My friend Renee called and asked me if I had seen much white sage around? Now it grows wild in my valley but come to think of it, I haven't lately.
She said no wonder, the new agers with their smudge sticks are decimating the native population.
See Inside the White Sage black market
I used to pick a small amount in that area for personal use. Stopped when I saw even the most careful harvesting was damaging the roots in the fragile soil.
Smudging with incense works fine for gringos. If we prefer to leave at risk plants alone and if our cultural orientation is dominantly European then smudging with incense works dandy. After all it is the intentions to sacralize something that do the trick not the specific tools. Curiously we had a bush of salvia officinalis in Santa Ana which a Chumash Indian told me was sacred. So, grow your own if you have to use it folks, white sage, officanalis or cannibis sativa. You have my permission.
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