Then, when the last prayer is ended, the drumbeat of thunder makes Eagle Man’s drum sound like a whispered echo of the Great Spirit’s power. He is a generous person and a craftsman. A rectangular enclosure was constructed using thicker saplings at the corners for posts. Are we able to see and accept change in ourselves and others¿ Are we able to integrate new and different ways of viewing the world into our present thinking¿ Can we see how science serves us with what it knows, 196 / Rainbow Tribe and limits us with what it does not understand¿ Psychologist Gordon Alport once said that “what we know is but a drop, and our ignorance a sea!” For my son and me, on our island of “pure peace,” the healing was taking place. I realized, truly, for the first time, how we are all One. These ceremonies are: the Sacred Stone Ceremony or Pipe Ceremony; the Sweat Lodge; and the Vision Quest. She could simply do a polar shift and correct many of our errant attitudes and behavior overnight. A woman entered into the husband’s family upon marriage and became property. Truth is an essential part of a genuine leadership, which has to reach far into the future in order to help those generations yet to come. This image conveys to me the spirit of this Sioux warrior who once lived and to whom I am related. Sweat had gathered at the top of the lodge and was dripping gently down upon us, making us one with all. At the top of each pole a pulley was attached and a cotton rope hung down. I was feeling just horrible. I believe the six powers were placed here by the Great Spirit and are looking on while I vision quest. He, too, had seen Black Elk, and that was a first for him. We only keep them and get more by giving them away, and if we do not give them away we lose them.”2 Old books holding a treasure of shared knowledge from native men and women of world vision once sat dusty upon the shelves of time. I understood as never before what “all my relations” really meant in the deepest spiritual sense. Evidence by ancient European writers tells us that the Celtic astronomers were known as Druids. We must learn from our mistakes there and apply this knowledge to the global environmental war we are involved in now. The wonder of this scene is very hard to describe. I will do fewer sweat lodge ceremonies in the future, but those who have been with me can’t say that we did not experience some good acknowledgment. In later chapters they will appear in vision quests, personal stone quests, and name searching as well as other adventures. Black Elk’s great vision has reached deep into their being. I am sure that the spirit of Black Elk will rejoice if his colors are used along with the recognition of the six powers. I now weigh 160 pounds and my hair is long enough to braid. This is where it happened; less than seventy yards upstream to my right, Custer was shot. Sometimes you can hear the ancestors chanting…there are rattlesnakes…this is a very powerful place and things can come at you in the dark. If the lodge participants are experienced, a more elaborate song might be sung. No doubt, to her, I was a fantasizing Walter Mitty, of whom there are many. The holding of sweat lodge ceremonies off the reservation is certainly nothing that the Rainbow Tribe can lay claim to. Brochures are still spread around by racists offering a reward for the killing or spearing of Indians, and we are referred to as squaws and bucks. Getting here required conquering our fears and doubts and placing our fate in the hands of something larger than ourselves. And outside the building is a sign that carries the greatest message. So much of our lives runs on the clock, to be taken totally out of time is a challenge. At the time of the dream, I didn’t feel the need to try to understand it because I just felt so good and I knew everything was going to be all right. Some spiritual force must have kept them from doing that. Dr. William Irving, an archaeologist with the University of Toronto, told the press that stone tools and broken ani- 43 44 / Rainbow Tribe mal bones found along the Old Crow River in the Yukon were 150,000 years old…. Seeking the Great Spirit through what the Creator has created (the exemplary interplay of all natural forces—the animals, the winged, the four-legged, the finned ones—and their example of living as God has designed them) gave Native Americans insight that led to a harmonic social structure and a highly civilized state far ahead of what the Europeans brought to these shores. In good Lakota tradition, I made my own pipe bag and have begun the decorations that may take years to complete, and will in themselves be an expression of my spiritual growth. The color purple holds special significance to me. Our successful environmental stewardship and the absence of slavery were also great virtues that must be mentioned. The laughter flowed within Fools Crow’s cabin. Each king was elected by the community and became the administrator. It was more like Ed McGaa / 209 a continuation of a process that was already going on. The resonating quality of the sound of rawhide stretched over wood bears a great resemblance to the harmony of the hearts of many people—red, yellow, black, and white—beating together as one heart, in love, and with respect for one another. We couldn’t think of a better name for this beautiful bird. Minorities get hired quickly! This knowledge and wisdom do not belong to the red people alone. The messages are there, cloaked beautifully in metaphor. “That’s the funny thing about fishing,” my father had often said. Blue, for the life-giving rains, often represented the west also. I, the white-tailed buck, the ten-pointer, salute you! This, he flatly states, he cannot lie about or downplay, but he has always been careful to avoid overstatement in this area. One name was my child’s name. Soon I learned to be as proficient at spotting as my father. I didn’t think I had a reason to stay here. Many sisters and brothers asked for rain, for the drought to stop. The cooking tasks kept us up late, and we sat in awe watching the northern sky show us millions of stars. I also believe that there is much good in Christianity. Before the closing ceremony all participants had been invited to place a gift in the medicine wheel enclosure. Wiyo heyapa hehhhhh. Rainbows in Sweat Lodge 1. Chief Eagle Feather predicted that my combat wotai would leave me after I found my second wotai in a Black Hills stream. Later, that same stone came into the Yuwipi Ceremony that Fools Crow held for me before I went to Vietnam. Take your past lament, your bereavement, and channel this energy toward fighting for Mother Earth, and let your spirit guide help you. Like, if God loves us so much, why is there so much suffering in the world¿ Or, if God sees every sparrow fall, how could he exclude them from heaven because they don’t have souls¿ Needless to say, I was excused from further religious instruction. Sun Bear. Cekiya yo yo hena nitakuye yo hey. We drove from his reservation and headed north toward the outskirts of a city where there are still plenty of woods and lakes. “Resolve!” an inner voice yelled at me. The south power is within us because we grow, replace, are healed, and can help heal. It is realistic to believe that those who are in the beyond will want to be with those of like minds and similar knowledge. Some would be beseeching their concept of the Higher Power for world peace and harmony. “Go see Two Hawks. This is the great failure of science: believing that scientists invent, when really, they discover. We are out in space, we are surrounded by the stars.” Ed double-checked what I was seeing, and I was stunned by the beauty. I was driving the three boys, two of them teenagers, and Rexie. The chain of Ed McGaa / 217 man-made lakes was bordered by mowed grass and frequented by people—hardly beaver habitat. I felt a distinct shifting of energy within the lodge after that. Her eyes trailed to the emblazoned gold wings stamped on my faded leather name patch as I drew closer, and at that moment a wisp of a smile blossomed briefly. The night the top came off and the bottom fell out of the sweat lodge and we were all one with the Great Mystery! I didn’t believe in anything. Many songs spring forth during or after a ritual, because you’ve opened yourself up to the possibility of becoming one with all. Speared on only with power and control the dark side has had control for far too long. I was already beginning to sweat in my buckskin shirt. Buffalo Spirit Woman gave her prayer, her words going into the intimate dark. I scrambled for a higher rock. So for me, Native American spirituality was an area full of questions. He said that Loren was so far gone that it was the ultimate test of whether it worked or not. From that dramatic image I guess I got the idea that the other half goes down into the earth with its life-giving mystery that comes forth for all the plants to drink. Father Sun slid behind Deer Mountain. He was welding down roof decking for new B-52 bomber hangars and his helper did not come to work that particular day. When you watch such a strong man cry, 188 / Rainbow Tribe you have great respect and admiration but it is very difficult not to release and cry with him. I shaved the beard off upon returning, but then grew it back, realizing that a significant change process had begun. “He called you Eagle Boy. Once in my car I fell into a very deep sleep only to be awakened by a light shining in my face through the window. Even if my spirit guide theory seems farfetched to you, it at least offers some food for thought. Ed said that he waited a long time to use it because he didn’t want to be thought of as some kind of a medicine man. The State of South Dakota, led by a concerned governor, and with the participation of nine tribal chairpersons, established a Council for Conciliation in order to heal old racial wounds. His past consideration with me was a perfect reference for the moment. I had a know-it-all brother who really knew very little because he would never listen, yet he was always detracting. So in a move that now terrifies me as a parent, I drove the 40 minutes out, relying only on her directions, to a random house in rural Greenbank. Do not be untruthful to yourself. That is where I danced my last Sun Dance under Chief Fools Crow and Bill Eagle Feather. I touched my wotai stone to Mother Earth and thanked her for all that she has given me to keep my body in good health and alive for forty-some years. The drum I wish to make, I have not yet begun. These new Rainbow Tribe people made us consider the meaning of the crystal just by being around them. From my own experience, after a period of time in conducting the basic Sweat Lodge Ceremony, intense, significant activity happened that did not occur before. Nor was such an arrangement confined to New World organized religions. In the study of history, we should all search for the truth, not attempting to color history simply because of a cultural or ethnic mind-set or a particular religious persuasion. SUGGESTED READINGS Adams, Barbara Means. She said I could lead ceremony with any special object of value to me or with no objects. The journey to the Little Big Horn lasted only a few short, dream-filled hours. The Mound Builders. Think of the Archie Bunker blank disks that you know. Many of these “experts” have never vision quested. After a few more meetings, a decision was made to procure a tipi, a large Plains Indian tent. We invited the church people for a sweat lodge. A mist settled and when it lifted, he was nothing but bones covered with crawling worms. Buy so that plenty of food will be left over for the holy person’s family. Kathleen O’Sullivan lectured on women’s issues and conducted women’s sweat lodges. I wondered how the red man could have ever been considered hostile after the history of violence and cruelty displayed by the white race. I objected because many of the traditional older people were fearful that the old ways would not be allowed to come back. I still do not think that the dominant society is ready for ceremonies such as the Sun Dance, because it has taken centuries of supporting values to tribally hone that ceremony. A friend wrote a letter of advice that addresses this dilemma of choices: Ah me. The mailing list will grow at a healthy pace once activities develop. Probably more important, a great deal of wisdom is lost when she is not allowed her rightful voice in spiritual leadership. I hope that it will teach the new aspirants who seek this way of communion with nature and with the Mystery Source that manifests itself through the natural world. 22 / Rainbow Tribe Flaming Rainbow bridged across into the natural world through natural native people. Stephen E. Feraca, Wakinyan: Contemporary Teton Dakota Religion (Browning, MT: Museum of the Plains Indian, 1963), p. 36, quoted in Powers, Yuwipi, p. 94. In my opinion, Dr. Fell is not some cowardly appeaser. I have learned how to listen for the trees to call me to them from a cedar swamp, to choose the one who gives way to me and my work. Itokaga hehhhhh. I slipped off into the dark Montana night and walked up the asphalt road past the monument. Once we had the warden in there, one of the inmates said in Sioux, “Lelah kahtah” (“Make it real hot”). Woman opens the ceremonies and sits in the place of honor holding the pipe in the Spirit-calling Ceremony. You cannot foresee everything that you will need to know. I’ll be as honest as I can: I don’t know how I could do it and I can’t find any representation or signs in the natural teachings to indicate that we two-leggeds must occupy our time in soul-saving. How serious am I¿ How much am I willing to walk my talk¿ Is this just a game, or do I really use the spiritual tools that this path gives me to live a better life¿ Although there are many ceremonies that are community events and are shared with others, this is essentially a personal path. For one thing his spirits spoke in many voices, and all his prophecies are said to have been fulfilled. A bard was required to make a long-time commitment to study. One of Moyers’s questions reflected on spiritual imagery. We are all part of the living Mother Earth; all our cells are hers. JOIN THE TRIBE. I predict that he will face a considerable hell from others he has harmed, as well as for his excess greed and power quest. Mother Earth is present. It was kept for a long time in a dresser drawer, and, eventually, it found its way to a glass case that hung on the wall in my bedroom. It goes with me on business trips and often has helped clear my head and reestablish my balance and contact with the natural world. Joseph Epes Brown, The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk’s Account of the Seven Sacred Rites of the Oglala Sioux (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1953), pp. But the Sweat Lodge showed us living Earth in action, and she became a live being in my heart. 32 / Rainbow Tribe One person asked Joe to read the images in one of her stones. To be different, you must strive to be what no one else but you can be. My teachings here were far from over. Soon he appeared on a sorrel pony and trotted up to a horse trailer nearby. The degree of hell experienced will be the degree to which we have caused innocent beings to suffer. I cut some sage as I walked along the fence toward Bear Butte. The Rainbow Tribe people are at their beginning, and how much they will evolve depends on the depth of the truths that they will cultivate. He was called Mahtogi, Brown Bear. Somehow I felt it was time to pray. They feel strongly that the input of woman is an essential ingredient for needed world peace. He told us this mainly because the distance was too far for him to be traveling from South Dakota. Grayson Russell Calvin . A lot of them said, “Don’t call us New Agers; call us Rainbows or the Rainbow Tribe.” Joe concluded with a good statement: “I like these people so much and have met many good friends among them. “These values start from the home. The Rainbow Tribe people wanted us to do another sweat lodge. I also have much more respect for an atheist who realizes that we all need to protect Mother Earth than I do for an ardent religious fanatic who believes that Man has dominion over Nature and that this dominion gives him license to pollute and not be concerned with world population growth. After Black Elk had his vision, he had to dance it for the people for it to take effect. Upon the plains, the Sioux heeded the visible six powers of the universe and related to these entities in balance, acknowledgment, and kinship. It is cleansing in its power. He is still and quiet. Besides, my Sioux blood and my lineage wouldn’t let me back out and pass up such an opportunity. S car was a crystal for the Earth intermittently, which was the knowledge Native... 156 / Rainbow Tribe will stand off from the cab numerologically, the power of this Sioux warrior once. After she had donated a large, strong anticipation that hummed through me deer were grazing just below tree... 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