Burning sage for Empowered Eating?

What’s with the sage?

You may begin to see some images of sage popping up around some new exciting things in the works. No, it’s not because it’s my favourite herb (though it’s delicious fried in butter). Sage, for me is personally and professionally symbolic.

Most of you know by now that I have a strong Native Canadian heritage. My great Grandmother was Mi’kmaq and my father’s side, Metis.

Sage has always been a big part of my indigenous culture as part of a ritual to remove negative energy from a person or place by burning the sage and ‘cleansing’ the home, or person of negative energy. The belief is that burning sage clears out not just spiritual impurities but physical, mental and emotional ones as well.

Using sage in a smudging ceremony is similar to blessing oneself with Holy Water in the Catholic faith. The smoke from burning sweetgrass, cedar, or sage, is brushed toward one's body to cleanse the spirit. The mind, heart, and body are cleansed through a smudging process generally using sweetgrass or sage if sweetgrass isn’t available. Sage is also often used to bless/purify homes by smudging it and taking it from room to room in the home as it burns. Vehicles are also smudged before going on a long trip for safety.

The smudging ceremony (burning sage) has many purposes:

  • Rid yourself of negative energy, including past traumas, negative thoughts, bad experiences, or negative energies from others.

  • Enhance intuition

  • Relieve stress

  • Enhance healing

  • Symbolise the beginning of a change in mindset.

  • Offer gratitude

  • Signal to the creator that we need help

You may be asking yourself – what does this have to do with Empowered Eating? Either that or you’re shouting about how blatantly obvious it is.

The Four Directions teachings of The Medicine Wheel feature prominently in smudging ceremonies. In some cultures, four elements are represented in parts of the ceremony: fire in the burning of the sacred herbs, earth in the herbs themselves, air in the feather used to fan the smoke or the smoke itself, and water in the vessel to carry the herbs. Additionally, medicine gifts belong to the Four Directions, including sweet grass, cedar, sage and tobacco.

Not only is burning sage connected to the Medicine Wheel the anchor for Empowered Eating. It’s also a symbolic action to rid ourselves of:

  • Negative energy and thoughts around ourselves, our body, and any failed dieting strategies.

  • To unbind ourselves from past negative experiences involving dieting and the traumas we may have experienced that led to our behaviours around food in the first place.

  • It is also in enhancing our intuition, that we can then begin to tune into our bodies messages and allow ourselves to be present in our bodies and learn from it.

  • We offer gratitude to all our past learnings, to new learnings, to those who support us and for the things that heal us spiritually and we then use the act of burning sage to symbolise the beginning of a change in mindset that Empowered Eating will offer you.

And through all this we then use this as an opportunity to be vulnerable, to ask whomever we believe in (creator, universe, God) to support us and to give us help on our journey ahead. Hey, while you’re at it, you can reach out to me for support too!

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