On the Red Path, each direction has unique and powerful "energies" which are to be called upon, drawn through the body (chakras) to the heart, and given back to.

EAST - is about new beginnings, the Fire/Light, and all that that entails.

SOUTH - is about children, past, Earth, and all that that entails.

WEST - is about Water, Emotions, Depth, Creativity....and oh so much more.

NORTH - is about Ancestors, Wisdom, Future, Spirit, Air.....and all THAT!

EARTH, is of course, the Mother......

SKY, the Father, and

HEART - the Center, the Bridge, the pivotal point of them all.  (I know, it sounds presumptuous - but imagine it as the center for each atom or molecule, with each human heart being a piece of the Whole, and humans as STEWARDS, rather than rulers.)

When I do four rounds in the morning, I dedicate each round in turn to my physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health, balance, centeredness and well-being.  I set intent for the day in each round for each level...PEMS

I also use this as a form of moving meditation or prayer, and when I have a specific issue or question to address, I ask for the wisdom of each direction on each level (PEMS) to reveal itself to me.

With each "sending" of the energy in whatever direction, you imagine holding and sending a "ball" of liquid energy in that direction, drawing or thrusting it with your arms, your hands, your breath, and your body……being ever aware of keeping it moving in the directions, always through your heart….through your pranic tube, through your crown, or your perineum, as is the case.  (sky or earth)   from your heart, and back through your heart again, as you cast in the four directions, pivot and back again to the opposite direction.

For this reason, you keep your back as straight as possible, and try to imagine the energy going along straight gridlines…..to the side when you sweep sideways, through your crown and perineum (directed as well by your arms and hands in all directions.) when you go to the sky or to the earth, or out through your palms, when you ground and center at the end of each direction.  Also straight gridlines from your heart to and from each of the four directions, with your heart as a pivot point for all directions…the Center…..of them all.

When you rise from the Mother, pulling the energy from Her, it goes from 
Earth, through your perineum, through your heart, out your crown, and to the Sky, directed as well by your hands, arms, and breath, and then of course, back again from the Sky, through your crown, heart, and root chakras, to the core of the  Earth.

Make each breath, in and out, count......measure your movements to the length of the breath, keeping movements slow and deliberate.  Remember to breath in till your belly fills up, in through your nose, out through your mouth.

Round One

Facing EAST, stand squarely, centered on both feet, arms hanging at your side
Inhaling    Left Wing catches the Wind (leaning sideways onto left foot, bent knee, left arm sweeping wide, opening to left [North])
Exhaling    Right Wing circles the Earth (Right arm and leg sweep widely right [South], and into straight-backed squat, hands pointed to earth)
Inhaling    Cup and Gather the energy of the Earth (Rising into stand, pulling feet together)
Exhaling    Give it with cupped hands (through your root, heart, crown) to the Sky (reaching high)
Inhaling    Cup and Gather the energy of the Sky 
Exhaling    Pull/Push it (through your crown, heart, root) to the center of the Earth 

Balance and Center,  Grounding into Earth, hands and arms hanging to your side

Inhaling    Right Wing catches the Wind  (leaning sideways, bent knee  onto right foot, right arm sweeping wide, opening to right[South])
Exhaling    Left Wing circles the Earth (Left arm and leg sweep widely left, [North]         moving  into straight-backed squat, hands pointing to Earth)
Inhaling    Gather the energy of the Earth (rising into stand)
Exhaling    Give it (through your root, heart, crown) to the Sky (reaching high)
Inhaling    Gather the energy of the Sky
Exhaling    Pull/Push it (through your crown, heart, root) to the center of the Earth 

Balance     Grounding into Earth, hands facing Earth at sides

Inhaling    With rolling, cupped hands, gather a ball of energy from your Heart,
Exhaling    Giving it away with hands, breath and body to the East ( lunging forward onto left foot)
Inhaling    Gather energy of the East (Pivoting 180 degrees to West)
Exhaling    Giving it away to the West (leaning into right knee lunge)
Inhaling    Pulling in from the West. Bring energy through heart
Exhaling    Center back to face South,  Sending energy to Center of earth

Balance Grounding into the Earth – Hands facing downward at sides

Repeat      Facing South, to finally center in West     
Repeat      Facing West to finally center in North
Repeat      Facing North to finally center in East    

Finish –     Facing East again…..

Completes one Round 

Tsalagi is done in one, four, or nine rounds.  My goal is to work up to nine rounds per day....four in the morning, at sunrise; one at mid-day, and four in the evening, at sunset.  I am told that when you do nine rounds at once, by the time you reach the ninth round, the dance "dances you".......it would be a very powerful meditation.  Tsalagi is at once surprisingly simple and difficult.  By difficult, I mean, you WILL notice muscles you didn't know you used....so proceed gently with yourself.  Start with one round, and work your way up.

By way of lineage, I learned the dance in 1995 from Carol Dawn in San Luis Obispo, California, who learned it from Celine, who learned it from Dhyani Ywahoo.  I was taught that the dance can be taught, but never for a fee, and that the lineage must be passed on.

I learned that this is a sacred dance, once reserved for the Chief and leaders of the tribe, but that Dhyani Ywahoo believed it was too precious to be kept away from anyone who wanted to learn.  I am forever grateful for this opportunity to learn, to practice, and to share this cherished Cherokee tradition.

Click here to download PDF Word Document to print
Click here to download PDF Word Document to print
The People's Dance of Alignment, Balance and Prayer, or The Tsalagi is a sacred Cherokee dance, much likeTai Chi.  As in Tai-Chi, Tsalagi is as much about the BREATH, as about the movement.  Unlike my experience of Tai-Chi, each movement in Tsalagi has an easily remembered purpose, and carries not only your breath, but also your intent, (and the specific properties of each direction) in, out, and through your heart, your chakras, to and from each of the cardinal directions,  the Sky and the Earth.