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White Sage - used in Smoke Cleansing: burn to purify, clear, and cleanse.
Palo Santo - this “Holy Wood” is native to South America and was frequently used instead of sage for purifying, cleansing, and in healing work.
Sweetgrass - a sacred herb which when burned helps to call in beauty, harmony and “sweet” positive energy - frequently used after burning sage or palo santo to fill the now cleared space with positive intentions. Often used before prayers or ceremonies to invite "good spirits", and to strengthen the ties of a group or community.
Abalone Shell - used to catch falling ash and embers. The inclusion of shell in smudging is to invite in all aspects of the Medicine Wheel representing our connection with the sacred natural world. Each direction of the Medicine Wheel can be associated with the 4 Elements.
North: Earth, the sage and herbs used in smudging
East: Air, the sacred smoke that rises to carry away negativity
South: Fire, the element that burns the sage and herbs to release its power
West: Water, the abalone shell with its connections to the cleansing sea
Smudging vs Smoke Cleansing
Smudging is the ritual practice sacred to Native American traditions. It is a time-honored and long-fought for tradition steeped in cultural spiritual belief and history.
Smoke Cleansing is the general practice used by many cultures across the world, of symbolically burning plants, herbs, or resins for the purpose of purifying, cleansing and blessing sacred spaces, homes, businesses, implements or people.
When lit, the smoke of the burning sage helps to carry away negative energies.