If you don’t know what smudging is, it’s a native cleansing technique of burning herbs for emotional, psychic or spiritual purification.
I was first introduced to smudging by Melody, a friend in California, who has a strong connection to native traditions. I hadn’t been around it much at all in the years since, and was so pleased when the opportunity arose to revisit it.
The Glooscap Heritage Center near Truro, NS is a regular stop on my Caravan Tours, where we learn about the Mi’kmaq history and culture. On this particular visit, though, no one was available to sing for us… so in trying to think what else we could offer up to my guests, I asked the staff if we could maybe do a smudging ceremony. They said it would take too long to smudge everyone (and perhaps not everyone would be into it) – so I suggested they just do a demonstration and smudge me. They agreed.
Heather and Jeff lit some dried sage leaves in an abalone shell and got them smoking. Then Heather walked us all through the process, as I wafted the smoke onto my own eyes, ears, mouth, heart, and over my head, to cleanse my visions, sounds, words, feelings and thoughts of negativity. Then she used an eagle feather to waft the smoke over my whole body, top to bottom, front and rear.
I have to honestly admit: my day was better after that.
A LOT better.
Lately, for a variety of personal reasons, I’ve been increasingly open to beliefs in things we humans can’t see. I’m establishing a spiritual practice of sorts. And I gotta say: a variety of things I am reading, thinking, feeling and experiencing are really making a difference in my life. So, I was very grateful to have the unique opportunity to get smudged.
Burning sage smoke to purify myself? Heck yeah…. bring it on. Peace, everyone.