Monday, 29 September 2008

Spirit Speaks - Sweetgrass

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Hierochloe odorata  - Sweet grass Chief Whitecap Park, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada by SriMesh, used with permission under GNU Free Documentation License

Sweetgrass is a very aromatic grass - some call it herb - that grows in Europe and parts of North America.  Our Ancestors believed that the Sweetgrass plant was the first plant to grow after the great flood.  Its sweetness was a reminder that the Gods and Goddesses considered the Earth sacred, and that all on the Earth were sacred.  Nature, Mother Earth, provided protection for all with the sweetgrass plant.

Our Ancestors then chose to honour the plant by making it a sacred object to protect most things.  For example, where it was available, people gathered a bundle to keep in the house on the wall as a protection against spirits.  Sweetgrass was burned as incense in gatherings to clear the space.  When the Christians moved into Great Britain, they used it to keep the churches smelling good. 

Many people have Ancestors who have taught them that sweetgrass may be used as a tea, as a flavour for bannock and bread, and as stuffing for fragrant mattresses or pillows.  Sometimes, sweetgrass is used to mix with tobacco to bring out a different flavour and aroma. 

Because sweetgrass is thought to protect, mothers and lovers would sew sweetgrass into the lining of the clothes of loved ones who travelled or who were in armies.  Sweetgrass was placed with sacred objects to keep them untainted, and to prevent unwanted persons or spirits from touching the object. 

Today, we use sweetgrass in ceremony, as a cleanser of space or of objects, and to remember that it is a symbol of peace.  The aroma of sweetgrass in a confined space brings a gentle meditative state to those who can smell it.  The meditation usually has a Divine message and provides many visions to the meditator.  Shaman may store a braid of sweetgrass with their pipe, drum, rattle, medicine bundle, or with any object that may need more protection.

May you know the sweetness of life!

Judith ---  We now have a new bundle of sweet grass braids for sale in Canada.  The sweetgrass comes from Northern Alberta.  Unfortunately, this will not be permitted over the border into the US due to agriculture restrictions.  Watch The Store at Angels And Ancestors or contact Judith at judy@angelsandancestors.com

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