Custer's Ghost to Sitting Bull


On June 25, 1876, 263 men - most of them under the command of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer - were killed by American Indian forces under Sitting Bull at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, known to the Indians as the Greasy Grass River. Before the battle, Sitting Bull performed a Sun Dance, in which he cut notches of flesh from his arms and legs, letting the blood run down until he had a vision. And the vision Sitting Bull had was of cavalry and white soldiers falling down, as a voice said, "I give you these because they have no ears."

After the battle, Sitting Bull visited the battlefield, where, according to a Lakota Sioux tradition, the ghost of George Armstrong Custer appeared to him, and spoke the following words:

The white man would cover the earth and neither you nor I nor the Great Spirit Himself can stop the infiltration and bloodshed that will follow.

We are but one act in the play and we have done as we were told.

In less than fifteen years we will both be on the same side.

Within fifteen years a treacherous act by a white man will take place against you.

You will have no foreknowledge of it and no medicine you could make would prevent it.

The white man sees only white and the day will come when he will try to extinguish all men who are not white from the face of the earth.

Know in your heart that I speak truth, for you and I were once brothers and will be brothers again.

Be relieved of your burden, for man is an angry wolf stalking and tracking down his prey from the beginning of time to the ends of all time but you and I are more than men as men know men.

Go now and be with your people.

They need you more now than before.

I will be with you many times when you light your pipe at night and I will be with you in your final hour as you are here with me now.



Adapted from Martin Schulman, Karmic Astrology (Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1975)

Photo of the Little Bighorn Battlefield taken by Kent LaCombe, courtesy of his excellent Custer Web Page.

See the tuning for Custer's Ghost to Sitting Bull

See the tuning for Custer: "If I Were an Indian..."

Read the text for Sitting Bull: "Do You Know Who I Am?"

See the tuning for Sitting Bull: "Do You Know Who I Am?"

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