Book-learning is all well and good, but until we know it in our body as a practice, it does not become knowledge and eventually wisdom.
We have been focused on the 7 Arrows for the last few weeks. Here’s a way you can bring your feeling and experiences of each of the arrows into substance and form.
Buy or find wood dowels, shish kebab skewars, sticks, or whatever material calls to you. The arrows in the picture above are 1/4″ wood dowels cut into 12″ lengths with one end sanded down for the point of the arrow. Paint and decorate one arrow as the embodiment of each dark, light, and rainbow arrow. You can always paint more dark arrows if you actually want to break them each time you consciously pick up a light arrow.
As you do this, think, feel, sense the times you pick up the particular arrow you are working on in the moment. You’ll be surprised at the colors and items you add as the representations of each energy.
The set of arrows here show the 7 Dark Arrows at the top, the 7 Light Arrows in the middle and the 7 Rainbow Arrows at the bottom. It’s also interesting to lay all of the 1st arrows (dark, light, rainbow), 2nd arrows, 3rd arrows and so on next to one another.
We’d love to see pictures and hear about the insights you learned in bringing this teaching to life.
When we pick up the first light arrow of Self-Awareness, the dark arrow of attachments is broken. Becoming self-aware destroys ignorance. And our developing concept of self helps us to discern what is a true reality need and what is not.
By choosing self-awareness from our quiver, the gift of the 1st Rainbow Arrow is Illumination. Grandfather Sun, the first power of the Twenty Count, shines down on us and we feel the warmth and light of his rays throughout our whole being. We accept the Light as the source of our knowledge, illumination and enlightenment. We lighten up with the smile of the sun’s rays. Light is our focus.
When we allow our spirits to expand, when we soar with the eagle, we can catch those insights which illuminate our life. When we compound the illuminations, we can achieve enlightenment.
The Skunk is considered a shield bearer, a shield being a body of knowledge. The keeper of scents, senses, and inner senses. Much like the Opossom, because it is nocturnal, the skunk is a shadow exposer.
If something smells fishy, or gives you goosebumps, makes your hair stand on end, or just doesn’t feel right, call on skunk to help you find the knowledge necessary to expose what’s in your shadow or your Shideh (lower self) so you can walk with the beauty of your inner wisdom and knowledge.
Always seek pleasure and knowledge
for the sheer joy and beauty
of doing so and
for no other reason.
~ SwiftDeer ~
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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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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Each 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.
You 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.
The 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.
For 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.
As 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.
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!