The Sacred Wheel and Smudging
The basics of the Sacred Wheel (Medicine Wheel)
These are just some guidelines in using the Sacred Wheel: Before you begin you must be in a positive energy and for love in your heart fro what you are about to undertake, always remember this and your prayers will be heard.
To start always approach the Wheel from the East, this is the place of the morning sun and place of birth on the Sacred Wheel. Before you set up the wheel you must Smudge prior to starting any ceremony which is explained below. Next you musk ask the blessing of the Spirit of the East, once you feel that you have been answered around the wheel in a clockwise motion approaching the South and again ask for the blessing of the Spirit of the South, then you continue to the West and again ask for the blessing of the Spirit of the West and then continue to the North where you ask for the blessing of the spirit of the North. Once you have paid your respects and asked for the Blessing off the 4 Directions you can then enter the center of the wheel and start your ceremony.
Again this is just a basic as each of your ceremonies may take on different prayers and purpose the basic is still the same.
Always remember when finished to repeat the beginning of this but here your giving thanks to each of the 4 directions. The Wheel must be closed when finished with any ceremony.
The smudge is done with sage or sweetgrass or a combination of both either as a bundle or like an incense blend.
This is a picture of a smudge bundle and White Sage Leaves
Either can be used in smudging
To prepare to smudge follow these basic steps:
Prepare the smudge that you are going to use whether you use the stick or blend. Offer the items ,after you have entered your ceremonial space, to each of the 4 directions always starting with the East and going clockwise to the South, West and finishing with the North. Once this is done you are prepared to either smudge yourself or others as well as bless the sacred wheel prior to the main ceremony.
The prayer to the Great Spirit that you use as you offer the Smudge to the 4 directions must come form the very depth of your being, and must continue until you have closed out your ceremony.
If you are going to smudge others or another item you must smudge yourself first. After you smudge yourself then you can proceed to complete the smudging of the others. Remember always go in a clockwise motion as this is what build positive energy.
If you are smudging a group of people, you can have them turn clockwise or have them form a circle and you go clockwise around the group smudging each individual as you come to them.
To smudge with Honor is to bless what you are doing and receive the blessing of the 4 directions and of Great Spirit.
Items needed are smudge bundle, or sage leaves, or sweetgrass, or a sage incense will do if the others are not available.
Next you will need something to burn the sage or incense in such as a fire proof bowl or an abalone shell to hold the lit smudge bundle or incense in for safety.
When finished smudging always put out your smudge for safety.