Native American Legend of Crystals
– by Shaman Elder Maggie
In ancient times, people lived in harmony with Nature. They spoke the same
language as the animals and plants. They hunted for food only to satisfy
their hunger and needs, always offering a prayer of thanks for what they
had taken from Nature.
As time went on, humans lost this innocence and harmony. They took more
than they needed. They forgot their prayers of gratitude. They killed
animals, and each other, for sport or pleasure.
The Bear Tribe, chief among the animals, called a meeting of all the
animals. They decided that something had to be done. The Bears suggested
that they shoot back when the humans shot at them, but the bow and arrow
required too great a sacrifice, for one bear would have to give up his life
so that his sinew could be used for the bowstring. The bear’s claws were
too long for shooting a bow
anyway, and would become entangled on the string.
The Deer Tribe offered another method of dealing with the problem. One of
their members said, “We will bring disease into the world. Each of us will
be responsible for a different illness. When humans live out of balance
with Nature, when they forget to give thanks for their food, they will get
sick.” And in fact the Deer did invoke rheumatism and arthritis; each
animal then decided to invoke a different disease.
The Plant Tribe was more sympathetic and felt that this was too harsh a
punishment, so they volunteered their help. They said that for every
disease a human gets, one of them would be present to cure it. That way, if
people used their intelligence, they would be able to cure their ailments
and regain their balance.
All of Nature agreed to this strategy. One plant in particular spoke out.
This was Tobacco, the chief of the plants. He said, “I will be the sacred
herb. I will not cure any specific disease, but I will help people return
to the sacred way of life, provided I am smoked or offered with prayers and
ceremony. But if I am misused, if I am merely smoked for pleasure, I will
cause cancer, the worst disease of all.”
The close friends of the Plant Tribe, the Rock Tribe and the Mineral Tribe,
agreed to help. Each mineral would have a spiritual power, a subtle
vibration that could be used to regain perfect health. The Ruby, worn as an
amulet, would heal the heart; the Emerald would heal the liver and eyes,
and so on. The chief of the mineral tribe, Quartz Crystal, was clear, like
the light of Creation itself. Quartz put his arms around his brother
Tobacco and said, “I will be the sacred mineral. I will heal the mind. I
will help human beings see the origin of disease. I will help to bring
wisdom and clarity in dreams. And I will record their spiritual history,
including our meeting today, so that in the future, if humans gaze into me,
they may see their origin and the way of harmony.” And so it is today.
This is a Cherokee legend, but it has been told in almost every tribe in
the Americas. It tells of an ancient time of peace, a mythical homeland
known to every culture on Earth. The Native Americans call it the “old way”
or the “original way.”