Estchimah (looks up into Twin Chiefs eyes)

The mirror has great power

Twin Chiefs (smiles)

Yes, it has, my child

(One morning soon after, she notices the old man is breaking camp. 

She eats some dry meat and drinks the soup he has prepared. Then she begins to help him pack.

Estchimah (helping to harness the dogs)

Where are we going?

Twin Chiefs

To the mountain place where my sister lives. Her name is Four Sleeping Lions.

(That night they arrive at the camp of Four Sleeping Lions. 

But it is not what Estchimah expects. Instead of a comfortable camp like the one Twin Chiefs and she are used to, there is rubble everywhere. The home of Four Sleeping Lions is within the ruins. The biggest surprise is Four Sleeping Lions herself. She is leaning against the door, drunk, and she looks like a scrawny, scraggy Owl.)

Four Sleeping Lions

Well Well Welcome! 


Come on and make yourself at home.

Estchimah (whispers to Twin Chiefs)

Are we going to sleep in this mess?

Twin Chiefs (ignores her)

(he sits down upon a large broken stone with Four Sleeping Lions. They seem to talk about nothing. )

(Estchimah looks around the small room wondering where they will sleep in all this disarray.)

Four Sleeping Lions (turning to Estchimah)

Well, my child
Twin Chiefs tells me that you would like to visit the power place.

Estchimah (looks into the old woman’s face, thinks)

Power place?

Estchimah (quickly lies)

Yes, yes

(looks toward Twin Chiefs, wondering.)

Four Sleeping Lions (grinning)

Tomorrow I will show you.

(Estchimah watches fascinated as the old woman drags herself shakily up from the floor and staggers to her cooking fire. She pours the steaming water from a blackened kettle into three battered cups. She totters, sways, staggers, and bumps as she stirs the tea.)

(What astonishes Estchimah most is Four Sleeping Lions speech.

There is absolutely no doubt the old woman is totally drunk..  but her speech is as clear as a sunrise.

Estchimah wants to stay awake and listen, but she can’t keep her eyes open. She grabs an old buffalo robe, rolls up into it and is soon within her dreams.)


The course of a new river is never determined for it. 
The young stream must seek out its own way. 
Old river beds are chosen by flash floods and spring run-off. 
These old harmonies remember many of the great villages
because it was here the first medicines were made.

Kindness is a soft melody that is heard by the gentle pines. 
To speak loudly to these is only to deafen them. 

Whisper your message 
and these pines will speak of it 
with all of their brothers and sisters.

The blue sky is the Mother's robe, covering all. 

The stars write tomorrow and yesterday within the Mother's introspection.

The Mother paints the sun, moon, sunsets, and sunrises for all of her children.

The wind is caught within memory of the people. 
Its song is of the earth's movement. 

Those who have lived braid their hair of the wind 
And dance within the simple harmonies of each whirlwind. 
This brings the dry times and the rains. 

The wind walks in the mountains, 
touches the snow, 
moves the grasses, 
and speaks to all who will listen.


(next morning)

(Estchimah wakes up alone. She looks around the dingy room to see if anyone was still asleep, but everyone has gone. 

She walks out into the beautiful day, happy to breathe the sweet fresh air.

Four Sleeping Lions is staggering about her campfire, cooking the morning’s meal

Estchimah starts for the stream to wash. 

She notices that the old woman is still drunk, it makes her feel uncomfortable. 

Twin Chiefs is coming up from the stream with a catch of fish.

Estchimah (stopping Twin Chiefs)

I'm sorry, grandfather
but the old woman's drunkenness bothers me. 
When are we going to leave?

(A mixture of surprise and pity shows in Twin Chief’s face. )

Twin Chiefs (gently)

My child...
….Four Sleeping Lions is not drunk. She is... afflicted.

(Estchimah’s shame makes her angry, and she curses the old woman’s home and its condition. 

Estchima (howls) 

Why did you bring me to such a filthy place?

(trying to hide her shame.)

Twin Chiefs (touching her shoulder)

This is all-important to you,

I have walked in many places with you, and you have always been brave. 

Have courage now. This is a different way. but it is a teaching.


A teaching?

It’s hard for me to believe…

Twin Chiefs (breaks in)

It’s hard for you to believe that you are bigoted….

…and it has shamed you. 

This is not the home of Four Sleeping Lions. It is the visiting room. 

Four Sleeping Lions is the keeper of this place. 

No one lives here. No one can.

Estchimah (choking)

I must apologize

Twin Chiefs (smiling)

There is no need to apologize to your grandmother, my child

The old woman understands. 

Comel Let us cook these fish and begin our journey within the walls.

(After breakfast they followed the old woman back to the entrance of the visiting room.)

Four Sleeping Lions

It is through here

(Estchimah follows, wondering but hopeful. She imagines a wondrous place of hidden gold and sparkling gems, but as they walk it seems as though they will never get beyond the old rooms. 

In some of the rooms are overturned statues and broken altars. In others are remnants of pottery and crumbling tablets. In all of the rooms was turmoil, misuse, and decay. 

Finally they come to a courtyard that was formed from natural stone. In the middle of the open area is a very tiny spring-fed pool of clear, dancing water.  Estchimah turns to look back from where they had come and sees only ruins built upon ruins.)

Four Sleeping Lions (as she sits down)

Stop here

(Twin Chiefs and Estchimah sit, facing the old woman, and wait.)

Four Sleeping Lions (moving her hand in a circle around herself)

If you will brush away this dust

You will see a symbol of the sun

(the motion of  her hand reveals the painting)

Estchimah (exclaims)

It is beautiful

What is it made of?

Four Sleeping Lions

It is made of those things that are very rare to human beings

The shamaness who first brought me here called it the Black Shield. 

The Black Shield is brought into existence only when we perceive the inward signs.

Twin Chiefs (to Four Sleeping Lions)

I wish to learn of this teaching.

But I am curious about this symbol.

Did the builders of these ruins create it?

Four Sleeping Lions

They walked over it… but they did not create it.

They dreamed and understood that the dream was important, but they ignored the Black Shield.

Twin Chiefs

How did they ignore the Black Shield?

Four Sleeping Lions

They had visions concerning the inward signs, and they believed those signs to be gods 

But this is not the way of the Black Shield

When we dream of going into the earth

we are entering into the world of the Black Shield

Within the world of the Black Shield there is every law and no law. 

The Black Shield is the Fountain of the Children’s Maze

The People knew of this great shield

and taught concerning the double circle of authority. 

But before I speak of this double circle, 

I wish to talk to you about the lodges of learning given to the People by the Buffalo Teachers.

There are two lodges. 

One is the lodge of the man, 

And the other is the lodge of the woman.

Let us consider the lodge of the woman first. 

These women have a first law which permits no men to come into their lodge. 

These same women have a second law that all men must approach the lodge and ask permission to enter. 

If they do not, then they are forbidden to speak to any woman or girl. 

Twin Chiefs (smiling, glancing at Estchimah)

Those two laws seem to present a paradox

Four Sleeping Lions (ignores him) 

The woman’s lodge is a Sacred Lodge

There is no authority above the authority of the woman in that lodge.

In that lodge is the world of the woman. 

Only things of the woman are permitted in their lodge, 

and all things of the woman are holy in that lodge. 

So when the men enter that lodge, they enter it as women.

They speak of women’s things and learn what it is to be a woman, 

and they learn of the laws of the woman.

Estchimah (frowning)

I have a question within my mind….but I cannot put it into words.

(The two chiefs wait.)

Estchimah (laughs)

It’s the circle

I understand it and yet I do not.

Four Sleeping Lions

All things occur first in the mind—every action and every circle

This way is called the Foundation Circle. 

It is also called the Contrary Circle, and it is called the Eastern Lodge Door. 

There are two persons, twins, who are the keepers of these doors. 

One twin puts the world around them in order in a way that pleases them

The other twin dances through everything that already exists.

These twins must always balance one another. 

If either of them should ever rule the other, then war results.  

This war is always a battle between the Earth and ourselves. 

This can be very destructive!

Estchimah (exclaims)

I want no war 

Four Sleeping Lions (gently)

Then be mindful of the twins

The female understands how to become pregnant; 

it is, of course, basic to her. 

However, in order that she might learn of the balance of the twins, 

she must also learn to impregnate.

Estchimah (laughs)

How is that possible?

Four Sleeping Lions

These things are more of the mind than you would at first believe

When a woman brings herself into marriage with a man, 

she dances with the circles of powers within and around her.  

This is the Foundation Circle.

However, if that woman does not also learn how to impregnate, 

she will be seized and used by everything around her.  

She will place herself within a circle that will victimize her.

She will expect creativity to be placed within her, 

instead of marrying with the world around her 

and placing the seed of her own creativity in the outer world.

The man expects to impregnate. It is a driving force within him. 

However, the male must also learn how to become pregnant. Otherwise, he will be in direct war with his inward half

and with the world around him.

The woman opens herself to everything that exists around her 

and is receptive to everything that has intercourse with her. 

She is receptive to every thought, every action. 

She believes she is a vessel to be filled. 

The woman waits for creation to occur within her. 

It is a very subtle realization, my daughter, 

but a woman of this mind believes 

that once she has been impregnated, the natural laws of her physical body will complete the circle of creativity, 

totally without any effort of her mind.

The man’s approach to this circle is to conquer, 

to bring submission to his demands. 

If the man’s mind knows only the first circle, 

he will become a rapist and he will breed only slavery. 

The woman can only impregnate through the mind; 

the man can only become pregnant through the mind. 

Not in the mind, but through it, as you will soon discover.

(She touches the Black Shield that surrounds her, patting it gently as she does her grandchildren.) 

(she smiles, pointing to the northern half of the Black Shield)

To the North in this mirror, is the male, the aggressive. 

And to the South is the female, the receptive.

When we study closely the woman’s mind, 

we see that she has been given the Mind of the North, 

because she must be completely within reality concerning childbirth. 

However, remember the paradox:

 the Foundation Circle is found within the South for the woman.

The man is far less wise about childbirth and its realities. 

He was given the mind of the South to consider these things. 

The man never assumes the burden of the pregnancy. 

The woman must. 

Consequently, we can see how these things of the mind have influenced the People.

Estchimah (shaking her head)

I am afraid that I have become lost upon these paths

Four Sleeping Lions (laughs)

When we enter into a new land, a new place, a new thought, a new circle…

….we always experience these questions

Twin Chiefs (chuckles)

I have seen it knot many men’s braids to hear these things

Four Sleeping Lions

The man immediately tries to be aggressive with the teaching. 

He wants it to submit to his demands. 

His first reaction is to spread the legs of some young lady 

in order to fill her up with his own image. 

It is a fantasy of the South for the man, 

a fantasy with which he wishes to have intercourse. 

However, women react differently to these teachings. 

To them, the teaching holds great wisdom. 

They experience this wisdom within themselves and become pregnant with it.

These questions are themselves part of the Foundation Circle

Let us consider these things within the realities of how men and women behave within the circle. 

If a man does not learn how to become pregnant with the dance of the Mother Earth, 

he will bring himself into direct war with her. 

He will not be satisfied until he has tamed the world he lives in. 

He will manipulate. 

He will try to order the world a. round him in his simplicity, 

placing in that world only what he wants to be there. 

He places his own image into the world around him, and demands that his efforts be multiplied. 

He demands multiple births. 

If a man approaches all things within this path of mind, 

he will become more and more aggressive.  

Soon he will be enslaving everything in the world around him. 

It is at this time he will become dangerous.

Within these men there is a fear that their children are not their own, but another man’s. 

These men will love their children and hate them at the same time. 

Remember, we are speaking of the men who have begun to divide their world. 

These men who are out of balance with themselves will become violent. 

This happens because they believe it becomes easier and easier for them to conquer the women around them. 

However, they then believe that if it is so easy to conquer the women, it must surely be even easier for other men. 

The war is begun, 

because these men then fear that either none of the children are theirs or all the children of the camp are theirs. 

Numbers and the power of those numbers become all important. 

The power these men hold over those numbers is their only concern, their only satisfaction.

Now let us look at the women. 

What of them? 

Can they also divide their circle? 

If the woman’s only way of perceiving is that of a receptive vessel, waiting to be filled, 

then she also will bring herself into direct war with herself and the Mother Earth. 

This happens much more subtly with a woman than it does with a man, because the woman perceives within a passive mind. 

Instead of reaching out into the world and seeking to bring herself into completeness with it, 

this unbalanced woman will draw herself into an ever smaller circle of mind because her only consideration will be to become pregnant. 

She will feel compelled to make herself available to the men around her. 

This can become a force too powerful for her to resist and it is at this time that she will begin to divide her Circle. 

Every woman quickly learns that she must be beautiful in order to attract the male.  

However, there is no woman alive, or who has ever lived, who believes herself to be beautiful enough. 

Because of this, she quickly learns how to manipulate, how to order the people and events around her to satisfy her needs. 

Those needs are always simple and direct. 

They concern themselves only with attracting men and becoming pregnant. 

Two very powerful forces enter into the world of this woman. 

She becomes dependent upon the male, 

and she begins to war with the male. 

And Estchimah, because she herself is a woman, 

she comes into direct war with herself. 

The war that ensues between these females gives the males a tremendous advantage of mind and opportunity. 

Now, instead of the males pursuing the females, 

the order is reversed and there is a flood of females pursuing the males. 

Because of the war between competing women, each woman becomes alone, completely separated from the world. 

I say completely separated because 

she cannot enter the world of men 

and she has cut away the circle of women.

This way of mind not only removes her from her family, 

but it also alienates her from everything else. 

Everything either has intercourse with her or ignores her. 

The world around her is out of her control, she believes, and she must tolerate it.

This brings us to the matter of the children. 

A child born to a woman of this mind is both loved and hated. 

The woman’s entire world of mind, her myth, reality, dreams, and need for creativity is literally embodied within the birth of the child. 

But, Estchimah, let old Four Sleeping Lions say this: 

There is not a woman alive, or who has ever lived, who can have her entire life, her every need fulfilled, through having children. 

A woman in this mind is cheated–trapped by the birth of children.

The older this woman becomes, the more terrified she becomes. 

She waits in desperate fear for the day when she no longer will be youthful.

This happens because all of her mind, all of her efforts, have been placed upon her body.

The woman with this approach of mind curls herself up into a very tiny circle. 

She begins to hate the world around her. 

She sees everything as a threat to her fragile circle. 

She begins to manipulate her husband, her children, anything 

to maintain the walls that she believes protect her tiny world. 

This is when that woman becomes very dangerous: 

dangerous to herself, to her children, and to everything around her.

The woman is a circle of power. 

When this circle is combined with the power of other women, 

that greater circle is the most powerful force upon all of the earth. 

That combined force literally dictates how the world will appear.

Strange as it may seem, men only extend the world of the woman.

Only the outward world is the child of the man. 

It is what he gives birth to, because here it is the women who impregnate the men.

(Stops. She reaches into her medicine pouch and brings out a necklace made of tiny crescent moons of silver and gold.)

(Smiling…   Hands Estchimah the necklace) 

You will wear this upon your Vision Hill

It is a gift from the Maze.

Estchimah (takes the gift and places it in her medicine bundle) . 

(Touches old woman’s hand)

Thank you.

Four Sleeping Lions

The men had their lodge also

(She looks directly into the eyes of Estchimah) 

And when the women enter that lodge they enter it as men. 

This is another of the ways of the Black Shield.

This third lodge is called the Lodge of the Thunderbird. 

This was the lodge of death and birth.

The People learned within the teaching of the Black Shield that it was important for them to wean their children from themselves and from their camp circle. 

If they did not do this, their children would live, but their spirits would die

When each girl or boy return from their Vision Quest they enter the Lodge of the Thunderbird. 

When they enter, the People of the camp mourn and weep.  

They lament because the seeker they knew has died. 

But when the seeker comes out from the Lodge of the Thunderbird

there is rejoicing and singing, 

because a new person has been born among them. 

A shield is painted, and the newcomer is given a name. 

This new person is celebrated.

When this newcomer is ready to enter the fourth lodge, 

the Lodge of the Sacred Arrows, 

the mood of the entire camp is changed. 

Now they will watch the newcomer hold the four sacred powers of authority.

Two of these powers are for the man, and two are of the woman. 

There are the sacred bow and the lance and the sacred herbal sweet grass and the fire.

Sometimes new people enter the Arrow Lodge within the same twelve moons in which they come to the camp.  

Sometimes it is years before they enter, 

but they always enter

When new people come from the Lodge of the Sacred Arrows 

they come out with the bow, lance, fire, and the herbal sweet grass of authority. 

These are the words they say:

I have come from this lodge with singing! 

I am within this world! 

I hold the bow and the lance of authority!

I hold the fire and the herbal sweet grass of authority! 

I hold my own authority! 

I have been given the power of the human being! 

I have the power given to me by Sweet Medicine!

I have chosen the power of the human being! 

Approach me!

I am standing among you! 

I have my authority!

Each person does this. 

Girl children, boy children, women and men all do this, and they have authority. 

It is upon their authority that they marry. 

Within their own authority, they choose the people they live among.

Their authority determines how they live, dress, eat, teach, lecture, and move among the people. 

It is still a good way, this way of the Black Shield.

This double circle of authority of the Black Shield is only one illumination among many that may be found within this teaching.

All these teachings are known as the Medicine Wheel. 

The Wheel is all things. 

It is the Great Hoop among the People. 

This Wheel is the Sweet Medicine, what is within it is also without it.

When we see the powers within us, 

it is our choice which of these powers we choose to show to ourselves and to the world. 

If we deny our powers, we will be only half a person because we will have chosen to smother our gifts.

We can hide many things within the Black Shield, 

but the Black Shield loves us and will dream with us. 

The Black Shield sees all things, remembers all things, and sings to us from the center of the earth. 

Within us is the Power of the Universe. 

The Black Shield is a teaching sign, 

but its wonder is the symbol of the sun.

Here is an ancient song: 

We are gathered together within an illusion. 

We dance into the sunlight and touch the moon within our memory.

The twin sign of the Black Shield is the White Shield. 

There is a teaching reflected upon this shield of the twin circles. 

It is the shield of the hunter and the planter, the builder and the destroyer.

The double circle upon this White Shield is black 

because it reflects its sister shield of the West, the Black Shield. 

The feathers upon this shield are also black, 

and the feathers and the twin circles upon the Black Shield are white.

Within our world circle we see those things of the Black Shield that we have brought into the world of the White Shield

Reflected opposite the great White Shield is the Red Shield of the South. 

This is the way of the human being. 

The feathers upon this shield are gold, 

and the double circle upon its face is bright gold.

The shield of the East is gold and the circles painted upon it are red as are its feathers. This is the shield of all powers, symbols and signs. It is Sweet Medicine.


What is the history of the shields?

And could уоu explain more to me concerning this Way?

Four Sleeping Lions (lights her pipe) 

I will.

This way grew among a powerful People of the South who lived in a great City. 

The people whom these Star Dance People lived among hated the Way of the Shields and what it taught concerning the dream, the earth, the stars, and the medicines.

Here is a memorized portion of the history of these People:

They walk among us with shields of gold, and their sand armor protects them. They come to destroy us because they have no understanding. We will go among the wild people, and we will live.

Four Mirrors, Sweet Medicine, Erect Horns, and Medicine Coyote, all these and more were the names of the man and woman who led their People into the world of the wild people.

These People were of a race that had built cities and temples twenty thousand years ago.

These People who came into the land of the wild people were astronomers, builders, teachers. 

They were the learned.

Here is another portion:

The pyramid of power, the hierarchy, 

is dangerous because it is an artificial law. 

It is not real, 

and it imprisons the human mind as powerfully as it imprisons each stone within itself. 

All the stones in the pyramid support every other stone, 

and those who live within such a false reality 

are imprisoned within it.

As an example, 

children within such a community do not know how to touch the earth, 

nor do they understand the reality of the earth around them. 

They believe they are ready for life. 

They believe they have control of their world; 

some even believe they have created the world that exists around them. 

But the world which they believe supports them is a false world. 

If they should ever be removed from the pyramid they would falter and die. 

Only the very strong can stand up against such a crushing realization.

This is not to say that their world is not a real world.  

It is real to them and to those around them, 

but only within the illusion their society has created.

Twin Chiefs (interrupting)

I am surprised to hear you speak in this manner

You have taught me to picture a teaching in its bright and happy form, but now you choose not to do so yourself. Is this part of your teaching?’

Four Sleeping Lions

It is. 

It is best always to take the bright and happy path to any teaching, as I have said. 

People are like trees and store their learning within the roots of their minds. 

If a teaching comes to a person in a dark and fearful way, that is how the roots of the mind will perceive it and feed upon it.

Twin Chiefs (chuckles good-humoredly)

I had thought that this teaching was only for Estchimah

But now I see that I too am upon the journey.

Four Sleeping Lions (quickly)

The peace chiefs of your People must never forget this!

We are all upon the journey, and even though we have been shown the shields and the pointing of the teachings

this does not mean we must fall asleep!

Twin Chiefs (looks at Estchimah)

please continue

Four Sleeping Lions

I have flown up from the center of my painting

It is my way to teach in this manner, 

but there is a problem that exists among us. 

It is a very old problem, 

which many Peoples have had to face and overcome. 

This problem is language. 

The language of the People who rule our world is a language trapped inside the pyramid of authority which the language itself has created. 

People of power always assume that there is a higher law than the people of the community. 

Our Chiefs have learned this. 

The People of power who now live around us follow the law of the pyramid. 

The Buffalo Teachers knew that such a way was dangerous

Twin Chiefs (surprised)

Then our chiefs left their cities because they feared the pyramidal rule?

Four Sleeping Lions

They did.

The rule of the pyramid is not the rule of law. 

This rule is primitive. 

It can be used and twisted in such a way that it is above the laws of the People. 

The law must always come from the People and be understood by them. 

No law can be above any person within the community. 

Each person must be the equal of the law. 

I will speak more of this at another time.

Here is another portion:

We saw the pyramid begin to become law for the People, 

and we were alarmed. 

We witnessed the enclosing of the thunderbird nest. 

We saw the children and ourselves being entombed within the pyramid. 

The mother’s circle is the most important circle in the world. 

This is the introduction to the world for everyone. 

Every mother holds absolute power over her child. 

The circle the mother lives within describes reality to her, 

and she in her turn describes reality to her child. 

She does this by her every breath and action. 

Even her heartbeat is a model to the child.

As children grow, they quickly learn all the invisible trails of the world they live within. 

They learn the language of the People they are born into 

They learn both the spoken language and the unspoken language.

Everything within this first tiny circle is a force that teaches the child.

All human beings are individuals, powers unto themselves 

and each human determines a part of his world reality. 

But this reality we possess 

is only one tiny flower 

among the many that are our Medicine Wheel.

The peace chiefs never sat in places of judgment to decide what was real. 


It was their way to allow the People to seek this illumination themselves.

Four Sleeping Lions (pauses to light her pipe)


Here is another portion:

The medicine woman whose name was Carving Dogs On The Temples began to teach our young concerning the Black Shield. 

She told us that our children were learning the language of the pyramids, 

and that these children were being cut away from the principal person in the mirror of the Black Shield. 

The language of the pyramids is entombing them, she explained. 

Their language is becoming the language of the pyramids. 

These children are being separated from the natural law.

The People of the Law and the astronomers had always been concerned with the gentle weaning of the children from their first circle.

This was acted out in the naming ceremonies

where the children were transformed into their new selves. 

Thus the message Carving Dogs On The Temples brought to the People’s councils moved them to take positive action. 

I will describe this action, but before I do, I wish to speak about the first circle.

Children are provided for. 

The father, the physically stronger of the two most important people in the child’s world, is a provider, equal to the provider-mother. 

Each child sees this in a unique way and structures it into its own world.

As the child grows, its circle grows with it until it encompasses its entire camp. 

That child in its own unique way introduces into its own world what it is able to perceive of the larger camp circle.

When they have begun to understand how to dance with this larger circle

the children then begin to mimic this larger circle of the People. 

This is a time of change for them. 

The child has emerged from its second womb and been born into the world of the People. 

This important time is to be celebrated with ceremony.

The ceremony is simple. 

The child is placed before the entire camp and a circle is drawn around it.

{Larger Circle Ceremony} 

Medicine Person (to child. loud voice so everyone can hear) 

We have noticed you are aware that we exist

We are honored to have you among us

Play among our lodges and know that you are welcome here.

But remember this. 

I, your aunt-uncle, tell you this: 

You are yourself. 

That is why we have held this ceremony for you.

The children are very young when this ceremony takes place. 

They quickly structure it into their world as a matter of fact.

From this age onward the child is given every opportunity to touch the things of the People.

The child holds the hunter’s bow, sews moccasins with the moccasin maker, participates in sacred rituals. 

It does this not as a game, but as an equal with the shaman. 

It is in this way that the child sees a baby born; 

sees the buffalo hunted and sees it butchered; 

sees the making of the bow, arrows, and lances; 

sees how the sick are cured, 

sees the wounded and bleeding mended; 

sees the dead, 

sees the flowering and the withering. 

Nothing is hidden from the child, absolutely nothing. 

The child touches reality 

The child does not of course, carry scalding water or try to drive a lance into a charging buffalo. 

To assume this would be foolish. 

The child participates in the only way a child can, which is as a child.

But this is true only in a balanced camp, a circle camp. 

It is not the same with the pyramid People. 

The child who lives within the immovable blocks of the pyramidal camp can never do this. 

The peace chiefs saw this.


Why did they not take action?

Four Sleeping Lions

I will answer you briefly, Estchimah

But I will not criticize the People of the Pyramid because I do not recognize them nor their powers. 

It is for those who want such a way to argue with it.


When you are caught in a trap, that is when you hear great arguments about what it is, or who was to blame for it. 

But to me this is foolish. 

Everyone in a pyramidal camp is in a fixed position. 

They can never really move. 

To move in such a hierarchy is only an illusion supported by the very myths which support the structure. 

People within such a structure can only perceive the supporting stones around them, above or below. 

The realities they are taught have no relationship to anything natural.

They learn only that which is relative to where they are within the pyramid.

Anything or anyone outside the pyramid is an enemy and is either ignored, destroyed, or forced to fit. 

This law is very primitive, of course, and it invites destruction.

(pauses for a moment)

Here is another portion:

We fought this way and war was brought upon us and many fell to the sword axes and arrows of our own People. 

In the year of the Moving Snake In The Stars we gathered together 

and began to move north to the land of the wild people.

One thousand canoes, each with twelve people in them, 

set out from the great cities and moved north to find the Grandfather River.

The year of the Moving Snake In The Stars was three thousand years ago.

The land of the Sweet Medicine is the land where you and I now live. 

The Grandfather River is the river also known as the Mother of Waters

Such terrible things visited us. 

We were torn and killed. 

There was much misery and weeping, and many wished to return.

Three hundred canoes were all that were left of our world. 

Sixty of our canoes turned back to beg the forgiveness of the priests.

Forty of the canoes of the People reached their destination. 

The entire journey lasted eighteen years. 

After these People left The World Under The Ground, the world of the pyramids, they called themselves the Lodge Builders, the Mandans.

The People who were called The Pyramid Priests became known as the Hopi, the artisans. 

A part of the Pyramid Priests People moved further north and become the People known as the Haida.

All these Peoples were to marry with the wild Peoples, 

and all of them were altered forever by the customs of their new families.

Here is another portion:  

Four Mirrors and his wife, Carving Dogs on the Temples, 

brought us overland, 

and we fought desperately for our lives. 

We met great forces of warriors who wanted us for slaves. 

Hundreds fell in battle. 

We left a trail of blood. 

Falling Into The Sky was stricken. 

His legs would not move.

Four Mirrors wept and tore his breast. 

Four Mirrors would not speak for One moon. 

We all were crying.

Four Mirrors and his People struggled north 

until they reached the land of the Silver People. 

It was in that place they first settled.

Four Mirrors called a council.

Four Mirrors (to the People) 

We are within the land of the Sweet Medicine!

It is here we will Sun Dance and teach our children

Estchimah (smiles) 

The land of Sweet Medicine

Four Sleeping Lions (touching Estchimah’s hand)


Now you, my daughter, are going upon your Vision Quest. 

You must be mindful of what you gather within that wonderful dance with our Mother the Earth

Each person’s Quest is always the same, just as it is also different (smiles, looking into Estchimah’s eyes)

You have been born into a world 

in which everything has been divided into blocks within a pyramid, 

but your own inward world is the circle. 

You must learn how to reflect that inward world into everything that is around you.

Estchimah (with emotion) 

How can I do that?

I truly wish to do that, grandmother.

Four Sleeping Lions

You must be awake! 

The circle of Change begins with you.

(Estchimah begins to cry.)

Twin Chiefs (with concern) 

What is wrong?

Four Sleeping Lions (gently) 

I understand the pity you have for yourself.

But you are dancing yourself into a closed Circle. 

Awaken, my daughter, and speak of what is in your heart.

Estchimah (brushing away a tear) 

What is in my heart is awful!

You have shared beautiful dreams with me

but what have I given you in return?

Four Sleeping Lions

There is something else you wish to say.

(Leans closer) 

Tell me what it is.


The world I live in is beautiful…


Yet it is awful

Four Sleeping Lions (commands) 

Speak of it!

Do not fall asleep! 

Estchimah (tears rolling down face) 

It embarrasses me 

Four Sleeping Lions (insisting but kind) 

Tell us

Estchimah (looking at her from beneath her eyelashes) 

Promise you will not get angry

Four Sleeping Lions (gently) 

I promise

Tell us

Estchimah (sits up. ..brushes another tear away) 

All right

I, I have . . . (hesitates) 

I have heard . . .

(raises her voice)  

All my life I have heard many false and unreal things. 

These things were paths that twisted and turned and led nowhere. They were no better than buffalo dung.

( looks at Four Sleeping Lions.)

I must understand, grandmother.

Four Sleeping Lions 

If what we have been sharing with you is the same?

(laughs heartily.)

Of course it is! It all is!

Estchimah (frowning in surprise) 

It is?

Four Sleeping Lions

Everything is dung,


If you try to eat that dung it will sicken you. 

Does the buffalo eat dung? No, my daughter, it does not! 

However, Estchimah, the dung from the buffalo 

is food for the grass. 

It is a circle.


Our Words are also grass, grass for the buffalo. 

The buffalo eats the grass, 

and the power of its body transforms the grass into food. 

There are many people who try to keep the grass just as they find it.

These people never eat the grass. 

There are others who discover the grass and want it to remain in its perfect form. 

When these eat the grass they refuse to let it change.

(laughs heartily) . 

Place everything we have shared with you in the wonderful garden that is within yourself. 

Let each symbol be a seed of your own learning. 

Learn to say what is in your heart and mind, 

and it becomes food for you. 

But keep it secret and it becomes foul.

Estchimah (still frowning) 

I thought myself dishonest for holding doubts in my mid


I have been afraid to go upon my Vision Quest

I have been afraid that I would learn nothing!

(searches for words.)

I have been afraid that nothing would happen,

and yet at the same time I have been afraid that something horrible would happen

Four Sleeping Lions

Are you still afraid?

Estchimah (smiles) 

Of course!

But now I will place whatever happens in the wonderful garden within me.

Four Sleeping Lions (gently) 

The Vision Quest is a marriage with ourselves,

And it is a marriage with the Earth. 


Let me tell you of the four walls.  

Estchimah (frowns) 

The four walls?

I feel trapped just hearing the words.

Four Sleeping Lions (smiles) 

It is common for all People to build the four wɑlls

The Buffalo Teachers call it the Place Where All The Mirrors Are Hidden.


How is it possible to hide the Great Mirrors?

Four Sleeping Lions (laughs good humoredly) 

Not the Great Mirrors. ..

… but the little ones. 

To the South, 

in the place of trust and innocence, 

is the wall of your childhood. 

The powers that make up that wall 

are all the children you grew up with. 

The wall grew as you grew, 

a living wall with your beginning years. 

You, my daughter, are afraid to walk through that wall.

To the North is another wall. 

That wall is made up of every teacher you ever had. 

Even Twin Chiefs and I are there, and so are you. 

There is every kind of teacher there, living or dead. 

Everything that ever taught you is there within that wall. 

You, my daughter, are also frightened to walk through that wall.

To the East is another wall. 

That wall is made up of everything dead.

All religions are there. 

You, my daughter, are frightened to walk through that wall.

To the West is the fourth wall. 

That wall is the wall of dreams. 

A portion of that wall is reflected into the wall of the East, 

just as the North and the South walls are reflected into one another. 

Those things of the dead that are mirrored into the West wall 

are the many dreams that you have let die. 

You, my daughter, are afraid to walk through that wall.

Estchimah (emotionally)

Is there no way out?

Four Sleeping Lions (smile) 

There is. ..

But first we will speak of the many tiny mirrors from which the floor of that place is built. 

Can you guess as to the nature of some of those mirrors?

Estchimah (frowns) 

I have no guesses

Four Sleeping Lions

Many of those tiny mirrors are from the world into which you were born.

Some of them are from the world of your mother

There are old images in this world, the world of remembrance. 

Each one of those tiny old mirrors blinds you to the path that can free you from that world.

Estchimah (with fear) 

What is the path?

Four Sleeping Lions

If you truly begin to question each of the mirrors you have placed in that word

or question who it was that placed those mirrors into your world

then you will see the path through the West wall

Estchimah (with emotion) 

But you said that I was frightened to walk through that wall! 

Four Sleeping Lions

You will walk through that wall on your Vision Quest


There have been many who have walked through the West wall. 

They have walked through that wall in as many ways as there are People. 

The West wall is the wall of dreams. 

Many fear that there is nothing beyond the wall 

and that they will be alone


but these of course, have never questioned 

and have never walked through the wall.

Beyond the wall is reality. 

Within the enclosure of the walls is unreality. 

Beyond the wall is the great world of your own mind. 

It is a world as beautiful and varied as this one we call the earth.


Would you give me an example?

Four Sleeping Lions

I will

But you must understand 

that it is only a tiny reflection 

of what awaits those who walk through the West Wall. 

If I were to try to explain reason to a child of seven winters, 

that Child would understand only that portion of the circle she could see. 

Do you remember the little girl that you once were?


When I was seven winters?

Four Sleeping Lions

When you were seven winters


Not very well

Four Sleeping Lions

But who can remember that child more completely than yourself?

Not even your mother knew that little girl as completely as you did.

However, that knowledge is now in the past.  

What would you teach that little girl if you could meet her right now–if you could meet your seven-year-old self? 

Where would you begin?  

What would you say? 

How would you introduce yourself to the knowledge you would need?

Estchimah (laughs) 

It makes my head spin

Four Sleeping Lions (evenly) 

There are many who experienced much pain as children

It is not amusing. 

The child’s world is very small. 

It is always just big enough for the child to comprehend. 

The chiefs who live in The Place Of The Maze saw this phenomenon, and they marveled at it. 

They saw the children building the four walls around themselves

and they saw how the People added to those walls. 

It frightened them, Estchimah, 

because they saw that the walls could destroy the mind, the heart, the body, and the emotions of the human being. 

They saw many fight against those walls only to become frightened, lonely people. 

They saw others shrink into one corner of their worlds and go insane. 

We begin to see, 

as those chiefs began to see, 

when we teach the children within us concerning ourselves and the world around us. 

It was these chiefs who discovered the way called the Vision Quest.


Is my necklace magic?

Four Sleeping Lions (smiles) 

Why did you ask me that?

Estchimah (wrinkling brow) 

I . . .

Because I was wondering about it.

Four Sleeping Lions (emphasizing the words) 

The necklace is somehow mirrored into your world,

It has some direct connection to something that existed in your past.

The connection you made in your mind was a simple response. 

You wanted to speak of what I had just told you, 

but you could not find the words. 

You sought for a symbol, something to say, and the necklace formed itself within your mind. 

What you did, Estchimah, was to substitute the necklace for thinking.

Estchimah (gesturing) 

I do not know what to say…

What you are saying is true!

Four Sleeping Lions

There is no substitute for thinking

You are fortunate in that you were born into two circles, two camps.

You have two approaches of mind. 

One is the square, the pyramid. 

The other is the circle, the sphere. 

You have learned from both.


I feel what you are telling me, but I still cannot put it into words

Four Sleeping Lions (with emphasis) 

You think! 

Feeling is only the shadow of thought. 

It follows thought. 

Estchimah, look at me. What do you see?


I see my grandmother, a woman with white hair. 

I see a wise woman, a gentle person and gentle teacher

Four Sleeping Lions

Is there anything strange about me? 

Estchimah (scrutinizing the woman sitting before her) 


No, I see nothing strange.

Four Sleeping Lions

What am I wearing?


The dress of a shamaness. 

Upon your dress are painted four plumed serpents. 

You have four mirrors tied into your braids with the sign of balance painted upon them. 

Your moccasins have beautiful tiny moons made of silver and gold sewn upon them. 

I think that you are wise and—

Four Sleeping Lions

–That is enough


Now what do you see that is different?

Estchimah (perplexed) 

From what?

Four Sleeping Lions

That was what I was hoping you would say, (laughs) 

I appear quite ordinary to you because we are both of the same People, the same circle.

(Laughs again) 

But to someone from the world of the pyramid, I would be considered different. 

The ordinary, or what we think is ordinary, is almost invisible. 

The invisible is what I have been trying to help you see. 

This is of utmost importance when we consider the many symbols of the mind. 

You were searching for recognizable signs

For symbols within your mind.

You wished to respond to what I had told you. 

The new symbols within your mind 

were waiting for you give them meaning within your own perceiving. 

You chose to not speak within the power of the new signs 

because you did not see a recognizable path. 

Consequently you chose the necklace path.

Estchimah (smiles) 

There is magic in the necklace then,

Because now I have learned.

Four Sleeping Lions (evenly) 

You learned because I walked down that path with you,

You could have walked the same path alone 

and learned from your own Chiefs, the ones who are the Law Circle within you.


I will be mindful of my Circle of Law, of my Chiefs

( She claps her hands together in the sign of celebration.)

Four Sleeping Lions (smile) 

There are no teachers as great as the powers that live within you

It is these principal people who dream with you.

Protect them, love them, give them information. 

All this is food to help them grow. 

But above all, you must council with them.

(Folding a bright Sun Dance robe around Estchimah) 

This is your third gift

Twin Chiefs (smiles as he hands her a white buffalo robe) 

And this is your fourth gift

Sit upon this robe, my daughter, it will comfort you. 

I will be waiting below your Vision Hill.

(He turns, picks up his pipe, and slowly walks away.)

Four Sleeping Lions (singing) 

Below your memory is power

(a beautiful rainbow begins to dance around her. It shimmers and sparkles like the northern lights. The circle of light begins to move faster, faster until it became a surge of lightning mixed with thunder. 

Slowly, gracefully, within the circle of moving power and light, Four Sleeping Lions begins her transformation. 

First she is old

then she changes into a beautiful young woman

she changes again and becomes a laughing girl

then within her fourth transformation she becomes a little girl of seven winters. )

Little Girl (sings) 

Below your memory is power

The Black Shield begins to reflect the star-filled sky, 

becoming a Medicine Pool.

The Pool of Memory,

(The light spins, dazzling in its brightness, and the little girl becomes the beautiful Plumed Serpent Of The Stars.)

Plumed Serpent (whispers) 

Below your memory

(disappears gracefully beneath the mirror of the pool.

The light ripples the surface of the water, and the pool becomes smaller and smaller. 

As the pool changes, its color changes, first to brilliant red, then into a fountain of sparks. 

Then quietly, in one blink of Estchimah’s eyes, it suddenly becomes the flames of her campfire on the Vision Hill.)

Estchimah (whispers to herself as she looks into the coals of her fire.)

Below my memory