Shawnodeese, Coyote as Spirit Keeper of the South is represented by the Sagebrush, Plant Medicine. It is most often referred to as Sage. It is a member of the mint family and ruled by the moon, Sagebrush in many forms grows across the planet. However, Sage and Sagebrush look, smell, and grow very differently.
Sagebrush is a shrubby bush that has slender branches two to four feet long with bushy leaves. It is frequently seen in the American northwest of Colorado, Utah, Washington and Colorado. It grows in dry areas as an Earth healing plant, helping to preserve the soil and moisture in these dry areas. Our most favorite is the California-type white Sage.
The most important use of Sage is as a smudge. Often Sweetgrass is used in the same manner, but Sage is the most common used today. Sweetgrass is most known for its ability to draw all the good energies in. But Sage's talent is to cut away, release and transform energies that are not working for the highest good of a person or place of Ceremony. When burning, Sage emits a pungent, strong, thick smoke. The Sage smoke, like the rapid growth of the summer, helps bring change to everything.
Sage is used in many, different ways. It helps the people prepare for Ceremonies and Teachings. Because it is more Medicinal and stronger than Sweet grass, it tends to be used more often in Ceremonies. It also has physical healing properties. You can boil Sage and drink it as a tea. Sage is for releasing what is troubling the mind and for removing negative energy. It is used for cleansing homes and sacred items. There is male and female Sage.
You practice hygiene for your physical body by washing, bathing, grooming and more. But what about Spiritual Hygiene? As a person who walks the Spiritual Path, cleansing the Spirit is extremely important. We pick up negativity all the time, whether it be consciously or unconsciously. Often, we do not even realize that we are being influenced by negativity. Sometimes we will say things that are not from our hearts, but from someone else's words, not from our own true hearts. When this darkness attaches to us, there is not enough room for Light to come in to enlighten our Spirit or to hold on to our Spiritual values. Daily practice of letting go of darkness and negativity should be embraced and disciplined. It is a responsibility to our Soul and to the Light of Creator. We also smudge our homes daily so that we can continually live and function in a higher energy. Of course, we always smudge before going into Sacred Space when doing Ceremony.
I smudge with Sage to start my day, opening a space for all good things to come in. After Sage, I smudge with Sweet Grass to seal it in and make it so. At night, I smudge before I go to bed, letting go of anything that may have come up during the day that I do not want to take into my nighttime rest and dreams.