Black Hawk

Black Hawk – The Watchman

Mother Leafy Anderson (circa 1887–1927), medium and miracle healer, is often considered founder of the Spiritual Churches of New Orleans. Black Hawk was among her own primary spirit guides. He first appeared to her in a vision in Chicago, where she lived before moving to New Orleans. She described him as “the saint for the south,” while his now less-renowned compatriot, White Hawk, served the north.

Black Hawk’s identity is subject to debate. Several historic Native American leaders are named Black Hawk. He is usually associated with the most famous (circa 1767–3 October 1838), war leader of the Sauk and Fox who sided with the British during the War of 1812 and led an 1832 uprising called the Black Hawk War.

Initially successful, the Sauk and Fox were trapped on 2 August 1832 at the Bad Axe River in Wisconsin. Now called the Bad Axe Massacre, United States government troops killed dozens, including the elderly, children, and women. Black Hawk escaped but was betrayed, captured, and jailed. An autobiography allegedly dictated by Black Hawk was first published in 1833, then revised and enlarged in 1882 to great public interest. After his death, his skeleton was placed on display in the office of the governor of the Iowa Territory.

Scholar Judith Bettelheim suggests that Black Hawk may really be the Oglala Lakota chief of that name who performed with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and spent the winter of 1884–1885 in New Orleans.

Black Hawk the Watchman is a warrior for justice. He intercedes in all legal matters but especially to gain release from prison. Mother Anderson testified that she invoked his aid to overcome her legal difficulties while setting up the Spiritual Churches.

• Keep Black Hawk’s image positioned near your front door looking out or place in any vulnerable area to serve as your sentry and watchman. (Images are readily available through vendors of New Orleans-oriented spiritual supplies.)


North America


Mother Anderson wore a mantle bearing Black Hawk’s image.


Tomahawk (to cut through obstacles and clear paths), spear, or lance (if thrown, it can reach distant goals)




Rituals for Black Hawk are usually conducted at night and are illuminated by red candles, not electricity.



Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.