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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


January 10, 2004 - Issue 104


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The Eagle and the Snake – Redman Speaks - Part 1


As Redman spent time in the spirit world he had time to reflect on all that had happened and he began to observe the happenings in the physical world very closely. As it turned out, by the 1870's, it was becoming painfully obvious that the western Native people’s way of life was rapidly drawing to an end. White Eyes armed forces had superior weaponry, superior ability to supply and outfit the soldiers in the field and they were determined to conquer the great Native American spirit. Militarily, the ultimate outcome was inevitable. The Native American warriors could not overcome the superior military advantage and treachery that the white mans armed forces brought into the field. The greatest medicine men from the major western Native American nations searched diligently for an answer to their somber prayers. They sought a solution to the inevitable end of life as they knew it.

On an evening near the time of a full moon during the winter of 1874 a Sioux Medicine Man named "Thunder" was performing a deeply spiritual ceremony with "Eyes of Sky", who was the highest Sioux medicine man. Suddenly Thunder let out a great scream and fell to the ground. Eyes of Sky immediately ran to his aide, but something had happened to Thunder and he was passing in and out of physical consciousness. As Thunder passed in and out of consciousness, he was clinging to his ancient, sacred turtle shell rattle that had his name carved into it.

As his fellow tribesmen gathered around, Thunder suddenly began speaking from the deep sleep that he had fallen into. From Thunder's mouth came a spiritual message. The message stated that the six major tribes were to gather for an important Pow-Wow as soon as was practical, and at the Pow-Wow, Thunder would reveal the spiritual plan that had been passed along to him. As Thunder finished his message, he slowly lifted his right arm to give his sacred turtle shell rattle a slow, deliberate rattle. Then his arm went limp and Thunder was still.

Eyes of Sky told the fellow tribesmen that this was a message from the spirit world and Thunders words were to be adhered to at once. The word went out for the tribal spiritual leaders, tribal elders and tribal chief's to meet at a secret, sacred location west of Elk Mountain. The location was very near the Cheyenne River in South Dakota and was to take place on the evening that the Earth Renewal Moon was most full. That evening was New Year's eve by the white mans calendar.

Plans were made and great excitement was in the air. Eyes of Sky greeted each tribal representative personally. There was the great spiritual leader "Eagle Feather" from the Cheyenne nation, "Snake Dancer" from the Apache nation and "Running Bear" from the Cherokee nation. There were many more, but these three, along with Eyes of Sky represented the highest level spiritual leaders in the western Native American world. Eyes of Sky was worried about Thunder, but filled with great anxiety about what may occur during that sacred evening.

As the evening approached, Thunder faded in and out of a state of consciousness that took him in and out of the spirit world. There was no doubt that Thunder was being used as an intermediary for a great spiritual revelation of some sort.

As the tribal leaders gathered together around the huge fire, there was great anticipation and nervousness, as Thunder seemed to be nearing death. The experience had taken much of his life energy. As Thunder was brought out to be placed by the great fire, there was absolute silence. Everyone noticed his cherished, sacred turtle shell rattle clutched tightly in his right hand. Time passed yet Thunder uttered not a word. The others began a soft, melodic chant, along with soft drumming. Thunder was barely breathing and they hoped that their spiritual input could help bring Thunder back.

Finally, after several anxious hours, Thunders eyes slowly began to open in a slow unsteady manner. He slowly began to sit up. The others were looking on in complete amazement. Now the group was completely silent. As Thunder began to slowly move into an upright position, an eerie white glow began to emanate from his body. It seemed as though he had actually passed into the spirit world already. Slowly, he raised his turtle shell rattle with his right hand and slowly began to make an eerie, long rattling sound with it.

As the rattling began to fade and his right arm began to lower back down, there was complete silence, but he spoke not a word. A very uncomfortable silence fell over the scene. After another period of time passed, slowly, his lips began to move, but at first, his lips only moved feebly and were trembling, with no sound coming out.

After what seemed like an eternity to the others, a voice did come forth from Thunder's lips. However, the voice was not that of Thunder. It was that of another man. He identified himself as "Redman" and slowly explained about the way things were in the beginning. He revealed to them the truth about what they had all thought was merely an ancient legend. Redman revealed the truth about the Legend of the Eagle and the Snake.

As he began to speak, he said, "Our people have been nearly destroyed by the white man. They have stolen our land, murdered our women and children and have tried to break our Spirit. This must never happen! Tonight, I will teach you several religious ceremonies that the Great Creator taught to me long, long ago. These must become a part of your regular Spiritual ceremony's. I will also give you a spiritual pipe that when smoked will carry your thoughts quickly and directly to the spirit world. After I finish with you tonight, each one of you must return to your tribe and choose five of your best warriors, five of your strongest, most loyal young women and one of your most trusted Medicine Men to begin a journey in which the very future of our people will be placed. These chosen few will be required to accept total peace and harmony amongst themselves and if they can accept these important conditions, they will go forth on a secret, sacred journey to live far from any other people. There they shall live until I return from the spirit world to proclaim the moment for all tribes to be reunited in one powerful nation. When I return on that day in the future it will serve as the signal for the secret tribe that we will be created by you, and which shall be called the "Tribe of the Eagle", to come down from the mountains to announce their spiritually inspired decision. That decision will be whether the unification of all tribes will mean peace, or war against the white men. Our spirit will NEVER be broken and if the Tribe of the Eagle brings a message of war, then our warriors will create a plan that will bring horrible death and destruction to the white man and cause his corrupt government to be destroyed. As they have done to us, we will care not whether men, women or children are killed through our message of war. If the decision is that we will have peace, then so it shall be. We will offer our word of peace to the white man and live in complete harmony. The words of the messenger of the Tribe of the Eagle will not be questioned. Any who question the decision are to be eliminated from the physical world at once, as their true spirit will already be dead, and the true spirit of our people cannot be put in harms way. In order to authenticate the messenger from the Tribe of the Eagle, you are hereby directed to take Thunders sacred turtle shell rattle, on which I will emblazon a beautiful eagle feather directly below Thunder's name, and give it to the tribe to be held as a most sacred item until my return. Then, the turtle shell will serve to remind the other tribe's that my words are pure and true, and their mission will be to complete this prophecy. This is my message to you." Then he began to reveal special ceremonies to the assembled group.

After Redman taught them the ceremonies, he asked Eyes of Sky to go and get his sacred pipe. Eyes of Sky immediately did as she requested and returned with it. Then he asked him to bring it to Thunder. Thunder slowly reached out his left hand as Eyes of Sky approached and took the pipe. Redman then began a chant while Thunder lifted the pipe towards the night sky. When Thunder's left arm was fully extended, a bright glow came over Eyes of Sky's pipe. Redman commanded Eyes of Sky to now take the pipe back.

The pipe had a beautiful eagle feather emblazoned on it. Then Redman commanded the group to smoke the pipe at once. The group complied and as they each breathed in the smoke from the pipe, they felt an eerie sensation deep within their souls. Then they felt horrible pain and they all screamed out loud as the terrible pain became unbearable. Then, suddenly the pain was gone.

Redman told them not to be alarmed. He said that the pain that they felt was the real pain of the Native American spirit and the pain of their people who were being relocated to" reservations" against their wills and even killed by the white man. It was up to them to preserve the future of the people. He finished by saying, "Go forth with brave hearts and fulfill my command." Then the voice stopped and as the voice stopped, the glow surrounding Thunder faded, except from his sacred turtle shell rattle. The turtle shell rattle began to glow very brightly. Then the glowing stopped and Thunder let out a loud groan and fell to the ground. His life energy was gone, and he lay dead before them.

The message was powerful and all present were silent and stunned. Slowly, they began to move. Eyes of Sky was the first to reach Thunder's side. He knew that they must take care of Thunder in order for his passing into the spirit world to be tended to in an appropriate, spiritual fashion. As he approached Thunder's lifeless body, he saw the sacred turtle shell rattle, still clutched in the right hand. The turtle shell now had a eagle feather emblazoned on it. The eagle feather was located right under Thunder's name.

No one present that night would ever forget any of this powerful experience and they would go immediately back to their respective tribes in order to answer Redman’s command. They were all deeply sorrowed at the passing of Thunder, but through his passing, they had been able to receive the sacred message from Redman. All present were deeply moved and carried the importance of the message deep within their hearts for the rest of their earthly existence.

End – Part 1 – To Be Continued

© 2003 Geoff Hampton

Geoff Hampton is an internationally known author, speaker, motivator and business consultant. Hampton is the Executive Director for St. Mary's Health & Fitness Center in Powell, TN and is also a regular columnist for the wellness/fitness Website as well as Canku Ota. He can be reached by E-mail at His national anti-obesity/diabetes campaign, The Wellness Wakeup Challenge can be reviewed at

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