About Me: "Wakiya" (Thunder)
I am a Tribal, Musician, Writer, Artist. I try to walk the path and have studied the tradition of the "Wisdom keepers" like Lame Deer, Fools Crow, Black Elk, and Rolling Thunder from the tribes of this region, and Lao Tzu, Buddha, Bodhidharma, Yeshua, and other enlightened ones from the many various tribes of the earth. I understand the worlds religions and belief systems, and realize the division this can cause by the lack of understanding the "real message" from the Masters. My intention, and life's prayer is to try to live in harmony with Grandmother Earth, Grandfather sky, (Nature) and "the spirit that moves in all things," and help in any way I can to build a bridge between all men and tribes so they can walk their path in a manner that will benefit themselves, the Earth and others. I open up, and ask Great Spirit, The creator, The Tao, The Universe, to work and direct healing and positive energy through me by different means, like the Flute, drums, Words, Prayer, and Touch. I try to be loving and accept others from the heart, and practice forgiveness. I honor all people, the winged one's, and four legged ones considering us all equal, not one being above another. I honor the bountiful Harvest from Mother earth in the form of plant life, water, air and herbs which sustain our oneness with her. I pray all tribes should re-unite as one, so we may protect the planet and live in harmony. Within you, without you.

Mitakuye Oyasin
( all my relations)


The lightning Bow / A Story: Joseph Marshall III

For more on Joseph Marshall III

A thin covering of snow had fallen over the land in the first few days of the winter moon. The bow maker wandered, searching the never ending prairies for just the right young ash tree. It could be no wider than his forearm and straight and at least as high as he was tall. He could no longer walk as fast as he did in his youth. There were many strands of Grey in his nearly waist length hair. But he still had endurance and could maintain a steady pace, thus he went from one valley to the next. Though they were now leafless he could spot the stands of ash trees in the bottom lands along the creeks and rivers, for that's where they grew in abundance. Years and years of experience told him in a heartbeat if a tree was straight enough and had the spirit to make a powerful bow.

The right tree was waiting somewhere, he knew. it was only a matter of time. But as traveled he wondered if he would live long enough to see that it would be cured properly. Every ash tree that was split into staves then had to be air dried for five years. Then, and only then, would the stave be ready to make into a good bow. Whatever is to happen will happen, he told himself as he journeyed on.

The Bow Maker no longer had the strength of his youth, but he had the strength of wisdom and experience which are the greatest strengths of all. So he traveled on, watchful for enemies but unafraid, secure in the knowledge that he had lived a good, long life and that he was ready for the next.

In a wide valley where he remembered playing as a boy and hunting as a young man the bow maker cried out in joy for he had found what he would never see in his lifetime, an ash tree split by lightening. Such a tree had been dried and cured in one heart beat by the awesome power of the lightening sent down by the Thunders. A bow made from such a tree would have power like no other.

The Bow Maker found a secluded spot and made his camp. He made offerings to the thunders and smoked his pipe, and then set about splitting the lightning tree into staves for bows. He worked for several days and made several stave's, each of the proper length and width. One of them felt different in his hands when he held it. it was no longer or wider then the others yet there was something about it. The bow maker felt a certain force, perhaps the spirit of the Thunders themselves.

Though the the days and nights were growing colder the bow maker decided to stay in his camp and build a bow out of the stave he liked. He worked and worked, slowly and patiently. With his tools of stone, bone, and antler he shaved and then shaped the stave until it became a bow. He sang songs as he worked calling on the skills taught to him by his father and grandfathers, and he sang songs of honor to the Thunders and their power. In his weathered and rough hands, hands that had turned many staves to bows, this bow of the lightening tree took shape. it was thickest around the middle, where it was two fingers wide. From the middle it gradually tapered to each end where it was the size of the tip of his little finger. Each limb or wing was as equally long as the other, and as graceful.

The Bow Maker worked using all the skills and knowledge he had gathered in his lifetime. As he watched the bow take shape he marveled at its feel and balance. Never in his lifetime had he made a bow as fine. When he tied on the sinew string and drew it back for the first time, he knew it was the most powerful as well.. Pulled back and drawn to an arc, it resembled the thinnest of the new crescent moon. It was appropriate, for as all bow makers know, the moon is the mother of the bow.

Arrow after arrow he sent from his new bow, farther and faster then any bow he had made or shot. Truly, this bow had a power and spirit he had never seen or felt in any other. The bow maker returned home to his village with six staves from the lightening tree and his new bow. All the hunters and warriors were curious as he took his new bow to the river to shoot arrows into a sand bank. To a man they marveled at the speed and power of the bow. Each arrow flew almost faster than thought and drove itself deep into the bank.

Men of the village came with offers to trade for the powerful new bow made from the lightening tree. Word went out to the other villages and although it was winter many came. The bow maker allowed each man to shoot the bow. Not one of them had ever seen such a bow and praised it's strength.
Many offers were made for the bow; each man who touched it and used it wanted it and promised anything the old bow maker would want in trade. The bow Maker patiently listened to all the offers but said nothing. Days passed and the men in the village were growing impatient, some returned and increased their offer of payment. The bow maker didn't want to trade, he had enough to make his life comfortable for he required little in the way of material things. He had it in mind to give the bow to the man he thought was most deserving. So he patiently waited.

More days passed and the village was growing restless, anxious for the Bow Maker to make a trade, but nothing happened. The men began to talk amongst themselves, asking what they must do for one of them to have the bow. Some suggested there be a a contest of some kind, a foot race or a test of strength, and the winner would receive all the possessions of each man who lost and then he could trade for the bow. But others had different ideas and arguments grew, some men became angry and accused the bow maker of some kind of trickery. Fights broke out among some and families joined in until there was deep unrest in the village. The bow maker watched and was sad. He hoped that one man would show himself worthy of owning the bow from the lightening tree, a bow with the power Of the Thunders. But a bow such as that could not be given to anyone who was willing to stoop to anger and deceit to own it. The old bow maker was heart broken he had not meant to cause trouble. Even the best of gifts can bring out the worst in some, he had learned. He was just as sad that not a single man could prove himself worthy of the bow from the lightening tree. There was only one way to fix the difficulty he caused.

The bow maker sent a crier through the village to announce that on the sundown of the fourth day hence he would have an answer. The people grumbled that it was about time. During the night the bow maker slipped away unseen from the village with a sad heart and bundle under one arm. The people noticed that his lodge door was tied shut and grumbled all the more. On the sundown of the fourth day the bow maker returned empty handed.

"The power of the bow made from the lightening tree is a special gift," he told the people when they gathered to listen to him. " it is more then a thing to  be owned. I did not want to trade. Though I made it, it did not belong to me. I would have given it to the man with the humility to own it.
All I saw was arrogance and anger and how you made yourselves more important then the gift. Therefore I have given it back to the Thunders. I still have six more staves from the lightening tree, someday before I die, perhaps I will make another bow perhaps....."

The people were ashamed of what they had done, of the manner in which they behaved, and expressed their great regret to the bow maker. And all hoped that someday he would make another bow from the lightening tree, before it was to late. The bow maker didn't have to remind them that until then they would all need to live in a good way, so they could be worthy of such a bow if one were to be made again.

From the book: The Journey of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III

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