To smudge is to pray. When we, as Indigenous people, burn our medicines, we are praying. While I cannot speak for all Indigenous nations, generally our spirituality encompasses Creator, Grandmother moon, Grandfather Sun and Mother Earth. Likewise, we attribute much spirituality to the animals - especially the Eagle.
The context behind the Eagle parallels with the spirituality of smoke from our burning medicines, sacred fires and pipes. That is, smoke goes up and the Eagle is the animal that flies the highest. What can travel closest or to the Spirit World or Sky World is sacred and is used as a connection to communicate our prayers of gratitude, worries and intentions.
To smudge is to wash away residual negative effects of thoughts and behaviours by you or those you surround yourself with.
While we should always aim to walk our path practicing seven teachings: respect, honesty, bravery, wisdom, love, humility, truth - sometimes we are presented with challenges that make us deviate from our path. Sometimes we create the challenges and other times the people we surround ourselves present us with challenging actions and words.
To smudge is to renew and refresh; from sickness. Sickness is manifested in many ways; physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. It is taught that one type of illness is a result of not being healthy in the one or all of the other 3 ways. For example, if you are physically ill, it comes from not being spiritually, mentally and emotionally healthy.
Negative energies can come from you (anxiety, stress, worry) or it can come to you from others. Negative energies can also come from the spirit world as I've been told, but it is in our translation of those energies that we become the carriers of the negativity.
Teachings on both the medicine wheel and seven Grandfather teachings differ from community to community. Do your research from your own territory, consult your Elders. If you do not have connections to your own territory, use traditional and authentic teaching resources to the best of your ability and adapt them to suit your needs. Walk in a kind way, respect others, be honest and speak the truth, love everyone you encounter and most of all, love yourself and remain humble.
South | Sweetgrass | Emotional Health
Burning sweetgrass is aromatic, calming and comforting, promoting emotional health and sits in the south. It reminds us of community; the love, kindness and kinship that we should have for ourselves and others. It is the sacred hair of Mother Earth - one strand if fragile but a braid of it is strong and unbreakable; unity and respect.
You can make your own smudge kit. You do not have to buy any tools for this spiritual gesture.
You can use a dish, bowl or pan instead of a shell. Creator is not judging what you use - it's what is in your heart - it's your good intentions that matter.
Our kits contain sage, a large (4-7") Abalone Shell, Feather Bundle, Smudge Prayer Card and Birch Basket.
You will get a gift of sage with your kit. We do not sell medicines.
Originally, our people traded with coastal nations for these shells. They were an ideal vessel to burn our medicines and contributed the element of water to our kits.
These shellfish are now protected in the U.S. and Canada due to overfishing in the 70's and 80's. The shellfish were in high demand as aphrodisiacs and were sold in restaurants as delicacies.
Abalone can be imported from countries that are farming or still have a healthy population and should always be ethically sourced.
It is unknown how these stands became part of our traditional smudge kit.
These stands or 'Cobra' stands are made in India. They are usually hand carved from one piece of wood. They are beautiful but are not traditional to our people.
For this reason, we are no longer offering the wooden stand with our smudge kits.
* kit no longer comes with this wooden stand.
Our birch baskets are made in Ontario from native birch trees.
They are strong and beautiful.
Each basket is different and measures about 22" long and 6" wide.
Baskets can be purchases separately ($30 + shipping).
'A Little Book of Smudge' and Smudge Cards with Envelopes
This smudge card is perfect to understand the process and spirituality of smudge.
Outside of the card is a smudge prayer. Inside the card is the explanation of the medicines and on the back are instructions on the traditional way of practicing your spirituality with burning medicines. Cards are printed on top quality 100% deckled edge paper with envelope.
Choose your medicines well and with care. Respect the medicines.
Our practice of smudging is not to be confused with what is done in many Pagan and New Age communities - that is where the definition has been adopted and modified.
It is my personal opinion that if you are doing something with good intentions and your actions do not cause physical, mental, spiritual or emotional to you or others, continue.
Burning any of Creator's medicines (plants) should be done carefully and with some authentic knowledge given to you by a knowing source.
This practice is not for sale, neither is Creator's medicines. Medicines are not to be wasted or overused. Keep them sacred.