The White Buffalo Calf Woman: Supernormal Experiences


With A Warning For Humanity



by Arjun Walia



A story from the Lakota people that may be telling of the current times of great upheaval we are currently in now.



“The Coming of White Buffalo Calf Woman” by Vera Louise Drysdale, 1976


The concept of ‘Supernatural’ or ‘Supernormal’ abilities and phenomena are embedded throughout human history across multiple cultures. They have been documented in various ancient, medieval and modern history texts.


These stories span thousands of years, all the way up to the present day. You can find many recent examples in declassified Defense Department literature.


Indigenous people have passed down these stories orally for generations, and many of their stories/prophecies are now more important than ever.


But for the tellers of these stories, they aren’t mere tales with a mythological origin, they are accounts of real events that took place in the past, with a crucial message for the future, which is now.


The story I’d like to share with you today comes from Native American lore. It’s the story of the White Buffalo Calf Woman.


What really makes this story so hard hitting is the fact that this ‘supernatural/mythological’ woman gifted a pipe to the Lakota (also known as Sioux) people, and the pipe is currently kept on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota.


Some of the messages within this story may be telling of the current times we are in now.


Chief Arvol Looking Horse was born on the Cheyenne River Reservation. At the age of 12, he was given the responsibility of becoming the 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, the youngest ever. It was passed to him from his grandmother. He is widely recognized as a spiritual leader of all three branches of the Sioux tribe.


The bowl of the pipe is made with a rare red stone and the stem resembles the windpipe of the calf.


Joseph Epes Brown, (1920-2000) renowned scholar, author, and teacher of Native American Traditions and World Religions explains,


“With this sacred pipe, you will walk upon the Earth, for the Earth is your Grandmother and Mother, and she is sacred. Every step that is taken upon Her should be as a prayer. The bowl of this pipe is of red stone; it is the Earth. Carved in the stone and facing the center is this buffalo calf who represents all the four-leggeds who live upon your Mother. The stem of the pipe is of wood and this represents all that grows upon the Earth. And these twelve feathers which hang here, where the stem fits into the bowl, are from Wanbli Galeska, the Spotted Eagle, and they represent the eagle and all the wingeds of the air. All these peoples, and all the things of the universe, are joined to you who smoke the pipe—all send their voices to Wakáŋ-Táŋka, the Great Spirit. When you pray with this pipe, you pray for and with everything.”

– The Gift of the Sacred Pipe by Black Elk, Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux as told to Joseph Epes Brown in The Sacred Pipe

The Story of the White Buffalo Calf Woman


This prophecy originated approximately 2000 years ago. It came from what the Lakota people know as the White Buffalo Calf Woman, or Ptesanwin.


The story goes that she appeared in front of two warriors who were out hunting buffalo in the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota. They saw a large body coming toward them, and as it came close enough it was seen as a white buffalo calf. As it came even closer, it shape-shifted into a young Indian woman.


Frithjof Schuon (1907-1998) painted “Apparition of the Buffalo Calf Maiden” in 1959

When this happened, ‘bad thoughts’ entered into the mind of one of the warriors, and the woman told him to step forward. When he did, a black cloud came over his body, and when it disappeared the warrior who had bad thoughts was nothing but a skeleton, with no flesh on his bones.


The other warrior then kneeled and began to pray. When he did this, the woman told him to go back to his people and warn them that in four days, she was going to bring a sacred bundle.


The warrior did as instructed. He returned to his people and gathered all of the elders and leaders in a circle and told them what the woman had instructed him to do.


On the fourth day, the woman appeared. Some tell the story as if a cloud came down from the sky, and from this cloud stepped a beautiful white buffalo calf. When this happened and the calf stepped on the ground, it became the same beautiful young woman who was now carrying the sacred bundle in her hand.


As she entered into the circle, she sang a sacred song and handed over the sacred bundle. Included within it was the pipe. She spent four days among the tribe and taught them about the bundle and what it means.


She taught them seven sacred ceremonies, which included the sweat lodge, a child naming ceremony, a healing ceremony, a making of relatives or the adoption ceremony, and a vision quest. The last one was the Sundance ceremony, also known as the people’s ceremony for the entire nation.


She instructed the Lakota people that as long as they performed these ceremonies they would always remain caretakers and guardians of sacred land. She told them that as long as they took care of it and respected it, their people would never die and would always live.


The legend states that she chose this particular tribe at the time because the leaders had very pure hearts.


The White Buffalo Calf Woman also made prophecies while with the tribe. One of those prophecies was that the birth of a white buffalo calf would be a sign that it would be near the time when she would return again to purify the world.


There would be birthing pains as these changes are brought out, including climate changes and many other earth and societal changes.


When she was done teaching, she left the way she came. She went out of the circle, and as she was leaving she turned and told the people that she would return one day for the sacred bundle.


Many years later, when Chief Arvol Looking Horse’s grandmother passed the pipe on to him, she told him that he might be the last keeper of the pipe if the people of Earth don’t straighten things out.


Are we perhaps at this time of great prophecy?


Chief Arvol Looking Horse has stated that since 1994 a white buffalo calf has been born each year. And that there have been sightings of other rare white animals.


Below is a video of him explaining the prophecy.


The Main Message

As Looking Horse has explained, in order for great positive change to come about, and a complete re-shaping of the human experience to occur, we must unite globally, collectively, and spiritually.


But what would this look like? What would it mean for humanity to come together? The changes we see on our planet, the environmental degradation, the war, the pain, and the suffering – these are opportunities to have moments of great reflection. These are opportunities for humanity to come together and do something different as that is what it will take to solve this level of crisis.


In most cases, “extreme“ events serve as a catalyst for humanity to “wake up” and start asking important questions about our world and why it is the way it is.


“What we change in ourselves and in our world is a direct result of the questions we ask ourselves. Are we asking the right questions?”


– Joe Martino, founder of Collective Evolution and The Pulse


Coming together in a collective and spiritual manner at this stage is going to be hard. We are a society that’s living primarily in our minds, disembodied from our hearts due to generations of stress and trauma.


This of course does not mean it’s impossible for us to change, but that it will take focus, attention and intention. We need to open our minds and hearts and draw upon courage.


Our world seems to be in a constant state of finger-pointing. “Those are the bad guys.” But the result of our human experience is in large part a result of our psychological, physiological, and spiritual states. Often states built from stress, hyper-individualism and separation.


Sure, there are unelected elitists with their hands on societal levers, but collaborative agency at a grassroots level does exist and can create change.


But we must seek to unite instead of continually dividing over small differences. Beginning with building our individual capacity to open our hearts and minds seems a good place to start.


What does it mean to have an open mind to you?


What does it mean to have an open heart to you?


How do both change the way we listen to and communicate with others?


Arjun Walia


BA in Philosophy from the University of Waterloo, BEd from the University of Toronto. Writer/journalist for the past 15 years. Passionate about sharing information on a variety of topics, as you can tell!

All of our Links: