Wallace Black Elk

And the third world war is already marked on the map (13). But it can be avoided. It can be avoided if all four men meet on the way to smoke the sacred pipe. Because with jealousy and hatred these three races murder peace and goodwill on earth. So I pray for these three men. I cannot condemn these people, they are part of me. We are standing on one universe. So I pray they will come back, and with open arms I will gladly meet them again. But they have to lay down their hatred and jealousy, lay down their atomic weapons, because they are teasing fire.


Brink of World War III in 2014


Lakota elder and spiritual leader Wallace Black Elk carried a stone from a UFO experience with him all his life.  As he told the story, he had been visiting his cousin Benjamin when he was about twelve.  He was in a darkened sweat lodge built to block all light when a stone penetrated the closed door and landed between his feet.  The stone passed through the closed door, “just like that,” Wallace said waving his hand to show it flew through the door. He picked up the stone between his feet but had to complete the sweat lodge before he could leave.  Benjamin’s Christian family had been sitting on the front porch that evening, and Wallace could hear them screaming and yelling.  By the time he was able to leave the lodge the UFO was gone and the sheriff had arrived.  Benjamin’s family said the UFO had come right down over the sweat lodge. All in the family had seen it.

The first time I saw Wallace he was preparing a sacred pipe and packing the tobacco with a tamper.  Holding up the tamper Wallace laughed and said, “This is my UFO antenna.”  Public discussion about UFOs was generally hushed in 1987, when we met, and I was thrilled to meet another UFO experiencer.  I had been directed in a UFO contact to find him.  When I asked Wallace’s EuroAmerican apprentices about his UFO experiences they promptly responded that he didn’t mean a “real” UFO.  Wallace carried a stone that he said came from a UFO, they said.  But what he really meant, they explained, was the star people, like the spirit of the stars, and not a UFO as I thought of it.  The apprentices translated the UFOs that Wallace loved to talk about into politically correct rhetoric, as if protecting him from criticism.  He cherished the stone the UFO presences gave him and relished the experience.

When I asked him whether he really meant a UFO, as a craft, or the spirit of the stars, Wallace quickly and emphatically said that when he said UFO he meant a UFO that flies.  Wallace was confident of spiritual matters and told his story very differently than the apprentices.    

Wallace Black Elk (right) and Krsanna Duran chat after a sweat lodge.

“They came here a long time ago, hundreds of thousands of years ago” he said.  First people came from Sirius then later more came from the Pleiades.  “They were our ancestors,” Wallace assured me. 

The traditional account of White Buffalo Cow woman who appeared to the Lakota and gave them the sacred pipe is consistent with the symbolism Zecharia Sitchin ascribes to the ancient astronauts of Sumer.  Anu, the leader, was attributed with a royal tiara often decorated with a pair of bull’s horns.  Anu’s sister, Ninharsag, was known as Hathor, the cow goddess, in Egypt.  The Taurus Constellation, home of the seven sister stars of the Pleiades and Aldebaran, is symbolized as the bull. 

Shaman, healer, and prophet, Wallace Black Elk was well acquainted with the rituals of Quetzalcoatl that originated near Teotihuacan in central Mexico. Cultural views and practices of Native Americans differed across South and North America, yet they were broadly united through deeply shared symbolic forms and ritual processes. Stories of ancestors from the stars varied in detail from region to region, but, by and large, Native Americans traced their ancestors to the stars and found unity in the active agent of Spirit.


by Charles Cameron with Wallace Black Elk

The traditional wisdom of the Oglala Sioux Indians first became widely known through the publication of Black Elk Speaks, an account of the extraordinary visions of a Sioux holy man, and The Sacred Pipe, his description of his peoples’ rite and ceremonies.

And It Is Divine [magazine] recently visited Black Elk’s grandson, Wallace Black Elk, himself a leading contemporary spokesman for the native peoples of America, a healer, holy man and visionary.

I spoke with Wallace Black Elk at his home in Rosebud, South Dakota, the day after the shooting of two FBI men and one Indian on nearby Pine Ridge Reservation [June 27, 1975]. Feelings were running high in the newspapers, but the little town of Rosebud seemed to be an island of good natured calm.

Wallace’s house is a bit off the main road that runs through Rosebud. It’s a rambling kind of house, it has a basketball court to the side of it, and on the court the poles of a teepee have been set up. We sit and talk in the shade of a large tree, while Pauline, Wallace’s wife, brings us steaming mugs of strong coffee. Behind us, there’s a corral and several horses for Wallace and the children to ride; a little river runs through the grounds, and down about 100 yards from the house by the side of the river stands the wooden framework of the Sweat Lodge, and a small altar.

It’s fascinating to talk with Wallace, for he braids his topics together, each theme weaving in and out of his conversation for several hours. He speaks for the Indians as though he was carrying their whole history in his body. “I’ve been in prison two hundred years, and I’m about immune to it.” You mean your people?” I ask him. “Yes, my people.”

He’s full of short, pithy quotes, sometimes humorous, often breathtakingly beautiful. “Grandpa Great Spirit planted me here. I didn’t come in a plane or a bus.” “The Spirit comes when we put our ears down and curl our tail between our legs and humble ourselves. The Spirit comes and comforts us, and shows us a pathway through the traffic.” “They won’t let me worship the Spirit the way I want. They say you got to work six days and on the seventh day you can worship the Spirit two hours.

His youth? “At age five I went to mission school. They chopped my hair off and threw my moccasins into the fire. And if I dared talk about our religion, about the pipe or sacred things, or even used my own Lakota language, a lot of times they’d wash my mouth out with soap. Yellow laundry soap.

During World War Two, Wallace was parachuted into North Africa to fight Rommel’s Panzer Divisions. He was 19 when he went into combat. “Here was my chance to prove myself. Until then I was ‘an incompetent Indian.’ But in time of war I was a first class citizen.” At one point, the Germans cracked the Allies’ secret codes, and Allied Command decided to let Indians send all their messages in the future. They thought the Indian language would be an unbreakable code. “I was lucky to get a Sioux back there that spoke the same language as me. They thought that Indians all spoke the same language.”

Wallace, your wife says you heal people, that you use the medicinal powers of plants, and faith. Would you call yourself a medicine man?

A lot of times, people call me a medicine man, but I’m not a medicine man. It’s the Spirit, he’s truly the medicine man. Right now, in the world we have cancer, polio, tuberculosis, heart disease. People don’t understand these things. If I can take something, some medicine, and give it to someone who is sick, they want to see the plan, they want to analyze it. And if it cures them, they’ll offer me a million dollars for it. But you can’t put the Spirit in a capsule.

Are you a teacher then?

A boy once asked me to be his teacher, and I said, “I’ll direct you, but your body is like a root from the earth, and when you ask, the Spirit will come into you and direct you, and you will become part of the Spirit.” I told him of the fire, the grass, and water and sun and moon. Some of his loneliness went to the stars, to each of the trees, and some to the moon. And he wasn’t deep lonely, he had comfort.

What about our children? Are they growing up in contact with spiritual values?

Christmas is a good example.

It’s a multi-million-dollar business. They use Santa Clause as a mask, and attract the kids with plastic machine guns and helmets, war bonnets and little bows and arrows. Later on these plastic guns grow up and turn into .22’s, the real thing. And then the teenagers start shooting them. They hate each other. And they’re not shooting rubber bullets anymore.

I watched two little boys out in the yard the other day, playing Indians and Cowboys. Pretty soon the Indian boy with the bow and arrow shot the cowboy, then the cowboy was staggering around. Shooting his gun; he must have fired about twenty rounds, and pretty soon the Indian fell over, too. So actually, this is teaching these kids how to hate, to kill each other.

They have invaded our minds. They have invaded our children’s’ ‘minds with wrong things. So we must tell them, “Leave all the bad things, have a crystal clear mind.” That’s the way we can attack this problem, not to hurt people, but to clear their minds.

Wallace, can you tell me your view of the universe?

Alright. Basically, these are the important things – the Sacred Pipe, the altar, the four directions, Grandpa Great Spirit, and Mother Earth. Grandpa Great Spirit carved this Sacred Pipe, he planted it, he put it there for all people. And that Pipe represents the whole universe.

And the whole earth is an altar. In church they have a little slab of marble and they call it an altar, but our altar is Grandpa’s altar. It is sacred, because he walked here, and he hid his knowledge in every object, and he is there. That little seed is there all the time. In every bird that makes music, he’s there.

Our way is very simple. We see the fire is sacred, it comes from the sun. He is Spirit, he is electricity, he is lightning, he is the atom, everything. He is fire, so we hold our fire real sacred. It is light. It’s in us. It keeps our blood warm.

We speak of the fire and the green and the Spirit. And the fire, the trees and the green have a right to live. That’s ecology. The creatures have a right to live. And water is the source of life, water and air. We all breathe the same air. So how can we explain it? We need clear water. We need clear air.

There’s time, we don’t know this time, but it’s coming real close now, when there’s going to be a world purification. Meteorites will come down like bombs, the lakes and oceans will steam, all these big buildings will tumble, and dams will break, and everybody will be gasping for air. Jets and tanks don’t mean nothing to that power. Fighter planes will shrivel in the air. We’re ready, we’re sitting here and waiting to be rescued. The Spirit, he’s going to come and rescue us.

Tell me about your grandfather’s vision. What did he see?

Perhaps I can explain that best if I start off from the time the White man first came here. When he first came here, he said, “Hey, you Indian. These things here are called gold, silver, emeralds, rubies. And here you are, walking over them barefoot.” He knew that to the Indian, the buffalo is the source of life. The buffalo, he’s a windbreaker, he’s a shelter, and he’s our clothes, he’s our moccasins, he’s a rope, he’s a rug, he’s everything. The Indian relies on green medicine that’s spiritual food, and he takes shelter from the buffalo. So the White man thought, “We’ll attack him, and we’ll kill his buffalo, and we’ll starve him out.”

So you see, instead of us getting murdered, the buffalo took our place, and sealed the universe with his blood.

When the White man started attacking the buffalo, my grandpa asked for a vision. And he saw a monster (that’s the way he saw it, the way he described it) who ate dirt and trees, he ate mountains and contaminated the water and brought sickness. And there was a dark smoke across this sacred altar.

The people were going through this dark cloud for two hundred years, and a lot of people died on the way. Some tribes became extinct, some lost their language. Some got smaller. There were only a handful of us left. And when he started to emerge from that dark cloud, Mr. Indian was so tired, so sick, the only thing he could do was to drink that poisoned water and drown.

When my grandfather saw this, he pleaded for the life of the Indian people, not only for the Sioux or one particular tribe, he spoke for all as one. He held his pipe, and asked the greatest power in the universe, Grandpa Great Spirit for their life. And there was a tiny spark of light that was going back and forth on top of that sacred pipe. And all of a sudden a bolt of lightning hit and covered the whole universe, and the monster was destroyed. Shortly after that, the Indian who had drowned arose again, and the universe turned green, and all the buffalo that had been murdered, and the creatures came back. The two legged spirits, and those people who had been murdered, they all came back to life.

We aren’t going any place, we’re going to stay here. If you study a little deeper, you’ll find only the humble meek shall inherit the earth. And we are related to it. The world purification will come, and everything will turn green like the way it was back in the beginning. All the flying creatures will come back, us two legged creatures will come back, and it’ll be there forever. That’s unification.

You said you’d draw us a map of the universe, Wallace.

You see, this is the universe, and the Great Spirit is here. The earth formed around him, and he walked on top of the universe. He created this universe, everything you see. He was here, and he put this man here, a red man (1). He explained about himself to the Red man, that he was without end, that he had no beginning and no end. He gave the Red man the sacred hoop (2), which has no beginning and no end, he gave them two sacred gourds (3), the sacred pipe (4), and he promised a tree of knowledge, a tree of life, so the tree grew (5)

He told them a time of trouble would come, when they saw this sign (6), the sign of the four directions. He told them, “When you see this sign, the trouble-time will be here, and there will be three people here, White (7) Yellow (8), and Black (9). They will take everything, they will run parallel with this entire universe.”

They called us “Indians” when they came, so we have a nickname. But we are Earth people, we are original. When they come here, I welcome them with open arms, give them a turkey dinner, corn, and all the vegetables, all the greens. Because this is a land of abundance.

And Grandpa already marked when the trouble-time would come. The first trouble is marked with a rock (10), and for the second trouble there is another rock (11).

The First World War came, and the Second World War, and if you look at the markings on the gourds, you’ll find they’re the swastika and the rising sun.

This is where we stand now (12), this is called inflation. Gold is going up, it’s out of control. They are playing chess on both sides, and the little countries go bankrupt. They are knocking them over like little pawns. They are fighting over oil now, and supplying deadly weapons on both sides.

And the third world war is already marked on the map (13). But it can be avoided. It can be avoided if all four men meet on the way to smoke the sacred pipe. Because with jealousy and hatred these three races murder peace and goodwill on earth. So I pray for these three men. I cannot condemn these people, they are part of me. We are standing on one universe. So I pray they will come back, and with open arms I will gladly meet them again. But they have to lay down their hatred and jealousy, lay down their atomic weapons, because they are teasing fire.

When you tease an atomic bomb, you are teasing fire, you are teasing Grandpa Great Spirit. This is a disease in White man, to tease Grandpa Great Spirit to see if he can make him destroy his creation. But if we ask Grandpa, he will eliminate this sickness. Grandpa will be here and will cradle us and will wipe our tears and comfort us.

So what’s going to happen? Everything is going to turn green again, all the corn and trees (14), everything that is green, all the green vegetation and four-legged creatures (15) will come back, and the flying creatures (16) will come back.

This tree of life will unify all the people together here, one branch will be White men, one branch will be Black people, one branch will be Yellow. We all come from the same root, for this is a tree of knowledge, a tree of life.

Wallace Black Elk invited us to take part in the Sweat Lodge ceremonies that evening. It’s very hard to describe the Sweat Lodge. It’s a place of purification, the place where the Indians meet to express their deepest hearts in prayer. And at the same time, it’s a place of bodily purification, a Native American sauna. So the purification is both bodily and spiritual.

Physically, the Sweat Lodge is constructed around a framework of young willow stems (see illustration), covered over with heavy blankets and rugs. It’s very dark inside, and when the hot stones from the fire are brought in and sprinkled with water, it gets to be very hot in there. The Sacred Pipe is passed around, and after smoking it and passing it on, each person makes his prayer. Wallace instructed me to address my prayer to Grandpa Great Spirit, and told me, “When your turn comes to pray, your mind will go blank and you won’t know what to say, and the spirits will tell you.” He told me to close my prayer with the phrase “all my relatives,” because “ we are related to the sun, stars, moon, to all green things, to fire, the stones, to water, all creatures.”

Wallace also told me “I want people to come to the Sweat Lodge to see how the spirits move. I want them to be there, to see what I see. And if you can write that down, that’s good, because I have no words for that. The spirits come, and we talk with them.

“The rocks in the Sweat Lodge have no ears or mouths, but they talk and we question them. Someone asks them, and they say, “We’re sacred,” and they talk. You know Washington is built out of rocks, and the politicians come there and have secret meetings? But the Spirit is there in the rocks, and he hears.

“We are talking about a rock, but we’re not talking about one single little pebble. We are talking about the universe, the rock. It’s sacred. You take a rock and put it in water, it dissolves like sugar, and up comes a green medicine or a tree. The elements revolve. So when we’re talking about rocks, the rocks are sacred, and they talk. The Spirit is there.

“What I tell you, it’s all there. This is the Indian university and it has no end. I have no degree, because there is no other power that came here and gave me a degree. You never graduate. You never cease learning. You never understand the Great Spirit. That degree is there all the time. So just become part of it.”

After the Sweat Lodge was over, when we came out into the wide South Dakota plains, we could hardly believe the sky. There was no obstruction from where we stood to the horizon in a complete circle, and above us hung the most majestic sunset I have ever seen.

Wallace later told me, “the spirits said they would help you increase your knowledge and understanding of our ways and will show themselves to you, and you will actually see them the next time you come to the Sweat Lodge.” The next morning, Pauline told me, “When Wallace and I came home, the Morning Star was already up, so we prayed and then went to bed. There’s a special air when the morning star is out, and if you breathe in that air, your blood stream is clean. If you breath that air, you get knowledge.”

Readers of this magazine may remember that Wallace Black Elk met And it is Divine photographer John Chan two years ago at Wounded Knee. I mentioned John to him, and he told me, “We have heard there is some Power in the western hemisphere who will unite all nations, a boy, and I am ready to meet him, preferably here (S. Dakota) or in the mountains, where there’s less traffic and clean air, and we can talk about how to heal people.”

I told Wallace “I feel like I was sent here with many sisters and brothers into all the nations of Earth, so we could recognize and meet each other across all racial and national boundaries, and so bring unity on Earth.” And Wallace said, “I know what you mean, I feel that way about many people I meet. Like I feel I’ve known you for years.”

It was a memorable two days I spent with Wallace and his wife. The atmosphere was very relaxed. While we were talking together, the children would ride by and chat with us. They rode bareback and often they’d just jump up on their horses and ride them from a kneeling position, feet tucked under them. They were very loose, very much in tune with their animals. One of Wallace’s sons was trying to repair an old car in the backyard, and from time to time Wallace would break off in the middle of describing some moment of prophecy, to give him a few hints about fixing a faulty carburetor. The whole feeling was one of family.

Perhaps Wallace can have the last word. “I can see” he said, “we’re going back to paradise."

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