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  • Writer's picturezhaawano

Teachings from the Tree of Life: Why the Owl Brings Healing

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Manoominike-giizis (Ricing Moon) (August 26, 2023)

 

Mishi-gookooko'ooh Omiigiwewin ("Gift of the Great Horned Owl"), painting by Zhaawano Giizhik
Mishi-gookooko'ooh Omiigiwewin ("Gift of the Great Horned Owl")

 

"Our spiritual path was designed way before we were born on Mother Earth; many times you'll be tested and many times you'll fail. "Spiritual Paths" or "The Tree Of Life" is a simple teaching to understand and all you need to do is to take a good look at yourself and see what you truly need (…) When confusion sets into your life, you have the ability to choose another branch from the tree of life and follow that branch towards discovery. When you stand back and take a good look, you have so many branches to choose from."*
- Wikwemikong Anishinaabe Medicine Painter James Mishibinijima.
 

Boozhoo miinawaa, biindigen! Hello again, and welcome to part 15 of my blog series titled Teachings from the Tree of Life, in which I relate a teaching that has been passed down to us by countless generations of ancestors, from the time my ancestors still lived in the old Dawn Land along the borders of the Atlantic Ocean. Central to the teaching is Gookooko'oo, or Oo'oo, the Owl, a grandfather or grandmother whose images and voices have always offered an important, multi-faceted window onto the traditional world of the Ojibwe Anishinaabeg Peoples. We will consider the positive and negative connotations that Owl holds in the human eye and conclude that it is up to us to choose a branch; in other words, ask ourselves, which side of Owl we will allow in our own life?



Illustration: Mishi-gookooko'ooh Omiigiwewin ("Gift of the Great Horned Owl") ©2023 Zhaawano Giizhik. Visit the webshop to view details of the painting.


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