Author: Tamarack Song
30 pages, offered in both a paper and electronic form (PDF). Photo is not an actual representation of the booklet.
Chapter 1 The Seeker-Guide Relationship
The Importance of a Guide
Guide or Teacher?
How to Identify a Guide
How to be a Worthy Seeker
Chapter 2 Finding and Working with a Guide
Native People as Guides?
Seek a Guide Who Walks in Both Worlds
What About “Untouched Natives” as Guides?
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This could be the Journey of a lifetime, not only because it will take you through the most profound experiences of your life, but because it literally lasts a lifetime. Here, in this book, I can only dance words around the Journey; you need more guidance than that.
You, being immersed in this culture, and thus removed from the Natural Realm, might wonder where you can go to find such guidance. Let’s begin with what a relationship with a Guide is all about, and then I’ll offer some suggestions on where you might find a Guide.
The Importance of a Guide
Our Spirit Fire burns brightest when it has cultural context. Is an Ant, an Ant, when he is all alone? In order to survive and function, an Ant needs his colony, his culture. We too are social beings. We are Human when we are with our Kind; the longer we are separated from them, the more we become just nondescript flesh. We need to see our reflection in another, in order to keep in touch with ourselves; we need to connect with others’ thoughts and feelings in order to ground our own. Especially for this Journey through the major Passages of Life, we need to keep grounded and see our reflection clearly.
For these reasons, and more, this Journey is almost impossible to successfully take alone. I strongly encourage you to seek a Guide.
For starters, this book could be your Guide. Your Dreams and Ancestral Voices will help also. Yet, at some point you’ll probably realize that you need more tools for the Journey than this book or your Dreams can provide. You’ll be looking around for directional markers to keep you on your Path. Then you will want someone with the experience of the Walking, someone who knows things. Especially when you meet the Fear of the Lost Traveler, you’ll want someone nearby who has embraced that Fear.
There is another reason for a Guide — one that you may not realize until you actually need it…
Imagine that you are kidnapped and left for dead in the Australian Outback. You’ll notice right away that your clothing is unsuitable — your shoes are getting full of sand, your pants are collecting irritating burrs, and your exposed skin is beginning to take on the color of a steamed Lobster. It feels like Desert, but there is not a Cactus to be seen, and the Trees look and smell like nothing you’ve ever come across. You don’t know which plants are edible or poisonous, you have no idea as to how to avoid biting Insects and poisonous Snakes, and you don’t understand the climate. What are you to do?
You could proceed by trial and error. You might gradually learn what works and doesn’t work. You could also make a fatal mistake. If you survived, it would likely take many turns of the seasons before you started to feel some sense of Balance with your new Circle. In order to feel truly at home, it would take lifetimes.
Another option: you could go to the Native People and ask if they will guide you. They have not only their experience, but the cumulative knowledge of their People, to draw from. They are as at home as are the Rocks and the Grasses and the Lizards. They know the moods of the Land — when the Winds blow and the Rains come, they know how to stay cool and keep warm, they know where The Mother’s Hand gifts them with food and shelter and clothing. To them, their Land is Paradise, and they can show you the doorway to that Paradise.
The above scenario could run a literal parallel with a time your life, or it could be metaphorical. For example, your need for a Guide may be less for physical survival reasons and more for emotional sanity.
When I first sought a Guide, I wished her to be from my area. At the time I could not have explained why, as I just did in the above story. I was in my early 20s and fueled mostly by passion and gut feeling. Something just felt right about listening to someone who woke up to the same Birds singing in the morning and knew what it felt like to swim in a Glacier-carved Lake.
Yet in this day it is not always possible, nor is it always intended, that we have a Guide from our particular area. Our contemporary lifestyles make us a mobile People which, strange as it might sound, runs a parallel with our ancestral-innate nomadic ways. A Guide from another area who lives by the Native “Commandments” can still serve us, because she is at home anywhere — The Mother is always with her.