Reaching Into the Universe

Two ways to pray with tobacco

Holding mapachoHere are two ways I've learned to pray with tobacco, both of which involve:

  • formulating your intentions or desires
  • empowering your intentions
  • releasing those intentions into the universe of creation

I've found them to be quite powerful, especially within shamanic or entheogenic contexts.

  1. Non-smoking method
    This method is touching and connective when done in groups, e.g. around a campfire, as prayers can be shared aloud with each other.

    1. Take a pinch of loose tobacco in your hand.
    2. Speak your prayer or intention into the tobacco.
    3. Toss the tobacco onto a fire to release your prayer into the universe.
  2. Smoking method
    1. Hold a mapacho or cigarette in your hand (pure tobacco such as mapacho or American Spirit recommended). Blow into one end of the mapacho with the intent to clear it of any past prayers or intentions.
    2. Speak, sing, whistle, or blow your intentions into the tobacco. Sometimes I do a combination of these. Don't hold back or be timid—make your prayers powerful, respectful, heartfelt. You can pray for yourself and others, even the whole world. Sometimes when I'm praying for something that I want for myself I include everybody else in my prayer. For example, if I'm praying for prosperity I might pray for prosperity for all.
    3. Finally, light the tobacco and begin to smoke it. It's traditional to cheek smoke rather than inhale, or take the smoke into the stomach rather than the lungs. You don't have to smoke the whole thing. Smoke until you feel complete. You can use the remaining mapacho later for other prayers.
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