The Talking Stick

The Talking Stick is an ancient tribal tool used to facilitate group discussions, solving problems, resolution of conflict, making decisions, and any other organization needs.

It empowers people to speak their truth. Use of the Talking Stick is indigenous to many cultures. The Hawaiian name for the Talking Stick is PAOA, which means ‘Talking from the Tree.’

The sticks are primarily made of aspen. The Polynesian Talking Sticks are made in increments of 5 inches. Hawaiian Huna Talking Sticks are 25 inches long.

After permission to use the wood is requested from the tree, the stick becomes our connection to the earth and all things through its life force or MANA which is sealed within the PAOA by burning the ends.

This life force empowers the holder of the stick to speak his/her truth and speak from the heart. The more it is used, the more Mana it will contain, until it truly becomes a magic wand.

Use of the Talking Stick achieves many magical outcomes all at once. It teaches us to bond heartily with others while also managing to ‘hold your own space.’

The word ‘Talking Stick’ is actually a misnomer, it could really be called ‘a listening stick’, empowering everyone to give full attention to everyone else in turn, hearing witness to their situation, their perspective and insight.

It is a key instrument in world transformation. I like to refer to the Talking Stick as a Healing Stick.

Bob Toledo
March 2012