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How do you get rid of evil spirits in Native American traditions?

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Quick Answer

Native Americans rid themselves of evil spirits through smudging or smoke cleansing, traditional rituals that utilize sage or other herbs, prayers, or visualization chants. Although smudging and smoke cleansing have some different elements, each is sacred and uses smoke for cleansing purposes.

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Full Answer

To spiritually cleanse yourself of evil spirits, gather white sage or other fresh, organic herbs, resins or plants. Traditionally, sage is the herb of choice, and Native Americans have used it to cleanse and promote positive energy for centuries. Choose a clean, peaceful location in which to perform the ritual. Light the bundle of sage, and hold it up while saying a prayer or visualization chant. During the chant, imagine a light casting out darkness. Place the smoking sage in an earthen or ceramic bowl, and waft the smoke around your person and the living area using a large feather.

According to Native American tradition, sage smoke attaches to negative energy and evil spirits and draws them away from the body for cleansing. Another tradition for purging the body of evils, although not necessarily evil spirits, is a sweat lodge or seat bath. Native Americans gather in a small, dark structure where a fire is stoked. The heat permeates the lodge, causing the participants to sweat. Tradition states that this helps to bring the body into balance and rid it of evil. Native Americans also use sweat lodges for healing ceremonies.

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