Hold out your hands and let me lay upon them a sheet of freshly picked sweetgrass, loose and flowing, like newly washed hair. Hold the bundle up to your nose. Find the fragrance of honey vanilla over the scent of river water and black earth and you understand it’s scientific name: Hierochloe odorata, meaning the fragrant holy grass. In Ojibwe it is called wiingaashk, the sweet-smelling hair of Mother Earth.

Will you hold the end of the bundle while I braid? Hands joined by grass, can we bend our heads together and make a braid to honor the earth? And then I’ll hold it for you while you braid, too.

—  Robin Wall Kimmerer in her book Braiding Sweetgrass
Herbs to summon spirits
  • Wormwood
  • Cardoon
  • Dandelion
  • Tobacco
  • Chimaphila umbellata
  • Hierochloe odorata (Sweet grass)

Originally posted by midnight4ever

How to use them: You can mix the herbs to make an incense, where the spirits can appear. Another use is to make an oil of them and anoint a scrying mirror and the candles. You can also burn them into a flame to help the conjuring of the entities.

Note: Be careful, working with spirits can be very dangerous and is not for newbies! Protect always yourself!

Hierochloe odorata

Most would recognize this member of the Poaceae by its common name, sweetgrass, or more readily when its leaves are braided together. 

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I came across a booth selling sweetgrass braids at a local art fair.  While at the booth, the vendor told me that it was a native grass of Central New York.  I was feeling nostalgic and drifted back to my Flagstaff days, remembering that distinctive mellow aroma. My friend would burn her braid daily, which always gave me a warm feeling upon entering her home.  So I bought the braid, brought it home, and began filling my house with a smell of the past.     

Sure enough, Hierochloe odorata is native throughout Canada, New England, and Central New York.  According to the USDA site, it isn’t found specifically in Onondaga County. However I’m keeping my hopes up that I will find it hiding out come the spring. 

 Sweetgrass has been used in a variety of ways throughout many American Indian Cultures.  It has been used as an incense ceremonially, medicinally, and in basketry. Recently sweetgrass has been used in restoration plantings to combat erosion of wetland slopes.  

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