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The American Bison holds a rich place in American history. They are often confused with the water or cape buffalo from Asia and Africa, as we tend to use the word buffalo to describe our American Bison. They are not related.

When we dream of animals, then the whole of them can become symbolic. Bison have a hump with powerful muscles and a large head to plow through snow. They roam in herds, and nearly every part of their bodies was utilized after a hunt. Food, bones for tools, and implements. Hide for warm clothing and bedding. They are smart too. I have heard that when a storm comes, the bison herd will face it, walk through it, and suffer less damage to their tribe. All these traits offer symbolism to the dreamer.

Many tribes have a prophecy concerning a white bison (this is a beautifully told Lakota Story about the White Buffalo ). A few have been born over the past thirty years and symbolize that prayers have been answered and better times are coming. I know the bison represents gratitude and prayer. However, giving thanks has become a national holiday rooted in the “Boat People” history (first European settlers), though my native friends would tell you a different story.

When you see a bison in your dream, what color is it? Brown or white? Are you seeing movement? Grazing? The bulls stay outside of the herd to protect their tribe. Any aspect or question you might have can be significant to your understanding. The Bison teaches us how to work with our natural rhythm. If they take the easy way, how can I relax and trust more in the present? And lastly, the bison reminds me to give thanks, not just on Thanksgiving but every day, for the abundance that flows around us and for us.

In tribute to Native American Heritage Month, I thank the elders I met along the way. They taught me much, answered my many questions, sat with me and shared their stories. I am honored. Some of them have joined my ancestors on the other side, on the Blue Road of Spirit. I am grateful for our brief time together.

Sweet Dreaming. Judith

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