Definition - What does Prayer Stick mean?
A prayer stick can be any stick-shaped object used to support prayer or meditative practice. Prayer sticks feature in many different cultures, and are also part of the Siddha yoga tradition. Some in the wider yoga community have also shown an interest in the use of prayer sticks as a way to honor their spiritual journey.
Prayer sticks vary in both appearance and use, depending on the culture and tradition they draw from, but all have a powerful symbolic element. They may also be known as “spirit sticks.”
Yogapedia explains Prayer Stick
The following are examples of ways prayer sticks are used in different cultures:
- The Pueblo use cottonwood sticks about seven inches long, which are decorated with feathers. The stick symbolizes the god, while the feathers are the mechanism to convey the holder’s prayers to that god. The holder would breathe their prayers into the “spirit” of the feather plumes.
- The Hopi Indians used special prayer sticks with small bags of sacred meal attached to them as an offering.
- Siddha yogis may write their prayers onto wooden prayer sticks and offer them to God by throwing them into a sacred fire. These prayer sticks may be made in Siddha yoga ashrams.
Prayer sticks can be a part of a regular spiritual practice, or they may be used more infrequently in a ceremonial way to celebrate key life events, special moments or simply to honor particular hopes and dreams.