Sage is a perennial, evergreen shrub, also called; Salvia Officinalis, with woody stems, blue-grey flowers and fuzzy greyish leaves. Often, and frequently used in cooking – and whilst it is very tasty, it is more than just a culinary herb.
In fact, the very meaning of the name ‘Salvia’ means to heal, or to salve, (meaning to soothe) deriving from latin.
It’s one of the staple herbs that many Wiccans will have in their repertoire, so that they can frequently use in their spells, tinctures and potions. It’s a powerful magickal herb.
Way back into Egyptian, Greek and Roman times, Sage was a staple herb, commonly used for a variety of reasons, in particular, for it’s purifying and medicinal properties. It was used to treat fevers, liver disease, epilepsy, to strengthen the memory, and even as an antibacterial aid, or to clean teeth.
Sage’s antibacterial properties were considered so profound back in the Middle Ages that they used the herb to eat with rancid meat and it’s hardly surprising, given it’s reputation of being a strong tool for purification.
English lore states that it’s possible to attain immortality, if Sage is eaten every single day in the month of May!
Other lore includes the notion that if a woman ate Sage cooked in wine, that she’d be unable to conceive. If Sage grows well in the garden, according to lore, you can assume that the wife rules, and the business of the household is thriving.
Romans, Greeks, and Shamanic Native Americans all consider Sage, in its various forms to be sacred, particularly White Sage for the Native Americans. It was sacred, and celebrated, and given sages beneficial and magical properties, even in this modern day, it should still hold its title as a sacred herb.
Planetary and Elemental Connections
Understanding the planetary connections of a herb, or any element used for magick will enhance your understanding of its relevance in your own spells and tinctures, simply because you can use the relevant herb to reflect those properties in your magick
Sage is wise, protective and brings good luck, and prosperity. The leaves contain tin too, and if there’s a planet that can most associate with these properties, it has to be Jupiter. Therefore, Sage brings the properties of the planet Jupiter wherever it may go.
But that’s not all, because of the colours, and properties of Sage, it can be considered a Moon herb, which certainly aligns with the colours of the plant. The properties of the moon include the wisdom of the Crone.
As an Earth based herb, that grows in the earth, and smells almost like earth itself, then we can most certainly include Earth into the planetary properties of this herb.
Sage can be used to heal, preserve, or redeem – and its wise.
Use Sage to heal emotions, grief and loss for example, Sage can build a person up emotionally, so that they become strong. It can also heal and preserve memory. Its wise properties can bring in wisdom and answers to your problems, or questions.
And of course, Sage can banish … smudge sticks anyone! Use Sage to clear energy, and to grant wishes, but as always, be careful what you wish for.
How to Work With Sage in Magick
1) Prosperity – Create a pouch, and add in some Sage, to create prosperity. Don’t just stop with Sage though, add in other items that represent abundance and wealth.
2) Cleansing – Smudging, of course, is one of the most well known uses of Sage, but you can also boil Sage on a stove, or diffuse the essential oil to create a cleansing effect.
3) Mental Clarity – Use on an alter, simply add a pinch, allow it to dry out and place it on your alter to anchor a clear mental space. Increase that effect by burning Sage leaves, diffusing the oil, or anointing a candle with the essential oil of Sage, combined with crushed dried Sage to add extra potency in your spells.
4) Break Free From Old Connections and Habits – Burn some every night with a photo, or symbol representing who, or what you want to break free from and visualise the separation as your Sage burns.
5) Grant A Wish – Write your wish on the back of the Sage leaf, or add Sage leaves into a pouch and add your wish to the pouch, sleep with it under your pillow until your wish is granted.
6) Bless Your Space – Sprinkle crushed dried leaves of Sage around your sacred space, or outside your house to create a sanctuary of protection and blessings.
7) Banish Nightmares – Place some Sage underneath your pillow at night, or around your bed, as you sleep and expect to be protected as you sleep.
Sage enjoys a warm environment, it’s easy to grow, and can grow in pots or in the garden; but take heed, according to lore, it’s unlucky to plant the Sage at your home yourself, and its equally unlucky to plant one lone plant – they like company.