This article follows up a piece I wrote on working with the spirit of Madre Cannabis.
It is an introduction to working with the plant medicine Grandfather Tobacco, who is one of the wisest plant medicines.
This article is not an encouragement or detraction from working with plant medicines, if you are of the age where you can make the decision of what to put in your body, that decision will come from you, and it is best to continually assess what I term ‘right relationship’. Which is a conscious checking in of whether that medicine is right for you at that time, and whether the relationship you have with it is healthy.
This article encourages the conversation and conception that plants have a spirit, and instead of just looking to the benefits we can measure, such as physiological changes in our body, they have more teachings to offer us, and we have a capacity to know them on a spiritual level, as one being to another.
To learn to work with a plant, one must learn to ‘tune in’ to its spirit. One method of beginning this process is to hold the plant in your hand, and speak its name, or sing to it. Ask to be received, or speak your intention in working with the plant. Songs devoted to the plant spirit help one tune in, and you will find devotional chanting and singing to all the most powerful plant medicines. Why is this more powerful? For one, some of the songs that are sung are channeled directly from individuals who are deeply in tune with the spirit of said plant. Secondly, the bridge between spirits where information can readily cross is when two beings are connected by love, by singing devotionally, one harmonizes their system to readily receive the transmission/connection from the plant they are working with.
Relationships are life-long, and individuals may even choose to take part in special diets or dietas that involve drinking the plant daily to best know it (there’s a lot more to dieta, but this will suffice for present purposes).
Relationships with plants are like any other relationship in the sense that there are things you can do and should not do. If you want a plant to work with you, you cannot abuse it, and depending on how you treat the plant, it will offer its wisdom accordingly. Some plants, like Madre Ayahuasca ask that you diet and eat in a particular fashion to receive her, and that’s often the beginning, if you wish to continue to work with her, there is often much more involved.
Why then do people go through this sacrifice to work with a plant medicine? Because they are wise teachers, healers, and guides.
As mentioned, Tobacco is one of the wisest in the hierarchy of plant medicines and is used around the world in shamanic or energetic or spiritual practices, from Mexico to Peru, North America, to Europe.
Before exploring further, let me offer some words on Tobacco and how it is being used by most of the world. Tobacco is one of the most misused plants, beginning with how it is raised, treated, handled, what they put into it, and then how it is used. The whole process of growing a plant is part of the relationship, and if the medicine is to be cultivated well for its benefit, it must be looked after with intention, care, love, and most plants love to receive song when being prepped. Loading it with chemicals, then using it unconsciously to get a short high is not the way Father Tobacco wishes to be used. There are many harms associated with misusing tobacco, and much of the research that is put out there focuses on improper methods of working with this plant. There is a wealth of evidence for the benefits of nicotine (one of the primary components in tobacco). For those curious, they would be prudent to do some of their own research, and speak to traditional healers who know the spirit of tobacco well. As mentioned, this article is not going to focus on presenting arguments of whether tobacco is harmful or can be used in health, please do your research and make your own conscious decisions that are in alignment with your highest knowing.
The Teachings of Tobacco:
1) Intentions and Prayer:
Tobacco is a power plant for prayer. It will take your current state (mental, emotional, physical, and intentional) and broadcast that signal outwards through the smoke, which traverses the 4 sacred directions (or 7 sacred directions) which one can think of as an effective way of offering the prayer into the universe. Which is part of a teaching explored later on: giving and receiving.
You are an energetic being, and you have various vibrational densities. Your physical body is densest, your emotional energy is less dense, then your mental body, and it goes further into your subtle bodies. One can think of the net total of these vibrations as your intentional field that is being broadcast around you and is in a constant communication with the universe. If you desire something in this world, it fills your intentional field and influences your body, emotions, and mind. If you have a powerful prayer or intention, and you can become TOTALLY committed to it, it fills your intentional field and primes you to receive it, by harmonizes your internal actions in alignment with your intention, and by broadcasting your intention out into the universe. The universe receives your prayers based on the degree to which you can hold them in your intention field, which relates to how total you can be, how deeply you want it, which relates to what your willing to do and sacrifice, and if your willing to meet the universe at the standard that is in accordance with the size of your prayer.
Many people are wishy washy in their desires. One moment they want this food, then that TV show, they love pottery, but they still work a job they don’t enjoy for money. In this example that individual has an unharmonious intention field, it is all over the place and disorganized. They are not committed in an intentional way, and if they desire and pray, because their not willing to make the internal actions, nor have the trust in themselves or the universe, the capacity for them to create change is lessened.
Ideally, one can find their purpose, which is their highest intention.. .which will help organize all other behaviours and intentions. When you anchor in your purpose, and your purpose is sufficiently planned, it will require a standard, a set of values, and a series of actions to attain it. When you can direct all of your actions and intentions in one direction, then you can move mountains and make miracles happen because you gain the inner resilience and trust within yourself to trust the universe, then the whole intelligence of the cosmos is at your disposal.
An example prayer practice:
Sit out in nature.
Have your tobacco with you. You may choose to have loose leaf (not ingested), pipe tobacco, snuff, or other.
Tune into your intention – tips: be total in your body, mind, and emotion. To tune myself every morning I wake up with gratitude, I bath in the cold river, I move my whole body system, and express emotion or sing, and I pray.
Tune into Grandfather Tobacco:
Example: Thank you Great Spirit. Thank you for this life, the four elements, the four directions, and the four seasons. Thank you Grandfather Tobacco. Thank you for your medicine, your teachings and wisdom. My intention in working with you today is……..(blank). Guide my mind, body, and spirit to be in harmony. May my working with you be in good relationship, and may all being know a good way of working with medicines.
All my relations.
(this prayer tunes one into creator, or the universe, then touches into gratitude, and recognition of the cosmos [as above so below]. It is addresses tobacco with gratitude, and speaks the name associated with it’s medicine which creates a specific vibration in you as you speak it. There is then clarity of communication in the intention. Then it concludes with an offering or prayer to the plant and the well-being of others.
After the prayer, one may offer the loose tobacco unto the earth and it will receive it.
Or to inhale the tobacco – some traditions hold to just hold it in the mouth, and not in the lungs. The tobacco can then be blow out with various effects. It can be blown on the body to clear the intentional field of any imbalance, or negative entities. Which is a protective effect that tobacco offers in the spirit realm. Or It can be blow straight out into the ethers to be received by the 7 directions and the universe.
End of part 1