Thursday, October 1, 2009

Smudging at Qortezan

Smudging is a done on a regular basis at the Qortezan store. Used with dry sage from a store on a Granville Island, the act of smudging is an old tradition of "dispelling" bad or negative energy and cleansing the area or person that is being smudged. Perhaps this is why when you walk into Qortezan you feel a nice, comfortable vibe and atmosphere. The negative energy that people or products bring into the store are smudged away. Ask about it next time your in the store.


Sage: Burned in smudging ceremonies to drive out bad spirits, feelings, or influences, and also to keep bad spirits from entering the area where a ceremony takes place. In Plains nations, the floor of the sweat lodge is frequently covered with sage, and participants rub the leaves on their bodies while in the sweat. Sage is also commonly spread on the ground in a lodge or on an altar where the pipe touches the earth. Some nations wrap their pipes in sage when they are placed in pipe-bundles, as sage purifies objects wrapped in it. Sage wreaths are also placed around the head and wrists of Sundancers.

Cedar "Juniper": There is some confusion here about the words used to name plants, mainly because in some areas, junipers are known as "cedar" - as in the case of Desert White Cedar (Juniperus monosperina). This doesn't mean that J. monosperina wasn't used as a cleansing herb, though; in the Eastern U.S., its relative, Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginia), was used ceremonially. However, in most smudging ceremonies Western Red Cedar (Thuja occidentalis) and California Cedar Incense (Libocedrus descurrens) were used ... not varieties of juniper.

Sweet Grass: One of the most sacred plants for the Plains Indians, sweetgrass is a tall wild grass with a reddish bas and perfume-like, musty odor. It grows mainly on the eastern side of the Rockies in Montana and adjacent Alberta, Canada. It also shows up in some small areas of Wyoming and South Dakota. Its botanical name is Hierochloe odorata. Some common names for it are Seneca grass, holy grass and vanilla grass.

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