Family: Lamiaceae (The Mint family)
Deities: Obatala, Odin and many others.
Element: Earth & Air
Sage brings balance so that you can listen to your own wisdom and find the strength to speak your own truth.
Salvia is a large genus comprising of almost 1000 species within the Mint family. Famous sages include garden sage, Salvia officinalis, white sage, Salvia apiana, and clary sage, Salvia sclarea. Sages are found throughout the Asia, the Mediterranean and the Americas. While there are other non-Salvia species that have common names including the word sage, only members of the Salvia genus will be considered for this article. While native sages share most of the same characteristics as the cultivated varieties, there may be quite a lot of variation of strength between species.
Most sage flowers have a unique mechanical mechanism that deposits pollen onto the pollinator. This mechanism, called the stamina lever mechanism, engages when the visiting pollinator pushes against a hinged filament when extracting nectar. The filament will push the male pollen producers (stamens) down, depositing pollen onto the visitor. When the pollinator visits the next flower, the pollen gets transferred to the female receptor (stigma) which is at a pollinator specific height. Common sage pollinators include bees and hummingbirds.
Salvia is recommended by many herbalists for its aromatic and bitter qualities. Whether used as a medicine or as a culinary spice, sage stimulates the secretion of digestive juices and assists in the digestion of fats. Being strongly antimicrobial, astringent, anti-inflammatory, and diaphoretic, sage can be used to alleviate colds and flu, diarrhea, and bacterial infections.
Sage is used by women for relief from menopausal symptoms including hot flashes. Externally, this popular garden herb is used for insect bites, skin issues like eczema and psoriasis, and poison ivy rashes. Sage is also well known for its affinity for the mouth and throat and is found in mouthwashes for bad breath and sore throats and gums.
Sage is often associated with healing, wisdom, and longevity. Sage helps us achieve balance, clearing the air when there is too much emotion. This famous healer can help us pick ourselves up and move on after emotional and relationship upsets, moving us from wallowing in disappointment to action. Salvia can assist us with the clearing out of old spiritual gunk including family issues. It can also help people with addictions, including sexual addictions. Sage teaches us self-reliance…it will not do the work for us but will support us while we do the work.
Sacred to many Native peoples, the smoke from white sage, Salvia apiana, is a part of many spiritual ceremonies to clear unwanted energies and protect participants. Sage is strongly connected to the throat and heart chakras. The spirit of sage allows the release of painful emotions through the power of the cleansing breath.
The symbol that was received for sage is the basic shape of its flower. It rotates around a central point with each moment representing the balance needed for just that moment. Originally I thought it was like a flower shifting in the breeze but after some time I realized that was deeper than that. The symbol shifts in response to changing energies in its environment. The symbol finds its balance point just as the plant will assist us in finding our balance again.