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Bringing Light Into the World

Story 4 – The Shooting Star Flower

A long time ago among the Lakota people, there was a time when a sickness came across a village near the mountains. Every one was sick from the littlest one to the eldest. The sickness caused many to weaken and die. No one was immune, even the medicine people.

One of the elder medicine people called a small boy to his lodge. The boy was not yet sick and the medicine man asked the boy to travel up into the mountains and seek a plant that could help heal the people. He told the boy to seek this plant immediately, that there was no time to waste.

The boy was frightened. He asked the medicine man how would he know what plant to ask for help? He did not know many plants.

The medicine man told him to pray when he got to the mountain top. The plant would revel itself to the boys prayers.

The boy climbed up the mountains. It took a long time. When he finally arrived it was dark. The boy could see nothing in the darkness. He began to crawl on his hands and knees, but no plant spoke to him.

He remembered the medicine mans instructions to pray. The boy closed his eyes and prayed. He prayed for the plants to help him and his people. He prayed for the plants to reveal which one might help his people. He prayed very hard.

In the Sky World, the Star People heard the boy’s prayers. They heard him praying with all his heart and they took pity on him. But they did not know what to do. The smallest star said they should help him by putting a part of themselves into a plant. And so they did.

When the boy opened his eyes, he saw a field of plants glowing in the moonlight. The plant was calling him by the light it shown. The boy knew this was the plant. He gathered many of the plants and returned to his people. They made a tea of the plant and soon all were healed.

This plant is sometimes called yarrow. The Native people call it shooting star flower because its flower looks like a star and it seems to glow in the moonlight. This plant is a great healer among the people.

Possible Questions

  1. A small boy is sent to accomplish an important task. Does his status as a little one help or hinder him?
  1. He doubts he has the ability to accomplish his challenge. Who helps the boy see he is capable?
  1. The boy prays/asks for help. In your transformation, who will you ask for guidance and assistance?
  1. Metaphorically, is there a great sickness among our Native people?

Possible Answers

  1. Being a little one does not hinder him as Native people believe every one has a gift that can lend itself to the important task at hand. Maybe in his childish innocence it is easier to develop faith that one can accomplish great things. Sometimes we all feel as helpless as a little child, but must understand we have great strength and abilities.
  1. The elder medicine man assures him he can do it and that he believes in him.
  1. I can turn to an elder or someone who has succeeded in transforming their life in a way that can be a guide for my transformation. Or I can ask a higher power (praying and the Star People hearing) for help.
  1. Alcoholism and drug abuse, diabetes, teen suicide and poverty can all be seen as great sicknesses that affect each of us.