Sweetgrass has a sweet, long-lasting aroma that is often used at the beginning of Native American prayer, smudging or purifying ceremonies and is considered a sacred plant. Sweetgrass Braids are burned to bring an abundance of positive energy.
It is usually braided, dried, and burned. Sweetgrass braids smoulder and don't produce an open flame when burned. Just as the sweet scent of this natural grass is attractive and pleasing to people, so is it attractive to good spirits.
Smudging with Sweetgrass is easy; the smoke from burning sweetgrass is fanned onto people, objects or areas. You can even smudge your beautiful human body by washing your eyes, ears, heart and body with the smoke.
When smudging with sweetgrass allow yourself to be enveloped by the healing, peace, and spirituality that Sweetgrass brings.
Sweetgrass pairs perfectly with sage or Palo Santo to ward off negative influences.
What you will need:
- Multi-Purpose Lighter (also known as a "the blow torch" or candle lighter around my place): If you try to do this with a small, regular lighter, you may burn your hand as this requires a strong flame so it catches and smoulders.)
- Non-Flammable Container - I use an Abalone Shell to catch the embers when smudging. You can purchase one here or use a pyrex bowl even.
How to properly light your braid of sweetgrass:
- Cut off the end of the braid. (You want to cut off the end that is a little more dried out and has less green in it.)
- Recycle, placing your cut off end somewhere special outside, don't just throw it away (it's a beautiful, special plant).
- Light the cut end of the braid by holding it in the flame and gently rotating the braid.
- Blow on the lit end.
- Gently shake the braid around your area (and use just like you would with other smudge sticks and wands.)
- The braid will burn by producing smoke, there should be no flame.
To put it out:
- Stamp it against the side of your non-flammable container.
Did you know? In many Native cultures, braids of sweetgrass are sometimes left as offerings at graves and sacred sites.
The Latin name for sweetgrass is "hierchloe odorata" which translates literally as "sacred grass" and is found both in Europe and America. There are many Northern European traditions associated with it that are similar to the Native American/North American ceremonial usages - for the scent and for use in spirituality and prayer. In North America, it is found across Canada and as far south in America as the state of New Mexico.
Source | North America
Size | 50cm length approx