Beginning with water

“…We made these little gray houses of logs that you see, and p4soutlet they are square. It is a bad way to live, for there can be no power in a square. You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round. In the old days when we were a strong and happy people, all our power came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation, and so long as the hoop was unbroken, the people flourished. The flowering tree was the living center of the hoop, and the circle of the four quarters nourished it. The east gave peace and light, the south gave warmth, the west gave rain, and the north with its cold and mighty wind gave strength and endurance. This knowledge came to us from the outer world with our religion. Everything the Power of the World does is done in a pass4sure 000-284 circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves. Our tepees were round like the nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle, the nation’s hoop, a nest of many nests, where the Great Spirit meant for us to hatch our children. But the Wasichus have put us in these square boxes. Our power is gone and we are dying, for the power is not in us anymore. You can look at our boys and see how it is with us. When we were living by the power of the circle in they way we should, boys were men at twelve or thirteen years of ago. But now it takes them very much longer to mature. Well, it is as it is. We are prisoners of war while we are waiting here. But there is another world.”

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  • –Black Elk





    O, now instantly, you draw near.

    You come to spit on me. Red is your spit. Ela-wâ’tï.

    I was blue this night. But now you come, you clothe me red.

    The sun lives this night! She is blue. She is male. She is moon.

    You direct her path. She/he is at my feet.

    I exult.



    We begin with water.

    Water above, water below.

    Water East, water South, water West, water North.

    We begin with water.

    4 Thoughts on “Beginning with water

    1. Dale on May 4, 2008 at 3:15 pm said:

      Well, this got lost, didn’t it? I’m here in the Apple Store at Lenox—I was testing an iPhone, and lo! there was this post that I absolutely missed somehow. It would have been the day I was traveling back from STAR in Atlanta, I guess.

      Anyway, very nice. Is the chant yours or traditional?

    2. jeff on May 4, 2008 at 9:40 pm said:

      Kinda both.

      Work-in-progress, based on traditional stuff.

    3. marc on May 5, 2008 at 9:39 am said:

      I heard something this past weekend you might like. CD by Chanticleer called Sound in Spirit. One or two of the pieces are Native American. Wish I could give more details, but it was being broadcast on a cable-radio station and no details were given. But it was INTENSE! Here’s the Amazon link. The entire CD was friggin’ awesome, actually. The girls from San Francisco have really outdone themselves on this one.

    4. jeff on May 5, 2008 at 8:04 pm said:

      Thanks, bro. Will check.

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