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EXCERPT FROM “Thunder Horse" Found In STORIES OF THE SIOUX
Available At: University of Nebraska
“The Thunder Dreamer knows that in the sky dwell the warriors of Thunder and Lightning, for he has seen and spoken to them in his vision.
"These warriors ride wildly about on the black clouds astride their handsome horses, holding in their hands the lightning-sticks which flash during a thunderstorm. Everyone has seen them flash as the warriors dash about in the stormy sky. Whenever the hoofs of the horses boom, the lightning-sticks flash blindingly.”
That's how it started for me. Watching, listening, FEELING the power of lightning and thunder warriors galloping across the sky over our farm when I was child. Oh, I did not use those words back
then to describe such storms, as my parents preferred to allude to "God bowling" or other euphemisms to placate my childish fear. Somehow in my child's mind, it seemed perfectly logical to think
of God rolling strikes in the giant bowling ally in the sky. But that illusion lasted only a short time when, a few years later, a ferocious tornado ripped out the ridge of our huge barn as if
peeling away the spine of a hapless prey while thunder crashed and lightning blinded our eyes. It just didn't seem plausible that one of God's bowling balls had careened from the lane and hit our
barn! So I was left with fear and awe.
So it would take a lot of years, a long spiritual quest and one giant lightning strike in my front yard to draw me into the realization that lightning power was medicine power. It unleashes the
power of transformation. So even though I just recently discovered Luther Standing Bear's book, even though it was published nearly two decades before I was born, I can say these many years hence
that I fully embrace and endorse this wise man's observations. I began making Lightning Sticks and Lightning Drums because the Lightning and Thunder spirits led me.
So here's a video featuring some of the lightning drums I've made and a little insight into what it takes to make them. The takeaway from this could be, "It takes a lot of strikes (from a hammer and chisel) to make a Lightning Drum!"
Drum on, my friends.
Aho & Namaste,
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