In the conscious haze before sleep, Raven Woman takes me by the hand and leads me to a beautiful vestige. We stand on the bluff overlooking a distant encampment – I smile, knowing I’ve returned to my home. I am at peace as I survey my surroundings. Standing to my left is a familiar Native American elder – he is weathered, proud and full of sacred knowing; he is concerned but not afraid; but, more than these, he is relieved I have found my way back to this place – to him. For a moment, I step out of my body and catch a glimpse of these two old friends from a distance – the older wizened chief & and the even older crone. He acknowledges me with respect and a question in his eyes – a question he never asks but plainly states. He explains his people are sick and tired – they need healing so they may continue their fight. I nod my understanding and say I will come. As I am making this promise, I awake into the present knowing I have been called to help the people – my people.
I experience the familiar tingly rush that follows a spiritual encounter. The feeling washes over me and settles into my being as fear. Crap – there is no denying what this means. Yet, I try. I try to deny it. I try to interpret for hidden meanings all the while knowing I have to go. My weathered friend comes to me several times over the next months with the same request. I try to appease him with distance healings even though I know more is being asked of me – more is required. During a sacred ceremony he comes and crowds the space around me. He sternly exclaims “it is time to stand! It is time to get up now!” and I can no longer pretend I don’t know what to do. I have to listen to the call. I have to travel to Standing Rock.
And still, I drag my feet. I deliberate as the weather turns colder. I have every manner of excuse. And the whole time I know I just really need to stop making excuses. I need to set the fear aside and move into action. I need to realize I am worthy, I am skilled, I am full of spiritual gifts and power – even though I am white. And there it is. An unknown fear & hang-up appears. I am white. Huh…I am white. I let this obvious truth settle within and realize I have to come to terms with the race & heritage I represent in this lifetime. I have to come to terms with the guilt I feel for the color of my skin. And I begin to wonder if THIS is part of the call – the need to heal from guilt and shame.
I acknowledge the shame I carry and move toward an understanding and acceptance of my whiteness. I tell myself I have to be able to accept this without apology – especially, within and for myself. I am reduced to tears many times in the days and weeks that lead to my departure. At some point I am reminded of the Rainbow Warrior prophecy and the validity I feel calms my Spirit. I am reassured that I will be recognized by those who follow traditional ways.
When the Time of the White Buffalo approaches, the third generation of the White Eyes’ children will grow their hair and speak of love as the healer of the Children of the Earth. These children will seek new ways of understanding themselves and others. They will wear feathers and beads and paint their faces. They will seek the Elders of the Red Race and drink of their wisdom. These white-eyed children will be a sign that the Ancestors are returning in white bodies, but they are Red on the inside. They will learn to walk the Earth Mother in balance again and reform the idea of the white chiefs. These children will be tested as they were when they were Red ancestors by unnatural substances like firewater to see if they can remain on the Sacred Path.
I am also reminded of the medicine wheel and its representation of life – the seasons, stages of life, stages of understandng, and the different races – the black, red, yellow AND white. Remembering the representation of the white race in this sacred manner continues to empower and validate. I know at this point I AM needed as a white woman to answer this call. The white section of the medicine wheel is where I stand in my power – standing & approaching life from this place is my contribution to balance and harmony. This is my place of power – this is what I bring to the communal table for the healing and benefit of all.
Do you understand? We all come from and possess a place of power – the thing that makes us special, unique and needed. The little aspect of self that is not duplicated or replicated in anyone else – the aspect of self that leaves a void or creates a gap if we are not willing or courageous enough to stand up and occupy the spaces we are meant to fill. We don’t look to fill this space from our ego or for our personal gain or gratification. We look to fill this space with humility and out of necessity to create wholeness in others. Like a medicine wheel, giving is a circular process – when in balance, we are in a continuous process of giving freely and receiving openly…with no expectation.
The call, as it were, was not so much about what I would do once I got to Standing Rock but about receiving the message and acting on it without doubt or fear – acting out of blind faith and trust in divine protection. Of honoring my promise and verifying my commitment to Creator & Creator’s journey for me – the willingness to act for the highest and best of all involved and being comfortable with not understanding the reasons.
Months after the initial call & eventual journey to Standing Rock, I still reflect and gain further insight. The call and experience detailed above was just a practice run – I WILL be called again…and again…. Creator KNOWS my resistance, fears and need for explanation and reassurance. This experience was not simply a test of the strength of my spirit and commitment to Creator – it was a journey of proof bathed in reassurances and evidence of divine love and protection. I thank Creator for being easy and preparing me for what is to come. I am grateful for the opportunity to torture myself, doubt divine communication, and the special kind of heartache and pain that only comes from willfully refusing to hear. And, finally, I am grateful for the sweet moment of surrender…
It begins as I drag my heavily burdened heart to the vehicle and strap into the driver’s seat with tears in my eyes. It continues in the simultaneous moment my vehicle starts and my tears dry. It gains momentum as I pull out of the driveway and feel a calm steadiness settle within. It accelerates with every mile traveled and every burden shed. In the moment of total surrender the truth is illuminated – I am not in control. My heart and Spirit are light and I tell myself to savor this moment – remember the feeling of release – the feeling of being Spirit-lead. Soon enough the only heaviness to be felt in the vehicle is the weight of the items needed to establish and sustain me at Standing Rock.