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Medicine Bags

So, What is a medicine bag? Well, 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
sweet-grass 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.

 

 

Step One:

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.

Step Two:

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 bag.

Step Three:
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.

Step Four:

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 like the other look better.

 

To Change the Color of Flame

For Candles: add the chemicals to the wax, or soak the wicks in a solution of the chemicals using the following recipe.

To Add to a Fire: Put three level spoons of the chemical into a paper cup; fill 1/2 full with water and stir. Soak several small chips of wood in this solution overnight. The next day, remove the chips with tweezers and lay on newspaper to dry. They can now be added to the lames to produce bright colors.
Green flame: Borax or Boric acid, copper nitrates or barium nitrates
Orange flame: calcium chloride
Red flame: stronium nitrate
Yellow flame: Sodium Chorate or Potassium Nitrate
Purple flame: Lithium Chlorate


HOW TO MAKE A ROBE WITHOUT EVEN SEWING
A simple robe, because because not many people can sew.
by Jeannette K. Waldie
© 2/15/96
If you can't thread a needle even if you're life depended on it, you can still make yourself a functional and practical ritual robe.
The first thing you will need to do is to find out your body's length from the bottom of your neck to the knees or ankles (which ever you prefer.) This can be done one of two ways.
Have someone take a tape measurer and measure down your spinal column from the bottom of your neck (where that funny lump is) to your knees or ankles. Once you get past the derrière, keep the tape measurer straight if you were following the line of a rain coat. This will give you your length.
If you can't find someone to do this, take your favorite bathrobe or any clothing you have which is not very fitted and is long and simply measure the length from the collar to the hem along the center of the back. This will give you your length.
Now, it's time to sit down and do some math. Take your length and divide by 18 (Length / 18 = X). This will give you your yardage. Then it's off to the fabric store.
You will need to buy the following:
X yards of 60 inch wide fabric (45 inch if you are slim and want short sleeves). Cotton or poly-cotten blend is best for this purpose. (If you buy 100% cotton fabric, add 1/4 yard to your yardage to allow for shrinkage.)
2 Yards of Ribbon or Trim to match fabric.
4 yards of 1/2 inch permanent fusible web tape (this goes by a variety of brand names) (Have the store where you buy the fabric make sure both edges are cut straight.)
When you get home, wash and dry the fabric. Then iron out any wrinkles. Now you are ready to make your robe.
Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and hold it up to your shoulders to check the length. Trim off excess fabric if necessary.
At one end (the short side) fold the fabric up 1/2 inch (this will make your hem). Then following the instructions on the package of fusible web, gently steam the webbing in place along the hem. Then fold again and press in place. Repeat for the other end. (See Diagram A.)
Fold the fabric into quarters making sure all edges are even and lay out on a large surface or floor. Measure three inches from the outside edge along Fold A. Then cut along the fold towards Fold B. (See Diagram B.)
To finish the neck opening, steam the fusible webbing to the wrong side of your ribbon. Then pin to neckline. Press permanently onto the neck line. (You may need to add extra webbing to each corner or V to ensure it stays in place.)
You're robe is now done! Congratulations!. To wear, simple put on over your shoulders, fold the front edges back and belt. The back hangs free like a small cape. If you want a bit more security, you can either pin the back or add ties to the edge.
Note: This article was first published in the Spring Equionox 1996 issue of "The Accord," the newsletter for Council of the Magical Arts.

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