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.
Artist: Hand made by Sylvia Jackson & other members of the Navajo Nation (Din'eh), USA. This is a group of Navajo women, helped by their children to make deerskin medicine bags, bone & bead necklaces and feather fans.
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 5 cms (2 inches). Total length of leather cord for hanging around neck is about 28 inches (70cms) but this length is adjustable by moving the knot.
About Sylvia Jackson
Sylvia Jackson is a member of the Navajo tribe and lives in the USA. We trade directly with this artist making sure she receives a fair price for her 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.
More About the Symbol of the Turtle
Turtles have been and are held sacred in many traditions. In the Far East the turtle shell is seen as a symbol of heaven while the squarer underside is symbolic of mother earth. And through other traditions such as Native American turtle is a symbol of mother earth and our ability to find happiness on mother earth.
The turtle is a slow moving creature on land and is never in a rush. All you need to do is find the pace that is appropriate. Like the knight of pentacles in a Tarot deck turtle energy is steady, earthy and always accomplishes what they set out to do. If you align with the energy of turtle you are assured of completion. It teaches to go with the flow and be happy with the pace that your life is taking. Do not try to push it faster than is natural or you may reach your destination too early and feel you missed something along the way. Turtle teaches us to try and enjoy the journey as much as the final achievement. To focus too much on the end of something means you will often find yourself dreaming of the future, which will leave you ungrounded and unhappy. So have around you the symbol of turtle when you wish to remain grounded and take joy in what you have been given.
Also because of their great shells turtle symbolise our ability to protect ourselves. When you have done a certain amount of personal development and thinking you come to realise that everything is connected. And we start to see ourselves reflected in the actions of others. But sometimes some people have their own history and their own anger and it is just best to get out of their way. That is where the shell of turtle may come in handy. You don't have to take responsibility on for everyone. Sometimes just leave them to get on with it. And if they get too close use turtle energy to give them a little snap so they know you are there.
More About the Symbol of the Deer (Medicine Bag is made with traditional deer skin leather)
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.
Staff Review by Brett Almond
The leather is lovely and soft and the finish is excellent. The bead that sits at the top of the bag is unique and made of a blown glass. It slides easily up and down the leather straps, which then allows space for you to open up the bag to put whatever precious item/items you wish to carry. The little animal/symbol on the bag is made of wood and tied onto the leather on the flap. The chord that goes around your neck is pretty long and is made so that you can tie it to whatever length you wish it to be. I like my medicine bag to hang near my heart. These are really well made bags and hand-made by the artist. The colour of the leather can vary slightly. It is always a lightish brown as can be seen in the photos. If you have a preference for darker or lighter please say in the “anything else to tell us” box on the address page and if we can help we will.
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