WHO AM I?

" What's in a name? " 

Misk'i Takiy is a name that was gifted to me by one of my dear friends and teachers from the Amazon, to mark the end of several years of apprenticeship. In the context the name was given, it translates from the Quechua language as "man who sings sweetly". I have wondered occasionally if "sometimes" should be added to the translation. 

The name that I was given at birth is Gareth, a traditional British Celtic name which carries the meaning 'gentle and brave'. It is a name from my ancestral lineage that reminds me of the memory of my people and the deep magic of the land of my fathers. 

The moniker Dr. Fox was bestowed upon me many years ago now in good grace and humour by another beloved teacher one fine morning in our fox-frequented sanctuary in the UK. I lived, learned, and worked with him for more than 3 years and will remember those good old days of my youth, and the twinkle in his eye, forever fondly. 

Mostly nowadays, I live in the Sacred Valley of Peru, in a small village named Taray, a couple of kilometres from the town of Pisac,  in the Cusco region. I primarily work at " La casa de mis abuelos ", the mountain home and healing centre of the well known Peruvian Maestro Alonso del Rio and his family. You can find more information about us, our ethos, our ceremony and event calendar ( AGENDA section ) and some of our projects here at http://www.ayahuasca-ayllu.com 

My life and work has become deeply rooted in the embodiment, exploration and clarification of the four elemental altars of Earth, Water, Fire, and Air; and all the relations and archetypes carried within each altar. This process has been amplified through the traditional schools with which I share my prayer. 

This is an embodied practice of healing and learning, a continuous walk of the spiral and purification of the prayer. In alignment with this, I have come to understand that every human heart carries the same prayer at its deepest core, that of unity, harmony, balance, peace, sovereignty, mutual empowerment and unconditional love ( and every human, heart, and prayer is a work in progress, deserving of respect and compassion ).

As storyteller, songwriter, and musician, primarily I write songs that have been created as medicine for me or others, reflections of experiences encountered that contain tales comprised of words and messages that have given me strength, hope, inspiration, remembrance and love when I have been in need. My path through this life has taken me to live in many countries, experience a wide range of circumstances and situations, and afforded me the opportunity to study many areas of interest: these are woven into the fabric of the songs. I am deeply indebted and grateful for the traditions of North and South, East and West, for all their inspiration and wisdom - that when analysed - can lead one to a complete understanding of universal principles.

There is no song that I sing that has not helped shed light on something. 

This is one of my core prayers, that healing comes to those who are in need, and me too. Often healing takes form in the shape of a change of perception, or a new approach to old material. In my life, whenever I have needed to understand something, to pray for something, to heal a wound or a false understanding, or even a damaged relation, then a song has shared itself with me with the intention to bring healing that specific area of conflict. I believe that through the power of song we are able to explore and share the depths of our being, find comfort, and whatever it is that is needed to achieve resolution, reconciliation and true healing. I am ever grateful for the creativity that allows the most painful or sorrowful experiences to be expressed and transformed into the most beautiful sentiments and songs. 

Many of the songs I write are inspired by ancient healing traditions from around the world, traditions that I have lived in, that I continue to live in, and that I admire and draw support, guidance, and inspiration from. To be able to share these words, stories and songs in a way that they may touch another person is a true and genuine honour. 

I have many areas of interest - for instance - I became a student of yoga and meditation 30 years ago through a chance encounter with a teacher, and a student of plants for almost as long, in a similar manner. This interest led me to spend years travelling and learning the techniques and methods from teachers of the source. I found them to be very complementary disciplines, with similar origins and core teachings.

The path that is sometimes referred to as The Red Road is one that I began to walk 15 years ago, completing ( in theory because the path for me is - and will always be - ongoing ), all the necessary steps on this path to progress to the next stages of responsibility - such as keeping a Fire, planting an Inipi ( Sweatlodge ), and maintaining an Altar - all of which have been gifted to my by my elders after learning the ways, protocols, designs , forms and codes, and showing up, again and again for myself, the chiefs, families, and the communities. I am deeply grateful to have the full blessing and permission to work with such responsibility and do my best to honour this commitment in all ways, informed by the humility that acknowledges that there is still much more to learn and more responsibility to be taken when the time is right. One thing I learned early on is that this path cannot be rushed. This is good advice for everyone.

I am happy to share what I know and what I have learned along the way. More on this below.

The School of the seven directions

Education, inspiration, liberation

THE PATHS ARE MANY, BUT THE TRUTH IS ONE.

My commitment to the principles of Education, Inspiration, and Liberation has led to the formation of The School of the Seven Directions. With gratitude to my teachers, all of whom have helped me to learn under these principles, and all of whom I still turn to for mentorship and ongoing support for my path. I firmly believe in mentorship as it fosters accountability and helps one to see what they cannot yet see. It also helps one to avoid falling into the traps that are so often so easy to fall into. 

As I am a mentee ( one who is in mentorship, so I am a mentor to others ).

The pillars that support my life and work are drawn from a lifetime of learning - yoga, meditation, song and dance, traditions of my own culture, and those from the cultures of North and South America.

I am continuously developing and deepening my practice in order to offer more, so I undergo more trainings in different fields to bridge the ancient and modern wisdom. These learnings I bring back into the School.

Throughout my life I have sought the very best teachers in their fields and stuck with them even when times became challenging. As my dear teacher Don Javier says, " There are two paths a would be healer can take, one is full of short cuts and takes not time at all -  and one is full of discipline and is a lifetime of work; the first leads one to become a brujo, the second to become a curandero ". Or, as Gabrielle Roth, the founder of 5 Rhythms was fond of saying, " It takes discipline to be a free spirit".

Most paths recognise the same traps, and these are adequately elaborated upon within the School curriculum.

With good education and inspiration, we may well reach a point of liberation. Liberation from what you may ask, are we not already free? In concept yes, in reality, most probably not. The School is designed to assist with this process.

In our School we use certain methods to achieve our end, or to begin the path. We make extended dietas, we study, we sit with those who have walked the path longer than ourselves in order to learn the correct forms and approaches.

Above all, we are patient. Our foundation is build on Humility, supported by Sincerity, our backbone is our Willingness, and our dignity is held within a space that aspires to achieve and embody Integrity. 

More to come on this topic before too long.

With love and blessings for your path.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” - Marianne Williamson

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