Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle... The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same and both are round.
Black Elk [Heȟáka Sápa]
In a Circle
Topic: The Natural World
Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are the stars. The wind, in its greatest power whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves. Our tepees were round like the nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle, the nation’s hoop.
Born in the sprawling vistas of South Dakota in 1863, Heháka Sápa, or Black Elk, emerged as an integral spiritual figure among his people, the Oglala Lakota Sioux. Second cousin to the notable Crazy Horse, Black Elk's lineage traced back to a legacy steeped in wisdom and strength, a foundation that would guide him on his path as a wičháša wakáŋ - a holy and medicine man. Amid the backdrop of wind-swept grasslands and the majestic Black Hills, Black Elk found his life purpose, not in the throes of conflict, but in the pursuit of spiritual harmony and healing.
Even as a child, Black Elk was endowed with exceptional spiritual insight, receiving prophetic visions that would guide him throughout his life. The Great Spirit, an embodiment of the divine in Lakota theology, gifted him with these profound experiences, fueling his dedication to healing his people and maintaining their spiritual welfare. These visions, seen not with the eyes but through the heart, served as Black Elk's compass. He fervently believed that "the heart is a sanctuary at the center of which there is a little space, wherein the Great Spirit dwells," a concept that guided his service as a spiritual leader and healer.
Black Elk’s story transcends the limits of time and space, reaching into the heart of humanity's quest for spiritual enlightenment. As a wičháša wakáŋ, he worked tirelessly to ensure the wellbeing of his people, serving not just as a healer of physical ailments, but of the soul. His commitment to purity and goodness, living in the manner that the Great Spirit taught, stands as a testament to his belief that those who are pure "contain the Universe in the pocket of their heart." Black Elk's spiritual journey and enduring dedication to his people reflect the profound depth of his faith and the power of his love for the Great Spirit.
Black Elk Speaks
Black Elk, Nicholas, et al. Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux. University of Nebraska Press, 2004, [Black Elk [Hehaka Sapa], Black Elk Speaks (1961)].
Black Elk [Heȟáka Sápa]
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