Together But Not Chained: The Sioux Legend Of Relationships

Together but not chained: the Sioux legend of relationships

According to an ancient and beautiful Sioux legend, for a relationship to be lasting and happy it is important that  both members can fly together but not be chained to each other,  never slaves to each other. For true love does not chain us. It unites two individuals in a single project without anyone having to reject their own being, their own identity.

It is strange that the Native American ancient wisdom is still relevant today and inspires us with its stories and legends. Sometimes they are magical, but they always give us a valuable wake-up call. Somehow the stories remain meaningful and relevant to us. Out of all this wisdom, the Sioux tribe has helped us the most.

We owe them the legend of the dreamcatcher and also this gem of a fable that teaches us a simple but deep lesson on how to build a stable and happy relationship. Fortunately, we have access to the fascinating book ‘ American Indian Stories’, by  Zitkála-Šá. 

This interesting writer was the first Sioux Indian to receive education in the West. She was a defender of her country’s traditions, a violinist and above all an activist. It was she who, at the beginning of the twentieth century, gave us part of her cultural heritage. She gave us simple and beautiful lyrics, including this great legend that we will now delve into.

Indian casting a spell because of the sioux legend about relationships

Love, the individual and the relationship according to the Sioux legend

There is an old legend about a young Sioux couple who went to the village shaman one morning. They lived close to  Paha Sapa , known today as the Black Hills, which are sacred to the Sioux. The young man was a brave warrior and of great honor and noble nature. Touch the Clouds  was a woman with almond eyes, a thick head of hair, and determination in her heart. But above all, she had a deep love for the man who would become her husband.

The reason why they decided to visit the shaman was very important: they were afraid. They feared that their promise, the devoted love they showed to each other, would eventually be broken. They were also afraid of dying and of not finding each other again in the afterlife. They wanted the old medicine man to give them some poison, or a spell that would make their love eternal.

Eagles flying over the water

The outcome

The young Sioux girl and her love fulfilled the challenge the old shaman had given them. She brought a falcon in a leather bag. The young warrior carried his eagle. The most beautiful, the strongest. When they came back to the old shaman, they both asked what the next step would be. ‘ To sacrifice the birds and bathe in their blood, perhaps?’ they asked.

  • I will tell you what to do now:  take the birds and tie their feet with a leather cord, so that they are tied together. Then you need to let them go so that they may fly free.

When they complied with this request, they were amazed and speechless when they saw what happened. When the two birds tried to fly away, they fell down again and again. Frustrated and full of anger, they began to peck each other.

The old shaman intervened and freed the birds. This is the spell I will give you: learn from what you have just seen. If you tie yourself together, even with love, you will only bring each other down, hurt each other, and be unhappy. If you want love to last, fly as high as you can: together but not shackled. For true love does not chain us.

The emotional ecological couple: together but not chained

‘Together but not tethered’ by Jaume Soler and Mercè Conangla is another book that is just as interesting. It perfectly explains the central idea of ​​the ancient Sioux legend. These authors propose that  we should build what they call an appropriate “emotional ecology.”

In the complex challenge of building a stable, happy, mature and rewarding partnership, we must find a balance between our strengths and our space, in order to create an environment where we can be true to ourselves and also to our relationship’. And we must never lose our identity, our self-love, our self-confidence or our secret dreams.

Finally, we should also remember that we can apply the legend and principle of “together but not chained” to any kind of relationship. It could be a friendship or even a parent-child relationship. Because ultimately  we have to protect our personal space in order to preserve the magic of the band.

It is worth thinking about this. 

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