Spiritual Development

Page 69

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Smudging Process
By CinnamonMoon

There are various ways to smudge and I'm going to share mine, based on the teachings I've
received. Smudge is comprised of White Sage, Red Cedar, and/or Sweetgrass (I use a mixture of
equal parts of the three). It can be purchased at most herb shops as a stick (the raw dried plant/s
tied in a bundle) very inexpensively. I like to use a seashell or ceramic bowl with a little sand in
the bottom and a self-igniting charcoal atop that. I light the charcoal and drop the herbs on it
allowing the smoke to rise. With my feather I draw the smoke to myself.

Beginning at the heart, up over the face, down the arms, trunk of my body, legs, feet, over the
crown of my head and down my backside. I offer it to the Seven Sacred Directions as follows:
East, South, West, North, Above, Below, Middle and Spirit. Then I smudge the air around me in
a clockwise direction spiraling out from the center of my circle to the edges if working within the
Wheel. If I am working in the space of a room or house I cover it all.

This simple process has served me well and I've never had any complications. Please feel free to
add your methods to this information.

White Sage: relates to wisdom and healing, it is used in smudging for the transformation of all
energies present into these that will enhance the person, place, or work being done. It's smoke is
thick and brings change so it is used profusely in these ceremonies. When the Sacred Pipe is
stored, Sage is often placed in the bowl to keep it protected from negative energies and spirits; in
the stem for the same reason. The Sacred Pipe is *alive* with its own spirit and the Sage assures
no contamination; it is also used to store other sacred items.

Cedar: is a protective, nurturing, and containing herb. As a smudge it is used for cleansing by
burning either the leaves or the inner bark. It purifies illness from an area and is strong in its
healing capabilities, thus it is often used for ceremonial purification. It speaks of age, wisdom,
and refreshment.

Sweetgrass is called "Hair of the Mother" because it is braided prior to cultivation, draws
positive energies to you when you burn it. Its smoke is sweet and encourages good spirits to
draw near. I find it beneficial to burn when doing readings as well.

Tobacco is smoked in the Sacred Pipe as it carries prayers to Spirit. Bringing clarity to the mind
and issues, it draws in negative energies transforming them into positive ones. It is used for
offerings to Spirit, Spirit Keepers, as well as those entities who come to guide us. Tobacco is a
call for assistance from the spirit world and is offered as a token gift in shamanic working either
to the spirits themselves or to the shaman who is performing a service for you.
Smoke makes visible the unseen worlds of dimensions other than our own, it rises up through the
air to Spirit so that the words of our hearts can be heard, thus it carries prayers. It shows the
unseen and visions can come in it. It permeates the air and thus the source of that smoke
becomes the essence that fills a location and spreads its influence. Different woods all have their
own essence and are selected carefully as well.

When you smudge the smoke is drawn first to the heart so the work done will be cleansed and
come from our purest intentions. It is next drawn up to the brow area so that our thoughts will
follow this intention and become purified as well. It is then drawn down the trunk, arms and legs
and then back over the head and down to ground those negative energies we are casting out to
Mother Earth who will transform them. This is followed by perhaps washing the hands in it. The
smoke is always drawn in toward you. At this point it is offered up to Spirit, down to Mother
Earth, and to the four directions as an offering. From that point it spreads out and you can
cleanse others who are working with you, the area you are working in, and/or the tools that will
be used.

Mixtures of Sage, Cedar, and Sweetgrass (in any combination of two or more) are often used for
the smudging ceremonies as they each lend different essences to the work being done
complimenting one and other. I personally work with a mixture of the three. Tobacco is used
separately and I was taught not to mix it with the others as a smudge.


Thanks for the info Cinn. I tend to use the sage only when I know we're not having visitors for a
bit... because it does smell like pot. If we are getting visitors, I will use cedar and sweet grass,
and one or a combination of the methods below:

If I am not using sage, or when a space feels particularly "dirty" (for instance, in a new home
when first cleaning), I first clap into all the corners to break any energy that is bundled up in
them. If a room feels particularly "heavy" with energies that are not needed or not ours, I will sit
in the center of the room, and visualize myself drawing the corners of the room towards me, as
though by a string. Then I release them, and they "snap" back into position. Then I visualize the
ceiling rolling up, revealing the skies above... and sunshine beaming into the room to bring light
in abundance.

I've felt the need on occasion to make a grounding pipe for a room that "contaminates" quickly...
and to put a sort of central vacuum in that pipe. When switched on, it will remove energies that
do not belong in that room, they are sucked out much like dirty water draining out of a bath...

After I feel a room is cleansed of energies that are not ours, or stuck energies are now unstuck, I
smudge it in much the same way Cinn describes. Sometimes I use other combinations, according
to what I feel is called for.


Thank you! I haven't seen sweet grass here. So I do it with those sage bundles you can buy. I did
get one braid of sweetgrass in Canada or Alaska when we went on vacation, but don't want to
burn it, 'cause it's the only one I have, so I put it in a vase of artificial sunflowers by the front
door. Smells soo good when I walk by. sometimes I'll burn some pinon incense too.
It was funny – I used to have a boss, and when she'd move into a new office I would waive the
pinon incense all over it. We'd have to wait till after 5:30 when everybody had left, because it
can smell like an electrical fire. So we'd sneak around with this pinon incense - and if someone
came in and said - do you smell an electrical burning smell - we'd both look at each other - and
go - no, why do you?


My friend sells it online from his herbal store here in Minneapolis, Minna. Go to
www.presentmoment.com it’s very reasonably priced too. I get mine there.


Greetings! Thank you Cinnamon for getting to this. I went out of town and didn't get to mine, so
here it is now.

Sage cleans the negative energies. Changing them from negative to positive, IMHO I light some
sage in an abalone shell that has sand in the bottom to help disperse the heat. Abalone is
becoming endangered so I try and protect the shells I have. With a feather, Turkey is great for
giving away the negative energies, I brush the smoke over my head to clean the negative from
my mind. I brush the smoke to my heart next, cleaning the negative from my heart. My arms and
hands to receive. Placing the shell on the floor I brush the smoke up my front and over my head.
Cleaning the Conception vessel/meridian. Placing myself over the shell I sweep the smoke up
between my legs to clean the Base chakra. Then the feet, each foot is bless/cleaned so I may
walk in love. Turning in clockwise/Earth rotation I brush up my back as best as I can. Up and
over my head. This cleans the Governing Vessel/meridian. I pat with the feather and smoke any
sore spots, thus giving them an 'extra' cleaning. Now I am as clean as I can be at this point and
ready to serve others. I can smudge other people, places or things.


Smudging notes to share with you, sorry I don't have the sources of them noted. They were a
thread on another site years ago.

*Smudging is the burning of one of the four following plants as a means of prayer or
purification: cedar, sweetgrass, sage, or tobacco. It is probably on of the most used ceremonies
by native shamans and the general populace. Which of the four plants used depends upon which
plant happens to be prevalent in the area the smudger lives in--cedar growing more in the
coastal areas, sage in high desert and desert country, sweetgrass on the plains, and tobacco in
the southeast. (There is no recommended preference of one plant over another, just whichever
the smudger can obtain or prefers). Smudging is a way we pray and it is the most basic use of the
Medicine Wheel. Smudging not only purifies the person, their surroundings, and their soul; but it
also helps to retain balance and to send prayers to the Creator. Smudging can be used in a most
simplistic form which includes a simple prayer for a blessing or a more in-depth prayer for a
healing...it is our most basic way of communicating with the Spirit. It can be added to other
ceremonies as the preface and preparation or it can be done completely alone. A smudge can be
done daily and privately or it can be done on a special occasion (such as an anniversary
powwow) publically. Unlike Christian prayers which are traditionally said in a specific location
or atmosphere, the smudging can be done at any time or any place as it is believed that the Spirit
is all around us and within us...and not just available on certain days of the week.
Communication with the Spirit is very important in every aspect of our lives for without it we are
on earth with no guidance.

*I was taught these herbs mentioned have different properties, to be used at different times for
prayer and smudging. Tobacco, at least in the way I was taught, is used for prayer and offering,
not smudging. This is due to the spirit of the tobacco itself. The sage, cedar, and sweetgrass are
used for smudge smoke, each dependent upon the type of ceremony and need at that time. For
instance, cedar is used to dispel negative energy/spirit in an immediate manner. Cedar is very
strong that way. Sage and sweetgrass would be for an everyday type of use, once again,
depending on the situation and/or necessity.
This is an old quote from Lune: (Hope you don't mind Lune!)

*Through reading something in an alternative healing magazine about how to clear the energy of
a room, I got the impression it was the smoke itself that has a clearing action. By filling a room
up with smoke and then letting it disperse, the negative energies flow out with the smoke. The
same is true for smoking/smudging a person. The example used was heating with epsom salts up
till a smoke was given off. So from this I extrapolated you can use anything with enough oil in it
to keep the vegetation smouldering, from lavender to eucalyptus. Osprey introduced me to using
ground coffee on a burning coal to cleanse a room of emotional attachments. Some people use an
incense stick in attempt to purify the air, but I find them pretty unsatisfactory after something
like sage. I wonder if that is because incense is a big mixture of stuff, and perhaps a single herb
is better. In all this, I notice something. I have only really come across people using smudging to
cleanse the energy of a given place/thing. The only time I can think of using smoke as a prayer is
the Catholic church--bit hazy on that though. As for prayer, my medicine teacher would leave
some tobacco-Drum brand! on the ground as a thanks to an area after we had spent time
connecting to the place. She also taught that to make a ring of vegetation from the place-to be
able to make one showed you had truly been connected to the spirit of place. And we would
leave that ring behind as a gift of thank you to the place. However, I use neither of these
techniques as I feel I am always connected to spirit of place rather like Great Spirit being
everywhere. And as for the tobacco--I don't smoke! Lol


Thank you all for sharing this information. I have only seen this and usually it is accompanied by
a Native American dancing around where I sit with a tortoise rattle.

Unregistered Guest:

I am very interested in this subject, as I have never smudged before. Living in England it is
harder to find the sage and cedar - but I know a shop that sells it.
I have a question: I read somewhere that mugwort opens the channels to the otherworld, does
anyone know if this herb is used for cleansing at the beginning of a ritual? I think it is used for
witches' spells, to help clairvoyance, so perhaps it can be useful for the shaman's work too??


Hi, when I smudge I use a ravens feather, powerful bird in Norse myth, Odin used two of them to
fly around the world every 24 hours and report back. One was thought, and the other memory.
A friend of mine gives me the high octane, Lakota white sage. It's gets the real negative energy
out, works good on ghosts too if you suspect you have one about and want them gone it's not
good with children ghost, because they don't understand what’s happening and why. Also to
raise the vibration in house, burn a stick of frankincense, I think I spelled this wrong oh well. It
ups the vibration, both of these make me sweat, good stuff. Also, burning a un-scented white
candle helps to bring positive beings to the house.

So, the whole meal deal would be, close all windows and doors but the front leave it open, place
a new white candle by it fire up the frankincense, alongside the candle, start at the
farthest room from the front door with your sage, and which else you like and herd the bad stuff
out the front door, let the incense burn down and snuff the candle out and then throw it in the
trash. it accumulated some bad stuff and you need it out of your space just something to think


Hi vikingthor, Thanks for the info. I love frankincense, it's got such a great scent.

Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)

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