Sage vs. Sage, “FIGHT!”

Why smelling burnt sage is a dispreferred indifferent.


How do we arrive at Sagehood when there’s a lot of hood, but no Sage?  Hrmmm…ahem.  Learn from Socrates, duh. “Cash me ousside So-Crats, how bow dah?” (Google “cash me ousside, how bow dah,” for context.)

Speaking of Sage, I’ll segway now to a righteous declaration of contempt for the herb:  the stuff people burn to ward off evil spirits or negative energy. Actually, the impressive herb has been used throughout history for several medicinal and culinary purposes. It’s the burning of it that gets me, for clarifications sake. My personal opinion regarding the burning of the herb is that people like to engage in ritualistic/symbolic behaviors that signify a meaningful/personal intention for their lives. Perhaps by smelling the lingering scent or having a memory that they walked through a space burning the stuff, reinforces a healthier ATTITUDE in them, one that correlates with maximizing positivity in their lives. For the most part, we can manage ourselves; other people, not so much. The crank stinks when lit and I’m skeptical of the belief and practice, but keep in mind, this is coming from someone who would choose patchouli- mint soap over Dial or Axe body wash any day.

Funny story: I had a housemate in Asheville around 2013 who would walk around the house burning sage. One morning the scent traveled between the small line space between the hardwood floor and my door, up to my nose. I heard a deep roar of discontent within the belly of my spirit animal: a scorpion with a cobra snake head and batwings. “Cash me ousside SAGE!”  I went outside, and asked ole boy kindly if he would stop burning it outside of my room, that it was irritating my asthma. He said it was no problem, that he was trying to clear the house of any negative energy. FACEPALM! OBJECTIVE REALITY/SUBJECTIVE PROJECTED REALITY. Reminds me of the psychological effects of attitude and prayer. My belief affects my behavior, and my behavior can influence, like a stone,  the pond through a ripple. But if it’s raining hard, the ripple won’t be seen.  Sigh, TOLERANCE. Anywho, after we came to a civil agreement, I added as he was walking away, “Oh, Eddie… my demons are really upset right now!” He smiled a big silent surprised smile as his head inched back and up with widening eyes. Gosh, it was great! I love my life inspite of my asthma

Burning sage, astrology, country music, blind faith, intolerance, violence: these are all things that irk me. Some things should be tolerated, others not: sage, yes; violent acts of injustice motivated by greed – well, I’ll let you think about that while a soft rain of moral philosophy drizzles over your head.

Feel free to defend your belief in the practice and share any stories/comments surrounding the herb or comment about anything at all.


She cut her finger off.

Around two weeks ago I finished three months of Intensive Outpatient Group Therapy. Paired with individual counseling once a week, I will say that I found it to be as helpful as it was entertaining. I was able to learn a little bit about myself, what makes me tick. I also learned I don’t have to be an aggressive saviour type to effectively help someone; most of the time, a kind listening ear helps more than the rapid fire “gurification” of someone’s situation. Listening genuinely, with compassion, takes practice.

Quick story: one session in particular, we were discussing the dangers of anger and ways to stop it before it boils up and out of us. The instructor asked the group, “What are some of the warning signs that you are becoming anger?” One new girl spoke up and said, “You cut your finger off.” Immediately after she said this, there was this matrix-esque timelapse where a couple of people that had been there a while looked at each other with curious confusion. I let out a small burst of laugher. (Remember, laughter doesn’t always imply that the subject which stimulates it is of a humorous nature.) Another guy said, “That’s brutal!” Then there was silence again. People were in denial. Go figure. One girl in the group said, “Hold up, just to make sure I heard you right; you said you cut off, your finger?” The newbie said without hesitation, “Yea,” and raised her left hand, wiggling all her fingers except the little one. That one was gone. Not there. MIA. Awol. Like a little fireplace hand mantle with traditional family figurines atop it: you had Dad the thumb, Mom the index, middle was the first son, and the ring being the attention seeking sister. But the little pinky named Charlie got knocked off into the hellfire of the smouldering fireplace below. Little Charlie, come to find out was thrown out of a car window into a parking lot.  We learned from the young lady that it was either going to be her finger or her partner that was going to take the slice. Anger killed Charlie.

Everybody gasped, “Whoa!” No wonder Seneca said anger is the most dangerous of emotions. Let’s be real for a second: we don’t find ourselves in addiction related three hour group sessions, three times a week, for three months, because we’ve got it all fingered, I mean figured out. We have not  arrived at Sagehood. I sure as hell haven’t. But guess what? Right now, in this moment, I’m clear, cool, calm, clean, and collected. Hope you are too! Say yeah!