The Deer Medicine Rocks:
See Sitting Bull's Vision of Victory carved in the rockface at the Great Sundance
Where: Deer Medicine Rocks, Montana
Meeting Place: To be arranged
Tribes: Lakota Cheyenne
Activity level: Uneven path around uneven rocks
Duration: About 4 hours
Did you know that the Rattlesnakes are the traditional guardians of Deer Medicine Rocks, and that if they’re waiting for you, at least one of your group should have stayed at home? Anywhere else, the rationalist answer would seem unarguable, but Deer Medicine Rocks, which erupt two stories into the sky from a hillock on a private ranch right next to the Cheyenne reservation, can make the most hardened skeptic wonder. Here, on one of the disregarded back roads of the Native American byways, is history. Down one side of the rocks, a crooked cobalt streak has been scorched by an ancient lightning strike. Around the foot are carvings left by centuries of worshippers, soldiers and travelers, and it was here, in 1876, that the Lakota chief Sitting Bull had a vision of soldiers tumbling into his camp, and carved this script into the stone - the figures, though a little faint, are very visible. Not long after that, not far from here, at a place history remembers as Little Bighorn, the men of General George Custer’s 7th Cavalry played their parts, as predicted.
About Your Day
Experience for yourself that this rock has powerful medicine. It’s like putting the same poles of two magnets together, and the land-owner, whose family have ranched this property for more than a century, is scrupulous about letting local Cheyennes pray at the rocks as and when they need to. There are no signs on nearby roads directing traffic to this glorious, lonely place, just earth and sky, rock and spirit.
Walk the sometimes grassy sometimes rocky path around the Deer Medicine Rocks and observe with your guide the multitude of drawings and messages left by the Old Ones.
Learn to interpret the symbols and to read tribal history as it was told through the ages.