Cutting in the shortening – I just use my hand like my Granny Pansy C. did. I’m pretty sure she never used whole wheat pastry flour or wore an Om bracelet. She’d recognize the proper consistency of the flour/shortening mix anyway. There should be small pea-sized bits of shortening left to make the biscuits flaky.
If you don’t like getting your hands messy or you have very warm hands that melt the shortening too quickly, you can use a pastry cutter (a handle with several blades add hooked together – like a multi-bladed mezzaluna) or you can use two butter knives in a criss-cross fashion.