Legend of White BUffalo Calf Woman
goddess legend is told many different ways, as many different people feel strong resonance with the message. Primarily
it is a legend passed down by Lakota elders for 19 generations, and it concludes by predicting the birth of a
white buffalo calf. On August 19, 1994, a brown eyed white buffalo calf was born into the small herd at a hobby farm
in Janesville, Wisconsin. The elders acknowledged the birth as a sign that White Buffalo
Calf Woman's prophecy is being fulfilled. The calf was named "Miracle". As she grew, her colour changed into
the brown of an ordinary buffalo. She wasn't even an albino! That's how sacred this buffalo and the prophecy actually
The legend says
that one Autumn very long ago (possibly in the mid-1700's) the hunters out on the prairie experienced an unprecendented hardship.
The season was the "Moon of the Ripe Plums" and no buffalos could be found. For as long as anyone could remember, an
abundance of the shaggy buffalos filled their land. The sky was filled with infinite stars and the land was
covered with buffalos as far as the eye could see. Suddenly, they disappeared. The people were not only
hungry, they were also anxious about approaching winter. Always during this season of "Indian Summer" the camp was bustling
with the activity of tanning extra robes & drying supplies of meat for hte cold moons ahead when deep snow would keep
them inside their tipis. Suddenly, these starving people had no daily tasks to fulfill, and consequently their normal
routines turned to depression and concern. They believed that the crisis was happening for some reason, yet no one could
understand why the buffalos had left. Always, the buffalos had taken care of the people like dependable grandparents.
One day two scouts went out
in search of buffalo. The sun was near the horizon and it was almost time to turn back towards camp.
Suddenly they spotted a lone buffalo approaching from the direction of the north. This buffalo came closer.
"Oh darn!", declared
the first man, disappointedly, "that's not a buffalo, it's just a woman."
The figure came forward.
"Hey," he nudged his friend, "this
woman's good to look at, I know what I'm gonna do with her". It was the typical way that this man and others always
viewed women....as a challenge for conquest, as a means to satisfy his need for pleasure.
"Hold on," warned the second scout,
"can't you see that she is a special woman? Look at the beautiful colours of the quillwork on her dress. Those are sacred
patterns. None of the women in our tribe have ever used such marvelous designs. I think she's a holy woman."
As the woman dressed
in white buckskin came closer, the men saw that she carried a medicine bundle made of buffalo fur over her shoulder.
The first man continued
to feel lust for the beautiful mystery woman, who now stood in front of them. Because she actually was a spirit woman,
she could 'hear' his thoughts. She looked at the first man and invited him to come closer. He imagined it was
his charm and 'way with women' that was attracting her attention. He approached, and as she touched his arm, a white
cloud suddenly dropped from the sky and covered the pair. The second man watched in dismay. As the cloud settled
to the ground, his friend was no longer a man. At the feet of the mysterious woman lay a pile of bones. Some
of the elders say that snakes were crawling in and out of those bones, too.
Turning to go, with a shaking voice, the remaining
scout spoke to the woman, "I'm not like that man. I won't bother you, and I'm heading back to my people right now."
"It's okay," reassured
the woman,"I understand all that is happening here. Your lives have grown out of balance. One source of the imbalance
is the way that the woman is perceived. This man has always seen women as only a way to satisfy his needs. To
his way of thinking, women are here to serve the men. I come from the Buffalo Nation and in this medicine bundle, I
carry teachings that will help your people. Your people need to learn new ways of looking at the world. When you
change your thinking and practices, the buffalo will come again to take care of you. For now, you must return to your
camp and prepare for my visit. Make a big ceremonial lodge and in a few days I shall come."
This man did as he was asked, and a speciallodge
was prepared for the visitor. A few days later all the people gathered around. A sacred altar had been prepared,
and the mysterious woman went there. She knelt on the ground and opened the bundle made of buffalo hide. The mystical
woman brought out the stone bowl and the wooden stem of a sacred pipe. It was the very first pipe known to
these Indian people. She explained how the two parts, the wooden stem and the stone bowl, represent the male
and female aspects of life.
She explained, "The stone
bowl is of the Earth and symbolizes the woman. Just as all life comes from Mother Earth, the life of a human comes through
the mother. The stem is made of the tree, which represents the man. The tree grows from the Earth and a baby boy
is born from his mother. The sacred feminine is the source of life."
She joined the two parts together, "when
the two parts come together to make a sacred pipe, its akin to the sacred power to create new life given to a husband and
Next, she took some herbs from her
bundle and spoke about the medicine gifts of the plants. She put the herbs into the bowl and lit the pipe. She
held the stem to her lips and drew in the smoke. Gently, she released the smoke into the air.
"Now," she told everyone, "whenever you
pray with the pipe in this way, you can actually see your prayers rising to the Creator in the smoke.." She passed the
pipe around for everyone to share. "Now your prayers are visible."
She continued with her teachings,
"Your lives have grown out of balance and this is why the buffalos have disappeared. They are not feeling respected.
The hunters have known how to find and kill buffalo. Now, whenever they practice prayers with the sacred pipe, they
will remember to take the buffalo's lives with reverence and gratitude. Your lives have grown out of balance.
The physical side of hunting has become more important than the spiritual impact of taking the life of a buffalo. In
another way, your lives are out of balance. It's become normal for you to think that a man is more powerful and more
important than a woman. A woman is not strong enough to hunt the buffalos that sustain your lives. Many women
have become like servants to the men here. And most men see women only as a means for giving them pleasure.
The pipe will be a constant reminder of the importance of woman as a sacred being who is like Mother Earth who is the source
of all life. The bowl and the stem are equally important parts of the pipe."
Next, the woman took another object from her bundle. It was a flat stone with seven circles inscribed
around the circumference of the stone. Each circle was smaller thatn the one before, giving the look of a spiral. She
explained, "Each of these circles on the stone symbolize a creremony that will help you in the cycle of your live. Whenever
you begin these ceremonies, you will pray with the pipe. You already know the first two ceremonies, which are the
Inipi Purification Lodge, and the Vision Quest." She described in detail the ceremony for the death of a relative, called
'the keeping of the soul'. She was sharing much information, "The last four ceremonies will be shown to your holy people
through dream or vision." They soon were shown the Sun Dance ceremony, the ceremony for Making Relatives, A Girl Becoming
a Woman, and the Throwing of the Ball.
The mysterious visitor held up the bowl of
the pipe for everyone to examine, "On the bowl is carved a buffalo. You know about cycles of time ~ day and night, the
waxing and waning of the moon, the four seasons, and the cycle of a two~leggeds life. Mother Earth has a long cycle
of time." She looked at the elders, "even the oldest ones here cannot remember when it began because it was so long ago.
Each leg of the mythical buffalo is one Great Age in this long cycle for Earth. Every time one Great Age is finished,
the buffalo loses a leg. First was the Age of Stone. You know you are like the animals, yet different. One
day, a two~legged got the idea to take a stone and grind food. Then, someone dreamed about a bow and arrow for hunting.
The Age of Stone was finished, and the Bow Age began. The buffalo lost one leg. Next, a lightning storm left a
fire. The people decided to use it for warmth and cooking. This began the Fire Age. The buffalo was on two
legs. Now, Earth is beginning the Age of the Pipe. Everything you did before is good, and now you will do it in a
sacred manner. Every year the buffalo loses one hair. When the buffalo is totally bald, it will be time for it
to roll over. The Pipe Age will end, and a new grand cycle of time for Earth will begin. I will return then to
help you transition through the Shift of the Ages."
She got ready to leave, and reminded them
of the balance between men and women. The hunters show great physical prowess in the hunt. The woman has a mystical
ability to bear new life in her body and then teaches the little ones the ways of gentleness and caring for all living things.
The sacred pipe was left
with the holy people. Everyone watched her walk back to the north. Just as she almost disappeared from view, they
saw a black buffalo calf in her place. It rolled in the dust and stood up as a red buffalo calf. The red one rolled
and became yellow. Finally, a white buffalo calf stood looking back at the people. After that day, the herds of
buffalos returned to feed the people again.
The birth of "Miracle"
is a sign that Earth is coming to the end of this grand cycle of time and a new great age is about to begin with the 'medicine'
of the Sacred Feminine.
True prophecy is rooted in legend and contains instructions.
The instructions of White Buffalo Woman's prophecy will be shared through a docu-drama movie involving real life characters.
The working title is,
OF SAGITTARIUS: THE STUDENT AS INDIAN".
All material is copyrighted by
White BUffalo Calf Productions, Inc