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Wolf Clan Archives
Summer 2004

Hello From the Florida Wolf Clan

Hello From the Florida Wolf Clan

Prayer Ties

PRAYER TIES; Prayer ties are spiritual tools created to be a physical representation and carriers of the energy of a prayer. Making Prayer Ties is a ceremony within itself. The process should be done with much reverence and respect.

The Ceremony and the process is different with many elders or teachers. Be aware that there are many forms and you may envision and design ones of your own.

PRAYER OR TOBACCO TIES: Cut about a 2-½" x 2-½" square piece of natural cloth. The color can be any color you choose that represents the dedication (prayer) you are making. Tie bundles strung together often have four colors representing the unity of the four directions.

You may string many ties (bundles) together on one string or cord if you wish, or make individual ones. They can be strung into a necklace to be worn during a ceremony and burned so that the smoke released carries prayers to the universe and the Great Mystery. If you tie the bundles to a sacred tree or other relation you may wish to tie downy feathers with them so that when the wind blows it carries your prayer above.

Materials
As you gather your materials, keep your intention focussed on honoring the materials, plants or herbs you select to use.

  1. Colored cotton cloth cut in 2-½" x 2-½" squares. (yellow, red, black, white, blue, purple, green.)
  2. Fresh cedar branches (the green tips).. if you wish to add fresh cedar.
  3. Tobacco. Strip the spines from the leaf if you are using leaf tobacco.
  4. Strong cotton string, Kite string works well as does crochet thread
  5. Sage (to smudge yourself and all your supplies)

Smudge: Other sacred plants are used for smudging, a purification procedure in which a plant’s aromatic smoke cleanses an area of negative energies, thoughts, feelings, and spirits. Smudging is a key component of healing prayers and ceremonies.

The most commonly used plants are sage (not the food spice) and cedar, which drive out negative energy, and sweetgrass, which invites in positive, healing spirits.

Preparing your fabric squares for the Prayer Ties: The easiest way to get multiple pieces of fabric is to cut a slash in your material about every 2½ inches. Now go back and tear the material in long strips. Fold the strips together or just fold one strip until you have a square and cut all the folds. If you have a rotary cutter you can cut many layers at the same time.

Tobacco: Ironically, the most spiritually powerful plant is tobacco, modern society’s substance of greatest abuse. Tobacco is the herb of prayer, placed on earth by spirits to help us communicate with them and nature. All tobacco use, ranging from ceremonial to cigarettes, should be treated with respect and awareness.

Specifically, the famous elder Rolling Thunder (Cherokee) taught Cohen: “After you light tobacco, with your first puff, you should think a good thought or make a prayer. With your second, quiet your mind; rest in stillness. With your third puff, you can receive insight related to your prayer – perhaps an image, words spoken by spirit, or an intuitive feeling.”

Placement
As you place the ties, keep your intention focussed on creating a sacred circle of protection and unity.

Directional Color Symbolism

  • East: yellow - sunrise, spring, rebirthing, Great Eagle
  • South: red - noon, summer, puberty, Trickster Coyote
  • West: black -afternoon, fall, harvest, maturity, Great Bear
  • North: white - evening, winter, ancestors and elders, sacred white buffalo
  • blue - Father Sky, water, rain, Thunder Beings, healing energy
  • green - Mother Earth, All creations, plants, creatures, four seasons
  • purple - Creator, Old Ancient Ones

Technique
As you make the ties, keep your intention focussed on connecting to the Creator. After you have cut the squares, take a pinch of tobacco only or a mixture of tobacco, sweet grass, sage and/or other herbs are placed in the center of the cloth as you say your prayer (request). Then place the tobacco in front of your mouth and nose and breath your essence into it and speak about the qualities that you make with this bundle, speak about the qualities of creation and the powers that go with it. (This may be a small pinch as it is all that is needed to hold your prayer. We try to conserve where possible.) Your prayer is thus mentally placed, and spoken into "tobacco" into the bundle.

Place your tobacco in the center of a square of fabric. Fold the fabric over, fold it again and one more time. Pinch the bundle together to make what looks like a little ghost, tie it at the top around the pinch of tobacco.

Loop your string, bring the end back through the center of the loop, forming another loop. Insert your tie into the loop and pull the string tight. You may add one bundle or add many bundles to make a continuous length of prayer ties.

Wado
Joy Walker/Wolf Clan

To learn more about the Florida Wolf Clan, email Chief DesertWolf

For more information about the Free Cherokee
contact: Chief Spirit Shadow