Flat Rate Shipping Australia Wide
Flat Rate Shipping Australia Wide
Cart 0

Saining vs Smudging


Alright, let's unpack this. Saining, in Scottish folk magic, is like an age-old way of purifying and blessing things. It involves using smoke, water, and even special prayers. The neat part is, it's not just a spontaneous thing you do on a whim; it's a practice deeply rooted in Scottish culture, embraced by both the Scottish folk magic community and the wider public.

Now, here's the hiccup. Some folks, particularly those outside these traditions, jumped on the bandwagon of using White Sage for saining or tossing a mix of herbs on a charcoal disc, that is not saining and its certainly not smudging. But that's where things get a bit tricky. The use of White Sage has led to some pushback, especially from Native American communities who rightly express their frustration about their practices being misused. But it's not just about using the wrong plant or the wrong word; it's about lacking respect for the culture and not turning sacred rituals into a passing trend.

So, why shouldn't we compare saining to smudging? Well, smudging involves more than just wafting some smoke around, and the same goes for saining. But the key is, their purpose and ritual are vastly different. Smudging has a specific cultural context tied to Native American traditions, and using the wrong plants or doing it without understanding the deeper meanings can be disrespectful.

In the Scottish folk magic scene, saining serves a purpose – it's not merely substituting one thing for another or simply "cleansing" the area. Saining is about dispelling negativity or enchantments, shielding people, places, and even livestock from harm and bringing in blessings. It's not about cleansing energies; it's more like a thorough spiritual scrubbing to maintain the right order in life, like being a decent person, maintaining a tidy home, and honouring promises. It's not just one thing; it encompasses all these aspects.

Scottish folk magic is a mix-and-match affair, blending various influences from different families and regions that have shaped it over time and each family will have different ways of doing things.But contrary to some claims we have seen on Tiktok, saining does not involve making a special cross sign; that is a modern addition to a private practice and isn't a mandatory element so lets just clear that up.

Here's the intriguing part though – in Scottish folk magic, everything has a spirit, whether it's water, plants, or your grandma's old teapot. When you sain something, you're essentially asking the spirit of that thing to wake up and assist you in banishing any negative vibes while inviting blessings. Now, imagine purchasing something for saining without knowing its origin – it's like befriending a spirit you know nothing about. Not a wise move.

Saining comes in different forms. There's the fire version, where fires are lit to share and remove negativity, and there's the water version, where individuals might collect water from special places, like a border stream rich with symbolic significance. Even livestock can benefit from saining with fire or water to keep them in good health.

So, saining is the Scottish way of doing things – it's not just about waving smoke around. It has a history, a purpose, and a connection to the spirits. When it comes to purifying your space, why not stick to your own traditions? There's no need to borrow from others when you have a rich cultural tapestry of your own to explore. Let's keep the smoke where it belongs – in our own backyards.

Now, I can not show you in one blog how to Sain, but there is one book i will recommend and that is "Saining for Gaelic Polytheists" my Marissa Hegarty. Most of the book does a very good job of explaining what saining is and does go into to detail on some of the rites. 


Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published