In this case it does not. As stated previously, certain people may still consider something culturally appropriative while others of the same culture may no. There are helpful staff members at the Indigenous Resource Centers if you’d like to stop by for more information. So keep burning away! I’m also concerned about some of the comments from non-Native people who say that they are using eagle feathers to smudge. Smudging and space cleansing is cultural appropriation and disrespectful to the Native communities in the Americas. In the end, if you are doing something respectfully to honor its roots, it is not cultural appropriation. Importantly it’s a cultural relevant practice and is one available for folks who work within the Scottish folk magic diaspora. However, sacramentals, such as holy water, rosaries, crucifixes, medals, scapulars and the like can be used by anyone. We must respect it and what it symbolizes, and less is more. Burning incense is also awesome. Beliefs and practices are not based on feelings. White sage is the most commonly sold because it’s the most aesthetically-pleasing form of sage. The good thing about words, is that they have meaning. You can still smoke cleanse though! We must also be aware of cultural appropriation in the language used by … While it may be difficult to always know what is and what isn’t cultural appropriation- we can recognize its existence. Live your life boldl, New Year, New Moon — New Event! This isn’t an opinion or debate, it’s fact. Sure enough, back in September of 2018, Nicole had spoken to Kiera via her shop Instagram, @littleboxofrockshop stating: “Smudging is a traditional, spiritual ceremony practised by Indigenous cultures. When we make definitive, broad statements, we open ourselves to a lot of scrutiny. Palo Santo and Cultural Appropriation. Sharing everything you need to know to heal your mental + physical health and lead a fired-up life! » By yoga + meditation teacher Amy BaackLEARN MORE ABOUT THE BLOG. Similarly, someone who just incorporates an aspect of religion or culture just because it is edgy, fun, or what they want to do. There's a difference between a closed religion, a semi-closed religion, and a religion with some practices within which are closed. But there will always remain the thornier question of cultural appropriation and smudging. The other reason why there is such a cry of Cultural Appropriation right now is because when something like plants and herbs become mainstream, businesses jump on the chance to make money. Ceremonial smudging involves the burning of sacred medicines. I’ve stumbled over a comment by someone in a book review stating that smudging, as it’s originated from certain Native American cultures is cultural appropriation. But while sage bundles are popping up everywhere, education about this sacred medicine’s Indigenous roots is not. It can be used as a spice, as medicine, and even to connect to spirit. The popularity of white sage, tied into tight bundles called smudge sticks, is not as simple as a nice smell. Read our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy to get more information and learn how to set up your preferences. It doesn't matter how many people call something cultural appropriation. The use of white sage for ceremonial cleansing and ritual, also called smudging, is a Native American practice. Cultural appropriation is never cool, and as the practice of burning sage becomes more mainstream, it’s important to remember that we should respect … As many forms of religous abuse can come outside of cultural appropriation. Just as to learn certain form of divination used in Hatian Vodou and Ifa one must be appropriately initiated. The idea that cultural appropriation is primarily a form of erasure – a kind of emotional violence in which people are rendered invisible – came along later. White sage grows in Southern California, where yoga, holistic health, and spirituality are booming, along with cultural appropriation of the origins of those practices. I.e. If it bothers you ... call it "cleansing" instead of smudging. Appropriation allows for major contributions of a minority group to be absorbed into that of the dominant group. Maybe I’m misjudging something, but I’m a bit afraid that the comments might go in an unfortunate direction. And we've witnessed this happen from everything from technology to language to fashion and pop culture. Something that has been discussed (link) and explained (link) and elaborated (link) over and over again. Native American Smudging typically consists of white sage, cedar, tobacco, feathers and either a shell or clay dish used for burning. But there are a few things you need to do: Picking up what I’m putting down? The Current Study . Edit: guys, I’ll be closing the comments for now. That's quite a broad, interesting statement you have made. But in no way educate themselves about Their true worship, by members of clergy associated with Their original religion. This, of course, also applies to burning sage. You don’t need sage to do it. But if you want to continue burning sage, the good news is, you still can—. I’ve found cleansing my space with herbal smoke works best for me, but if it’s appropriation I’ll need to find an alternative. Our modern understanding of cultural appropriation is highly individualised. And if smudging with sage, for example, is not something that’s in your lineage, you can engage with “smoke clearing” using other substances instead, such as rosemary, sweetgrass, and mugwort. According to Indigenous Corporate Training Inc.: “Smudging is traditionally a ceremony for purifying or cleansing the soul of negative thoughts of a person or place.”. It does not, and in academic circles, cannot form the base of an accusation. When we use to learn language properly, we can begin having intelligent conversations. A quick side note on Palo Santo, another popular source to burn: it’s also being over-harvested and near being endangered, so please avoid and do not buy! But talks about how terrible, third world of a country India is. For guidance, I turned to Brown University professor Adrienne Keene, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and an expert on the topic. Other times it’s the use of a particular ingredient bought from non-native sources- like White Sage. (Responsibly, of course.). Sometimes it’s a word, like Smudging, that makes it appropriation. White sage grows in Southern California, where yoga, holistic health, and spirituality are booming, along with cultural appropriation of the origins of those practices. But the way in … This is cultural appropriation, and it’s harmful to Native communities. One step closer to unity. It’s so important for us to stay informed about the practices and rituals we adopt so as not to contribute to centuries of harm. It brings us one step closer to healing as a collective. Smudging, as we claim to understand it, is a culturally specific practice. Yes, burning herbs, resins, roots, specific woods, incense, etc as cleansing or for prayer is something shared across many spiritual traditions. The word smudging is very widely used, but we need to take a deep look into what smudging actually is. Look into smoke cleansing, sound cleansing, light cleansing, things that exist within your own cultures. Note, these aren’t “energy cleansing” practices it also doesn’t equate to removing sin. Calling something, by a term or word other that what it actually means, only shows misuse of language and ignorance. Walker notes that not all Native cultures burn sage for prayer, which is known as smudging. Cultural Appropriation in Witchcraft: Smudging, Chakras, and Spirit Animals, Oh My! Lest we make ourselves seem more ignorant that we may actually be. I’ve gotten most of the sticks I’ve used when visiting home in NM, and those not-white-sage bundles look much more like regular leaves. For instance, Catholicism is a closed religion. All of whom I have never heard express an issue with someone using the term smudging. Also, just because a person, or groups of persons from a particular culture or ethnic background says or believes it is so, does not make it so. From the appropriation of … ... "Smudging sage … Across Native communities, we use different medicines for smudging depending on where we’re from. However, to serve him properly, one must be duly initiated. But while sage bundles are popping up everywhere, education about this sacred medicine’s Indigenous roots is not. Get a FREE Active Meditation audio file download and my weekly Wellness Wednesday tips + tricks. Cultural appropriation is a big, catch all term that people like to throw around. If you fan around a bit of smoke to cleanse your space, then that's all good. “Smudging” is a practice that is from Native North American spiritual traditions. If they cannot give you any other reason than that it hurts their feelings. Smudging is a ritual practiced by indigenous people of North America and Canada. Indigeneity is having a "moment" in popular culture, one which has lasted decades. Then you can respectfully disregard their opinions. I think we can all agree that this year has started to shift some foundations to open us up to ways we’ve been blind towards others. I admit that it took me a while to really think about what it means to burn sage. Now the national conversation has begun to shift to focusing on the abused minorities in our country, so no more excuses: let’s all take a moment to think about our sage. Smudging IS a native american ritual, smoke cleansing isn't. The way it smells, the calm energy shift in the air after its been burned… I’ve long been a fan. The phrase “cultural smudging” comes courtesy of a critic of Azalea, black female rapper Azealia Banks, and this essay discusses the phrase in relation to appreciation and appropriation. If it is being done under the guise of disparaging the original culture in some way, then yes it is. There’s been a lot of interesting comments, with a broad array of viewpoints and insights. So I don’t speak on behalf of Indigenous People, but rather as a person of privilege about something that needs to change. It just means I am ignorant and using words incorrectly. Refrain from indulging in these practices if you are not an Indigenous person, and do not buy into the trend of it, especially without educating yourself on … I sat on the floor and nervously struck a match. The most important takeaway from this post is to respect sage and the original Native American practice of burning it to smudge. It’s similar to the idea of smudging but very different. All day long I can wave a candle, some incense and water in front of a Deities face and call it a puja or an aartik. I show it to people all the time. Here’s where the cultural appropriation steps in: using herbs that are sacred to a culture while disregarding the rest of that culture’s richness is appropriation and an aspect of colonialism. Smudging is a spiritual ceremony performed by Indigenous people around the world. If you buy a smudge kit at a health food store or on an Etsy site that includes a feather and a fan for blowing around the smoke, you’re participating in cultural appropriation. Likewise, it doesn't matter if you dont like what a term means. Here’s where the cultural appropriation steps in: using herbs that are sacred to a culture while disregarding the rest of that culture’s richness is appropriation and an aspect of colonialism. However, much of the public remains confused about what the term actually means. Smudging, or burning sage, is a sacred Indigenous practice that has been commodified. However, cultural appropriation has been a regular, integrated practice in neo-paganism for so long that folks appropriating often experience denial or resistance when confronted with the fact they are perpetrators. So we’re destroying something of sacred importance for its beauty and making it less accessible for the Native American peoples, who were using it first. More literacy is needed. In that same vein, the abuse of a practice or piece of a closed religion is very different from cultural appropriation. Say it with me now: Smudging is not Wiccan. In the end, if you actually study the religions you are taking things from. Pagans, Witches And Smudging There has been a lot of awareness brought to the amount of cultural appropriation that happens in the Witchcraft/Pagan communities. Cultural appropriation is an issue I’ve really only been aware of for the last few years, but when I encounter it now, my response ranges from an internal cringe to a lengthy rant, depending on the situation and who’s around me. Bottomline: Smudging is hardly the homogeneous aberration we of the global west have made of it. Plant Research. Cultural appropriation is "taking or using from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing you understand or respect this culture." Smudging, as we claim to understand it, is a culturally specific practice. It’s also not always harvested correctly, in a way that leaves the roots and allows the plant to regrow. “Cultural Smudging:” Appreciation and Appropriation of Black Culture through Music Paige Burditt Submitted under the supervision of Dr. Josephine Lee to the University Honors Program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude in English. For the term cultural appropriation, we are using the definition of appropriation “take and use without the owner’s permission.” In many traditions, the … Continue reading → ( white ) clothing boutiques something a word used by another culture or is. Nations and cultures makes it appropriation isn ’ t cultural appropriation- we can recognize its.! Performed by Indigenous people around the world by westerners a cultural relevant practice is! Crumble sooner or later cultural relevant practice and is one available for folks who work the. 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