Since beginning this website, I have shared what I do in my gardens, with my weeds, in my kitchen and more. What I love is when I reader comes to me with something they would like to offer to the other readers.
Last week I was sent an email from a friend who harvested his tobacco. He shared his process with me and I asked him if he minded me sharing the experience here, with all of you, anonymously. He agreed and I'm very grateful to share.
The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.
With every deed you are sowing a seed, though the harvest you may not see.
Stalks and leaves with seed pods removed, and ready to bundle and bind
Before the reward there must be labor. You plant before you harvest. You sow in tears before you reap joy.
Elders teach that tobacco was one of the four sacred medicines (Sacred Tobacco, Cedar, Sage and Sweetgrass) given to many First Nations. When used properly, Sacred Tobacco can be used to communicate with the Spirit World and the Creator.
Semah, or tobacco, is one of the four sacred plants. It represents the Eastern Direction and the mind. The Anishinaabe use a form of tobacco known as kinikinik, or a red willow mix. Because it opens the door to the creator, When tobacco is used to make smoke, it is one of the most sacred of plants for Native people. Some elders say that tobacco is used to connect the worlds since the plant’s roots go deep into the earth, and its smoke rises high into the sky. This plant is highly respected and highly honoured. Giving tobacco is a beautiful way of our people. Ceremonies using tobacco invoke a relationship with the energies of the universe, and ultimately the Creator, and the bond made between earthly and spiritual realms is not to be broken.
For First Nations or Métis Elders, one must offer tobacco. Tobacco is one of the four sacred medicines, and it is offered when making a request. The offering can be in the form of a tobacco pouch or tobacco tie (loose tobacco wrapped in a small cloth). The tobacco pouch or tie should be prepared by the person making the request. As the pouch or tie is being made it is good to think about what you are asking for, and put good thoughts and prayers into the offering. When making a request, offer the tobacco by holding it in your left hand (in front of you), state your request (be specific), and if the Elder accepts your request place the tobacco in their left hand.
The exchange of tobacco/gift is similar to a contract between two parties where the Elder is agreeing to do what is asked, and the one offering is making a commitment to respect the process.
My friend is learning on his own and with the help of those he trusts to help him along his journey. His spirituality is his own, he means no direspect to anyone and is recogniz=sing his way through his own process.
I asked him, "where did you learn how to harvest? Did you have a teacher?" HIs response to me was beautiful and is something I will share with you here now.
I would say my harvesting has matured over time.
I'm located in the Niagara Region of Southern Ontario, Canada.
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Your medicine is in the woods.
Your pharmacy is in your kitchen.