Sage - In the Garden - July

Plant Magic: A Year of Green Wisdom for Pagans & Wiccans - Sandra Kynes 2017

In the Garden

Common Sage (Salvia officinalis)

*Also known as European sage, garden sage, and true sage

Sage grows one to three feet tall and has square, woody base stems covered in down. This plant tends to get bushy and sprawl. Its oblong leaves are light gray-green, veined, and appear wrinkled. Leafy stalks bear whorls of small, blue-purple flowers that bloom early to midsummer. Snip off the flower stalks to extend the leaf harvest.

The genus name, Salvia, comes from the Latin salvare, which means “to cure” or “make healthy.” 74 Considered more for medicinal than culinary purposes, sage has a long history of use by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. It was used throughout Europe, and from the sixteenth century onward it was an important herb to British apothecaries. Drinking sage tea was thought to promote good health and enhance longevity. For those who preferred something stronger, there was sage ale. Common sage is often used for smudging in place of white sage (Salvia apiana), which is used as a sacred herb by Native Americans.

Burning a pinch of sage provides focus and stability for clairvoyance, divination, and psychic work. Its grounding energy clears negativity and is instrumental for ritual purification. It is also effective for healing circles. Pass ritual and magical tools through the smoke of burning leaves to cleanse and consecrate them. Also do this to remove negativity and unwanted energy from crystals and gemstones.

Burning sage during meditation is an aid for finding spirit guides. When journeying, wear a sprig of sage leaves for psychic protection and for help in attuning with animal power. Grow sage in your garden or hang a sprig in your home to invite wealth and prosperity. Use a sachet of dried leaves as a charm to help make your wishes come true.

Sage is associated with the elements air and earth. Its astrological influence comes from Jupiter and Mercury, and the fixed star Spica. This plant is also associated with the god Zeus.


Figure 23. Sage is associated with the rune Teiwaz.