In the Lakota tradition it was the White Buffalo Calf Woman who brought the sacred pipe to the people and taught them to pray. The bowl of the pipe was the receptacle that held tobacco, an herb with male and female medicine. The seeding life. In the coming together of male and female, the connection to the divine energy of the Great Spirit was made. As the pipe was loaded with Tobacco, every family in nature was asked to enter into the pipe and share its medicine as prayer and praise to the heavens. The smoke was considered to be visual prayer, and was very sacred and cleansing.
All animals are sacred, but in many traditions White Buffalo is most sacred. The appearance of White Buffalo is a sign that prayers are being heard, that the sacred pipe is being honored, and that the promises of prophecy are being fulfilled. White Buffalo signals a time of abundance and plenty.
Buffalo was the major source of sustenance for the Plains Indians. It gave meant for food, hides for clothing, warm and soft robes for long winters, and hooves for glue. The medicine of Buffalo is prayer, gratitude and praise for that which has been received. Buffalo medicine is also knowing that abundance is present when all relations are honored as sacred, and when gratitude is expressed to every living part of creation.
Because of its desire to give the gifts that its body provided, and because of its willingness to be used on Earth for the highest good before entering the hunting grounds of Spirit, Buffalo did not readily stampede and run from hunters. To use Buffalo medicine is to smoke the pipe in a sacred manner, and to give praise for the richness of life to be shared with all races, all creatures, all nations, and all life. It means smoking for others to that their needs are met, praying for the good of all things in harmony, and accepting the Great Mystery as part of that harmony.
If you have drawn the Buffalo card, you may be asked to use your energy in prayer. You may also be called upon to be an instrument of someone else’s answer to a prayer. This could portend a time of recognizing the sacredness of every walk of life, albeit different from your own. To honor another’s pathway, even if it brings you sadness, is a part of the message that Buffalo brings. This may be a time of reconnection to the meaning of life and the value of peace. Most assuredly this time will bring serenity amidst chaos if you pray in earnest for enlightenment and the power of calmness and give praise for the gifts you already have.
Buffalo medicine is a sign that you achieve nothing without the aid of the Great Spirit and that you must be humble enough for that assistance and then be grateful for what you receive.
To receive Buffalo upside-down is a signal that you have forgotten to seek help when it has been needed. If your hand is closed in a fist, you cannot receive the bounty of abundance. In understanding the significance of the reversed Buffalo, you may well ask yourself. (1) Have I forgotten my eternal partner, Great Spirit? (2) Am I pushing myself too fast in the physical world and keeping myself from seeing the importance of reunion with the Source of all life? (3) Have I forgotten to honor the ways of others and to afford them the same respect that I wish to receive for myself? (4) Am I feeling like my life is being used for the highest good at this time? (5) Have I forgotten to be grateful for my life, my possessions, my talents, my abilities, my health, my family, or my friends? (6) Is it time to make peace with another, or to make peace with some inner conflict I have so that I may walk in balance again?
Become Buffalo. Feel the smoke of prayer and praise change your Buffalo robe to white so that you may be an answer to the prayers of the world.
Excerpt from “Medicine Cards” by Jamie Sams & David Carson