THE MEDICINE MAKER BLOG
Welcome to the Medicine Maker blog! I certainly hope you will enjoy the material which will be presented in the weeks and months ahead. As I mentioned on this page some time ago, new material will be added whenever my schedule permits, and whenever I have something to say. On some occasions, a page or several pages of text may be added while, on other occasions, perhaps only a paragraph. This depends on my work schedule, on inspiration, and on the medicine power itself.
What is the medicine path? Well, there are as many ways to answer this question as there are answers to the question itself. Indeed, there are those who say there is no such thing as a "path," or that we shouldn't approach life, self awareness, personal discovery, medicine power, or enlightenment, in terms of a path. They make a good point: we should experience the moment - the spontaneity of the moment - the enlightened moment - and that the idea of a path, of a progression towards self awareness, places our focus on the future, and in this way we miss the present moment or the opportunity to experience an enlightened state. So, let's drop everything and experience the enlightened moment - NOW! There, that's done :-) How was it? Now, we can do that, and we can live moment to moment to the end of this earthly life. Fine. But, in the reality of mundane affairs and of earthly conscious existence, life is a duration of time. A duration of many moments or one ever-present moment. Why not view it as a path? (As long as we're not living with one leg in our past and the other leg in some perceived future.) It is the path of a fluid moment; a rain drop on a leaf - sometimes staying in one place on the leaf while, at other times, when wind blows, moving, perhaps dropping to another leaf. Do you understand this? In any event, meditate on the raindrop and visualize a drop on a leaf with the breeze blowing gently. The medicine maker journey or path is everything we have in life - it is our lives and our breath. I choose to view this as a path or journey; you are free to do otherwise.
So, life itself is the medicine path, and we are on this path by the very fact of our existence - by the fact that we were born and are living our lives on this Mother Earth. The miracle of birth was the first act on this particular earthly stage of our journey. It is fitting that this miracle should be included in our discussion of medicine and personal medicine power.(It is getting late - almost 1 a.m., 5 May 2003 - so I must end here. However, this discussion will resume shortly. Please check back often for updates. Have a wonderful Monday everybody! -Laurie-
16 May 2003, Hi Everybody, Just a note to say that more material will be added this long Victorian weekend. So, check back again, soon! -Laurie-
So, then, the medicine path isn’t something acquired through much effort. It is part of the gift of birth and of life. We are all in this together. Just this morning as I worked in an old garden near my house (I’m trying to re-vitalize this area), amongst the wood ticks and black flies, the thought occurred to me that our lack of awareness is a major problem as regards the medicine path and personal medicine power. The animals and the birds do not have this problem. They are intuitively aware of their nature and their position on the medicine journey. Humanity, on the other hand, clutters consciousness with irrelevance, due largely to a highly developed self-consciousness and feeling of self-importance. This has created many problems.
Sorry, due to a busy schedule, I wasn’t able to do much over the long weekend. Will be back tomorrow evening.
25 May 2003 – Am acute awareness of the so-called ordinary events in one’s everyday environment is important to our journey on the medicine path. I’m thinking in particular of the impressions we receive or witness in the natural environment; for instance, the flight of a crow, the call of an owl in the evening, the rustle of leaves in the breeze or an autumn sunset. To treat those things with value and importance will sharpen the senses and open us to other impressions – we will begin to appreciate nature as both a magical and artistic experience. Suddenly, we no longer live in a dull mundane world but, rather, in a world full of potential and creative possibilities. This is personal medicine power. Our positive attitude allows us to give medicine energy to the world and to other sentient beings within the environment.
How does it work, exactly, this channelling of personal medicine power back to the environment? I mention “positive attitude” because without it we are apt to be like mindless beings going about our dull daily existence in a dull world. Or, worse still, we will have what could be termed “bad medicine,” because we live a negative existence full of sarcasm, resentment, and even fear. We reflect this ‘bad medicine’ into the environment, affecting those around us. On the other hand, living our lives in a positive, constructive fashion, is good medicine, and when this positivity becomes automatic or manifests without thought on our part - operating through us more or less subconsciously - we are then demonstrating what it means to have medicine power. (Be back shortly)
To be inspired or to create something while in the inspired state, is a reflection of personal medicine power. It is the energy back of our "will" to accomplish things, and to proceed consciously and with purpose along the medicine path. Medicine power is actually both "will" and "love" energy. In effect, just as it is difficult to confine love to a definition so, too, it is difficult to precisely define medicine or medicine power, especially as it was defined in traditional Native cultures. The English language cannot give us all the subtle meanings and connotations associated with the term. Hence, the English word, "medicine," is too narrow and does not convey the entire story. So, modern society's concept of medicine, including alternative therapies, does not convey what is meant by the traditional Native concept which anthropologists and others label as "medicine".
Hi! It's nice to be back. Here's a poem which came to mind while I was having a a tea today at Arby's Restaurant in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.
This rough textured flesh,
so wrinkled, so old,
a life of experience;
of waiting, watching; of living
with sun, wind, snow and rain.
For how many years have you stood on this space?
For how long have you witnessed the changing seasons?
For how long have you shared your medicine?
This precious white pine,
this sweet medicine tree,
witness to so many seasons,
to lives coming and going;
and, perhaps, decades past,
to a medicine maker collecting and
steeping needles from its boughs.
Well, the weekend has arrived! More text will be added on Sunday evening.
Humour, too, has a part to play in Native medicine and in the general world view and daily life of the medicine maker. Indeed, humour is much more important in the everyday life of each of us than we generally acknowledge. To some extent, seriousness is a mental disease, if it leaves us with no place for humour, or if it prevents us from acting the clown now and then. Carried to this extreme, seriousness may cause stress and other health related problems or issues.
Most of us have experienced how good it feels to laugh, and many people will joke and use laughter to relieve the tension of stressful situations or experiences. So, laughter can be called a tension relief tool and a wonderful way to let off steam, so to speak.
But, returning to the subject of seriousness, we can have greater appreciation for the importance of humour and laughter when we understand the role of seriousness in local, national and world affairs. It is the serious Head of State who declares war on a neighbour, and the serious War Cabinet which plans the pursuit of that declaration. It is the corporate elite and/or Board of Directors of a corporation who, stifled in seriousness and in the relentless pursuit of profit, damage the environment and poison the very air that they and the rest of us have to breath. Is it hopelessly naive to imagine that more humour and laughter sprinkled over the lives of such people would influence their behaviour and decisions in a positive way?
To smell a blossom is to experience much of the basic essence of a plant, because that essence is in the scent or perfume. In other words, when you smell a blossom you are partaking in the basic medicine essence and power of the plant – you are infusing your body with medicine power from the plant world. This is plant alchemy. In this fashion, it is possible to infuse the body with some of the medicine energy and power even of poisonous plants.
So, in this instance, when I speak of the medicine power of a plant I am not speaking (obviously) of the chemical composition and, hence, the chemical power of plants because we certainly do not want to saturate our bodies with poisonous plant substances. This is one level of plant medicine. However, I’m talking about the basic, subtle, energy which surrounds and interpenetrates the plant, and funnels itself through the scent of blossoms. Hence, the effectiveness of aromatherapy, for example.
Plant medicine power is everywhere. This is why, often, if you ask a medicine man about plant and tree medicines, they will say that the medicines are all around us. The energy is everywhere there are plants and trees growing. Of course, this is very true for the chemical medicine power as well. All plants and trees are effective for one thing or another. This chemical healing energy is really of the same nature as the subtle energy, but of a grosser vibratory rate. (More soon)
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Here I am near Jasper, Alberta, the 6 November 2003,
enjoying the medicine power of the Rocky Mountains!
I will next comment on blossoms and the use of flower essences, outlining a practice which will be of interest to some people. All you need is a small bowl or glass and fresh water. Take those things into the field and locate a group of medicine plants such as dandelions which are in blossom. Say a brief prayer or make a tobacco or kinnickinick offering to the plant energies. Then, gather approximately two dozen petals from the dandelions and place them in your bowl. Set the bowl on the ground amongst the dandelions. Pour a half cup of water in your bowl and leave it there for about an hour. I believe three things will happen: first, the petals will release their essence into the water; second, the rays from the sun will vitalize the water and, third, the energy from the patch of dandelions will affect the water. When an hour has passed, strain and drink the energized water immediately.
I photographed this beaver house while kayaking the waters
of Leipsikaek lake, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.
A close-up photo of the beaver house.
I love this photo! I saw the bird each time I visited
the area this past spring and early summer. Can you name
the species? Send me an email with your answer.
11 October 2005 - As you may have noticed, I've changed this page from a Journal to a Blog. I'm not quite certain what the difference is, as I haven't participated in blogging before. I think they're supposed to be interactive, although I'm not certain how I will make this page interactive, since my knowledge of such things is minimal. Perhaps this blog will be a daily or weekly journal of nature experiences? We'll see....
21 November 2005 - I have enjoyed the autumn season very much. It has been full of surprises. My workshop during the last weekend in October was well received. We made a good connection to the landscape and to the plant/tree energies. Participants began to realize a new way of looking at the world -- the plant spirit medicine exercise with labrador tea was the highlight of the workshop for me, personally. This plant is a strong ally, and our exercise was beneficial to everyone. This year has been a turning point for me, in that I am moving further into the area of plant spirit medicine understanding and healing. All the best to everyone! I'll return, soon, with more notes.
1 December 2005 -- Well, it's almost Christmas! The autumn season seemed to pass so quickly. I'm pleased to announce that I have a second web site. This one's devoted to "painting" and can be found at http://www.laurielacey.com -- the live link to my site can be found on the front page of this site. I haven't painted in three years, so it will be exciting and interesting to work with paint again! I will be giving a sermon this Sunday morning at 10:30, at the Universalist Unitarian Church, 5500 Inglis Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia. The topic of my sermon is "Awakening to the Flow of Spirit in our Lives". I will also be telling a "Crow" story to the children, prior to the sermon. I'll return soon, with another update. Good medicine!
13 January 2006 -- I can't believe this weather. I go outside my door, and I can hear the water lapping against the lake shore. The lakes are free of ice, here on the south shore of Nova Scotia. We've had an amazingly mild winter to date! Oh yes, the "crow medicine" workshop will be lots of fun. However, it'll only be held in places offering lots of outdoor space for participants to move around. We will be searching for crows, meditating on crows, and doing all sorts of wild and wonderful things! I also want to mention my listing of eBooks on the front page of this site. Those are eBooks written by other people. They are "affiliates," which means that I receive some of the money from the sale of those books through my site. As you know, I've kept this site advertisement free, and very basic to navigate. There are some glitches, largely because I am not well trained as a web-master or creator of web sites. The use of afiliates is my way of trying to pay for the maintenance of the site in a low-key fashion. A few other items may be added later. I'm uncertain at the moment. I'm also thinking of starting another web site which would be more commercial and business oriented. I would use part of the income from that site to maintain this site. As the old saying goes; "it'll all come out in the wash"! Another possibility is a bi-weekly eZine or newsletter, which would be free, but supported with paid advertisements. I think an eZine would be exciting, and a great way to communicate with people. If it happens, I'll mention it here, and post a notice on the front page of this site. You'll then have the opportunity to sign up for the eZine -- heck, if all goes well, I may make it a weekly affair:) I'll be back, soon. Good medicine blessings!
Oh yes, I am now part of the www.flookie.net web blog directory, under "Self Help".
5 March 2006 -- I finally have a Blog on a a regular blogger site (www.blogger.com) My new blog is, The Nature Writer's Digs. For the past week, I've been entertained and am entertaining at least a dozen chickadees near my home. They are certainly one of my favourite birds. It's always nice to see the chickadees at this time of year, as they remind me of spring. Their sounds are so beautiful, and remind me of the sounds of birds in the spring season.
I publish a free bi-weekly email eZine named Natural Healing Talk. It's a newsletter that discusses traditional plant/tree medicines, nature therapy, nature writing and journalling, among other things.