Many months ago, I was gifted an incredible sewn bag filled with ceremonial White Sage. This is one of many sacred gifts received from my Abenaki Chief and great friend R.A.A (for his privacy...he's quite humble in nature). White sage (Salvia apiana) is native to high deserts. It is considered a sacred, cleansing, purifying, and protective plant. I believe he gathered this batch himself—and have smelled none other that compares.
The leaves are the softest pale, white-washed green. So fragrant (fresh and dried), Native Americans used it to ward off negative and evil and attract blessing, health and prosperity. Today, white sage is popularly used to purify and provide protection.
Sage can be used medicinally or spiritually. For medicinal purposes (digestion, depression, memory loss, immunity), I tincture sage and cook with the herb. Many people burn sage (as do I) to cleanse space and spirit—and provide protection. Once "saged," remaining embers or burning matter is stored high up in a safe and fire-proof environment.
"After you light the sage, do not stop it from burning. The spirit of white sage knows just how much negativity or heaviness needs to be released and will burn accordingly. In fact, I've burned entire wands of sage in one sitting or had other wands stay 'lit' for only a minute or two. If you feel you are done burning sage, place the wand in a fireproof bowl, or on the stove and allow the sage to cease burning, naturally. If you watch the smoke, sometimes it will drift to a particular part of the room, car, or person—that is where the healing/protection energy is most needed."—Amanda Linette Meder
p.s., USE CATION WHEN BURNING ANY HERB. I burn bay, lavender, and many other herbs in addition to Sage. IT IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE THAT YOU HANDLE WITH CARE AND NEVER LEAVE BURNING MATTER ALONE. Amanda's note is wonderful and true if you can—but NEVER LEAVE at the possibility of danger. Extinguish all burning or smoldering materials if you are not able to attend to their completion.