butterfly against the wind


Jadina Lilien | Tiokasin Ghosthorse

Initial funding for the book is made possible by a grant from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. 

New York Foundation for the Arts is the fiscal sponsor for the book.



The images and words of this beautiful book speak directly to the soul about the mystery of the Lakota culture and land. It carries the sadness of the loss of the sacred, as well as the need to reconnect with this wellspring of wonder, in which our dreams and the dreams of the Earth are woven together. Here the inner and outer worlds meet and nourish us with the natural wisdom of when everything was alive in a sacred way.


Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Ph.D.

Sufi Teacher and Author,

Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth. 

This amazing art piece connects us to the Lakota worlds of subtle knowledge through an interplay of tangible and intangible elements. Here the images and reflections, which unveil a philosophical thought profoundly rooted in the original peoples’ life cycles, call for a cultural continuity and relativity of life for all.

Geraldine Patrick Encinas PhD (Mapuche) and Mindahi Crescencio Bastida Muñoz (Otomi)

Guardians of the knowledge of the Otomi-Hñahñu Regional Council in Mexico

At a time when human societies are fast destroying the web of life on Earth, Butterfly Against the Wind finds a counterforce not in new technology but in ancient wisdom and love that has no beginning or end.  Laced with the “quantum thinking" encoded in certain Lakota words and graced with dream-like artwork, this book is a revelation and a call.


Karenna Gore, Center for Earth Ethics, Union Theological Seminary

This is a beautiful and important book that opens doors into a source of profound wisdom that is much needed in these times. The passages of prose and multi-layered images invite the reader on a surprising journey into an invisible non-linear world beyond conventional appearances. This book works a subtle magic on us - pointing to a language and way of being that have the power to lead us back to a deeper relationship with what is sacred. Tiokasin and Jadina have offered a significant act of service in sharing Lakota wisdom in this unique and accessible way.


Dr. Justine Huxley

Director of St Ethelburga’s Center for Reconciliation and Peace, London 

In Butterfly Against the Wind, Jadina Lilien and Tiokasin Ghosthorse offer striking images and poignant words, taking the reader on a beautiful journey into the mystery and power of the Lakota language, history and cosmology. An important work that captures an experience of past, present and future that is much needed at this time.


Emmanuel Vaughan - Lee
Founder Global Oneness Project, Spiritual Ecologist 

Butterfly Against the Wind
By Tiokasin Ghosthorse



One of the beauties of Butterfly Against the Wind is how the camera that is usually used to capture and freeze into icons, images of the people of indigenous America or the pen of the uninvited conqueror who would surreptitiously sign away indigenous America and rewrite the facts to t the deed, are here in the hands of Jadina Lilien and Tiokasin Ghosthorse to the contrary letting everyone remember that the true indigenous soul of a people’s land cannot be captured nor held captive, and while you can force people out of the land and lifestyle they love, nothing can take away the love that the Land has for the people who truly belong to it. 

I grew up with Pueblo Indian people on a New Mexico Reservation. For them the Past was never in the past! Their Past was never gone or invisible. 

For them the “bad things” that happened in the past had nothing to do with the Past that was never gone. 

For them the Past is a thing of right now; it is the firm, healthy bone of life upon which the moving muscle of the visible present moment attaches and molds itself, continuously in motion toward another unique moment that will someday itself be the kind of spiritual past that holds up the eternal present. 



Gift of the Stars

There are 100 trillion cells that make up the body, and each cell has 100 trillion atoms, and each cell comes from distant stars of different galaxies from the unknown universe.

Therefore there is no word for 'human being' in the Lakota language and we have always called ourselves Wicasa. Wica is star and Sa is like a gift.

We are gifts of the Star Nations and in our creation story have always known ourselves as Star Beings.

The Land Remembers

Up until now, the history of the Original Nations of this land called America were hidden, veiled from the consciousness of the people who lived there.

Though, when you walk among the grasses along the coulee, and wade through the cattails listening to the thrushes, you often hear memories which are not so much of the past but of the future. The lands, Turtle Island, keep these memories and if you listen without imposing through, you can hear them.

When I was five years old...