About the Editor – ALAN “WOLF SPIRIT’

My Journey with Native American Spirituality Down the Red Path

How did I become associated with the wolf as my totem animal?

People who are on a spiritual journey or are involved in shamanic healing usually find themselves drawn to a specific animal that will have certain traits that the person needs to take on board to evolve.

I first became aware of this watching a documentary on wolves, and I immediately felt a strong connection with them, and this became a spiritual bond to these lovely animals.

Wolves have been demonized and misunderstood by many people around the world over the centuries particularly in Europe. They portrayed them as savage killers who were to be avoided.

Usually, this was because wolves attacked livestock as a food source so, the demonisation and tales of them attacking humans became the norm in medieval Europe.

To the American Indians they are spiritual, and they understood them for what they were.

They saw in Wolves loyalty, leadership, strength, courage, and a pack instinct to hunt so that they could survive in the wild as a pack.

This then was the beginning of what was to be a journey of a lifetime.

My journey began many years ago when I was much younger. I remember one of my teachers in infant school telling us about Native Peoples in the U.S.A.

He explained to us that what we saw in western films was not true and that it was a one-sided story of their history and a culture portrayed by Hollywood.

Early Life

I grew up in Nottingham in the 1950s. Back then I had no idea what my life journey would be and where it would eventually lead me.

Friends who I played with a few doors up from me were Roman Catholics, and one day their mum said that the BBC were going to be recording at the cathedral in Nottingham and would I like to attend. I asked my parents if I could go, and they said yes.

I had never been in a Catholic church before, so this was new to me. However, when I went inside, I had a strange feeling that there was a familiarity to what was going on. Singing in Latin also felt very familiar to me, as though I had been reconnected with a part of my past.

As time went on, I began to sense that I had been a monk in a previous life, because when visiting or looking at pictures of monastery ruins, I’d get a sense of familiarity, that I had come home.

I started to get the impression that I had lived before and not just once, but many times.

I also have a strong connection to Judaism and the Holy Land. I have always loved stories of Jesus’ birth in Judea and felt a powerful connection with it.

Many years later I was fortunate to visit Israel and the holy sites in the Bible.

Mid Life

I remember standing in Bethlehem and looking out over the Judean landscape towards King Herod’s Erodium and feeling that I had come home. So, our house is now called Judea.

This all made sense to me as I’ve always been fascinated with ancient Greek and Egyptian history, and a passion of Roman History, particularly the Roman Army.

A friend told me that he thought I was his commanding officer around 106 A D during The Trojan Wars in Dacia, which is modern day Romania.

Many years later I was regressed, and I recall being a Native Indian shaman (spiritual holy man) somewhere on the Great Plains in America.

My other great interest is the History of RAF Bomber Command, particularly the Lancaster Bomber. Whenever I am at the east coast and looking out over the North Sea, I get a strong feeling that that is where my last life ended, as rear gunner in a Lancaster bomber, shot down somewhere over the North Sea. In 1972 I began to explore disused wartime bomber airfields and record them as if I was trying to find some part of my past.

This became a lifelong passion and opened my mind to being out in nature listening to the skylarks and seeing other wildlife. I would walk down derelict runways, look inside old Nissen huts to see if there was any artwork on the walls. Exploring wind swept hangers could be quite eerie, as you think you can hear noises or footsteps, when no one else was present.

However, in the summer of 1976 I was looking around an old American bomber airfield at Thorpe Abbotts in Suffolk. I was looking around the old control tower it was a warm day I had gone up to the second floor. Looking out of the window out over the airfield I suddenly became aware of presence of an airman to my left. I wasn’t sure what was happening. I also heard the door to the control tower shut. I then thought I had better get out of here. On leaving the airfield I got out of my car to photograph the runways and there was an overwhelming feeling of sadness, and strangest of all there was no birds’ songs, just silence as I made my way out of the airfield.

Present Life

As I got older, I knew that my interests had a profound effect on my life, and it wasn’t until after my mum and dad passed that things changed dramatically.

At the time I was still living and working in Nottingham, and I would come down to Bedworth, Warwickshire to be with my partner at weekends.

It was one such weekend when my now next-door neighbour said that a young medium was giving readings in the local community centre. He knew that I had an interest in spiritual matters and so I went along to see this person.

While sitting with the man, he laid out a deck of cards, and while looking at them he just said, “Wow you are talking off spiritually now!!” I just sat there in amazement and wondered what all this meant.

In time I felt more drawn to the Native American culture, particularly the history of the Sioux Indians. This resulted in me reading more and exploring Native American history and culture.

Around the same time an old friend of mine told me about another medium she went to. We made an appointment to go and see this lady. She said that I had an American Indian with me who was my spirit guide. She described him to me, but she did not know who he was, although she thought she recognised him.

When we were leaving, she turned to me and gave me a picture hanging on the wall. She just said, “That’s him, that’s your spirit guide you must have the picture.”

I then did some research into who this person was and eventually found out that his name was ‘Full Bull’ a Lakota shaman medicine man and a warrior.

After this, I started connecting with him spiritually. This then opened the door to my present journey into American Indian culture, history and spirituality.

When I eventually sold my parents’ house in Nottingham and moved to Bedworth, to be with my partner John, this is where the beginning of my present part of my journey began.

My next-door neighbour and I were in Coventry market when I came across a little shop called Craft Culture. I got talking to the lady who owned the shop and asked if she could sell a painting that I no longer wanted, she agreed. Over time we became friends and she said that she was moving to another shop the other side of the market.

On a whim I asked if she needed any volunteers, and she said yes. So, I started working there two days a week. A year or so later I was introduced to a man who would have the most profound impact on my life’s journey, his name was Jim Bacon.

He was a marshal art and spiritual master along with his assistant Cully. These two people would accelerate my spiritual growth beyond anything I could imagine, with their teaching of Chi Kung and heeling.

Jim was very much in the know on a spiritual level and was a psychic too. He told me things that were very profound. We would often sit and talk about native American Indians and their way of life. Jim explained to me his family’s connection with Crazy Horse and how his grandmother looked after the horses that were part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show when it was in London.

She got to know the stars of the show and would relay the stories she had heard from the Native Americans to Jim about the old ways before their removal to the reservations.

As I got to know them better, we all became close friends. I found my journey accelerating and my connection to them was far more profound than what I could have ever imagined.

By now my partner John and I had started visiting South Dakota in the U.S.A to explore some of the places that were associated with the Lakota Indians and other tribes of the region.

When I came back, Jim would want to know all about where I had been and who I had met.

Then in 2017 Jim, myself, and John flew out to South Dakota. This was a very profound spiritual journey for both Jim and I as we went to places Jim had only dreamed of ever going to.

One day we were in the Journeyman Museum in Rapid City, and I was showing Jim the regalia of Full Bull, my guide, when Jim said to me, “Alan just stand in front of the display and don’t move.” He said your guide wants to connect with you. Suddenly, I felt an overwhelming sense of warmth right through my entire being, I just stood there with tears running down my face.

A few days later we were at a sacred mountain called Bear Butte, which in Lakota is ‘Mato Paha.’

We were there to pay our respects to this sacred place and tie prayers on to branches of the trees dotted around the mountain.

Later that evening we were at the annual Black Hills POW WOW when I began to feel unwell, so we returned to our hotel. I began to feel sick so John decided to get Jim to see if he could do some healing with me. By chance the fire brigade who were also paramedics were in the hotel so a friend asked if they could look at me. I think this gave them an opportunity to practice their medical skills as I was given a thorough examination with tubes attached to my chest to check if my heart was ok. They could not find anything wrong with me and that my heart was sound it was probably just a bug I had picked up.

So, there you go I never thought I would be a Guinee pig for the Rapid city fire and paramedics department.

Accouple of days later we all went to visit a friend I had made on previous visits in South Dakota.

This was a Lakota lady who was a medium and shaman, Kelly Two Wolves, who lived in Custer, South Dakota. She and Jim hit it off immediately as Jim did some healing with her aunt who was visiting her.

This laid the foundation for the following year when we would return.

Before we left, I showed Kelly my spiritual diary I had been writing. She then went to a cupboard where she handed me a rattle. She said she could not remember why she had acquired it and for what reason. So, when she gave it to me, she said that it all became clear to her and that it was meant for me.

When we returned home Jim started to instruct me in the smudging ceremony and how I was to carry this out using my sacred rattle. I now felt that I was on the road to what I was supposed to be doing.

The following year, September 2018, we all went back to South Dakota, but this time Cully came with us. We flew out to the Black Hills.

We visited all the sacred places apart from the site of the Battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana and Devils tower in Wyoming as we did not have time on our schedule.

We then introduced Cully to Kelly Two Wolves at her house in Custer and a couple of days later Jim and Cully went back to attend a sweat lodge ceremony. I did not attend this as I did not think I was ready for such a powerful ceremony at the time.

Looking back now I wish I had taken part in the ceremony because the last time we were able to visit South Dakota was in October 2019. This was just before the Covid pandemic started and prevented me from going back.

This last visit to The Black Hills POW WOW was a very spiritual time for me as I was invited to attend the pre-opening ceremony in the Civic Centre at Rapid City with invited guests.

All the people who had made the event possible were asked to say who they represented. When it came to me, I explained that I was from England and that I was there to see and meet friends I had made from previous trips. I explained that back in England I had started to give talks on Native Indian history and culture to dispel the Hollywood portrayal of Indian history that had been seen in cinemas and on TV in the UK.

On the first night of the POW WOW, I got talking to two Lakota ladies who were gay partners who were in the grand entry parade. I explained to them that I was also gay and with my partner and we had been coming to the annual POW WOW for seven years. In Lakota tradition and other native cultures, they use the term for gay people as ‘Two Spirit beings’ meaning they have both male and female energies. And these people were highly respected in the tribal communities.

They then asked me if I would like to take part in the Grand Entry parade on the following evening I jumped at the chance. It was an honour to participate not only to support gay rights but also my passion for Native rights and culture on Turtle Island.

The following evening, I met up with some of the other Gay people before the Grand Entry parade.

We all joined our places in a long line of dancers to make our way into the arena.

All I can say is that was one of the most memorable and special things I have ever done in my life.

Walking around with all these people from different tribes in a grand entry was beyond anything I could have imagined.

Over the years we have been visiting South Dakota. I have met some wonderful people including the grand daughter of Red Cloud and decedents of my own spirit guide Full Bull.

Around this time, I had started to a become involved with some very good friends of mine in Nottingham who had a small cabin in Victoria Centre market selling crystals, incense, and other spiritual items.

They had just started to run Wellbeing shows in the East Midlands, so I suggested to them, weather I could come to one of the shows to give talks on native American traditions and how to conduct a smudge ceremony.

They said what a good idea. After that I began to give talks at the shows, did demonstrations on how to do a smudge ceremony and help people who may need advice on spiritual matters.

This was an instant success and now John and I attend several shows each year.

The people we have met have been incredible and we have made lots of good friends and are now part of The Lizian Events community.

During our trip to Canada in July 2019, we went on a cruise ship that sailed up to Alaska, on the last port of call we visited Ketchikan. It was there that I went into a shop selling Native American made jewellery and carved Alaskan figures. I was looking at the beautiful Navajo Hopi and Zuni jewellery when an assistant asked if he could help me. I just said I was admiring the lovely native made jewellery. He looked at me and said how did I know it was Navajo, Hopi and Zuni.

I began to explain my interest in Native history and culture, where I had visited in the US and Canada and that back in England, I give talks on Native history to help people to understand the truth about the different tribes and their cultural history.

I was in the process of buying a ring when he disappeared to the back of the shop. He came back holding what looked like a prayer stick. He said he wanted to give me this as a thank you for what I was doing for the Native people on Turtle Island, and for bringing the truth about Native peoples to the attention of people in the UK.

It turned out to be a talking stick which was used in tribal council meetings when the person talking would hold the stick until he had finished, then it would be passed to the next person to talk.

This talking stick is very special, especially now that I know the meaning and significance of what the stick is and its history. Being the holder of this stick is an honour and a privilege.

In February 2020 I bumped into a friend, Prit, in Bedworth who also knew Jim and Cully. I asked Prit what he was doing in Bedworth as I knew he did not live in the area. He explained that they were in the process of renovating a building he had acquired next to the fire station.

So, me being me said when you have finished your renovation let me know and I will come and do a smudging ceremony. This turned out to be more than a chance meeting this was the next part of my spiritual journey.

In July the same year, I was invited by Prit, his wife Balbir and their sister-in-law Baj to do the smudging ceremony at their premises, called Topps House. This was the beginning of another part of my spiritual journey.

This story has been written after Prit made a request for me to do so. The story includes a brief history of American Indian tribes, customs, culture and traditions.

In July 2021 I constructed a sacred medicine wheel in the garden at Topps House and did a smudging ceremony to inaugurate the medicine wheel.

This is my journey so far, and I feel I have only just begun. Yet there is still much more to do. As I have only scratched the surface of what I need to say.

“HA HO Alan. Wolf SPIRIT”