care & instruction in the use of god’s bow

It was referenced … that Ueshiba said …


… “Aikido is Elbow Power”.

As someone once said to me back in my taekwondo days, “The elbow always wins.”

This article is a short exercise in thinking from a different angle. It may give you another string to your bow.

A little while ago at an aikido class, a visiting sensei told me of the need to control the elbow. I had asked a question in relation to dealing with attackers who were a lot bigger than me. Although I’ve spent many years practising this martial art I’d never heard it explained in quite this way before.

I have found paying attention to this thought
to be very useful.

I got to wondering if there might be wider implications. If controlling the elbow allows you to disarm an attack, what might be learned by looking at it from a life-affirming direction.

During my night walks I started directing attention to my elbows and found it invigorating. There was an increased sense of aliveness in my body and a sense of connection with the edges of my personal space:

Elbow room

elbow room

… Enough space to move around in.


The freedom to do what you want to do

I felt both lighter & more secure in my ability to protect myself.

Let’s play:

El Bow

Ēl and ’Ĕlōhîm … mean the supreme and active ‘God’ … the same being as does the name, Yahweh. All three refer to the one supreme god who is the god of Israel, beside whom other gods are supposed to be either non-existent or insignificant

ēl was found at the top of a list of gods as the “Ancient of gods” or the “Father of all gods“.

Bows are a rather important part of archery –


… an arrow can’t go anywhere
without one.

The god’s were keen on archery.

Apollo …  is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities …  [He] has been variously recognized as a god of light and the sun, truth and prophecy, healing, plague, music, poetry, and more. Apollo … has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis

we have lift off

Apollo is …. the god who punishes and destroys … the wicked and overbearing, and as such he is described as the god with bow and arrows

Artemis as the sister of Apollo, is a kind of female Apollo … Artemis is like her brother armed with a bow, quiver, and arrows, and sends plague and death among men and animals

The gods have never been shy about using their bionic weapons upon unarmed slave-humans. For those fearless enough to face the forbidden fruit, their tales uncannily mimic the parent-child story through the ages. Funny how keen we are to bow down to oppressors.

Continuing …

A bow is also the front-most part of a ship – it elbows a path through water for the body of the ship to follow in its wake.

Elbows are the outermost extremity of our body.  They are also the sharpest.

Sharp things have a purpose –
they are used to
cut or sever.


giving someone the elbow … refers to parting ways with someone

We must have protection in this life.

Far too many of us had our ability to protect ourselves removed in childhood. We were shut down, shut up, closed off, unheard, de-clawed, de-fanged.

Our elbows were weakened
turned inwards.

How many people have you seen with …

tucked in

… their arms (& elbows)
held ‘in’ against their bodies

How can you send your energy out into the world, if you can never draw back your bow?

More power to your elbow!  (British & Australian)  … something that you say to praise someone and to say that you hope they continue to have success

Our arms, & what we do with our arms,
are so much the
making of us.

The power of the elbow may be seen in the word ‘arms‘ –

arms & legs

… arms are used to defend yourself,
and or to control / destroy life.

The ancient Egyptians had a lot of knowledge which wasn’t shared particularly freely with humanity.

Let us do our best
with what’s on offer:

ka ma

The Ka, represented by two raised arms, is one of the many spiritual components of gods and humans. The word “Ka” has regularly been translated as “life-force“.

The Ka was the Egyptian concept of vital essence, that which distinguishes the difference between a living and a dead person, with death occurring when the ka left the body

“When the ka acted, all was well, both spiritually and materially … The ka could also be seen as the conscience or guide of each individual, urging kindness, quietude, honor and compassion … The ka is the origin and giver of all the Egyptians saw as desirable, especially eternal life

When the elbow is bent we call the inner part of the bend …


… the ‘crook
(of the arm)”

Could the crook and the flail
be symbolic
of the

krook & flail
straight & bent elbow?

Ok I may have been a bit carried away on the last image, but that elbow extending into the viewers face does bear some attention – there are many things we know, it’s just that we don’t know that we know them.

The insides of the elbow are vulnerable, our blood flows …

blood suckers

… close to the surface there.

In this inner place elbows soften, open & enfold those we love, in hugs. This is the place we pull people in to our hearts.

But we can also elbow people away. These elbows of ours can be like the spines on a porcupine when we need them.

It’s time to reactivate them.

Growth has a twofold requirement.

There’s the new experiences we open to, the changes we make, the opportunities we grasp – so much arm imagery n’est-ce pas?

But there’s also another side we often overlook, or look away from. Often it’s much harder than taking hold of the ‘new’.

It’s the saying ‘no‘ side.

It’s the ‘walking away’ side.

It’s the putting up our defences & taking a stand side.

It’s the ‘elbowing away’ side

On a recent bush walk I noticed a lot of  gorse growing & it made me think of the sharpness of the elbow. Gorse must be one of the most self-protected plants on earth. Even when it is dead it retains its sharpness.


When sharp things are used well
they can afford …


… very great protection.

Edward Bach …


… was a British physician, homeopath, bacteriologist and spiritual writer, best known for developing a range of remedies called the Bach flower remedies, a form of alternative medicine inspired by classical homeopathic traditions

One of his remedies is Gorse, it is for those who have:

lost all hope and said …


… I can go no further; you go along, but I shall stay here as I am until death relieves my sufferings”  – Dr Edward Bach, 1934

Gorse …is the remedy for people who have given up

closed more

… belief and hope … If ill, they may think themselves incurable, and that nothing can be done … if we can be persuaded to see things in a different light there is usually a way forward. This is what the Gorse remedy helps to achieve

The need for Gorse can creep up slowly on a person …

closed again

… It’s easy to just slip into a Gorse state without really thinking about it

I have counseled people whose chronic imbalance was mental, emotional, or spiritual

The Ka was the Egyptian concept of vital essence … with death occurring when the ka left the body

A porcupine or hedgehog that could not bristle would have little defence. It’s ‘power’ (ability) to bristle often means it does not need to bristle.

Likewise we may not need to use the spines of our elbows, if we carry ourselves in such a way that states we have them & are not afraid to use them.  The power of the elbow is when we are willing & able to stand up for ourselves & say no to that which is injurious to us.

The individual who takes Gorse usually ceases to look exclusively outward for help and becomes in touch with his own internal resources. He develops a new faith in the future

Our elbows are located protectively beside …


… our two great defence organs:

The liver and the spleen are our filtration systems. This system’s main function is to keep poisons from entering the body

Isn’t this what our elbows do externally –


… they are a brilliant system of defence.

Interestingly, our arms (including elbows of course) also follow alongside the route of the bowel


another great organ that keeps what is good for us
& elbows out the toxic.

It is not only ok, it is necessary to keep making decisions that build the future we are choosing now & to let go of (elbow out) anything that no longer serves us or feeds us. We can be grateful to everything from the past that helped us to get where we are, but we cannot take the past with us.

It’s Living Room only now.

March 31, 2013. Uncategorized.


  1. endpointithaca replied:

    hey alex!

    Nice angle.

    EL DO


  2. Fitzy replied:

    Awesome Miss R. Taken to heart, and now to put into practice. Like elbowing old memes from the truth movement out of the way, for more wholesome, fritzian memes :).

  3. alex robinson replied:

    Cheers endpointithaca
    your link
    & my elbows
    made me think
    of this

    very best to you :)

    Grazie Fitzi
    it’s time for
    Fritzy! :)

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