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Author Name: FreeTomahawk 5 Comments
Date Added: October 01, 2013 08:10:36 Average Score: (Needs 2)
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Type: Short Story
Category: Prose Add To Favorites | Text Only
Spirit Of The Canyon

The old Navajo shaman, Black Crow, was nearly at the end of his journey. For six days and nights, he wandered the wilderness, on a holy mission. There had been a drought of monumental proportions and now, it threatened his village and his people, as their water supply was now very low. He knew he had to go on retreat, to pray to the higher powers for guidance and blessed assurance, that he could gain favour for his village. He was seeking his power place, to pray to the eagle kachina, Stormbreaker.

He thirsted in the hot afternoon sun, so he found a shady area, at last, in the otherwise open fields. Beneath a lone cottonwood, he sought refuge from the high heat and a chance for a much needed respite. After resting a spell, he spotted a group of agave choya cacti, and using his obsidian knife, he cut a piece of the choya, releasing the agave liquid. He drank the watery substance, of which, there was quite a bit. He then cleaned the choya of it's barbs, to provide him with further sustainence. He ate the fleshy soft inner layer of the cactus, as it was his first meal in six days.
As the sun began it's descent, the shaman ventured forth, to a clearing, near the precipice of the canyon. He reached into his medicine pouch, removed a single peyote mushroom, and began to slowly eat it. Sitting cross-legged on the ground, he began to vision and started to chant to the Great Spirit, to send the kachina, Stormbreaker, to him.
 "O aya hei! Aya hei ma-gishi nicta-roh! Hei, hei, aya hei! Ma-gishi nicta-roh, aya, aya, hei! He sang repeatedly. Then, in his visionary state, the clouds parted and a great white bird appeared, gently floating in it's glidepath. This was Stormbreaker.
Black Crow rose from his prayer position, seeing Stormbreaker hovering over the canyon. After a period of silence, the kachina spoke.
"Old man, Black Crow, I am Stormbreaker, the eagle kachina and spirit protector of the canyon, I have heard your prayer and bring you news" He said, his voice resonating like the echoing at the bottom of a well.
"I appealed to the Great Spirit that you would come and hear my fervent prayers" Said the shaman, somewhat in awe of what he was witnessing.
"These have been trying times, for the Blackfoot and Navajo nations, there is much conflict in communications" Stormbreaker said, in a chilling retort.
"We have been dutiful in our devotion to the higher power, o' kachina protector, we have not forsaken you". Black Crow returned firmly, but respectfully.
"It is my understanding that there has been much waste and subsequent failure, in your crop stores". Stormbreaker inquired.
"We haven't had rainfall, for many cycles, no water for to grow our crops. My people are slowly starving". Black Crow said sadly.
With that statement by the shaman, Stormbreaker seemed to soften his countenence, and rendered assurance to the old man. Black Crow was, at this point, fearful of retribution from the powerful kachina, for being so bold as to summon him in recourse.
"Medicine healer, be advised that your pleas do not go un-noticed, nor be they ignored. There shall be a due time" The eagle kachina said with benevolence.
"I am aware of your great compassion, it is legend among my people. I trust in your tender mercies and thank the Great Spirit, for sending you to us, this day". Black Crow said reverently, bowing his old gray head, in respect.
"So it shall be done, go back to your people and give them the glad tidings. I....Stormbreaker, messenger of our Creator and spirit protector of the canyon, bid you my blessing and good speed, healer. Fare thee well".
And with that reckoning, the spirit of the canyon, known as Stormbreaker, spread wing and was gone, in an eyeblink. Black Crow was at vision's end and his consciousness returned to that of the physical world, once again. He tucked his tunic in, bowed to the heavens, thanking his creator for the great favour and his magnanimous nature.
"There will be much to tell upon my arrival, home". The weary shaman said to himself, as he walked the arid land of his Navajo reservation, for his long journey back. He would be well received and vaunted by his chieftain, upon delivery of the good news he bears. Good medicine certainly abounded, on this amazing day.
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Comment By: FreeSavannah Collins on July 7, 2013 09:20:20 AM Report
I, myself am Native American, so I loved this: O aya hei! Aya hei ma-gishi nicta-roh! Hei, hei, aya hei! Ma-gishi nicta-roh, aya, aya, hei
Comment By: FreeLeonard Wilson on June 11, 2013 03:19:55 PM Report
This informed and sensitive write was a complete pleasure to read. I'm glad to know the Navajo's great spirit has no ever-lasting lake of fire to send the majority of his people into. At least, some people have a civilized religion. Very well penned, namesake. You got the goods, my friend....len
Comment By: PremiumLindaM on June 7, 2013 05:59:04 AM Report

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this wonderful story about the Navajo shaman, Black Crow's, spiritual quest.

You penned it with both authenticity and respect for the Navajo culture and history. It is a great read.


Comment By: PremiumMary Lou Allen on September 18, 2011 10:14:03 AM Report
Good story, well told. ML
Comment By: FreeShe Whispers on July 18, 2011 11:46:27 PM Report

This reminds me a little bit of a story I read many moons ago.....

 YOu have a great gift use it with pride...Great story....

 Always ~ She Whispers


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