The Snake Clan is an Offical Clan of the Free Cherokee
“There can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace which is within the souls of men.”
“I cured with the power that came through me. Of course, it was not I who cured, it was the power from the Outer World, the visions and the ceremonies had only made me like a hole through which the power could come to the two-leggeds.”
“If I thought I was doing it myself, the hole would have closed up and no power could come through. Then everything I could do would be foolish.”
“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that its center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.”
Heȟáka Sápa (Black Elk) was a famous wičháša wakȟáŋ (medicine and holy man). Black Elk was born in December 1863 along the Little Powder River thought to be in the present-day state of Wyoming. According to the Lakota way of measuring time (referred to as Winter Counts) Black Elk was born “the Winter When the Four Crows Were Killed on Tongue River”. When Black Elk was nine years old, he was suddenly taken ill and left prone and unresponsive for several days. During this time he had a great vision in which he was visited by the Thunder Beings (Wakinyan), and taken to the Grandfathers — spiritual representatives of the six sacred directions: west, east, north, south, above, and below. These “… spirits were represented as kind and loving, full of years and wisdom, like revered human grandfathers.” When he was seventeen, Black Elk told a medicine man, Black Road, about the vision in detail. Black Road and the other medicine men of the village were “astonished by the greatness of the vision.” He had learned many things in his vision to help heal his people. He had come from a long line of medicine men and healers in his family. In his vision, Black Elk is taken to the center of the earth, and to the central mountain of the world. As Black Elk related: and while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy.