Why More Black Women Are Returning to the Ancient Art of Burning Sage

What is Sage?

Sage has become very popular in the West (Western world). What was once looked at as something associated with sorcery and witchcraft is now a go-to tool for removing negative vibes and energy.  Sage has been used since ancient times for healing and to clear the build-up of emotional or spiritual negativity.

There are many types of sage but the sage is mostly used for cleansing is dried white sage.  Burning sage is one of the oldest and purest methods of cleansing a person, group of people or space in our human history. Scientific studies have shown that the medicinal properties of sage smoke are a powerful antiseptic that can purify the air of 94% of harmful bacteria for up to 24 hours. The electromagnetic field (aura) around our body, as well as the energy in our environment, can become blocked with harmful positive ions that can make us feel fatigued, sluggish and burnt out. Burning sage or other herbs neutralizes the positive charge and releases large amounts of negative ions into the atmosphere. This means that our own energy, and the energy around us, will feel lighter and calmer.
Burning herbs has been a popular method of purification in many religions and cultures. Christian churches smudge with frankincense and myrrh. Incense is commonly burned in Asia and in Buddhist temples, and the Incas burned palo santo wood. It has been a tradition in South America for hundreds of years.
Once the sacred plant is burned, the cloud of smoke that emanates is used to prepare for prayer ceremonies, rituals, and purification. Smudging is believed to heighten the sensitivity of healers, or the medicine men so that they achieve an enhanced state of mind and can effectively assess and treat illness.
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Benefits of Burning Sage 

  • Purification
  • Improves Allergies
  • Dispels Negative Energy
  • Boost Mood
  • Relieve Stress
  • Improves Sleep
  • Boost Energy Levels
  • Chemical-free Air Freshener

How To Use it?

  1. Light the end of a sage bundle with a match. Blow out quickly if it catches on fire.
  2. The tips of the leaves should smolder slowly, releasing thick smoke. Direct this smoke around your body and space with one hand while holding the bundle in the other.
  3. Allow the incense to linger on the areas of your body or surroundings you’d like to focus on. Using a fan or feather can also help direct the smoke, though this is optional.
  4. Allow the ash to collect in a ceramic bowl or shell.
  5. The amount of smoke presents lets you know how much negative energy is around.
Sage burning cleansing can be as elaborate or as simple as you want it to be, but it’s of the highest importance that your intention is clear before you begin. If you are burning sage to purify a space, or a person (even yourself) then this needs to be clearly planted in your mind before you  light the sage, and while taking the smoke around a home, or through a space.

The way we parent: Tips from around the world

Follow your own intuition.

Ask for advice if and when you feel you could use it. Be mindful of who you ask. 

Read a few parenting books that speak to you.


African Parenting Styles We Like

Parenting Styles In Africa: Which Is Most Conductive To Happiness In Children?

Parenting in Africa: What unites us all




10 Must Read Parenting Books for Raising Multicultural Kids

**Every culture has some wisdom to offer. **

Family fun

The benefits of delayed schooling

Hey family! So you’ve decided to send your child to school. I’m all for doing what’s best for our families. Follow your intuition and/or do your research. One thing I’d suggest is to find an educational institution that speaks to your values ie. African-centred, play-based, Montessori, outdoor schools etc.  Consider this. Delaying school can be very beneficial for our children.

Delaying School May Protect Against Developmental Disorders





Note: Naturalista mamas recognize that most children have finished breastfeeding and are ready to start spending more time away from us around age seven. Think about it. More than likely they’re pretty much off our laps, are sleeping in their own beds comfortably at night, are much better at regulating their emotions and more. For those who are keen on sending their little ones to school age 7 or 8 may be a great time to start. Research also shows us that children’s brains are better prepared for academic work at this stage. https://www.vincegowmon.com/the-right-brain-develops-first/

Seven year cycles

Happy Sunday! Recently I was talking with a cousin about seven year cycles specifically seventh earthday celebrations. The following links can help as we think about planning our get-to-gethers:




Jus’ leave ’em be

Our babies come wired to play. The best thing we can do is give them the space to do that for several hours every day. Unstructured and uninterrupted.  Yes indeed. Get out of their way. 

The importance of uninterrupted play







New to parenting?

Welcome! Our  children choose us and we choose them. Never forget that they are amongst our greatest teachers. Know that you got this! Raise your youths in a manner that resonates with you and tweak things as you go along. Try not to be afraid to try a new approach when necessary.

You may want to consider these things as you learn and  grow. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2014/01/16/7-crippling-parenting-behaviors-that-keep-children-from-growing-into-leaders/#270d84aa5957



Know any parents who have raised/are raising their child(ren)  in a way that speaks to you? Ask them for advice as you go along. Take what you dig and leave the rest.


The Right Brain Develops First ~ Why Play is the Foundation for Academic Learning

Did you know that the right brain develops first? It does so by the time children are 3-4 years of age. The left brain, on the other hand, doesn’t fully come online until children are approximately seven years old; hence the first seven years being recognized as such a critical period in child development.

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” ~ Albert Einstein

The left brain’s functionality is one of language, numeracy, literacy, analysis and time. It is the logical, calculating, planning, busy-bee part of us that keeps us anchored in the pragmatic world, and in past and future. The right brain, on the other hand, is responsible for empathy, intuition, imagination and creativity. It is where we wonder, dream, connect and come alive. Through the right brain we dwell in the space of no-time, in being absolutely present. While the left brain is more interested in outcomes or product, the right brain cares much more about process—the journey is what matters, not the destination. 

But there is one more vital piece to understand: The right brain connects us to our boundless sense of being. Being is primary; hence the right brain developing first; hence, human being, not human doing. The left brain is far more interested in doing. Young right-brain dominant children, by contrast, are quite content being.

Understanding this we can better appreciate why play is so important in child learning and development, and why we need to be extra careful with the amount and timing of academic agendas created for children; with how much we emphasize product—what kids have accomplished at school—versus process—who they are becoming and what they feel in their explorations. That the right brain develops first is pertinent information for those in the field of education, as well as parents, regarding what is developmentally appropriate. Pushing literacy and numeracy on children before age seven may just be harmful to their little, developing brains. Without the capacity to use their academic minds in the ways that are being asked can cause children to gain what’s called “learned stupidity.” They believe themselves to be incapable and lose their natural desire to learn.

The push for academia on children is a symptom of a society that is left brain dominant, or forgetful of the wonderful playground that is the right brain. It’s an indicator that we feel safer within the literalness, control and certainty of the left brain, far more than in the unquantifiable and mysterious nature the right brain connects us to.

You cannot measure the qualitative aspects of imagination, empathy and intuition; but, of course, you can measure the aforementioned practical detail-oriented functions associated with the left brain. Yet the more we push those things that can be measured onto children, the more they will grow up feeling like they don’t measure up!

Let’s remember that life is less about the tools the left brain excels in and what we accomplish in this world. Rather, life is about being present and connecting with those you love, or those you don’t even know as children do so freely:

“Walking to the library this morning, I passed on the sidewalk a little child, maybe two years old and his mother”, wrote a friend of mine. “As I neared, the child looked at me, his eyes so alive and present, and when I said ‘Hi’, he stooped and picked up a soggy leaf from the ground and handed it to me. Oh, the abundance and beauty of this world!”

This is the gift of the right brain. While the left brain sunders life into pieces, the right brain unites. This is why babies sense no distinction between themselves and their environment. All is one!

These wise little teachers remind us, courtesy of their right brain, that life is about enjoying the little things, about enchantment and surprise; it’s about being present with another, offering them your gentle ear, hearing between the lines, not just what is being said, which is what logic grasps. With the help of the right brain we touch the hidden places in our heart and in the hearts of others, those secret dimensions that give meaning to life.

The right brain is indeed the playground, or at least, it connects us to it. Let children dwell in this most natural state through their unstructured play, and all its derivatives such as doodling, curiosity, wonder and imagination. People who have a healthy right brain can better use their left brain tools in positive ways. That is the purpose of the left-logical brain: to serve the right brain—doing serves being. Being is the soil from which all our plans, details and actions must flower if we are to experience personal fulfillment and truly contribute to the world.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~ Albert Einstein

Here is a TED Talk guaranteed to provide inspiration and more practical knowledge on the matter. Enjoy!

Check out Vince’s book: Let the Fire Burn ~ Nurturing the Creative Spirit of Children, A Children’s Book for Adults