I've decided to make myself a medicine bag, not only to honor my Native American ancestors but to aid me in my on-going spiritual quest as well. Last year I wrote about a small glass talisman bottle I had purchased and the uncertain plans I had for carrying some spiritual items within it (see Talisman Bottle, September 25, 2009). What could be carried within it proved difficult given the bottle's very small size, but I have managed to put within it some special (albeit tiny) gemstones and some powerful dried herbs. And while I am extremely happy with my little bottle, I had numerous other items that I had considered wearing within it but couldn't due to its size, or lack thereof.
And that's when I got to thinking about creating a medicine bag. While it is usually a tribe's medicine man or shaman or who carries such a bag and I most certainly am neither, I will be carrying it for the same purpose as they would: to make contact with and feel the power of the natural spiritual forces that will aid me in reaching my own personal spiritual potential. The basic items within my bag are pure loose tobacco, dried corn, found feathers and unusual shells which represent the four elements: fire, earth, air and water. I'll also now be able to carry my watai (see Stone Spirits, November 27, 2009) in something meant for it rather than just in a pocket, and even some other very spiritually powerful items that are personal to me and me alone.
The beauty of having such a bag is that it not only allows me to carry a constant physical reminder of my journey here on Mother Earth as well as that of my forebears, but also provides me with a very tactile spiritual experience. The size of it, while small enough to appear to others as nothing more than a tiny woven shoulder bag, will allow me to add additional spontaneous items that might speak to me while I am out hiking in the woods or walking on an empty beach.