Sweetgrass has slightly different significance in different communities. To the Anishnaabe First Nation (Woodland Indians), it is believed to be the sacred hair of O’gushnan, Mother Earth, and is often braided; the three sections representing mind, body, and soul. Some First Nations believe the three sections of the braid represent love, kindness and honesty.
The Anishnaabe People follow very sacred traditions and believe that when one takes something from the Earth - for example, when sweetgrass is picked - then an explanation to the spirit about why it is being picked and how it will be used is required. The explanation is often accompanied by an offering of tobacco in return for the generosity shown by the Earth and the plant which shared itself.
Sweetgrass is used in smudges, healing or talking circles because it has a healing effect - its smoke is believed to purify thoughts, the environment and to eliminate bad or negative thoughts.
Cedar (Thuja Occidantalis)has amazing protective qualities, and is often used to cleanse a home of unwanted energies. It has healing and spiritual properties, and is often used in ancestral communication. This type of Cedar is actually Cypress, which is used for healing and protection. Cypress can be used for legal matters, prosperity, wealth, and luck. It is very cleansing and purifying.