With time various topics, most connected to the 'ancient ways,' will be covered. Some of these might be controversial in nature - you're most welcome to contribute.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Spirit of the Bow ...

 I am a strong believer in the 'Spirit of Things' ... some 'things' dead or alive were made just for you or destined for you.  The Aboriginals believe that the design of a proper didgeridoo can only fit one specific person, only that person can play that specific didgeridoo.  The Japanese belief in the spirit of the blade and the true archers from all over the world believed in the spirit of the bow ... the spirit of the arrow ...
 Hunting grounds yesterday

Today few of us make our own bows, therefore it is hard to transfer part of our own spirit to the bow.  The ancient archer took great care in selecting the material for his bow and arrows, he then very patiently sat for days beside small fires and sometimes months 'transferring spirit' to his bow and arrows by creating it from buried memories deep within himself.

Today a great bow maker or arrow maker will make these with spirit and that just might suit you.  It is possible that by touching bows and arrows that were produced in larger numbers, you can select something that carries a bit of your own spirit.  Next time you see bows and arrows and something awakens within you, touch it ... go with the feel ... try it out and see it there is a difference compared with just 'another bow and arrow feeling ...'

As I child a few traditional African longbows were made just for me, others I made myself ... only a few had spirit.  When a bow has spirit you must carefully choose the arrows with like-minded 'spirit' and only then can you test it against the ultimate ... can the 'combination of spirit' ... bow ... arrow and your own, place food on the table?

Due to the 'spirit' involved in all three participants nor the bow or arrow need to be complicated.  A 'simple' bow, a basic arrow launched from a place with Spirit will always find it's target.  No need for arrow rests, nocking points, fancy draws ... each person develops his/her own Way of the Bow that comes from Spirit ...  These techniques of hunting are still used today by the remaining hunter/gatherers and some archers that feel comfortable 'connecting' with the retained memories of the past.

I have been involved with archery all my life, starting off with very 'simplistic' longbows, made by either the Bushman of Namibia, Angola and Botswana or the Kavango tribes of Northern Namibia.  Later 'shifted' to compound bows and recurves with all the features and bling ... but there was no Spirit.  I recently touched a bow which awakened very ancient and early memories ... memories of Freedom and Spirit.  The first arrow I shot, I knew  ...
 
 Food for the table via 65# Kassa Wolf I

I took this bow to a place of Stillness, a place of small streams and thick blackberries ... red-feathered arrows flew with Spirit and placed food on my table.  No arrow rest, no nocking point, no thinking about where to anchor, how to stand ... just a natural shot with Spirit that happens long before the bow or your muscles can start to argue with the Spirit involved ...
  
 Places of Stillness where you only leave footprints behind

This to me ... the ultimate Freedom of Mind and Spirit ...

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