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Talking Stick

 

The Talking Stick, according to indigenous legend of unknown nation, is a tool American Indians use to call a Council meeting for teaching, decision making or conflict resolution.  It allows each person in the Circle to present their point of view.  The Talking Stick is passed around the Circle clockwise.  While the individual is speaking, no one else can interrupt or crosstalk.  Individuals may pass. The Talking Stick continues until all have spoken.  Every person present must listen intently to the person speaking.  This means Circle participants will not be thinking about what they intend to say, but rather be transformed by what they are hearing.  Active listening in this way allows for changes of heart and thinking.  A feather is part of the talking stick to reflect that the individual contributions of the whole will allow the Circle to see the big picture with the eyes of an eagle from above the clouds.  Each individual would identify the details that need attention. The Circle Keeper of the group is responsible for making the Talking Stick. Each part of the Talking Stick is a reflection of the Circle Keeper’s personal medicine.  Because of this, each Talking Stick will be different.  White Pine represents peace; birch stands for truth; cedar represents cleansing, etc.  Each tree carries its own medicine.  Often the purpose of the Circle informs the making of the particular Talking Stick.  Every item incorporated into the Talking Stick has significant meaning.  It is important that the building of the stick be made in a sacred way.  It is good to open one’s heart to what is needed and allow the Talking Stick to make itself through the person.  Turn off the brain, turn inward to the inner knowing and begin collecting those feathers, leather, tree branches, shells, lacing, fur, etc. that are wanting to become part of the Talking Stick. Sit with these collected beings and allow them to arrange themselves how they see fit.