01-09 01:26:10 AM  
If you were turning north, west, south, and east, you'd be turning counter-clockwise.


Humans have used burning herbs for millenia to change the "energy" of places. This is why frankincense and myrrh are listed as two of the three gifts brought to Jesus in the Christian mythos. They were thought to be as valuable as gold. Incense is used worldwide in many cultures and religions, it is not just Native American and is certainly not a new thing.

A house blessing is a great little ritual, I always do one when moving into a new place and it really makes it feel like home.

/likes the smell of sage
2005-01-09 01:37:48 AM  
Leave the people to their illusions. They are most probably more powerful than your reality. And, regardless of language used, probably more real to them than your reality as well.
/Talks to television, gets born horizontally.
//been drinking
2005-01-09 02:49:34 AM  

You guys must be living in a hole. Sage does NOT smell like marijuana.

Yes, yes it does.

No, no, it doesn't.
2005-01-09 02:56:34 AM  

No, no, it doesn't.

And seeing as how I burn both quite regularly, I think I know a little something about it...
2005-01-09 08:08:46 AM  
2005-01-08 01:26:45 PM Akaziel
Speaking as a recovering Pagan (Not that I've gone Christian, I just tired of all the ridiculous bullshiat and idiocy surrounding the pagan religions nowadays)

Am I the ONLY person that couldn't help but fall over laughing at reading that? Well, clearly Akaziel did not become a Catholic. Must have found one of the few "bullshiat-free" versions.

On the Communion: yes, and evidently, even though it really is the Body of Christ, it really really is wheat. Accept no substitutes. Can't eat wheat? Well, then you're screwed..
2005-01-09 12:15:03 PM  
Smudging works pretty well at driving away mosquitos. Which I regard as more important than driving away bad spirits.
2005-01-09 03:57:02 PM  
1. It would have helped if the article had been fact-checked just a teeny bit better. "Om Mane Padme Hum" ain't got squat to do with China.

2. White sage doesn't smell like pot, but it has many similar characteristics (acrid, pointy, resinous) when burned.

3. Attaching an easily attacked label to something ("newage", "pinko", "faggy", "liberal", "fascist", "doo doo head") and then attacking the something instead of the label - I thought only mentally challenged people of less developed races and religions acted that way.

4. The attentions of stupid people should not diminish the value of the objects of their attention. This article was written by, for and about those who have no clue.
2005-01-09 07:48:03 PM  
I don't find it that weird.... or new. My parents have been doing that since I can remember. Whatever. It's a Mississippi newspaper. They're behind a century or so over there.
2005-01-09 09:10:16 PM  
lol - I've found this all incredibly amusing.

Just one little comment. Please stop lumping Pagans with Wiccans. It's like saying all Christians are catholic.
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