A friend said I need a medicine bag

hi i was talking to a new friend on face book and said that i had a dreamcatcher over my bed to keep me safe an she said that i need a medicine bag to help keep me safe but not sure whether i need to buy one or make one so how do i go about either and what would i put in it please
angie

Hi Angie,

Choosing a medicine bag and its contents is a very personal thing.

We’ve put together some information about medicine bags which you can read here

What is a Medicine Bag and what goes in it?

Medicine bags come in all sizes and types – you can browse them here on the Medicine Bag Page

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Some medicine bags have animal spirits associated with them. You can read about Animal Spirits here.

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Native American Medicine Stick Sage Bundle Door Blessing

A door blessing is a wonderful hanging for the door of your home, office, tack room or other special place. It embodies many elements from Mother Nature and has specific symbolism.

With some elements of a prayer stick, a medicine stick and a sage bundle, a door blessing is intended to purify and bless the place and all who enter.

Sage Bundle Door Blessing

Paraphrased from the attached card:

  • The Medicine Stick brings positive energy.
  • The red, yellow, white and black ribbons represent the Four Directions from which all strength comes.
  • The feather represents Freedom.
  • Thoughts, Prayers, and Choices are represented by the bead circle which shows us that our thoughts return to us again and again.
  • Turquoise protects us and keeps us Positive in thought.
  • The rabbit fur is to help us keep a warm heart.
  • The fur reminds us that Mother Earth is the Giver of Life and we should walk softly.
  • The Sage Medicine Stick exists that we might all live in Love and Oneness.

Although these are not Native American made, they are inspired by Native American symbolism. They are made for us in Utah from rabbit fur, turkey feathers, sage, beads and ribbons.

Approximately 8″ wide x 12″ long with a loop for hanging.


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Help – Attached Spirit From Haunted House Follows Me

Hello Paula,
I have an attached spirit  that followed me from a haunted house that is very stubborn do you have anything that will help get rid of it asap?
Thanks Sabrina
Dear Sabrina,
Oh dear. First of all, I hope you are not frightened. Some people are frightened of spirits and others enjoy interacting with spirits. I hope, whatever your circumstance, that you are not afraid of what you are experiencing.
Secondly, I have no knowledge or first hand experience with haunted houses or attached spirits. I didn’t even know what an attached spirit is – I had to google it to learn the prevailing definition:
An attached spirit is when an earthbound spirit is attracted to a living person and then begins to “hang out” with the living person.
Also, I want you to know that I am not a spiritual adviser.

With all that said, I’ve heard of people carrying or wearing an object so that the stubborn attached spirit is attracted to and absorbed by the item. Then the item can be ceremonially buried. That is one idea. Here, for example, is:
Raven Spirit Doll by Cynthia Whitehawk, Apache
Turtle Spirit by Alan Monroe, Oglala Lakota
Broadface Kachina by Loretta Multine, Navajo/Hopi
Another would be smudging to purify the space around you and your surroundings (car, home, workplace). You can read about smudging to see if that is something for you.

Best of luck Sabrina and be safe !

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Native American Symbols – Turtle and Tortoise

The turtle is an old, sacred figure in Native American symbolism as it represents Mother Earth, and after all, where would we be without her?

Is it turtle or tortoise? See the section at the end of this article to learn the difference. I’m going to use the word turtle to represent both.

To each tribe, the turtle might depict something slightly different but with a recurring theme of creation, protection, longevity.

Carnelian Turtle Totem on Apache Dreamcatcher by Cynthia Whitehawk

According to the Woodland tribes (those in the New England and Great Lakes areas), the turtle dove into the primeval waters to retrieve mud to make the earth. In Iroquois lore, the turtle is a part of the creation myth.

Iroquois Creation Myth

What is a Woodland Tribe? There are many – you might recognize some of the tribal names: Iroquois, Mohawk, Sac, Fox, Mohegan – For a complete listing of the Northeast Woodland Tribes.

The turtle’s hard shell represents perseverance and protection. It has been and can be used as a calendar. The 13 large patterned squares in the center of the shell represent the 13 full moons of the year. The 28 smaller squares around the perimeter of the shell represent the 28 days of each lunar month.

Zuni Turtle Fetish by Adrian Cachini

To the Lakota, the turtle (ke-ya) spirit brings health and longevity. In the past, a beaded turtle was put on the umbilicus or the crib of new born girls for protection and a long life.

Lakota Turtle Spirit by Alan Monroe

Lakota Turtle Dreamcatcher by Tony Monroe

To the Southwest Native American peoples (Navajo, Zuni, Hopi, Santo Domingo Pueblo and others), the turtle represents precious water and is revered in that way. Turtles are popular fetish figures and especially in the southwest where water is a true gift.

Pipestone Turtle Fetish by Daphne Neha, Zuni

In certain Navajo ceremonies, medicines must be dispensed from a turtle shell or an abalone shell – no other container will suffice.

 

Sterling Silver and Gold Turtle Pendant by Tommy Singer, Navajo

In Zuni legend, turtles bring fertility and longevity. Medicine bags with turtles associated with them ask similar longevity for their owners and are considered by some to have the ability to defy death.

Apache Turtle Medicine Bag by Cynthia Whitehawk

Tortoise shell was used for inlay but has been illegal in the U.S. since 1973.

Turtle shells have also been used in the formation of dance rattles.

Turtle or Tortoise

What is the difference between turtle and tortoise? Are they synonymous?

They are similar but not the same. Both are egg laying reptiles with hard shells and scaly skin. They are slow moving so rely on their shell as protection – they can retract their head and legs into their shell to various degrees. Both are cold blooded so require external sources to warm themselves and shade to cool themselves.

A turtle lives in the water (oceans, lakes, rivers) primarily so has webbed front feet and streamlined legs for swimming. The only time a turtle comes on land is to lay eggs. Once hatched, baby turtles are on their own. A turtle has a flat shell. Turtles eat plants and bugs. They tend to migrate in the ocean and other waters.

 

Mother Earth Turtle Rattle by Cynthia Whitehawk, Apache

A tortoise lives on the land primarily so has feet with long claws for digging and no webbing between the toes. Tortoise legs are more like short, strong stumps, good for dessert walking. A tortoise has a rounded or domed shell and since they are usually found in hot climates, they stay underground during the heat of the day. The tortoise is herbivorous, preferring succulents. Tortoise eggs are laid in a nest and when they hatch, the baby turtles move to the mother’s burrow. Tortoises tend to say in one area for life.

Russell Shack, Zuni

Both turtles and tortoises have very long life spans in comparison to humans, some tortoises living as long as 150 years.

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Native American Artifacts – Medicine Bag of Deceased

How is a medicine bag properly laid to rest after the owner has passed?

 

Apache Horse Spirit Medicine Bag by Cynthia Whitehawk

Apache Horse Spirit Medicine Bag by Cynthia Whitehawk

 

Hello,

If the deceased was not Native American, it is a highly personal matter. The medicine bag and/or its contents could be buried with the deceased or passed along to a family member or friend if that is the owner’s intended desire or designation.

If the deceased was a Native American, it would be best to contact an elder, a medicine man, a shaman or healer from the tribe to learn the proper customs for the treatment of the medicine bag and its contents.

 

Although it is not customary for a Native American to be buried with his riches, it is customary to bury his medicine bag or totem with him unless he wills them away. A totem is an animal spirit that a person chooses (or the totem chooses the person) as an ally through life, so it is in death. A totem item, such as a carved stone fetish of the animal, might be included in the medicine bag.

Zuni Raven Carved Fetish Totem

Zuni Raven Carved Fetish Totem

In addition, some tribes bury food (a small sack of corn or beans), water, possibly tobacco and hunting tools, such as a bow, arrow and knife with the deceased for his journey.


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Native American Smudging – The Sacred Bowl Blessing

The Sacred Smoke Bowl Blessing – Smudging

Native American Smudge Feather Fans

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The “Sacred Smoke Bowl Blessing” is a powerful Native American cleansing technique. It is a ritual to remove negativity. Smoke attaches itself to the negative energy and removes it to another space.

Cleansing is the word traditionally used, but you can think of it as a shift in energy from any bits of negativity to a more positive, peaceful state.

Smudging can be used to cleanse an object, a place, or your spirit, mind or body. Native Americans often use smudging in association with other ceremonies.

Contemporary uses includes purifying a new vehicle, your work area or a room or dwelling before moving in; purifying a sacred object such as stone, book or fetish; or for self-cleansing before meditation, prayer or sleep.

Certain plants are used for smudging. Smudging is done in a particular way. The herbs are burned in a small bowl or a shell, such as an abalone shell. The shell represents Water, a gift from the ocean. The smoke is distributed with a feather, a gift from our winged friends.

Herbs
Sage
For driving out negativity and for healing, White Sage is    preferred.

Sweetgrass
Sweetgrass is used for blessing after sage has been used.
It is an important part of Sioux and Cherokee ceremonies.     Sweetgrass is braided like hair.

Smudge Kit

A smudge kit contains herbs, a “bowl” or shell, and a feather to direct the smoke. The entire kit can be carried in a medicine bag.

Each part of the smudge kit and the smudging process signifies one of the four elements, that, when used, evokes the fifth element, life energy.

Native American Smudge Kit

Native American Smudge Kit

– The shell represents WATER
– The unlit herbs and ashes represents the EARTH
– The lit herb represents the FIRE
– The smoke represents the AIR

Smudging

Before you begin, be sure the area is well ventilated because the smoke, carrying the negative energy, must have an escape route.

Take normal precautions to prevent an unwanted fire, such as placing your smudge pot or shell on a non-combustible surface.

Gather your smudge kit and a means to light the herbs. Long wooden matches are the best because a candle can add dripping wax to the process and a lighter, is well, kind of out of character.

Light the herb and when a flame appears, put the herb out so it will smolder and smoke. Before you smudge another person, an object or a place, you should smudge yourself. You can do this by bringing the smoke to you and rolling it in swirls over your head, shoulders and around your body. Send the smoke away with the feather.

Native American Smudge Feather Fan

Native American Smudge Feather Fan

When smudging a place, such as a room or car, pay homage to the cardinal directions which include the east, west, north, south, up and down.

When you are finished smudging, extinguish sweetgrass by damping the braid against the shell. For sage, you can crush it against the bowl or shell or in a bowl of sand.

For more information

Sacred Smoke The Ancient Art of Smudging for Modern Times

Sacred Smoke The Ancient Art of Smudging for Modern Times

Native American – Oglala Lakota Sioux of South Dakota

Native American Tribes –

Oglala Lakota Sioux of South Dakota

©  2010 Horsekeeping © Copyright Information

Lakota Sioux

The Lakota are part of seven related Sioux tribes and speak Lakota, one of three major dialects of the Sioux language.

There are seven Lakota branches, one of which is the Oglala who occupy North and South Dakota.Authentic Native American Indian  horse carving fetish

The Lakota obtained horses in the early 1700s and used them to hunt buffalo and move their villages when weather or grazing required it.

The Lakota were compelled to sign a treaty in 1877 ceding the Black Hills to the United States but there was continued unrest which ended up with the killing of Sitting Bull in 1890 followed by the Massacre of Wounded Knee the same year at Pine Ridge.

Hand made Native American Indian Buffalo fetish carvingThe Lakota people are members of the Buffalo Nation or Tatanka Oyate so the buffalo is an important part of the Lakota creation story.

Tatanka, the Lakota word for buffalo, means “bull buffalo” or a male bison but has a greater spiritual and ceremonial significance to the Lakota. Because the buffalo provided food, clothing and shelter for the Lakota, the buffalo is treated with great respect.

The Four Directions – The Four Colors – The Four Races

The Medicine Wheel

The Medicine Wheel represents American Indian Spirituality – the journey each individual must take to find his or her path. The Medicine Wheel is based on the four cardinal directions and the four sacred colors. A circle represents life; at the center of the circle is the eternal fire.

There are various pairings of the colors with other groups of four and it varies greatly among tribes.

The four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

The cycle of a day: Dawn, Day, Dusk, Night

Native American Indian Buckskin Medicine BagThe cycle of life: Birth, Life, Death, Afterlife

The four directions: East, South, West, North

The four races: White, Yellow, Red, Black

The four colors: White, Yellow, Red, Black

The four elements: Air, Water, Fire, Earth