|Description: Smudges are one of the ways by which people around the globe are reconnecting with the pwer of Mother Earth.
The use of plant and resin smoke possibly evolved out of the primordial campfires from distant caves. The ceremony of cleansing people, places and objects through smoke is continued today. Not only good for keeping pesky flying insects away certain plant smokes (smudges) could preserve food and hides. Some smudges could also impart protection from unseen spirits and thoughts. To apply the protective cleansing power of a smudge a leaf or resin was heated to make smoke that was brushed over the person or object often with a feather fan. Some plant smokes had specific healing properties while others more generic powers.
The smudge smoke is made either by spreading dry herbs on hot coals or hot rocks or igniting dry hers in a clay bowl or shell.
Desert sage grows on the high desert of the West. It is traditionally used in ceremonies and included in medicine pouches and bundles. Sage is burned in smudging ceremonies to drive out bad spirits, feelings or influences. The leaves are valued for their aromatic properties and are used as a natural moth repellent. Sage can be used in numerous ways. Native Americans of the Plains Nations cover the floor of their sweat lodges with sage. They will also breathe through a small bundle of sage and at times rub the bundle on their bodies while in the sweat lodge.
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