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Tobacco Navajo Prayer

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

Tobacco has been one of my greatest teachers. When I was in Taos New Mexico I was taught the Navajo Tobacco Prayer by Pat McCabe (Woman Stands Shining) a Diné (Navajo) mother, grandmother, activist, artist, writer, ceremonial leader, and international speaker. This prayer has stayed with me through the years.

Sometimes called "Tobaccito" – It has been said that the tobacco plant agreed to be an ally and teacher to humanity. Tobacco teaches us how to approach the sacred, and over time, how to attune and vibrate with sacredness.

Tobacco is a signal to the holy people and to the sacredness within all things when we approach it with respect and reverence. Ya-at-eh! It's amazing! Doors open. When we approach nature, our community, or ourselves with tobacco in our hand and an open heart, we for a brief time, can connect with something greater.

I have been brought to my knees in deep reverence and respect for this great teacher. I have laughed with it, celebrated it and felt its presence with me in ways I could never explain.

Humanity all over the world has met at sunrise with prayer and offering. When we greet the day with this holy ritual, it connects us to the holy within all things. It brings reverence, respect, gratitude and appreciation into our lives in new and exciting ways.

So I encourage you to try it sometime. In the morning just before sunrise facing east, hold up your offering of tobacco and address that which serves life, light, and love. State your appreciation, acknowledge the beauty and gift of this life, state your intentions to participate fully in the very highest possibility for life, light, and love, and ask for guidance and direction, health and help. Ask for spiritual help from mother earth, call in and ask all relatives to make themselves known in a way your conscious mind can understand. Then let the tobacco slowly fall to earth. Close the morning ceremony by blessing all your relations, Mitakuye Oyasin, and finish with, In Beauty it is Finished.

Nature is not accustomed to receiving us in this manner, so when we do come in this way, everything sits up and takes notice. Try it for yourself. Do you notice the flower stand a little taller? The tree open its limbs? Or the bird stop in stillness for a moment shared with you?

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