Many cultures throughout history and in the present day have held the belief that holding objects of importance close to your heart is beneficial, even vital. Both the Native American people and the Australian aboriginals, as well as shamans in various cultures, have and still do create and carry medicine bags for luck, guidance, protection, and healing. Traditionally the bag, usually a beautifully decorated leather pouch, contained items like feathers, herbs, stones, ashes, salves, animal parts like teeth or bone, or mementos from special experiences. In creating your own medicine bag, let your own heart guide you as to the contents most meaningful to you.
Pick a bag that speaks to you, or make your own. Before you fill it, insert a square, rolled red cloth. It will be the mat that holds your bag’s contents. If you decide to create a bag with more traditional items or items for ceremonial use, you might add sage, cedar, tobacco, and sweet grass, as well as a shell in which to let them smolder. A feather or a bit of loose fur can be valued additions, especially if they come from a type of animal sacred to you. A crystal you resonate with or a totem can help you stay balanced. Your medicine bag can also reflect your personality. You may want to choose items that will help improve your mood and focus, as well as giving you pleasant sensory experiences, like a pouch of sand from a beloved beach. Finally, ask yourself what items you use for healing. It is not inappropriate to add a modern touch, such as a photo, a lock of hair, or an affirming note.
Your medicine bag may be useful, filled with herbal remedies and healing items, or symbolic, and a means to keep treasured objects nearby. Add to it slowly and let your heart decide the contents if you’re not sure what you want your medicine bag to contain. Place your finished bag on your altar if you have one, or in a special place in your home. Some people carry their medicine bag with them always, but do what feels right for you. Trust in the process of inner creation in the manner of the Native American medicine people and you won’t go wrong.
My Medicine Bag Contents
- Cat whiskers – for knowledge and for the care of my two cats.
- Herb Mix
- Blessing Salt
- Fairy Dust
- Dowsing Pendulum
- Nanta Bag