Certain plants give up their lives so that we can use their smoke for prayers and cleansing, and the aroma produced by these plants help us place ourselves in a different state of mind thus bringing us into a deeper part of ourselves. Then, as we concentrate on what is happening, the scent may inspire memories, awaken the soul and give a sense of direction. Cedar is one of the most important Native American ceremonial plants, used by many tribes as an incense and purifying herb. Cedar is especially associated with prayer, healing, dreams, and protection against disease. Many Salish tribes consider the cedar tree a symbol of generosity and providence, and had special rituals regarding the felling of cedar trees. Cedar is commonly used as part of sweat lodge ceremonies, and is also one of the herbs frequently included in medicine bundles and amulets. Cedar leaves and bark are used as medicine plants in many tribes as well.

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