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The Way of the Warrior

April 7, 2006


Through the archetype of the warrior an old-fashioned term for leader indigenous societies connect to the process of empowerment and to the human resource of power. Universally there are three kinds of power:power of presence, power to communicate, power of position. Shamanic societies recognize that a person who has all three powers embodies “big medicine.”

Every human being carries the power of presence. Some individuals carry such presence that we are drawn to and captivated by these charismatic people even before they speak or we know anything about them.

A warrior or leader uses the power of communication to effectively align the content, timing and placement to deliver a message at the right time in the right place for the person involved to hear and receive it.

A warrior demonstrates the power of position by the willingness to take a stand. Many politicians have great presence and great communication, but lose power when they allow constituents to wonder where they stand on specific issues.

Examples of individuals who carry all three powers and who access the mythical structure and archetype of the Way of the Warrior are Mother Teresa, Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Each has been committed to aligning the power of presence, communication and the willingness to take a stand in arenas that have heart and meaning for them.

Cross-culturally, the posture of standing meditation in one position with arms at sides and eyes open for at least fifteen minutes is used in the martial arts, spiritual practices and in the military as a way of reinforcing and coalescing the three universal powers and of connecting the practitioner with the greater being of who he or she is.

Most native peoples attribute the Way of the Warrior to the direction of the North, the home of Father Sky and of all the winged creatures. The belief is held that during challenging times, it is essential to face our challenges with the grace, power and dignity of the “winged ones.” It is important to remember that when challenges present themselves, it is the warrior’s way to embrace them with full-bodied presence rather than to constrict in fear.

From an interview with Angeles Arrien and Spirit and Sound.

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