Hundreds, even thousands of years ago, the ancestors of this land, Turtle Island, maintained close relationships with the Medicine Helpers; four-leggeds, flyers, crawlers, standing people, star nations, and so on. Today, academics would have us believe that the surviving rock art, story hides, totem art and so forth are merely simplistic attempts at artistic expression of fearful, primitive, child-like people in the earliest stages of what would eventually become the march toward industrialization and the modern information age.
To accede to the Euro-American based academic point of view, one has to lift these artifacts completely out of the context in which they were created. And that context is one that acknowledged, even proactively worked with the spirits not only of the physical Medicine Helpers, but of the unseen spirits and the creative energy of the universe itself. This is understandable. To acknowledge the ancients had relationships with these entities and that it extended into non-physical dimensions, is to acknowledge the great loss of this once natural ability to modern intellectualism. In other words, it's to admit the destructive impact modern education, religion, the legal fiction of property ownership, and economics have played in the growing disconnect between humans and the Earth.
In this lecture we will take a brief look at what some of the symbols mean, which is usually fairly straightforward. But more importantly, we’ll consider how we can benefit from the hidden energy they convey to those willing to approach them in a different way. This lecture will be of particular interest to those who have taken the Medicine Shields workshop, have built a drum or rattle, or are inclined to use symbols such as these in other respectful ways.