Salka is a Quechua word that Don Américo translates as ‘undomesticated energy.’

Not long ago, a friend of mine, upon hearing the word and its meaning for the first time, broke into tears.

No matter how ‘domesticated’ we may have become, we all have a sense of this wildness within us—a freedom that is the essence of creation.

When we speak of salka, we are speaking of a power derived from beauty, aliveness, grace, and a readiness to encounter life with our whole being.

This power can exist in any shape or size:  In fact, Américo has said, ‘There is nothing more salka than a hummingbird.’

Salka is elemental, poetic, cosmic, ecstatic.”

– –Kenneth Robinson

Hummingbird: Free form art by BlackLlama Enchantivist – Tanna Po

Salka according to the Andean Cosmovision

“Salka is a Quecha word for natural or undomesticated energy.

The wolf is salka, while the dog is domesticated.

The condor is salka, while the chicken is domesticated.

The deer is salka while the sheep is domesticated.

It is not quite accurate to say that some being are more salka than others. It might be better to say that some beings are more domesticated than others.

In domesticated beings, however, domestication is like a veneer through which the light of salka must shine.

Salka is the natural, free, energy of life and so all beings have salka.

We members of Western Society have to be domesticated in order to survive the environment that our society has created. What time we get up, how we dress, how we make a living, what we do for entertainment, what we eat and drink, the various roles we play as friend, spouse, parent, coworker, consumer, and citizen are all drawn from the list of options provided by our society.

Even more important than the domestication of our time and energy, however, is the domestication of our concepts of self, our understanding of who we are as Beings in this Cosmos.”

“Salka is another part of our heritage as Beings in this Cosmos. We are alive, we exist, we are expressions of Nature and the Cosmos, our essence is salka.

Salka is beyond definition, beyond comprehension, it is vastly mysterious.

As we are, in our essence, salka, the same can be said of us. We are beyond definition, we are beyond comprehension, we are vastly more mysterious beings than our society led us to believe.

To each the full expression of being human we need to know both our salka and our domesticated selves. The Andean meditations get us in touch with salka.”

– Oakley E. Gordon – The Andean Cosmovision: A Path for Exploring Profound Aspects of Ourselves, Nature and the Cosmos

Wildcrafting (re-interpreted)

“The root of the word wild, which comes from the Old English and Germanic languages, is self-determining.

So the word itself refers to the freedom you have just described: the life of the wild, which we humans can never completely control.

And when you feel the freedom in yourself, your senses awaken, and you come alive in a new way.

My own contacts with the wild have given me the freedom to find something deeper in myself.”  from Rewilding: A conversation with Staffan Widstrand, by Eleanor O’Hanlon

Craft: A skill in planning, making of executing. (Merriam Webster)