White Buffalo Calf Woman reminds us that taking care of nature and ourselves is a spiritual act, says Denise Linn
There is immense spiritual power in having respect for everything around you. It can help you feel closer to others, heighten your self-worth and even allow you greater access to Spirit. Many years ago, I visited the Native American Apache tribe, where I was told a prophecy that illustrates the importance of seeing the divine in everything. “She’s calling you. Will you answer her?” said the tribe elder, as he looked me in the eye before continuing to tell me about a sacred spirit who had supernatural and healing powers – the White Buffalo Calf Woman. He said that in an ancient era, there was a famine because the tribe’s people were living out of balance and had lost reverence for the Earth and each other. One day, two young men from the village decided to hunt for food. As they travelled across the plain, they saw what looked like a stampeding herd of buffalo. Great swirling dust surrounded them, and suddenly there appeared a beautiful woman clothed in soft white buffalo skins.
As she stood before them, one man was overcome with lust. His friend warned him that this woman needed to be honoured. But, he didn’t listen and went towards her. She opened her arms to receive him and a cloud of dust enveloped them. When it subsided there was only the woman and a pile of bones before her.
The second hunter was frightened, but the woman explained that she was wakan (holy) and that no harm would come to him, as she could see his heart was pure. She said, “Return to your village. Call for council and prepare a ceremony for my arrival.” She explained that if he did, his people would flourish. When she arrived, she was warmly welcomes and so she taught the tribe all about respecting Mother Earth.
She promised that she would return as a white calf when the people were in need of help again. It’s said that after she left, great herds of buffalo surrounded the camp and the Lakota prospered for generations.
Simply feeling a deep sense of awe for all of life – starting with yourself – is a spiritual act. For example, when you take time to look after yourself and your body, or start to think empowering thoughts about yourself, your life begins to take positive changes. What’s more, if we respect the beliefs of each other, even if we don’t share the same values or points of view, there will be more peace and love in all of our lives. I recommend taking the time this month to think about how you will answer White Buffalo Calf Woman’s call?
Denise Linn is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation. She is a bestselling, award-winning author of 18 books, including Kindling the Native Spirit (£12.99, Hay House). She also holds seminars throughout the world. To find out more, visit deniselinn.com