An herbalist friend, Cynthia Johnston of Moonmaid Botanicals, introduced me to this herb and its medicinal properties many years ago. Specializing in women's reproductive cycles and issues, she taught me that clary sage is very effective for women's issues - especially menopause, easing hot flashes, cramping, etc. A note of caution: pregnant women should avoid it as clary sage has other uses that may be harmful during the pregnancy.
As a licensed esthetician, I use the essential oil in treatments for oily skin in my facial work, and also make an infusion, along with a few other herbs, into which I dip cotton pads and place over the eyes. Clary sage is purported to help eye/vision problems. The tea is also good for digestive upsets. A cloth dipped in a strong infusion or very warm water with a few drops of the essential oil, wrung out and placed over the tummy or sore muscles is very nice. Aromatically, it assists with emotional and psychological tension, easing anxiety and, according to some, helping with depression and high blood pressure. I like to use it in aromatherapy anxiety blends because of this and find it balances and restores so one can relax and release stress.
I have never had the opportunity to sit and work with the live plant and connect with its spirit which is the best way to know a plant. However, I've had good results with the dried herb and the pure essential oil.
In magick, clary sage is highly protective. Having it growing around one's home is a very good thing for a number of reasons. At the Alchemy Works website, they include a note about this herb - "this plant concentrates heavy metals from the soil and can be planted to clear contaminated areas. It should then be disposed of rather than composted" - naturally, as in magickal workings, one would not want to save what was used to cleanse. What a gift to your land or any land, to grow this herb to assist in cleansing it of toxins. Go talk to your plants, get to know them and ask them to protect your land and home. You should do this with all your plants and trees, build a relationship with them - they will tell you what they can assist you with on an energetic level.
For protection, hang bouquets of clary sage to dry around the house, place it in sachets with other herbs for protection, placing in appropriate places about the home or office. Carry a small pouch with clary sage and other protective herbs in your handbag and keep one in your car. For ritual work, it is a a potent ingredient when you want to cast a protective boundary. I generally add it to the warding blend I use for my home, placing it on window ledges and on top of door frames.
In spells, clary sage is an excellent addition to and has long been used in love potions and as an aphrodisiac. In my personal work, I have seen this herb as best used by women who want to attract a man - I suppose, since it is very much a woman's herb. Not all may agree with this assessment, but that is what the herb has taught me. Even an herb, collected, dried and handled respectfully, will maintain its spirit and be able to communicate with you.
Associated with both the moon and mercury, it has been my experience that it is very helpful in workings that include journey, trance, dream and visionary work, as well as divination. It can enhance psychic abilities. Sprinkle some of the dried herb around the table you lay your tarot cards, runes, bones or stones on. Crush a bit of the herb in your hands and inhale its fragrance. An infusion makes an excellent clearing and enhancing wash for scrying mirrors and scrying stones. Burn as an incense or use the essential oil in a nebulizer and to anoint the third eye during any of these types of workings to enhance your abilities and the reading. A drop or two on your pillow before bed can enhance any dreamwork and aid in the recall of those dreams, especially for divination purposes. It tends to make dreams very vivid when one is open to such work, so prepare yourself appropriately.
A note of caution, if you are going to use alcohol or other mood altering or narcotic substances during these workings - or in general - ingesting clary sage along with those substances may cause a stronger reaction. Use common sense and caution.
Cynthia Johnston - moonmaidbotanicals.com
Natural Magic - John Michael Greer
Master Book of Herbalism - Paul Beyerl
copyright E A Kaufman 2011
The above post is offered for informational purposes only and is in no way a recommendation to consume or use the herb in any manner, nor is it a guarantee for the spells, lore or other information mentioned.