Bear Lodge: A Sacred Site


mari - Posted on 28 March 2012

Author: 
Kenny Frost, Ute, Sundance Chief
Many people have seen the movie “Close Encounter of the Third Kind.” Which portray Bear Lodge, this sacred tower as alien visitors from an alien world landing and utilizing as a special place.
 
This sacred tower is known by many Native tribes is known as Bear Lodge. A legend or story is told how Bear Bear Lodge (Devil Tower) received what appears to be scratch marks on the rock formation. I will refer to this tower by it proper name as Bear Tower.
 
For now I will speak of my own experience at this sacred tower.
Upon arriving on a warm summer day, I drove to the base of Bear Tower. I walked around the base of the town feeling the power radiating from one of the most powerful places for our people. I reach out and touch this powerful place feeling the pulse of Mother Earth in my hands. I drove from there to go to an area which is only meant for Native people to worship in peace and quiet from the many people who have come here for their own reason unknown to me.
 
I walked to an area where no one could see me off the beaten path.  I carry my pipe, hand drum and other sacred items with me. I sit down by the edge of a cliff facing the west side of Bear Tower. The sun is high above my head. As I sat on flat sandstone surface make myself comfortable. I look around to see if anyone could see me. It is very quiet as the birds were singing to their own melody and then all of a sudden stone silent surrounds me. Saying a prayer for Bear Tower for the good will of my family, for the people who use this area for prayers, blessing and being cure from sickness.
 
I begin singing my songs which is our sacred sun dance songs. Starting with a prayer, spirit, and other songs as I have my eyes close while I am singing. Feeling the power which is definitely radiating from the tower I open my eyes and look at the tower as I’m singing. It appears it the west side of the tower has slowly opened showing me a dark area. The tower has now opened wider and wider. I continue to sing. As I’m singing, I could sense someone approaching me from behind very quietly. I see a Native woman who motions to sit on the ground as I node my head giving her approval to sit behind me. I’m continue singing and soon there after finished all songs.
 
I open my eyes once again and see the wide area which was open now closing very slowly and deep inside the tower as it appears to be black. As it closing both sides of the opening start to come together to match the outside color of tan. I now pull out my pipe. Saying a prayer looking at the tower as it is now silver just before it has close fully. I asked the Native women if she would like to smoke and she accepts the pipe. She smokes and I sense she isn’t from Turtle Island but from South American. She says, “That was a good trick you did.” I asked, "What do you mean trick?" She said, “The opening is now closing and it was much wider then before.” I asked her, "You’ve seen the tower open up?" She said, “Yes, I saw the whole thing happen before my eyes.” Thinking to myself, “I wonder if I was actually seeing things.” What she saw during the ceremony was very much real.
I asked her. For you to see this you’re not just any women. Do you have any medicine people from where you came from? She tells me her father was a Shaman or medicine person from the jungles in South America. “It has been a long time since I’ve seen anything like this.”
 
I pack up my things and walk back to my vehicle placing them inside. She says, “She is there with a group of people touring the sacred places and Bear Tower was one of them.” She thanks me and goes on her way walking back to the base of the visitor center.
 
I ponder what has just happen as Bear Tower has shown me the power within. We must believe there is much power in our sacred places. If we don’t believe we can’t help ourselves when we need help or those who come here to help themselves. The many great tribes who came here long ago and even today still use Bear Tower for healing, for strength of the people. The power is still here if we believe in the goodness and strength. I left this place much energized with a very good feeling. As to what I witness it was truly a very special thing.
 
Let us respect what we have and use it wisely for our people.
 
Kenny Frost ~ Ute ~
Sun Dance Chief
March 21, 2012 ~ © ~

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