Smudging is a cultural ceremony practiced by a wide variety of Indigenous peoples in Canada and other parts of the world. Although practices differ, smudging is used to medicinal and practical purposes as well as for spiritual ceremonies.
The practice generally involves prayer and the burning of sacred medicines, such as sweetgrass, cedar, sage, and tobacco. The practice of smudging has survived to the present day.
When a room or place is being smudged, the smoke is directed around the location, while the person conducting the ceremony prays for the negative energy to leave and for positive energy to remain. The ashes of the burned medicinal herbs are not discarded in a typical garbage receptacle; rather, the are put outside, onto the earth, to signify that negative energy is placed outside of our lives.
The most common smudging herbs are:
SAGE - For driving out negativity and for healing, white sage is preferred.
CEDAR - Drives out negative icky energy and brings in positive balance influences.
SWEETGRASS - Is used for blessing after sage has been used brings in the good spirits and the good influences.
MUGWORT - Is a variety of Sage (Artemisia vulgaris); used to promote physical wellbeing, endurance, and protection.