If you grew up religious, you probably witnessed the ritualistic use of smoke in ceremony. For me it was frankincense and myrhh being burned during Sunday mass. For others it might be smoldering incense at their Buddhist Temple, or the spiraling tendrils of bukhoor in a mosque.
There is something primordial within us that connects smoke with spirituality.
In Native American tradition, it’s seen as a bridge to the higher realms, a way to bring in good spirits and dispel the negative or stagnant ones. The most common smoke-purification ritual used by the northern tribes is a technique called smudging.
This practice (or some variation of it) is embraced by almost every one of the native cultures we’ve worked with in the western hemisphere.
When we see a unique method used by different tribes across multiple continents or land masses, it’s a strong indication that it yields very real physical and/or spiritual benefits.
Below, I want to show you how to try smudging yourself and also explore some of the wisdom behind this ancestral art.
A Shamanic Cleansing Ritual
Smudging is the ritualistic burning of herbs and plant resins in a shell or clay bowl while prayers of gratitude and wellbeing are said aloud. The smoke is traditionally fanned using the hand or a feather (eagle feathers are treasured for this) and directed over a person or throughout a living space. The purpose is to wash away impurities, sadness, anxieties, dark thoughts and any unwanted energies or emotions that may be clinging to a space or individual.
This is often done before a ceremony or special gathering, after an argument (to literally “clear the air”), when moving into a new home, at the end of the cold season to re-invigorate one’s living space, and on a variety of other occasions.
There is much subtlety to this practice, and its potency reveals itself in the experience as you work with it.
Before we get started, it’s important to understand the deep symbolism that underlies each of the objects used in a typical smudge. There are centuries of wisdom woven into this process.
First and foremost, the materials involved each symbolize and honor one of the four elements, a central theme in many Native American rites.
- The shell or clay bowl represents water
- The herbs and resins represent the earth,
- The feather and wind it creates represent air
- The flame used to ignite the herbs represents fire
Sometimes only one specific herb is burned, but often a carefully prepared mixture is created. The Cree people of Montana and Saskatchewan call this botanical blend a kinnikinnick, and it can contain up to 30 different plants, chosen for certain outcomes or to treat a specific illness.
The most common herbs used for smudging in North American traditions are white sage, sweet grass, tobacco, and cedar. Not surprisingly, these are also four of the most sacred plants in this part of the world.
“Sweet grass grows high in the Rocky Mountains. A gift from the creator, it is said this grass never dies. It is one of the great smells reminding us of the mountains and open air. Sage is the cleanest smell of the desert. It is also a present from the Creator. Tobacco is another gift. Our thoughts and prayers are carried on its smoke. It carries the two great smells of the mountain and desert. It is a visual representation of our thoughts and prayers being transported.”
– John Joseph, Chinook Shaman
A Smudging Practice To Try (with a Native Prayer):
A word to the wise: it’s important to hold pure and focused intention while you perform a smudging. Before you begin any purification ritual like this, make sure you’re fully present.
1) You’ll need: a clay bowl or abalone shell, a few leaves of your dried herb of choice (or a blend), a flame, and an open hand or feather.
2) Gently separate any stems or buds from the leaves of your dried herbs (only the leaves or blades are used in this process). Then place the leaves into your smudging vessel – clay bowl or sea shell.
3) If you are inside, open the windows in the space you are in, creating a flow of air from outside.
4) Using a match or lighter, ignite the herbs and let them flame for 20 to 30 seconds before sweeping your hand above them to extinguish any fire. (I’ve been taught that using the breath to blow out the fire is not the proper way.) Tendrils of smoke should be steadily rising from the smoldering herbs now.
5) It is customary to smudge oneself first before moving on to others and the surrounding space.Using a cupped hand, draw the smoke around you. Starting from the top, bring the smoke over and around your head, down your torso, all the way to your feet. Make sure to pay attention to your breathing while doing this. Slow and relaxed.
6) Once you are finished with yourself, use your feather or hand to waft the smoke gently into the corners of the room and over any plants or pieces of furniture. My friend Santiago once advised that we need to be present with the smoke and watch carefully how it behaves and flows around specific people and objects. When we are fully aware, we’ll notice that it moves differently as it touches certain things. There is information there.
7) Once you have finished smudging, tradition tells us that the ashes of the spent herb should be brought outside and returned to the soil. Call it superstition if you’d like, but many tribes believe that the charred residue carries its own energy and must be given back to the earth.
A Native Prayer you may want to use while smudging:
Creator, Great Mystery
Source of all knowing and comfort,
Cleanse this space of all negativity.
Open our pathways to peace and understanding.
Love and light fills each of us and our sacred space.
Our work here shall be beautiful and meaningful.
Banish all energies that would mean us harm.
Our eternal gratitude.
– The Medicine Wheel Garden, E. Barrie Kavasch
I find smudging to be a powerful way to clear stagnant energies and bring a renewed sense of wellness into my living and work space. Next week, my wife, sons, and I will be creating a special smudge stick from some local sweet grass and sage that grows in our backyard. Another wonderful way to connect with the earth magic that surrounds us!
Host of Remedy: Ancient Medicine for Modern Illness
& Founder of The Sacred Science
I started smudging a short while ago. My main purpose was to clear the pain suffering my wife went through with dying from breast cancer. i feel calmersince the smudging,it seems to work for me.
Terry, your story is long I’m sure…glad you are better. My dear friend has cancer in three places and I would like to do anything I can to help him…I just don’t have any sweet grass…what exactly did you use?
type your comment here…DrMercola.com has an interesting story today about how vitamins help combat diseases, including cancer. I suggest you see the movie offered there today.
Karla, I sorry about your friend. You both should check out the website ‘the truth about cancer’ there are a ton of things your friend can learn to heal themselves of cancer naturally as well as supplements they can take while doing conventional methods of treatments. Look up Essias Tea which has cured many people of cancer regardless of type or stage, they can also start using frankincense essential oil and canabis oil which has helped cure lots of people from cancer and other illnesses too. There is an 8 part documentary by Ty Bollinger discussing everything I mentioned and so much more. It was available for free when it first premiered but now you may have to purchase which is still a great investment. I wish your friend everything of the best!
There are many different choices for healing cancer other than the standard practice of chemo and radiation. Go to The Truth About Cancer, there is some wonderful information there.
Your friend may want to try Matcha Tea, it is Alkalizing, detoxifying and has 137x more EGCG’s which has been proven to kill cancer cells…..and again, I can’t stress enough to check the link, The Truth About Cancer.
You dont necessarily HAVE to have Sweet Grass as I understand, it may add to the fragrance. A lot of people only use Sage and get results. I have also. You may find some sage smudge sticks already made at a local metaphysical shop near you. Although I have also cut and rolled my own sage sticks that were cut from a friends garden and they seemed to have a more sentimental feel as I was more connected to the process. Grow some of your own in a window, or in the ground if you can
Also, I’m sorry to hear about your friend. If they are able to eat honey without a reaction to Honey bees. Bee Pollen has shown great effects in fighting cancer. It doesnt take much pollen in addition to a healthy diet either. You can find more info on goodle. Search: “Bee Pollen Mice Cancer Study” I like to drink a half litre of water first thing in the morning, then just add a table spoon to a couple small scoops of yogurt in the morning, drink a couple more sips of water, then finish the rest of a cup of yogurt in which there is no yogurt. It almost completely covers the taste of the pollen, not that its terrible to begin with but it is very earthy and is not a flavor I want to linger around. You can order pollen from amazon inexpensively in bulk. It is advised to eat pollen at least from your continent, but the closer to local pollen you can find the better. Also, there are instructions on beginning doses and such. Its great for you and contains super simple proteins that the body can digest with out much work at all, it is said to be some of the most healthy food available on earth. It can sustain the human body indefinitely, There have been ancient sherpas that passed away from avalanches and were found frozen in the mountains more recently with ONLY bee pollen as a food source!! No kidding! The stuff is AWESOME for you! Good luck to you and your friend!
bicarb of soda lemon juice cannabis oil cancer can not live in an alkaline body
About the bicarbonato of soda give us the right amounts pls …And Any one knows something good for Psoriasic Arthritis ver y bad on knees and ankles of my daughter Thanks
I have had some success with arthritis ..basically following the book by Jan de Vries …struggling to remember the title now but it was to do with arthritis and psoriasis
he recommends that you try to make your blood more alkaline by reducing alcohol red foods especially chilli cigarettes and milk and increasing your eating cucumber and raw potato every day reduce the irritants and some of the helpers is better than none also
oat meal in the bath water
my dad had excellent results with this and green lipped mussel extract a New Zealand mussel I have no difficulty buying this at healthfood stores in the uk so i guess it’s the same across the pond Als anti inflamatories such as turmeric both fresh and powdered
wishing you success …Billyo
I love your work, thank you
Thanks, could you please contact me at your convenience.
I have been smudging for at least 30 years! It brings such peace to ones self, and to all you are sending Love and Light to! I use white Sage and an abolone shell with an Eagle feather that was gifted to me by a Lakota Elder.
Thank you for the details on how to smudge and to construct the device.
What a blessing to learn the subtleties of this ritual.
Gratitude, my friend!
Excellent overview…absolutely beautiful!
I like this ancestral tradition
I love the prayer; very biblical. And so is blessing of people and space and purging of negative spirits through these sorts of rituals.
Where can we find information on what can be learned by the way the smoke moves?
The smoke may move or wrap in a certain way almost as if there were an object in the way, but you may not see anything there, also, smoke may move as if something just walked/moved through it. If that happens, continue casting smoke in the direction of movement and continue this prayer or the lords prayer, or continue casting smoke where you get the feeling it might need it, like in corners, under tables, nooks and crannies, behind you, above you, anywhere a cat or dog or other pet may hide at… I believe he’s trying to communicate that things unseen may not wish to remain in the smoke and/or cannot tolerate it, things you, the other person, or maybe an object such as crystals, are trying to release, hence the open windows… Also certain energies may be transmuted from a negative energy and spun into a new positive energy or idea. All the best to you!
The rising smoke from burning incense in the temple ritual of ancient Israel was a physical symbol of prayers ascending to heaven. It was a physical symbol of something spiritual. Without the prayer it was an empty ritual. The ritual itself did not provide healing, it was the prayer that was the healing aspect of the ritual. It is so important when performing any ritual to focus on the spiritual symbolism of the ritual.
I read that first you smudge with sage, then smudge with sweetgrass, but don’t burn together. The sage removes negative energies while the sweetgrass welcomes in positive energy.
I think that is correct. I have used the sage to clear my home of negativity after certain people have been there. It works for me. Also when moving into a new place.
This is nteresting
I am a gardener that grows as many medicinal herbs as possible . I am looking for a source of sweet grass plants or seed to establish here in the mid atlantic region of the east I heard there is a different variety of sweetgrass for the east . I grow many native food seed as well as herbs
Sharon you should be able to order seeds from Medicinal Herbs use to be called Horizon Herbs.
I love to smudge.. Out have given me more information om how to in a better light. Thank you! Love your information on all that you share with us,
I have been curious about smudging. Thanks for this!
Thanks for your work and this blog. I use Palo Santo each morning in a smudging ritual incorporating a prayer of gratitude and protection. I will integrate some of the info here into the ritual. mlk
Thank you for sharing.
I was taught by, a shaman in New Mexico many years ago. It is exactly as you described. I was unaware of the 30 herbs used by the Cree nation. It was a good reminder for me to smudge.
Many thanks for sharing , I love the prayer. Although I already smudge , I’ve learnt something new from you today ,
I am wondering what herbs would be correct for Northeast United States.
Thank you for sharing!
Wonderful article validating my teachings and practices as I create circles and ceremony for women. We always smudge!
Beautiful! thank you, I really like your messages!
I found this article to be magnificent!!! Wow- I did not know all these things about smudging.
How to do it properly, the history of it, the intention behind it, different herbs for smudging, and more. Thank u for sharing such great knowledge.
My beloved gives me red roses every week. I collect white sage locally. I dry the rose petals and then bind them in fresh picked sage and hang to dry. They have the lovely sent of roses mixed with the sage as well as the continued love offering from my beloved. They burn quite well. I make smallish bundles so that I may use an entire stick for each smudging. I smudge all the interior of my home and then the perimeter after. I’m sure my neighbors wonder, but I do it weekly for my well being. I can really see when there is a build up of stagnate or bad energy because they burn ferociously. I also use aromatherapy misters daily and burn palo santo, frankincense and piñon pine in a small cauldron.
Thank you for clarifying aspects of the smudging ritual. Particularly returning the ash to the soil. At times I have felt the need to smudge my apartment area and have used sage.
We are so blessed by partaking in this ancient ritual. Take time and feel where the energy lies around us and in our homes. The television is a huge energy source and I have found needs smudging as often as you can to lift the energy that accumulates around it. I am not one to have it on often but I share my home so find lifting that energy is my answer. A peaceful home car body is a beautiful way to go. I always enjoy your articles. Thank you. Mirri
Love this article. Thank you for sharing.
I think you haven’t given incomplete or incorrect information here in the blog and if I may suggest doing a bit more research. To many of the native people (I speak more about Saskatchewan and Alberta) your prescribed use of sweet grass goes against beliefs as I’ve been told.
The use of sage is primarily for cleaning, to cleanse oneself before spiritual practice, to cleanse yourself before ceremony or before starting the day, or to cleanse a space, I understand some B.C. First Nations people will also use a candle to “light up” a space in addition to sage. But mostly I believe the smoke is to displace negative energies.
The use of sweet grass is used primarily to create a link or open channel to a “creator” (or God or whatever your word for higher power is). This would be used at a funeral, in ceremony after sage is burnt to cleanse the space first, or if you were in despair and seeking to channel higher realms. it would be disrespectful to higher powers and to the sacredness of the sweet grass to burn it for the purpose of making the room smell good, or for simple practice, often meditation wouldn’t be deemed the right time, but that varies from community.
White sage is used as well as Buffalo grass sweet grass and other varieties.
Tobacco has a wide variety of uses, but its primary I believe is to send wishes or words to the creator in the heavens through the smoke from the tobacco pipe.
Again, this is what I have learned from the indigenous people in sask, I do not speak for them all
Thank you! This reminded me of what my abuela used to do ,long ago
In Havana,Cuba.She said the smudge would “clear the air”.
and the herbs were so fresh and aromatic!I am going to try this
thanks Nick for that native prayer, it’s beautiful!
I’m into smudging and will use that now.
With love and light
Om Om Om
How are you planning on creating your special smudge stick? Thank you for your clear direction on preparation and performance of the smudging process.
I have attended smudgings but never performed one myself. I now have the supplies and you have given me the knowledge and the confidence. Thank you
THANK YOU so much for your inspiring, loving mails dear Nick
Where does one find sweet grass, white sage and an eagle feather? Can another type of feather be used knowing each bird signifies a particular meaning.
Please know that if you are not Native American, it is a federal offense to be in possession of an eagle feather- $10,000 fine (that is if caught, of course). Turkey feathers are used by people I know who are not Dakota/Lakota/Nakota or as he says, use your hand to produce the wind.
I learned to smudge 25 years ago when I began to participate in Lakota Sioux ceremonies. White sage was used to smudge the people, the pipe, the area. Sweet grass was used inside the sweat lodge before the ceremony and then when the ceremony began cedar was gently placed on the hot stones as they were placed on the fire pit. The cedar is spiritual protection. Sweet grass invites all spirits. Cedars protects and insures that only high-intentioned spirits enter the lodge.
Thank you for sharing the cleansing ritual and the prayer
l like to know what is Native American name of Cleansing Ritual
Just what I needed! I am new to smudging – never done it before but have a smudging ‘kit’ & am anxious to clear any negative energies in our new home! Thank you!!!
Thank you for sharing this… please let us know how the smudging goes with your family next week.
Thankyou for sharing this deep profound and wise knowledge. IM Aboriginal to Australia,and we use the gum leaf to smoke ourselves,people and others in the same manner. Its a very purifying experience.
I try to smudge on a daily basis. It helps me when i have all these negative thoughts. It helps my anxiety level go down when i am nervous about things.
Thank you for sharing this entry. I have been using white sage for decades in my morning meditation and quiet time, occasionally along with a singing bowl. It clears the space and allows for a smoother entry into the inner world for me. Besides, I like the smell and play of the smoke as it rises in the air.
I truly enjoy the information you shared. I’ve been smudging for years now and wasn’t aware you could release the ash to the earth. I was taught to burn it in a sacred fire. Thank you for the additional knowledge. Aho
Thank you, this is great information, I learned a great deal.
Thank you! It is finally clear to me how to do a smudging. I love this pieces of wisdom that you share with all of us. May you always be inspired!
I had just been thinking that as spring is upon us and I am clearing out all the clutter and drew stuff in my life. I feel that smudging is exactly what is called for. I do have some copal from my aunt from Mexico and sage. Thank you for the reminder. Peace. Nya
I love copal!!
How do you mix it w the sage?
I don’t know why but just reading about this gives me peace. Would love to start doing this how do I get all I need.?
I admire all the work you are doing and the information you are giving to stay connected with our natural elements. Thank you!
Namaste Nick. Being spiritual is sharing what you know with joy and with integrity. I honour your sharing with all of us and awakening within us what we already know. Thank you for nudging us to remember who we are. Your blogs touch me deeply and urge me to start ‘doing’ what I know. Blessings to you and your family.
Hi,I come from middle eastern Persian culture, and always thought we were pretty spiritual,we also share same tridition of burning incents but shamans
Are really going deeper in spritual sense! It’s impressive I’ll do it their way next time,,
Thanks for the article Nick,,
I guess Smudging seems to come naturally to some of us.
I started smudging, albeit a little differently, with the use of certain aromatic kitchen herbs, in freshly-dried, whole form some years ago. It just felt like the “right” thing to do then. I always enjoyed the smells and loved watching the smoke, and where it went.
I use Sagebrush (Artemesia spp.) because it grows very commonly in my part of the world. I have found Sagebrush to be very connected with Earth and Earth energies. Probably explains why it is so powerful, especially for cleansing and summoning spirits. Many people confuse Sagebrush with actual (edible) “Sage” (Salvia spp.), but they are NOT the same! Sagebrush (Artemesia) can be toxic if ingested, because it has a high concentration of Juglones and other strong Terpenes. Sagebrush is related to Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris), Wormwood (or “Absinthe”, Artemesia absinthium), some species of “Dusty Miller” (some are genus Artemesia, and some are Centauria).
I have also use smoldering Cinnamon sticks (once I can get them to do so), but confined spaces may make Cinnamon a bit strong to use. So, you may want to do short sessions with it in those environments.
You may also use dried Rose petals, especially at weddings and hand-fastings! I LOVE the smell of Rose petal.
Thank you for a most wonderful article on Smudging! I was about to write an essay on the subject, to include some of the wonderful characteristics of certain herbs when they are burned. You may also consider some of our favorite “woods”, as it is still common practice to use fragrant woodchips for barbeque seasonings when burned. So why not also use them in smudge mixes???
– Jim (Rev. Dragon’s Eye)
They “assume” you killed the bird to get those feathers (unless you have a B.I.A. card). It is really a crying shame that we have so many “laws” against “possession”, without even getting to the facts about one procures those feathers.
I am fortunate enough to live in an area where we see Eagles, Hawks, Falcons, lots of Crows, and Owls. Once in a while, I do find a dropped feather or two, but I try to be discrete about gathering them. They are also sacred to my personal practices, and I always appreciate the things they teach me.
I just want to say thanks so much for bringing this amazing information to light. I suffer with constant pain and hate to take pharmaceutical drugs. I recently studied aromatherapy and became certified as I find essential oils absolutely amazing. What you are doing is as much amazing if not more. I’m behind you all the way in this amazing journey. Thanks again……PAM
Nick, I have been using smudging as a cleansing tool for a long time and was glad to learn about parts of my ceremony that could use some attention.
Thanks for sharing!
I had a vision the other night of a great white elk and a Indiana man on a horse side by side. They stood high up on a plateau in the middle of the grand canyon (At least a great canyon) and no one could reach them. The wind blow strong moving his hair and a white feather in it. His face was painted black from beneath his nose up to his forehead. He stared straight ahead in the wind not flinching. I circled like a hawk or an eagle, around and around until came so close I Iooked right into his eye. I felt I might be that Indian man.
This is a vision I had like many, but this is one of them since going to Standing Rock.
Thank you Nick! I appreciate this article, your film and your work. Beautiful.
I have always smudged but never had a good prayer until now…thanks…
Really wanted a Native one because I have a little Chippewa in me, I just think they’re most in touch with nature and animals.
White Sage? Where can I find a source to trust to get seeds to grow white sage?
Most of what is sold online is fake.
Thanks for the reminder to smudge Nick. For some reason I stopped smudging years ago. It’s time to start again… I enjoyed your blog.
I’m asking for a healing of a tumor in my bile duct.
I started w craniosacral bodywork helping me to release old wounds and a lot of grief in the emotional body. I plan to start CBD oil very soon. I welcome any suggestions for further healing.
Is smudging an appropriate blessing for a newly-constructed house?
Thank you for your wonderful knowledge on Smudging. This has always been a wonder to me as I know it works and now, perhaps this will be my pleasure too. Great to cleanse ones space….and ones yard and garden! Blessings
Thank you for this. I’ve been told that when smudging a whole house (including multiple stories/levels) that you do it in a particular order. Would you care to comment on that?
Thank you very much for bringing a wider prospective to this ancient practice… As many of us know, we are energy and we create energy….. for good and for bad. From there on we can take this great tool to realign or clean our inner and outer spaces…
Thanks again and have a great day,
I have a question regarding smudging, and hoping someone could answer it. I have never smuggled my home – didn’t know about it before now, and I’m interested in doing it. So, my question is where to start – the entrance first and then move throughout my home – is there an order? Thanks!
thank you for this wonderful technique. I have almost forgotten about it.
I want to know if the cleansing ritual is based in Jesus Christ… Because without Christ it’s worthless..
I been smugging for a few years I always inhale it through my mouth an nose seem to help me internal and external..just so healing…my 20 yrs old daughter has cancer she has been smugging any time s she need or fill negative energ…
Thank you for the information on smudging. Our daughter has a rare form of cancer in her left sinus cavity. After a 16 hour surgery and has more surgeries in the future she has had 26 radiation treatments. Clearing the negative energy from her body and home is my only mission. We have smudged before but your information gives me a better understanding and I am sure it will help.
I will follow your smudging routine and add one saying that my sisters Indian guides gave her.
“ let nothing but good come to me and nothing but good go from me”
As a being of light l seem to attract all kinds but when entities were shaking my children’s beds l needed more then what l had.Today l smudge people, homes,pets anything l can get my smudge on.
Just recently l had asked Creator for the correct information to come to me as l need it and bam! Here it is! Every time,without fail.l am truly blessed.
This prayer completely resonates with me also, so thank you very much.
Hello dear thanks for your advice. I am Italian I would like to carry out these purification too I need to cleanse myself and my house is my children. I do not know where to find these sweet herbs. You can give me some more tips on the herbs that I can find with more ease. Thank you thank you
Thank you for this information especially the reminder of the 4 elements present in the implements that are used.I was taught the gift of smudging by 2 different teachers, one suggested using Californian white sage,(smells heavenly) and the other cedar leaves. Also the use of sweetgrass for harmony and copal for empowering. Smudging is a powerful and beautiful purifyer. thank you.
My husband and I have a metaphysical store. I smudge every morning, before we open. To cleanse our space and bring in positive energy for the day. I was taught that after you rid the space of negative energy, that you need to fill the space with a spray, such as Flordia water. So the negative does not refill the space . I find smudging brings a very powerful and peaceful energy to ourselves and our store and our customers.
Wonderful. I need to do more off. I can sell the sweet grass.
I noticed the author keeps mentioning eagle feathers…fyi, if you’re not an enrolled tribal member you can be charged with a crime for possessing eagle feathers or eagle parts, so the author might wanna stop bragging about his eagle feather that a Lakota elder supposedly gifted him.
I love smudging clearing all the negative energy that gets stored within spaces.
I use Frankincense/ Myrh also Sage.
I enjoyed the article on smudging and I am going to try smudging for the first time, I am 70. I believe I do need to do it, how often can you smudge a place? What are some things to burn.
I am glad I hesitated as our great spirits don’t lie. I felt the negative vibes from you Nick… your company, and employees need to practice what you preach and not steal native tribes ways violating the native treaties across all tribes of Mother Earth like you and your staff did me in the shamanic class I did with you prior. We as individual tribes as well as a entire native of tribes can sue all as all violate and steal our ways just like Elizabeth Warren stole identity many others do. It is actually a crime against our treaties. One must have a certain thing for our great gifts of sacred practices. I made sure all who protected the water protectors of the Lakota tribes of North and South Dakotas. I did my shamanic works across this nation and world to even the Amazon tribes of Brazil as my sacred prayers
I am deeply concerned about all of the inaccuracies in this article, as well as the fact that you are encouraging cultural appropriation. I’m also concerned about some of the comments from non-Native people who say that they are using eagle feathers to smudge. It is a federal crime for non-Native people to have eagle feathers in their possession (even if it was gifted to you by a Native person.) -Sincerely, an enrolled member of a Federally recognized tribe
Thanks for what you do. You are ever inspiring and enlightening for me.
How can find a shuman to do a soul cleansing
Came to learn about smudging and got a smack in the face message from my dead dad “Billy”
( that was my dads name) I was literally crying this moring ‘asking for a sign’ about my arthritis pain…
I arrived here by the grace of God . Holy
you have no idea.
Here to learn about smudging. Thank you fo that too!
& all these lovely comments- Blessed you be.
overwhelmed with love,
Glad this offering resonates with you and facilities some revelations for you!
Love the content. Love to be part of it- how can I?
Thank you for all the wisdom you share in your emails. I live in Minneapolis Minnesota and I am very lucky to be surrounded by beautiful lakes, nature, and a strong community of like minded people. Recently they changed the name of a lake back to the Indian name. It was called Lake Calhoun (named after Pro-slavery Vice President) to Bda Maka Ska – which means White Earth Lake).
Again – thank you for sharing in a way that everyone can understand.
If you are every called to visit Minneapolis, check out Lake Harriet Spiritual Community. We have guest speakers that talk about a multitude of healing modalities.
True, realistic and profound article to me, especially the prayer. Thanks much.
I learn once to créate smudging bundles. It is a great experience to connect with the invisible intelligence of nature.
I find that a simple prayer from the heart works wonders. No need for any rituals.
This is very informative. I’m Grateful for this information as I’ve smudged many times, I’ve depended on my inner knowing (which is in alignment of these instructions) it’s nice to have guidance. 🙏💥❣️🌹
I generally really like your blogs. Lots of good information and explanation.
Not sure if this blog about smudging is appropriate — it’s more like appropriation. I don’t know all the details, but the way the article reads it seems to me to be cultural appropriation. Maybe you’ve had traditional teachers or knowledge has been passed on to you, but the blog doesn’t speak to that. And writing an article or blog about this is not how First Nation ancestors would share the knowledge. It’s not your knowledge to share.
I am non-Indigenous. It would be good to not overstep your boundaries. If someone has shown you how to smudge then it makes sense for you to do it for yourself. However, that doesn’t mean that you own the knowledge and can share it with whomever and however you want. That would be more of a Euro-American perspective that is blind to privilege, oppression and dominance. I believe your heart is in the right place — you want to share healing practices that could help others. Short-term cultural appropriation is not the best thing in the world, in the long-run. We need to have boundaries.
Hi i do smudge and say a small prayer but will use this short prayer of yours from now on especially when am doing y fasting
Excellent article Nick! Thanks for the detailed description on how to smudge and the spiritual significance of it. I found it so interesting to read how the smoke moves differently as it touches different objects and people. I actually bought an abalone shell and sage stick last year with the intention of lighting it but have had some hesitation about using it. After reading this article, I definitely will give it a go.
Much appreciate this giving of love from you dear nick
Thanks Nick. I do have sweet grass that I burn and smudge myself with. Now I have a prayer I can use to speak while doing my smudge. Thank you.
If you ever have an opportunity to participate a native sweat lodge, please do. It is very spiritual, connecting to love ones, and to Mother Earth.