Were you Crazy Horse in a past life?

Crazy Horse “I was Crazy Horse in a past life.”  

No, that’s not me saying that.  But it’s a statement I’ve heard several times from people I’ve met through my years of walking the Native American spiritual path.

Sometimes they say they were Sitting Bull or some other famous Native American Holy man, but never a shepherd or pony boy or woman.

It’s not my place to judge whether they’re right or wrong, but I always have the same thought when I hear it:  “But who are you in this life?”

Because that’s the only thing that’s important:  who are you now?

Not, what’s your title or job. Rather, what is your character?

Becoming a human being 

In 1993 I accompanied Lakota elder Grandfather Wallace Black Elk to Australia to assist him as he taught a workshop and ran purification lodges.

One day Grandfather asked me to teach the people how to make tobacco ties.  As I was teaching it, one of the students asked, “What’s the point of our learning these things? I’ll never have the opportunity to be a medicine man.”

It was a wonderful question.  Because that is exactly why the elders teach things like how to make tobacco ties. It’s not about learning to be a medicine person.  It’s about learning how to be a simple human being.

No one needs to learn to be a medicine man; but they do need to learn how to be a human being who can be helpful and kind and pray for others.

Anyone who understands the level of sacrifice and dedication it takes to be a medicine person would never choose it.  It chooses you.  Medicine people long to be simple members of the community.  

The truly gifted don’t seek power but rather are recognized by a teacher and sought out.   Those who pursue power will never be as powerful as those born to it and selected. Humility, character and respect is what the elders look for.

Elders don’t want to teach someone filled with self-importance.

The hallmarks of a human being

So what are the hallmarks of a human being?

Grandfather Wallace said that the qualities of “earth people” were to have courage, patience, endurance and alertness.

Grandmother Evelyn Eaton prayed for harmony, humor, humility and honesty.

The Anishinabe grandfather teachings calls for people to have humility, love, wisdom, bravery, truth, respect and honesty.

Bear Heart said the qualities of a pipe carrier are: humility, compassion, courage, loyalty, and not holding onto anger.

The importance of good character is a theme that runs through indigenous cultures.

Every tribe would have qualities they encourage their young people to embrace as they grow up.

Do you have those qualities?  It’s never too late to cultivate them in this life.

That’s much more important than who you might have been in a past life.


Molly Larkin

Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller "The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman”  and other books on health. She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes, healing practice and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com

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