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What’s the Bible Say About Burning Sage?

Burning sage has grown in popularity recently, particularly in New Age and alternative spiritual circles. This ancient ritual is believed to cleanse negative energy from people, objects, and spaces. As a Christian, you may have heard about this practice and might be wondering if it’s compatible with biblical teachings. This article will explore the biblical perspective on burning sage and the implications of this practice for Christians today.

What Is Sage?

Sage is a plant native to the Mediterranean region, belonging to the Salvia family. It has a long history of being used for its aromatic, spiritual, and medicinal properties. Sage has been widely utilized in numerous recipes and traditional remedies as a culinary herb.

In ancient cultures, sage played a critical role in various spiritual practices. One of the most iconic uses of sage is the act of burning it to cleanse negative energies, purify spaces, and promote spiritual harmony and well-being. This tradition of burning sage has persisted through the ages and continues to be practiced today, especially in New Age and alternative spiritual communities.

From a Christian perspective, it’s important to understand the act of burning sage as a follower of Christ.

Why was incense burned in the Bible?

In the Bible, incense burning was a way of offering worship to God. In the Old Testament, incense was often burned in the Temple as an act of devotion and reverence for Yahweh. It was also used as a purifying agent in the Tabernacle and within the Temple walls.

In the Book of Psalms, King David calls God and requests that his incense offerings be accepted. In addition, incense was burned to ward off evil spirits and purify people or objects from spiritual impurities.

In Christianity, incense holds significant symbolic meaning and is often used during religious ceremonies and rituals. The smoke that rises from the burning smell is believed to represent the prayers of the saints ascending to heaven, making it a powerful tool for worship and communication with God.

This practice can be traced back to the Old Testament, where incense was used in the Tabernacle and later in the temple as an offering to God. Today, many churches still use incense during mass or other services to create a sacred atmosphere and enhance the spiritual experience of worshippers. Overall, incense is a powerful symbol of the connection between humans and the divine in Christianity.

What Does The Bible Say About Burning Sage?

Burning Sage in the Old Testament

While the Old Testament contains numerous examples of plants and herbs used in different contexts, the specific burning of sage is not directly mentioned. However, examining the broader context of spices, incense, and aromatic plants utilized throughout the Scriptures is important. This will help us understand the principles behind their usage and determine whether burning sage aligns with biblical teachings.

Biblical Practices with Herbs

The usage of herbs in biblical times was not limited to incense. Various plants had significant roles in medicine, food, and rituals. For instance, the hyssop plant was used for purification (Leviticus 14:4-6, Hebrews 9:19-22) and was believed to have medicinal properties.

However, burning sage is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible. While it is not forbidden, Christians should be careful not to burn sage for any spiritual benefit or cleansing, as Scripture does not condone these practices. Instead, Christians should focus on worshipping God through prayer and obeying His word.

Sage in the Context of Ancient Israelite Culture

We can understand how the ancient Israelites might have used sage by examining its usage in their contemporary neighboring cultures. Although not directly mentioned in the Bible, sage, native to the Mediterranean region, would likely have been known by the ancient Israelites. It’s plausible that sage and other local herbs may have been used for medicinal or culinary purposes. However, it’s important to distinguish between the Israelite use of herbs and practices that the Bible forbids, such as witchcraft and occult rituals.

Is burning sage a sin if you are a Christian?

Given the information discussed earlier, burning sage intending to manipulate spiritual forces or participate in occult practices goes against biblical teachings and is considered sinful. However, this does not mean using sage or other herbs for culinary or medicinal purposes is sinful. The critical factor to consider is the intention and purpose behind burning sage. Christians must always be vigilant in discerning their reasons and motivations for participating in any ritual or practice.

Origins of Burning Sage in Occult and non-Christian Religions: Ancient Practices and Witchcraft

Burning sage has its roots in indigenous cultures and various global spiritual traditions, including Native American, African, and Eastern beliefs. While the burning of sage can have different meanings and purposes depending on the cultural context, it generally revolves around the idea of spiritual energy, forces, or entities that can be influenced or manipulated through rituals like sage burning. In some cultures, sage burning is considered a practice of witchcraft, where individuals engage in ways to affect spiritual dimensions for personal gain. As Christians, it’s crucial to discern these origins and avoid participating in practices deviating from biblical teachings.

Occult and Spiritual Significance of Sage Burning: Evil Spirits and Pagan Rituals

In occult practices and non-Christian spiritual traditions, sage burning is believed to cleanse negative energy, ward off evil spirits, and create a sacred space. This ancient practice is often associated with invoking spirits or manipulating spiritual forces to achieve a desired outcome, such as protection, healing, or manifestation. Pagan rituals involving sage burning are contrary to biblical principles and the teachings of Jesus Christ, which emphasize the importance of trusting and relying on God for guidance, protection, and healing.

The Heart of the Matter: Intention and Motivation

As Christians, we should constantly evaluate our intentions and motivations behind any practice or belief we encounter, especially regarding spiritual matters.

Discerning Between Good and Evil Practices

While some practices may seem harmless or beneficial, we must consider their underlying principles and origins to determine whether they align with biblical teachings. The Bible warns against involvement with the occult and spiritual practices that draw power from sources other than God (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).

Importance of Seeking Biblical Guidance

Christians must seek biblical guidance and discernment through prayer and study of the Scriptures when exploring matters related to spiritual beliefs and practices. By evaluating the intentions and motivations behind our actions and ensuring that they align with the teachings of Jesus Christ, we can avoid falling into potentially sinful practices, such as burning sage for spiritual or occult purposes.

The Bible forbids occult practices and witchcraft.

The Bible is unambiguous about its stance on witchcraft, divination, and occult practices. In Deuteronomy 18:10-12, God specifically prohibits consulting with sorcerers, mediums or attempting to communicate with the dead.

In this context, the Bible does not condone any form of sage burning associated with witchcraft, occult practices, or any ritual attempting to manipulate spiritual forces. Christians must adhere to these biblical precepts and avoid engaging in practices we’re explicitly warned against.

Acceptable Use of Sage vs. Occult Practices

The acceptable use of sage and other herbs for Christians centers on culinary, medicinal, and aromatic purposes. Utilizing sage in cooking, creating natural remedies, or enjoying its fragrance does not contradict biblical teachings.

However, believers must recognize and abstain from engaging in any occult or spiritual practices involving the burning of sage or any other herb. The Bible warns against participating in rituals, such as invoking spirits, manipulating spiritual forces, or practicing an


In conclusion, burning sage is a practice rooted in various spiritual and cultural traditions, often associated with cleansing negative energy and manipulating spiritual forces. As explored in this article, the Bible does not directly mention sage burning but clearly warns against occult practices and witchcraft. Christians are called to rely on God for guidance, protection, and healing instead of seeking these benefits through rituals like sage burning. Believers must remain vigilant about their intentions and motivations behind their actions. Ultimately, any spiritual practice that deviates from biblical teachings and attempts to manipulate spiritual forces apart from God should be avoided.


1. Is burning sage a sin in the Bible?

If it’s done with any spiritual or healing benefit in mind, burning sage is considered a sin, as it aligns with occult practices, which are forbidden in the Bible.

2. Is burning sage a form of witchcraft?

Burning sage can be considered a form of witchcraft when used to manipulate spiritual energies for protection, healing, or manifestation. This practice is contrary to biblical teachings that emphasize relying on God.

3. Can Christians participate in sage-burning rituals?

No, according to the Bible, Christians should not participate in sage-burning rituals for spiritual purposes, as they are associated with forbidden occult practices. Christians must seek God’s guidance, protection, and healing through prayer and faith rather than relying on rituals.

4. Can Christians burn sage?

Christians should avoid burning sage for any spiritual or occult-related reasons. However, using sage or other herbs with no spiritual connotations in culinary or medicinal contexts is not sinful. The key factor is the intention behind burning sage, and as Christians, we must ensure our actions align with biblical teachings.

5. What are some alternatives to sage burning for spiritual cleansing?

Instead of engaging in occult practices like sage burning for spiritual cleansing, Christians can find solace and protection in their faith through prayer, worship, and studying the Scriptures. By seeking God’s guidance and surrendering our lives to the Holy Spirit, we can experience spiritual cleansing and growth in our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Burning sage has grown in popularity recently, particularly in New Age and alternative spiritual circles. This ancient ritual is believed to cleanse negative energy from people, objects, and spaces. As a charismatic Christian, you may have heard about this practice and might be wondering if it’s compatible with biblical teachings. This article will explore the biblical perspective on burning sage and the implications of this practice for Christians today.


Im Andrew, I am an Intercessory Missionary in Kansas City. My journey through trials and triumphs has equipped me with unique insight and a deep passion for encountering Jesus and understanding prophetic experiences.

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