February 8 – 22, 2016
Today I’m going to share something naughty and rambunctious.
Because that’s the energy of this week’s moon!
Aquarius is the futurist sign, and the New Moon on the 8th is a rebel futurist moon.
Just ask David Bowie (I know you’re kinda psychic and can talk to dead cool guys)…he will agree.
Rebellion is the mark of an artist. And who wants to be normal when you can be an Artist of Life?
So, anyways, about Smoking with God.
Here’s my fun story… I always thought Smoking was bad bad bad bad bad. No exceptions. Picture me in my Catholic Schoolgirl outfit. (Not as hot an outfit as the movies make it seem BTW) I am wigging my No-No finger at all those dirty careless addict smokers out there. That was me for like 34 years or something.
And you know what? Every time I create a rule like that, God/dess plans some shenanigans to make sure my religious-like zeal for righteous condemnation gets turned on it’s pretty little ass.
This is one of those things.
See, I HATED smoking. Judged smokers. I made yucky faces if I even glimpsed a sign of cigarette or a tobacco ad or any number of such things.
Then, I met Maria Yraceburu, my half-native, half-french, half-smartass teacher/auntie/mentor/friend. And she introduced me to the sacred pipe. Oh. Right.
So, turns out, smoking has been a way of prayer for like… Ever.
And in the pipe, turns out, there was a mix of lots of herbs.
And one of them was organic tobacco. One of the freakin 17 herbs in the pipe. Tobacco. And the other ones? Some of them were LUNG herbs like Mullein, healing herbs like Mint, like Mugwort, and even… Melissa. Yes. My namesake herb was in the pipe.
And when I smoked it (after getting over my damn self) I cried. Not cause my lungs hurt. Not cause my eyes burned. Not cause of the guilt. 😉 I cried because I REMEMBERED this ritual in every cell of my healthy body. I could feel my prayers breathing with me. I could feel these herbs, like a little community of spirits in the bowl, conspiring to help me find balance and health, peace and connection, power and strength.
And I was BREATHING in this help.
I was communing with sacred herbs through sacred smoke in sacred ritual. Whoa.
Afterwards, my lungs were open, clear, and my breath was deeper.
It was obvious.
The Truth I had to now swallow. This smoking was GOOD for me.
AAAHHHHH!!! Yet another thing I was so certain of is NOT patently true!!!!
So here are some interesting things I learned from Maria about an indigenous attitude about smoking:
1. Nice to Smoke a Mix of Herbs.
Instead of just smoking Tobacco, which is a very intense herb, it’s nice to make a mix of lots of herbs. Consider that the herbs grow in diverse groupings. So they like to be smoked in community, too. Smoking only tobacco in great quantities is kinda like mono-crop farming. Wouldn’t you prefer a food forest?
2. Smoke is breathing… with intention and support from the herbs, fire, and pipe.
Focusing on the breath, and honoring the breath, is a super holy super cool thing to do. Smoking includes that part. This is not the “don’t think about it – do it to escape” type of chain-smoking thing. This is an awareness exercise cause it’s holy. Holy breath. Maria calls this ceremony “Holy Smoke.”
3. Smoke with God.
When we smoke with the pipe, sometimes we point the stem of the pipe up at the sky, or at the directions. It’s like we are inviting Spirit to smoke with us. And the deal is this – we smoke the sacred herbs and we pray/talk to Spirit at the same time. Consider how different that feels than smoking with an intention to check-out, numb the emotions, and get a buzz on.
Mind you, I’m not saying that a “cigarette break” is a bad thing, if that’s what you’re into. I learned my lesson on judging smoking, for crying out loud! But I do like this attitude that if I’m smoking, I’m praying.
I’ve shared this re-frame of smoking with several friends who were “trying to quit” smoking, holding a lot of shame and even self-disdain because of their habit. And my advice was NOT to quit (since they weren’t able to quit so far anyway) but rather to re-frame, re-create, and re-energize their smoking into a sacred ritual that helped them face the cravings and avoid demonizing themselves. And some reported that really helped them.
So there ya go. Holy Smoke.
Yet another turnaround of whatever we righteously demonize and judge. Bam.
Let me know what you think about this Holy Smoke ritual in the comments below. Share with your smoking friends!
And meanwhile, enjoy this Aquarius New Moon and the Chinese New Year of the (Smoking) Monkey Hee hee!