What is Smudging?
Sounds like a dirty word, huh? Smudging. "Wanna go out 'Smudging tonight?' Uh, I don't thinks so....
Well, what is it?
How do we do it?
And finally, Why do we do it?
A common definition is: "Smudging is a traditional (ceremonial) Native American method of burning sacred herbs to produce a smoke cloud which is used in various cleansing or prayer ceremonies and purification or healing rituals." This ceremonial ritual is sometimes known as the 'Sacred Smoke Bowl Blessing'.
The theory and belief behind smudging is that the smoke attaches itself to negative energy and as it clears it takes the negative energy with it, releasing it into another space to be regenerated.
Virtually every Native American tribe in North America practiced smudging in one form or another. Years ago, while giving a 'Show-and-Tell' talk to a group of middle schoolers, complete with artifacts and information about the Chumash Indians in Southern California, the subject of smudging came up. I'd shown them a bundle of White Sage and a smudging fan and mentioned this fact. And sure enough, one astute young ten year old asked "Well how did all the Indians in the United States invent it at the same time?"
A very good question.
The answer of course is that they didn't.
This practice was handed down to them over the millenia by their common ancestors.
"Smudging" and 'Burning Incense" share a common origin and belief. That the smoke from certain herbs and plants 'When used in the proper manner and Ceremony', held healing, purification and spiritual powers.
And so it may.
So, without arguing the point, I'd encourage you to explore the subject further by checking out some of the links shown below. Let me know what you think and perhaps I'll respond with MY thoughts and beliefs on this subject.
- Spirit Discovery
- Cherokee Spirituallity
- What is Smudging?
Click HERE for a slideshow detailing how I make these replica smudge fans.