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on 30 November 2016
This is an excellent book talking about the sacred visions of Black Elk, and the resultant gifts that his visions would give to his people. Well worth reading if you want to know about what practical inspiration shamans can give to their community.
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on 18 June 2017
This book enlightens and should be a guide for all of us to be thankful for all that we receive from God. They may do things in a different way But we all should respect There ways and remember that one made all.
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on 19 May 2017
Very informative. Special, Good book.
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on 1 June 2016
A real eye opener. Excellent read
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on 9 July 2017
Good, thanks.
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on 24 July 2015
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on 27 December 2014
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on 6 December 2012
Was looking for more information on the use of the sacred pipe in shamanic practice and this is a good read on the subject
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on 15 December 2003
Joseph Epes Brown was fortunate in meeting men who possessed great human and spiritual qualities, especially Black Elk who had a unique quality of power, kindliness and sense of mission. Born in 1862, Black Elk grew up when his people had the freedom of the plains, hunted bison; he fought at Little Bighorn and at Wounded Knee Creek and knew Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, and American Horse. He traveled with Buffalo Bill to Italy, France and England. During his youth Black Elk was instructed in the sacred love of his people by Whirlwind Chaser, Black Road and Elk Head from whom he learned the history and deep meanings of his people's spiritual heritage. Through prayer, fasting and deep understanding of his heritage, Black Elk became a wise man, receiving visions and acquiring special powers to be used for the good of his nation. Because of his sense of mission Black Elk wanted this book to be written so that the reader could gain a better understanding of the truths of the Indian traditions.
In his foreword Black Elk tells us: "There is much talk of peace among the Christians, yet this is just talk. Perhaps it may be, and this is my prayer, through our sacred pipe, and through this book in which I shall explain what our pipe really is, peace may come to those people who can understand, an understanding which must be of the heart and not of the head alone. Then they will realize that we Indians know the One true God, and that we pray to Him continually. I have wished to make this book through no other desire than to help my people in understanding the greatness and truth of our own tradition, and also to help in bringing peace upon the earth, not only among men, but within men and between the whole of creation."
The wisdom of the Indians is based on such concepts as "The Earth is your Grandmother and Mother, and She is sacred. Every step that is taken upon her should be as a prayer" and "Every dawn as it comes is a holy event, every day is holy." The Indians developed their own religion based on the gift of the sacred pipe given by a very beautiful woman who approached two Lakota Indians out hunting. One of them had bad intentions and he and the mysterious woman were wrapped in a cloud. When the cloud lifted the sacred woman was standing there and at her feet was the man who was nothing but bones and terrible snakes were eating him. Black Elk interpreted this as an eternal truth: "Any man who is attached to the senses and to the things of this world, is one who lives in ignorance and is being consumed by snakes which represent his own passions." The mysterious woman presented the tribe with a pipe and stone, explaining the significance of the gift. On her departure she said to the Standing Hollow Horn: "Behold this pipe! Always remember how sacred it is, and treat it as such, for it will take you to the end. Remember, in me there are four ages. I am leaving now, but I shall look back upon your people in every age, and at the end I shall return." These four ages find a parallel in the Hindu tradition during which true spirituality becomes increasingly obscured until the cycle closes with catastrophe, after which the primordial spirituality is restored and the cycle begins once again.
Through the rite of the keeping of the soul, the Indians purified the souls of the dead and increased love for one another. This rite is followed by the rite of purification, known to us as the sacred lodge. The ritual of "Crying for a Vision" was used long before the coming of the sacred pipe. Crazy Horse received most of his power through "lamenting" or crying for a vision for some great event or ordeal such as going on the war path. "But perhaps the most important reason for 'lamenting' is that it helps us to realize our oneness with all things, to know that all things are our relatives; and then in behalf of all things we pray to Wakan-Tanka that He may give to us knowledge of Him who is the source of all things, yet greater than all things." Chapters are devoted to the Sun dance - one of the greatest rites; to "The making of Relatives" reflecting the relationship between man and Wakan-Tanka; preparing a girl for womanhood; and the rite of "The Throwing of the ball." Through these ceremonies we learn how the Sioux have come to terms with God, nature and their fellow man.
If you question the superiority and validity of the goals of western society; if you are conducting a self-examination; if you are re-evaluating the premises and orientations of our society; if you are concerned about our environmental crisis; if you are concerned about the problems created by highly developed technology; if you are questioning our basic values concerning life, nature and the destiny of man; if you are open to look at the models represented by the American Indians; if you want talk about peace to become action about peace you will find something of value in this book.
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on 2 March 1999
The book was about a young boy who was having vision at an early age. Not only that he was very ill when he had his first vision. At the end he became a Shaman which is closed enoughed as being a preist.
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