Sunday, 16 June 2019

Using tobacco properly, for prayer...

Tobacco was something that, when I used improperly in the past, created a nightmare scenario where my soul got insanely ill, and white psychiatrists wouldn't listen when I told them tobacco had fucked me up.  With rigorous prayer work, devotion, and invocation, I have probably almost completely healed from the problems that came of smoking the ceremonial stuff with inhale.  I am now discovering the benefits of tobacco use in prayer, something I got some help learning to use through First Nations ladies in my community.

There have been a couple of places in the GTA that sold the good stuff, which surprised me, as this plant is normally regulated and only sold to First Nations Canadians, generally speaking.  When I saw it, I snatched some up, in case I could use it.  I have now found a way to incorporate it into my practice.

The method we used in my community was to scoop a small amount in one's left hand (the hand closest to the heart), hold it to the heart, and whisper your prayers to it, then bundle it in fabric as a tie, and throw it onto a fire.  Seeing as I do most of my work at my shrine in my apartment, a fire is not a good idea, so I found a way to work around this with similar methods.  I take a pinch, do the same thing with prayer, then sprinkle it onto a burning charcoal, and watch as it goes up in smoke.  It seems equally effective, no matter the amount.  Some powerful reactions have happened with tobacco - it carries prayers straight to the Creator, and is a means for less developed people to have more successful prayers.  When I have used it, often I get a reaction through my body if a prayer is received.

Yesterday, a friend who has been on my mind a lot spiritually came by, and we did some prayers for her with it, then I gave her some tobacco and charcoals, encouraging her to continue this at home for her benefit.  Also, it's possible I was able to invoke some more Medicine Wheel based divinity both yesterday and today.  I figured that one symbol I keep getting, the Earth sigil, was urging me to invoke the Earth Mother.  Through both direct prayers to the Creator, with and without tobacco, I got the impression this might have happened last night.  The moon will be full tomorrow, in its Strawberry Moon phase - last night I used ceremonial tobacco to invoke Grandmother Moon, something it seems I needed the plant to do, not being able to work with this through vocal prayer alone.  Then today, I tried with tobacco for Father Sun.

Playing it by ear here - these are gods I got the impression might be involved in some way at some point throughout my initiation (through sigils I received suggesting this), so hopefully this takes me forward... time will tell.  I have an excellent book on the Medicine Wheel and its related practices called "Dancing With the Wheel: The Medicine Wheel Workbook", which I use as a reference.  So right now, I am beginning to focus on the more traditional spirituality components of my path, the Christian ones seemingly solid now.  This is an area of spirituality I am sadly having to learn as I go along on my own - being a white woman, it's not necessarily easy to convince an elder to be a teacher in this way, it may seem kind of pretentious somehow.  So I have to study, experiment, and attend Teaching Circle when I can, to learn that way, at least until a personal teacher arrives.  I do get very powerful reactions to these medicines, so I think I could be the real deal, but it's tricky finding a guide who is either not a plastic shaman, or who is at all interested in taking me under their wing.

-Saraƒin

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