Manataka American Indian Council





The Song of Woableza
by Jim BlueSkyWaters


[This is the story of a vision.  At the center of the vision is Robert 'Woableza' LaBatte, a Lakota/Dakota spiritual leader who was brutally beat on July 13, 2003.  He continues to suffer persecutions and tribulations as a result of his holy path.  See related stories:  Woableza


This night, hearing of the latest pain and suffering of our brother Woableza and the heaping of more indignity upon him by those who make themselves strangers who should be friends and brothers, I was led to do ceremony.


I went to the place where my healing Spirits -- the Deer Spirits -- reside, the healing ones and the ones of guidance and comfort, for I was angry, and I know this is not the way of a man of peace, nor is prayer an easy thing for one whose face is hard and whose mouth is bitter.  And I asked them to heal my heart so my thoughts could be pure, to reflect the Creator's light, and not be darkened by my imperfections.

In this place, in drumming, and singing the song of Bear medicine, I was taken to a place and was shown something that I'm not sure what it means, but I believe it should be shared, perhaps so others who have eyes to see it can see what it means. And so, I relate it, as a gift to those who have arms to receive it.


I was taken to a dark place, and I saw I was in the Earth, in the bosom of our Mother.  And the feeling was good, because the body is made of her, and so I was one with her, and she gave me comfort, and I could feel my anger and bitterness leeched away, replaced by the serenity of her being.

After a while, I felt water at my feet, and my body drank of it, like roots of a thirsty tree; life flowing beneath the Earth, tickling my toes with water, tickling as it rose up within me, filling the dry places in my soul, soothing and refreshing. My heart had a great thirst and the water was good, and filled me with life from the bosom of the Earthly Mother, my mind soothed like trickling on hard rocks, dissolving thoughts into fine sand, then nothing.

After a while, like a tree again, I felt my Spirit grow tall, and the top of my head burst from the Mother Earth's soothing darkness to a silvery light, and there was the Moon up above, casting a bright illumination all across the land, with fiery Mars beside her, shedding blood and anger, leeching from Grandmother Moon the reflected hurts of human kind, and burning them.

I could see them just as clearly as if I were standing on a mountain, and could reach and touch them, burning bright.


I saw that if we look not at Grandmother Moon, and her light that feeds the soul, in the womb of compassion, but at the shed blood of Mars, at all our suffering, our hearts will burst as flames as well.


So, my eyes and heart kissed and embraced the Moon and took vantage with her, over the Earthly Mother, seeing far.  And what did I see?

I saw that the Earth that had soothed me was Nanih Waiya, the Mother Mound of the Choctaws, a place where I have done ceremony and prayed for the ancestors that their souls would rest easy, releasing those in pain.  And they spoke to me, called me brother and friend.


In the light of the Moon, they showed me the land around and the landscape was very different.


It was one land, one with all the sacred sites, as one could shout and call from one to the other, though they are many miles, yes, several states, thousands of miles apart. I could see them, all these places where I have drummed and done ceremony, and many more, and they all were one, connected, all about the Earth, as if twined by a silver spider's web.


My heart felt as a violin, tuned to the strings that connected them, playing a song that was old and sad and full of suffering, yet held the harmonics of highest ecstasy, only just out of reach of hearing.

I could hear the song and my song and my drumming strived to repeat it, build to it, that high pitch, away from suffering. I strained for it. But my voice could not go high enough, and so I had to settle with hearing it, just barely, more like a memory.

In this place, in this light, seeing the light across the land, and the web of life, I was told the story of Choctaw prophecy, which has never been fully told in English, I was told, only shared in the native tongue, and then only among the elders. 


Few know it, but I was told that the young people need to hear it, and those who do not have ears to hear it must know that it is spoken, so even if they deny it, it is there before them as a witness to their acts.


I was told that the day of prosperity was foretold, many years ago, generations ago, when every person of the tribe would have much. They would know no want.


They would have every material thing. And when they have everything that their hearts desire, they will turn and walk away. As one.  They will know it is over, and the time to go has come. For, in having everything, they have nothing. And this is what they must know. For the prophecy to come true.


I was told: Just as once the Mother Mound protected them, when the Earth was on fire, when death came from the sky, and the people became one again with the Earthly Mother to escape the cataclysm of Creation, they must know that the time will come again when they must leave to another place.

This place exists. It is a real place. It is a place that only their hearts can lead them, for their minds cannot.  They must learn the path in their hearts, for their eyes cannot see when they are dazzled by many  things.


Only when they see the threads between the sacred places will they see the road before them, and the things they have will be as nothing, invisible, empty, lifeless, insubstantial as shadows in a moonless midnight.


Only the light of the heart can illuminate where they must go; and they must go as one, or none will be spared.  They will hear the song I could not sing. Their hearts will know the words, and the words of the song shall lead them. The memory of it will be like a path before them, and the strings between the sacred places will be as beacons as their hearts sing.  Their voices as one will make the darkness bright as the Sun.

I do not know what this vision means. And I cannot speak more of it. My Medicine Bear sang it to me, and in the roar of her words, like a raging waterfall in my ears, I was deafened to reason.  It makes no sense to me.


But I share it because my pain and anger over Wobleza's plight drove me to seek forgiveness and healing for myself, in shame and humility, and knew that I could not speak to Creator or Spirits if my heart was hard and my ears deaf to the silent voice that speaks true.

Only by seeking and giving a gift could my heart be made whole again.

The Creator's hands are soft for hard hearts, made malleable when one seeks forgiveness in this way; and so I prayed that Creator would uplift us all, to betterment, to a better vision of things. And this was what I saw.  And so I share it, in humility, for it is not my song, not my vision; it is its own Creation, and true of its own being.


I offer it as a prayer for the people. May it unlock the doors of strangers so all are one again.

I saw:  Our brother, Woableza, is a mirror. What is done regarding Woableza, each one of us, we do upon ourselves.  We can see ourselves and forgive us, by opening our hearts, or shut our hearts and see nothing.


One voice, one song, all voices, all songs, one voice, one song.
May my heart be open.  Aho.

Mitakuye Oyasin,




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