Archives for posts with tag: Grandmother Twylah Hurd Nitsch


The classical 7-path labyrinth design is a perfect sacred space for community gatherings, sacred ceremonies, as well as creating a means for connecting with nature, and as a tool for developing peace. Used as a form of sacred space in cultures around the globe for over 3200 years, this type labyrinth design can actually, de-stress the nerves, help to integrate and balance the right and left brain, center the focus, and organize your day.

I have been walking my personal since 1981. Mostly in the morning before the sun rises so I can enjoy the energetic and shamanic sacred space designed by the Great Mystery. My walk sets the day for me in a very powerful and enlightening way. I walk my labyrinth when starting a new project, I need a solution or new insight, I want to connect to my deepest inner wisdom, or just get connected and express gratitude. It has become a sacred space that is an important ingredient of my life.

Because the Shambhalla Institute blends the design and installation with sacred teachings of ancient indigenous cultures, feng shui, and sustainable garden design, personal sacred space reflects individual lifestyle, innate strengths, goals, and spiritual nature. The experience gives the mind a chance to slow down and get focused. The senses are heightened to feel, see, and hear the natural environment surrounding the labyrinth while the intuition opens into what the mind is thinking, the heart is feeling, and my gratitude.

The Shambhalla Institute is looking for people who want to learn about the labyrinth and help install labyrinths for themselves, friends, schools, nature centers, community gardens, and public parks. If you are interested in working together to add sacred space in your community, please contact the institute, 352.638.2617.


How It has Happened is a wonderful CD of stories by Grandmother Twylah Hurd Nitsch, internationally famous and respected Elder of the Wolf Clan of the Seneca People. Told by Lee Nitsch her daughter-in-law, with additional flute, drum and rattle playing by her son, Bob Nitsch.

There are nine stories that tell how each Seneca Iroquois Clan – Hawk, Snipe, Beaver, Turtle, Wolf, Bear, Deer and Heron – received their names long ago. With a wonderful introductory tale, each story includes its special decree or wisdom teaching that reflects the medicine qualities of the Clan animal and the Clan’s special perspective on walking a pathway of harmony and peace. Beautifully created by Bob and Lee Nitsch who bring these delightful and valuable stories to life toward keeping the ancient teachings alive. Enjoyed by all ages.

To learn about more CD’s by Bob and Lee Nitsch, click here.

Celebrating Autumn Equinox 2011
Friday   September 23
2:05AM West Coast       5.05 AM East Coast

It is a time to set the focus only on feeling and expressing gratitude with others all that has been received. Together we begin a walk into the West by slowing down. It’s a good time to get to know yourself by asking:

  • What are the fruits of my harvest this year?
  • How have I changed?  Thoughts?  Emotions?  Spiritual growth?
  • How am I more aware?
  • How has my consciousness changed?
  • Who am I now?

Between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice, we reflect on all that has happened since the Winter Solstice 2010. Because it’s a time to get the ‘soil’ ready for planting new seeds at the Winter Solstice, December 21, 2012, ask yourself:

  • Who do I want to be?
  • What positive thoughts am I going to hold throughout 2012?
  • For 2012 what seeds do I want to plant for self, family, others and earth wellness?
  • What action can I take throughout 2012 that can sustain earth wellness, peace, love, joy or harmony for seven generations into the future?

When we open our eyes, we see beyond ourselves.

When we open our ears, we listen beyond ourselves.

When we give ourselves over to this attraction we grow in self-awareness.

Grandmother Twylah Hurd Nitwch, Seneca Elder & Teacher

Entering Into the Silence: The Seneca Way

Grandmother Twylah Hurd Nitsch. (Published 1976, New York, by the Seneca Indian Historical Society)

It is exciting to honor Grandmother in these first entries of the blog because she has been so important to me as a mentor and teacher. She gave me the spiritual name Joy. Studying with her through the 1980’s gave me so many profound experiences. Her incredible book is still a reminder to see and feel the sacredness of the earth as I work in my garden.

This book presents the teachings of the ancient Native People known as Seneca who were acknowledged philosophers and famous orators. They lived in upper New York and were original members of Haudenosaunee, also known as Iroquois or Six Nations: Seneca, Mohawk, Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, and Tuscarora. With a commitment to preserve the heritage of the Seneca Nation, Grandmother Twylah taught through the Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge of the Senecas.

In response to a need to offer guidance to seekers of peace and to be a voice for the Elders throughout the ages, Grandmother wrote it to sustain pathways of harmony and to support life experiences of love and joy. In this book she highlights nature as teacher, the power of gratitude, the miracle of light, and the Great Mystery. She defines unity, gives suggestions for character change, and teaches how to learn about peace through ‘breathing into the silence’. Grandmother explained,

“The Senecas believed the Force was in everything, everywhere at all times. It was called the Great Mystery, Swenio (Spirit in Seneca) and the inquisitive people vowed to learn what it was all about.”

Today her son Bob Nitsch and his wife Lee sustain the knowledge of the Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge.

For me the book has been valuable. It has become a continuing source of inspiration for my spiritual journey and shamanic practices. I have used it to sustain a journey of peace, deepen my understanding of myself and to help others find their purpose. I am grateful for being aware of the Great Mystery in my life.

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