Artist: Hand made by Curtis Bitsui, Navajo tribe, USA
Made from: Deerskin. The traditional leather for medicine bags.
Dimensions: Height of actual bag part (ie the bit you put your items into) is about 10 cms (4 inches). Total height of whole bag including tassels is 18-20 cms. Total length of leather cord for hanging around neck is about 28 inches (70cms) but this length is adjustable by moving the knot.
Dictionary Terms Explained
Curtis Bitsui - Navajo tribe
Curtis Bitsui is a member of the Navajo tribe and lives in the USA. We trade directly with this artist making sure he receives a fair price for his work. All items will be good quality but because of the hand made nature of the goods it is possible that crafts such as these may have small differences between them. These small differences (if there are any) should be seen as a testimony to the fact that you are buying authentic Native American crafts.
- Bag for sacred objects
A medicine bag is a sacred pouch used in the Native American tradition and hung around the neck. In it you place sacred objects that represent your own personal “medicine”. There is no real limit to what these objects can be but some examples are: small crystals or rocks, feathers, plants, herbs or anything that has significance to you.
Here are three examples of occasions you may wish to put items in your bag:
* Add an item that represents your power animal or guides. This helps to reinforce this connection.
* If something significant happens to you like a personal breakthrough which you want to anchor into your life, look around for something small to put in your medicine bag to help you make real what has happened.
* Place something in your bag that represents a part of yourself that you wish to develop. For example if you wanted to be more loving you may place in there a small piece of rose quartz.
A medicine bag helps you remember who we are. It also acts as a means of personal energetic protection and in certain situations can be held by others to help bring healing and protection to them.
A medicine bag is a sacred bag and should be cared for as such, only being opened by yourself to put in new items. If something accidentally falls from your bag, don’t worry, often you will leave that thing out as it has probably served you and you are ready for something new. As you add new items bless them. Smudge them on the way in if you can. Consciously be aware of what you are wishing for by placing these items in there.
You can add decoration to your medicine bag in whatever way you feel adding beads, feathers or any other items that call to you. When you first start to use you bag it is good if you can smudge your new bag with sage smoke and also put some time aside to set your intention for using the bag and to say some prayers.
- Gentleness, kindness
Deer energy is very gentle. Deer energy ignores negativity and bad behaviour and cuts right through this to find the true heart of whatever or whoever they are dealing with. For someone who wishes to hold bad thoughts about others this can be hard to deal with as deer energy offers nothing for them to fight with and just like the five of swords in the Tarot they may just put their sword down and stop fighting leaving themselves open to love and compassion.
The Buddha is often depicted with a deer and in many legends knights (such as Sir Gawain) follow deer deep into woodland to find new adventures and new heart. Deer brings a healing gift because it is so gentle and only sees through the eyes of love. This is a powerful thing as it can cause others to respond back in kind. Thus healing them.
- Protection, mystery, transformation
As a colour, black reflects no light in the visible spectrum, which is why it’s often had a strong association with the unknown, with magic and mystery.
Although black can be viewed as a dark, negative and forbidding colour, it also has very positive meanings too. Due to its deep, black and empty look, black can be viewed as restful and something which can transform ideas or possibilities. For example, used in meditations, you can drift into the black emptiness and emerge once more full of hope and possibility.
If you enjoy working with gemstones and crystals, then the black stones, such as jet, onyx, obsidian and black tourmaline, are excellent as grounding stones. They also have protective energies and can be used to help clear negativity and bad energy.
In the Western world, black is the colour of funerals, as people wear black and use black hearses to transport coffins. The commonly associated garb of witches is a black cloak, accompanied by a black cauldron, out of which they conjured up magic and mystery. For Native Americans, black was viewed in favourable terms, as it was the colour of the earth, out of which life and crops grow.
When worn as a colour, black can generate a protective feel, helping you blend into the crowd, yet when coupled with white for formal attire, it can also help create an air of elegance and sophistication.
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