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Archive for the ‘Medicine Bags’ Category

Heart-Strings Bag

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          He pulled his cards out of the bag, an old dark green velvet thing, and stuffed the cards into his back pocket.  I was certain those dragon cards were most displeased by that process.  He held the back out to me, along with a lock of his hair twisted up in a bit of copper wire.  I slid my hand into his, gripping the bag and his hand underneath.  I clung to him for just one moment.  He gently disengaged himself, kissed my cheek.  Then he turned, and walked away.  I knew it would be too long before I saw him again.  At least I did know what I had to do while he was gone on his Journey.  I had to take one of my own.


          I stumbled home, unwilling to admit that tears trickled from my eyes, burning down my cheeks.  I clutched that emerald bag to my chest in both hands.  I didn’t notice how wet it grew as I did.  I staggered through my front door and threw myself onto the bench.  I don’t remember another thing, til the rooster started crowing the next morn.


          I awoke full of purpose.  I knew what I needed to do.  I lit the sage bundles and let them waft and clear the air.  I washed myself, scrubbed my face clean.  Changed out of my dirty dusty duds from the day before and found something clean and peaceful to wear.  I did a little sweeping and dusting to cleanse the room a bit more.  Then it was time to set to work.


          I turned to my shop, the wall of nooks and crannies and cabinets it had taken me so long to build by hand to my ever-changing specifications.  I started to hum under my breath, waiting for inspiration to hit me.


          All I did was allow the Spirit to move over me and through me.  My hands reached.  My body twirled.  I nearly danced myself silly, as the humming took on a voiceless cadence, and my skirts whipped and flew with my movements.


          After I was done, I saw the light had changed.  Morning had passed.  We were into the late afternoon.  Before me on the table was a vast array of items.  Some of them indeed brought more and fervent tears to my eyes.


          First, of course, was his lock of hair bound in the copper wire.  Beside it was a puff of cotton left from my last expedition out into the fields for picking.  A bit of wolf’s fur, bound in azure ribbon.  A lock of sheep’s wool, wrapped in upon itself.  A raven’s tail feather.  All my totem strengths and energies held in hand there.  I gently tucked them into the bag.


          There was a bit of parchment, all bundled up, tied with a bit of red silk thread.  I knew it on sight.  It bore the names of all my loved ones, here and that had passed on.   A vial of tears, said to be from the waters of the River Styx.  It had been passed down through my mother’s line for generations.


          There was a twist of salt, a twist of sand, a twist of rice.  Nearby sat the riverstone he had given me when he went away for training years ago.  The iron nail from shoeing a horse, slightly bent where it had been removed long ago.  A handful of rose petals.  I knew where each petal had come from, which bouquet, which occasion.  My breath hitched in my chest for just a second or two.  Then the golden ring that had bound me for so long, now twisted and crushed into an entirely different form. 


          A small pile of what to some would appear as pebbles.  One quartz crystal to help augment all the rest.  A rose quartz for clarity of heart.  Amethyst for quality of brain.  Garnet for balance of emotions.  Ruby for intensifying emotions.  Carnelian for boldness.


          And each in their own little bundle were the herbs.  Mugwort for vision.  Lavender for peace.  White sage for clarity.  Sweet basil to feed the dragons.  And peppermint for that minty cup of tea to help cleanse me.


          The final objects were an acorn from a ceremony long long ago and a big fat marble the most pure aquamarine with golden flecks threading throughout.


          I tucked all of these into the thick fabric of the pouch, cinched it tight to close it, and hung it at my waist by my belt. 


          I stood up tall, squared my shoulders and walked out the door.  It was time for my own walk-about and I had plenty of places to go.


written by Tabitha 

aka Raven TK

Written by Tabitha Low

May 7, 2009 at 12:49 am

from Medicine bag prompt

with 5 comments

            Things are better now, so I don’t keep one anymore.  Don’t feel the need for it these days.  But awhile back, it was a life-saver, literally.  I called it my “in-case-I-wanna-die” bag.

            I was going through some hard times, in deep therapy, not sure if anything good would ever happen to me again.  My therapist would end a session saying, “Hang on, kiddo,” and “Do something nice for yourself this week.”  Sometimes, when I was feeling suicidal, it took all my effort just to sit there on the bedroom floor and not do anything self-destructive.  So to distract myself, I created a special activity bag.  It kept me occupied until the black mood passed.

            I went through a couple different pretty gift bags over a couple of years.  I filled them up with favorite things – ink pens, journals, favorite perfumes, photos of people and animals I loved, postcards from museums I’d visited, books that made me smile again, like “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and “The Book of Weird”.  It was evidence I compiled that there had been some good days in my life, even if I wasn’t having a good day right then.  Remembering happier times helped me to hang on.  I’d sniff the Silver Rose scent and be reminded of a lovely bed and breakfast stay the year before, see the pictures of my kids, that I did not want to have to find me if I “did something drastic”, and be scarred for life…I’d re-read sweet thoughts in pretty cards friends had given me.  Often it was just empty journal pages I could bleed ink all over until the pressure subsided.

            I’ve had smaller versions since.  I used to carry a medicine bag, a petite version of my “In-case-I-wanna-die” bag.  It held an acorn from the ancient oak in my grandma’s yard, a symbol of her strength and perseverance, an ID badge from visiting the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, a lock of my partner’s hair, a souvenir coin my son and I made years ago, a sugar cube from Les Deux Magots in Paris…These things symbolized sources of power and strength for me…

            Like a toddler who relinquishes her security blanket strip by strip, I am down to carrying just one stone with me.  It is painted with my spirit animal, Coyote.  I am looking within and finding my own strength, and taking good care of myself.


kerry, (c) 2008

Written by kvwordsmith

July 1, 2008 at 8:16 pm

Medicine bag

with 10 comments

identity boots 2- self portrait flag and feet

My healing bag is made of thin strands of synthetic plastic that are dyed in the traditional colours of my mother’s village in Papua New Guinea.

It is lined with silk from the kimono of a Japanese Princess. Persian Paisley Patterns adorn the silk and soften that synthetic plastic when I place my hands inside to feel what’s there. It is a healing bag that says remember Mother Theresa, Remember Tahirih, Remember all those soul women who wandered through the soul garden almost every step of their lives.

It is full of the choicest tiny strawberries to eat and smell. Another time my fingers are covered with the scent of the apricot coloured roses at my wedding. Things to remember, to savour fill the bag and in moderation they are healing.

Words waft out of the prayer book I have placed there, chants of Persian Poetess Tahirih, run through my veins and I feel the sisterhood of Faith and creativity and sacrifice. Love is a verb, prayers want to lift me to action.

The ocean cools me and now I swim with the dolphins and mermaids my girl students seem to love so much. But these mermaid girls can drive monster trucks under the sea, and the monster truck boys can learn to care for the ocean. The healing bag says humanity needs two wings, and both must be strong.

Both countries of mother and father… surround me with their love and give me gifts to tell my stories, to heal my soul, and to find that identity is what you store in your healing bag not just what you are born with.

Medicine bag prompt

I enjoyed the medicine bag prompt, My grandfather on the PNG side was a traditional healer.

More of June’s Work can be found at World Citizen Dreaming

Written by June

June 16, 2008 at 3:44 am