– Medicine horse and transformator –
Why tobacco in ceremonies, as a offer for the fire, as protective circle and and and?
We are often asked this question standing at the fire, we also ask this question ourselves.
Especially those who of us going with European original traditions and cultures.
Often enough, while “One” is being rolled and the first pull in communication is taken with relish.
An answer to the question asked at the beginning is quite simple. In the Roots-of-Earth Kiva Ceremony we use tobacco as this ceremony comes from Mexico & USA so we respect and honor the roots there and also use the local plants and herbs in this ceremony to further root here as well.
Hopefully the following lines will bring some clarity to the smoke.
Tobacco is one of the sacred plants of the Native Americans, from Tierra del Fuego to Alaska, and enables a direct connection to the Creator, connecting us with and giving our intention to a ceremony, carrying within it the ability to communicate (can be observed in every smoking corner).
Last but not least, tobacco is readily available and easy to use in any ceremony. (The fire keeper at most sweat lodges are actually always happy to receive a packet, as a side note. In some traditions, the packet of tobacco is even the “entry ticket”.)
The tobacco plant family is not originally native to Europe, but arrived almost 500 years ago, is cultivated and used. Even before that, people “smoked”, they smoked with herbs; on different occasions and for different reasons. For communication, for cleaning and healing, for a good smell (perfume – today in liquid form; comes from the Latin “per fumare” – “through the smoke”).
The following story and the pictures of this post reached us from a member of the Rots-family and it is a beautiful story:
A few years ago, during archaeological research near the Great Lakes, USA, a closed clay pot was found, it was dated to be more than 1000 years old. In this clay pot were tobacco seeds that were carefully nurtured and cultivated and whose seeds are now thriving in the USA, Mexico, Canada, Greenland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria. These seeds have never been sold, only given and donated.
So far so good and that’s it and it can stay that way.
What answers do we find in the question about European indigenous traditions (while standing in the smoking corner)?
Mugwort, juniper, sweet grass are here to name as the big three, gladly and rightly so.
Purification of the room, opening to the other worlds by the mugwort, protection of the room with the prickly juniper and invitation of all good spirits with the sweet grass (and its relatives as well as the woodruff).
More on that at another time.
Oh, replacing White sage / Indian smoked sage (Salvia apiana) with common mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is really easy and doubly useful. In contrast to tobacco, white sage cannot be grown well in Europe, i.e. it is almost overexploited and sold out in North America, and mugwort is on our feet and connects us with the local energy and beings.
So it be
Ahea – Ahe – Aye