Á, Flow and Run: The Ancestral Energies

The river, we saw, flows to the sea.

The N’chi’wan’a (Hanford Reach)

That’s the Grasslands of Setah Creek smoking up the air.

That’s rather disingenuous. A river is a flow. This is the language of our ancestors in one of its most basic forms. The word is ancient. It is an a, to use the Sahaptin form, an á (pronounced ‘ow’), to use the Icelandic one, an aqua, to use the Roman one, and a flow, to use the modern European one. Here is a bit of this energy in Reydarfjörður, Iceland: a tiny bit of water being squeezed from the land and entering the North Atlantic.

It is not water but an energy.

Tonquin Beach, Vancouver Island

It is a materialization of this energy in the form of the world, and the forms the world is shaped into by it.


Willow, Priest Valley Reservation

This flow is constantly embodying itself.

Nonetheless, it has a directional energy. It runs. There our ancestors speak again. The run of a river, we say. The run, or river, or rapid, or roar or rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, the directionality of an á that is so old that all words for this energy are the same as its name — which is to say the river that has no name at all — is the Rhine.

The Rhine between Eberstein and Bingen, at the Beginning of the Rhine Gorge

The run of the á is to the right.

An á, however, is not always a run. Its flow can have a different directionality. A flower, for instance.


The path of a deer in a green water system.



The flow, or á, of the seasons.

And the flow of a landscape carved by a run.


A Flood Shore in Hanford

To understand this energy, compare the following two images.

They are the same energy. The word “flow” does not describe technically measurable qualities of them. They are the flow. Now, compare the following two.

A run that materializes in air is a flight.

Sankt Goarshausen am Rhein

It works both ways. Flight that materializes in water is a flow.

These are both the same energy. You can enter it, but you will be taken by it. You cannot contain it. If you contain it, if you conjure it into appearing in a nuclear reactor, for instance, it still contains you. The form it takes, however, will determine who you are and where the flow will take you.


Next, I will discuss what happens when a flow is stopped. Until then, this mysterious image can guide you into that discussion.

The Devil’s Rock (Above the Rhine)

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