Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction of San Antonio
                                                 VitaLife Insight 

Talking Sticks: Useful when running/teaching groups, in families, marriages, the workplace - for ensuring everyone is heard. Yes, even for use during Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction classes!

Talking Sticks
All Talking Sticks are one of a kind. What is shown is what is available.

Talking Sticks are used whenever you want to be certain everyone will be heard, without repercussion,     such as when leading groups,in families, or even business.

Contact us for purchase: VitaLifeInsight@gmail.com or call 210-391-8000

Creative Force, Arrow Head - Adventurer,
Rabbit - Soft Words

  Angel for Good Fortune, Strength, Overcoming Illness

  Creative Force in Contrast, Soft Words, Protective,
Good Fortune & Strength

Fire (Life Intensity), Good Fortune,
Kinship with all Living Things 

 Spiritual Protection (by the Creator), Wisdom, Soft Words Available
intuition, prayer, and wisdom
bringing fear into the light
listening beyond the auditory
grounded, nurturing


American Indians used a Talking Stick during tribal councils. The stick is passed from one person to another, and only the person holding the Talking Stick is permitted to speak. This practice was and can still be a practice of mindfulness. Each person has an opportunity to speak without interruption, ridicule or reprisal. Each member not holding the Talking Stick must listen carefully because, unlike many meetings today, if one agreed with a prior opinion it did not need to be stated aloud. The purpose was instead for each idea and each opinion to be heard and considered, so the wisest choice could be made.

Talking Sticks have high ceremonial and spiritual value, and are often considered sacred. The items on the Talking Stick all have a meaning. 
  • The Talking Stick itself: White pine = peace, Birch = truth, Evergreens = growth and consistency over time, Cedar = cleansing, Aspen = seeing with clarity, Maple = gentleness, Elm = wisdom, Mountain Ash = protection, Oak = strength, Cherry = emotion and love, Fruit Woods = abundance, Nut trees = energy and new beginning.
  • Attached to the Talking Stick: Rabbit fur as a reminder to the speaker to keep words soft and warm; Strands of Buffalo hair to bring the speaker power and strength; Blue turquoise can represent the Great Spirit, hearing words spoken in the heart as well as those spoken aloud; an iridescent shell to represent change of seasons, people, and situations.

  • Colors of beads: According to Eastern Band Cherokee, yellow for the eastern sunrise, red for the western sunset, white for snow from the north, and green earth from the south. With these four colors, the speaker holds the universe in his or her hands when holding the Talking Stick. 

  • Talking Sticks can be personalized with colors and attachments to represent you, your totem animals, your spirit. For example, incorporating red for life, yellow for knowledge, blue for wisdom, white for spirit, purple for healing, orange for kinship with all living things, or black for clarity. A turkey feather foreace and resolution. An owl feather to banish deception. The hide of the Buffalo for abundance, elk for fitness and stamina, deer for gentleness, rabbits for keen hearing/listening, horse hair for perseverance, and snakeskin for healing. 

Some contemporary families still use something akin to a Talking Stick, passing it from family member to family member, allowing them to be heard...without interruption and without the topic being up later by others. 

Talking Sticks can be used to settle disputes, to share concerns, and to bring people closer.

Talking sticks can also be used in groups: group counseling, support groups, classrooms, etc. again to allow individuals to be heard. So often individuals can be in attendance, but never be truly heard. 

Finally, perhaps one of the greatest wedding gifts for a newly joined couple is a Talking Stick...to stop the quick reactions born of intense emotions of anger, jealousy, and fear. 

1. Wisdom, Nurturing & Grounded, Healing, Knowledge, Kinship

2. Spiritual Wisdom, kinship/relationship, 

ascension and spiritual evolution

3. Spiritual Wisdom, Clarity, Courage and Good Fortune


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Talking Sticks can be purchased in or mailed from San Antonio, TX.

Although some Talking Sticks have been made with a bottom loop to hang them from,
it is suggested that you not hang them for storage.
Instead store them by allowing them to lie flat on a shelf.


This is an example of a write-up for an individual who purchased a talking stick...
describing what his stick represents:

Talking Stick: The feathers are brown with white speckles, the fur beneath the top is gray. It has a crystal spear tip with an adjacent blue stone. A black arrow head stone is attached to the body of the stem, and the stem is wrapped in brown cord. 

Legend has it that during American Indian meetings or conferences, loud voices, yelling and grandstanding created confusion and did not allow the Chief to make an informed decision about the future of his tribe. It was decided that the ‘Talking Stick’ would be implemented. Whoever had the Talking Stick could talk and nobody else could. The speaking always started with the Chief, who then started the talking stick around the circle (or room). Each speaker could speak freely and without repercussions afterwards, in fact what was said with the Talking Stick could not be repeated outside of the circle. The Talking Stick became a symbol of power, for even the lowest brave could be heard and his opinion given. What the Chiefs discovered was that the power laid not within the speaker, for there are powerful speakers and weak ones, but rather the power lay in the silence of the audience listening, the silence of respect, and the silence of consideration of each persons’ words. The Talking Stick is symbol of power, of honor and integrity among the Native American people.

Even today, in more contemporary use to the talking stick, every member of the meeting must listen closely to the words being spoken, so when their turn comes, they do not repeat unneeded information or ask impertinent, questions. Indian children are taught to listen from age three forward; they are also taught to respect another's viewpoint. This is not to say that they may not disagree, but rather they are bound by their personal honor to allow everyone their Sacred Point of View. Many people make their own Talking Stick. The Talking Stick may be used when they teach children, hold council, make decisions regarding disputes, hold Pow-Wow gatherings, have storytelling circles, or conduct a ceremony where more then one person will speak.

The ornamentation of each stick has meaning. On your talking stick,

  • The blue stones represent intuition, prayer, and wisdom.
  • The black arrowhead: the black stands for clarity and focus, success and victory, while the arrowhead itself stands for alertness.
  • Rabbit skin: In some Native American traditions, the rabbit is known as the ‘Fear Caller’. Rabbits are always alert, yet seemingly fearful – looking about for preditors. It is said that if we are always afraid of something then we may draw/create the very experience we are afraid of in to our lives. Thoughts, including fear, send out a vibrational energy that attract whatever we focus on. This makes it extremely important to bring our fears into consciousness - into the light, treating them with gentleness, so we may begin to recognize our own ability to create our own surroundings, our own life. Even as the rabbit is alert and aware of its surroundings at all times, the rabbit reminds us to be alert, and that we ALL have the power to create with our thoughts, to redirect them on a positive path to focus on our dreams, and not be distracted from our intentions with negative emotions or thoughts. In addition, the rabbit brings the ability to listen ‘with big ears’.

  • The stones on the top of your Talking Stick are sea glass. Sea glass forms over years and years, slowly altering shape and composition. Originally discarded as trash, with years of tossing with the waves and crashing onto the shore, it evolves into a smooth gem, entirely and totally unique from any other. So too, we are tossed and turned, rolled and crushed; we lay in the sun and at the bottom of a cold ocean alone. All of our experiences serve to create a gem, a beautiful person, with time. From junk to jewel, from trash to treasure. The white glass showing both transparency and non-transparency, transparency in being transparent others. The lack of transparency denoting the importance of recognizing that an individual must work to know themselves fully and to bring their true nature to the surface. Too often, we move through life without recognizing our own true self. The blue, once again portrays wisdom. Together, they symbolize the wisdom that arises from the true and present self.
  • The feathers are turkey feathers. The turkey is sometimes known as ‘the Peace Eagle of the south’. The turkey feather symbolizes peach, brining peaceful attitudes, and the give and take necessary for successful completion of disputes.

  • The brown cord is made from the skin of a cow (leather). The cow is generally associated with grounding, calming, patience, and provision. The cow has been generous with humans sharing milk (cheese, butters, etc.) and meat for our nourishment, its’ skin for clothing, housing (teepee), and protection from the elements, and its’ bones for weapons and decorations. The cow can represent giving and caring for others, and an intimate association with the land, especially the harmony between caring for and receiving from ‘mother earth’.

There were rules and codes of conduct for the use of Talking Sticks. Talking sticks provided the way to hold an orderly, just, and impartial meeting - even with enemies. Talking sticks were commonly used in council circles to designate who had the right to speak. When matters of great concern came before the council, the leading elder would hold the talking stick and begin the discussion.

For families, for the newly married, for meetings, and for work settings, the same rules can apply:

  • The elder speaks first
  • No-one is allowed to interrupt and everyone must listen to what is being said. They must listen carefully and nonjudgmentally.
  • When the elder has finished speaking the Talking Stick is handed to the next person in the circle (or room)
    • If the receiver chooses not to speak, the Talking Stick is passed to the next person in the circle
    • The stick is passed from one individual to another until all who wished to speak have done so
    • The talking stick is then passed back to the leading elder for safe keeping

The use of talking sticks allows everyone to express their sacred point of view.

Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Valerie J. Berg Rice

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) of San Antonio

-- VitaLife Insight -- 
      Mindfulness and Meditation


Contact us at: VitaLifeInsight@gmail.com or call 210-391-8000

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