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SWEETGRASS

The following information on sweetgrass was handed down to me by my maternal grandparents as well as other medicine elders. This is simply how I was taught and raised to believe. If for some reason you disagree or feel offended, all I can say is that the following is for informational purposes and you are left to make your own conclusions; do what feels best for you. I am not trying to preach or force my system of belief upon anyone.

Sweet Grass has been used for thousands of years by Indigenous tribes of North America. Sweetgrass is used in "smudging" oneself, objects and dwellings. In itself, it offers blessings, protection, calling of spirits, peace of mind and purification.

Ladies, please remember that if you are on your "Moon Time" please do not touch nor smudge with sweetgrass. Please do not feel insulted by this. When women are on their "Moon Time" they are very powerful. It is a time life and death (in a spirital context) and thus, we should not handle sweetgrass as this can interfere with its energies. During our moon time, we can still smudge, female sage can be used. As well don't use the male sage to smudge if you are on your moon time -- this is for similar reasons as mentioned earlier.

Sweet Grass maybe used in making protective pouches, in cleansing rituals, as an offering to the Ancestors/Divinity, offering up of prayers, calling of spirits and so forth.

Methods of Use

When a person picks sweetgrass, they will braid it and let it dry. The smallest end of the sweetgrass braid is ignited by a match (some people will not use lighters, I use whatever I have available, if it's matches, fine, if not, a lighter will do - work with what you got). The smoke is then gently fanned towards your face and heart/chest area. The whole body may be smudged as well. Make sure you use some sort of fire proof container to catch the ashes. My grandparents didn't use a cast iron cauldron, instead, they used a tiny black cast iron frying pan (which my mom inherited). The lil frying pan works great, it's soooooo easy smudging a house with it because it has a good solid handle.

As mentioned earlier, your home or other objects can be smudged with sweetgrass as well. Always smudge in a clockwise direction when using sweetgrass. Vehicles may be smudged, as well as tarot cards/runes/etc, ritual tools. The possibilities are endless.

Whenever my immediate family & extended family travel on long trips somewhere; the vehicles are smudged and prayed over(we always pray for a safe trip, no accidents, mechanical problems etc). Then, every member of the family smudges. We always have a braid of sweetgrass on our dashboard or we form it into a circle and hang it from our rearview mirror.

So, what can a lady do if she's planning on traveling somewhere and is unable to smudge herself or her vehicle with sweetgrass? She can smudge with female sage, or many other resins/incense (such as frankincense, myrrh, copal and so on).

Where To Get Sweetgrass

People often ask me where they obtain some sweetgrass. If you are lucky, you may know of someone who picks it and you can trade for sweetgrass. Tobacco and cloth are traditionally given. If not, try some occult shops, ask around at pow-wow's (some venders have been known to have some for sale). Some native people are become offended regarding people selling sweetgrass or sage. I can understand that point of view to a certain point, I mean if you do it in a disrespectful manner, "clear cut" the area where you pick it and so on; then it's sacredness is lost/diminished. However, you are are in need of it, and the only place you can get sweetgrass is at some local occult shop; then go for it! I see absolutely nothing wrong with buying sweetgrass from a reputable merchant. When you stop to consider that the "money" you are "trading" for it; came to to you by you "trading" your time working at a job for money; then you take that money that you traded your time for and trade it for sweetgrass = a "good trade" in my opinion.

If at all possible store sweetgrass on a higher shelf, I store it on my wall unit. I was taught not to leave lying around anywhere, particularly below waist level. (If you are sitting on the ground for some type of ceremony, make sure that you have some sort of cloth for the sweetgrass to lay on).

Other Tidbits on Sweetgrass

Sweetgrass is also known as Fragrant Bedstraw, and was used in europe to fill mattresses.

Don't "throw" or "toss" around any type of sacred material, including sweetgrass, as it's seen as being disrespectful.

Some cats love the smell of sweetgrass and will go ga-ga over it, keep an eye on puddy tat ("I thought I saw a puddy tat, I did I did!" haha, sorry couldn't resist that one!)

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