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Prayer feather

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  • Prayer feather

    This might seem stupid, but better to ask a stupid question than to actually do something stupid, hehe.

    I never got the chance to meet my grandfather, he passed when my mom was only a little girl, but according to my grandmother he followed the 'traditional' path, and though he respected my grandma's beliefs he kept his own. There's really not much left of his anymore, but one of the things my grandma kept was a prayer feather. Its been hanging on the wall in her house forever, but she gave it to me about a year ago...

    here's the stupid question- how do you respectfully/appropriately use a feather in prayer? It almost seems disrespectful that I even have it, because I don't use it, I'm not sure how I should. But its a powerful item that my grandpa had and used at one point... it'd be like connecting not only with my heritage but with him if I could use it.

    How do others here personally pray? If you use prayer feathers/fans, how and why? I'm not asking for info that'd be inappropriate to share, just general talk...

  • #2
    The very first thing I would do as a carrier of such a great and honoured feather would be to sit alone with it and smudge it big time! It will feel better once you do! I have mine by my bed and smudge it at least once a month if not more. This feather that you have is probably neglected due to the way you are saying wall ornament so first the smudge, then you may want to give it a bath in warm water with shampoo to cleanse the feather, then lay it on a paper towel to drip dry. Then refluff it gently moving your fingers from the quill outwards and towards its tip. Once you do this you will start to bond more with the feather too! Start listening in the silence to what you feel it may tell you!
    The silence is golden.
    When you have done all this, go back to grandmother and ask her the path of the feather and keep it alive as much as possible.
    Listen to my heart, not just my mouth! The most powerfull thing we can do is,,,share,,, if we don't it dies with us.

    It is the year of the bear, I am sharpening my claws and will no longer tollerate harrassment.

    Born in Winnipeg raised in the Pikwakanagan, Deutschland was never home! Army brat that had no choice in a parents duties to home and country. I Too Serve our flag and work for the uniform.
    Stand behind our troops or stand IN FRONT of them.

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    • #3
      My first questions would be what tribe was he/are you and what type feather is it?

      For me, the first thing that throws me is the terminology. In my community we don't have anything that we call that way. We sometimes have feathers that have been "doctored" and given to be used for various things, usually protection, but I'm not sure if that's what you're talking about.

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      • #4
        Sorry, it was kind of random phrasing for something I didn't describe... that's what I was told it was, though, and its my best guess. It's just a feather with the quill encased in soft leather- deerskin? and there are fringes on the bottom of the encasing. I'm not sure what type it is- its just a big, dark brown feather, which worries me because it could be anything. Eagle, hawk, owl, turkey... for the former 3, that means I'm not even allowed to have it, I'm not an enrolled member of my tribe(he was/I am Anishinaabe). My grandma was raised Christian, so was my mom and by default so was I... none of us really know anything about our own culture, so I can't ask them anything... just looking for a little guidance :)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tibiki Kinew View Post
          The very first thing I would do as a carrier of such a great and honoured feather would be to sit alone with it and smudge it big time! It will feel better once you do! I have mine by my bed and smudge it at least once a month if not more. This feather that you have is probably neglected due to the way you are saying wall ornament so first the smudge, then you may want to give it a bath in warm water with shampoo to cleanse the feather, then lay it on a paper towel to drip dry. Then refluff it gently moving your fingers from the quill outwards and towards its tip. Once you do this you will start to bond more with the feather too! Start listening in the silence to what you feel it may tell you!
          The silence is golden.
          When you have done all this, go back to grandmother and ask her the path of the feather and keep it alive as much as possible.

          Thanks for the info and advice... it's dusty and a little worn-looking, so sadly it is kinda neglected... I'll be sure to take better care of it with that info. And I get the basic idea of how to smudge, but where do I find what I need to do it? Is there somewhere I can find sage or sweetgrass, or is there something else I can/should use?

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          • #6
            Well there are many ways to get your supplies, online, stores, powwows and the best gathering them yourself.
            I have gone to the point of growing my own sage from South Dakota that was brought to me as a sweet live plant, right from the grounds of Wounded Knee. Then I have sage plants that are local to my area and then about 3 more species that do well on my sandy soil.
            I collect my own cedar and juniper. I have lavendar and rosemary for the scented smudges that some people prefer.
            Listen to my heart, not just my mouth! The most powerfull thing we can do is,,,share,,, if we don't it dies with us.

            It is the year of the bear, I am sharpening my claws and will no longer tollerate harrassment.

            Born in Winnipeg raised in the Pikwakanagan, Deutschland was never home! Army brat that had no choice in a parents duties to home and country. I Too Serve our flag and work for the uniform.
            Stand behind our troops or stand IN FRONT of them.

            Comment


            • #7
              Random update...
              I managed to get white sage and sweetgrass, and went outside to smudge the feather and pray earlier... its been rainy all day, but it had pretty much stopped, so perfect opportunity. I got outside and lit the sage in the bowl, and as I'm smudging I hear thunder and see the storm clouds rolling back in... after a few minutes the sky's dark and its pouring. I'm not sure if that's a good sign, a bad sign or just bad timing, but an interesting occurance x) and the feather was kinda hastily smudged due to the sudden rain... maybe I should try again on a better day.

              Comment

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