My first draft of Evolussion had Dawn Ingram using a Vision Quest to wrest control of her body from the plasmid, the alien artificial intelligence embedded in her cells, but just had the words ‘vision quest’ as a placeholder while I finished writing the rest of the story. Later, I went back and began filling in the actual sequence of the quest. For veracity, I began to research Lakota lore, and came across the legend of White Buffalo Woman. I had heard about the white buffalo calves born occasionally over the past while, but never really investigated further until reading up on the legend. What I found was quite intriguing, and blended well into the story of Three Eleven, the upcoming apocalypse, and the woman fated to stand between humanity and eradication.
The legend of White Buffalo (Calf) Woman explains the development of a number of ceremonies performed by the Lakota people, and presents the origins of the use of the sacred pipe in the plains tribes. In the legend, Ptesan-wi gifts the Lakota with the sacred pipe, teaches them how to use it, and promises to eventually return in a time of great need. Her return will be heralded (in some interpretations) by the arrival of (four) white buffalo calves, one representing each of the four directions of the Earth. A quick search found that there are not just four white buffalo right now, but there are more white buffalo walking the Earth than ever before. An entire herd.
In keeping with the mythology, this should signify a dramatic change in the Earth. Whether that change is social, environmental, climactic or even apocalyptic remains to be seen. What I find interesting is how closely the arrival of the white buffalo coincides with the upcoming Mayan calendar renewal. Most people are aware of 2012 as the ‘end’ of the Mayan calendar, and if they have not seen the movie of the same name, they have at least heard the hype.
Since my story weaves in an apocalypse, I threaded the White Buffalo Woman legend into the tale. The timing even works with 2012, because the actual arrival of the catastrophe is not 11/11/11, but the initial events leading to the catastrophe of 2012 are set in motion on that day. I liked the results, but my venture into a spiritual link with nature was obviously outside some readers’ comfort zone, as shown by a 2 star review criticizing the use of the legend (I quite ‘The train really flies off the tracks when Dawn goes and visits the buffalo spirits. No, that’s not a joke.’), but actually arose from passages in the original Regression manuscript which were later removed. I had wanted a connection between Adya and the Earth in that story – an Earth Mother if you will – had written it into a number of scenes, but pulled it because of a couple of people’s comments.
Revolussion will see further development of Dawn’s connection, but the story certainly does not revolve around spirituality or natural connectivity. At least, not at this point in drafting!