Wisdom of the four winds

Fantail –Piwakaka– is a bird of power in Maori lore.  In his book Wisdom of the Four Winds, NZ teacher and author, Barry Brailsford, tells the story of Fantail.

"When Maui, the legendary hero, attempted to gain life eternal by returning to the womb of the Earth Mother, Fantail foiled his plan.  As Maui struggled to re-enter the birth passage, this little bird found his efforts so comical he laughed so loudly the Mother awoke and closed her legs.  The natural order of birth and death was kept intact."


"Piwakaka is the Sky Dancer within the forest.  Flitting to and fro, shifting and turning in a moment, swooping close and spiralling away, it brings joy to the day.  Fantail is laughter in motion.  When we move through the forest, Fantail gathers close to travel with us.  This companionship is filled with good purpose for it knows our passing will disturb insects to be hunted along the way.''


Barry outlines the messages that Fantail brings.  "The first is that we should stand back from the little dramas we create in our lives and bring laughter to them.  Laughter gifts perspective, the ability to expose the core of a problem.......Laughter helps us forgive ourselves and forgive others.  Laughter is healing."


"The little one is also a messenger of the spirit, the one who dances across the realms to reach into the Above and Beyond.  This is why Piwakawaka often visits when death gathers.  It does not cause the passing, is not the agent of change, merely the guardian of the spirit that has decided to move on.


Fear is not the companion it brings to that moment.  Its offering is reassurance, a reminder that we die a thousand deaths in one lifetime, that we let go of the old again and again to give birth to the new.  It speaks of beginnings that are without end, of constant renewal, the promise of change and growth.  Nothing is lost to us forever.  All is of the turning, for we are joined as one within the circle."


Play some

Dance some

Paint some

Sing some

Write some

Laugh some

Each day


Live the moment


Many thanks to Barry for allowing me to use this extract from his book.  Wisdom of the Four Winds is a truly beautiful deck and book and one that I go to regularly for the wisdom and insight that it brings.  The book is available from Stone Print. 

Go to http://www.stoneprint.co.nz/