« Money-driven health care | Main | Local stores are KC treasures »

December 19, 2008

‘Smudge sticks’ part of sacred ritual

I have followed the circus we call City Hall with much disdain. But The Star’s article “Warding off evil spirits” (12/13, Local) compels me to come to Gloria Squitiro’s defense. The burning of sweet grass, sage, cedar and tobacco is a Native American custom used to cleanse and purify.

Before our color guard presents the colors, they are smudged. The color guards (I am one of them) bathe their bodies in the smoke. When we pray, everyone in the prayer circle bathes their bodies in the smoke to cleanse and purify.

I do not know whether Gloria Squitiro is Native American, but she certainly has some knowledge of our customs. I have smudged my home and office. I take offense that former mayoral aide Joe Miller seems to think this very sacred ritual is hilarious. A little respect on both sides could have prevented a lot of this disgrace we call city government.

Roy Slavin
Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Legislator, District 1
Kansas City




Who WAS smoking dope in your house that day? Great post for fun.


wow, tina - that's lame.


I recently smudged our entire house, from top to bottom. Big house -- it took forever. We have lived here two years and the very negative experiences of the previous owners always made me think some of that negative energy didn't move out when they did.

I did the ritual "with intent" and with a lot of prayer, which is the key. I'm not sure the ritual did any good, but I don't think it harmed anything either. My attitude was that it couldn't hurt.

My husband came home that evening, drew in a deep breath and asked who had been smoking dope in our house. He just doesn't get it.

Burning incense and herbs is a time honored tradition in many faiths, including Roman Catholicism. The Christmas story has the Magii gifting baby Jesus with frankincense and myrrh. I'm not sure what myrrh is used for, but I do know frankincense was, and still is, used for emotional cleansing.

So I gues only a philistine would mock such traditions. My feeling is that Nature gives us many gifts we overlook. That's too bad.

About KansasCity.com | About the Real Cities Network | Terms of Use & Privacy Statement | About Knight Ridder | Copyright