Black Elk quotes

  • 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 that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.
    -- Black Elk

    #Inspirational #Wisdom #Peace

  • At the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit. And that center is really everywhere. It is within each of us.
    -- Black Elk

    #Spirit #Center Of The Universe #Universe

  • Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking.
    -- Black Elk

    #Dream #Wake Up #Waking

  • And as he spoke of understanding, I looked up and saw the rainbow leap with flames of many colors over me.
    -- Black Elk

    #Flames #Color #Rainbow

  • Grown men can learn from very little children for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss.
    -- Black Elk

    #Children #Heart #Men

  • I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there. It was a beautiful dream.
    -- Black Elk

    #Beautiful #Dream #Children

  • Also, as I lay there thinking of my vision, I could see it all again and feel the meaning with a part of me like a strange power glowing in my body; but when the part of me that talks would try to make words for the meaning, it would be like fog and get away from me.
    -- Black Elk

    #Thinking #Fog #Glowing

  • Hear me, four quarters of the world-a relative I am! Give me the strength to walk the soft earth, a relative to all that is! Give me the eyes to see and the strength to understand, that I may be like you. With your power only can I face the winds.
    -- Black Elk

    #Eye #Wind #Giving

  • Like the grasses showing tender faces to each other, thus should we do, for this was the wish of the Grandfathers of the World.
    -- Black Elk

    #Native American #Grandfather #Wish

  • And when I breathed, my breath was lightning.
    -- Black Elk

    #Lightning

  • And I say the sacred hoop of my people was one of the 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.
    -- Black Elk

    #Mother #Children #Father

  • The center of the universe is everywhere.
    -- Black Elk

    #Center Of The Universe #Universe

  • And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I 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.
    -- Black Elk

    #Inspirational #Together #Shapes

  • One should pay attention to even the smallest crawling creature for these too may have a valuable lesson to teach us.
    -- Black Elk

    #Nature #Attention #Lessons

  • Any man who is attached to things of this world is one who lives in ignorance and is being consumed by the snakes of his own passions
    -- Black Elk

    #Ignorance #Passion #Men

  • The Holy Land is everywhere.
    -- Black Elk

    #Inspirational #Life #Land

  • Out of the Indian approach to life there came a great freedom, an intense and absorbing respect for life, enriching faith in a Supreme Power, and principles of truth, honesty, generosity, equity, and brotherhood as a guide to mundane relations.
    -- Black Elk

    #Honesty #Generosity #Justice

  • All over the sky a sacred voice is calling your name.
    -- Black Elk

    #Inspirational #Life #Sky

  • I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I 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 children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy.
    -- Black Elk

    #Mother #Children #Father

  • The boys of my people began very young to learn the ways of men, and no one taught us; we just learned by doing what we saw, and we were warriors at a time when boys now are like girls.
    -- Black Elk

    #Girl #Warrior #Boys

  • Behold this day. It is yours to make.
    -- Black Elk

    #Inspirational #Life #Inspirational Life

  • All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really One.
    -- Black Elk

    #Ahimsa

  • Know the Power that is Peace.
    -- Black Elk

    #Inspirational #Life #Inspirational Life

  • There can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace which is within the souls of men.
    -- Black Elk

    #Inspirational #Life #Peace

  • But I think I have done right to save the vision in this way, even though I may die sooner because I did it; for I know the meaning of the vision is wise and beautiful and good; and you can see that I am only a pitiful old man after all.
    -- Black Elk

    #Beautiful #Wise #Men

  • The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours...
    -- Black Elk

    #Stars #Native American #Wind

  • Let every step you take upon the earth be as a prayer.
    -- Black Elk

    #Prayer #Earth #Steps

  • Everything tries to be round.
    -- Black Elk

    #Trying #Statistics #Calculus

  • After the horse dance was over, it seemed that I was above the ground and did not touch it when I walked.
    -- Black Elk

    #Dance #Horse #Dancing

  • The Great Spirit is everywhere; he hears whatever is in our minds and our hearts, and it is not necessary to speak to Him in a loud voice.
    -- Black Elk

    #Heart #Voice #Mind

  • And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people as one of many hoops that made one circle.
    -- Black Elk

    #Circles #People #Sacred

  • I had a vision with which I might have saved my people, but I had not the strength to do it.
    -- Black Elk

    #People #Vision #Might

  • My friend, I am going to tell you the story of my life, as you wish; and if it were only the story of my life I think I would not tell it; for what is one man that he should make much of his winters, even when they bend him like a heavy snow?
    -- Black Elk

    #Winter #Men #Thinking

  • As you walk upon the sacred earth, treat each step as a prayer.
    -- Black Elk

    #Prayer #Earth #Sacred

  • May you always walk in Beauty.
    -- Black Elk

    #May #Walks

  • Peace will come to the hearts of men when they realize their oneness with the universe, It is every where.
    -- Black Elk

    #Heart #Men #Oneness

  • Every place is the center of the world.
    -- Black Elk

    #Unity #World #Center Of The World

  • Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours.
    -- Black Elk

    #Circles #Bird #Religion

  • Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle.
    -- Black Elk

    #Circles #Doe #Done

  • When you pray with this pipe, you pray for and with everything.
    -- Black Elk

    #Praying #Pipe

  • If I thought that I was doing it myself, the hole would close up and no power could come through. Then everything I could do would be foolish.
    -- Black Elk

    #Native American #Would Be #Foolish

  • The power of the world always works in circles.
    -- Black Elk

    #Circles #World

  • Give me strength to walk the soft earth, a relative to all that is.
    -- Black Elk

    #Giving #Earth #Give Me Strength

  • Once we were happy in our own country and we were seldom hungry, for then the two-leggeds and the four-leggeds lived together like relatives, and there was plenty for them and for us. But the Wasichus came, and they have made little islands for us and other little islands for the four-leggeds, and always these islands are becoming smaller, for around them surges the gnawing flood of the Wasichu; and it is dirty with lies and greed.
    -- Black Elk

    #Country #Lying #Dirty

  • 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 ceremonies only made me like a whole through which the power could come to the two-leggeds. If I thought that I was doing it myself, the hole would close up and no power could come through. Then everything I could do would be foolish.
    -- Black Elk

    #Two #Vision #Would Be

  • A good nation I will make live.This the nation above has said.They have given me the power to make over.
    -- Black Elk

    #Said #Given

  • It is good to have a reminder of death before us, for it helps us to understand the impermanence of life on this earth, and this understanding may aid us in preparing for our own death. He who is well prepared is he who knows that he is nothing compared with Wakan-Tanka, who is everything; then he knows that world which is real.
    -- Black Elk

    #Death #Real #Understanding

  • The power of a thing or an act is in the meaning and the understanding.
    -- Black Elk

    #Understanding

  • It is not enough to have a vision. In order to have its power, you must enact your vision on earth for all to see. Only then do you have the power.
    -- Black Elk

    #Order #Vision #Earth

  • Grandfather, Great Spirit, once more behold me on earth and lean to hear my feeble voice.
    -- Black Elk

    #Voice #Grandfather #Earth

  • It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives. Nourish it then, that it may leaf and bloom and fill with singing birds.
    -- Black Elk

    #Depression #Roots #Bird

  • Crazy Horse dreamed and went into the world where there is nothing but the spirits of things. That is the real world that is behind this one, and everything we see here is something like a shadow from that world.... It was this vision that gave him his great power, for when he went into a fight, he had only to think of that world to be in it again, so that he could go through anything and not be hurt
    -- Black Elk

    #Hurt #Horse #Crazy

  • When a vision comes from the thunder beings of the west, it comes with terror like a thunder storm; but when the storm of vision has passed, the world is greenier and happier; for wherever the truth of vision comes upon the world, it is like a rain. The world, you see, is happier after the terror of the storm.
    -- Black Elk

    #Rain #Vision #Storm

  • I looked below and saw my people there, and all were well and happy except one, and he was lying like the dead - and that one was myself.
    -- Black Elk

    #Lying #People #Saws

  • I looked about me once again, and suddenly the dancing horses without number changed into animals of every kind and into all the fowls that are, and these fled back to the four quarters of the world from whence the horses came, and vanished.
    -- Black Elk

    #Horse #Animal #Numbers

  • Now suddenly there was nothing but a world of cloud, and we three were there alone in the middle of a great white plain with snowy hills and mountains staring at us; and it was very still; but there were whispers.
    -- Black Elk

    #Clouds #White #Mountain

  • I was four years old then, and I think it must have been the next summer that I first heard the voices.
    -- Black Elk

    #Summer #Thinking #Years

  • To use the power of the bison, I had to perform that part of my vision for the people to see.
    -- Black Elk

    #People #Vision #Use

  • So I took the bright red stick and at the center of the nation's hoop I thrust it in the earth.
    -- Black Elk

    #Earth #Red #Sticks

  • I cured with the power that came through me.
    -- Black Elk

    #Power #Advertising Agencies

  • I think I have told you, but if I have not, you must have understood, that a man who has a vision is not able to use the power of it until after he has performed the vision on earth for the people to see.
    -- Black Elk

    #Men #Thinking #People

  • The soldiers did go away and their towns were torn down; and in the Moon of Falling Leaves (November), they made a treaty with Red Cloud that said our country would be ours as long as grass should grow and water flow.
    -- Black Elk

    #Country #Fall #Moon

  • You remember that my great vision came to me when I was only nine years old, and you have seen that I was not much good for anything until after I had performed the horse dance near the mouth of the Tongue River during my eighteenth summer.
    -- Black Elk

    #Summer #Horse #Years

  • You see, I had been riding with the storm clouds, and had come to earth as rain, and it was drought that I had killed with the power that the Six Grandfathers gave me.
    -- Black Elk

    #Rain #Clouds #Grandfather

  • And if the great fear had not come upon me, as it did, and forced me to do my duty, I might have been less good to the people than some man who had never dreamed at all, even with the memory of so great a vision in me.
    -- Black Elk

    #Memories #Men #People

  • It is hard to follow one great vision in this world of darkness and of many changing shadows. Among those men get lost.
    -- Black Elk

    #Men #Darkness #Vision

  • The Universe is circles within circles, and everything is one circle, and all the circles are connected to each other. Each family is a circle, and those family circles connect together and make a community, and the community makes its circle where it lives on the Earth. It (the community) cares for that part (of the Earth) but cares for it as a circle - which is to say in a cooperative and egalitarian way, where everybody is cared for, and everybody is respected.
    -- Black Elk

    #Circles #Community #Together

  • It's in the darkness of men's eyes that they get lost.
    -- Black Elk

    #Eye #Men #Darkness

  • But if the Vision was true and mighty, as I know, it is true and mighty yet;for such things are of Spirit, and it is in the darkness of their eyes that men get lost.
    -- Black Elk

    #Native American #Eye #Men

  • Everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the power of the world always works in circles, and everything tries to be round. In the old days when we were a strong and happy people, all our power came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation, and so long as the hoop was unbroken the people flourished.
    -- Black Elk

    #Strong #Circles #Long

  • Everywhere is the center of the world. Everything is sacred.
    -- Black Elk

    #Native American #World #Sacred

  • The song and the drumming were like this: Behold, a sacred voice is calling you; All over the sky a sacred voice is calling.
    -- Black Elk

    #Song #Native American #Sky

  • We should understand well that all things are the work of the Great Spirit. We should know the Great Spirit is within all things: the trees, the grasses, the rivers, the mountains, and the four-legged and winged peoples; and even more important, we should understand that the Great Spirit is also above all these things and peoples. When we do understand all this deeply in our hearts, then we will fear, and love, and know the Great Spirit, and then we will be and act and live as the Spirit intends.
    -- Black Elk

    #Heart #Animal #Rivers

  • Perhaps you have noticed that even in the very lightest breeze you can hear the voice of the cottonwood tree; this we understand is its prayer to the Great Spirit, for not only men, but all things and all beings pray to Him continually in differing ways.
    -- Black Elk

    #Prayer #Men #Garden

  • When I got back to my father and mother and was sitting up there in our tepee, my face was still all puffed and my legs and arms were badly swollen; but I felt good all over and wanted to get right up and run around.
    -- Black Elk

    #Mother #Running #Father

  • They told me I had been sick twelve days, lying like dead all the while, and that Whirlwind Chaser, who was Standing Bear's uncle and a medicine man, had brought me back to life.
    -- Black Elk

    #Uncles #Lying #Men

  • Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a person is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.
    -- Black Elk

    #Moving #Native American #Circles