From the Back Cover
The Sacred Pipe teaches that we are now in the time of the "Seventh Fire" or "Seventh Generation" - a time of profound earth changes, also foretold in the Book of Revelations and in the ancient Hebrew teachings of the Kabbala. North America, known to its original inhabitants as "Turtle Island", holds the roots of these changes. Here, the supreme law is the woman. Her three sons, Buddha, Christ and Mohammed, have brought their children here to work together and honor the physical energies given to them by the Great Spirit to protect - the water (our blood) to the Asian people; the air that we breathe to the Europeans; the fire (our heart spirit) to the Africans; and the earth (our flesh) to the Indian people of Turtle Island. These covenants were violated by each nationality in their own lands.
Now, during this critical time in the history of the Indian people and all of mankind, we must look to the traditional, holistic ways of this island and learn the common sense of bonding with Mother Earth and all living things. We must heed the warnings of the seven angels - seven separate energy forces, like the angel of fire, "El Nio". Now, in the time of the Seventh Fire, we need to come together in one mind, one heart and one spirit - before it is too late.
Floyd Looks for Buffalo Hand is an Oglala Sioux spiritual interpreter from Pine Ridge, South Dakota. The full-blooded grandson of Chief Red Cloud and a direct descendant of the Crazy Horse Band, he has spent the last 28 years teaching Indian spirituality and spreading the messages of the White Buffalo Calf Lady to all four directions of the world. As a recognized Lakota leader, Looks for Buffalo is often called upon to stand up for the people. In 1975, he defended religious freedom for all Americans. He was the only third person, after Abraham Lincoln and Chief Red Cloud, to speak in New York City's Cooper Square. More recently, he spoke out against the slaughter of buffalo in Yellowstone National Park. Today, Looks for Buffalo travels across Turtle Island - helping people through healing rituals, speaking at gatherings, teaching in universities and prisons and holding traditional ceremonies.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The traditionalists who are respected all have an Indian name - a spirit name, which is their identity. My spirit name is Pte Ole - Looks for Buffalo. I am an Oglala Sioux Lakota interpreter from Pine Ridge, South Dakota - the full-blooded grandson of Chief Red Cloud and White Cow Killer, a Cheyenne Oglala Lakota. I come from the family of Red Cloud and the Crazy Horse Band of the Cheyenne Oglala and go many generations back to my grandfather, Big Foot (Poor Elk), who was killed at Wounded Knee. As Sun Dance helper, I serve the sacred circle of the Sun Dance, a ceremony that has been passed down through six generations. My grandfather, William Spotted Crow, was the original caretaker of the Sun Dance, Today, I share this honor with my uncle, James Dubray.
I was born in 1939. As the first-born in the planned marriage of the Red Cloud and Crazy Horse bands, I was recognized by the elders, who gave me a second name - Spotted Moose. And I was honored by my grandmothers Susanna Red Cloud and Emma White Cow Killer. A big celebration was held. They fed the people and horses were given away. Being the first-born, my feet were not allowed to touch the ground for one year after I came into this world. I was one of the very few who had moccasins with beaded soles. And, as I grew up, I started to learn the traditional way that I must live.
At the age of nine I became very sick. After spending a long time in the hospital without getting well, the doctors finally gave up hope and released me, and I was taken home to die. My grandfather James Little Killer (from the Cheyenne Oglala side), who's medicine name was Owl, came and doctored me and said that I would be well. He told me that, upon his death, I was to take his place and walk with the Bear Medicine.
From that time on, I was encouraged to serve the Great Spirit and brought up in a traditional manner by my grandmothers and grandfathers. Spirit men like George Plenty Wolf, Willie Wounded, Dawson Has No Horse, Frank Young Man Afraid of His Horses, Charlie Red Cloud, Felix Green and Martin High Bear inspired me on this road as I prayed with them. They taught me to humble myself and walk with great respect for the Creator. They told me many stories about the star people and about the change that was to come. They told me stories about the coming of our neighbors, and that some day they were going to try to understand our ways, because we are one blood of all nations - black, red, yellow, white.
Like so many of my people, I grew up confused. We came from parents who were raised in the boarding school days - beaten down and their identities taken away. I had attitude problems and I was very rebellious. The priests used to hit me behind the knees to make me kneel down, but they could never get me on my knees to pray. (This may be why I am suffering with my knees to this day.) I was angry and I became a racist against my own white brothers. That was when my learning began. I was taught that the Great Spirit gave us our destiny and, through that, as children, we were hurt. It was not our fault. It was nobody's fault. I was taught that the Great Spirit loves us - He does not scold us, He does not slap us and He does not tell us that we are no good. And as time passed, I came to understand that we are all equal - everything that flies, walks, crawls, two-leggeds - our blood is the same.
My grandfather, Frank Young Man Afraid of His Horses, encouraged me to learn and keep the traditional way of life. In 1954, he told me that one day I would witness something no one had ever seen before - the return of the White Buffalo Calf Lady, the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary - and that I was to be her messenger. That day came. She told me that the time has come for all the people of this world to come together to the heartbeat of Mother Earth - to respect each other and all the things that the Creator has given us - so that some day we may become of one mind, one heart, and one spirit.
We, the Indian people, never lost our spirituality because we were given laws - the seven ritual laws - to guide our lives. We are the wealthiest people in this whole world. We have our diamonds in the sky. We have abundance of food. We are peaceful people. And you will never find a millionaire Indian because if we have money, we share it all. We have known for hundreds of years that some day our white brothers were going to come to us. Our teachings told us that we must teach them the right way - with wisdom and respect - because our blood is one.
I strongly believe that these teachings must survive for generations to come. We must put our minds together as one, because our blood is one. And if we are to study these holistic rituals of nature's way, we must start from the beginning and not desecrate ourselves in our journey on Mother Earth. The reverse psychology that we were brought up with as Indian people comes from the original belief that a holistic culture goes counter-clockwise. It balances and harmonizes the universe. People today have lost sight of the principles of a beautiful way of life and have instead adopted thirty pieces of silver. We are destroying what we were to protect in favor of the "666". And yet, a lot of people in the last twenty years have found the holistic way in the Indian way. It attracts them because there is discipline and sternness with love, there is a commitment for life, and there is no consciousness of other nationalities. I believe that the hippies almost found it back in the '60's. But they entertained themselves with 'loco weed" - marijuana - and never found it.
Spiritual interpreters, or "medicine men" as we are called, have been around among my people since the beginning of time. In the Lakota way, every spiritual interpreter faces twenty-eight years of learning - as the circle of life is seven years in each direction - to defend against the dark forces. A spiritual interpreter has chosen his vocation from early childhood. He walks from one world to another. He talks to the spirits, and they help him to help people. He understands the difference between right and wrong, wrong and right. He understands the destiny of life - that he must get up and continue what he has to do, because this day is gone tomorrow. And he understands that the destiny of life meets up with destination - whether it is life or death.
Over the past twenty-three years, I have traveled to all four directions of the globe teaching and helping people. I have run into a lot of people who are spiritually and morally bankrupt. Insecurities have developed in their minds today. They have a false image of themselves. They are shame-based. They never had T.L.C. - tender loving care - from their fathers and mothers. They don't know their ancestors - their grass roots - and they are not OK. That is why they travel many miles from where they live to join us in Vision Quest and Sun Dance, and try to understand the circle of life.
The greatest medicine we holistic people have is T.L.C. and compassion for our youth. But today, our generation of tomorrow has been forgotten and blamed. We parents are not fulfilling what our purpose in life should be - to set a good example and attitude for our children - because our parents never taught us about T.L.C. They never prepared us for parenthood. We as parents must remember that there are no failures and no mistakes in our journey of life - only examples and hard knocks that we must learn from. And all of us, regardless of our culture, race or nationality, need to find our roots and be proud of our ancestors.
I believe that it is important for people to write books about themselves - their personal life, their deeds and accomplishments. But, too often, they have neglected to write about the traditional way of the Indian people. And nothing has been done for our children - the beginning of life to the end of life. This is why the focus of Learning Journey on the Red Road is to bring awareness to the young generation that they must retrieve themselves from the captive mentality that was created for them. By reading this book, I hope that they regain the pride and direction of the Seven Fires, so that they may align themselves to the rituals of life that are part of the circle of life, and refrain from what happened when they were neglected in their youth. The stories that I was taught were given to me to deliver to the people. Therefore, I feel that it is time that we educate ourselves and learn the different rituals and the way we must walk this earth.
Learning Journey on the Red Road is very important for all of us. It is based upon the history of the Indian people in North America. It is not a story. It is a procedure - a circle of life - that can be used in schools or by anyone who wants to attain a higher level of learning. Although some of the ways I talk about here may not apply to all tribes in North America, it is important to know that my people, the Lakota, are the caretakers of the Sacred Pipe that was given to all of us here on this island. We, the Lakota, never surrendered our spirituality. We shared it with all our Indian brothers. And so, today, every tribe on this continent practices our traditional ways. The Drum, the Medicine Wheel, the Sweat Lodge, the Vision Quest and the Sun Dance - all these teachings have come through the Sacred Pipe to be passed on to all the tribes and people of this earth, so that we may come back as one nation. We can all become "Wolakota" - a brotherhood of one mind, heart and spirit - if we respect one another and learn from one another.
Everyone is welcome to walk the Red Road. Use this book as a guide. You can appease your analytical mind as you prepare yourself with this spiritual path. You will be stronger and you will achieve a lot of things. And there are no boundaries for what you can do in life, in your vocation. You will learn not to give up so easily. And you will learn not to be so sensitive - because sensitivity is one of our greatest enemies. There are no failures and there are no mistakes on our journey. You may fall down today, but you get up and start again.
Remember, the one thing that no one can ever take away from you is your spirit, because you cannot take anything that you cannot see.