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Temple Renovation (30 May 2020)

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Smudging

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28 May 2019 18:51 #338989 by Leah Starspectre
Smudging was created by Leah Starspectre
I'm hoping that a member of a First Nations/Metis/Inuit community can help me with this. Or a Jedi who is close enough to someone of these communities that could ask for me.

I am interested in using smudging as part of my daily meditation/personal ritual. Last year, I was gifted an abalone shell and stick of sage, which is what I'd be using.

So here are my questions:
-is it appropriate for me to use smudging as a personal ritual? Or is it disrespectful?
-can I do it every day? Or just special occasions/ceremonies?
-are there any details about smudging that I should keep sacred (ie, not change) in order to respect the community it originated from?

I'd rather not have someone speak for the First Nations. So unless you are, or have personally spoken to, a knowledgeable native person, please don't respond (unless it's to direct me to where I can get info).

And no "cultural appropriation" bullcrap, please.
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29 May 2019 00:30 #339004 by J_Roz
Replied by J_Roz on topic Smudging
Perhaps I can help illuminate your questions. I have had many teachings shared with me of both the Sioux and Ojibwe Nations and have a background in Native cultures and used to teach Native American History at a college level.

Many cultures use a type of smudge for their own rituals. Some bathe, some feast, some use animal blood to consecrate their bodies/space. Many new age companies sell smudging kits with shells and sage.

Is it appropriate for you to acknowledge a space you want to make as a sacred? Sure.

Are you then taking a drum and singing a sacred song that you do not know the meaning to or misrepresenting yourself? If the answer to that is no then you are fine.

Heres a different example but of relevance. Two weeks ago I got a call from someone I know who was really upset. She had seen an owl and thought it was a bad omen, she told me she "googled" it and the Native Americans didn't like owls and it was a sign that someone was going to die in her household. After talking to her for a little bit, she kept saying the Native Americans say....... I finally replied back, "What tribe?" She got confused. I responded that there are 550 tribes that are recognized in the United States alone. Each tribe has their own roles and traditions when it comes to individual birds, You cannot lump them all into one. I told her with no training and no context an owl in your backyard simply means that you probably have an overabundance of mice and they are delicious to that owl.

Is it alright to do this every day? Sure, you might find though that after a while you may not need to as you learn to be mindful of the sacred space you are trying to create.

As smudging is not something that is copyrighted as a specific thing but that each group/tribe has their own rituals for a smudging ceremony, even if it's just a few words I would encourage you to find what feels appropriate to you. let your heart guide your thought process. Adapt and change it as you feel you need to.

Since you are not a tribal member that has had specific teachings taught to you or cultural relevance that requires steps to complete I would not be concerned with specifics. Find what works for you, what is comfortable and what is not.

Trying to create a sacred space is never a bad thing, using some sage to help you do that is just fine. Claiming that you are suddenly an Apache Medicine Person because you studied sweat lodges is very much a bad thing.

"O Great Spirit, Help me always to speak the truth quietly, to listen with an open mind when others speak, and to remember the peace that may be found in silence"

Kaylee: How come you don't care where you're going?
Book: 'Cause how you get there is the worthier part.
Firefly Series

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Apprentices: None Currently
The following user(s) said Thank You: Karn, Carlos.Martinez3, OB1Shinobi, TheDude, Leah Starspectre

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29 May 2019 00:48 #339005 by Leah Starspectre
Replied by Leah Starspectre on topic Smudging
THANKS Roz!! I'm definitely not claiming any such titles, haha!

I guess my rationale is that I live on the lands of the Anishinaabe (Potawatomi, Ojibwe, Odawa, Algonquin, among others). I'd like to acknowledge them in my daily meditation/mindfulness practices. I've been lucky to have been invited to several smudge and sweat ceremonies, and do feel a spiritual attraction to the rituals.

I want to make sure that whatever rituals I incorporate into my daily practice, I do with understanding and respect.
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29 May 2019 01:37 #339006 by J_Roz
Replied by J_Roz on topic Smudging
I think a moment honoring the people who have shared those rituals with you as you meditate is very appropriate. If you started chanting etc or using parts of their ceremonies without permission that's where it would get into appropriation type things.

"O Great Spirit, Help me always to speak the truth quietly, to listen with an open mind when others speak, and to remember the peace that may be found in silence"

Kaylee: How come you don't care where you're going?
Book: 'Cause how you get there is the worthier part.
Firefly Series

Apprenticed to: Phortis Nespin
Apprentices: None Currently
The following user(s) said Thank You: Karn, Carlos.Martinez3, Leah Starspectre

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