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Sweet Grass Braid Questions and Answers

How to use Lucky Mojo incense powders, joss sticks, and natural botanical resin incenses in your spiritual practices.
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trish76
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Sweet Grass Braid Questions and Answers

Unread post by trish76 » Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:03 pm

I was looking into a contact spell I linked to somewhere on the forum. It was in one of the contact me threads. I was wanting something to supplement the honey jar I'm working and this sounded good. Essentially the spell is worked by burning white sage and "sweetgrass" outside using the spirit of the plants to deliver your message. You burn the sage first and then follow up with the sweetgrass.

Initially I looked this up in Cat's herb and rootmagic book, but there wasn't an entry for sweetgrass, probaby because it is a Northern herb, not native to the South.

I did find sweetgrass in Cunningham and saw that it's Hierochloe odorata, a smudging incense which Lucky Mojo does sell. Unfortunately Cunningham also has "Sweet Grass" listed as a folk name for Calamus. I think I'm overthinking this whole "Sweet Grass" versus "sweetgrass" bit.

My initial feeling on it was that the work is meant to be performed with the Smudging Braid Sweet Grass. Since both white sage and sweet grass are smudged in similar ways, it seems to fit with the intent of the spell. I had a thought that perhaps the spell was referring to calamus since it can strengthen and bind a spell, but it seems to have more of a strong commanding factor that I don't think this particular spell requires (which is why I chose it). Am I answering my own question here? I think I'm starting to chase my own tail lol. Any insight on these two herbs and the spell itself, if anyone has worked it, would be appreciated.
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Re: Sweet Grass (Smudge Braid) and Calamus

Unread post by Turnsteel » Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:07 pm

I happen to know the spell to which you refer, as I recall Dara Anzlowar mentioned it on one of the older Hoodoo Rootwork Hour shows. The spell is of Native American origin and calls for Hierochloe odorata, that is, the Sweet Grass you find woven into charming braids. For reasons I do not know it is very common in a number of Native American Traditions to pair Sweet Grass and Sage.

I do hope that helps.
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trish76
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Re: Sweet Grass (Smudge Braid) and Calamus

Unread post by trish76 » Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:14 pm

Yes that helps immensely :) I was thinking that's what it was, calamus just didn't seem to fit in the equation. Then again I am very "lady hearted" when it comes to personal love work.
"Don't allow your wounds to transform you into someone you are not". ~ Paulo Coelho ~ ♥

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Re: Sweet Grass (Smudge Braid) and Calamus

Unread post by Devi Spring » Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:02 am

For reasons I do not know it is very common in a number of Native American Traditions to pair Sweet Grass and Sage
I was taught by a Native American (forgive me for not remembering what specific tribe he was from) that you don't burn Sage and Sweet Grass together, but one after the other. You burn the sage first to clear the space, and then afterwards you burn the sweet grass to bring in the blessings.

You do, of course, see plenty of commercial smudge bundles that combine the two together, but I was instructed to not do that.

There may certainly be other tribes that feel differently, so I don't claim to have the Whole Truth. ;)
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Re: Sweet Grass (Smudge Braid) and Calamus

Unread post by Turnsteel » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:06 pm

Devi Spring

You know you probably have the right of it, the Sweet Grass and Sage parring was told to me by a non-native who said to was a native custom, so its very possible the information got a bit mixed up, thank you for sharing :) The way you describe using them makes a goodly bit more magical sense then burning them together "just because".
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Re: Sweet Grass (Smudge Braid)

Unread post by jwmcclin » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:25 pm

Here is a description of Sweetgrass http://www.luckymojo.com/sweetgrass.html and it is also sold as an incense found here http://herb-magic.com/sweetgrass-incense.html

Sage leaves are discussed/sold here http://herb-magic.com/sage.html and the bundle discussed/sold here http://herb-magic.com/sage-white-incense.html
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Sweet Grass Braid Incense Questions and Answers

Unread post by LadybugNW » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:57 am

Up all night with a bout of heat-induced insomnia, I stumbled across Cat's WONDERFUL post about recipes for dressing oils, which I am itching to try out on my own. : )

Has anyone ever come across a recipe involving sweet grass? Off the top of my head I was thinking it might be a nice addition to a van van variation...

I am from the midwest, and the smell of sweet grass is so intoxicating, sweet and earthy, that it seems like it would be well suited to some kind of dressing oil, but I would like to find out what before I use it incorrectly. Or whether it should even be included at all!

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Re: Sweet Grass Braid Incense Questions and Answers

Unread post by ProfessorAmes » Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:09 pm

Interesting that you should mention this. I'm currently at Lucky Mojo doing an apprenticeship weekend and cat discussed sweet grass in her lecture today. Sweet grass is a lovely scent and I think you could definitely use it in a dressing oil. It was more traditional with Native Americans from the northern parts of the US, so is a more recent addition to hoodoo. The braid of grass that you see in the catalogue was traditionally burned when you were remembering someone who had passed or were in mourning. http://www.luckymojo.com/sweetgrass.html

If you maintain an ancestor altar, and especially if any of your ancestors were native american, then I think this would be fantastic to use when communing with those who have passed.

While it's not traditional in Van Van - some of the other components you see in that formula might include lemongrass, vetiver, palmarosa, citronella, etc. - what are often referred to as the "Asian grasses" - this might add a nice note to that formula. The Van Van could then be used for cleansing and consecration. Would love to know what you come up with.

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Re: Sweet Grass Braid Incense Questions and Answers

Unread post by LadybugNW » Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:10 pm

Thank you!!! How cool that you discussed sweetgrass with Cat!!! : ) I love synchronicity.

I have a braid of sweet grass as you mentioned. I keep it above my entry door -- as my granma taught me -- to attract sweet and kind people to enter. : ) I wasn't aware of its other uses, which I would definitely like to explore.

I looked on Lucky Mojo (where I order my dressing oils) and I didn't notice any sweetgrass oil.

I feel like a blend of sweetgrass and cardamom would be interesting, but perhaps their purposes would be a bit at odds.

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Re: Sweet Grass Braid Incense Questions and Answers

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:17 pm

LadybugNW, We sell Sweetgrass, but we do not sell Sweetgrass Essential Oil. We have limited space to stock essential oils and they sell much more slowly than our hand-made hoodoo blends.

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Sweetgrass Braid
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Re: Sweet Grass Braid Incense Questions and Answers

Unread post by Joseph Magnuson » Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:50 pm

Sweetgrass braids are amazing. Give them a try!
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