Updated: Apr 14, 2020
There came a time when the Great Spirit grew tired. Having worked very hard on its Creation, the Great Spirit wished to rest for a while - to be in All Its Glory and appreciate everything It had created. And so the Great Spirit, wise in all Its knowing, placed a Sacred Tree hidden within its Creation. Then the Great Spirit summoned one of its closest Allies and spoke. "Will you guard my Sacred Tree while I rest? Let no one approach that cannot meet me in my state of being." The Ally nodded and transformed itself into the ground around the tree. It moved the earth, creating a mountain around the Sacred Tree so that its branches could stretch into the heavens and Its roots grow deep into the earth. Then the earth moved once more, creating a cave that led to the Sacred Tree. All those who wished to approach the Great Spirit could enter through here. But first one had to pass the most ancient of spirits that guarded the entrance. Over time, the Children of the Great Spirit forgot their pure state of being. Consumed with shadows and fear they sought answers to their suffering; And so they began to seek out the Great Spirit to ask for answers. In the search for the Great Spirit, word began to spread that a great tree grew inside a mountain. Should they find this tree, surely they would find the Great Spirit resting there. But all those who approached the cave of the mountain were quickly frighten away. One after another ran away in fear, each claiming they had seen the most horrifying thing. Some claimed they had been met by a shadowy beast. Others spoke of a giant snake, a Great bear or a dark figure that haunted their dreams when they neared the cave. "There is a terrible spirit guarding this cave." they agreed. "We must kill it so that we may enter the mountain and reunite with the Great Spirit." No matter their efforts, the spirit could not be chased away nor killed. No one could pass.
Until one day, a young deer found itself grazing in a pasture just beyond the cave. When the deer saw a figure step out from the entrance of the cave, she became still. The little deer had heard of the great beast that protected this place but this figure did not seem like a Beast. Curious, the young deer remained still and watched the figure.
The figure remained motionless and did not speak.
Finally after some time, the deer approached the figure with a soft heart and asked if it were hungry.
The figure still did not respond.
And so the deer asked again. "Would you like some of this delicious grass that I eat? It is sweet and there is still some dew from the morning mist. Surely it will quench your thirst if you are hungry." The figure nodded. And so the young deer brought some sweet grass to the entrance of the cave and together they shared a meal. After some time the figure spoke. "You may enter the mountain, if you wish."
Baffled by its remark, the deer asked the figure. "Why is it that you let me pass but no other?" The figure spoke again. "The Great Spirit requests that only those pure in heart may enter while It rests. You have shown your intentions are pure and that you hold no fear." The deer bowed deeply for it knew it stood in the presence of a Sacred Spirit. "Why do you chase the others away?" Asked the little deer shyly. The Sacred Spirit replied, "I am but a mirror that reflects the truth of what rests in the hearts of those who approach. It is their own shadow that chases them away." The figure waved its hands across the land. "The shadows may live out there, but in here, no shadow may pollute the waters from which the Sacred Tree drinks, for it would disturb the balance of Creation. Those who wish to visit the Great Spirit in this place must first be willing to face that which masks their hearts." And so the little deer entered the cave. She walked through the shadows until she saw light illuminating the way. As the little deer neared the Sacred Tree, she saw that light flowed like water from the crown of its branches. When the light touched the earth it turned to a spring of water that fed the roots of the Tree. The deer drank from the spring and rejoiced with the eternal Great Spirit. When the little deer returned, it shared its journey with those that were willing to hear. And those that listened were granted entrance to return to the Great Spirit and refresh their soul. Written by Lori Fast