15 Apr

When we think of relationships we may think of relationships between individuals, family, co-workers, and community. However, there are many relationships that we have and maintain throughout our life, our earth journey. These relationships can and do extend to that of the earth, the elements, the plants, the birds, our water where we and how we connect within the circle of life. It is understood to begin any relationship or to understand the gifts that are shared in our relationships with each other we first begin with the relationship itself, building the relationship. I would like to share about the relationship to sage, which is known as one of the plants when dried is used in a smudge ceremony. 

When we ask to work with the plants this is rooted in relationship; the relationship is from the moment that we begin working with the plant so in the smudge ceremony we begin with several relationship connections. Relationship of past, of now and of those yet to unfold. The smudge is a ceremony because it contains four elements: earth, water, fire, and air. When we have four elements; we have ceremony. We ourselves are made up of these four elements so we are sacred beings we are created in perfect likeness of creation itself and we have many relationships unfolding within our physical being. The various relationships within or body’s organs to each other and to the collective. When we begin with our relationship to the plants, if we have been able to gather the plants, we then prepare the plants, with gratitude for the gift of life that the plant is now sharing with us. It is in this way that the plant gifts us through being prepared, the burning of the plant to create smoke, and the various gifts the plant shares. 

The smudge ceremony we also have the ceremony with the fire in order for the sage to burn we need to bring fire; the element of fire to the plant and that the plant creates a relationship with the fire. We too have a relationship with the fire because we are bringing the fire in an effective way to the plant to be able to light the dried plant (sage) to be able to burn to create the smoke. To burn the sage medicine in a bowl that is of stone or a worn stone that can hold the dried plant, the stone it is from the earth. The stone bowl, it is of the earth element has a relationship with the plant that comes from the earth, has been grown within the earth. I had been taught, not use the shell as the shell represents the water element and water element can be found when the plant and the fire bring in relationship to each, it is at this point of connecting, we have the element of moisture of water. 

The air element found in the smoke and how the smoke of the plant moves through the ceremony. So, we have four elements that are found in the smudge ceremony and all these elements we are in relationship, a relationship to the earth, a relationship to the air, a relationship to the fire and in relationship to the water. When we work with plants we also experience the knowledge and the gifts that it brings the plant gives its life and then gives life in another form through the smudging and that in turn gives us a gift of clearing energy, clearing space, grounding, centering and brings our heart and mind together. To waft the smoke over your heart and mind the sage can help in balance of emotion and removal of grief and can be used in home creating healing space. We have gratitude for the responsibilities and the original instructions that are carried by the sage in that we can recognize the gifts of the sage and we give gratitude for the medicine and wellness that sage gifts to us. When you are working with sage or any plant remember that the relationships are there, it is through these relationships that we deepen our understanding, awareness and knowledge of the gifts that are given from creation through these plant helpers. The same can be said for our relationships with individuals, our relationships with the earth, water, air, and fire. 

It takes time to build a relationship, it takes trust to build a relationship and it sometimes takes some uncomfortableness, to be humble, to be of honest, to love and to have courage in relationship. Relationship can teach us knowledge, allow us to experience love and to grow spiritually. 

Nokomis Migizinz Cindilee © Personal Copy Right 2021

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