My Journey with Archery: When I was a little girl at my Dad's campground in the White Mountains of N.H., I used to roam and play in the great balsam pine forests with my brothers and sisters and our friends. One of our favorite things to do was to make bows and arrows out of bamboo and try to shoot at things. They didn't work very well but we were great at playing "pretend." In our minds our little bows worked great. I was first taught archery with fiberglass bows at sleep away summer camp and in gym class in elementary school. I loved it and at age 12 my Mother bought me my first fiberglass bow I call "Sunflower". I would shoot up a cardboard box in the back yard with great enthusiasm. At 19 I traveled to England for the first time and met a wonderful new friend and professional Medieval re-inactor named Jack Greene. He has a terrific collection of traditional re-curve and long bows.
He made his own arrows and I discovered the beauty and romance of archery. A beautiful set of handcrafted arrows and a lovely wooden bow is a sight to behold! We would go out in the fields behind his cottage in full costume and aim far across the cow pastures to a tower on the distant Glastonbury Tor (sacred hill). We drew back our bows completely aiming high in the sky and let our arrows fly! They came soaring straight down about 100 yards away into our giant round hay bale targets. What fun we had!
On my 21st. birthday I asked my Mother for a "real" wooden recurve bow. To my glee she gave me a 39 # draw
Damon Howatt X200 bow of beautiful brown shedua wood and eastern hard maple. I still have my bow and I continue my love affair with Archery... In 1996 I was the Wilderness Skills Instructor at a children's Yoga camp in the Sangria De Christos Mountains of New Mexico. I taught all the girls and boys Archery among other things and when we had parent day where the kids got to show off their new skills the parents were amazed. Many came up to me afterwards very surprised and congratulated me on my teaching. I was confused and finally one grateful Mother said to me, "My girl has been coming to this camp for years and no-one ever taught the girls archery, only the boys got to do Archery." Her daughter loved it and I was so happy for them . I was also dumbfounded no-one taught the girls something I assumed all girls were taught. To me Archery is so instinctual as a female. I see graceful bows as female by design. It was then that I discovered the female empowerment aspect of Archery. In 1998 I was part of "The Center for Symbolic Studies" community in the Hudson Valley of N.Y. A learning center for the study of Mythology and Consciousness inspired by Joseph Cambell. I felt called to found the "Daughters of Diana", a Women's group that incorporated Archery, Wood Skills and Women's Empowerment. We roamed the beautiful 350 acre private valley of the center and practiced our Archery in a traditional Zen Archery range. Today in my private therapy practice I sometimes have my clients do a private Archery lesson before we have our session. The therapeutic aspects of "Embodiment Archery" can be profound for those who have experienced physical abuse or who have been squashed in some way. Archery can help you find your power elegantly, build confidence and aiming true, release your arrow out into the world and hit your target. I hope that you will join me and that it will spark a love affair with Archery in your own life in your own way....
Alexandra Tait is a certified Level Two Archery Instructor with USA Archery. She is also a Spirit Centered Holistic Healer and lover of Woman's culture and Mythology. She has been involved in the fields of HEALTH, TRANSFORMATION AND WHOLENESS FOR OVER 20 YEARS. www.AlexandraTait.com Her private practice is at the Appalachian School of Holistic Herbalism in Asheville.
Alexandra Tait is a certified RADkids instructor in Children's Safety Empowerment Education. (RADkids=Resisting Aggression Defensively) She is also a graduate of the RAD (rape, aggression, defense) women's college program. Alexandra has served as an Outdoor Skills Instructor, Environmental and Women's Activist, Naturalist and Wilderness Guide here in the Blue Ridge mountains, Catskill mountains and the high desert of New Mexico. Alexandra Tait has also served as a tour guide to the sacred places of Egypt and Britain.