White Sage

Hi everyone. I have a question regarding white sage. I’ve heard that people use this to bless their home or to get rid of evil spirits. As a Catholic, is it ok to use white sage?

In the Catholic faith, we use priests to bless our homes, and Holy Water is hated by satan and the devils. They would probably eat white sage.

A little research turned up the fact that white sage is used in magick rituals. That alone is enough to recommend that you not use it. Instead, use Catholic sacramentals such as holy water and blessed salt. If your home has not been blessed by a priest, invite your priest to do so.


No to the white sage.
Yes to having your priest come bless your home.


When I googled it, truthfully I was looking for a recipe to post an appropriate use of the white sage. I didn’t find any recipes, so I assume only devils eat it. :stuck_out_tongue:


you heard this from whom?
a Catholic source? I think not.
If you feel there is a problem with evil spirits in your home, call your priest.
If you want your house blessed, call a priest.
If you have questions about legitimate spiritual activities, ask your priest, in confession or outside confession, and ask him to recommend some sound Catholic spiritual reading, and give up the garbage you have been reading, and give up the friends who have been tellling you this stuff.

if you are interested in sage as a botanical, all varieties including white or garden sage, here you go
note the sections on culinary use

Thanks Everyone for your advice regarding white sage. I do not have any evil spirits in my home, but the reason why I was asking was because I was given a smudge stick of white sage. I did not use it but was not sure if I should just throw it away or keep it. I will definitely get rid of it! Thanks once again!

I familar w/the White Sage also known as smugging, I know of this because of my American Indian heritage. Apparently this was originally an American Indian Ritual, but not I see coming up more and more. There had been times in my past when I thought the same thing, would be okay to do, because it does come from my heritage. But I truly prefer that Catholic Traditional Blessings, for though it may be a part of my heritage, it’s not a part of my Catholic Religion…

It now is making a come back, which is more in line what I call the new age movement. But I do agree to sticking with what is in line w/the Catholic Tradition. I prefer Holy Water, and Olive Oil. I have in the past place the sign of the Cross over my doors in Olive Oil. I too like to burn incense, mainly for the smell, but I always use Frankensence and Mryth, with are Biblical.

We have a Priest that comes to my neighbors home from time to time, if is going back to Ireland for a few weeks, but when he returns I am going to ask that the next time he is by my home to please come by and bless.

I was shopping in a farmers’ market yesterday, and one of the stalls had bundles of white sage for sale, with instructions and information about smudging. While I wasn’t one bit interested in the mystical aspects of the white sage, it smelled so good I still was half tempted to buy it! :slight_smile:


White sage is just a wonderful-smelling dried herb. It has no magical properties. But like any good incense, it can alter your mood a bit. When I used a sage stick or sage oil in my oil burner, my mood lifts and feels lighter. Whereas vanilla or cloves makes me feel relaxed and cozy. I think people can recognize the mood-altering benefits that incense or candles (or a baking apple pie! :wink: ) have to offer, without falling into superstitious thinking. So, if you want to burn the herb as an herbal incense (it has to be relit repeatedly, as it has no binders or resins) I say go for it. :thumbsup: But dismiss the magical talk for what it is, a load of waffle with no basis in reality. :slight_smile:

I share mommamaree’s sentiments. Just because some objects are associated with magic(k) or superstition doesn’t mean the objects themselves are inherently evil. It’s like the “Under a ladder” superstition only in reverse. You don’t avoid walking under one because it’s bad luck. You avoid it because there’s a high chance that whatever (or whoever) is on top it might cause it to slip and… well let’s just say it’s not a pretty sight.

The same here. If white sage makes the place smell good, you use it for that purpose, not because you believe it’s magical. :wink:

I agree with the last two people who commented.

Like many people, I’ve been looking for more natural, chemical free ways to stay healthy and clean my home. I learned that sage as a tea can be very helpful for many basic conditions and came across sage used with smudging. I’m sure many of you know the delight in opening a window after the house being closed all winter- or going to a lake or the sea shore and feeling fresh and alert. Sage, along with other herbs, can make you feel the same way. It’s just a pick-me-up. Nothing supernatural. I’m sure Native Americans found that this was the case, and like many cultures, turned it into a ritual. Of course people in the New Age have picked it up, as they pick everything up from other religions(Catholicism included)- but it doesn’t mean it’s “evil”. It’s just a pick me up fragrance for the brain.

Even Pope John Paul II had smudging done on him when he visited a group of South American Catholics. It’s part of their heritage and they shared it with him. He found it relaxing and saw no harm in it’s practice.

Lighting sage to freshen up your room is no different, but far healthier than chemical sprays. As long as you’re not worshiping the sage or treating it like it really is magical, there’s nothing wrong with using it.

On this website, catechism.org/comm/interprayer.shtml, I found the following:

Official Catholic Approaches to Interreligious Services of Prayer:

–Lighting incense, sweet grass, sage, smudging participants and the assembly

Apparently it is OK for Catholics to light sage and smudge??

For thousands and thousands of years people have used their endogenous resources to help them in everyday life and many times incorporated these things into their religious ceremonies. Jesus’ mission was never to separate humanity, but rather always find the commonalities that bring us together under His love. Native Americans did what other people, including Christians have also done- burn herbs, incense, wood ect. in rituals or just for basic medicinal purposes. Over time science has proven that there are chemical reactions that occur when you burn something, and the outcome can be a relaxing fragrance ect.

There is no harm in lighting a candle, herb or anything else unless you are worshipping the herb or other false god in doing so. Smudging with sage is supposed to be relaxing and refreshing…and as long as you treat it as such there’s nothing wrong with it. It doesn’t replace faith, it just incorporates a tradition that all cultures have in common.

Clearly the Catholic Church is able to do what many can’t- differentiate between a basic harmless human tradition and the same tradition which is abused by other false religions. Don’t forget that “he who is not against us is for us”. There are many enemies of the Church, but Catholic Native Americans are not one of them. Just use your better judgement- is someone merely lighting some herbs to “freshen up” or share their tradition with the Lord or are they dancing around with crystals praying to the earth goddess while doing it?
See as the Church sees- and maybe try sharing what you enjoy with Jesus more often, be it singing, reading, or a scent that makes you feel better. It was God, after all, who provided us with all of these wonderful things.

I asked a Native American why white sage repelled negative energy. He said that the answer was two fold. First, according to his beliefs all animate and inanimate objects are composed of “Spirit”. All plants and animals have a use to man, be it nourishment, medicinal, or spiritual. The smoke from the sage releases the spirit from the sage. This spirit energy is positive and will repel negatives. Then he added, “Also, I think that they don’t like the smell.” A holy man told me that all smudging is good. The effectiveness is proportional to the faith of the person performing the action.

Native Americans and others consider sage a sacred herb. It has appropriate uses. For me, I will not burn sage because of the aroma or because I find it relaxing. It would be the same as me finding someone using a crucifix as a doorstop. The crucifix is sacred to me, although one may make a pretty good doorstop. I find using another’s sacred objects in inappropriate ways disrespectful.

Some really good insight on this post. I just find it so interesting since I am mostly native American.

The way I see it is all things are good if used correctly and Sage was created by God.
It is no scandal to use incense unless a person chooses to be scandalized by it, or if it were used in pagan manner of idolatry.
If Sage is a good incense to be offered than can it be blessed as a sacramental.
Is white sage an incense? Is white sage an herb? Is Frankincense unlawful?
How about Myrrh?
If sage is burned is it not just an herb?
If one of a brother be scandalized by the eating of meat I will never eat meat again said saint Paul, but I think that is more or less what is happening with Sage.
You could just buy Granular incense, or get sticks blessed, no? Or is Sage better, equal, less than?
This is my thought on it and question as I have never used it, but have known Indians who have, and witches that have.

I personally have granular and sticks blessed by a Priest and use them like blessed candles.
I also use Holy Water often, and drink it as instructed by a Doctor of the Church Teresa of Avila.

Hail Mary full of Grace.
Praise the Lord Jesus Christ.