One reason why I don’t think we should call what we’re doing Smudging or Saging is because we’re not doing what those words represent. Yes, it might look like it because of the similar elements & we burn them, but that’s where the similarities end.
To my limited knowledge, the Saging or Smudging ceremonies actually start with gathering and preparing the elements in special ways. The plants need to be collected in particular ways, along with certain blessings and prayers before any burning occurs. The rituals as I have read are typically done in groups led by a holy person of that group. The ceremonies are done in specific ways according to that tribes traditions and teachings.
The Native People believe these plants are medicine & many will not sell it as their culture believes in giving healthcare versus selling it (maybe we could learn something here)
There are many other issues to unpack, but in myopinionone of the deepest ones is that, up until relatively recently there were actual laws in place that made itILLEGALfor Native people to practice their cultural ceremonies.
Only in 1978 the Indian Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) was passed & gave back religious freedoms. So forLESSthan 50 years American Indians have been "granted permissions" to practice their religious rights. (Almost unbelievable)
The way I look at it is, this person who has wounded me, is a wounded person themselves. They have been hurt and damaged in some way, and have not been able to heal themselves. If they are treating me badly or lashing out at me, it’s because they are in a way sick. (I’m into spiritual $#i+, so I equate it to a sickness or hollowness of the soul.) How can I expect to get what I need from someone who is clearly hampered emotionally, and probably mentally as well? I have to provide myself with what I need. I need to recognize my own value, and importance. I need to believe that I am on this earth for a reason, and there is value in my being. I don’t have to cure any diseases, or win awards, I just need to be.
And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I have accomplished something before the age of 50 that many women never have the chance to do: I have fallen in love with myself in spite of the wreckage of my belly, the cellulite on my thighs, my too-thin hair, and flabby arms. Because all of those are the things I would want to hug to death if I could get my hands on me.
"Perhaps they've forgotten what they're naturally good at or they feel lost and don't know what to do with their life. Or maybe they just need reminding of the things they innately love to do so they can make time for those things, and therefore more joy, in their lives. And I do this by using their birth details. It's crazy, I know, but you can learn a lot about yourself just by the time and date you were born!"