Animal Medicine Monday – Elk

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Elk, the largest and most regal member of the deer family, are the totem animal corresponding to the sun sign of Sagittarius.

Elk are fast, good jumpers, and considerate.  While traveling in gangs, they take turns making trails in the snow.

Elk are master teachers and healers, as well as the awakener of the unconscious. This keeper of thunder and lightning teaches us to “hear the lightning and see the thunder,” which helps bring us from fantasy into the light of knowledge.  Master of rules and laws; Elk teaches us to resolve our karma circles. They are also the guardians of the gateway into the unknown (the nagual or spirit world) and masters of physical sexuality and orgasm.

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Animal Medicine Monday – Frog

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Frog, the clan animal of the Water Clan, is a cross-cultural symbol as a totem for the shaman.  This “shield-jumper” helps us to integrate all the teachings of the different powers into our own system of knowledge. (A shield is a body of knowledge.) The frog is the keeper of the great memory clans, secret societies and magickal lodges.

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Self-Exploration…

child_1280Each single wheel teaches us about an aspect of our world, much like a single ingredient in a recipe provides one flavor.  When we start overlaying wheels, the depth of these teachings are revealed in the interconnections we explore.  This exploration will move the teachings into body knowing.  Accessing our body knowing leads us to felt wisdom.

In the last month, we have learned about the Elements, Seasons and the Directions and their “Give-away”.  Take some time to explore these interconnections:

How is the south, the color of red, the season of spring, the element of water, and trust and innocence inter-related?

For the west: Explore the inter-connections of black, winter, the earth, and intuition and introspection.

For the north: white, autumn, air or wind, and wisdom and logic.

For the east: yellow, summer, fire, illumination and enlightenment.

Please feel free to share what you came up with so we may all learn from each other and deepen our own perspectives.

How Wheels and Keys Work

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 12.09.14 PMYou are about to embark on a journey into the world of Wheels and Keys. If you are a linear thinker, you will need to adjust your thinking process and engage in the creative venture of circular thinking.  Wheels are a way to record and encode knowledge that is multi-layered and comprehensive. They are cognitive maps, tools that enhance understanding.  When we apply the Wheels and Keys in our own personal growth and change work, they are like weapons to conquer the enemy within.  Some of them are like roadmaps explaining how to best maneuver through your everyday reality.  Some of them are blueprints outlining the greater picture of our spiritual reality.  Knowledge contained within the Wheels are Keys to enlightenment.

You will be exposed to new languaging and concepts. Familiar words will take on new meanings. New words are created to illuminate assumptions and mysteries. Some of the ancient magickal words when translated into English would take a sentence or paragraph to describe. They are written as they sound and spelled to contain the original magick within their letters.

The journey into the world of Wheels and Keys is fueled by legend. The knowledge they contain has been tested for validity and so we say that it has been so “since always”.  Brought to us through the Twisted Hairs, the Sweet Medicine SunDance Teachings are part of an oral tradition that contains the legends of the very beginning of time. You are not asked to believe these legends. You are simply invited to allow the stories to touch your heart, inspire your spirit and let your mind and body test them for yourself to see if the knowledge they contain works for you in your life.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 12.11.31 PMThe concept of the LAW OF ALL ENERGY IN MOVEMENT will challenge you. Do not try to figure it out! Let it be a Key that spins your mind into new places and new ways of understanding.

You are invited to study and learn these Wheels and Keys, work with them and apply them in as many contexts as you can until they begin to dance with you. These Wheels and Keys are alive and will breathe through you, awakening your memory of what it is to walk on this Earth in balance and harmony.

True Knowledge is Self-Knowledge

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 10.33.49 PMFor many ancient peoples, hair symbolizes knowledge. “Twisted Hairs” refers to those who take knowledge from all sources and weave it together to formulate what is true and valid for themselves. True knowledge is self-knowledge, tested, felt and integrated into a way of life that always leads to a change in one’s behavior and an effectual change in one’s substance health.

Thousands of years ago, as now, medicine women and men, shamans, magicians and sorcerers from varying tribes traveled beyond their tribal boundaries to seek knowledge from every direction of the Wheel of Life. In Turtle Island (North, South and Central America, originally including what is now Australia and New Zealand), these men and women of knowledge began to meet each other.

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 10.43.34 PMAs early as 1250 B.C., medicine men and women gathered together to form a Secret Society or Magickal Lodge called the Rattlesnake School. In 1224 A.D., they met with other shamans, sorcerers, magicians and wizards of the Eight Great Powers. Then in 1250 A.D., the Twisted Hairs of Turtle Island formed a Metis Medicine Societies Council of Elders. “Metis” refers to the fact that they represented many and varied tribes. They were, therefore, “of mixed blood”.  A unanimous agreement for membership to the Metis Medicine Societies Council of Elders and a Circle of Law was established to facilitate the sharing of their combined knowledge with anyone whose primary reason for choosing a physical body was to become enlightened.  Membership to the Metis Medicine Societies Council of Elders was open to those who accepted the Sacred Laws of the Universe and sought to become a Sacred Human who touched self, life and others with Beauty.

Do Not Believe a Word You Read…

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The Sweet Medicine SunDance Teachings, as brought to us through the Twisted Hairs, are part of an oral tradition that contains the legends of the very beginning of time.  You are not asked to believe these legends. You are simply invited to allow the stories to touch your heart, inspire your spirit and let your mind and body test them for yourself to see if the knowledge they contain works for you in your life.

Do not believe a word you read.

Rather apply these teachings in your own life

and test to see if it is knowledge that works —

knowledge that brings you pleasure and beauty!

The Warrior’s Path

The Sweet Medicine SunDance (SMSD) Path is considered a Warrior’s Path. Its primary focus is to foster individuality, autonomy and freedom for all people. This requires the dedication of a warrior’s commitment to personal excellence and collective change. The SMSD Path is one of many spiritual paths and disciplines that share this intent and focus.

Historically, part of following the Warrior’s Path involves setting out on the “Warrior’s Errantry” Vision Quest. It is accomplished through Warrior Task Assignments within each of the five aspects of the human (emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, sexual).  This also necessitates proper alignment with the four elements (water, air, earth, fire) and the four sacred worlds (mineral, plant, animal, human).

This process involves taking the Warrior far from the comfortable, familiar environment she/he is used to and exposing her/him to experiences that demand resourcefulness and ingenuity in order to find and establish the proper weapons/tools of survival.

Ironically enough, submitting oneself intentionally to the potential of frustration and stress is the essence of growth in the Warrior’s Way of Enlightenment. Because the wandering Warrior must face new, strange and sometimes startling differences in daily living, all comfortable habits and ruts must be given up for more appropriate behavior to meet the new circumstances.  The Warrior Task Assignments force the apprentice to look at new ways of approaching life and provide new weapons and tasks for attaining success.

It is the shedding of all our barriers and reservations and diving into the total potential of knowledge and POWER that is the Warrior’s goal during this quest. It is a time for letting go of constricting beliefs to gain FREEDOM. The Warrior’s Way is exactly what the name implies; a way of directing the days of our life to better produce the likelihood of encountering those experiences that will lead to the enlightenment sought. This way is an all-consuming, all-illuminating lifelong commitment that tolerates no illusions. It is not a hobby, sport, recreation, diversion or a fad.

As this Warrior Task Assignment journey begins, we must approach it as we would a pilgrimage to a Holy Shrine. We must hold in our hearts the knowledge that there is only one true way or route to this shrine — COMMITMENT and DISCIPLINE.  We take to the road with certainty and strong Will and Intent to reach the goal. As we proceed, however, other roads that seem to be more attractive, more enjoyable, more socially acceptable, more physically (economically) rewarding or merely easier or shorter will always appear. In our confusion, it may soon appear as though the other roads better match the superficial appearance of what we think the path “ought” to look like. Instead of following our “true” route to the “shrine”, we then find ourselves wandering in all directions with our energy scattered, racing after what entertains us at the moment and losing the possibility of reaching the shrine.

By embracing the Warrior’s Path we will find our way home. We will discover our Inner Heart.

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