With the advent of modern technology (I was just reading an article about vaccines and nanotechnology implants and how microchips — or nanochips can be added to vaccines). I read both viewpoints (good and bad) and looked at all the things that can go wrong (or right), and I thought it might be prudent as well as a little fun to have a look at herbs, American Indian style.
I guess there’s always been “black magic.” Many years ago I met someone who had at one time been a witch (not a good one), who had seen the error of her ways and had changed her whole life. It was the first time I had run head on with the fact that there really is “good magic,” and “bad magic.” Good magic would of course promote health and the feeling of well-being. It would aid one in survival and help one’s family and friends. Black magic would of course be the opposite. It would promote death and destruction of oneself, one’s family and friends. Perhaps even of the whole human race. In some ways I view this nano technology when it is married with vaccines as a bit of black magic.
Getting back to Native American, however, fFrom different studies I’ve done, it’s now pretty apparent to me that there were witches and people (men and women) who engaged in the black arts in most of Native America. Witches were feared and if one were suspected of being a witch, one might be driven out of the tribe. Medicine men (or women) often countered the “spells” of those whose intentions were hardly helpful. Often in order to counter these “spells,” they used herbs. They also used song, and the power of one’s personality and wit to drive out the evil spirits.
I’ve often thought there was something very different and very special about the American Indian medicine man. (Medicine in Native America meant originally mystery to do certain things, often having to do with healing or helping others.) After reading much about them and about many of the cures that they delivered, I’ve begun to think of them in a very special way, indeed. Often they were called upon to counter an evil spell, to heal the sick, to foresee the future for the tribe or war party. They were generally very able not only in their physical body and mind, but in spirit.
But getting back to the original subject, which is of herbs, did you know that these medicine men or women, when going hunting for herbs, would first prepare their baskets (where they place those plants they had picked). The baskets would be sprinkled with tobacco and would remain this way overnight.
Early the next morning the medicine man or woman would pray — actually all the American Indian tribes I’ve studied prayed first thing in the morning. Then in the crisp autumn morning, the medicine man or woman would start on his/her journey to hunt for herbs. The medicine man or woman would bring bundles of tobacco or wampum, beads, silver ornaments, quilled bands — many different things to offer as a sacrifice to the spirit of the plant.
They collected many different things — apple roots, hickory bark, sassafras, mandrake, prickly ash, wintergreen, elder bark, golden seal, ginseng, male fern, mint, sheep sorel, witch hazel, spruce, boneset. The way in which the plant was picked was also important. If one wanted its medicine to work and to cure, then one spoke to the plant first. It was the Seneca prophet, Handsome Lake who is quoted as saying, “Now let this be your ceremony when you wish to employ the medicine in a plant: First offer tobacco, then tell the plant in gentle words what you desire of it, and then pluck it from the roots. It is said in teh upper world that it is not right to take a plant for medicine without first talking to it.”
Often the medicine man or woman would chante a song, singing to the plant to tell it what one intended and to let the plant know that seeds would be planted so that the plant would continue to live. Then when the plant was at last pulled, its seeds would be planted, as one had promised to the plant. Only in this way would the plant help to remedy the ills that would often befall those in the tribe.
Did you know that prior to the white man coming to this continent, there were no contagious diseases in America, except maybe one or two. It was also believed that the air, sun, pure water and exercise were remedies for many common ills, also. Many thought of sunlight as food, thus, when the white man came, blocking himself off from the sun by wearing so many clothes, the American Indian considered him unintelligent, and was not surprised when he seemed sickly and ill.
Of course now we know that Vitamin D3 comes mainly from the sun — and nutritionalists are finding this vitamin (D3) to help in so many of our modern ills.
The medicine man or woman would bring his precious find back to his home and would dry them, being careful not to let any impure person come near them. Medicine men and women were often very successful. But whether it was because of their herbs, their personal power or a certain magic that they developed over time, is hard to discern.
But I thought, after reading about this nano-technology and those who would seek to profit from this technology by subjecting another to his whims, it might be nice to look at those things that help, those remedies that heal and those things that have been with man probably as long as there has been a man alive, Hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog and hope you’ll come on in and leave me a message, maybe quoting things (remedies) that help to bring hope and happiness and well being to those in one’s care.