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Black Elk Speaks

Updated: Jan 21

From Black Elk Speaks, the fourth ascent of Black Elks Great Vision of the Flowering Tree and the Hoop of the Nation.

Black Elk:

"Then 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 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 the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy.”

From Mystic Visions: Black Elk’s Great Vision Clarified


The location of the highest mountain of them all is Harney Peak, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Black Elk saw the whole hoop of the world as a place where all things must live together as one and that the sacred hoop consisted of different ethnic and religious practices of all his people. We are not just black, white, red, or yellow people; we are One, struggling together to find meaning; eight-legged, six-legged, four-legged, and two-legged, the winged, the swimmers, and the rooted ones, creating many hoops of one circle, wide as daylight and starlight.

This last paragraph suggests the Great Mystery knows, at the end of the fourth ascent the people will learn to respect and embrace each other’s, religious and cultural differences, creating connecting circles to make one circle all around the earth “wide as daylight and as starlight.” Black Elk’s vision indicates that we are coming together to create this sacred hoop and end the misunderstandings, fear, and hate that have divided the world for so long. There is no longer room for those that would try to divide Black Elks people, all his people of the world.

In 1855, General William S. Harney’s Vision was to punish and destroy the Lakota and their spiritual way of life, forcing them onto the reservations. Harney was a divider of people, a true general with one agenda. On Monday, September 3, 1855, at Blue Water, Nebraska it was not to make peace; it was to surround and kill as many Lakota using 600 mounted cavalry and dragoons.

Black Elk was a visionary, being given a Great Vision at nine years old that states at the end of the fourth assent all his people will form a great hoop around the flowering tree. It is this vision that will unite all people from around the world. After all, we the people of the world have traveled upon the red road and the black road for the past four ascents (four generations). Much has been learned. It is time to step back onto the red road the road of high spirituality and love for all things. At the end of the fourth ascent the Great Mystery told Black Elk, “Hundreds will be sacred; hundreds will be flames” (in Lakota thinking, flames represent the consumption of a person through negative thinking). It is time for us all to make the choice, sacred or flames.

As of August 2016, the name Harney Peak was changed to Black Elk Peak, a true peacemaker. By changing the name of this sacred site to Black Elk Peak the true spirit of this place will soar high above the earth once again.

Tō’kśa (Lakota word for “later”)

Quentin H. Young

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