Tim Yearington BIRD MOUNTAIN SHAMAN SCHOOL

        Algonquin Ways of Knowing

 

In our current era many people are seduced by the need for material possessions, technology and smart phones. And because of this many people - particularly youth - are struggling emotionally and mentally. Issues of fear, depression, anxiety, apathy, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, dependence on technology, mental health, ADHD, PTSD, NDD (Nature Deficit Disorder) are all steering people away from the inherent power within themselves to have self-worth, find purpose and be happy in life.

Algonquin Ways of Knowing help us to remember what matters most: We're all Native to the Earth! Therefore, to help us find our way in life we are all entitled to "vision quest" outside on the land at sacred sites to help provide us emotional, physical, spiritual and mental stability. With Algonquin Ways of Knowing we "fix the fire first". This means we need to take care of our inner emotional fire first. The natural support for our emotional world is our spiritual world - our personal beliefs - and this is where the wise human practice of doing a vision quest comes in. Seeing our vision helps us to receive realistic guidance and direction within life.

Algonquin "Vision Quest" knowledge is becoming significant in today's technological world. The rewarding benefits of our teachings and ways are being recognized, embraced and used by people all over the world.

Our traditional "Ways of Knowing" encompass the wisdom we gained by living in harmony with the natural world. The practical teachings learned thousands of years ago were originally inspired by the land; the plants, animals, elements, the weather and seasons. Our ancestors collectively retained the natural wisdom we gained through songs, stories, legends and myths. Ancient red ochre pictographs and birch bark scrolls helped us remember the things we needed to know to live smart and be well.

Today the wise perspectives of our Algonquin Worldview and our Vision Quest ways are encompassed in various teachings such as the Medicine Wheel model and also The Seven Grandfathers. But there is much more to learn and know than these fundamentals offer the modern quester. Increasingly important today, transformational vision quest teachings are found within the deeper, mysterious aspects of our ancient legends, manitous, animal helpers, stories and ceremonies. When we learn the true value of the very things our ancestors left behind for us to find, we come to see they can still provide us with guidance in our modern lives.