Spiritual Autobiography – Ages 59-64 (Part Five)

June 9, 2008

My preparations for a vision quest under the guidance of two Lakota shamans were as important as the time I would spend fasting and praying.  After it was decided that I would use a turkey-buzzard feather and an animal skull for my vision quest, my next task was to make a string of prayer ties by tying a pinch of tobacco in a two-inch square of fabric – 5 blue ties, 100 red, 100 yellow, 100 white, 100 black – silently saying a prayer as I made each tie. The spot for my quest would be bounded by these ties, attached to four chokecherry saplings.  The five blue ties were to be prayers for myself; the rest. prayers for others.

My prayers for myself had come to me when I first thought about a quest:

  • Great Spirit, may I see what you would have me see;
  • May I hear what you would have me hear
  • May I feel what you would have me feel;
  • May I know what you would have me know.
  • That I may do what you would have me do and walk in the way you would have me walk.

One final task was to mount the turkey-buzzard feather in a leather holder. As I started to do this, I remembered the small feather.  I got it and showed it to Standing Elk.  He took it in his hand and said, “Eagle feather” – a small feather from under the wing, but definitely and eagle feather. He had me mount it with the other feather.

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