Updated: Sep 23, 2018
In my practice, I've come across some personal opinions that seem to go against the wild-harvested grain. Let's check those out.
Sage, in its fresh or dried state, i tolerable, but I don't like the smell of burnt sage. It smells too much like a decayed skunk. There are numerous sage alternatives that you can use--and burn--in place of this herb.
Lavender is also associated with protection.
Mint is also associated with cleansing.
If you're wanting the revered herb, sweetgrass is a great cleanser, is sacred to Mother Earth, and is long revered by Native Americans.
Palo Santo is an alternative for both protection and cleansing.
Juniper and pine smell a lot better and are winter's alternative to sage.
We could argue that these alternatives (not including Palo Santo) are not as strong as sage. But I am not willing to make my house smell like a skunk farm. I'll double up on the other herbs and use really strong protecting and cleansing herbs, like valerian root, in a salt mixture.
Graveyard Dirt? No, sorry.
If you use graveyard dirt, or graveyard dust, that's your thing, and I completely support that it's your thing. Graveyard Dirt is just that: It comes from a graveyard and is supposed to add strength to one's magic, especially conjuring magic (as you might have guessed).
But we're in the field of manipulating energies, or asking gods, goddesses or nature to do it for us. And I don't want to take dirt that, very likely, already has a strong energy attachment from people who have passed. Often times, especially if buying the dirt, we don't know where it was sourced, how respectfully it was sourced and who might have fermented in the nearby dirt (sorry, but it is what it is). All of those components create a worrisome storm; I may be seeking to add energy to my work, but what I may have done is invited an entity I know nothing about to attach itself to me or my space.
Try an alternative. minced mullein and valerian root are often used as alternatives.
Also, it's rude to take part of someone's home, even if it is just dirt. That's part of some dead person's living room. Just sayin'.
Mugwort is not that great.
Don't get me wrong. Mugwort is great. It's another all-purpose herb that adds potency to spells. And it's so enchanting; it's the quintessential witch herb, right?
But it's minced form (often what we buy from apothecaries) is difficult to work with. It has a tendency to clump together in a weird powdery, furry way, making it difficult for small apothecary jar openings. It will also do this in liquids, and this is problematic, because all of those crevasses means high probability and opportunity for trapped oxygen bubbles, which cuts away at shelf-life. You have to be patient with it or simply grow and dry it yourself.
What are some of your unpopular opinions? What are your solutions to them?