By Stephanie M. Schwartz,
Freelance Writer - Member, Native American Journalists Association
© September 18, 2006 Brighton, Colorado
To nearly all the American Indian Nations and Canadian First Nations, white buffalo calves are considered highly sacred. To the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Siouxan Nations, they play a primary role in their traditional beliefs and prophecies.
Since the rare birth of the white buffalo calf, Miracle, on the Heider Family farm in Janesville, Wisconsin in 1994, numerous white buffalo calves have been born across the country. Interestingly, like Miracle, most of these calves have been born on farms owned by non-Native American people. Additionally, as a symbol of hope for peace, people from many cultures have come to know about and honor these creatures.
Miracle died unexpectedly in 2004 of natural causes at only ten years of age; an event which created shock across the indigenous nations and around the world.
Now, another sacred white buffalo, named Miracle's Second Chance by Valerie Heider, has been born on the same farm in Wisconsin during a lightning storm on August 25, 2006.
David Swallow, Teton Oglala Lakota traditional spiritual leader from the Pine Ridge Reservation, spoke today on the significance and message he sees in this calf's birth.
He clearly believes that the name for this calf was actually part of the message. He said, "The name is right, it is no accident, the birth of Miracle's Second Chance is yes, a second chance for all humanity." And since, to his people, lightning represents the destruction of evil, Swallow feels the message is the strongest yet.
Swallow went on to explain that, "It is not the normal average person or even the normal government people who bring such danger and destruction to the world. It is those who walk in greed and envy who feed the prophesied many-headed serpent who is foretold to consume its supporters."
Swallow explained that the traditional stories of his people tell that the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Woman came at a time of great need and great strife and war to bring the people back to peace, to living in a good way. She initially appeared to two men. In this first encounter, one of the men was honored, the one who showed respect and right spiritual action. The other was consumed and turned to dust because of his evil intentions.
Swallow believes so it will happen in our world again today, "The birth of this calf symbolizes this, that evil will be destroyed," he said.
His words spoke that, "It is time that the white nations and all mainstream cultures return to living in a good way, in peace and harmony with each other and with Grandmother Earth. Only by doing so, will life continue in our world."
But Swallow was clear that there was also a message for the indigenous nations as well. He pointed out that the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Woman had brought the sacred c'anunpa, the sacred pipe, to his people that they might use it to pray in a good way so that their sincere prayers might be heard by the Divine.
Swallow issued a call to all those who carry a c'anunpa. He said, "The Sacred Pipe carriers, whether they are Native American or not, need to get their sacred c'anunpas out and use them every day to pray for peace and harmony to return to our world in a good way. Pray that the "money" people will wake up and stop destroying Grandmother Earth for profit and that her health will return. You can make a difference, a very real difference. The c'anunpas need to be used for this purpose by all who carry them. They need to do this every day and to walk with these prayers in their hearts"
Swallow continued, "My English is not good. I have to be careful because sometimes I use the wrong words and am misunderstood. But everyone needs to understand this clearly: We all need to pray, whether you have a c'anunpa or not, whether you are American Indian or not. We need to pray because it will only be by prayer that the world will be saved. It will only be by prayer that the hearts of those who are destroying the world can be changed."
Swallow ended by saying, "I have said this is our second chance for humanity. I pray that people will wake up and hear the message. Our lives and our world depend on it." "Ho hecetu yelo, I have spoken."
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