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As the “First Peoples” native cultures evolved around the world, some warriors became enlightened that to best their enemy did not require killing them. In North America, this tradition evolved among the First People’s warriors into carrying a stick instead of a killing instrument; such as a bow and arrow, hatchet or scalping knife. This stick was the small limb of a sacred tree, bent into a circle at one end and bound with sinew as soon in the logo above. The coupstick usually had a built-up handhold of leather, adorned with feathers and power objects along its shank.

When this life-sparing ritual was first observed by French fur-trappers, they began calling these warriors “coupriders”, ‘coup’ meaning ‘stick’ in French. What they witnessed was the warrior dismounting, standing over his enemy, and instead of killing and scalping him, they would touch his forehead with the curved end of the coup stick, and ride away; leaving his enemy to live another day. The French observers termed this ritual as “counting coup”.

Hundreds of years later, the invasion of the white man with his forts prompted the tradition to morph into another ritual. To even out the odds, many tribes would lay down their differences with one another and meld together for attacking forts. The couprider tradition evolved into picking one warrior, who walked around the circle of all tribes being infused with the energy from man, woman and child to make him immune from the white man’s medicine . . . which was a bullet from their Winchester rifles.

You have probably seen this depicted in western movies where the combined tribes encircle the fort, and then the couprider rides alone towards the fort and drag his coupstick all the way around its wall with the soldiers blasting away at him with their rifles. There are many fort journals filled with reports of soldiers literally melting the barrels of their guns trying to put a bullet into the couprider from point blank range. That rarely happened as the heart energy bestowed by the tribes was strong enough to make the couprider immune. When the couprider rode back out to join the encirclement, the tribes knew that their energy was right with Spirit.

In recent times, the couprider ritual was revived once again in our spiritual communities to empower people to change their personal walkabouts. In most circumstances, that change requires taking back your personal power from our culture. Often that requires one to endure the slings and arrows of a culture afraid of healthy, non-transactional, people. The ritual simply involves standing before your spiritual family; sharing with them your aspiration for change. Asking them to infuse you with their energy whilst holding your mission in their hearts. And indeed, when a community does that, the Universe responds with the flow necessary to manifest their aspiration.

For me personally, I am a CoupRider aspiring to openly and outwardly display the “I am that I am” . . . an artist of being alive painting with unconditional love. I have no vision as to what that looks like, nor need to, not being attached to outcomes. I believe the Universe informs me by the hour, if not the minute, of my path. My definition of 'faith' is an unconditional acceptance that everything right now is as it is supposed to be . . . there are no accidents. My resulting walk-about is not much accepted by our culture, and thus my need to invite those who are simpatico to walk alongside. My family of 'hunkas' (HOON-kah), relatives by choice, infusing me with the energy to carry forth.