Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Tobacco was cultivated and used in various ways in both North and South America long before Europeans showed up. Ritualized, made into medicines and used for relaxation and bonding, tobacco's utilization by various Native cultures has influenced Wicca, Druid, hoodoo and Pow-Wow. Variously associated with protection and healing as well as jinxing, tobacco has known a myriad of uses in different magickal systems.
The ritual drinking of tobacco juice to induce visions remains a staple of some shamanic traditions. The plant has been considered sacred by many Native American cultures, and continues to be treated as such in some areas to this day. Tobacco was smoked to encourage communion with spirits and the use of tobacco as an offering was common all over the Americas. People of importance were sometimes buried with pipes and tobacco.
Tobacco was also used as an incense and burned, much like sage, to smudge both living areas and people. The smoke was thought to do everything from driving away evil spirits to curing common maladies such as upper respiratory infections.
Nightmares could be carried away by offering tobacco to a running stream immediately upon waking, according to Scott Cunningham. He also notes that tobacco can be used as a substitute for harder to find herbs such as nightshade and for curios like sulphur. The plant is considered less harmful, but that is only in the immediate. Both smoking and chewing tobacco have been proven to cause cancer; don't make the mistake of starting a habit that could potentially kill you outright.
In hoodoo, tobacco is a favorite additive to jinxing and court case workings. Generally speaking, people use chewing tobacco for such things. A simple mojo to win a court case consists of equal parts salt, deer's tongue leaves and tobacco carried into court in one's the pocket. Tobacco is burned as incense along with black candles to bring harm to an enemy.
Tobacco is also believed to draw love and in particular past lovers. Burn an incense made of tobacco and myrrh near your phone or computer for 9 days; it is said that you will be contacted by a lost love on the 10th day. Bonne chance ~
Header: The Widow of a Chief Watching His Weapons by Joseph Wright of Derby c 1785 via Old Paint