What is a *Medicine* Bag & how do you make one?
A medicine bag is an ancient item that spiritually represents the
person who wears it. In 1991 the body of a man who lived over 5,000
years ago was found frozen in a high mountain range and with him was
a medicine bag. The medicine bag is known in all cultures and through
out all of history. They contain objects such as leaves, feathers,
stones, herbs such as sweetgrass, sage, cedar, lavender or pinion,
and other objects which have been added by the wearer and considered
Medicine bags can be as small as 1 inch by 1 inch or as large as 30
inches in length. They are typically made of leather and you can
purchase such a bag to make your own at most metaphysical stores.
The reasons to carry a medicine are for guidance, healing and
protection. Most medicine bags contain a quartz crystal as one of its
objects. Quartz energy resonates with all the energies of the
physical body and is considered a remarkable healing stone. It
connects you to your spiritual self.
Other items you might like in your own medicine bag are items you may
have found a special attraction to or resonance with in your life.
For example, a special shell you found at the seashore or a feather
you found or a piece of pine tree or a juniper berry that holds
meaning for you. We often meet up with items that seem to be just
waiting for us to pick them up and carry them home and then we don't
know what to do with them. This is one place to give them a home
close to your heart. The essence of these special items create an
energy in your medicine bag and that energy is the force that
represents you. So by creating a medicine bag and wearing it close to
your heart you are connecting with your spiritual self, the authentic
you and always remembering who you are.
The Shaman often carries a medicine bag that has items in it for
healing oneself and others. I carry many things in my tiny medicine
bag. I met with a group of healers recently who laughed at me for
having such a small medicine bag! Mine is only about 1 inch by 1 ½
inches. But it is not about the size at all, it is about what it
contains. My medicine bag contains items that I can use for healing
others on the spot. I carry jojoba, a plant grown in the southwest
for healing skin infections, bug bites and rashes. I carry a
moonstone for healing trauma, a small piece of serpentine that heals
all kinds of internal disorders. A small ostrich feather to heal any
kind of spiritual negativity, a seagull feather to remove any lesions
or other intrusions upon the body, the herb feverfew to ease fevers,
a hair from an elephant who is my totem animal, the animal that I
resonate the most with, and the Three Sisters: a kernel of corn, a
dried bean and a squash seed that connect me to the abundance and
healing of Mother Earth. So the medicine bag I carry is a healing bag
and I might remove an item or use the whole bag in an emergency
situation or when visiting someone who is sick by laying my bag upon
the illness or broken leg for example. It works!
Your medicine bag is a holy item for you and should never be opened
by anyone. It contains your holy items, those that help you heal,
those that bring you protection, those items that connect you with
your guides or angels. The phrase "totem animal" is often referred to
and that would mean something that represents an animal that you
closely identify with and feel a kinship for as I do with the
elephant. You can put something to represent this animal in your
medicine bag. Your item represents the power of this animal.
To make your medicine bag, you can purchase a small leather pouch or
make your own from a piece of hide or natural colored canvas. The
outside of your bag should be a natural color or earth tone like tan.
You can decorate the outside of your bag with symbols or drawings of
animals or leaves, whatever feels right in your heart. Before placing
your items in your bag, take a moment to bless them and realize their
meaning in your life and why you wish to carry them with you in this
way. Bless Mother Earth and her creatures for providing these things
Think of how each item represents your own power to heal, to guide
and protect others by carrying this medicine bag. This is your
connection to your spiritual nature. Carrying this medicine bag will
increase your awareness of your own sacredness and the bag becomes
sacred too. As you go through life you may find other things you want
to add to this medicine bag. If you wear it and add to it throughout
the years it becomes a spiritual scrap book of your life, your
travels, your achievements, who you really are and is a wonderful
thing to hand down to grandchildren who can understand its meaning
and respect its value as you now do.