|Cleansing Your Spirit Native American Style
In today’s modern world there never seems to be enough time. We rush from the time we get up until the time we go to bed. We battle traffic, work, deadlines, e-mail, family matters, and love life. Everything we have to get done in 24 hours! There doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. People used to work a 40 hour week, now the work hours go into your private life and many people have to spend time on the computer or phone continuing work at home.
People often come to me for spiritual advice, and they are totally burnt out. They cannot understand why they cannot stop crying, yelling at people, being angry, and feel totally confused. The fact that they know something is wrong is the first step to turning their lives around.
In our high tech modern world, we need an antidote. It is time to turn back to the ancient teachings of Native Americans, which offers common sense, an uncomplicated approach to life, and a way to appreciate our existence.
Frequently people ask me about cleansing their spirit, and I give many different ways to do it. Here are two of my favorite methods.
Releasing The Past
One of the most effective and simplest ways to cleanse your spirit is by releasing the emotional baggage that you are carrying on you.
You can do this by writing down the situation or the name of a person on a piece of paper; also you must have a heat-proof container and matches. Place the paper in the container and light it on fire. As you watch the smoke go up, picture what you have written about going up into Spirit and releasing it from your life. Native Americans have always used smoke in sacred ceremonies because of the belief that smoke is going up to the Great Spirit.
You can do this as many times as it takes until you feel you have released the burdens you have been caring. You will find yourself feeling much lighter each time you do this.
What is Smudging?
Smudging is the name given to the Sacred Smoke Bowl Blessing. For thousands of years this ceremony has been practiced by Native Americans. This is a powerful cleansing technique. It is a ritual to remove negative energies and have them go in smoke to the Great Spirit.
Smudging can be used to cleanse your spirit, mind, and body. It can also be used to cleanse a house, building, vehicle, work place, or another person.
Most Common Herbs Used For Smudging
For removing negativity and for healing, White Sage is preferred.
Sweetgrass is used for blessing after sage has been used. It is used to attract positive energy.
The Art of Smudging
The first thing to do is to make sure that the area is well ventilated and open up windows so that the negative energies have an easy means of exiting.
Get a shell or any flat heat-proof container. It is good to have a feather to move the smoke away from the person or object that is being cleansed.
Light the smudge stick and when you see a flame, put the flame out using the shell or container and the stick will continue to smolder.
Move the smoking stick around your body starting at the feet and use the figure eight motion as you move the stick up your body. Continue this until you get to the top of your head. At this point the energies have been released into spirit, and you can then proceed to cleanse another person, object, or space. You can do chanting or prayers as you use the smudge stick. Make it a sacred ceremony for yourself.
As the stick burns, put the ash in the shell.
When smudging an area like a room, house, or car, it is beneficial to acknowledge the main directions, which are: north, south, east, west, up, and down. Continue to use the figure eight motion and use the feather to move the smoke away and out through any windows.
It is recommended to smudge all closets, attics, and basements in a house as negative energies often store in those areas.
When you have finished Smudging, extinguish the stick by dampening it with water, crushing it against the shell, or placing it in sand. Keep your smudge stick, feather, and shell in a special area, medicine bag, or on an altar.
Start doing this and watch the changes that occur in your life. You will be amazed at what starts changing!