Eagle Spirit Ministry

Spiritual Development Course #2

  Lesson Thirteen-Smudging

A Second 12 part Spiritual development Class.

Presented By



2002 Indigo Bridge Cooperative

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Native American ceremonies are entered with an open heart, so one may be guided by the spirits to enter the sacred realm. Our Native American Elders each taught that in the healing process, the cleansing of participants and the environment of destructive spirits is essential.

Many Elders believe that before one may be healed he must be cleansed of any bad feelings, negative thoughts, bad spirits or negative energy. This helps the healing come through in a clear way without being distorted or sidetracked by negative energy in either the healer or the patient.

Certain herbs, commonly sage, sweet grass, and/or cedar are burned to purify the spiritual and physical presence. The botanical name for true sage is Salvia Officinalis, Garden Sage; or Salvia Apiana, White Sage. Other combinations of herbs available on a regional basis are also used. Dried Lavender is one example.

The herbs are dried and then burned in a shallow pottery bowl or shell. They may also be tied in a bundle forming a 'stick'. Often a feather fan is used to facilitate directing the smoke and burning of the herb. The drier the herb, the more likely it will burn easily. White Sage, grown in the Western US burns more readily than the Garden Sage. Garden Sage is easily grown and dried. Both varieties of dried Sage may be purchased at many new thought bookstores, and Native American shops.

One's physical body or a space such as a home, sacred place or office may be cleared by smudging. Even the woods seem to appreciate being smudged (being careful not to ignite a fire).

  The Process

First, bless the sage or herb by placing your palms a few inches from it and directing clear positive energy into it.

If one wishes prosperity, healing or clearing, focus your thoughts on whichever and 'charge' the smudging material with that energy. This is a crucial process.

Next, if the material is loose, place it in a pottery bowl or shallow dish and ignite it. Blowing on it or using a fan may be necessary at first. A loose grouping of material in a bowl seems to burn better than a tightly packed pile.

If you are using a smudge stick, usually tied together with thread or string, light the end and again blow on it or fan it, until it begins to show red embers and creates smoke. Normally small red embers will 'jump' from the herb so be careful not to burn someone or something.

  Smudging A Person

If smudging a person, direct the smoke starting at the head over and down the front of the body allowing it to clear and cleanse the body.

Once the entire front of the body has been smudged, ask the person to turn and smudge the back of the body. Many prefer to pull the smoke toward the face or area they sense needs more cleansing. Allow this if it's needed.

Be conscious not to use too much smoke as sage has a pungent odour, much like Marijuana. For some it may be overpowering. Use it sparingly if they have an adverse reaction to the smoke. Once the negative has been cleared, I ask the person to close their eyes and fill their mind and space with positive energy or thoughts. This fills the void created by clearing the negative.

When smudging a group, a circle is a very powerful way to proceed.

  If you are smudging in preparation for a specific task you may like to consider a smudging blend.
Smudging Blends
  Author Unknown
courtesy of 'A Druid and Witches Cauldron.'

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