Are you interested in starting a Councils of the Whistling Elk?
Information about the Councils
Councils gather together and share the Teachings of the Sisterhood of the Shields. We hold sacred space for each other. We do ceremony together and support each other in bringing our tools into our daily lives such as our drums, rattles, sacred art and more.
Your Council is a place for people to gather throughout the year. It is building a community of like-minded folks who share an interest in Lynn Andrews work and the Teachings of the Sisterhood of the Shields. Your council will provide a safe harbor for those needing spiritual solace and will support them in creatively sharing their shamanic experiences and lessons centered on Lynn’s teachings from the Sisterhood of the Shields.
A council is born where two or more gather to study and move more deeply into their own self-empowerment and spiritual growth using the tools and techniques given to us through the Teachings of Lynn Andrews and the Sisterhood of the Shields.
Designate a particular day and time for your meetings. Some council’s meet monthly, some bi-monthly and others quarterly. We have councils that meet virtually. Your council will decide when and how often you will meet but you must begin the process by setting the intent for your group. As the coordinator you will decide. Nothing is set in stone, and you will find as the weeks, months and then years go by, your councils energy will ebb and flow like an ocean tide. Things will change and that is OK.
Make a list of bookstores, metaphysical shops and perhaps holistic centers in your area, Reiki practitioners, massage therapists or energy workers. You get the idea.
Be visible! Let people know about your upcoming council meeting.
A Council is a Circle. It’s Sacred Center and Rim are bounded by Principles of the Sisterhood of the Shields and Practices taught by Agnes Whistling Elk and Ruby Plenty Chiefs to Lynn Andrews. A Council is a group of focused individuals who gather to share and learn through these teachings, prayers and activities. By its nature, a Council is a covenanted arrangement. These agreements in a circle, are made on faith. They are an intuitive process – Agreements of the Heart that support members of the Councils of the Whistling Elk in learning and living these Teachings.
The Power of a Council is in direct relationship to its members shared intention and commitment. Commitment means being together, making the Council a priority and a willingness to share responsibility for keeping the Council vibrant.
What is said in the Council belongs in the Council. Members are asked to participate with an open heart and without judgment. The Council is not a therapy support group. Members share with each other without expectation of a “fix”. The Council is a place to share one’s story. Each person takes responsibility for asking the council for the support they want and need including how the Council can support them during a time of crisis. Each member takes responsibility for agreeing or not agreeing to participate in specific requests during the Council meeting. Anyone in the Council may call for silence, time-out, ceremony or prayer to re-establish focus, re-center or remember the need for spiritual guidance.
Once you have met a few times, council leadership could rotate from member to member. If the circle moves from home to home, the host/hostess may be leader for that meeting. The leader decides how the altar will be set up, chooses what teachings will be discussed, what experiential activities will be shared for that meeting, when the drumming will take place, etc. They will choreograph the energy and creation of that meeting. Teachings Around the Sacred Wheel has Meditations, affirmations and exercises that many councils use.
This is an opportunity to create an altar space where Council members may place sacred objects for the duration of the circle. Some members like to bring objects relevant to a particular life process they are experiencing at that time. Smudging purifies the mind, body, and spirit in preparation for the Council meeting. Smudging, being mindful of sensitivities, can be done with sage, cedar or sweetgrass, a bell, a rattle or a feather.
It is important for each Council member to know that they have a voice in the operation and health of the circle, that self and other respect is essential. To maintain the spiritual and emotional health of the council, it is suggested that periodic business meetings, annually or bi-annually, be held to discuss any Council business.
The annual business meeting might include:
1. Review of last year’s activities – what worked and what didn’t work.
2. Discussion of a theme for the coming year’s work.
3. Determine how often to meet during the year.
4. Propose Council activities.
5. Decide who will host each meeting and where.
6. If there is a Council budget, a report is given. Determine if your Council will have a collection bowl for replacement of craft materials used for projects, etc.
All of this could be accomplished through a visioning experience, brainstorming or with a talking stick discussion. It is also a good idea to find out what kind of spiritual work all council members want. Phone or email surveys could be done or there could be survey forms at your business meeting for gathering some of this information.
Virtual Council or Face to Face?
We do receive a lot of requests to attend a Virtual Council. Some of our Councils conduct both a Virtual Council one month and a Face to Face Council the next. While other Councils only meet Virtually or Face to Face. You can decide what works best for you.
If you are still interested in Starting a Council, please use the link below to take the survey. Once we receive your responses, we can schedule a meeting to answer any questions you may have.