How to Smudge using Sage

Uploaded by SAHolHealthFair on 05.12.2012


Hi. My name is Teresa Morales, and todayís talk is called Native American Smudge Ceremony. What Iím going to be sharing with you today is the very basics of smudging yourself and
smudging another. I've passed out these wonderful little decks
for everyone to follow along if you'd like too, and, in case I forget things.
In general, smudging has been with us for millennia. It has been around since the first
Shamans walked the earth. And when I say Shamans, I mean Shamans of all the original tribes
on the earth. There is a common thread through all of the Shamanic tribes and all of the
healers as Shamans, and that was to use herbs to cleanse, purify, and heal their people.
Smudging is one of the things that occurred and it arose out of the need of the people.
So then the healers and holy people would come up with something that would help the
people move forward, to cleanse themselves, to heal themselves.
In the old days, in the days when we still talked to plants, they would get information
from the plants as to what to use in different parts of the country and in different parts
of the world. The elders also taught that before a person
can be healed or heal another, one must be cleansed of any negative thoughts and energies,
both physically and spiritually. The smudging herbs that I am focusing on are
three, which are white sage, cedar, and sweet grass.
Those are the ones that I have been taught to use and are quite prevalent in other belief
systems. So sage, the Latin name is salvia. To be saved,
to purify is what it is translated from the Greek. It means to consecrate.
So, when you gather your sage, you gather your sage, youíre not picking your sage.
If you have the opportunity to do this and you can either dry it loosely as we have in
these bags over here or you can bundle it like this, which I did when I gathered my
own sage. It can cleanse a person, place, or thing.
It consecrates everything. It lifts negative energy. It will create sacred space. Thatís
one of the things I like about this. You instantly are there, present, and you can feel the medicine
of the plant begin to cleanse and change your perception and perspective.
Itís a gift of the earth in the West direction is what it is associated with, and it represents
creativity and strength. Now sage grows on mountainsides, and sometimes
it doesnít have a lot of water, so itís quite sturdy. It has to struggle to stay alive
at some point. I have two versions of sage. This one, which
I gathered when it was fully ripe and the leaves are full of resin. This one, that I
found somewhere, that I bought, it appears not to have as much resin in it.
Itís either still very young or there was not enough rain, and in which case, you wouldnít
be gathering it because you donít want to kill the plant. You donít want to take all
of its life. The next one that weíre going to talk about
is cedar, which I donít have a sample of but I do have a picture of a cedar bundle.
You use normally the flat cedar to use this. Cedar is used while praying, which carries
your prayers to Creator. And itís helpful in clarifying your intentions. It brings the
good influence of the air. Physically, it draws upon the earth energies and the divine
energies simultaneously. So, itís of a high spiritual nature. It is associated with the
South and the direction of the Soul. Our next herb, which is one of my favorites,
is Sweet grass. I actually have two live samples here. It has a wonderful sweet smell. You
would use it after using sage or cedar. This brings in the beauty and the sweetness
of life and joy, and it usually comes from Canada now. It used to be growing in the plains
but you find a lot of it in Canada. Itís called Holy Grass, Hair of the Mother,
and the braiding of it is the mind, body, and spirit.
When you are braiding it, those are the three things that you are focusing on. So you would
take it and burn it. It doesnít burn in the same way that sage
burns, which is quickly and hot. It burns a little cooler, but the wafting
of it takes a lot less to get there. You breathe that in and you just ìahhhhhhî. Sweet.
And tobacco is the fourth one. The tobacco that I speak of is the tobacco
that was grown by the Native Americans before the Europeans came.
This was a wild tobacco. It was uncontaminated by chemicals or additives
that we find in cigarettes today. It is believed to be pleasing to the Creator,
the scent of it, and it is associated with the East and the Sun, the rising Sun.
The next one is Copal. Copal is a resin, and this particular one
is from Mexico. It is found and used in Central and South
America. It was highly prized by the Mayan and the
Aztec like gold. It was of the gods.
They considered it to be of the gods, Gold of the Gods.
That is used after healing and is used for initiations and clearing. Anything you want
to clear. I like to burn it just because it lifts the
spirits in my home when I just burn a little bit of it.
And you use a charcoal which you have to light in order to be able to do that.
It wonít burn just on its own, you really have to have a constant heat on it to do that.
If you plan to mix your herbs, because there is another way to do this and that is to grind
your sage, cedar, and sweet grass and use it by lighting this and putting it on.
Then, if you wanted to add this onto it as adding more power to it, you would add this
last because it melts and it will just put out your other herbs.
Cleansing is about have you ever walked into a room and felt something heavy, something
icky , something not belonging or something in your room that seems to be heavier in one
area or another. Or walked into a building and felt that way.
And you couldnít stay there because it just didnít feel right.
Well, itís in need of saging, itís in need of cleansing.
Perhaps too many thought forms or someone with a lot of anger was there before you or
negative thought. So that can make you feel that way.
Or it could be in your home or even in your office if someone comes in and is angry and
is just dropping all kinds of negative stuff. You can cleanse your office with this and
make it lighter. A lot of people walk around with stuff like
that. It is also important to set a proper stage
and respect for the herbs that you are using. No phones or other distractions are always
good. The setting the stage part of it is to have
your feather fan, and have your sage. This is California White Sage, Cedar, which I donít
have a sample of, sweet grass, and tobacco. You have a shell or other container, because
there are some native peoples like the North Coast that honor the shell in a different
way as part of their belief system, so they use clay pots.
They donít like the mixing of fire and water. So, I have a shell that I put a little bit
of purified sand in, so that I donít burn myself should I choose to carry it, or I put
it in a wooden bowl. As you can see, itís got a little burn mark
on it. Those are the tools that you would need.
And wooden matches is what the traditional way is, but we are using a lighter today.
Itís easier. Traditionally though, thereís always a box
of matches. So a lot of us have been taught how to smudge,
but weíre not taught what it is you are actually doing through the motion of the smudging.
What your inner dialogue coulda, shoulda, woulda been.
Iím going to start with, Iím going to light the sage, and then Iím going to show you
how to you it for yourself if you are alone. If itís just you at home.
So when you are doing this by yourself, you are taking the smoke into your hands, and
you are washing your hands. This is just to clean yourself.
And then you are taking the smoke into your head, like this.
You cover yourself, you cover yourself like this.
So that you will think good thoughts and let go of the bad thoughts that may be lingering.
And then you take it into your eyes, so that you may see more clearly, perhaps a different
perception. And your throat that you may speak in kindness
at all times. And to my ears. The reason for the ears is
so that I may truly listen and not be waiting to speak and not really listening to the person
who has the floor or who is speaking. We are all guilty of that one. We are gotta
question, gotta question, gotta question. And bring it to your heart. When you bring
it to your heart, and you are by yourself, you can do this.
This is to bring your connectedness to all living things.
To all that is above, to all that is below. To the four directions, to all the people,
and all things. And then to your solar plexus, because this
is your connection to the Mother Earth, right in here.
And if you are a woman, you bring it to the womb as well.
Another important part is when you are smudging someone or someone is smudging you, is they
will ask you to lift your feet. So, itís important to lift your feet when
you are having your feet smudged. Both feet. And this is so that the dark side of your
soul and the world will not follow you in your footsteps.
Youíre getting rid of any negativity that youíve walked on, or is a part of you.
If youíre smudging with a feather, and this is using a fan, thinking the thoughts that
we just spoke of. And so you would begin by smudging the top
of your head. See youíre smudging the top of your head,
and your ears, your shoulders, and youíve already done your eyes, and youíre working
down. And working down all the way, and you get
your feet, which sometimes is a challenge if you canít hold your balance.
And the other thing is you do this. You must get your arms, front and back.
Itís very important because of all the things we touch with our hands, and as healers, and
as energy workers, itís important to keep that.
And then you go around this way, trying to get the back, down, and then bring it around.
Now, in order to smudge another person, weíre going to start with her head, and her arms
will be held out. So we start facing forward. Iím going to
start at the top of the head and the sides. Her ears, her eyes, her throat, her heart,
all the chakras all the way down. Can you lift one of your feet? Itís important
to get the foot. And now the other foot.
And now I want to do your arms. I should have done them earlier.
So you are going to flick. And now Iíd like you to turn clockwise, or
sun wise, as we call it. So again, we are starting at the top, making
sure that everything is clean. And you work it all the way down.
And if there are places, lift your foot, now the other one.
And if there are places where you have feltÖ So you want to smooth out the aura, or the
personal space. If during this process, you start to feel
that there are places that need a little bit more work, theyíre a little bit denser, then
you can go back and gently just take them out.
So, I always like to work and put extra into the heart space because we all need extra
work in the heart space. And then at the end of it, I like to touch
the crown, your connection to sky, Creator. And when Iím finished, I go over and I flick
this to make sure itís clean. And youíre done.
So that is how you do it. Now there are other ways of doing it.
Iíve seen people start from the feet up. So, I wanted to demonstrate the way I was
taught and a few things I learned along the way.
There are many different ways and among the tribes they have a slightly different way
of doing everything. There directions on the Medicine Wheel may
be different colors. The language they use is different.
But the spark of the Divine Guidance for the purpose of doing it is a thread of continuity
throughout all the tribes.