Many years ago, when I first walked upon the Red Road, I self-consciously tried Praying. This was something I had not done in many years. Hesitantly at first, like a baby taking her first steps, I offered simple Prayers like “Please, Grandfather…I want to be able to attend these teachings.” And my Prayers were instantly realized! This filled me with a pure, spiritual joy I had never experienced. I felt a new hope and a sense of what Life could be. I Prayed more and Listened carefully. Looking back, I see it as a time of building my spiritual ‘Confidence’. I began to believe that the Creator truly favored me and I cautiously started to allow myself to be Guided.
It was around that time that people began connecting with those whom they called their “Guardian Angels”…many who carried Native names…who would share a person’s previous lives and their purpose here. Many of my friends and family had already noted that I seemed obsessed with the Native ways…and it was true. A fire burned soul-deep inside me…a fire that felt as if it had been there forever. I did not feel as if I belonged to this un-real world. I found myself spending more and more time in deep Prayer…which seemed to bring me into some kind of a ‘spiritual alignment’ with the Creator.
And that is when a Voice began to occasionally speak to me…answering my questions. My friends who were trying to help me understand what was happening told me “Perhaps you were an Indian in a previous life.” And so in Prayer, I asked if I had I been Native in a previous life. The answer came quickly. ‘No!’ My heart fell but I asked again…twice… to ensure that the answer that came was a true one. ‘No’ was the answer each time. Disappointment filled me. I had been so sure that this was the reason I had felt such a deep connection to these ways. A few days later, it suddenly popped into my mind to ask if I had a Guardian Angel and what was their name. Strangely, there was no response at all. Yet, the silence was deafening and the room felt ‘full’ as if a ‘presence’ filled every corner of the room. But still…no Voice came. And then…into my mind’s eye came a vision of a man. Silent. Strong. Powerful. Arms folded, standing next to me. I called him my “Silent One”. After that, I came to trust the Voice of the Silent One. There would be other Voices but it was the ‘Silent One’ that guided me in the beginning. After awhile, all that truly mattered was that I felt a sense of destiny in being ‘Guided’ towards whatever Creator had asked of me in this world.
And then…along with the Silent One’s Voice…the Dreams began.
And so it was one day, while searching for various beads and leather at the local Indian Store, that I was inexplicably ‘drawn’ to a rather thick book on Crazy Horse (Tĥašúŋke Witkó). My knowledge of Crazy Horse was limited to what I had seen on TV and I really wasn’t interested in spending the money. But each time I went around the store, the book ‘called’ to me. I didn’t really want the book but on the last pass before I intended to leave…the Voice spoke…but not in words…and I suddenly found myself with the book in hand heading for the cash register. What had happened? Why was it so important for me to read this book?
I flew thru the story of Crazy Horse and all that he had experienced…that he was called “Our Strange One”…his great sorrow at losing his wife and his child…and even though he was admired for his skill as a warrior, he was loved for his humility. He went quietly throughout the camp…helping an Elder here or speaking a word of encouragement to a young one. A mystic, yet, a man alone. And then to be killed by one of his own People after all he had done…the injustice done to a man who had faithfully served the Creator and his People…it was wrong.
That night, Crazy Horse came to me in a dream. There was nothing else in the dream except him…standing there, right in front of me…talking to me. He spoke of many things and the dream seemed to last the entire night. And when I awoke in the morning…tired from our night’s discussions…I could remember only this…be very careful of what you ask for…and that I had no need to be other than who I am. While I cannot remember all that he told me that night, I know he spoke of the Wisdom of our choices….of serving for the good of The People…of Prayer…and of Humility.
I shared this story with only 3 people…because I knew how it would look and I did not wish any disrespect. Funny that, even to this day, I feel a genuine warmth and closeness to him…as if he were my brother or a friend. And sometimes…in deep darkness when it is only the Creator and I…I wonder…was it he that was the Silent One?