Black Elk - Native American Indians - Horses
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Black Elk speaks – as told through John G Neihardt
I looked, and there were twelve black horses yonder all abreast with necklaces of bison hoofs, and they were beautiful, but I was frightened, because their manes were lightning and there was thunder in their nostrils
Then the bay horse wheeled to where the great white giant lives [the north] and said ‘Behold’. And yonder there were twelve white horses all abreast. Their manes were flowing like a blizzard wind and from their noses came a roaring, and all about them white geese soared and circled.
Then the bay wheeled round to where the sun shines continually [the east] and bade me look; and there twelve sorrel horses, with necklaces of elk’s teeth, stood abreast with eyes that glimmered like the day break star and manes of morning light.
Then the bay wheeled once again to look upon the place where you are always facing [the south] and yonder stood twelve buckskins all abreast with horns upon their heads and manes that lived and grew like trees and grasses.
And when I had seen all these, the bay horse said ‘Your grandfathers are having a council. These shall take you, so have courage’
Then all the horses went into formation, four abreast – the blacks, the whites, the sorrels, and the buckskins – and stood behind the bay, who turned now to the west and neighed; and yonder suddenly the sky was terrible with a storm of plunging horses in all colours that shook the world with thunder, neighing back……
Then the bay horse spoke to me again and said ‘See how your horses all come dancing’. I looked and there were horses, horses everywhere – a whole skyful of horses dancing round me.