Young Bear would not let me take a picture of his hands. He was self-conscious about missing a finger, but not over the way it looked. It was because he had cut it off during a Sun dance, and that was a sacrifice, not a photo opp. He said I am going to tell you things you cannot speak about later.
I do not share those things . . . they are for sacred knowing not blogposting.
So I spent the next hour with him, who pointed out many times that he was not a Wicasa Wakan, a Sacred Man, but just a common wicasa. Still, he was working to elevate his people on their spiritual path; he was the man who bridged them at Death (which is not real, he pointed out) over the North Star down the Milky Way to the Death Star.
At the end of the Milky Way is the place where the spirits face the Smokey Mirror for judgment. But the judgment is not from the Creator, who loves and accepts all wicasa. It is the reflection of our own fears, shames and beliefs about ourselves that judge us. We judge ourselves. He knows this and his function with the tribes is to teach the people self-love. If they know self-love, then they can face the Smoky Mirror and accept the Gift of their Life. He gave me this Knowing to share.
Then he said that he would give me a gift, too, that would help me. What did I need? So I asked him if he could tell me about the Eagle Dream I had. He nodded. After I told him, he kept his eyes down on his hands, on the finger that wasn’t there, and after a while he started talking. He told me things about it that were not given to me before, but still entirely synced to what I knew about this Dream. He added some things I didn’t know, and my heart swelled with the Truth of what I’d been given…how it was instantly known to this man, the common wicasa.
Then he told me that if I want to keep the Gift of my Dream, I must give him a penny. An exchange of things of value must be made before I could own it, before the Dream was really mine. Except that I didn’t have a penny, so I gave him the compass I bought in Australia last fall that was hanging on my camera bag. He studied it, then nodded approvingly. He took it ceremoniously and hung it on his keychain. Now the Dream is mine, and it will now come to pass, he said. Then he told me more things I can’t speak about, although I do not know why…why extraordinary things like this happen to me, an even more common wicasa.
(This happened to me in North Dakota, Summer 2012; reposted by special request of BJHM)