The Proper way of locating a Prayerstick is for One to Pray for and locate the Prayerstick that desires to help One in One’s Prayers and fulfillment anyway. So the first lesson is to know that just any stick is not as good as the Proper one, which will be found as being one not touching the ground. It can touch water, but not earth. Most oftentimes it will be hanging in the air from some other branches, and often from or in a different tree than that of its origin. Those that are in a different tree have more associative ability than those in the same tree, most of the time. Also important is to know which tree it came from, as well as which direction of the tree it separated from. Which way it is pointing in the air is significant as well. The bigger end of the Prayerstick (the part that was attached to its source) is the source of its direction, so that if the big end is in the South and the smaller is towards the East, then it is a "South East" oriented Prayerstick and so forth. If it detached from the West of its originating tree then it will have West Supporting Medicine as well. So knowing that:
North - Growing and Doing
East - Flowering and distribution as well as Share and Reflection Medicine
South - Beginning and seed planting as well as Flow and initiating Medicine
West - Sprouting, Metamorphosis and Give-Away Medicine
One will have a better understanding of what one's Prayerstick naturally supports in fulfilling ones Prayers of desire. Also any Prayerstick can be used to Pray for anything, some just are easier at certain objectives because of these things (Medicine) about them.
Now remember the first thing that one is to consider and remember, to Properly Receive any of a thing something must be given first. So the Medicine Way is to give tobacco or a pebble gift to the ground directly beneath the prayer stick before receiving it (Preferably with ones left and thereby receiving side hand). Then also give tobacco to the tree of origin in the direction of its source while "Going into it". To go into the tree, one stands against it while holding it with ones hands at heart height with ones feet at its base. With ones belly and forehead pressed against it, Then take a deep breath and while exhaling allow or project ones consciousness through the Bark and into the heart of the tree. This is done until one can see the rings of the tree around oneself and then one can go anywhere as one is now in True Spirit form. One will often see light forms floating around oneself and can see the Spirit of the tree of Great Pop easily in this condition of oneself.
In the Medicine Way of clearing oneself of thought forms and associations, at this point one should ask the tree spirit to strip all bark of tree and associations from oneself so as to be of clarity. Also in this particular practice, when exiting the tree, one is to thank it and ask it to provide new, thin, and slippery Bark on tree (Ego) for one to use in the next and future expressions of oneself.
The Prayer at this time while in the tree, is to see and understand its (the Prayerstick’s) gift and Medicine and thanking the tree, the stick, Great Pop, and the All for its precious gift to One as well as giving and thereby committing a part of oneself in a marriage and sacred union to the aforementioned group.
This consciousness and commitment as well as marriage and sacred union is what is important to remember in the use of a Prayerstick, as one’s Prayers do affect and effect the present condition and Future of the All of Creation, and not just that of oneself.
Now as we know, each type of tree has its own special Medicine, hence the recommendation as to type of tree for Prayersticks is that of the Oak, Gum, Willow, Red Cedar, Walnut, Pecan, and any fruitwoods (In that order by the way). The Oak is the tree of “Magic” which is Prayer answered, and hence its preference. Not recommended is Holly, Pine, Vines, Bushes, or any thorny or aggressive trees or plants, for obvious reasons.
Once received, study the Medicine of the tree of source so as to understand and honor the gift.
The Prayerstick at this point already is one, however to further strengthen the marriage and union certain steps are recommended as follows:
All bark should be stripped for Obvious reasons (Bark on tree is Ego), and in so doing release that of oneself too. This can be done before or after marrying it with Fire, which can be done by placing it in the oven at 250 degrees for four hours or by passing it through a flame. Each of these processes are sacred unions and serve to add to and honor what already is, as well as what the effect of its use is as relates to the Future and the All of creation.
Once married with Fire, more elements can be added in the way of Mineral Spirits by embedding crystals and stones in places that the Prayerstick tells you that it wants them. The third partner of the sacred trinity of Life here in the physical realm in the way of Animal Spirits can then be added as well in the way of feathers and so forth. Each change and addition should be prayerfully and Meditatively applied as a marriage and Sacred Union of the Prayerstick, Great Pop, the All and Oneself in the consciousness of Value, Love, Share, Respect, and Appreciation. As the Prayerstick is one’s special communication tool and go between oneself, Great Pop, and the All of creation, particular attention and understanding as to the directions of the placement of things in or upon ones Prayerstick should be given as relates to the Sacred Circle and Medicine Wheel of Life.
Like the Sacred Arrow, one's Prayerstick should embody each of the Trinity of Life forms here on the physical plane. Plant Spirits are represented in the stick itself, Mineral Spirits can be placed anywhere, remember clear quartz crystals have no conscience but are great amplifiers. Quartz crystals at the end of a prayerstick should have a small piece of cinnamon stick placed in the hole beneath the crystal because of this. Other recommended mineral Spirits are Peridot for Love, Citrine for Bringing Forth, Amethyst or Ruby for Metamorphosis and Change, and Garnet for one's Soul Self. Lapis Lazuli or Blue Topaz are good if available to represent Great Pop. Different Animal Spirits can be represented in the form of feathers, bone, leather, or teeth.
We recommend the following as "Sources of Resources" in making Prayersticks, jewelry or any other type of ceremonial items. We are very selective who and what we recommend and the following we have found to pass the "Respectful Sharing" test:
Moscow Hide and Fur - http://www.hideandfur.com/
Art by God (Mineral Spirits) - http://www.artbygod.com/
Cedar Mountain Drums - http://www.cedarmtndrums.com/
Another source of Resources can be found in the pages of - http://shamansdrum.org/ (We do Not necessarily recommend any or all that appear).
In the Proper Way of the development of any thing to be used in the Medicine Way, each element that is added is a unique and special Spirit in itself. Not all Spirits want to hang around or work with others, so the selective process should be not "Willful", but instead it should be Meditatively performed. The addition of any element should be done in the manner of being a Spiritual Marriage and hence placed in one's mouth and one's prayer given, then attached. This method provides that one becomes a partner to each and all elements being united, as well as with the Group Consciousness of the whole of them. This is the Medicine and Proper Way of "Making" anything because in one's mouth, some of the atoms of that element become a part of oneself, as does oneself become a part of that element.
Once all of the components are united, place the item below a white or red and white candle which should be then lit. Next a tobacco gift should be made to the Spirit that will then come to embody the overall composition and item. The flame of the candle will tell when it has enjoined it, and at that point, all will then be complete.
As often as felt proper, the Prayerstick or other type of item should be smudged with sage or cedar so as to facilitate Renewall, and thereby clear it of any and all past associations, thoughts, and memory.