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Category : Symbols - - - - Previous Page

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The Talking Stick

{written by : Zsuzsana}

Article word count : 654 -- Article Id : 917
Article active date : 2008-10-24 -- Article views : 5997


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Article is about :
This simple tool is passed from one person to another during classes, circles, celebrations, councils and workshops. Whoever is holding the stick has their turn to speak, while all the others must remain silent.





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© Arcana New Age Centre. All rights reserved. Reprint information below.

The Talking Stick is an ancient communication and ritual tool, inherent to many indigenous cultures, that has created a powerful symbolic AND practical impact in the daily lives of many who have felt its powers and its gifts.

I was first introduced to Talking Sticks in a healing circle workshop many years ago, and the symbolism and power behind this magical tool has stayed with me and inspired me since I first held one in my hands.

The Talking Stick is usually a wand or staff anywhere from about a foot long to a full-sized staff (3 to 4 feet) , made of wood and painted or decorated with such things as shells, stones, feathers and other items holding or representing the energies that the maker wishes the wand to hold.

This simple tool is passed from one person to another during classes, circles, celebrations, councils and workshops. Whoever is holding the stick has their turn to speak, while all the others must remain silent. Using a Talking Stick is a wonderful technique for preventing interruptions when someone is slow or even hesitant to speak for whatever reason, be it that they need to compose their thoughts, or even have an unpopular or unique opinion that needs to be expressed. For those who often find it difficult to be heard - for whatever reason, including children, this is a great tool to support them in feel respected and honored, as well as allowing them to express their thoughts in their own terms and own time.

The incarnation in which the Talking Stick came to me is as a Native American ritual tool, and it is an integral part of many tribal cultures, but it has a history dating back to the early stages of man. The staff, the wand, the baton - are ancient tools found throughout the world in many cultures and even throughout the animal kingdom representing power, strength, and leadership. Although obviously, in some cases, the "respect" earned comes as a result of "I have a bigger stick than you so listen up", in rituals the stick is used as a representation of a magickal or universal force and as such, a tool to command respect for communication.

When I had my New Age Shoppe, my husband, as a way to support my efforts, began making Talking Sticks for me to offer for sale. We found branches of various woods (each type having its own magical energy of course) and polished and carved them, with gratitude to Mother Earth for her gift, and then decorated them with strips of leather and beads, crystals, stones and feathers. To my pleasant surprise, my husband (who is a very practical and no-nonsense type of guy) found great pleasure and joy in making the sticks, and as he worked on them, I could see a spirituality growing with him and around him. We saved a few of our favorites for ourselves and treasure them to this day.

We have given Talking Sticks as gifts to friends and family, with a small slip of paper attached explaining the symbolism and uses of this tool. In the circles I have attended where the Talking Stick is incorporated - loving and compassionate circles to begin with, I have found the Talking Stick to heighten the sense of mutual respect and to truly enhance the flow of conversation.

The Talking Stick can be blessed at the beginning of the discussions, and each member in turn is expected to hold it for a while and speak, then pass it on when they are done. In this way, everyone is heard, and everyone is expected to voice and opinion. These opinions, of course, are most often very thoughtful and well-moderated, as they spirit of respect and magic that is symbolized by the Talking Stick encourages the expression of wisdom, love and compassion.

© 2003 Zsuzsana Summer

Author Bio :
Zsuzsana is a renowned professional psychic, syndicated columnist and New Age authour. Visit Zsuzsana at www.arcanamatrix.com for everything from Angels to Wicca and lots of metaphysical goodies in between! Her new book, The Now Age - and the basics of Today's Spirituality, is available at www.arcanamatrix.com

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