The old timers say that “the spirits like plenty of sweetgrass”, which is used in a braid or crumbled from the braid over the coals. Because the sweetgrass smoke is pleasing to all the spirits… any spirit, good or bad… one has to be careful and intentful with your precise language on what is called in and for what purpose! Sweetgrass is not used in clearing space or for ritual purification of any sort! When sweetgrass is burned, it will induce and incline the spirits to help you in your ceremony and look at it in favor, or as a “blessing” for an individual or object so the spirits will be attracted to or look favorably at that person or object.
Sweetgrass is known as hierochloe hirta in Latin, soni-ppeh in my native language and “basket grass or swamp grass” in cowboy Western English. It grows from Canada and throughout the western and central plains (sparse) and Northeastern states of America. It was often gathered and braided or woven into baskets, it was also stored and used as a perfume by wrapping articles in it or with it to absorb the fragrance. Because of this many old-time Indians would use it in storing their dance regalia or ceremonial items. Dried, it was crushed or sprinkled over coals during many ceremonies as a welcoming of spirit or spirits (any spirit), and used as a blessing because of just that reason. It can also be used at the conclusion of ceremony to end things in a good-hearted manner. It was also used as a tea for “thinning the blood” and as a mild stimulant.