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Song Magic News

October 2003
Issue 19

In This Issue

1. The Ancient Arts of Smudging - Part 3 of 3
2. The next TRM Monthly Mini Bone Throwing will be aired on Sunday, October 26, 2003, at 10:00 am on Transitions Radio Magazine
3. Sacred Link

Coming Soon

We are planning to offer classes again starting next spring. There will be classes about the Red Door radionics material as well as Kay's "Setting The World In Balance" series. In coming issues we will share more details about these upcoming classes.


(excerpt from a lecture given by Kay Whitaker from the World In Balance Teacher Training Program. Part 3 of 3.)
KAY: Some traditions donít want to mix smudges. They are very serious about it. They want to use them just one at a time. Each has its purpose. Each has its medicine. Youíre talking to that one plant. And thatís it. Theyíll focus just on that. They may switch to another smudge shortly after, but use only one at a time. Only one gets burned at a time. And then there are other individuals or cultures that mix them. Some creating elaborate formulas. Itís all in the need and the intent and the beliefs of the user.

Oh yes, I need to talk about tobacco. The big one.


Tobacco purifies. It purifies anything. Itís extremely good at purifying the auric field. It will sterilize. You can put it on an infection on your skin and it pulls the infection out. On our friendís hand wound here, I would grind up osha and tobacco very fine, sometimes some other things added, and get it wet, and use it as a poultice. Just leave it on the area, bandage it over if you need to, and let it pull the infection up. And it will.

Tobacco is often thought of as the favorite of the spirit nations. And thatís why itís used as an offering by so many different American tribes. Itís considered the messenger. It takes messages to the spirit nations and to Creator.

STUDENT: Thatís why we use it in the pipe. Tobacco wasnít native to the States, right?

KAY: Yes it was.

STUDENT: It was?

KAY: Oh yes.

STUDENT: Sir Walter Raleigh brought it over.

STUDENT: No, he brought it back to Europe.

KAY: Itís native to the Americas and itís known and used way up in the Arctic all the way down to the southern point, Patagonia, South America. Itís all over the Americas. And it was often cultivated. Even if there was nothing else cultivated by a tribe, they would cultivate tobacco. And a lot of tribes that migrated, that were nomadic, they would get patches started, really get them going, and then theyíd go off to their next hunting ground. By the time they came back and made the loop by that spot again, the tobacco was big and they would harvest it. A lot of Indians didnít cultivate much of anything up here in the northern states but tobacco. They would make sure that tobacco was growing. It was that important - so special and so sacred.

Tobacco will alter your vibrational field very dramatically. Very fast. Even holding it in your hand.

STUDENTS: Itís not just the nicotine?

KAY: No.

STUDENT: Maybe thatís one of the reasons people have such a hard time giving it up, besides the fact of the companies putting special ingredients into it to addict you.

KAY: It changes your vibrational field and the field around you. And if you either have a habit of it or you know consciously that it changes your field, smoking that smoke, you can make yourself shift to a ďplaceĒ where you want to be. To a vibrational level that you want to be thatís more favorable.

STUDENT: So this would be smoking - you can get cigarettes now, canít you, that are just pure tobacco?.

STUDENT: American Spirit. Thereís some other ones too.

STUDENT: Whatís the difference between smoking that and smudging?

KAY: Not much. Youíd be taking into your body a lot more if youíre smoking it. Youíre purposefully taking in a whole cloud.

STUDENT: And does that hurt your body at all, or am I getting it confused with regular commercial cigarettes?

KAY: If you used it on a level of ceremonial use - youíve got it in your smudge, maybe you smoke to pray with, to change the vibration of things - the amount that you would absorb doing that, if it was fairly organic tobacco, shouldnít bother your body. If you already have a serious medical condition I would tell you to limit it. It might be an aggravation to certain conditions. The chemicals that are put into commercial tobacco while itís growing and while itís being processed are known poisons. When they process it into smoking tobacco, cigarettes and cigars, they lace it with large quantities of extra nicotine and a whole bunch of other chemicals that are known to be addictive.

STUDENT: Also sugar.

KAY: And sugar. A surprisingly large amount of sugar, which is addictive. So if you use that commercial tobacco youíre going to become far more addicted to those other chemicals and the sugar than you are the original nicotine. And theyíre quite damaging. They are really, really bad news. The amount that people smoke as a habit provides far more of any of those poisonous substances than you want in your body. Thatís abuse. Thatís way, way too much for any body to handle.

STUDENT: It was interesting in the last Level 1 class that you held how much anger the tobacco brought up.

KAY: There was one person in particular, and a few others, that were just absolutely adamant, almost like violently angry, against the tobacco. They didnít want to have to use it and it was really upsetting to them. And the smell was upsetting to them. And they didnít want to have to make their altars with it. They thought it was like something that came right from the hands of the devil.

STUDENT: It represents something very different now in our modern culture.

KAY: Yes. So we had a long lecture of what tobacco represents to native cultures, what it symbolizes, the special value placed on the tobacco spirits, what the medicines are, and the number of uses that it had in native society. How sacred, how important it was. It was the most sacred of all the herbs. THE MOST SACRED. The most important. If they were going to be without something, it wasnít going to be the tobacco. Something else goes first.

STUDENT: If you are to use it to drive an infection out, you wouldnít go and get tobacco from a store, right?

KAY: Well, I have. I was at a remote ceremony ground where there wasnít any organic tobacco sitting around - everybody had a can of Top, you know. Itís like the worst of the worst. And theyíre all smoking it. And thatís all there was available.

STUDENT: You can still talk to the spirit of it.

KAY: You absolutely want to talk to the spirit of it. Thatís the whole point. Any time you use it, for any kind of healing method, talk to the spirit of it and ask the spirit to do its task. Ask the spirit to neutralize the poisons if itís commercial tobacco.

You can put the tobacco on the area dry and then apply your bandage over it. It will depend on the state and type of the wound. Sometimes you need to get it wet and then put it on so the juices can get down inside and really spread, and thereís something there to draw up the poison. And one of the best ways, one of the most effective ways, to get it wet is your saliva. The enzymes in your saliva will begin to break the tobacco down and draw a lot of these medicines out so that when you put it on the wound site it can really suck all the bad stuff out. Itís used to suck out bee stings, poisons, snake bite poisons, pus. It can be very, very effective.

Tobacco is used as a gift to the spirits and Creator/Creation, to ask for their help. Itís used to create a stream or wall of purifying, protective, soothing energy in ceremonies. Itís used to see the truth about things or people. Always honor the tobacco nations.

Sometimes I use the smudges very singularly, all by themselves, and a lot of times I use a mix that I create on the spot according to the needs of the moment. The basic ones that I have here in the tray mixed together are sage, cedar, juniper, and sometimes a little sweet grass in there. Often I will add a little bit of mullein and also some osha. Sometimes a sprinkle of tobacco. I only put the oak leaves in when theyíre needed for grief and sadness.

I only use tree resins at certain times, certain moments. The resins are so, so strong, itís like they really kick whateverís around. You, and the air. Itís quite a wallop. So if you really need a punch to clean up the air and sweeten it in an energetic sense, or sweeten the air literally, then just a little bit of resin works wonders. In that resin are large quantities of the medicines of the plant, all packed in there. Itís extra concentrated. Use with care.

Very often when I use osha as a smoke I will use it by itself Ė a small bit broken off the root or sometimes I will grind some up fresh for the occasion. Iíll scoop everything else aside and Iíll have just the osha on the charcoal. When I use mullein, sometimes I sprinkle it with the mix, especially if I know somebodyís having some kind of respiratory trouble, but if someone has a real bad problem Iíll use it just by itself.

STUDENT: A really bad problem?

KAY: Yes. Any kind of a bad cold, a flu, some sort of respiratory ailment. If they have something that is long-term, chronic, asthma, emphysema, you want to be extremely sparing of any and all smudges and use only the ones that are indicated for respiratory ailments, like just a little bit of mullein. A little tiny bit.

When you collect it, each plant has its own time that is best for collecting. It depends on what part of the plant is going to be collected; if itís the root, if itís the leaves, if itís a flower. Certain times of the day make a big difference with a lot of plants. Certain times of the year are real critical. Certain times of the month like new moon, full moon. The best way to find out when to collect the plant that you want is to talk to that plant nation. Go talk to the plant. Ask it. It will answer.

There are a lot of harvesting suggestions in books. People who have been doing it for a long time, or theyíve come from a particular tradition where itís just done a certain way. Thereís a lot of that written down. So get yourself some herb books and look these things up and see what other medicines the plant can provide, the qualities they have, where they like to grow, how they like to grow. Maybe youíd like to try putting some in your garden and get to know the nation really well. Or you want to know where to go find it out in the wild. Look it up, read it. Experiment.

But always remember the most important, the most critical, element in the entire process is to go talk to the plant for yourself and ask when to go pick it, when is the best time, what uses does it have, how do you apply it. Some plants are so temperamental that way, that if you go pick them at the wrong time, itís like thereís no juice in them. Theyíre just empty.

Some traditions require a lot of ceremony before you go out and pick herbs. All kinds of offerings, asking of permission, purifications and fasting. Some of them get very elaborate that way. What the Hetakas do is they go out and they offer something - tobacco, cornmeal, pollen. They talk to the nation and they give it a lot of thanks and gratitude for whatever itís done for them in the past and whatever the nation has given to them. And they ask permission: ďPlease help me find some members of your nation and give me permission to harvest it so I can dry it up and make medicine for my people, and use it in a good way.Ē

Donít bother picking medicines, herbs, that you have not offered something for. Donít even bother. If somebody gives you some, and you donít know what the history is behind it, then take your tobacco or your cornmeal or your pollen, whatever you want, go outside, talk to the nation, and offer that nation a bunch of whatever it is youíre giving away. Ask for its help and permission, and to come be in this herb that somebody gave you. Because you donít know how it was picked. You want to honor the nation from your heart and give thanks for it, and you want their juice, you want their input, their spirit to be there. So you go off and you ask. Even if you have to go to the herb store and buy a bunch of herbs, go make your offering.

Donít use an herb that you have not made an offering for. Finding it in a health food store is better than nothing; at least youíve got it in your hand and you have a chance to communicate with that nation and bring it there, have it come and be there to help. Having the plant material in your hand you have its signature Ė itís like a calling card, the psychic phone number is right there.

The act of smudging is a whole world unto itself. The best way to learn this is to do it. Talk to these plant nations, these beings, that youíre using here, and ask them, ďWhat is happening? Why does the smoke do this? Why does it go here and go here and not go there? Why is it doing this? Why is it thick now and not another time? Why does it seem to have shifted colors? In what ways does it help people?Ē

If you ever do smudge in a class, or a really, really long ceremony and you want the smudge to last, I highly recommend buying charcoals. They are generally sold for incense use. In a lot of native culture they already have a fire going. They have a central fire or they have a sacred fire. They have some way of getting a little piece of coal and putting it in their smudge pot, or container, or whatever they use, and that lasts for quite a while. Then you just sprinkle your smudge on it.

These little guys - they come in little foil baggies like this, sometimes a slightly longer shape. Theyíre little black charcoal discs. They have a chemical in them, so when you light them up, you get these glowing sparks flying off. And it stinks. Itís a petrochemical. So do it in a place where you donít have to breathe it and nobody else has to breathe it. We hang it under the chimney here and let it float up the chimney. Go outside, go to the bathroom fan, so it goes straight up into the fan. Once the sparkles stop, the chemicals are burned away and that chemical smell is gone. And theoretically, if youíve held your lighter onto it long enough, it catches. And it will continue burning all the way through. Thatís what itís supposed to do. But you really need to hold the lighter or the match on it for a fairly long time so you get a good red spot. Otherwise itíll go out halfway through.

STUDENT: Where do you get those?

KAY: Any store that sells a variety of incense, especially if they have Buddhist things. Buddhists use a lot of those little pressed incense blocks. Itís in little chunks and cubes. You canít just light them. They donít just light. They have to be set on something thatís already burning. So thatís a real good place to get those. If you live in a city that has a Wicca store, with all kinds of Wicca things, they use them also. Wicca friends told me about these charcoals in the first place. We were in North Carolina and it was incredibly damp. The humidity was close to 100%. If youíve never been down in damp country, itís kind of hard to imagine what the humidity is like. Like being in the shower. Trying to light a little piece of sage is something. Itís hopeless. You canít even get it lit. And it certainly wonít say lit. So a charcoal is required. No way around it.

While youíre going through these different smudges and youíre testing each one separately - feel them, smell them, taste them if you want, sprinkle them on the charcoal - and try fanning the smoke around. Fan each other. See what happens. Do some experiments. Have one of you hold a certain attitude. Work up a real good attitude. And then have somebody smudge you and see what the smudge does. Does it touch the body anywhere? Does it bounce back off. Does the whole thing start billowing up and making huge clouds all by itself? Or does it almost die out, refuse to burn, all by itself? The smoke will do things. Itís talking to you. Itíll move, itíll make shapes, itíll make pictures. Itíll go towards the person, away from the person. The smudges talk to you. So pay attention. Ask the nation that youíre using there, ďWhy are you doing this? What are you trying to say?Ē Start learning their vocabularies. Because if youíre going to use smudge in any long-term basis for anything, youíre going to want to know what all that means.

Thereís an interesting native tradition called ďsmoking somebody.Ē They put, usually tobacco, on a charcoal. They make a lot of smoke. They fan it, surrounding the person with the smoke, and then they watch the smoke. The smoke tells all. There is no hiding. All of your secrets are now out in the open.

Okay, are there any specific questions? All right. Letís get smoken.

2. The next TRM Monthly Mini Bone Throwing

Octoberís TRM Monthly Mini Bone Throwing will be aired on Sunday, October 26, 2003, at 10:00 am on Transitions Radio Magazine.

A most fascinating, unusual and precise Non-Ordinary Reality Check with internationally recognized teacher, healer, seer, medicine storyteller and Thrower of the Bones, Kay Cordell Whitaker.

Our monthly TRM Mini Bone Throwing is every 3rd Sunday of the month. TRM airs on Radio Free Santa Fe, KBAC FM, 104.1 Santa Fe, New Mexico, 7:57 am to 11:00 am MT, Sundays. Please visit TRMís website at www.transradio.com. Also see TRMís add in the Eldorado Sun. For Guest and Sponsorship queries, call: 505-466-2616. E-mail: hosts@transradio.com.

3. Sacred Link

We have recently added the Premise and Prelude for Sacred Link to our website. To read both go to Sacred Link Premise and Sacred Link Prelude
It is always a pleasure to put this information together. Any comments about our newsletter are very much appreciated. Please send your comments to song@worldbalance.com.

Wanowa Ka Ta See
We are working together to make a world in Balance


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