Sustainable Cleansing Rituals & Sacred Torches

As all of us at SoulKu continue to learn and grow, we feel humbly compelled to share what we are learning with you so we may continue to grow and evolve as humans together.

We use White Sage frequently in our office and homes for various reasons—when we bless the SoulKu space and all our inventory or for the quick energy clearing from rooms, crystals, and people.

Recently it was brought to our attention that burning White Sage, as a tool in any ritual, is a threat to the sustainability of sacred White Sage. It's considered an "at risk" plant according to the United Plant Savers due to overharvesting and drought.

Traditional White Sage, the type Native Americans use for ceremony, grows in the wild, mostly in desert areas like California, and should only be wild harvested. The bundles of dried White Sage often seen available for purchase at your yoga studio or even WalMart are most likely not ethically sourced and definitely not sustainable.

When we heard about how using White Sage was unsustainable, it truly sank in. I began researching better options and was guided to a local Asheville gal, Brit, who owns a company called Torches Ceremonials.

Brit too is on a humble learning journey.

When we spoke, what I liked most was that in her vast studies of native plants, herbs, and wildcrafting through the Appalachian School of Holistic Herbalism and the Herbal Academy she began to recognize that while plants have been dried and burned for ritual for millennia, White Sage wasn't available everywhere. And in fact, it wasn't used by Native Americans throughout the East Coast.

Her commitment to integrity and sustainability led her to explore and develop alternatives to White Sage, which she harvests from the forests and lands surrounding her home in Western North Carolina. These seasonal plants and herbs include: White Pine, Rosemary, and Cedar in the winter, with the addition of more flowering plants like Lavender and Goldenrod during the growing season.

She also mentioned the idea that our very own land is sacred and holds the energies of home and ourselves and our families.

Brit "invites you all to take a look around what is growing near you—sometimes the medicine we need most can be found in our own backyard."

It helps me to consider the idea that instead of looking outside of myself for spiritual authority or sacred ritual, instead I can consult my own soul—listening and trusting more deeply in the music of my soul and what it is asking for.

We can create our very own rituals, our own ceremonies, and our own ceremonial pieces and imbue them with meaning and feeling and truth that resonates for us—all while helping with sustainability.

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