Sage is known as a cleansing herb and is harvested in June. Its appearance marks one of the great seasonal ceremonial cycles for Northern Plains Indians.
During this time, Native American rituals such as the Sundance and the “Hanbleceya” (crying for a dream) or vision quest, are performed and beds of fragrant, soothing, fresh sage are created for each of the participants sharing in these traditional Native American ceremonies.
The cool leaves of sage restore and refresh; the aroma helps to ground tribal members, tying them to their purpose.
Sage is picked fresh, while still leafy and vigorous, then dried and bundled up for storage – the essential oils remaining in the leaves becomes concentrated, producing the characteristic scent when burned.
Native Americans believe the smell of the burning sage pleases the spirits and the smoke repels any bad influences that exist nearby.
How to Smudge with Prairie Sage