House Witching Politics

Filed in Housewitchery

Jonas McIlwaine

I believe in magic AND i believe in science so when it comes to house witching or sacred cleansing, my approach is super pragmatic; remove actual trash and yick, declutter, clean thoroughly and then do your deeper cleanse of sage smudging, Tibetan bell banging, whatever.  And never ever to try and do the psychic bit without the prep.

Fun Fact: What the Chinese call Qi – the Ancient Greeks/Romans called Quintessence, the mysterious the element. Even NASA refer to it here.  And anyway, deep cleaning your environment is one way of working with it. Feng Shui is something else again. Building on house witching, it basically acupunctures your house, activating certain meridians and toning others down, again working with Quintessence or Dark Matter, as NASA would have it.

In the absence of household particle colliders and the like, adhering to the wisdom of the Ancients on this is really all we have. So i was intrigued but also bemused by finding this post on tumblr by a witch dude articulating concerns about appropriating cultures not our own. For instance, he says that sage (the most commonly used herb for so-called smudging) is a native American plant/deity (entheogen is the technical term) and that we should not be wafting it about if we are not of or initiated into that culture.

His post is in depth and worth reading but definitely raises some questions. Is it insulting to utilize a herb or remedy not of your culture in  your magic? And who among us has been initiated into an indigenous tribe and carefully instructed in the ways of the craft?  The same Tumblr post also warns against “appropriating” the magical floor washes so popular now as these are apparently of the “hoochie” tradition – so does this mean NO to flinging in some magical essential oils or yes if they are of “my” culture? I was introduced to smudging by someone who was absolutely passionate about ancient wisdoms and indigenous peoples – it was her career as a publisher and champion of their work but so far as i know, she is anglo-celtic.

So…juniper not sage? And where does this leave Tibetan bells? I am genuinely interested in whether other people think the using of sage and similar plants IS appropriation?   FYI you can buy sage smudge sticks at Wal-Mart now so the witch dude may have a point when he talks about the commercialization of magic. OR is it good that something so rad is going more mainstream?  Thoughts?

Wal Mart

 

Image: Jonas McIlwaine

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Sankt Freundin
Sankt Freundin

I believe that even though sage doesn’t even grow in the wild in my country, it works like a charm. In my country and in our folklore we have the rowan or mountain ash as the most potent purifying and guarding herb. Just taking a branch and bringing it indoors will banish a poltergeist. I’m sure it would be as powerful in Sahara. Herbs are magical miracles from outer space or so it feels. They don’t ask questions, they just work wherever their help is needed.

CleverUserIDMM Member
CleverUserID

i feel the mainstream-ization of this paradigm is awesome, if more people are enlightened. if more people are just jumping on the band wagon because it’s the latest trend and not treating it with the honor and respect it deserves is where, in my opinion, we run into trouble. as far as appropriation is concerned, i was taught to honor the land PER the land on which you live. my ancestors are global. from china to scotland to who knows where. but the soil on which i live is sacred, and i should treat it with the ways in which… Read more »

donnaliana
donnaliana

Oh for Goddess sake….house witch away…if it was used by some deity or cited by some old dogma..lovely…if it lifts your spirit use it …and even better be your own witch and create your own house-witch cure ….my current fave is thyme with mandarin …I simmer it or burn the oils or slosh it on my floors and lifts our housely spirits no end.

artemis in the seaMM Member
artemis in the sea

Weeelll, I see his point and think it is valid to a degree. However, I don’t think sage can be ‘misused’ by, say, some redneck anti-magic hooligan shopping at Walmart; anyone not meant to use it would just not see it, or not be interested in it, or not know what to do with it. As for those of us using herbal allies since we can remember/have smuggled them into countries that do not sell them yet just so we can raise our homes’ Qi: I feel at ease using a herb that feels familiar to me, whether or not… Read more »

Saoirse KirkeMM Member
Saoirse Kirke

I’m gonna be purging my astrology book collection unrelated.

CentaurusMM Member
Centaurus

Loved reading all these comments… so much so I’ve got distracted and am now running late! Wanted to comment more… got to ruuuuun 🙂

StarBaies
StarBaies

This is such an interesting topic to me. It reminds me of the time I was talking with a Chinese girlfriend about chinese fortune reading, and we both had over the years come to some sort of idea that their magic seems to apply more heavily(and accurately) towards their own. We both have heard and experienced situations where the fortune reading was not as applicable or as accurate for those without actual Chinese heritage. These collected experiences we shared were in contrast to an Armenian reader her girlfriend went to where the accuracy was overwhelming. Everything she was told, including… Read more »

AnkhRising8.0MM Member
AnkhRising8.0

That’s interesting re sage clearing all (Gwynne Michele) and your friend’s mom’s departure (StarBaies). When I smudge the house, I’m clearing our own stale funk (vapor sludge of stress & other mundane negativities that inevitably pile up like the recycling & trash do). I’ve found that if I don’t do this clear regularly, those piling-up negativity off gasses begin to physically manifest about our home, like thousands of yellow jackets infesting the house walls (true story– I cherish wasp medicine, but that’s overkill), or I begin having lots of accidents at home (falling down staircases, dropping shit, etc). So definitely… Read more »

AnkhRising8.0MM Member
AnkhRising8.0

Well I mean, they come & go. It’s not like they don’t have other ppl to see & other shit to do.

Gwynne Michele
Gwynne Michele

I’m not a big fan of sage just because it clears EVERYTHING, even benevolent and helpful spirits and energies. It’s like the spiritual equivalent of antibiotics; even the good bacteria gets killed and it can throw off the balance of the system. But I don’t necessarily think that using sage is appropriative unless you’re throwing in a few headdresses you haven’t earned the right to wear in your sage-burning ceremony. Usage of herbs isn’t so much cultural as it is locational. Where sage grows readily, it’s the go-to for clearing. Where palo santo grows readily, it’s the go-to for clearing.… Read more »

Leo-scorp Grrrl
Leo-scorp Grrrl

So this makes me think of a recent conversation i had about two friends with Irish Catholic mothers or grandmothers who “read” playing cards. Surprising to me. Where they learned or how family does not know. Guessing tarot would not have been acceptable. You use what you have or have access to. Loved the comment above on culture being a blend, really. This culture exclusivity I’ve been seeing makes me sick. Shaming and control under the guise of being PC- ick. You just gotta be authenic in what you use/choose. Be real and come from a good place. Anyone have… Read more »

Leo-scorp Grrrl
Leo-scorp Grrrl

Just googled playing cards as tarot. I’m still surprised at the people who read themand that they did not teach their daughters. Of course all parties in question were women.

dizzarinaMM Member
dizzarina

My Irish Catholic grandmother was apparently a witch, and a powerful one. I didn’t know her and she didn’t teach my mother any of it. I don’t know if she specifically used playing cards, but I hear she used multiple methods, including tea leaves and coffee grounds.

dizzarinaMM Member
dizzarina

Oh but to answer your actual question, I think the playing deck was originally used for divination, and only later for playing games. In any case, the two uses have been intertwined for a very long time.

dizzarinaMM Member
dizzarina
Ari
Ari

Everything is appropriated. Look at the word Amen (Egypt / Hebrew / Christian )
Genetics have basically proven we all came from one of 8 women in Africa.

Of course we must remember to not use knowledge in the name of spirit when it debases that knowledge.

ElectroMM Member
Electro

This post & comments are perfect for this day of Jupiter exact on my chart ruler uncle Pluto. Zing! A few years ago some friends & I had an entire convo on how you should smudge your smudge stick if you didn’t grow it yourself. Haha. I agree with so many commenters here, and I have some thoughts that may be slightly off on a tangent, but I’m going to go with it. This time of year starts to make me feel sick. The raw intensity of the seasons changing makes me yearn for deep, authentic ritual and celebration. But… Read more »

ElectroMM Member
Electro

I bet Gil Scott Heron could have written some bad ass music for these times. Anyone got something akin to this to share?

PiMM Member
Pi

Something you wrote there re 9th house vs hearth . Omg thank you.

ElectroMM Member
Electro

You’re welcome! Glad it fit with you, had a bunch of thoughts buzzing so I was worried.

Kelly
Kelly

In a small defence of the article, I think the author was correct in that most people who might be smudging or using other traditions are probably not engaging in the deepest act of connection with the plant spirit as very few people are taught that in the proper shamanic tradition – which is present in every culture – aboriginal, scandinavian, amer-indian etc. I use herbs from many cultural settings but when doing deep connection find those linked to my cultural heritage to be much more natural. There are some australian plants that are frankly terrifying to connect to spiritually.… Read more »

QuellpunktMM Member
Quellpunkt

Yes! A very important point. Susun Weed talks about cultivating a relationship with a plant, to learn about it deeply, in order to have a chance for it to become your ally. Grow the plant, speak to it, respect it, and you may perhaps come to know it. So few people take the time to really commune deeply with a plant to learn about it. We are so busy with the hustle and many people do not have the space to cultivate and commune with plants. I live right next to a large public park but I have more often… Read more »

Pegasus
Pegasus

Dislike the expression ‘cultural appropriation’ coz you know as a Sagg used to love my feathers, chamois, beads and leather (and a little bit of lace a la Stevie Nicks). Chris Hemsworth needing to apologise for dressing as an Indian for NYEve, huh? Golliwogs? Adore them, my grandmother was a skilled golliwog knitter and maker. No Black Face?! Shades of Thick Face-Black Heart, business wisdom of the East for westerners. Are we not the melting pot. Wearing a pareo in Polynesia or sarong in Bali is a nod-compliment to the locals. Jeans were as American as TShirts and sneakers and… Read more »

cortazone
cortazone

Walmart? Fuck me. People wreck EVERYTHING

Pegasus
Pegasus

We have Big W and Kmart for mass productions that care nought about environment and slave labour.

LiberatingVenusMM Member
LiberatingVenus

I would add that if you believe in reincarnation, who is to say our soul does not carry the affinity for the cultures of prior incarnations that it has experienced into the following lifetime? In other words, in THIS lifetime I might not be connected to x,y, or z spiritual lineage, but is it somehow less legitimate if my soul had experience with this culture or belief system before and simply remembers this?

Lux Interior Is My Co-PilotMM Member
Lux Interior Is My Co-Pilot

This witchy girl has done a nice rant of her own: QUOTE: Rough Draft on Cultural Sharing: 1. there’s no such thing as a pure state of culture 2. culture is created through a process of borrowing 3. people use the word “racism” and the phrase “cultural appropriation” interchangeably a) is incorrect b) instead of being an issue about culture, it’s really been turned into an issue about race 4. there’s no such thing as a pure state of race 5. neither race/cultural background denote experience (economic status, religious/spiritual status, …) i feel like “cultural appropriation” does little more than… Read more »

12th House Virgo
12th House Virgo

This. so much this.

Cat
Cat

This is really interesting. Thank you for sharing. I have many different and forming thoughts around this (not all that can be written in the time I have now). I think my main take away point is the importance in being conscious and connected when working any kind of magic.

Coincidentally I ran out of sage quite a while ago and am growing my own. I’ve since been using frankincense and my own dried rosemary, as well as anything that resonates. So interesting timing for to read this for me.

JokermanMM Member
Jokerman

I like herbs

AnkhRising8.0MM Member
AnkhRising8.0

and spices? You like to cook. Katakan kitchen witching.

I like *the* herb. It’s more than just a powerful potion. Saturn cookbook.

JokermanMM Member
Jokerman

I’ve lost my cookn mojo atm. I am on depression stuff as well. Music is my salvation.

But l truly love cookn with herbs/spices. And l use them for health; obviously. And I’m just startn to get get benefit from reishi mushroom.

I dunno much about what is written above tho l find it interesting. I use herbs much like oracle. I find out a bit about it and trust that it works.

Katscopes said get ya 6th crackn….

AnkhRising8.0MM Member
AnkhRising8.0

Sorry your cooking mojo is on hiatus, pf. Is it just me, or is 6th house biz a slog fest? I forget where your 6th is. Mine’s Leo: I just want to look fabulous & nap, hire the rest of it out.

JokermanMM Member
Jokerman

Ruled by Sagg. Moon n Venus there atm. But Saturn is at 2* Cap, so very Earth energy, being Virgo’s house. So Sat return in a year and a bit. I will cook tonight.

Look fab….l tried it once…..all the kids were at the counsellors the next day

AnkhRising8.0MM Member
AnkhRising8.0

Oh pf: looking fab is a State of Mind, baby 😉
And what you put in that bod too. Glad you’ll be whipping up some witchery tonight 😉 Power on.

ElectroMM Member
Electro

It’s the changing of the guards. Serious repeat these days.

Savgemi
Savgemi

I’ve been thinking about this A LOT lately. I’m too scared to voice my opinion because I hate the wrath of the internet drama. Yet I feel more protected here. I wish they’d call it cultural inappropriation. Like using cinco de mayo as an excuse to get drunk of margaritas, slutty chief costumes, perpetrating stereotypes and the like. That-that’s no good. BUT dare I say it! I’m pro culture “appropriation.” ESPECIALLY living in the US. How the fuck are we supposed to find peace and love amongst all if we all stay in our boxes and never mingle. My heritage… Read more »

StarlushMM Member
Starlush

There is something to be said to using plants and magical/spiritual practices that are rooted… in your DNA and or the geographical location of where you live. It’s all about developing a right relationship with whatever you are engaging with right? I mean if your grandmother has taught and passed down to you her traditions of working with certain herbs, spirits, saints, beings etc. don’t you think the emotional charge and connection would be that much stronger than someone who has relatively less investment in the relationship. But you could also argue well hey, I’ve had mutilple lives as a… Read more »

kriblackMM Member
kriblack

I get where this witch dude is coming from. There is a phenomena right now of the Tumblr witch which extends to other social media like Pinterest. It’s basically the reducing of witchcraft and other magical traditions into a trendy, hipster aesthetic along the lines of the clothing company American Apparel selling Native American headdresses as festival wear for rave kids. It’s an aesthetic I happen to enjoy myself and I’ve often questioned myself whether my witchy Pinterest boards just make me look like a superficial sixteen year old trying to extend my childhood by clinging to fairytale images and… Read more »

flashfireMM Member
flashfire

I enjoy your witchy board & follow it for all the reasons you just described.

kriblackMM Member
kriblack

Aw, thanks!

AnkhRising8.0MM Member
AnkhRising8.0

I was once being initiated into an indigenous culture & taught the initiate-level crafts– still have a powerful medicine chest begun during that time… but then all of that “community” vibe started to feel oppressive & I couldn’t breathe (Sagg MC-North Node) so I had to ghost (Pluto-Moon 7th, Scorp sun 8th, Pisces AC-Jupiter). Lol it reminded me a lot of growing up in a rural Catholic church: everybody all up in your business, for generations. But anyway Here’s the thing: they hold these things sacred. It is offensive to them to see others using (and profiting from) these sacred… Read more »

AnkhRising8.0MM Member
AnkhRising8.0

Haha they were/are lovely people! Dont mean to illustrate them negatively. I’m just a lone wolf, is all.

ElectroMM Member
Electro

Omg I run when anything smacks of uniformity.

PlutoMoonMM Member
PlutoMoon

This: “Spirit is Beyond, man.” 🙂 But yes, in all ways respect is paramount. I think that is the root of the problem though, isn’t it? That too many tinkerers just try something on because it is hip or cool or whatever, dipping their toes in the pool without giving a thought to how deeply blessed they are to be invited to the pool in the first place. But people try all sorts of things on for size and if it isn’t a good fit, they move on. Those who truly get it will hold smudging sacred and be respectful;… Read more »

AnkhRising8.0MM Member
AnkhRising8.0

People do try all sorts of things on for size; I think that’s natural. On the quest to find what really speaks to us, a little bit of this, a little bit of that; eye of newt, wart of toad… 😉 All of my teachers (and there have been many, from so many different spiritual philosophies) forever have my respect, service, & gratitude. We are, I am, a Collective.

JokermanMM Member
Jokerman

Reading that reminded me of staying at my oma’s place on the Murray in school hols. She was pretty well a racist. She’d say “Look at those blacks, filthy ppl”.

Little did she know I’d play footy em and eat their food. One night an elder got me dabbed on the face which meant l could do a dance about a possum. It felt great to be with them. My mother didn’t care about me & sibs and my stepvater just abused me.

JokermanMM Member
Jokerman

Footy em = footy with em.
(New phone ~ new typos)

AnkhRising8.0MM Member
AnkhRising8.0

Yes, “those blacks” (ugh i had a grandma with that same ugliness) gave you love & inclusion, unlike your white elders. How wonderful for you to have had those times 🙂 Are you still in touch with anyone from then?

JokermanMM Member
Jokerman

No. But it has given me a good grounding in teaching Koori (Aboriginal) kids. A few teachers have remarked about the good rapport l have with em. l love teaching em. I’ve had Koori kids declare me an ‘honorary’ member of their tribe. Sure I’ve had an issue or two but just the same as Caucs; no different.

But that counts for nought or otherwise the idiots in Sydney wouldn’t be doing to me what they are. I’m getting accreditation to teach in Qld. I’ve had it with the NSW politburo of Elucidation.

AnkhRising8.0MM Member
AnkhRising8.0

46 & 2. It’s where we’re going.

AnkhRising8.0MM Member
AnkhRising8.0
Scorpio_RisingMM Member
Scorpio_Rising

Walmartian smudge is a no go. Support your locals instead preferably Natives.

AnkhRising8.0MM Member
AnkhRising8.0

Like 🙂

Calli GMM Member
Calli G

Yep. Or, if you have an appropriate space for it, grow your own. Sage is good for bees, and growing your own witchy supplies means you know what went into/onto them (pesticides, etc.), and you can thank the plants during harvest.

flowerchild
flowerchild

Agreed! : )

Also, as Calli G mentioned, growing your own is a nice way to do it. Then you have some sort of relationship with the plant. Many varieties of sage grow wild in my bioregion, so I’ve clipped my own at times, and made a smudge stick or two for myself. We also have the bay laurel trees here, and their leaves smell really good and I have used them to ‘air out’ my home.

PiMM Member
Pi

Also very nice as seasoning in rich sauces for pasta, casseroles, and so on 🙂

Calli GMM Member
Calli G

I’m another Gen Xer who is trying to understand issues of appropriation and etc. better. From what I’ve read, and I’m not claiming to have read everything relevant, one of the major issues is using artifacts of another culture without understanding how they fit in their culture of origin, especially when people of the original culture are punished for using them. I remember a blog post from a person in the US whose family were from India. She was upset about people wearing henna tats for fun when her mother was punished–almost lost her job–for having henna tats on her… Read more »

AnkhRising8.0MM Member
AnkhRising8.0

Yes: closed traditions. So glad you mentioned that. And it’s true: those things we need to leave alone. Out of respect, like you said. Always, respect.

12th house virgo
12th house virgo

I’m not going to read the man witch, but wonder what he would suggest is culturally appropriate for me – a white female raised in the DC suburbs, only able to trace my genetic roots as far back as Ohio. I don’t exactly have a culture of magic to draw from. Does that mean I must be a muggle?

Personally, I like cleaning my space by clapping and shouting. I suppose that’s white American alright.

Magic is anything that lifts your vibe. Its about intention, discipline, focus. If sage does it, so be it.

katycoyote
katycoyote

I just wanted to add that I do feel it is insulting when people appropriate some ceremonies and traditions by going to one workshop, coming back and claiming to be a shaman and giving people psychotropic plants that can cause mental illness , sickness or just awful experiences because they don’t know what they are doing. Taking ayehauscha (which I can’t spell) for example- a friend of mine went out to Peru and lived there for years and married a Peruvian shaman, then returned to England with him and his son. He didn’t want to do the ceremonies UK because… Read more »

PiMM Member
Pi

This. Like we’re suddenly a world of instant experts. But hey they’re wellness entrepreneurs. Let’s shower them with money to ease our sense of existential disarray. Spiritual transformation for three easy payments of $49.95.

CentaurusMM Member
Centaurus

Another expression of Neptune in the 12th and/or buyer beware. I wonder if we might be witnessing the loss of all traditions that have gone before us. I think for those of us who respect and value the traditons and beliefs we do this will be a confronting or challenging. Those coming in now seem to be bringing through a different energy. Anyway, as I mentioned further up I think respect is approps and actually it’s the base way one should approach magic and ritual anyway imo. Even if you’re born a shaman soul it’s unlikely that you’ve mustered up… Read more »

CentaurusMM Member
Centaurus

Oh… and I meant to add…

No offence to either re comment on mortal monkey mind.. I remind myself of this often with a good natured chuckle and was as much for me as I was typing as it was my view of how our mortal selves take the reins and define something that sometimes is quite indefinable in language.

StarBaies
StarBaies

Yes, this for me too. I see this and it bothers me. I dont have Native American ancestry, but I know of deeply held secrets and such being closely held over generations because an outsider would perhaps not show the same reverance or respect for the treasure at hand. These things are deeply guarded for a reason. Its not about looking down upon the outsider, but its like how some dynamics can only be learned by spending a lot of time with someone/something – maybe even generations – to get to the right place of attitude/disposition, accumulated wisdom and life… Read more »

MutableMabel
MutableMabel

Please, like I’d let a man tell me how to clean my house.

ChrysalisMM Member
Chrysalis

I have wondered about this too, however from what I remember of my very limited reading around the subject years ago, many of the principles of housewitching/space clearing are common among cultures. Also I understood that a lot of it is about one’s intent as one is carrying out said housewitchery and some of the tools are also about focusing the mind. I got a feng consult a few years back, to be honest most of the advice I didn’t find helpful at all. (Not dissing all feng consultants, this is simply my experience with a sample size of one.)… Read more »

Jackie
Jackie

I use gum leaves

sphinxMM Member
sphinx

Everything is vibration, plant vibration, rock & crystal vibration, human & animal… one perceives or does not.

I walk into areas and perceive the indigenous spirits but am not indigenous. Does one wander about pretending one does not see because not initiated?
I am initiated by my seeing and activated by the intent of love I bring in connection with Spirit. Not by the contents of my medicine pouch.

flashfireMM Member
flashfire

This is beautiful and so aptly put.

gbsMM Member
gbs

Yes, sage and other plants give willingly of themselves, wherever they are found (or perhaps we humans just like to think so). Healing is about connecting in a spirit of honor, humility, and gratitude with a plant’s energy. To me that is where the real magic happens.

skarabMM Member
skarab

Thank you. Yes, this.

AnkhRising8.0MM Member
AnkhRising8.0

Word 🙂

Thank you btw for white light blessings you sent us the other day! Feeling it & back at you & your clan xx

LiberatingVenusMM Member
LiberatingVenus

Yes, this is so very beautiful! <3 As always, your presence is a warm and comforting balm to my soul, dear Sphinx! My spirituality is no different than my heart; you cannot tell me I that can’t worship or believe as my heart finds True anymore than you can tell me I that can’t love someone from another race, culture, or religion. I reject this notion wholly and completely on the basis that no man can ever possibly judge the love that is in another’s heart. I love whom and how I love…this absolutely extends to Divinity and my perception… Read more »

sphinxMM Member
sphinx

Thanks lovely mystic soul sisters!! White dazzling diamond light to us all yes 🙂 Love you guys, you show me spirit essence which I need to see in the world.

marsbar
marsbar

Interesting Tumblr. At first I thought since this article originated from there it must be one of those sjw stupidity articles but his concerns are legit. I am mixed race so of course I feel like I can dabble in all of it. But also I feel he is right about buying smudge at urban outfitters..wtf? Just don’t. Why support a business that makes its fortune stealing from other cultures and just artists in general? So use of sage and such I think is ok depending… Done with respect… Buy from a sustainable source that benefits the original community…but also… Read more »

LiberatingVenusMM Member
LiberatingVenus

“For instance, he says that sage (the most commonly used herb for so-called smudging) is a native American plant/deity (entheogen is the technical term) and that we should not be wafting it about if we are not of or initiated into that culture.” To the man on his high horse writing this: Sorry guy, but who the fuq are you to be judging the sincerity of anyone’s beliefs? I understand the concern about cultural appropriation, but when you are seeking Truth you naturally gravitate toward that which resonates with your soul, and I don’t think any person or culture can… Read more »

flashfire
flashfire

Yes, Exactly.
Spiritual Magpie!

LiberatingVenusMM Member
LiberatingVenus

To put it another way: I totally organically (without any outside input whatsoever) believed in reincarnation circa age 9, before I even knew what it was. I once told my mother that I thought life was like a big school and that we kept coming back until we learned all the lessons. She told me this was called “reincarnation”…does that mean that since I wasn’t born in the skin of a Buddhist monk that I’m not allowed to believe this? The body is the vessel of the spirit; from a soul-centered perspective, its Form does not necessarily conflate with its… Read more »

flashfire
flashfire

This is so unbelievably synchronous! I was just thinking about writing to you on this subject, Mystic and here it is! The question of cultural appropriation is so confounding to someone like me who has the typical Sagittarius love of cultural exploration. I love to research and adopt different symbols, totem animals, folk tales, myths, images, art and rituals into my everyday. I used to think nothing of it (I’m Gen X so wasn’t raised with the same level of sensitivity as the Millennials) but now it gives me pause. And I wonder where the line is drawn. It seems… Read more »

kriblackMM Member
kriblack

Everything this. ^^^^ Well said.

dizzarinaMM Member
dizzarina

Yes, well said! The whole history of the human race is one of blending, borrowing, and adapting technologies and traditions. Hell, the very language we are speaking here is a confluence of many cultures.

Speaking of which, I’m really into the History of English podcast right now. Great to listen to with a little dreamweed while making dinner. 🙂

flashfireMM Member
flashfire

😀 Thank you! I’m going to check out that podcast you mention, dizzarina. Sounds interesting!

Centauri
Centauri

There is a difference between being able to buy a product online and buy it in the store. Many national retailers have the ability on their website to facilitate a sale of the goods they do not carry. Sears does this as well. -So I’ve not seen white sage in Walmart store. Af for where one belongs? My home is within my soul, and when I am aligned with my soul I feel at home, no one culture or place contains me. I have wandered and lived around the world, and the only place I can call home is when… Read more »

Centauri
Centauri

As for not af

Venusian8MM Member
Venusian8

I went to 5 stores over the weekend and everyone of those stores had SOLD Out of sage sticks!! So this is a defo “thing” now me thinks.

PlutoMoonMM Member
PlutoMoon

Haven’t read dude witch’s article yet, but my feeling off the bat is kind of one of a laughable irony at his stance to begin with. Seems awfully territorial and bossy, no? Makes me think of Gordon Ramsay in a cheap, dollar store witch’s hat bitching horribly at all the self-doubting practitioners out there running around anxiously, muttering “Oh shit, I’m still doing it wrong!” 😉

12th house virgo
12th house virgo

Yes! I was thinking – who appointed man-witch the keeper of all cultures? Ridiculous.

PlutoMoonMM Member
PlutoMoon
Kel
Kel

if we consider the premise that we are all connected, then it makes sense to think that plants and plant entities are accessible to all of us irrespective of where they’ve come from or what their roots are. the fact that we’re all currently on the same planet co-existing, that’s enough of a connection for me to feel that any plant I’m attracted to might also extend the same attraction towards me as a being. Plants are vibing so much higher than humans on the whole and that whole ego trip of only some people being the righteous owners of… Read more »

Sally WildeMM Member
Sally Wilde

RE the linked post: Also, American southwest sage is way different from European garden sage. There are zillions of salvias around the world, so to say “never burn sage” is silly. I even smudge with pineapple sage! And don’t use that dude’s method of burning frankincense on aluminum foil, bleh, cough, gag. This lazy lady’s household method is to put a few tears on a salvaged flat stone or shell, light it directly, and fan the smoke around til it burns out, fairly quickly. It’ll melt into a goo and stick, so use something you can recycle/return. Or get a… Read more »

marsbar
marsbar

Because aluminum foil is so legit and traditional yo!

katycoyote
katycoyote

I see what he is saying but I think if you honour the tradition its fine, try to make sure money goes to the stiver Americans when you buy it. I have said similar things myself but we can also make our own smudges with sage and artemesia and rosemary, or lavender. House witching is a very old tradition indeed because it WORKS! All magic is eclectic and takes from all kind of sources, probably because energy is universal..I do think sage from the Plains and sweetgrass have a particular quality that other herbs don’t. I was making Florida water… Read more »

katycoyote
katycoyote

And also almost all of our English Cottage garden flowers are from exotic climes so should we not grow them? Or drink tea or coffee and only eat turnips cause potatoes are South American. I deeply honour the native traditions but I think you can get a bit too blooming pc…xx

Sally WildeMM Member
Sally Wilde

Love this topic. I think appropriation meditations and action have to be taken with a lot of thought, prayer (of whatever brand), and LISTENING above all. You have to dig deep individually and listen to and and tune awareness of the communities around you, the history, and the existing spirits of the land, as well as the spiritual entities created since through those interactions. It’s a lifetime pursuit, and a worthy one. Throwing the topic out of hand with a “we’re all mixed anyway” attitude is a second robbery (could rob a culture and also robs you of awareness and… Read more »

kriblackMM Member
kriblack

I really respect your approach to sourcing materials mindfully. I do this to some extent myself but could definitely do more. Taking into account environmental, cultural and fair trade practices can only enhance the quality of energy and magic in my practice I think.

JacquiMM Member
Jacqui

Is the “action” trying to elevate the vibration of your space using what feels right for you. Would love to be “smoked” by indigenous ceremony but have missed 3 ocassions due to no fault of my own. Would love to feel more connected to the land but always feel part of the understanding is blocked. We used to visit a friend and had to walk up drive way. Okay on the way up but the way down had this errie/evil sensation hubby and I could feel. We had to cross our arms and hurry along. We spoke respectfully and positively… Read more »

Charley
Charley

I am 100% behind not overly appropriating anything from cultures we don’t have a full understanding of or connection to or indulging in any kind of spiritual voyeurism. That said, sage has been used for thousands of years in ritual and ceremony, specifically for warding of ‘evil’ and cleansing. Celtic druids, the Romans, Christians. Everybody. It’s one of those ‘master herbs’, because it’s potent and has many properties. I come from Cornwall which is a place full of traditional, Celtic, old ways magic and was raised with that as part of my life and astrology as the closet thing to… Read more »

AlouettaMM Member
Alouetta

Yes to all of this.

HowdyhihiMM Member
Howdyhihi

Also, many herbs that grow across Northern Europe grow across the Americas and Asian continent. Sage species are common across that entire latitude. In old English herbalism they used to have the adage: “how can a man die who has sage in his cupboard?”. Salvia species are utilised all over. Chinese herbalism uses several, too. Hippocrates advocated its use in Ancient Greece, and many in medieval Europe used it as a cure all against plague, which remember was at a time when disease was thought to be caused by bad miasma in the air. ive noticed that many social commentators… Read more »

marsbar
marsbar

The fashion world is so tricky. It is hard to know if something is supposed to be a homage or a publicity stunt pushed to the edge for financial gain. Maybe use actual models with moorish descent? Were those not available? I am cool with homages but fashion world is notorious for appropriating things and causing double standards…like tiny braids ok for blonde woman with straight hair but not for women with afros. All the while making cash hand over first while the people who sewed the actual clothes live in deplorable conditions.

PiMM Member
Pi

Yes lol. “I prefer my cultural references to be trimmed of all context and finished in your finest silk thanks”

Lux Interior Is My Co-PilotMM Member
Lux Interior Is My Co-Pilot

Sage is really nice with chicken. Also some Native american tribes ate sage, as a food.

He should take up his argument with the cooks of this world.

HowdyhihiMM Member
Howdyhihi

As far as hoodoo floor washes go, I’ve got southern roots, but that doesn’t mean I’ve got any more right to it, cause the whole point of hoodoo and most of the new world African diaspora traditions is that they were syncretic. And totally pragmatic. Hoodoo borrowed heavily from everything from occidental magic traditions, theosophy, spiritualism, Catholicism, voodoun, Santeria. You name it. It’s like feng shui, in that hoodoo isn’t a religion per se, it’s an effective means to get a result with the tools you’ve got available.

saturnplutofluxMM Member
saturnplutoflux

Bollocks. No “culture” is pristine in and of itself, “tradition” in the form we find it in is usually only a couple of generations old, having reshaped itself as the environment it responds to changes and as passing influences leave their trace. Cultures, practices and language all borrow and influence each other endlessly. Anyone who has ever studied history, particularly ancient history knows this. Obviously I’m not talking about people reading a couple of Llewelyn guides then setting themself up as a bruja or conjure man and milking misguided, desperate people, or deciding they have a “Lakota Holy Man Spirit… Read more »

saturnplutofluxMM Member
saturnplutoflux

that probably sounded far more pompous than intended, but I’m in assignment writing mode. Sorry.

flashfire
flashfire

yes, this!

CentaurusMM Member
Centaurus

If one was attempting to emulate a ritual specific to a culture when unawares or uninitiated that might come across as disrespectful. However if we’re talking tools.. such as Sage for example, it’s available more widely than just certain regions (perhaps white Sage is more specific) and I don’t think it’s use has been restricted just to indigenous cultures so I find that a stretch. Obviously no disrespect implied however magic is part of the spirit of everything and we are all connected so.. separation being an illusion, so how does that work then?

GeminianMM Member
Geminian

I am thinking that it’s intuitive because it’s inheritance. Who’s to say that great great etc grandmother had this stuff down pat and we have a right to it because a). it’s in our genes and b). we know it intuitively, or as I like to think, it’s family. It’s a bit like saying you’re shit at Reiki because you’re not Japanese. I am sure those in the great beyond are more than happy for us to bring any energy clearing to such an ever increasing polluted world. Or so my dearly departed Grandmother says … 😉

Redlipstick VirgoMM Member
Redlipstick Virgo

I agree it’s intuitive – I find I feel drawn to things and these work for me. For me safe doesn’t resonate but a floor wash that I create with salt, and oils I ask for means something and clears my space. I put salt across my door it feels right, I burn rosemary it feels right. I have an avid dislike of dream catchers – yin and yang symbols and can’t stand Doreen Virtue Angel Cards. Does this mean they are wrong – no they just don’t resonate with me. I believe in magic but for me it’s the… Read more »

Redlipstick VirgoMM Member
Redlipstick Virgo

Oops ‘sage’ doesn’t resonate that is.

HermeswitchMM Member
Hermeswitch

Magic is available to everyone. It is continuous. It is deeper than a one dimensional life. Witch my butt.

Lindsey
Lindsey

YES! Common sense isn’t so common is it?

flowerchild
flowerchild

Agreed! : )

Aqua-cap-GeminiMM Member
Aqua-cap-Gemini

Past lives – at some point we have been a part of one or many cultures. I’ve had too many past life recalls now to not acknowledge the foundations. If I don’t recognise or acknowledge my past – how can I tap its wisdom for the now? If we can’t bring to light our past shared experiences and know that perhaps we’re not in a military life right now because we’ve learnt that war isn’t good for much. So you’re not a native in this life – doesn’t mean you never were. Surely not recognising the shaman knowledge of reincarnation… Read more »

joystarMM Member
joystar

True, there a some plants that really resonate with me that i have no connection to in terms of my blood linage in this lifetime (anglo/celt). Eg palo santo from south America,, the first time i used it i felt such a strong connection with the plant spirit i cried like a babeh..
Its my belief that if you ask the the plant to work with you (respectfully) – form an alliance then anything is possible… Lots of power working with your natural allies affiliated with your culture tho – oh mugwort!

LiliMM Member
Lili

Oh, really? Most of us are blends by now. In three generations I’m French-Canadian, Irish, Scottish, English and my great nephew is African American, First Nation, Italian, English, German— need I go on? Let’s remember Trungpa- Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism and Alice Bailey. Trungpa warned against form over substance, staying haute and not devolving into Virgoesque OCD focus on how- at the expense of why. Bailey warned that Western (white) folk should stick to their own traditions/kind- as the “energies” of the East weren’t suited for the Western soul. But she communed via the Tibetan. Cultural exchange used to be… Read more »

skarabMM Member
skarab

My sentiments entirely.
He’s as much a witch as i am a plastic flower pot.

skarabMM Member
skarab

Irrespective of any cultural appropriation issues – no one has the right to tell somebody else not to use what is freely given by Mother Earth. No shaman i have ever known – from Aboriginies to curanderos or Tibetan shamans – have ever said that people shouldn’t use a plant because it is sacred to their tradition. They simply are not that arrogant. What they might say is that you should be respectful with plants & to be careful with some because their spirits are complicated if not used correctly – but it is simply not even in their way… Read more »

SleepfulInBrisvegasMM Member
SleepfulInBrisvegas

This was the very first thing I thought of. Also, sounds like someone jumping on the appropriation train (which in their areas is absolutely valid and critical discussions that need to be had).