Tla Twei? What’s that?
In my book, Journey to Ninas Twei, Book One of the Earth Woman Tree Woman Quartet, a mystical world exists – Ninas Twei – where the grandsouls of all the species on earth meet to dance the Dance of Life. Here they are able to understand each other’s needs and form the compromises that make life on earth work.
Well, almost all of earth’s species.
Homo Sapiens have lost the ability to form this grandsoul and cannot join the dance.
But some humans do know about the Dance. Among them is a small group of people from the country of Uhs (the name of the country has been changed to protect the “innocent”). Many years ago an indigenous group living on the northwest coast of what is now Uhs found they could travel to Ninas Twei and observe the dance if they transformed into a mystical, but corporal, form – a kind of avatar – called a Tla Twei. As the years passed they included other sympathetic Uhseans and now the small group is a very bonded, diverse community.
In our daily lives we frequently identify with characters who could be our Tla Twei.
Sometimes we choose a “totem animal.” When we read folk tales or see super hero movies we choose characters that are our favorites, and children have no problem pretending to be these characters. When I was a little girl I played Robin Hood with my friends in the nearby woods. There are gods and goddesses from various traditions that speak to us. (I’m very attached to Kuan Yin, myself.) And real heroes from the past, like Harriet Tubman whose courage continues to inspire me.
Why do we find ourselves pulled toward these characters?
In Journey to Ninas Twei when the characters transform to their Tla Twei they don’t become the real thing. Luhanada MoonMother, for instance, has become the physical form of a cougar, but the characteristics of courage and wisdom that the cougar represents to the local indigenous people are what she has taken on. She is drawn to the cougar because she wants more of these qualities.
I think every time we choose a Tla Twei, an animal totem, a folk hero, etc., we are really drawn to a characteristic that we want more of. Practicing being our Tla Twei is a way of growing the qualities we want in our life.
This is much like the spiritual practice of Charya Nritya “a mental process of seeing oneself as having the appearance, ornaments, inner qualities, and awareness of the deity one is envisioning” practiced by the Newar Buddhist priests of Nepal and brought to this country by Prajwal Vajracharya. You can find more about Charya Nritya at http://www.dancemandal.com/dance-mandal-offerings/
Want to find out more about your own Tla Twei? Watch this site for a free book on Finding and Becoming Your Own Tla Twei coming soon. You can download Journey to Ninas Twei as an ebook from Smashwords and Kindle.