What are Alternatives to Burning Sage?

What are Alternatives to Burning Sage?

Bad news, everyone. White sage, which is commonly found in sage bundles for smoke-cleansing, is endangered. Yes, those white bundles sold in every new-age and witchcraft store are from a plant that’s becoming endangered. Why? Unfortunately, it’s from over-harvesting. I already own a few bundles, but I’m going to use other cleansing methods from now on as my part to stopping the over harvesting of white sage. So I’d like to share a few alternatives to smoke cleansing (also called ‘smudging,’ although that is a culturally-appropriated term.)

If you want to use a smoke cleanse, there are plenty of other options. You could use other herbs, and even make a smoke cleansing herbal bundle yourself. Growing your own herbs is very witchy in the first place. I’m waiting on the lavender plant in my yard to mature a few more years before trying it. Rosemarry, Yarrow, Mint, and Catnip are all easy to grow options, and it’s easy to locate them in my area. Take a look online to see what grows near your location! Palo Santo wood is also sometimes used for cleansing, but the wood comes from an endangered plant, so please do not use that. Incense cones and sticks can also be used. If you prefer to stick with herbs, I would suggest Wood Betony for an all-purpose cleanser. Another option is using Mugwort in water, as it makes a fantastic cleanser for divination tools.

Mist or water cleansing is also easy. Load up a spray bottle (Yes, like the kind you use to spray glass cleaner) with a mixture of herbs and plain old water, or holy water, and go to town on the air or a water-safe object to cleanse. If you use your energy the same way, it should be quite effective.

If smoke and water are not an option, there is always moonlight, sound, or earth. This might be the way to go if you live in a college dormitory. Gather some earth in a pot or other storage container, seal what you need to cleanse in a bag, and then bury it for some time. I have spoken to people who keep new stones outside on either the full moon, new moon, or under the to cleanse them. I don’t see why that couldn’t work with a tarot deck or other tool on a windowsill if you have a window facing the correct direction. If you prefer sound cleansing, just put your energy and intent into using a musical instrument, and it should work like a smoke cleanse.


Do you have any other alternatives for cleansing with endangered plants? If so, please comment below!

1 thought on “What are Alternatives to Burning Sage?”

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