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The links for the 22 pages in this Tools & Crafts section
The Medicine Experience/Prayer
You can't talk about prayer staffs
without outlining what the experience of medicine is and how
to walk a path with it. The following information is all from
my own perspective and experience. It's important to me that
is clear to those reading this.
is a Native American word used for describing the experience
and process of our personal gifts from Creator and for that
which comes to us from Creator either directly or through others.
People may tell you that you have a unique talent for something
or that you have a gift. But what makes that 'medicine' is the
presence and awareness of Creator and a sacredness throughout
the process because ultimately, that's what you're bringing
through you and into expression in the here and now. In short
and simply put, you're receiving Creator and giving Creator
in the service of others through your abilities. When you do
that in a purity of spirit, it flows back, you again receive
Creator, and the whole experience starts anew. That's the dance.
When you're flowing with it, it's like breathing - a breath
in follows a breath out. Medicine has the appearance of two
qualities (giving and receiving) but if you think of it like
breathing Creator, it's two parts of the same process that's
providing an experience and through that, expression.
I feel, medicine is given to be shared
with others in whatever form you can express it in. If you're
an artist, you draw to express Creator, because it's within
you to do. It's simply how you feel 'alive' while doing. That's
the purity of expression ( the in breath) It's not necessary
that anyone ever see it, but if you decide to take the step
to share (breathing out) then the experience grows. Creator
is going out to others through your medicine. The receiving
is up to those you've shared with. In this step, you must free
yourself of expectations of or it'll block the flow. It's important
only to share. Sharing enables Creator to return whether another
receives it or not. The experience grows again and it flows
back to you in the form of what you need to continue your walk.
This is also the level of the medicine process where it's easy
for a person can block themselves, being afraid for it to develop.
It can feel overwhelming, daunting even, so they refuse to share.
They may use the excuse that,' I'm not good enough'.. 'I'm not
sure'... but chances are good their just blocking the growth
of their medicine. I will qualify that by saying that there
is a time when you're just getting used to it, that is kinda
like being in the womb of your medicine. You need that time
to incubate and be comfortable. But you can't stay there too
long or you'll block the birth of your medicine. If you're in
tune with your path, you'll know when it's time to shine, or
Creator will punt you into it.
I would add that because medicine
is always growing and changing, you'll experience times of silence
where you get that womb feeling again. That's because your medicine
has a giant step forward and more incubation time is needed
to get used to it. I learned that's called, 'being in a hole
in the ground'. When you feel yourself emerging, you'll know
- and it's important not to fight it but to follow the flow.
It's also important to value and
recognize your own participation in the medicine process. It's
easy to focus just on Creator at times and not be aware that
you've allowed this process and you've been a participant. Giving
yourself credit is a good thing and often overlooked in those
who walk the path, sacrificing it for appearance humility. I
feel true humility is knowing we never walk our paths alone.
Creator, friends, community etc.... they all play a part. The
credit is not ours alone, but it's just as much of a mistake
to take NO joy in your choice to participate. That is something
that will impede the flow of the giving and receiving and by
default, the growth or your medicine. How do I find my medicine
I believe if you walk a 'path with
heart' that your medicine path will find you. That's what happened
with me. I didn't just sit down and say, I'm going to make a
business out of making dreamcatchers. It grew from walking my
path with them but started out as curiosity and a willingness
to learn through crafting them. I found I loved everything about
the process and it used every bit of skill and spirituality
I had, the first thing in my life to do so. When guidance said
to open the experience to others, I did and it grew more. When
guidance said to open it into a business so I could share them
with more people, the medicine grew again. Each step along the
way has challenged me on every level of my being and continues
to do so as I go along. But, the defining factor for me was
the surprising 'knowing' that I finally have something I want
to do for the rest of my life. I've never had that feeling about
anything, except motherhood. I was told that what I'm on is
called a 'Crafting Path', or that's what I could call it anyway.
I'm experiencing and sharing Creator through the practice of
Prayer Staffs My
journey with them came about during the time that the Lummi
Healing Totem Pole was on it's way to Washington DC. I'd seen
a picture of it on their web site and felt very drawn to it.
That night, I had a dream that the eagle on the totem pole came
to life and invited me to come and see it when it got to DC.
There was going to be a dedication at the Pentagon so I marked
I don't remember whether it was the
next day or a week later but, I was at a hardware store when
guidance led me over to the area where all the wood was. They
led me to the dowels, asked me to listen for which one wanted
to be a prayer staff and that's how my journey with them started,
right in the middle of Lowes. I kind of argued a bit with guidance.
Wood from a store? I was told that so long as the wood wanted
to be crafted and serve Creator, it was no different than if
I'd found it on a journey in the forest. The process of communication
with the spirit of the wood and Creator was the same and there
was a built in form of exchange in that I paid for it. And it's
no different than when I'd find items in the craft store that
wanted to serve in medicine items. So I came home with two oak
pieces that wanted to serve as prayer staffs.
Then I argued again. "I don't
know how to carve." I was told not to worry about that.
Set my doubt aside and just start taking away the wood that
didn't belong to release the guardian. At that point, I didn't
even know I was in touch with a guardian but then I remembered
the dream. When I was finished, the Eagle prayer staff was born.
At the same time I was crafting it,
I was contacted by someone who had a ton of beads and other
crafting items that she wanted to send to me as an exchange,
but thought it was for a dreamcatcher.
As I carved and the guardian started telling me about the medicine
of the staff, I wondered if the staff was for her so I asked.
She said she'd not considered a prayer staff before but sat
with the question for a few days while I continued to work with
it. Eventually, we discovered it was indeed for her. When it
was finished, I asked her if I could keep it an extra few days.
I wanted to take it to the Lummi dedication before sending it
to her, bringing the experience full circle. In reality, I carried
it's essence with me because I was concerned that security would
consider it a weapon - being a large stick and all. So, that's
how it all started.
Individual prayer staffs come to
me through their guardians. I've mentioned a few times in other
things I've written that all of what I create comes with guardians
or guides, those who watch over the medicine of the item and
guide the user. They tell me how to craft whatever I'm crafting
and give me some of the medicine information for the person
it's going to. I've asked that I not be told who the items are
for. I don't feel right crafting something for someone, knowing
it's for them and then dangling it in front of them until they
can 'afford' it or something like that. It's how guidance and
I worked out the 'business' end of being a crafter. Usually,
I only know who it's for if they've requested I craft it for
them or it's an exchange or giveaway.
I was told that the prayer staffs
are for people whose primary path in serving others is through
prayer. Just like crafting is my path, prayer is theirs. That's
not to say that they sit around praying all day... but that
they experience and share Creator best through the prayers they
offer for others. I was told, it's as if they're hearts are
praying all the time, whether they know it or not. The staffs
and the guardians are activated by opening the heart to communication/listening
with Creator. Can you do that without a staff? Sure! But the
staff serves as a physical focus for the process and is crafted,
in a sense, from the energy pattern of the prayer process. To
use one, you only have to open your heart and be willing to
breathe the energy of prayer. All the learning, path etc. ..grows
from your experiences with it.
Since I started making them, the
design has evolved to hold not only the process of prayer, but
twin paths such as the last prayer/rebirth staff and the bear
prayer/healing staff that came before it. That's really all
the information I have on prayer staffs but as I go along in
my journey with them, I'll add what I can to this.
Copyright: Cinnamon Moon & River WildFire Moon (Founders.)
All rights reserved.
constructed by Dragonfly