Black Elk - Native American Indians - Birds and Spirit helpers
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Black Elk Speaks – as told through John Neihardt
It was when I was five years old that my grandfather made me a bow and some arrows. The grass was young and I was on horseback. A thunder storm was coming from where the sun goes down, and just as I was riding into the woods along a creek, there was a kingbird sitting on a limb. This was not a dream, it happened. And I was going to shoot at the kingbird with the bow my grandfather made, when the bird spoke and said: “The clouds all over are one sided”. Perhaps it meant that all the clouds were looking at me. And then it said “Listen, a voice is calling you”. Then I looked up at the clouds and two men were coming there, headfirst like arrows slanting down; and as they came, they sang a sacred song and the thunder was like drumming. I will sing it for you. The song and the drumming were like this:
Behold a sacred voice is calling you
All over the sky a sacred voice is calling
I sat there gazing at them, and they were coming from the place where the giant lives [north]. But when they were very close to me, they wheeled about toward where the sun goes down and suddenly they were geese. Then they were gone, and the rain came with a big wind and a roaring.
I did not tell this vision to anyone. I liked to think about it, but I was afraid to tell it.