Shared from Good Medicine and Primal Consciousness Delphi Web Forum
FOUR SACRED MEDICINES
Tobacco is one of the four sacred plants, representing the Eastern Direction. Our Lodge smokes a form of tobacco known as kinikinik, or a red willow mix, although some members prefer to use home grown or store-bought tobacco. Tobacco is used in the offering of prayer to the Creator, acting as a medium for communication. It is either offered to the fire, so the smoke can lift the prayers to the Creator, or it is set on the ground in a nice, clean place. This is done on a daily basis as each new day is greeted with prayers of thankfulness. The Elders say to hold it in your prayers of thankfulness. They also add that you are to hold it in your left hand as this is the hand closer to your heart. It is always good to offer Tobacco when seeking knowledge or advice from an Elder or when a Pipe is present.
Cedar represents the Southern direction. The leaves are cleaned from the stems and separated into small pieces, which are used in many way. When burned, Cedar acts as a purifier, cleansing the area in which it is burned and emitting a pleasant scent. Elders say to put some in your shoes and only goodness will come your way.
Sage is used in much the same ways as Cedar. It is burned as a purifier, but when compared to the “piney” scent of cedar, sage has a spice air. Sage represents the Western direction.
The Sweetgrass is known for its beautifully sweet, aromatic scent, which is enhanced by the rain or when it is burned. This, too, is a purifier. Many things are made with Sweetgrass such as coiled baskets. It is often braided and thus signified the hair of Our Mother the Earth. Each of the three sections that go into the braid have a specific meaning – mind, body and spirit. Native peoples live life in a very sacred manner. When taking something from the Earth, they always explain to the spirit of the plant why it is being done and offer some tobacco in return for the generosity and help of the plant which shared itself so freely