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A Tribal Model that Empowers and Sustains Businesses, Social Groups, Personhood and Peace

                                                                 By Mary Kathryn Saville, RN BSN MBA, ND (Retired)


                   We must acknowledge Darkness in order to recognize Light.


Life has become messy and ironic for Americans. Everything about our culture reflects materialism, greed, chaos and dissention. Pain, isolation and despair claim the lives of more humans than all wars and epidemics combined.


What about diversity, independence, freedom to be different and to define happiness for ourselves ? These concepts were the very reason our country was founded, that our own ancestors fled to this soil we call home. So many today in this, the Land of Plenty are hungry, so many unemployed and homeless who would contribute given the chance. We are participating in the dehumanization of our entire human species in the name of profit, politics, materialism, computers, the knowing manufacture of defective products. It’s a self-perpetuating crisis.


Integrity, Ethics, Kindness, Sharing, Encouragement are abandoned in quest of living up to empty, artificial standards. We and our families are being taught to seek a style of superiority that requires ignoring the needs of the whole, up to and including our planet, as well as the impact of one’s own behavior on loved ones. It has been observed that we of Western Culture demonstrate affection, attention, generosity or kindness with highly selective and specific intentions : for self-gratification: to get a job, an account, a bargain, to get noticed, to get sex from someone with whom we have no connection, emotion or concern. That means exploitation has become our standard ! Such standards reduce human significance to net worth – and sexual gratification by viewing the bottom line – including orgasm - as the only measure of success.


The sad result is that it pervades every aspect of Western society : adults as well as children are constricted, isolated, disconnected and confused. No wonder they seek refuge in gangs, cults, addictions, dangerous liaisons, shoplifting, self-destruction. Everyone yearns to belong “somewhere”, to find a desired group, to find some form of refuge in a world as unpredictable today as it was in ancient times. Different forms of threats, same game : few controlling the many and getting us to enforce their plan – which benefits only the few at the expense of the many.


Faith, family, school, sports traditions instill behavior standards that are not consistently followed in the “real world” and certainly don’t mesh with Western business practices. Choices of integrity, fairness, truthfulness and loyalty lead more often to financial penalties, demotions, firings and “failure” in corporate settings while ruthless, conniving, exploitative and unprincipled conduct adds to profits. This is not the way to become happy, to prepare our children for peace.


We cannot be both owned by our employer/King and available to our families/villages. Families used to include parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters and children. Villages used to contain friends who shared goods, services, food, life. We cannot eat, drink or breathe Money after we have destroyed land, water and air to achieve irresponsible, unrestrained corporate goals.


Many good folk in our country have had to make the hard choice to not remain enmeshed in the “Matrix” of corporate values, to be less materially successful rather than violate deeply held ethical principles. They chose to be overlooked as losers by business captains because models which would lead to longer term success but less immediate financial gain were not seen as “worth” the effort to develop and implement. They chose the path of Compassion, Integrity, Family, Love. They chose the path of Peace. These are the Heroes and She-roes who gained wisdom and courage, who quietly lead others in their spheres, who can help us regain our footing as individuals, as communities, as enterprises – as a nation.


Though I have presented our shared dilemma very bleakly, the “grand experiment” of democracy has not failed. Yet. It has, however been led off path. We might restore our lives, our own integrity if we remember our roots, return to a prosperity and sense of adventure founded not on numbers, on cash, on toys, on converting humans into machines but rather grounded in positive exchange within relationships, of goods and services for their own sakes, of values other than money: abundance, loyalty, mutual success, sharing, compassion and inclusion. Those standards and values were set by the founding members of our country for the pursuit of happiness. They rejected artificial, unjust standards set by then, the Crown, now marketing departments in order to enrich profiteers (then Royals and Nobles) - set intentionally to deplete satisfaction, initiative, curiosity, innovation, the value of what individuals (then peasants) contribute to humanity – even hope – as well as essentieal social structures (family, faith, village) and natural resources.


Where can we find alternatives ?

I give credit and thanks to the fields of agriculture, anthropology, clinical psychology, cultural anthropology, eco economics, environmental science, including the Green Movement, Off-Grid Living Pioneers and Yurt builders, medical anthropology, sociology, social psychology as well as radical entrepreneurs whose findings I incorporate. Throughout life my personal path has been both enriched and shaped by theirs. Because of their work, “standing on their shoulders”, I know it is possible to succeed.

Social structures providing a sense of worth, validation, comfort and belonging, in support of sustainable principles and cooperation have existed throughout human existence, and continue to exist. This paper is about why we need to revive them and how to adapt them.


We live in the best of times, where we can access and adapt wisdom from infinite sources to fulfill individual and universal human needs. The purpose of this work is to develop a model which permits individual fulfillment within a cooperative framework. Learned persons from diverse fields who are quoted on these pages agree this is possible through revisiting the roles, functions and benefits of Tribal societies.


Standing on the shoulders of those who have come before us, we now have available the resources to establish and foster a concept I call Collectives : voluntary groups of individuals who choose to participate with others toward common ventures, including commerce with the assurance of 1) purpose 2) boundaries, specifically no requirements regarding life outside the work of the group including belief systems, sexual preference, living arrangements. Clear expectations regarding conduct within the group (respect for others, nonviolence, non-exploitation) violation of which results in expulsion are also specified.  3) mutual benefit 4) fairness 5) freedom to leave without negative or punitive consequences 6) Sharing of tasks and skills necessary to achieve those purposes for which the group exists. It so happens that these mirror Tribes.


A Collective that incorporates Tribal concepts can restore connectedness to Earth as well as to society within a safe place of belonging where individuals can participate in and learn to develop healthy, meaningful relationships and experiences. It can teach and perpetuate respectful collaborative relationships among diverse individuals, promote mutually beneficial goals, enhance well-being of the group as well as individual members and provide creative opportunities.


Below are fundamental aspects which Tribe must provide in order to flourish, even survive. Incorporate them into every aspect your business for the same reasons.

Elements of Tribe






Meaning, Purpose

Nourishment – Physical and Spiritual





Sharing Resources, Talents & Strengths



Reverence –

not only for the fact that there is “something bigger than me” operating in the  

natural order, that I am not “all there is”, but for the beauty and gifts of those

I encounter, who mirror to me these very facts.

"New tribalism”

In the past 50 years, anthropologists have greatly revised the understanding of the tribe. Franz Boas removed the idea of unilineal cultural evolution from the realm of serious anthropological research as too simplistic, allowing tribes to be studied in their own right, rather than stepping stones to civilization or "living fossils".


Anthropologists began publishing studies that showed tribal life as an easy, safe life, the opposite of the traditional theoretical supposition. In the title to his book, Sahlins referred to tribal cultures as "the Original Affluent Society," not for their material wealth, but for their combination of leisure and lack of want.


The progression of humanity and the enlightenment of ourselves as advocated by philosphers have led New Tribalists to pursuing what Daniel Quinn dubbed the "New Tribal Revolution". New Tribalists use the term "tribalism" to refer to what they see as the defining characteristics of tribal life: namely, an open, egalitarian, classless and cooperative community. New Tribalists insist that this is, in fact, the natural state of humanity, proven by two million years of human evolution.



Tribal advocates believe that the tribe is the ideal social unit, basically because its small enough to be manageable, but large enough to be a community. Further, they imagine a tribe working together for a common goal, like providing everyone in the tribe with the essentials of life, and companionship for good quality of life, understanding that they are essentially small meritocracies - where the leaders arise to their positions naturally by earning the respect of their people. We are interested most in what might work today rather than just historical authenticity. 




Tribal advocates believe that the tribe is the ideal social unit, basically because its small enough to be manageable, but large enough to be a community. Further, they imagine a tribe working together for a common goal, like providing everyone in the tribe with the essentials of life, and companionship for good quality of life, understanding that they are essentially small meritocracies - where the leaders arise to their positions naturally by earning the respect of their people. We are interested most in what might work today rather than just historical authenticity. 

Sat, May 30, 2009 - 8:25 AM – unknown author

This post by an unknown tribal person reveals a lifetime learning from tribal Elders. He/She is a writer working on a Tentatively titled new book, "Tribe and Transformation," to follow completion of a book on traditional Amazonian permaculture (how Amazonian Indians cultivate the forest in a way that increases rather than decreasing biodiversity -- a way of life that used to be practiced throughout the Americas and is still a living way of life in the Amazon, a living model of how humans can be an asset to the ecosystems they belong to and encourage all forms of life to flourish together). 

“...Basically what tribal life is about is kinship. A tribal society is a society that functions by kinship -- which is not limited to blood kinship, because all beings in the universe are kin, Just as all societies conceive of the universe based on their own social structure (example: medieval Europeans, who lived under kings, saw the universe as ruled by a Divine King; modern society, which functions like a machine in which people are more or less interchangeable parts, sees the universe as a machine, etc) indigenous tribal people, who live in an extended family where everyone is related and everyone has the obligation to take care of everybody else, see the universe as an extended family as well, in which everyone is obligated to take care of everybody else. The closer the kinship, the greater the obligation. 

An indigenous tribal society can be defined as one in which this sense of kinship extends beyond the human to all beings of the land one belongs to -- sun, wind, waters, animals, plants, all are relatives with the obligation to take care of one another and their human relatives. This is why "All my relations" is such a powerful phrase in a native context -- because kinship is the central principle of the universe and human life.”

“Another principle you may have heard is "balance." And reciprocity. And generosity. 

All these actually are connected together. 

"Balance" means that indigenous society is at the very root incompatible with capitalist society. Capitalist society is based on profit, which by definition is an imbalance (I get more than I put in). Balance means (in one manifestation of the principle) that whatever I receive, from other human beings or the universe, I need to balance that out, whether with something material or labor or spiritual energy or whatever I can. 

“Generosity” means everyone keeps the flow open -- it is called a gift economy. 

If i share my meat with other people, they will share with me when I am in need. 

If it happens that I am the best hunter and since I kill the most animals I end up giving away a lot more meat than I receive, then my generosity elevates my prestige. Whoever can give the most receives the most prestige (and prestige is what human beings really want, not stuff, in spite of the consumerist propaganda that constantly tells us we humans are naturally greedy for stuff) and the leaders of the community are those who do the most to take care of others. Someone who accumulates a lot of stuff and doesn't share is looked down on -- and people fundamentally want belonging and acceptance, and beyond that respect, and beyond that prestige. Any society or group can get its members to behave in whatever way simply by rewarding those behaviors with belonging and acceptance, and beyond that by respect and prestige. And tribal societies reward with respect and prestige those who share the most and think first of the well-being and harmony of the group, so that is why generosity and sharing and cooperation are the way of life in tribal societies -- not because tribal people are inherently more virtuous or "noble savages," but because the society rewards generosity and cooperation rather than rewarding greed and consumption. 

You ask, was life idyllic and leisurely or was it a constant struggle for food? Well, obviously that is influenced by where you are, but to get some idea, go to a museum sometime that has Native American stuff from the days of freedom. Look at the cradleboards and dress yokes that are completely beaded, or quilled, which takes even more time. Hundreds of hours going into just making life more beautiful (because "the good life" is the beautiful life, not the life that is easy or full of stuff). 

But, nevertheless, there can always be periods when food is in short supply and survival is challenged. Is this "hardship"? Well, have you ever been in a situation, like a natural disaster, where people need each other to survive? You can probably feel what kind of bond there is when people, even strangers, depend on each other for survival.” “That is a flashback to the memory of tribal days, but in those days people were relatives and raised from birth with the ethic of taking care of each other. Yes, sometimes there was hunger, but if one person is hungry, everyone is hungry. If one person has food, everyone does, even if it is a small amount. Everyone's survival depends on that kind of unity and taking care of each other and supporting each other. That bonds people together very strongly. 

So periodic hardship serves an important purpose, because if life becomes too easy the bonds of mutual dependence are not quite as tight. Balance also means that life isn't SUPPOSED to be idyllic, it isn't expected to be. It is SUPPOSED to include both pain and joy, ease and difficulty, death and life, and war and peace. 

There are some things in the indigenous world that modern people have lost and long for. One thing is the profound, secure, unconditional sense of belonging -- to your family and tribe, to the land you belong to, to the entire community of life, the Creation and the universe. And the sense that humans belong to the family of Creation and to the universe. Modern people, in feeling "cast from the garden," are really sensing the loss of that deep sense of belonging. 

... Having lost that sense of belonging, our species has gone on a long search for reconnection to the universe and painfully gained new wisdoms along the way, and now we can bring those hard-won wisdoms with us as we rediscover our original belonging-hood to the family of Creation. 

Today we are gathering together all the collective wisdoms of humankind and each one has certain "nutrients" like different foods have different nutrients, that make up for each other's deficiencies. And indigenous people have something vital and absolutely necessary to contribute to this. ... “

Restoring a Tribal Social Structure

“One of the more unfortunate consequences of the course taken by social evolution in the West was the dissolution of, first, the tribal structure and then the extended family with the eventual creation some two hundred years ago of the monogamous nuclear family as the basic unit of society. This is a most unnatural arrangement, demanded by the factory system of the industrial revolution to produce isolated and dependent workers, and it is my studied belief that this development underlies most of the problems encountered by our society. We must take dramatic action to change that as the first step toward a sane humanity that is once again progressing on its course of spiritual evolution.

We cannot simply adopt the lifestyle of other cultures wholesale, but we can evolve our own version of those lifestyles by forming ourselves into communities with a tribal structure and committing ourselves to becoming the very best that we can be. I believe that part of that community structure must be adopting these attitudes and practices that encourage men to achieve their full growth. 

In Australia the Aboriginal elders have announced that they have completed their guardianship of the planet; after tens of thousands of years of tireless work as caretakers they are tired and wish to rest. They have turned the responsibility for the preservation of our world over to us in the West. This is an awesome challenge for a culture that is so spiritually immature and we can waste no time in preparing for it. 

The re-creation of a tribal society is but one of the numerous things we can undertake to aid us at this juncture in our evolution as a civilization. The main point to be made is that the process must begin - the visionaries must present their inspirations for consideration; the thinkers must contribute their ideas and criticisms; the daring and courageous must be prepared to lead the way.”

Implementation of Tribal Roles in Entreprenurial Ventures and Groups

The Tribe

By John Greathouse, adapted by MK Saville

“You may not realize it, but your [Collective or] business’s Core Team is akin to a primitive tribe. The Core Team is of the three to five key individuals upon which your company’s leadership and direction is derived.

Thus, understanding the tribal organizational structure is vital to gaining an appreciation of the various roles played by your Core Team. The tribal structure works, as evidenced by its survival over eons, ultimately leading to Man’s position at the top of the food chain.

Primitive tribes and your startup both entail a small number of people banded together to battle an uncaring, hostile world. Like the Tribe, your company’s survival is always in question and never guaranteed. Success depends upon everyone pulling together for the common good and striving to accomplish common goals. Everything must be focused on survival before the Tribe can prosper and eventually evolve into a thriving, self-sustaining community.

The laws of tribal order call for division of labor. Your business is no different. Tribes and businesses thrive when labor is efficiently divided. Long before Meyers met Briggs and employees were reduced to “types”, people in tribal communities migrated to those roles which best suited their personalities, proclivities and skills. 

Tribes are effective societal structures, as evidenced by man’s ascension to the top of the food chain. Understanding the tribal organizational structure is vital to gaining an appreciation of the various roles played by your Core Team.

Before the development of personality profiles and job/professional affinities, people in tribal communities migrated to those roles which best suited their personalities, proclivities and skills. The key roles in tribes and startups are identical: Hunter, Skinner, Shaman, Chief and Tribal Elder. [Presented below for use as job qualifications/ descriptions. I added The People, The Women, The Men]


Pop Quiz: Which Tribal member is the most important?

Answer: All of them.


Without the Chief, the Hunter, the Skinner and the People, the Shaman’s ideas would never put into practice. Likewise, without the Skinner, much of the Hunter’s efforts would be wasted. He might be able to feed himself, but he would not be able to sustain the Tribe on his own. Without the Shaman, neither the Hunter nor the Skinner would have the tools necessary to carry out their respective roles within the Tribe. Without the Chief, the Tribe would wander aimlessly, fighting among itself until the group eventually dispersed and individual members were melded with other Tribes with healthier cultures and a more focused sense of direction. Someone has to be willing to follow, to take directions, to support the group. Someone has to bear children, assist those giving birth, support newborns and teach new mothers, nourish the members, tend the injured and unwell. Someone has to teach men how to hunt, skin, lead, be men – and treat women. Someone has to implement the ideas, the values, the visions of the leadership team. And everyone has to come together to preserve the Tribe, participate in the business, in surviving, growth, creative expression, social order, and thriving – which demands thinking and planning for future enterprises (“standing on the shoulders of those who have come before us, we prepare the way for our children’s children’s children”). Whether your Tribal organization is social, family or business, these principles apply.


Balance is the key to a successful team. Thus, every member of your business’s Core Team is the ‘most important’ member. The selection and cultivation of your Core Team is probably the most important aspect of your Collective/business, followed closely by the idea upon which your business is based. Similarly, The People -  their quality, participation and collaboration will make or break your efforts. Respect man’s evolution and heed the tribal lessons of old. If you do, you may just end up on top of the food chain in your industry. 



The Hunter provides for the tribe and literally brings home the bacon. These individuals are highly autonomous, independent and thrive on frequent recognition. When they have a successful hunt, they want everyone to know about it. The Hunter is generally not a visionary. However, once they are pointed in the right direction, they are clever enough to improvise a tactical plan to achieve a strategic objective. They do not want to be told how to take the hill, just which hill needs to be taken.

At your business, the hunter is the rainmaker, in the form of a Business Development Executive, VP of Sales or Corporate Development Officer. Once they are told the type of deal that is needed, they are capable of autonomously devising the appropriate tactics to get the deal done.

A typical Hunter’s characteristics include:

1. Work hard

2. Driven to do right thing

3. Fast and furious

4. Under communicate - do not like to confer with or answer to the group

5. Excel under pressure

6. Emphasis on achieving goals - second guess their tactics at your peril

7. Deliver quantity over quality - close enough is okay

8. Work well outside the box



The Skinner makes the Hunter look good. When the Hunter brings back the kill, it is the Skinner who dresses the meat, tans the hides and preserves whatever is not initially eaten for the tribe to subsist upon during lean times.

The Skinner at your business will likely take the form of the VP of Operations, VP of Professional Services or Chief Operating Officer. They ensure that your company delivers on the Hunters’ promises by exceeding your partners’ and customers’ expectations.

A typical Skinner’s characteristics include:

1. Work correctly

2. Driven to do things the right way

3. Slow and careful

4. Service oriented - want to meet stakeholders’ needs within the organization

5. Over communicate - encourage meetings and agreement regarding goals

6. Quality over quantity - do things “by the book”

7. Work well inside the box


Shamans invent new tools and processes that improve the overall quality of life within the tribe. For instance, the Shaman will spend his days thinking of a better fishhook, a new tool for cleaning skins or searching for new medicinal plants to cure the tribe’s ailments.

At your business, the Shaman is often the Founder. They may also take the form of Chief Technical Officer, VP of Engineering or VP of Product. By whatever name, the Shaman is the person who devises and develops the innovations upon which your business is based.

A typical Shaman’s characteristics include:

1. Work differently

2. Creative visionary

3. Communicate differently - requires careful listening

4. Seek a better way

5. Create quickly and freely

6. Tripped up by details

7. Prone to devise complicated solutions

8. Prize a solution’s technical elegance over its functionality

9. Are unaware that a box exists


Every tribe needs a Chief, just like every business needs a CEO. The Chief defines and communicates the tribe’s strategic direction, such as a new valley to forage or a mountain retreat to escape the heat of summer. The Chief listens to the opinions of the other tribal members, makes decisions that impact everyone and ensures an adequate level of acceptance of such decisions to facilitate their ultimate success.

A typical Chief’s characteristics include:

1. Work together

2. Shepherd the team toward its strategic goals

3. Slow and connected

4. Communicates clearly and supportively

5. Driven to maintain cohesion within the team

6. Indecisive

7. Prone to being railroaded

8. Defines the box

One of the best CEO’s I worked with exhibited nearly all of the above characteristics. As a Hunter, I was frequently frustrated, as he was often slow to act. In his effort to keep harmony within the Core Team, he seemingly agreed with everyone, even people who held diametrically opposed opinions.

In retrospect, I now realize that his ability to sincerely empathize with everyone’s respective positions, especially on difficult issues, was imperative in keeping our Core Team together during the numerous challenges we encountered on our road to a successful exit [out of start-up into sustainable business mode – or sale of it].

One of his favorite sayings infuriated me at the time, but I now appreciate its underlying wisdom, “Some of the best decisions I ever made were the decisions I never made.” Despite my Hunter-driven frustration at his hesitancy, more often than not, his resistance to making a snap decision proved to be prudent.

Tribal Elders

The Tribal Elders spend most their time sitting by the fire dozing off.  They cannot be counted on to do any ‘heavy lifting’ nor are they in a position to execute the day-to-day tasks necessary for the Tribe to thrive. However, they occasionally offer bits of sage advice that allow the Tribe to avoid hardships and reap windfalls. 

As such, the wise Chief knows when to solicit their counsel and when to allow sleeping Elders to lie.

At your business, the Tribal Elders are represented by your Board of Directors and Advisory Board Members. 

The Board Members likely have a varied and broad business history upon which to draw upon. They may be able to provide general guidance at certain pivotal points during your business’s journey. However, be careful to not heed

their advice blindly, as it is impossible for them to have your level of insight into the operational details of your business. “

In addition to the Core Team, a business or Collective must have People, Women and Men. Historically, there have been times where women ruled and men were submissive, times where men ruled and women were submissive. According to prophecies and other mystical/astrological indicators we are now in a time where both Feminine and Masculine principles must be honored within each person, AND that Women and Men must work in balance with each other in order for this planet to survive and enter a Renaissance period – as opposed to self-destruct.

Also, as any Healer must do their own personal work, all Core Team members, Leaders and People must be encouraged to develop authenticity and self-awareness in order to become most effective, either in group or personal relationships. This includes knowing which roles you are best suited for and which you should encourage and support others to perform! 


The People

Include Customers, Employees, Participants, Suppliers, Vendors, Visitors, Workers – anyone who contributes to and benefits from the Collective or business’s endeavors.

The Core Team must consider The People’s needs, lifestyle preferences and values in structuring activities, goals, tasks of the Collective/business.

The Core Team is responsible for cohesion, quality, satisfaction and sustainability of life within the Collective/business and must therefore incorporate principles and practices which serve the needs of The People – as well as their own. This includes determining how members – including Core Team Persons – will be either selected or rejected from the Collective, such as standards of conduct and methods for removal of members – and the composition of those who will determine entry/exit.

Before presenting my thoughts about the tribal man and woman, allow me to state that there are valid biological differences between our genders as well as within our own energetic makeups that must be acknowledged, honored and protected. In the modern Tribe there is no intended presumption of superiority or role reduction. Carol Winters says it well : “Our culture has had a long heritage of associating the feminine principle with what it means to be female and the masculine principle with what it means to be male. As a result, both men and women have traditionally been locked into rigid culturally-defined gender roles that have not been helpful for anyone who wishes to live a more meaningful, creative, and soul-making life.”  Therefore, full discussion of divine masculine and feminine principles, of discovering them within, of becoming evolved humans (homo luminous) who embody male/female balance as well as cultivate it in relationships must be the subject of another article – as well as my life’s work, the purpose of Integrated Healing Services, LLC Oregon. 

The Women

Traditionally, the Feminine is associated with nurturing, with potential, artistry, intuition, compassion and comfort – of people in need, of the hurt/ill/childbearing, teaching ways of being, of emotional survival, of wisdom, of healing.  According to Llewelyn Vaughan-Lee, “The mystery of the divine feminine speaks to us from within her creation.  She is not a distant god in heaven, but a presence that is here with us, needing our response.  She is the divine returning to claim her creation, the real wonder of what it means to be alive.  We have forgotten her, just as we have forgotten so much of what is sacred, and yet she is always part of us.  But now she needs to be known again, not just as a myth, as a spiritual image, but as something that belongs to the blood and the breath.  She can awaken us to an expectancy in the air, to an ancient memory coming alive in a new way.  She can help us to give birth to the divine that is within us, to the oneness that is all around us.  She can help us to remember our real nature.”

Women members of a Collective/business enforce standards and expectations, determine whether the group will get its job done or whether it is torn apart by conflict.

Women need other women as role models and emotional support. They need community and connection. Without it, problems interfere with group cohesion, which will impact productivity. Distraction, exploitation, manipulation, and destruction will sidetrack the entire operation. Under the right circumstances, determined by leadership and intention, women blossom, teach and support each other without competition or jealousy.

While it is the Core Team’s responsibility to demonstrate how Collective/business members are to treat each other, it is also their responsibility to select, develop, empower and monitor female leaders and to honor their needs to spend quality time engaging in mutual support. The Core Team is advised to develop activities for women to team-build and to learn productive methods of providing support to each other according to the Tribe’s standards.

The Men

Traditionally the masculine is the principle of manifestion, creation, action. Men need other men as role models and for emotional support, especially in the West, where so much gender misinformation has been passed through the ages, and so much anger rules. Men work well as team members and individuals; however without role models, just as with The Women, problems develop and interfere with group cohesion, which will impact productivity. Distraction, exploitation, manipulation, and destruction can sidetrack the entire operation via men as well as women. Under the right circumstances, including leadership and intention, men teach each other how to be men, how to steer uninitiated males toward evolving.  Here is Boysen Hodgson’s definition of “The New Macho” adapted by the Mankind Project as “ a picture of mature masculine, of healthy masculinity, a redefinition of masculinity for the 21st century” :

He cleans up after himself.

He cleans up the planet.

He is a role model for young men.

He is rigorously honest and fiercely optimistic.

He holds himself accountable.

He knows what he feels.

He knows how to cry and he lets it go.

He knows how to rage without hurting others.

He knows how to fear and how to keep moving.

He seeks self-mastery.

He's let go of childish shame.

He feels guilty when he's done something wrong.

He is kind to men, kind to women, kind to children.

He teaches others how to be kind.

He says he's sorry.

He stopped blaming women or his parents or men for his pain years ago.

He stopped letting his defenses ruin his relationships.

He stopped letting his penis run his life.

He has enough self-respect to tell the truth.

He creates intimacy and trust with his actions.

He has men that he trusts and that he turns to for support.

He knows how to roll with it.

He knows how to make it happen.

He is disciplined when he needs to be.

He is flexible when he needs to be.

He knows how to listen from the core of his being.

He's not afraid to get dirty.

He's ready to confront his own limitations.

He has high expectations for himself and for those he connects with.

He looks for ways to serve others.

He knows he is an individual.

He knows that we are all one.

He knows he is an animal and a part of nature.

He knows his spirit and his connection to something greater.

He knows future generations are watching his actions.

He builds communities where people are respected and valued.

He takes responsibility for himself.

In times of need, he will be his brother’s keeper.

He knows his higher purpose.

He loves with fierceness.

He laughs with abandon, because he gets the joke.

As with The Women, the Core Team’s responsibility to demonstrate how Collective/business members are to treat each other, it is also their responsibility to select, develop, empower and monitor male leaders and to encourage/honor their needs to spend quality time together engaging in mutual support and embodying The New Macho.

Here in Oregon, I am pleased to report success in implementing the concept of Collectives/ Tribe among business owners, bee-keepers, healers, artisans, growers and musicians. It can be done. It must be done. This is the path of Peace; the way for Mother Earth and her children to survive. The greatest irony is that indigenous people have known about it all along.


Aeschylus. The Oresteia. Translated by Phillip Vellacott. London: Penguin, 1959.

Arrien, Angeles, 1940-2014 Angeles embodied a deep commitment, diverse and extensive experience and a clear and direct approach to her work with tens of thousands of individuals over 45 years. She held a consistent vision that the heart of collective work always supported a diversity of many points of view and possibilities; and wholeheartedly believed in the incredible power of what she called “bridging work” whether between disciplines, peoples, cultures, traditions, or generations. All of her works.

Cialdini, R.B. Influence: Science and Practice, 5th ed. Boston: Pearson.

Cialdini, R.B., Vincent, J.E., Lewis, S.K., Catalan, J., Wheeler, D. & Darby, B.L. (1975). "Reciprocal concessions procedure for inducing compliance: The door-in-the-face technique". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 31 (2): 206–215. 

Clack, Beverley, ed. Misogyny in the Western Philosophical Tradition: A Reader. NY: Routledge, 1999.

Dunbar, Robin I. M. (2010). How many friends does one person need?: Dunbar's number and other evolutionary quirks. London: Faber and Faber. 

Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs (February 2006). "A theory of reciprocity". Games and Economic Behavior 54 (2): 293–315. doi:10.1016/j.geb.2005.03.001.

Fehr, Ernst; and Simon Gächter (Summer 2000). "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity". Journal of Economic Perspectives 14 (3): 159–181. 

Fromm, Erich; MacCoby, Michael (1970). Social Character in a Mexican Village. Transaction Publishers pp. xi.

Fry, Douglas P (2007). Beyond War: The Human Potential for Peace. Oxford University Press. pp. 114–115.

Gluckman, Max (2007). "Social beliefs and individual Thinking in Tribal Society". In Manners, Robert A.; Kaplan, David. Anthropological Theory. Transaction Publishers. pp. 453–464.

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Greathouse, John, CPA, MBA is a Partner at Rincon Venture Partners, a venture capital firm investing in 

early stage, web-based businesses. Previously, John co-founded RevUpNet, a performance-based online marketing agency sold to Coull. During the prior twenty years, he held senior executive positions with several successful startups, spearheading transactions that generated more than $350 million of shareholder value, including an IPO and a multi-hundred-million-dollar acquisition. John is a CPA and holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School. He is a member of the University of California at Santa Barbara's Faculty where he teaches several entrepreneurial courses. 

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References (Continued)

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Unknown Author, Tribal Structure, May, 2009

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 Mary Kathryn Saville RN BSN MBA ND (Retired)



                           Integrated Healing Services LLC Oregon

                                       Mary Kathryn Saville, RN BSN MBA ND (Retired)

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The theme for the 2015 North west Shamans Summit is the Higher Self. With this Higher Self theme in mind. I have decided to write a article entitled The Higher Self.
As a experiential shaman , these are some of my thoughts and experiences with regard to the Higher Self. First of all the Higher Self is the Authentic self. The authentic self or the higher self comes from the HEART , not the mind. The authentic or higher self can not be fully explained on the intellectual level. The roots of the higher self/authentic self , come from a place of spiritual silence and stillness. In order to better understand the higher self or the authentic self I will also talk about the LOWER SELF. In large part the lower self starts with our birth. After birth , family , friends , government , and school socialize and actualize us. We are told who we are , from many outside sources. We are told what are place in life is , from many external sources. Our so called limitations ,  are explained to us time , after time.
In shamanic Toltec terms , the lower self is the Tonal self , or the daily routine thought processes. The Tonal mind , or lower self focuses almost solely on the rational thought  process. The rational thought process has its proper place. How ever most other forms of perception are mostly unknown , or undervalued. Rational , or logical thought are greatly valued in life.
Some of the many other forms of worthy perception are
In short , only one tiny area of perception is given great value , the Newtonian mind set of two plus two is always four. And I will only believe it , after I see it. The Tonal or daily mind set leaves out about 98 % of all other forms of perception. The Tonal mind often has the need to name things out of fear , in order to control every thing. 
The HIGHER SELF ,  or the AUTHENTIC SELF , comes from  spiritual silence. In order to come from your Higher self or in Toltec terms your Nagual self . Release all that you know. And lower your awareness into a place of silence in your heart. Meditating , or praying will also strengthen your Higher self , or Nagaul self.
One easy way to find out if you are operating from the lower self or the higher self. Look within , if you feel limitation , or fear. You are operating within the lower self. How ever , if you feel at peace , you may be operating with in the higher or authentic self. Both the lower self and the higher self have value. We all grow at our own rate. It is best if we all love our self's  unconditionally.
The higher self , is very Gnostic , and intuitive. The Higher Self , has few , if any limitations.
If you plan on coming to the North west Shamans Summit.
Please r.s.v.p. me at this email before march 2015. If you have any summit payment questions please email or phone me.
Ps , the North west Shamans Summit will have 15 presenters, an