Creating a Medicine Bag

There are different types of medicine bags and all are wise to create.

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The one I am going to describe to you today is a protection of sorts.  It doesn’t matter if you are Catholic or Buddhist, I think we all understand that there is a lot out there that we do not fully grasp.  We are a small part of the whole.  Regardless of the believer’s perceived notions on heaven and hell, there is no doubt that there are spirits, some good, some evil, entities of destruction and angels of good.  We can help in the protection of our own being.  You might see some people have a Native medicine bag attached to their belt or used as a purse but those are for show.  A real medicine bag must be hidden.  Worn under the clothes or kept very close in a purse or the like, a medicine bag is a protection device.

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My first teacher, a wise shaman, taught me to fill mine with something from every element and helper.  I used rocks, and feathers, and totems, and herbs, and boy was it heavy!  One could simply use sage, cedar, sweet grass, tobacco, rocks or totems of meaning, feathers, medals, or holy soil.  Listen to yourself find the perfect combination.  One doesn’t divulge what is in their own personal medicine bag.  Having a shaman smudge it makes it stronger and secure. (If you don’t know one, do it yourself with cedar and sage.)

For those that are healers, intuitives, and empaths, these are imperative as good work is often trifled with from the dark side, but even those that do not find themselves in these descriptions can benefit from extra protection from the negative forces of this world.  Be safe out there and do good works!

The Life of a Healer- Part 1 (oddities and healings)

dandelion

I remember that little girl rather clearly though it was many a year ago.  Her name was Wildflower and I can see her now with her wispy brown hair and big blue eyes planting dandelion seeds in a circular pattern in the neighbor’s yard in hopes of creating bountiful yellow meadows on that city block.  Even then, at six years old, Wildflower understood the importance of dandelions and was ever baffled at those who attempted their demise.

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She was a bit of an odd child, I recall.  She spent most of her time playing alone.  She kept only a few close friends.  Her friends were the trees and the animals.  She had a special bond with animals, an empathy that confused those near, and a deep compassion for all living creatures.

As the child started to grow she spent most of her time at the park reading, or writing poetry.  She would feed the ducks and they would lie along the edges of her blanket by the lake, under the large summer trees.  She would feed squirrels by hand and chatter with them as they would her.  Again, only keeping a few close friends, she spent most of her time alone among animals and nature.

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When she was quite small her parents were Atheist and so Wildflower would test God.  “God, if you are real, help me with my homework!”  Every time she did her English work she would ask to find a word in the dictionary that was required and would turn to the page and point to it with her eyes closed.  Every time she found the word she was looking for.  This surprised and delighted the young child and long talks ensued with the Great Spirit.  Her parents became Catholic and so did she and Wildflower fell in love with all the prayers and quiet treasures of silent reverie.  She wished to become a nun and spend her entire life writing and reading and praying and helping animals and people.

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When Wildflower was nine years old she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Such an odd thing for a child to experience and for five years weekly visits to doctors, too much aspirin, and very painful times commenced.  The doctors simply could not help.  At fourteen years old it was time to be confirmed in the Catholic Church and a retreat was taking place at the amazing Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden, Colorado.  This is a place with awe inspiring views and a sense of true peace and miracles.  The fountain where Mother Cabrini struck a rock to bring water forth is still there and those searching, praying, or praising go to this miraculous place.  Including, at the time, a bunch of rough and tumble teenagers with little respect and a strong sense of rebellion.  Wildflower remembered the teenagers as they gathered in a room in the old house where a small, Hispanic woman with a quiet presence stood.  The children made jokes, made light of the heavy air.  The woman called the first child up and made the sign of the cross on their forehead with holy water.  The youth leaders were behind the young man as he stiffened and fell straight to the ground, being guided by their knowing hands.  There he lay paralyzed as she prayed over him.  The teenagers sat speechless.  When it was Wildflower’s turn she walked up, nervous about what would happen, and she too fell straight back and lay on the patterned rug staring at the ceiling paralyzed.  The mysterious woman leaned over her and said that Wildflower would begin speaking in tongues and that her arthritis would leave her body.  Wildflower was carried to a couch where the words of a higher power began to flow out of her mysteriously and without aid and through her fingertips a rush of power flew, all the pain that she could handle was rushing through her fingers and out of her body.  She was shaking and being comforted by youth leaders and in that moment was healed.

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This would be the first of four miraculous healings that would occur to the young healer long before she knew her calling.  She knew the plants and herbs and animals and the Great Spirit but did not yet know the herbs’ practical uses as she was still in a place where no one knew that plants could speak or heal.  So, even though she tended wild flowers, she knew not that she would work with them in the future.  Because after a few years she became lost….

Lost Hobbies…what are yours?

Our living room with Sister Mary Francis

What was your hobby when you were a kid? What did you want to be when you grew up? What is something you are really good at? Your lost art?

When the kids started being gone more and I had to figure out what to do if I weren’t bossing people around and working, I started thinking of all the things I loved to do before I had kids.  I loved to dance (reopened my dance company), I loved to write (I am definitely writing more!), and I loved to paint.  So, a few years ago I gathered up supplies and started painting again.  How different my paintings are now then when I was in high school!  Landscapes and still lifes, fashion design and drawings of cats made way for paintings of farms and farm animals, of praying nuns and villages.  Looking at a painting, one can see the artist’s soul, their utmost desires and needs, their joys and sadness, their inspirations.

San Miguel

When we moved last March, everything was put up and I haven’t done many paintings of late.  How easy it is for us to get lost in our world of working, errands, play, children, spouses, to-do lists and lose the essence of our expression.

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My paintings will be shown at the coffee shop in Elizabeth next month.  I would love to have some new paintings out to show.  One can tell that I am not putting as much energy into painting as I could as I sell roughly one painting a year.  I can’t do art shows near our town because everyone only knows me as the herbalist.  Last year I did my first art show since school.  I kid you not, every single person came up and said, “Where are your tinctures?”  “Do you have any Allergy medicine?”  “No?  How about Stress and Blues?”  “Oh, who’s the artist?”  I would send everyone to the shop.  Doug had a stellar day; I did nothing!  Then things got busy and the paints got put up.

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People are often intrigued by the paintings of the nuns.  Baffled and interested at the same time.  I paint nuns because I had every intention of becoming one.  After watching Haley Mills in “Trouble with Angels” I decided that is what I wanted to be.  I already made my way by myself to mass often.  I loved the peace and serenity one could find in prayer and the beauty of the Catholic church simply amplified that.  I love helping people and it just all seemed to be a good fit.  Apparently being pregnant is frowned upon when becoming a nun, however!  And of course I realized my true path in life is as a mother and wife.  I cannot imagine anything better.  But my desire for peace and tranquility, for serenity and prayer comes through that set of paintings.

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The farm animals, the New Mexican paintings all speak of what I really want.  I have more paintings in my mind, one of my son Andrew, Maryjane needs to be immortalized in acrylic (though I could never do her justice), a table of brightly colored chilies, a barn, a child praying…..no pastels, only vivid colors.

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What hobbies do you hope to start up again?