as i mentioned in my last post, i may or may not have illegally picked some california white sage on my adventure to ojai last week! once, i discovered it growing on my first day of hiking, i immediately began a hunt and a mission… to hoard as much as possible. it was so fun to forage this beautiful treasure, and couldn’t help but to think of mushroom or truffle foragers. how fun to be on the search ending in an instant gratification of triumph! the prize is yours. kind of like thrift store shopping! i have always felt this sense of peaceful accomplishment when finding my most prized possessions in nature. some sort of natural instinct turned frivolous vs. survival? 🙂
california white sage, only grows in southern california, but you can find it for sale in many places. there are other types of sage that are harvested and sold for the same purpose. sage is used in many global indigenous practices to cleanse the body, the soul, sometimes tangibles,and mostly negative feelings. the sage can be burned taking the smoke cupped in ones hands and and rub or brush it over the body. when harvesting it is best to cut at the soft part of the stem, not the woodsy part. this will allow the plant grow two more branches the following year, otherwise it will grow none. traditionally, indigenous people would leave a gift like a piece of hair or a seed to honor the gift they have been given. if you wrap your own be sure to use cotton or hemp, other unnatural products will smell awful.
after doing some research on the internet, i have come across some negative feelings about the new age connotation of using sage amongst “rich white people”, or the misleading use of native american culture. we are clearly currently seeing this in trendy clothing stores and boutiques. pendleton blankets are a commodity, even my jewelry line is inspired by native americans. i couldn’t help but to ask if this is a shame for the native american culture? i can see where people might be taking advantage of such and not respecting the true context of the culture. for me, it has always felt personal. i have always identified and extremely admired the indigenous tribal traditions of this land. as a child we were always taking trips to the mountains as a family. i would buy all the indian trinkets and children’s books. to this day i can remember vividly reading a story about a young boy sent out on a journey at the coming of age. the book was bought in jackson hole, wyoming and and am still on the hunt for it again (even scouring my parents basement). it inspired me so much as a child. my mom loves to bring up how i am channeling our sioux ancestor. now, this was a long time ago, but we love to talk about it, much like we love to talk about being italian, even the small amount we are. it is said that my dad’s uncle looked truly native american. this is when i wonder about past lives and the link to our ancestors. perhaps, this is where it begins for me subconsciously.
i do believe the founding fathers deeply wronged the natives to america, i do believe they suffer to this day and their cultures and lifestyle are badly badly bruised as a result of our ancestors. i do believe this is spiritually their land, unfortunately, like many things, violence won. such beautiful traditions and beliefs destroyed and i hope that my love and inspiration only helps to keep it alive and perhaps help in the future through education and respect. check below for some links i have looked into for donating or volunteering.