Smudging

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Bonsoir my darlings!

I just crawled into bed on this chilly January night; I finally caught the sickness that has been circulating around my family and friends… meh. However, considering I am fairly healthy, it seems to be decently mild thus far *knocks on wood*, and I’m hoping if I stay in and relax this cold will be kind to me. I’ve also been taking Vitamin C and Zinc supplements along with healthy-packed juices to stay as one step ahead 😉 I suggest you guys do the same around this time of year — drink lots of water and eat tons of veggies! But really, you should be doing this all the time.

Anyway, you may have noticed that the title of this post is “smudging”. I first learned about this when I was in Colorado a few weeks back. Native American culture is huge out there, which I loved. Smudging is part of the Native American culture, and I came across a piece of paper in one of the various shops catered to these ideals in Boulder, so I snagged a copy.

Smudging. The burning of herbs is a sacred, traditional practice among Native Americans. Herbs are burned to release their purifying and healing affects. Sage, in particular, is used to purify one’s soul, one’s living space, and to enhance the effectiveness of spiritual objects. Sweetgrass and cedar are also used for this purpose.

After being harvested by hand, the herbs are dried and tied into bundles called “smudge sticks”. The stick should be held in a flame until it glows red and then is removed from the flame and allowed to smolder for a few minutes. The purpose of burning sage is to release it’s energy and fragrance, not to fill a space with smoke. It is customary to point the smoldering stick towards the 6 cardinal directions: east, west, north, south, above and below. The smoke is then fanned over the entire body, using one’s hand or better, a prayer feather. This is done while saying the appropriate prayers for the healing ceremony. This releases the old, unhealthy, negative energy and allows the special, positive, healing energy of the sage, sweetgrass, or cedar to take it’s place.

Now, I’ve never actually tried smudging, so I have to trust that this is an accurate description. I do want to give it a try though, so I’ll probably have to hunt down a smudge stick in the 401. I’m sure they’re around here somewhere. I happen to have Native American blood, so it was also really cool to get in touch with my roots in a sort of way, and I feel like it couldn’t hurt to give smudging a try.

I also loved how big gemstones, rocks and fossils were out there. I guess living on the East Coast your whole life, we don’t have that stuff. You also aren’t used to such grandeur being a small Rhode Islander… I adore being overwhelmed by large natural surroundings, so Colorado and I got along.

If anyone has tried smudging before, let me know how it is! In the meantime, goodnight everybody.

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