What is a medicine bag?
in every culture I can think of, shaman and other spiritual healers
have carried and used something known as medicine bags. They are generally
various sized pouches containing sacred objects and herbs used for various
things. For instance, a shaman consulting with a person in need of balancing
and protection may have a medicine bag with balancing symbols on it,
and have herbs like sage and sweetgrass inside. There could also be
some, say, obsidian stones normally used for protection. Another example
could be, a person (not necessarily a shaman) might be going for a job
interview, or other potentially stressful situation. They would wear
a medicine bag containing ylang-ylang, a lucky penny (or whatever that
person has that is lucky for them), a bears claw (or whatever their
power animal is), and a Herkimer diamond for energy.
The medicine bag is a collection of symbols and objects that are empowered
and meaningful to the wearer. A person may have several medicine bags,
each carried for different reasons. They may have one bag for dealing
with stress, one for happiness, one for physical ailments, etc. They
can be as big as a large purse, or small as a wallet. I prefer mine
wallet size, for ease of carrying around without causing to much attention.
The description on how to make one is just one out of a million ways
to make one - this is how I make mine.
Find a piece of leather of canvas, and cut a roughly 9 inch section
out. It should be rounded on one side, flat on the other.
Fold the flat end over, 1/3 rd of the way up, making three equal sized
sections. Get some heavy thread, and sew it all around the edges. I
prefer to hand sew the material, since the act of sewing is threading
the essence of the creator into the bag, giving it a stronger connection
with you. While you sew, think about the purpose of this particular
After the bag is sewn, Flip it inside out to hide the stitches. Get
a soldering iron, or a wood etcher (same thing), and burn designs that
are meaningful into the leather or canvas. The symbols should reflect
the purpose of the bag. I like to use Celtic Runes on some bags, animal
pictures on others, depending on what and who it's for. You may want
to make some strings to tie it shut with, or glue on a snapper or something.
This is all completely preference.
The bag needs to be empowered at this point, and filled with it's objects.
Lay all the objects you wish to put in it, and the bag itself on a table.
I like to dim the lights or just use candle light, and put soft music
on in the background. Hold each object in your hand, close your eyes,
and think about what you would like it to do. Thank it, and put it inside
the bag. Do this for each item, one at a time. I also like to cleanse
each object in the smoke of incense as well. When the bag is filled,
hold the bag in your hand, and concentrate on what it should do for
you. Use your imagination and see the bag helping you in your minds
eye. Then thank the animals, minerals, plants, etc. that gave of themselves
so that you could have this bag. Now it is done.
Another way to do this is to buy the pre-made leather bags available
at any metaphysics store, and then decorate and empower it. This can
work just as effectively if you can't sew. The decorating and empowering
is the important part, and is what makes it effective. Some variations
if you do make your own is to use the classic draw-string style. These
tend to stay shut better, but I personally think the other looks better.
IMPORTANT!!!!!! Have fun while making these bags :)