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Native American Smudging Ceremony

Article by special contributor Shane Smith

Items you will need to perform this ceremony are as follows:

Sage Herb
  1. Bundle of dried white sage
  2. Bundle of dried cedar
  3. A braid of Sweet grass
  4. Stone or Earthen bowl
  5. Small amount of sand
  6. A large feather
  7. An open mind and heart

All items except open mind and heart can be purchased on line or through your local herbal shop.

You should pick a time when you are least likely to be interrupted while performing this ceremony as it is a lengthy one and does require your complete attention. To begin with, I recommend you smudge yourself and those around you before you begin your home. It would not do to smudge your home only to find out that the negative energy was attached to you the entire time. Start by putting about an inch of sand in your stone or earthen bowl and lighting your sage bundle. Now your bundle should smolder not flame up, if it goes out during the ceremony just stop right where you are and relight it. Do not blow on it to keep it burning, this can be seen as blowing negativity into the sacred herb. Place it in your bowl using your feather start at your left foot and fan the smoke around you as your work your way up and over your body go over your head and down the right side of your body to your right foot closing the circle. Do the same for all involved in the ceremony or home. Always works best if you have help smudging yourself.

To start your home, begin at the entrance to your home with your back to the home and start to your left fanning the smoke towards the walls and corners as you slowly make your way around your home. If you come to a room, just keep working around to the left till you come back out of that room, same with closets and cupboards. Ịf you come to a stairwell work your way up or down the stairs to the next level and do the same there as on the first floor until you have worked your way back to the entrance to your home. As you reach the entrance, envision the negative energy being pushed from the home and close the circle by going back to where you began.

Now extinguish the white sage and clean out any ashes from your bowl. Light your cedar bundle and follow the same steps as above. Remember to clean out the ashes before the next sacred herb is placed in the bowl.

Finally you will light the sweet grass braid to complete the ceremony. While doing the sweet grass I often say a prayer for peace, harmony and love to replace the turmoil and negative energy that was in the home. Not a required step, but one that I find helps. If the spirits are particular strong ones or of an evil nature, you may need to perform the ceremony more than once to rid your home of them, otherwise smudging with the sweet grass braid every few months should keep the positive energies freely flowing.

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