Baskets and Ritual

As many of you know 2011 has not been easy so far! I know just a month into the year but we have heard more challenging news in the past 27 days. And with some big changes on the horizon (like an impending move) I have felt that little rituals have been vital to getting through the day in my case and in Zoe’s case trying to understanding/come to terms with an ever-changing adult world. So I have  brought back one little basket ritual which we have previously used  and have introduced a new basket into our home of many baskets.

Our Prayer Basket

In this basket you will find a little basket of an herbal mix white sage, balsam (from our woods) and lavender (I think I will also add a little tabacco), some water-colored cards to write down and decorate prayers and make prayer cards, some pens, some fabric cut is squares to add herbs, tie and make a prayer bundle, some ribbon, and in the jars some confetti red hearts to symbolize love, and some gold stars to symbolize healing, and a crystal.

I loosely explained to Zoe suggestions on “how to use” the basket  and then left the basket in a very visible spot and have enjoyed watching her stop by it and add creativity, her prayers, and blessings several times a day.


The second one the “Burden Basket” based on a Native American tradition.  Zoe made a simple version of this basket last summer at the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum PowWow in New Hampsire we attended last summer.

(little girl performing a jingle dance at  pow wow 2010)


Traditionally a burden basket is a cone shaped hand made basket. Leather and cone jingles hang down from them. Almost all burden baskets have a leather strap for hanging or wearing around the neck or shoulders.  Historically as the basket was worn the tine cones would jingle and this would scare away animals such as snakes while the wearer was out harvesting. Many times, smaller burden baskets were given to children to wear for protection as the jingles would scare off animals and the sound would alert parents to where their children were located. These baskets are often hung outside a home and a caller was to place his “burdens” inside the basket before entering. The saying, “leave your burdens at the door” originated with these baskets.

How we used it: We hung her burden basket on the door knob to her bedroom and whenever she was having a bad moment she placed her “mood” into the basket that way left outside her room. I think this time we will do it a little differently by leaving it on the inside of our front door so that we (or our guests!)  can write down our  moodies and gumpies and leave them there before entering! We can also add our stresses and worries so that we are not burdening them all the time! and can enjoy some stress free time in the quiet of our home.


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