CHRIST AND THE AMERICAS
From the Rising of the Sun to the Going Down of the Same...Malachi 1:11
You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on Eagle's wings, and brought you unto myself...(Exodus 19:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:17,18; Revelation 12:14-17).
Behold, I go to prepare a place for you...
"Two centuries of independence, two hundred years of national awareness, these are the underlying themes of countless festivities now in progress or planned throughout fifty American states. The world at large pauses a moment to reflect upon the prodigy that grew from the thirteen rebellious colonies when George III lost his American domains.
But wait a bit. There is more to America's past than appears upon the surface. A strange unrest is apparent among many of the younger historians and archaeologists of the colleges and universities, a sense that somehow a very large slice of America's past has mysteriously vanished from our public records. For how else can we explain the ever-swelling tally of puzzling ancient inscriptions now being reported from nearly all parts of the United States, Canada, and Latin America?
The inscriptions are written in various European and Mediterranean languages in alphabets that date from 2,500 years ago, and speak not only of visits by ancient ships, but also of permanent colonies of Celts, Basques, Libyans, and even Egyptians. They occur on buried temples, on tablets, and on gravestones and on cliff faces. From some of them we infer that the colonists intermarried with the Amerindians, and so their descendants still live here today.
There was once a time when such finds were attributed to the misguided folly of uprooted colonists from Europe, to forgers or cranks fabricating tradition for a society that has none. But skepticism changed to bewilderment when it was discovered that American inscriptions, some of them known for a century or more, turn out to have been written in ancient scripts only recently deciphered in Europe or North Africa. Thus the truth has slowly come to light, ancient history is inscribed upon the bedrock and buried stone buildings of America, and the only hands that could have inscribed it were those of ancient people. America, as we now realize, is a treasure house of records of man's achievement upon the high seas in bygone ages..." America B.C. (Druids in Vermont. Phoenicians in Iowa Before the Time of Julius Caesar), by Barry Fell, pp.4,5.
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork.
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
THERE IS NO SPEECH NOR LANGUAGE, WHERE THEIR VOICE IS NOT HEARD.
THEIR LINE IS GONE OUT THROUGH ALL THE EARTH, AND THEIR WORDS TO THE END OF THE WORLD. IN THEM HATH HE SET THE TABERNACLE OF THE SUN,
Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
HIS GOING FORTH IS FROM THE END OF THE HEAVEN, AND HIS CIRCUIT UNTO THE ENDS OF IT, and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof...(Psalm 19:1-6).
Solomon reigned in a peaceable time, and was honoured; for God made all quiet round about him, that he might build an house in his name, and prepare his sanctuary for ever.
How wise wast thou in thy youth, and, as a flood, filled with understanding.
Thy soul covered the whole earth, and thou filledst it with dark parables.
Thy name went far unto the islands; and for thy peace thou wast beloved...(Ecclesiasticus 47:13-16).
"Investigations were made in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to determine whether the American Indians were the lost tribes of Judah; and it was pretty well proved both yes and no, and unprovable either way, which made it an excellent topic for study and exploitation, one populated by warm bodies and tear stained faces and beautiful, waiting children. James Adair, an Irish trader who lived among the Cherokees for forty years, decided the Indians were indeed one of the lost tribes and wrote seventy thousand words on the subject at a time when printed words were dear. He used as evidence such topics as their division into tribes; their language and dialects, their festivals, feasts, and religious rites, their absolutions and anointings, their laws of uncleanness, their avoidance of unclean things, their practices of marriage, divorce, and punishment for adultery, their ornaments.
Adair was one of a series of writers who held similar views, among them Gregorio Garcia in his Origen de las Indios de la Nuevo Mundo (1607), Bartoleme de las Casas, Thomas Thorowgood in his Iewes in America (1650 and 1660). John Eliot in his Conjectures, Manasseh ben Israel, Cotton Mather, Roger Williams, William Penn, Charles Beatty in The Journal of Two-Months Tour (1768).
The Cherokees were often selected for distinction because they were inheritors of a dignity beyond their rather simple means and even referred to themselves as the 'principle people.' Their lands were the center of the Earth. All else radiated out from there" Trail of Tears, The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation, By John Ehle, p.1.
A clear enough connection exists between the (wee-people) legends of the Tuatta de Danaan (the children of Dan who arrived in Ireland shortly after the time of the Exodus) and the little people of the Cherokees. The leprechauns of Ireland represent distant memories, memories of the past that have faded almost out of sight, becoming ever so small in the recollections of the people. Every now and then someone gets a glimpse of them:
"...Not that little people were always helpful. Whenever a stone falls nearby, one of them threw it. Whenever a rock begins to tumble across a mountain path, the little people are up there...The (Cherokee) boy must learn to hold secret his sightings of them. Do not report what you hear them say--NOT FOR SEVEN DAYS--whiich is long time for a boy to wait, or you will suffer illness or an accident. As you get older and go into the woods and onto the mountain, should you come upon a beautiful maiden, do not risk going off with her, for she might be a Nunnehi...Although they will protect you if you are lost, even feed you if you are hungry, the beautiful women are dangerous and they are possessive--not like a Cherokee woman. In the hidden places of the earth where they live, night is day, and day is night. Think of that. And what is right to do becomes wrong, and what is wrong becomes right. But they do know the paths, all of them.
When your grandmother died it was the little people who came from far off and took her by the hand and led her to the place where Kanati lives, the Great Spirit of all." John Ehle, pp.11,12.
These beautiful, yet seductive maidens? Understand it in the Book of Proverbs (chapter 7, KJV); and perhaps from the mouth of the great apostle himself:
"...Theodoret's testimony is confirmed by Jerome, in his commentary upon Amos, where he tells us that St. Paul, having been in Spain sailed from one ocean to another; THAT HE IMITATED THE COURSE OF THE SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, of whom it was said, HIS GOING FORTH IS FROM ONE END OF HEAVEN UNTO THE OTHER; and that the progress of his preaching reached as far as the extremity of the earth." The Ecclesiastical History of Great Britain from the Planting of Christianity to the Reign of Charles the Second, by Jeremy Collier, (1708).
Malachi, chapter 4; Isaiah 40:21-26; Hebrews, chapter 12.
The Great Medicine Wheel and the Tree of Life
America, the Eighth and last world empire, and the Root of the entire Western mystery.
MAPPING THE COSMOS. (A National Geographic article)...Pre-Columbian Americans left no definitive charts of their universe; clues from iconography, ethnology, and archaeology guided these reconstructions. To each culture the universe encompassed sky, earth, and underworld. Each saw celestial bodies as living beings that influenced humans and could be affected by them. Each believed its people came from the earth and resided at the center of the universe...
Hast thou with God spread out the sky which is strong, as a molten looking glass? (Job 37:18)
From Genesis to Revelation
The Maya universe, here centered on a tiered pyramid, rested on a (serpent) in the cosmic sea. Each quarter of the earth was associated with a color; the center was a fifth direction. Four divine beings held up the dome of heaven, shown as a two-headed Dragon whose body is a sky-band of celestial symbols. It arches over the Moon-goddess--who holds the rabbit (a symbol of fertility)--a skeletal Venus, and the Sun-god. The star cluster Pleiades is a rattlesnake tail. The creation of the Sun and, probably, the planet Venus (the morning and evening star) was explained by a tale of Hero Twins who vied with the Lords of Death in a series of ball games; the victorious twins became those celestial bodies. (see Daniel 12:3).
"Archaeological discoveries in Britain confirm that a viable civilization had developed there as far back as the time of the Phoenicians whose traces have been found in England. It is Caesar who has pictured them (the Britains) as painted savages very much like American Indians before Columbus. This impression is absolutely wrong. Perhaps the civilization of Britain was not as far advanced as Taylor and Jowett would like to believe. But the use of the wheel and the knowledge of metallurgy which existed in Britain long before the time of Caesar clearly indicates a civilization far in advance, for example, as that of the Aztecs at the time of the conquest of Cortez (1519 A.D.) who used neither wheels nor iron...
It is our belief that the reason the indigenous peoples of the American continent made no effort to develop the use of metals, to produce a mechanical wheel (which they certainly knew about, and no doubt had the same ability as the Britains to develop had they lent their energies in that direction), had to do with a set of sacred instructions that passed among the tribes and nations of the Americas in those ancient times. These told of a future people who would come back to this land (a second-wave people), who would work much evil in the earth through the use of such devices and bring destruction upon itself again through its own inventions. These instructions flowed from the Songs of the ancient seers and prophets--songs that were carried from one side of the earth to the other. And while these teachings spoke to the children of the Holy Nation, they spoke to every one who had an ear to hear:
.They did not destroy the (other) nations, concerning whom the Lord commanded them:
But they were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.
And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.
Yea, they sacrificed their sons and daughters unto devils,
And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.
Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring after their own inventions.
Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, insomuch as he abhorred his own inheritance...(Psalm 106:34-40).
...Considering this relatively advanced civilization it is not difficult to believe that some of the Apostles visited England. Did they not believe that theirs was the commission to take the gospel to the ends of the earth.. The Search For the Twelve Apostles, William Steuart McBirnie, Ph.D., p.61.
In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul indicated his intention to visit Rome "on his way to Spain," (Romans 15:28), but his first imprisonment prevented that. If he was released after his first trial he may have gone there AND BEYOND. Why should he have wanted to go to Spain? Because it was the westernmost portion of Europe, and there were colonies of Jews there. (Please consider the chapter devoted to Paul, entitled Elisha ben Abuyah). Some were slaves, imprisoned as political prisoners by Herod Antipas. (Now what influence could Herod have had in Spain)? The Epistle of Clement and the Muratori Fragment both imply the possibility and assert that St. Paul visited Spain. Eusebius mentions, as Sir William Ramsay also points out, a gap in the life of St. Paul between A.D. 61 and 65. In this time he could have gone to Spain AND ELSEWHERE AS WELL. McBirnie, pp.280, 281.
The evidence on this subject, though...not copious, is yet conclusive so far as it goes...The most important portion of it is supplied by Clement, the disciple of Paul mentioned in Philippians 4:3, who was afterward Bishop of Rome. This author writing from Rome to Corinth, expressly asserts that Paul had preached the gospel "IN THE EAST AND IN THE WEST," that he had "INSTRUCTED THE WHOLE WORLD IN RIGHTEOUSNESS," and that "HE HAD GONE TO THE EXTREMITY OF THE WEST" before his martyrdom. McBirnie, p.282.
LOST GOLDEN BOOKS OF THE MAYA
"These people also used certain characters or letters, with which they wrote in their books about the antiquities and their sciences...We found a great number of books in these letters, and since they contained nothing but superstitions and falsehoods of the devil WE BURNED THEM ALL, which they took most greviously, and which gave them great pain." Friar Diego de Landa, 1566.
"My son, write this book for the Temple at Dios-polis IN HIEROGLYPHIC CHARACTERS, entitling it The Eighth and the Ninth.
My son, write the language on the Book of Steles OF TURQUOISE IN HIEROGLYPHIC CHARACTERS. For Mind Himself has become overseer of these. Therefore I command that this teaching be carved on stone, and that you place it in my sanctuary. EIGHT guardians guard it with...THE SUN
The males on the Right are frog-faced and the females on the left are cat-faced. And put a square milk-stone at the base of the Turquoise Tablet in Hieroglyphic Characters. My son, you will do this when I am in Virgo, and the Sun is in the First half of the Day, and Fifteen degrees have passed by me." The Discourse on the Eighth and the Ninth, The Nag Hammadi Library, p.326.
QUETZALCOATL AND THE PYRAMID OF THE SUN
The gigantic pyramid could be entered through a small opening in the east side. Inside were miles of tunnels in a bewildering maze. Murals and frescoes can be found throughout the strange tunnel system. According to Humboldt, the pyramid had been topped with a jade image of Quetzalcoatl. Today, a Catholic church can be found at the summit...
According to "Facts and Artifacts of Ancient Middle America,"...the pyramid at Cholula is dedicated to the "white god" Quetzalcoatl, the mysterious figure whose legend and prophesy was the cause of the downfall of the Aztec empire at the onslaught of a handful of conquistadors. The fascinating story of Quetzalcoatl is one that has inspired many people, and like the life of great philosophical and religious leaders such as Krishna, Gautama, Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu, Zoroaster and Jesus of Nazareth: the native American Messiah, Quetzalcoatl, has changed lives.
There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard...(Psalm 19:3).
There is much confusion concerning Quetzalcoatl, and many scholars argue about the identity or even the existence of such a figure. The modern Mayan esotericist, Hunbatz Men, in his book, "Secrets of Mayan Science/Religion," has some useful information on the similarities of esoteric Mayan Science with the sciences of ancient India. (Of course, this was part of Christianity's mission in the earth, to provide the bridge between the East and West, linking all of the dimensions of the Sacred World Tree to each other). He points out that the Mayas used the same chakra system as the Hindus, and even many of the words are the same. He also points out that the "Naga Maya" held many of the priestly secrets of the Maya. James Churchward of the popular "Mu" books likewise considered the "Nagas" as the source of Hindu wisdom.
Hunbatz Men also shows that Mayan glyphs, words and concepts had different levels of meaning, much as ancient Egyptian and Hebrew had different levels of meaning in their inscriptions and books, and the level of initiation of the reader determined the knowledge that was gained from any text.
Thus, Hunbatz Men maintains that Quetzalcoatl , or Kukulcan in Mayan, is not meant to be a real person, but essentially the embodiment of a perfected man, a yogi, adept, or Master in eastern terminology, or a saint or Master in western terminology. He maintains that "Self-appointed 'official' historians have created the great colonial lie of a 'whiter, bearded, and blue-eyed' Quetzacoatl--a deception still perpetrated in histories of our beloved Mexican people. The true nature of Quetzalcoatl/Kukulcan remains a mystery that is accessible only through Nahua/Mayan science/religion. (Such an idea very admirably reflects Paul's doctrine of the Universal Christ--the Christ that dwells in every man).
The true nature, according to Hunbatz Men, is that we are all Quetzalcoatl, and that the perfect being inside of us can be reached through the correct use of yoga (meditation). While Hunbatz Men may be correct in that we all have the capability of perfecting ourselves and becoming Quetzalcoatl, a sort of god on earth, he is most definitely incorrect when he says that the notion of a bearded man walking throughout Mesoamerica is a fabrication of Spanish historians. He seems to forget that the very conquest of Mexico itself would never have happened if Cortez had not been believed by the Aztecs to be this mysterious bearded stranger returning to them.
When in 1519, Cortez and his 600 companions landed in Mexico they were astonished at being hailed as the realization of an ancient native tradition, which was generally told as follows: Many centuries previously a white man came to Mexico from across the sea in a boat with wings (sails) like those of the Spanish vessels. He stayed many years, traveled all over North America and taught the people a system of religion, instructed them in the principles of government, and imparted to them a knowledge of many industrial arts. He won their esteem and veneration by his piety, his many virtues, his wisdom and his knowledge of divine things...
That the God of our Lord (Hesus Crishna), the Father of glory (the Great Spirit), may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him...(Ephesians 1:17-23).
...The Mexicans knew him as Quetzalcoatl, or THE FEATHERED SERPENT. The quetzal is a rare bird in the forests of Central America whose long feathers were more valuable than gold to the ancient Mesoamericans. After some twenty years (?) of visiting the various civilizations of North America, Quetzalcoatl eventually left the country. On his way to the coast he stayed for a time at the city of Cholula, where subsequently a great pyramid surmounted by a temple was erected in his honor. On the shores of the gulf of Mexico (the island of Cozumel it is often said) he took leave of his followers, soothing their sorrow at his departure with the assurance that he would not forget them, and that he himself, or someone sent by him, would return at some future time to visit them. He had made for himself a vessel of serpent's skins, and in this strange contrivance he sailed away in a northeasterly direction for his own country the holy island of Hapallan, lying beyond the great ocean....
Furthermore, it was predicted that Quetzalcoatl would return on a one reed (Ce-actl) year. The one reed year reoccurred every 52 years, and 1519 was such a year (as was the year of the Harmonic Convergance that was celebrated at many sacred places across the American continent in 1987)...
The religion of the Mexicans as the Spaniards found it was in truth an amazing and most unnatural combination of what appeared to be Christian beliefs and Christian virtues and morality with the bloody rites and idolatrous practices of pagan barbarians. The mystery was soon explained...by the Mexicans themselves. The milder part of the Mexican religion was that which Quetzalcoatl had taught them...And then the first bands of Aztecs eventually appeared. They were wanderers from the Northwest...and were a fierce and warlike people, possessing little capacity for the mental and moral refinement and high civilization of their Toltec predecessors...All that was savage and barbarous in the religion rites...was attributed by the Mexicans themselves to the Aztecs; all that was gentle and humanizing to the Toltecs...To the Toltec origin was assigned those doctrines and practices which struck the Spaniards as remnants of an early knowledge of Christianity...
"Whether due to such teaching or to accidental coincidence, it is certain that the Mexicans held many points of belief in common with Christians. They believed in the Trinity (three descents on the limbs of the Sacred Tree), the Incarnation, and apparently the Redemption. One of the first things that struck the Spaniards on their arrival in Mexico was the spectacle of LARGE STONE CROSSES on the coast and in the interior of the country. These were objects of veneration and worship. One cross or marble near one of the places the Spaniards named Vera Cruz was surmounted by a Golden Crown, and in answer to the curious inquiries of the Spanish ecclesiastics the natives said that 'ONE MORE GLORIOUS THAN THE SUN HAD DIED UPON A CROSS...
Whoever Quetzalcoatl may have been, and whatever might be the right designation of the religion which he taught, it is clear beyond question that he was the medium through which the Mexicans obtained their curious Christian-like knowledge...He was the founder of history, the law-giver, the inventor of calendar of days and years, the composer of the 'Tonalmatl,' THE SUN BOOK, where the Tonalpouhqui, 'HE WHO COUNTS BY THE SUN' reads the destinies of men in astrological predictions, and he regulated the times of the solemn ceremonies, the festival of the new year and (in Mexico) the fifty-two years'`cycle." Lost Cities of North & Central America, by David Hatcher Childress, pp.229-249.
The fifty-two year cycle traces the transit of Venus--the morning and evening star--across the heavens. This transit reflects in every way the Westward journey of Jerusalem, the City Above, the Mother of us all. (Galatians 4:26). The other, generally more familiar, method of counting the times involves the idea of Jubilees, or sets of both 49 days and 49 years. The method is laid down in Leviticus, chapters 23 and 25, as well as in the Hebrew Book of Jubilees and in The Chapters of Rabbi Eliezer the Great. We speak of it in detail in Chapter 5, and in those sub-chapters entitled The Seventh Month and The Harmonic Convergance. Suffice it to say here that way out there in the territory that is now known as Wyoming, on top of a most-sacred site, there is an very ancient Stone Circle embedded in the earth, A MEDICINE WHEEL, whose 28 spokes fit exactly the pattern of the great 28-year Solar Cycle (one that conforms to, and catches up to its own Lunar and Jubilee cycles in the fulness of time). It is believed by many that this Medicine Wheel forms the basis of every Sun Dance ceremony that has been observed on this continent ever since.
Medicine Wheel, Bighorn County, Wyoming
The Medicine Wheel is located in the Bighorn National Forest on the western peak of Medicine Mountain at an elevation of 9642 feet in the Bighorn Range east of Lovell, Wyoming. The 75-foot diameter Medicine Wheel is a roughly circular alignment of rocks and associated cairns enclosing 28 radial rows of rock extending out from a central cairn. This feature is part of a much larger complex of interrelated archeological sites and traditional use areas that express 7000 years of Native American adaptation to and use of the alpine landscape that surrounds Medicine Mountain. Numerous contemporary American Indian traditional use areas and features, including ceremonial staging areas, medicinal and ceremonial plant gathering areas, sweat lodge sites, altars, offering locales and fasting (vision quest) enclosures, can be found nearby. Ethnohistoric, ethnographic, and archeological evidence demonstrates that the Medicine Wheel and the surrounding landscape constitute one of the most important and well preserved ancient Native American sacred site complexes in North America. The Bighorn Medicine Wheel is considered the type site for medicine wheels in North America. Between 70 and 150 wheels have been identified in South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.
MEDICINE WHEEL: SUN & STARS
You can't see it as I did, the night of the 1978 summer solstice, which was also the night of a full moon. I spent that night alone on Medicine Mountain, Wyoming, at the Bighorn Medicine Wheel. After many unexpected experiences during the night, I saw the expected solstice sunrise line up with an old tree branch I'd placed with tobacco, sage and cedar in the central cairn. Usually I have no voice and am no kind of singer, but then I faced that rising sun, then suddenly stood up and sang a song loud and joyful in a language that I think no one knows any more. (But I knew what it meant while I was singing.) I never sang like that before, never since.
You can't do that (and I can't again), because the U.S. Forest Service has developed it now as a tourist attraction. There are now 30,000 visitors during the short summer period it can be visited. Interpretive presentations are now given under Forest Service sponsorship by people from nearby Crow and Cheyenne tribes.
It was white men (discovering it at the end of the 19th century) who named it "Medicine Wheel," terminology they applied to anything Indian observed or told them they didn't understand. White men of the Sheridan Chamber of Commerce -- particularly as tourism in the Bighorn National Forest got underway as economically significant to the town -- made a huge mystery of it, and ignored the fact that there are at least 40 other wheels on the high plains (mostly in Canada), as well as some sites far removed, both spatially and culturally.
One of these (Cahokia in Ohio) has been called "An American Woodhenge" because of similar astronomical sightings from a large circle of postholes, all that remains. The "-henge" and the interest of astronomers in solar, lunar and star sighting relationships, comes from a 1960's analysis of the famous Stonehenge in England. In the late 1960's British astronomer G.S. Hawkins showed with astronomical computations that the ancient circle of huge megaliths was a solar-lunar and stellar analog computer made by pre-historic Celtic tribespeople. This gave Eddy, then an astronomer (whose speciality was the sun) at the High Altitude Observatory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, near Boulder, Colorado, the idea to make an exact survey of the Bighorn wheel, and observations and computations following the methods used by Hawkins. To see if the rocks, the mountain, sun, stars and the spatial directions could tell us something people have long forgotten. He found that they could, that nature itself speaks to those who know how to interpret, via astronomy, geometry, and mathematics. Generally, the methods used -- at least until the excitement this discovery occasioned -- are not known to anthros.
--Here -- on a Wyoming tourist map -- is where the Bighorn wheel is, west of Sheridan, on Alt 14-A, which used to be a poor 1-lane bulldozed into an old travois trail. You used to have to hike about a mile to get to the Wheel, It's on a high, bare shoulder, at about 10,000 feet, above the tree line, with almost a full horizon view all around. There's a precipice not far behind the main sun-sighting altar dropping to the Bighorn River valley. A steep bluff with some sharp drop-offs slopes down to a lower ledge on part of the shoulder that's still above the tree-line and overlooks the broad valley to the southeast.
--This color photo of the Bighorn Wheel, was supplied by the U.S. Forest Service Bighorn district office is taken (probably in the late 1970's) looking due east (there is a red east marker at the edge of the windswept bare shoulder's stepped drop-off). Snow is still visible on the distant ridges and forest below, but has been blown clear of the shoulder here. The wheel is about 90 feet in diameter, though it's not a perfect circle. The central cairn (solar backsight) is about 12 feet in diameter. It was about 4 feet tall when I visited it in 1978. The sunrise sighting cairn is at the lower right from this photo angle, separated from the wheel's rim by a 12 foot spoke extension. It is U-shaped, longer than wide, and open at the end toward the circle's center. You can stand or sit in this cairn -- I slept in it, lying stretched out in my sleeping bag, then I sat up -- to sight the solstice rising sun along the spoke and through an old dead branch I placed in the central cairn. Behind you will be a steep precipice, down to the Bighorn River valley, across which there are visible snowy summits of high peaks that bound Yellowstone National Park, 100 miles away. On the front lower left of the wheel is the starsight cairn. Across the rim, on its eastern side, are the cairns used as backsights for sighting the dawn-rising stars Aldebaran, Rigel, and Sirius, as calculated and discovered by astronomer John Eddy in 1972-4. At the right is a cairn that lines up with dawn-rising of the southern bright star Fomalhaut, as discovered by Jack A. Robinson, in 1980.
The ancient geology of Medicine Mountain has formed a very special place, perhaps unique in all the world. Regardless of when the Wheel was built up there, there is every likelihood it has always been sacred to Native peoples, because its special character, an acient sacredness long predating the existence of humankind and even animals, can be felt. That's probably why the Wheel was built there, actually.
Tourist desecrations might have been worse, probably would have been, except for years of determined protective efforts by the Medicine Wheel Alliance, an organization that got its start through the Northern Cheyenne Cultural Commission. In 1988, the Forest Service made a developmental proposal for the wheel, which was protested by people from Northern Cheyenne, Crow, Arapaho, Sioux, and Blackfeet tribes, who later formed the protective organization.
Anthros seem mainly to have asked the Crow about the wheel (their reservation in Montana is nearest, and there is a small, damaged wheel near Fort Smith on their present rez land), Northern Cheyenne may know more about it. The Wheel figures in an unsuccessful treaty-based land claim filed by the Northern Cheyenne in 1929, just inside (its shoulder precipice forming part of) the boundary of land including the Bighorns and Powder River country they maintained the U.S. took illegally).
According to Northern Cheyenne Bill Tall Bull in 1988, "I've had to hide myself up there (from the Forest Service) while conducting ceremonial prayers on the mountain. Rangers have been known to kick Indians off the mountain. Many times I had to hide from them and the tourists while there for prayer."How sad, when I head this, just 10 years after I was up there all alone, it wasn't famous then
After my night alone up there seeing the solstice sun rise right on the ancient altar's lineup I went to the home of a traditional woman elder friend at the nearby Northern Cheyenne rez. No one there could tell me much about it, then, except that "It was up there that the instructions were given for the first Sun Dance." The Wheel itself was said to be those instructions.
Sundance lodge, with entrance to east and 28 rafters for the 28 lunar cycle days. This, according to Lakota elder Black Elk, was the original form of the Sundance lodge, which he says was Cheyenne, though nowadays lodges may be made with fewer rafters. The diagram from above is similar to the basic shape and orientation of the Bighorn Medicine Wheel, which has 28 lunar day spokes from its central cairn. According to Forgot name??? it's similar to a Cheyenne Sundance lodge created for a masama ceremony.
They were having a Sun Dance at the Northern Cheyenne rez -- I was invited to stay for it, and take part in some of the preparations. This Sun Dance was being made by the father of a young man who -- while drunk -- had killed another Cheyenne and received a long prison sentence. He hoped it would help his son, but everyone knows it helps all the people, as it renews the earth. Cheyenne Sundance Lodge Painting by Wah-pah-nah-ya (Richard West, Northern Cheyenne), 1949
In 1988, the Forest service wanted to put a parking lot and latrines right next to the Wheel, with some kind of interpretive center building, and a big platform overlooking the Wheel itself. They were going to pave the rough road up there to improve access, and take that road all the way to the site. (I had to hike in. That was part of it.) In May, 1991, the Forest Service issued an Environmental Impact statement. The Alliance responded "There is no consideration of the Native American in this document; it is designed for tourists."
There was no plan to restrict tourist access during ceremonies, although the Forest Service said they'd ask the public to voluntarily stay away at solstice or equinox ceremonies. MWA coordinator Nicol Price said that in the summer of 1991 such voluntary restraint was shown to be quite futile, when curious tourists even snapped photos as Indian elders tried to conduct ceremonies, Tall Bull, who was one of the leaders in the many-year negotiations of the Alliance said "The federal government has no respect for our shrine, or the Indian people who regularly worship there."
Some compromises have been made -- the parking lot was built a mile or so away, they have to go that last mile on a foot trail -- all 30 or 40 thousand of them. Indians lead the interpretive presentations. Major structures the Forest Service wanted weren't built (the latrines are at the parking lot). I'm glad of these things, but quite sorry to hear of the many tourists who come, gawp, then go away. I am very glad I followed whatever it was thatled me up there to that then-deserted place 20 years ago. I would not have wanted to "attend a ceremony" up there that was being conducted by any peoples at all. Though I'd read a scientific article about its use as a solar and astronomical "analog computer" and written about this and other medicine wheels of the high northern plans for Akwesasne Notes in 1974, I didn't know much about it when I drove 1,000 miles for that solstice, not even where it was, really.
--To start with, the Bighorn Wheel is not unique. These stone structures -- observatory cairns or altars of stone, circles, with some spokes -- seem to be located only on the front range high plains area of the Rocky Mountains, and most of them are in Canada, Alberta and Saskatchewan. The map shows some 28 of them that are still in fairly good shape today. None are as high as the one on usually-inaccessible Medicine Mountain, but all are on the highest point (usually in an area of rolling hills), with a full observational horizon. On the map I've marked Medicine Mountain's wheel in red, and another I'll discuss briefly, Moose Mountain, in blue. That one (or maybe one even older) seems to be the original or prototype of the star knowledge that went into building the Bighorn wheel's star sighting cairns 1200 years or more later.
At Fort Smith, on the Crow reservation, is a small wheel , whose longest, southwesterly spoke and central altar-cairn form a sight on the summer solstice rising sun. West of Great Falls, Montana is a wheel whose southerly spokes are partly destroyed by erosion from the Sun River, but suggests a similar alignment. At the top of the Continental Divide, near an old travois trail, on Trail Ridge Road in Colorado is a huge, rough cairn with two long spokes that line up with summer solstice sunrise. Not shown on the map, in Minnesota, on the open grassland prairie of Blue Mounds state park there is a 1500-foot line of quartzite boulders which is a northeasterly sighting line for solstice sunrise, though the Historical Society mistakenly identifies it as equinoctial (which would be direct east-west; many non-scientific people are confused about the words equinox and solstice). Not far from it (not in the park) are the enigmatic Jeffers Petroglyphs -- thousands of mysterious signs pecked into flat red rocks which may include astronomical records.
CREDITS: I redrew (from the 1980 cover of the Bulletin of Archaeoastronomy and colored an artistic version of the wheel seen from just in front of the sunsight altar just as the solstice sun has risen although the 3 speical stars are not visible then, I placed them in the sky roughly where they could be sighted from the starsight cairn. The black and white drawing of an eagle spirit, Pipe, mountain, crescent moon and dipper stars was drawn in Indian ink in 1978 by Tissonie, Johnny Creed Coe (Cherokee) who was art instructor at Red School House AIM Survival School that fall. He gave it to me one evening when we were both trapped there by a big blizzard, I told him it seemed emblematic of the experience I'd had on Medicine Mountain that summer. The buffalo skull centering the Bighorn Wheel is the logo of the Medicine Wheel Alliance, which continues to work with tribal people to save sacred places from desecration.
Prints of the black and white photos of the Medicine Wheel were given to me by a U.S. forest service secretary at the Bighorn National Forest office in Lovell, Wyoming, on the day of the solstice, 1978, when I visited that office before going up on the wheel for the night. It was apparently taken by Roger M. Williams of the Forest Service from a low-flying plane, around 1972. I have re-oriented it so the directional alignment is correct. The side view of the Wheel was also a black and whtie print th Forest Service gave me in 1978. It was taken by an anthropologist in 1926, some time before the Forest Service put up a high steel fence around the wheel, but after they had built a low stone wall around it. The color photo of the wheel was recently sent me by the Bighorn office of the forest Service, but seems to have been taken some years ago, perhaps in the late '70's or early '80's; photographer and date were not identified.
The diagram of a Sun Dance lodge, and the explanation of it, are from The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk's Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux, as told by Black Elk to Joseph Brown, University of Oklahoma Press, 1953. Richard West, well known Northern Cheyenne artist, likes to explore artistically themes of traditional knowledge. This painting, "Cheyenne Sundance, First Painting of the Third Day" is from the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK.
Page logo (also used for icons) was originally a cover of the Winter, 1980, Archaeastronomy Bulletin, a photocopy of which was attached to some articles from it the Dr. John Eddy sent me in 1993. The artist isn't credited on the cover, and other Bulletins are not available. I scanned it, tracd it in FreeHand, made some rearrangments for btter design, and colord the picture, which was used as a cover on a unit about the Bighorn Meedicin Wheel for Heart of the Earth Indian students in 1993-94. It was rasterized for use on this web page. The black and white drawing was given to me by the Cherokee artist Tissonie (Johnny Creed Coe) in 1979, when I told him it reminded me of my experience there, and told him a bit of what had happened. Though its framed now, I was able to photocopy, scan, then do a lot of touch-up correction for this web page. The color photo of th wheel, taken from a nearby bluff, was furnished by the U.S. Forest Service, Loveland (Bighorn National Forest) office. The Sundance lodge drawings are from Joseph Epes Brown Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux, as used in Dr. Eddy's original article about the Wheel in Sciwnce, 1974. Richard West's painting of a Cheyenne Sundance lodge was scanned (and cropped slightly to remove areas which could not be properlys canned because of curvature) from (the Turner book based on the 1993 video show). The ad for the Medicine Wheel Alliance was scanned, traced in Freehand, and colorized by me from some literature for the Alliance (to which I at one time belonged). The map locating many Medicin Whels, mostly in Albrta, Canada, was scanned from an article by Dr. Eddy; I added labels and color coding. Pages prepared by Paula Giese , text and graphics c. 1995. 1997. (www.MedicineWheelStarKnowledge.html).
THE GREAT MEDICINE DANCE
The Sun Dance was the most important, solemn, and awe-inspiring ritual of the prairie tribes west of the Missouri. Sun Dance is its Sioux name; the Cheyenne called it the new-life lodge, while for the Ponca it was the mystery dance. Closely related to the Sun Dance was the Okapi ceremony of the Mandans.
The dance took place once a year, at the height of summer. It lasted four days--longer, if the elaborate preparations are taken into account. In some tribes...the ritual involved the "piercing" of the dancers: the passing of sharpened skewers through the flesh of the chests and other performances of other kinds of self-torture...In other tribes the rituals involved fasting and "looking at the sun" throughout the four long days. The most extreme form of self-torture occurred during the Okapi ceremony of the mandans, painted in great detail by Catlin in the 1830s. Dancers suffered--"they gave of their flesh so that the people might live." They underwent piercing in obedience to a vow, or to help a sick relative recover, or to bring a beloved son back unhurt from the warpath.
The dance was a celebration of the renewal of all life, "to make the grass grow and the buffalo and the people increase and thrive." American Indian Myths and Legends, by Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz, p.33.
THE SUN DANCE
Chief Dick Washakie (Shoshone)
The sun dance, which, perhaps some of the white people have witnessed or heard tell of, has always been considered one of the most heathenish and most barbarous and unchristian ceremonies ever participated in by the savages, as we red men have been termed by many of our white brothers, who, I must say, have failed to make themselves thoroughly acquainted with the sacred and religious beliefs of our so-called sun dance. We Indians call it the fasting dance. Our sun dance in reality, according to our Indian beliefs, is...the same as that of our white brothers. The Indians pray to God, our Father above, or the Great Spirit, as some of our white brothers have termed it. Some white people have even accused the Indian of worshipping the center sun dance pole, which is a great mistake. When the Indian prays, he looks upwards into the blue sky and says: Tomah-upah tomah-vond, "Our Father, who is above."
The reason the Indians seem to worship the sun to some people is because the Indian believes that the sun is a gift from God, our Father above, to enlighten the world and as the sun appears over the horizon...
...they offer up a prayer in acceptance of our Father's gift. Then the medicine man, or the chief of the sun dance who acts similar to that of the priest or clergyman in a white man's church, offers up prayer beginning thus Tomah-upah, tomah-vond undiddahaidt soonda-hie, "Our Father who is above, have mercy on your children."
The sun dance hall (an out-of-doors structure) is constructed in a large circular corral perhaps some hundred feet in diameter, the circumference of which is lined on the outside with branches of trees to give shade to the dancers. Each dancer has a certain place in the dance hall which he must keep throughout the duration of the dance when he enters it. Two small poles or young saplings of pine or cottonwood are placed on each side of the dancer...If the dancer is a medicine man or has been wounded in battle sometime he should show this on the poles by painting them red, which signified his blood was lost in battle. The center pole which should always be a cottonwood was chosen by the originators of the dance because of its superiority over all other trees as a dry land tree growing with little or no water. This tree represents God. The twelve long poles that are placed from the top of the center pole down to the circumference of the dance hall represent, according to our Indian beliefs, the twelve apostles of God, our Father.
The eagle feathers at the top of the poles above the center pole also represent the twelve apostles of our Father, or God, and also being a sacred bird of our race, we Indians naturally regard the eagle with the highest esteem. The buffalo head in the crotch in the center pole represents a gift from God, our Father above, to his Indian children for food and clothing.
The sun dance has been handed down to my people for generations as a sacred dance in which we may pray to God our Father, for those who may be sick, that they may be healed. In many cases, I can truthfully state, many have been cured of long standing illnesses through their faith in prayer and fasting from food and water for the duration of the dance, which generally lasts three or four days. Many of our white brothers have condemned my people's sacred dance, and their form of worship. This form is, in the belief of my people, identical with that used by our white brothers in their christian church and in the form which they consider just and proper.
My people, the Indians, worship the same Being as that worshipped by our white brothers, but only in our own way and in our beliefs, which I know is very strange to the white people. But this is the only form of worship the red man, my people, have known for generations past and is known throughout the Indian race as the Indians' church. Every Indian tribe has its own form of worship which is somewhat different, but I wish to explain that they all worship the same Being, God, our Father above. I am told that many years ago some tribes of Indians used drastic forms of worship in which they signified their bravery and fearlessness, but these forms of worship have long since vanished. We hear of them only through Indian tradition...
The sun dance...is generally held once a year, about June or July. This is the season when the grass and trees are in their splendor and the weather is favorable. Before entering the sun dance hall the worshippers, or dancers, twice circle the hall. The chief of the sun dance, or the medicine man is always in the lead. This is done merely according to our old Indian customs, which according to our Indian beliefs signifies that the dancers are all ready and willing to begin their dance or ceremony...
I shall state here that the term our Father is used in place of God, as there is no Shoshone word which signifies the word God. This word is an English word. Therefore, if an Indian or interpreter must use this word he repeats the word God in English and not in Indian. Never once have I heard the Indian tradition where there was any religious controversy as to the true form of worship of God or our Father. All Indians, so far as I have ever heard, believe and worship in this one form. Great Documents In American Indian History, by Wayne Moquin with Charles Van Doren, pp.74-76.
"Slowly a bow formed in the sky, a rainbow of people marching to glory, a rainbow of unity and a vision so marvelous in its sense of beauty and joy that I can never forget it nor hope to see anything its equal. Slowly, at the end of each dream, this vision of glory would fade away, but the promise of it always remained, the promise of a wonderful change coming...
Later still I was traveling all over the western part of the United States...I met a number of Indians on this trip and told several the story of my dream. I asked them what it meant, but, for a long time, none could tell me. Then one day, when I was driving from Albuquerque to Snowflake, Arizona, I saw a tall young man on the road ahead of me. He was not asking for a ride, but accepted one when I offered it...He said he was mainly Otomi, of a tribe that lives in the mountains of central Mexico, but part Olmec. When he heard my story of the strange dream, his face suddenly shone with understanding:
"I know what your dream means," he cried. "Long ago there lived a great prophet-king of the Toltec Indians of southern Mexico called Quetzalcoatl, which means the 'Feathered Serpent." Quetzalcoatl brought a message of love and kindness, teaching the people how to make new things and to raise better crops, and making the Toltecs into the greatest nation of Mexico. My grandmother told me that there was an ancient story that, as Quetzalcoatl left the Toltecs to journey to a far place, he prophesied what was going to happen to the Indians.
"He foretold that in time white men would come out of the eastern sea in great canoes with wings like a big bird...He promised that the white men themselves would be like a bird that had two different kinds of feet. One foot would be the foot of a dove and the other the foot of an eagle. The foot of the dove meant the religion of Christianity, which was brought by the white men, and which is a religion of love and kindness, although too few of the white men lived by this religion. The foot of the eagle meant the way most of the white men treated the Indians, by clawing them, killing them, enslaving them and exploiting them.
The American (Roman) Standard, Battery Park, N.Y.
"But Quetzalcoatl promised the Indians that a few hundred years after the first coming of the white men other white men would come to the Indians with both feet the feet of the dove, and that either Quetzalcoatl himself or the spirit that was in him would return at that time. This means, from what you saw in your dream, that new white men would come up in the form of a white dove. They would (accompany) the Indians up from the earth of despair and defeat into the sky of hope, freedom and triumph." Warriors Of The Rainbow, Strange and Prophetic Dreams of the Indian Peoples, pp.17-22.
THE PROPHET FIRST SEES THE FUTURE
"It was during this rite of dedication of the Pyramid Temple in the place now called Etowa, Georgia, that the Prophet first mentioned the future. Standing high above the people, and staring off to the horizon, after his dedication speech had been finished, once more he started speaking:
'Afar off through time my spirit is walking down the cycles of the future. I see the armies of the Serpents moving northward from their cities, being driven out by bloody warfare. These ancient worshippers of the Fire have returned to the ways of their fathers and once more are sacrificing to idols. They are coming up the river, the Serpents led by the Turtle...
One of the greatest miracles attributed to the Prophet took place in Panuco (Mexico) along the shores of the Sunrise Ocean.
The Healer knew that the legends told to the children about fighting animals were in truth the histories of the People, passed down through the generations. Only upon attaining manhood and the status of the warrior, would the child learn the truth of these well-known stories.
Often he had read these ancient histories, and discussed them with the priesthood. Well he knew that the name "Serpent" stood for the earth's sea-people who had once with their fleets ruled the oceans, and established colonies on many shorelines. He knew that the word stood for water, even as did his first name Wako--Wah meaning water and Co for serpent. It was a tribute to his power over the ocean when at his command it had cleansed the temple at Pach-camac.
One of his favorite books was that ancient history which had come down to his time through many ages from the day when the Red Land, which had fathered the Serpents, their colonies and fleets of ocean-going vessels, went down in the fury of volcanic destruction into the cold green depths of the ocean. (p.31).
The Puon people (An Algonquian speaking people, associated with the mound building culture of the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys) will move northward, and an uneasy peace shall for some time follow, but a civil war will break out among them. Now if you could convert these people once more to the Peace religion of the One God, and also those who are coming down from the northward along the Sunset Ocean, then what follows might be different. But I fear that you cannot. Civil war becomes anarchy and each city takes to the forest, joining tribes in senseless warfare. Remember this and tell your children. Woe follow this unhappy decision.
Farther off there is another invasion. In ships many bearded men are coming from across the Sunrise Ocean. Many are the ships as the snowflakes of winter. I see these men taking the broad land; and the Mounds which hold the crest of our cities are for them, alas, but earth for the taking. They do not respect our Trees of Cedar. They are but hungry, unenlightened children, and with them the vision closes." He Walked The Americas, by L.Taylor Hansen, p.43.
The circle with the four O's and cross within symbolizes the Four Corners Region (where Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico meet). The circle represents no beginning and no end -- the infinite Great Spirit. The Indians believe we are the Fourth World. When the Third World was destroyed, those Indians who had listened to the prophets were guided to places of safety underground. After the Fourth World was created, they assembled at Four Corners and were instructed to spread out in the four directions. Four (4) also represents the four elements in nature: fire, water, air and earth; and the four color races of man: black, yellow, white, and red.
In the Hopi Prophecy, a white man would come to them and help transform the entire continent into a spiritual paradise. He would be recognized because he would carry the fragment of stone which would complete their Holy Stone, filled with Indian writing characters. The Holy Stone had been preserved for thousands of years. Thus, when the white settlers came to the American continent, remembering their prophecy, they were openly welcomed. The Indians shared all they had. In return, all the White Man did was to take. The Indians noticed that their White Brothers had brought a cross. However, it was not enclosed by the circle of the Great Spirit, thus showing the White Man had lost his way.
The Indians believe that at the beginning of the Fourth World, when man was told to disburse throughout the planet, from Four Corners, the White Race was one of the original races that went East. Upon their return to our continent, they had become confused and forgotten the ways of the Great Spirit. Further the prophecy continued, either the White Man would bring peace and harmony or attempt to totally destroy the Indians' way of life and take all their possessions and the land. If the latter occurred, there would come a time when the Indian people would appear to be almost nonexistent. Yet, one day, they would rise out of nowhere to lead a spiritual revolution so that all people on this continent would become attuned to the Great Spirit and to protect Four Corners at all costs because there is great power under the land. If it is allowed to escape, great destruction will result. Today, the Indians are going through the test to hold onto their traditional ways and protect the land. The White Man's society is trying to swallow the Indians up. Many Indians, especially the young, are falling prey to the White Man's ways.
The prophecy also talks about creation of atomic bombs as catastrophes of great heat, equal to the heat of a sun. It also warns about tampering with the moon (violating its nature by removing rocks and soil).
Another prophecy: Four Corners will be the area of confrontation between White and Red. Indians will be pushed into Four Corners. Great Spirit told the Hopi that Four Corners is the backbone of what is now the United States. Hopi must hold this land till human beings live in harmony. The power under the land would be used for destruction. There would be a terrible punishment if we give up Four Corners. Hopi Elders also know about the prophecies of earth changes and Space Brothers.
THANKSGIVING DAY 2003
"Let us [all] take this day, and be humble...to ask the Creator for mercy, so that our hearts be forgiven for lack of understanding, and may the Holy Light shine, as we [All] join hands, and walk toward the New Day, when we [All] can finally give thanks for the "True" unity of [All] people..Living together in Love and with peace...I am mourning today with American Indians." Victoria Baker.
THE DARK HISTORICAL ROOTS OF OUR "THANKSGIVING"
LEST WE FORGET
The arrival of Europeans on the east cost of North America occurred not in 1620, but well before. French and Dutch fishermen and settlers had been in the area as early as 1614, and had been responsible for kidnapping Indians, selling them into slavery, and maliciously infecting them with smallpox. In 1620, the pilgrims arrived on the east coast and within two days they had received assistance from the local Wampanoag Indian tribe: The pilgrims stole their stored crops, dug up graves for dishes and pots, and took many native people as prisoners and forced them to teach crop planting and survival techniques to the colonists in their new environment.
Luckily, for the colonists, an ex-slave named Squanto had recently escaped slavery in England, spoke English fluently and was able to instruct the pilgrims in crop planting, fishing, and hunting. Squanto not only escaped from slavery, he was also one of the only survivors of his tribe, the rest had been wiped out from the European smallpox plagues years before. When it came to helping the rag-tag team of colonists, Squanto, not only was able to put aside his personal differences with the people who had enslaved him and killed off his entire tribe, but also helped make the colonists self-sufficient, and aided in brokering a treaty with the Wampanoag tribe. In 1621 Massasoit, the chief of the Wampanoags, signed a "treaty of friendship" giving the English permission to occupy 12,000 acres of land.
In 1621 the myth of thanksgiving was born. The colonists invited Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoags, to their first feast as a follow up to their recent land deal. Massasoit in turn invited 90 of his men, much to the chagrin of the colonists. Two years later the English invited a number of tribes to a feast "symbolizing eternal friendship." The English offered food and drink, and two hundred Indians dropped dead from unknown poison.
The first day of thanksgiving took place in 1637 amidst the war against the Pequots. 700 men, women, and children of the Pequot tribe were gathered for their annual green corn dance on what is now Groton, Connecticut. Dutch and English mercenaries surrounded the camp and proceeded to shoot, stab, butcher and burn alive all 700 people. The next day the Massachusetts Bay Colony held a feast in celebration and the governor declared "a day of thanksgiving." In the ensuing madness of the Indian extermination, natives were scalped, burned, mutilated and sold into slavery, and a feast was held in celebration every time a successful massacre took place. The killing frenzy got so bad that even the Churches of Manhattan announced a day of "thanksgiving" to celebrate victory over the "heathen savages," and many celebrated by kicking the severed heads of Pequot people through the streets like soccer balls.
The proclamation of 1676 announced the first national day of thanksgiving with the onset of the Wampanoag war, the very people who helped the original colonists survive on their arrival. Massasoit, the chief invited to eat with the puritans in 1621, died in 1661. His son Metacomet, later to be known by the English as King Phillip, originally honored the treaties made by his father with the colonists, but after years of further encroachment and destruction of the land, slave trade, and slaughter, Metacomet changed his mind. In 1675 "King Phillip" called upon all natives to unite to defend their homelands from the English. For the next year the bloody conflict went on non-stop, until Metacomet was captured, murdered, quartered, his hands were cut off and sent to Boston, his head was impaled on a pike in the town square of Plymouth for the next 25 years, and his nine-year-old son was shipped to the Caribbean to be a slave for the rest of his life.
On June 20, 1676 Edward Rawson was unanimously voted by the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, to proclaim June 29th as the first day of thanksgiving. The proclamation reads in part: "The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present War with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the midst of his judgments he hath remembered mercyÖ The council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this instant June, as a day of solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his Goodness and FavorÖ"
It was not until 1863 that Abe Lincoln, needing a wave of patriotism to hold the country together, that Thanksgiving was nationally and officially declared and set forth to this day. At the time, two days were announced as days to give thanks, the first was a celebration of the victory at Gettysburg on August 6th, and the second one became the Thursday in November that we know now. The most interesting part of thanksgiving is the propaganda that has been put out surrounding it. During the 19th century thanksgiving traditions consisted of turkey and family reunions. Whenever popular art contained both pilgrims and Indians, the scene was usually characterized by violent confrontations between the two groups, not a multi-cultural/multi-racial dinner. In 1914 artist Jennie Brownscombe created the vision of thanksgiving that we see today: community, religion, racial harmony and tolerance, after her notorious painting reached wide circulation in Life magazine.
Adamant protests to the celebration of thanksgiving have taken place over the years. As early as 1863 Pequot Indian Minister William Apess urged "every man of color" to mourn the day of the landing, and bury Plymouth Rock in protest. In 1970 Apess got his way. 1970 was the "350th" anniversary of thanksgiving, and became the first proclaimed national day of mourning for American Indians.
State officials of Massachusetts asked Frank B. James, President of the federated Eastern Indian League, to speak at the thanksgiving celebration. The speech he submitted read: "Today is a time of celebrating for you, but it is not a time of celebrating for me. It is with heavy heart that I look back upon what happened to my people. The pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors, and stolen their corn, wheat, and beansÖ Massasoit, the great leader of the Wampanoag, knew these facts; yet he and his people welcomed and befriended the settlers, little knowing that before 50 years were to pass, the Wampanoags and other Indians living near the settlers would be killed by their guns or dead from diseases that we caught from them. Although our way of life is almost gone and our language is almost extinct, we the Wampanoags still walk the lands of Massachusetts. What has happened cannot be changed, but today we work toward a better America, a more Indian America where people and nature once again are important." James was subsequently barred from speaking.
As a result, hundreds of people from around the country came to support him by gathering around the statue of Massasoit that had been erected in town. The protesters buried Plymouth Rock twice that day. For the next 24 years, American Indians staged protest every thanksgiving, in 1996 the United American Indians of New England put a stop to the annual pilgrim parade and forced the marchers to turn around and head back toward the seaside (symbolism?). In 1997 the peaceful protestors were assaulted by members of the Plymouth police, the county sheriffs department, and state troopers on horseback in full riot gear. Men, women, children, and elders were beaten, pepper sprayed and gassed. Twenty-Five people were arrested; blacks, whites, latinos, Indians, and even a 67-year-old Penobscot elder were taken to jail. Videotape was later produced to confirm the assault and ensuing police brutality. Plymouth is known as "Americas Hometown."
Finally in 1999 plaques were approved and dedicated to commemorate "genocide" and other crimes against indigenous peoples of the Americas. The plaque at Coles Hill, where the statue of Massasoit is reads: "Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the pilgrims and other European settlers. To them, thanksgiving day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the relentless assault on their culture." The second plaque in the towns post office square honors "King Phillip", Massasoits son.
Please email: Tristan_Ahtone@hotmail.com for a copy of sources used to compile this information. And please feel free to use this piece at your thanksgiving dinners, give it to your friends, or send it with your kids to school. He who has no inclination to learn more will be very apt to think he knows enough.
THANKSGIVING DAY, 2003
A proclamation by George W. Bush
Each year on Thanksgiving, we gather with family and friends to thank God for the many blessings He has given us, and we ask God to continue to guide and watch over our country. Almost 400 years ago, after surviving their first winter at Plymouth, the Pilgrims celebrated a harvest feast to give thanks. (continued)...
And when the Sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great Darkness, fell upon him.
And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them, and they shall afflict them Four Hundred years.
And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with a great substance...
And in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites (those of the West) is not yet full...(Genesis 15:12-16).
(In the First generation the Hebrew children came up into the land in the time of Abraham. In the Second generation they came up into the land in the time of Moses and Jehoshua. In the Third generation they came up in the time of Christ. And in the Fourth generation--our time--the people shall come up again).
...George Washington proclaimed the first National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789, and Abraham Lincoln revived the tradition during the Civil War. Since that time, our citizens join to spend time with family and friends. In want or in plenty, in times of challenge or times of calm, we always have reason to be thankful.
America is a land of abundance, prosperity, and hope. We must never take for granted the things that make our country great, A FIRM FOUNDATION OF FREEDOM, JUSTICE, AND EQUALITY; A BELIEF IN DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW; AND OUR FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO GATHER, SPEAK, AND WORSHIP FREELY. (continued)...
According the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the Foundation, and another buildeth thereon. BUT LET EVERY MAN TAKE HEED HOW HE BUILDETH THEREUPON.
FOR OTHER FOUNDATION CAN NO MAN LAY THAN THAT WHICH IS LAID, WHICH IS (the doctrines of) JESUS CHRIST.
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
Every man's work shall be manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is...(1 Corinthians 3:10-17).
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free...
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed...(John 8:28-36).
Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings...
As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness (as the leading figures of the American revolution did), but as servants of God...(1 Peter, chapter 2).
(Bush continued)...These liberties do not come without cost. Throughout history, many have sacrificed to preserve our freedoms and to defend peace around the world. Today the brave men and women of our military continue this noble tradition. These heroes and their loved ones have the gratitude of our Nation.
On this day we also remember those less fortunate among us. They are our neighbors and our fellow citizens, and we are committed to reaching out to them and to all who are in need in our communities. (Deuteronomy, chapter 32; Ecclesiastes, chapter 5; James, chapter 5).
This Thanksgiving we again give thanks for all our blessings and for the freedoms we enjoy every day. Our Founders thanked the Almighty (Ba'al) and humbly sought his wisdom and blessing. May we always live by that same trust, and may God continue to watch over and bless the United States of America.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 27, 2003, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I ENCOURAGE AMERICANS TO GATHER IN THEIR HOMES, PLACES OF WORSHIP, AND COMMUNITY CENTERS TO SHARE THE SPIRIT OF UNDERSTANDING AND PRAYER AND TO REINFORCE TIES OF FAMILY AND COMMUNITY.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-eighth.
The East Above
The West Below
THE TREE OF ORIGIN
from the Codex Vindobonensis
"The birth of the founders of the Mixtec people, metaphorically the original human beings, from a Tree at Apoala is depicted in the pre-Hispanic Mixtec Codex Vindobonensis. The codex of the Mixtecs, in addition to being a remarkable work of art, provide an almost unique sense of the scope of the mythic-historic vision of the people of Mesoamerica, retelling Mixtec history from its primordial beginnings. Claiming descent from (Quetzalcoatle) the Feathered Serpent (the one who came from across the Ocean). The Mixtecs, who by 1350 A.D. occupied an area of southern Mexico that now comprises the western section of the state of Oaxaca and the adjacent regions of Puebla and Guerrero, believed that their founding fathers were born from trees, both a metaphoric reference to their close ties to the land and to their cosmic relationship to the world axis, since the World Tree stands in the center of the cosmos uniting the lower, middle and upper worlds and thus also suggests the continuing nature of the process of creation.
Following the detailed interpretation of this image, we see a Tree with a cleft in its crown (at the top of the trunk) from which emerges a nude male covered with red body paint. A nude female stands above him (above the Tree, a symbol of the unification of the one to the other). On either side of the Tree (standing near the base), identified by their signs, appear 7 Rain on the right, holding a cutting implement in his right hand while touching the Tree with his left, and 7 Eagle on the left side, holding a clawed instrument in one hand and similarly touching the Tree with his other. They seem to be cutting into the trunk of the Tree, (exposing its inner meanings)...At the base of the Tree (Malkhuth) there is a female head with an extended tongue, a fang in the corner of her mouth, and long hair (a symbol of Life), with what appears to be red "bangs," both probably generative signs, the color suggesting one of the possible colors of Corn. Together with the male figure at the top of the Tree, this female figure at the base indicates the male-female (Father-Mother) nature of the Birth Tree, a metaphor similar to the male-female nature of the creator God, Ometeotl...The body of the Tree itself is swollen, indicating perhaps that the offspring will be removed by cutting into the "pregnant" trunk, which is divided on top be a V-shaped cleft before being separated in half vertically along the center by a thin red line that thickens as it reaches the bottom (where the blood must be poured out upon the ground).
On either side of the Tree there are a group of Five branches, (as in the Name YHVH), the arrangement of which strongly suggests a quincunx, , with all its cosmic implications concerning the space-time continuum that is the created world, the world into which humanity, in the persons of the nude male and female, is emerging. Such an image, of course, would suggest that this Tree is the World Tree at the cosmic center, and in that connection the possibility of seeing this image as both an upright tree and an inverted female figure links cosmic creation to human procreation. That link is one of the primary concerns of the narrative myths of human creation throughout Mesoamerica since it is through procreation, the uniting of the created male and female, that the process of creation becomes cyclical and continuous.
As Furst points out, several aspects of the creation myth depicted here are similar to the Mixtec myth of creation as retold by Fray Gregorio Garcia about ninety years after the Conquest, but instead of the Tree Birth depicted in this scene, Garcia's legend emphasizes the establishment of a Garden." The Flayed God, p.153.
The Serpent Mound, Adams County Ohio.
This mound could only have been built by those who understood the gnostic symbolism at Genesis, chapter 2, and Revelation, chapter 12.
THE GREAT TREE AND THE LONGHOUSE
It happened at a particular place called Tkahanahyenh...Once, a very long time ago (the Iroquois believe), a boy was born in a Huron settlement on the shores of Lake Ontario. His coming had been announced to his grandmother in a dream. In this dream a messenger from the Great Creator told her that her daughter, a virgin, would bear a son who would bring peace and life to the people of the earth. The child was called Deganawidah.
When Deganawidah was grown, he built a great White Stone Canoe. (See 1 Corinthians 10:1-4). Bidding farewell to his mother and grandmother, he set out on his mission. He would not return, he told them, but if they should wish to know how he fared, they should strike a certain Tree with an axe. If blood flowed from the wound, they would know that he had perished, and his mission had failed. But if no blood flowed, he had accomplished his mission.
So Deganawidah set off across the lake in his stone canoe. When he reached the other side, he met a band of hunters. They said that they had fled their settlement because their was strife in the village. Deganawidah told them to go back to the settlement and tell the people that the Good News of Peace and Power would come. This they did.
Next Deganawidah visited the home of a woman who lived on the trail which the warriors took between east and west, and who fed the passing warriors. After she had offered Deganawidah food, and he had eaten, he told her of his mission.
"I carry the Mind of the Master of Life," he said, "and my message will bring an end to wars between east and west. The Word that I bring is that all peoples shall love one another and live together in peace. This message has three parts: Righteousness and Health and Power--Ga'iwoh, Ske'non, Gashasdenshaa. And each part has two branches...
"Righteousness means justice practiced between men and between nations; it also means a desire to see righteousness prevail. Health means soundness of mind and body; it also means peace, for that is what comes when minds are sane and bodies cared for.
"Power means authority, the authority of law and custom, backed by such force as is necessary to make justice prevail; it means also religion, for justice enforced is the will of the Holder-of-the-Heavens and has his sanctions."
"Your message is good," said the woman, "but a word is nothing until it is given form, and set to work in the world. What form shall the message take when it comes to dwell among men?"
"It will take the form of a Longhouse in which there are many fires, one for each family, yet all live as one household under one chief Mother," replied Deganawidah. "Hereabouts are Five nations, each with its own council fire, yet shall they live together as one household in peace. They shall be the Kanonsi'onni, the Longhouse. They shall have one mind and live under one law. Thinking shall replace killing, and there shall be one commonwealth." The Great Tree and the Longhouse, The Culture of the Iroquois, by Hazel W. Hertzberg.
The Great Tree and The Longhouse
IN RESPONSE TO MISSIONARY EFFORTS, 1805
Red Jacket (Scene)
Brother!--Continue to listen. You say that you are sent to instruct us how to worship the Great Spirit agreeably to his mind; and if we do not take hold of the religion which you white people teach, we shall be unhappy hereafter. You say that you are right and we are lost. How do we know this to be true? We understand that your religion is written in a book. If it was intended for us as well as for you, why has not the Great Spirit given it to us; and not only to us, but why did he not give to our forefathers the knowledge of that book, with the means of understanding it rightly? We only know what you tell us about it. How shall we know when to believe, being so often deceived by the white people.
Brother!--You say that there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not agree, as you can all read the book?
Brother!--We do not understand these things. We are told that your religion was given to your forefathers, and has been handed down from father to son. We also have a religion which was given to our forefathers, and has been handed down to us their children. We worship that way. It teaches us to be thankful for all the favors we receive, to love each other, and to be united. WE NEVER QUARREL ABOUT RELIGION..
Brother!--The Great Spirit has made us all. But he has made a great difference between his white and red children. He has given us a different complexion and different customs. To you he has given the arts, (see Psalm 106:32-39); to these he has not opened our eyes. We know these things to be true. Since he has made so great a difference between us in other things, why may we not conclude that he has given us a different religion, according to our understanding? The Great Spirit does right. He knows what is best for his children. We are satisfied.
Brother!--We do not wish to destroy your religion, or take it from you. We only want to enjoy our own.
Brother!--You say you have not come to get our land or our money, but to enlighten our minds. I will now tell you that I have been at your meetings and saw you collect money from the meeting. I cannot tell what this money was intended for, but suppose it was for your minister; and if we should conform to your way of thinking, perhaps you may want some from us.
Brother!--We are told that you have been preaching to white people in this place. These people are our neighbors. We are acquainted with them. We will wait a little while, and see what effect your preaching has upon them. If we find it does them good and makes them honest and less disposed to cheat Indians, we will then consider again what you have said.
Brother!--You have now heard our answer to your talk, and this is all we have to say at present. As we are going to part, we will come and take you by the hand, and hope the Great Spirit will protect you on your journey, and return you safe to your friends." Great Documents In American Indian History, pp.32,33.
RESPONSE TO A MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT ANDREW JACKSON CONCERNING INDIAN REMOVAL, 1830
Speckled Snake (Cherokee)
"Brothers! We have heard the talk of our great father; it is very kind. He says he loves his red children. Brothers! When the white man first came to these shores, the Muscogees gave him land, and kindled him a fire to help make him comfortable; and when the pale faces of the south made war on him, their young men drew the tomahawk, and protected his head from the scalping knife. But when the white man had warmed himself before the Indian's fire, and filled himself with the Indian's hominy, he became very large; he stopped not for the mountain tops, and his feet covered the plains and the valleys. His hands grasped the eastern and western sea. Then he became our great father. He loved his red children; but said, "You must move a little farther, lest I should, by accident, tread on you." With one foot he pushed the red man over the Oconee, and with the other he trampled down the graves of his fathers. But our great father still loved his red children, and he soon made them another talk. He said much; but it all meant nothing, but "move a little farther, you are too near me." I have heard a great many talks from our great father, and they all began and ended the same. Brothers! When he made us a talk on a former occasion, he said, "Get a little farther; go beyond the Oconee and the Oakmulgee; there is a pleasant country." He also said, "It shall be yours forever." Now he says, "The land you live on is not yours; go beyond the Mississippi; there is game; there you may remain while the grass grows or the water runs." Brothers! Will not our great father come there also? He loves his red children, and his tongue is (of course) not forked." Great Documents, pp.149, 150.
(One man said recently, "Now that Milosovic has been brought before the War Crimes Tribunal and charged with crimes against humanity, why can't Andrew Jackson, and for that matter all the presidents, be brought before a world body and charged with the same crimes. The evidence against them is overwhelming. Not only is the verdict, but the answer to the question itself is written clearly in the sacred records." Brothers and sisters, they are already judged. Just stand by a hear the sentence...John 16:8-11).
Ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are, for blood it defileth a land; and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed upon it, but by the blood of him that shed it...(Numbers 35:33).
"Tell me now Oldest Mother, why did the Old Man, the Lord of the Lightning, let the white man take our lands? Sit and be still (said Old Eyes of Fire), for I shall tell you what you need to find your vision.
Eyes of Fire made circles in the dust with her stick and then drew a big Circle that surrounded all the little circles. These little circles, she said, are all the little nations and all the little religions of the world, but the Big Circle is the One Big Nation and the One Big Religion that encloses them all, and means them all, and knows them all just as a mother quail draws her chicks under her spread wings and loves them all as a mother should.
Long ago, all our people were united in love and knowledge. The Wise Old Chiefs and the Wise Old Women taught the children how to grow up and be good and to love one another. All the land belonged to all the people and all the children felt that every man or woman was a father and a mother...
But tell me Oldest Mother, why did the Spirit of the Earth let the white man take our people's land?
All these things have I told you so that you will understand, she replied. The Wise Old Ones told me long ago why the white man was sent. The Heart of All Being sent them because the white man comes from a land where only white men lived and it was necessary for them to come to this place where they would learn about other races and learn to live with them, and that one day, when the Indians got the old Spirit back again, and would teach the white man how to really love one another and how to love all mankind. Now because the Indians were humbled and made poor by the white man's conquest, they have been cleansed of all selfish pride. They are ready for a Great Awakening, and they will awaken others." Warriors of the Rainbow, Strange and Prophetic Dreams of the Indian People, by William Willoya and Vinson Brown.
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened which is THE BOOK OF LIFE: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works...(Revelation 20: 12).
"The story of these people has at its center and all around it the story of the Medicine Wheel. The Medicine Wheel is the very Way of Life of the people. It is an understanding of the Universe. It is the Way given to the Peace Chiefs, our Teachers, and by them to us. The Medicine Wheel is the everything of the people.
It is the Living Flame of the Lodges, the Great Shield of Truth written in the Sign of the Water. It is the Heart and Mind. It is the Song of the Earth. It is the Star Fire and the Painted Drum seen only in the eyes of children. It is the Red Pipe of the Buffalo Gift smoked in the Sacred Mountains, and it is the Four Arrows (Directions) of the Peoples' Lodge. It is Our Sun Dance.
The Medicine Wheel begins with the touching of our Brothers and Sisters. Next it speaks to us of the touching of the world around us, the animals, the trees, grasses, and all other living things. Finally it teaches us to sing the Song of the Whole World, and in this way to become a Whole People.
Each tiny stone within the Medicine Wheel represents one of the many things in the universe. One of them represents you, and another represents me. (Please see 1 Peter 2:5). Others hold within them our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and our friends. Still others symbolize hawks, buffalo, elks, and wolves. There are also stones which represent religions, governments, philosophies, and even nations. All things are contained within the Medicine Wheel, and all things are equal within it. The Medicine Wheel is the Total Universe.
Our teachers tell us that all things within the Universe know of their harmony with every other thing, and know how to give away to one another, except man. Of all the Universe's creatures it is we alone who do not begin our lives with knowledge of this great harmony.
All things in the Universe Wheel have spirit and life, including the rivers, rocks, earth, sky, plants, and animals. But it is only man,of all the beings on the Wheel, who is a determiner. Our determining spirit can be made whole only through learning of our harmony with all other spirits in the Universe. To do this we must learn to seek and to perceive. We must do this to find our place within the Medicine Wheel. To determine this place we must learn to Give Away.
The Vision Quest, or perceiving quest, is the way we must begin this search. We must follow our Vision Quest to discover ourselves, to learn how we perceive of ourselves, and to find our relationship to the world around us. Among the people, a child's first teaching is of the Four Great Powers of the Medicine Wheel." Seven Arrows, by Hyemeyohsts Storm, pp.1-6.
And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced...(Zechariah 12:10).
THE FLAYED GOD, THE MYTHOLOGY OF MESOAMERICA
"The conquerors' failure to understand the native gods, however, paled before their bewildered amazement at the sacrifices of blood and hearts these gods required. Although they were certainly not themselves the gentlest of men with the most delicate sensibilities, even they found the blood-drenched shrines appalling:
A little way apart from the great Cue (pyramid) there was another small tower which was also an Idol house, or a true hell, for it had at the opening of one gate a most terrible mouth such as they depict, saying that such there are in hell. The mouth was was open with great fangs to devour souls, and here too were some groups of devils and bodies of serpents close to the door, and a little way off was a place of sacrifice all bloodstained and black with smoke, and encrusted with blood, and there were many great ollas and cantaras and tinajas (pottery vessels) of water inside the house, for it was here that they cooked the flesh of the unfortunate Indians who were sacrificed, which was eaten by the priests (see John 6:51-57). There were also near the place of sacrifice many large knives and chopping blocks such as those on which they cut up meat in the slaughter houses (How much further from the higher meaning of the Torah were these rituals, than the animal sacrifices offered at Jerusalem? Isaiah 66:3)...I always called that house "the Infernal Regions."
And even today, in an age of Buchenwalds and Hiroshimas, we are still appalled. But if we are to understand those sacrifices--which surely does not mean condemning them--it is imperative that we see them in the context of the mythological tradition that gave them the most sacred character to those who performed them, so sacred, in fact, that even the gods, as the myths will show us, were sacrificed to enable life to exist. Thus, the humans who were sacrificed were reenacting the original sacrifice of the gods. They were playing their parts in the continuing creation of life, demonstrating once more that death must precede life in the grand cycle of the cosmos.
There is no better single example of this fundamental idea that life comes from death, that sacrifice releases the life force, than the flayed god of our title--Xipe Totec, Our Lord, the Flayed One. By donning the skin of the sacrificial victim who had been flayed, the priest became the god. He was Xipe Toltec, the inner essence, life itself, that is always hidden beneath our outer covering...
Unfortunately, today's understanding of that mythological tradition--one of a handful of great mythological traditions created by humanity--by all but a few scholars is still as confusing and superficial as it was in the time of the Conquistadors. And today we must consider an additional problem as well. The Aztec culture confronted by the Spanish was a very late-flowering and relatively short-lived development of the tradition of which it was an integral part. The Aztec myths and gods are but the very tip of the iceberg that is the mythological tradition of Mesoamerica, the high-culture area comprising the southern two-thirds of today's Mexico, all of Belize and Guatemala, and portions of Honduras and El Salvador, a culture reaching back at least to 1400 B.C. in its history of urban civilizations, with the earlier village-culture roots of those civilizations going back at least another thousand years." The Flayed God, The Mythology of Mesoamerica, Sacred Texts & Images From Pre-Columbian Mexico and Central America, by Roberta H. and Peter T. Markman, pp.3,4.
THE BASIN OF MEXICO
"While these developments transpired in the Valley of Oaxaca, somewhat to the north, in what is known as either the Valley or the Basin of Mexico, an even clearer and, one might argue, more significant process of development was taking place. The great Basin that now houses Mexico City, soon to be the largest city in the world, has been for a very long time the seat of cultures that dominated, or at least tried to dominate, the rest of Mesoamerica. The first of these great cultures was Classic period Teotihuacan. At about the time of Christ and the inauguration of the Old Word mythological tradition that bears his name, the people of the area of Teotihuacan began the building of the monumental Pyramid of the Sun directly above what must have been the holiest of sanctuaries, a cavern deep within a long, sinuous cave formed when the lava of the area cooled millions of years before. The pyramid was designed so that the cavern was directly under the temple atop the pyramid and the entrance to the cave coincided with the base of the staircase leading up to the temple...
Are not these things hid among my treasures...(Deuteronomy 32:34). There is a Cave of Treasures hidden beneath this Pyramid also.
From the outset Teotihuacan must have been seen as a sacred place, and that aura remained long after its decline and fall, since even the much later Aztecs believed it was a place where the gods had been born. In fact, the Aztec myth of the creation of the sun through the sacrifice of the gods, which we present in "The Myths of Creation," was set at Teotihuacan.
The city gradually grew in size, complexity, and grandeur until, "at the height of its power, around A.D. 500, Teotihuacan was larger than Imperial Rome"...From the mythologist's point of view...its religious function was paramount, and of that function. Ren'e Millon, the preeminent archaeologist working at that site, says that the great city was above all a religious center without equal in its time. We see this manifested in the great pyramids, in the multiplicity of its temples, in the monumentality of its principal avenue that overwhelms viewers today and that anciently must have induced religious awe in believers. Teotihuacan has the unmistakable aura of a sacred city...Like sacred cities elsewhere it was likely regarded as the center of the cosmos and, it can be argued, the place where time began. If the latter were the case...the very existence of Teotihuacan would have been a perpetual commemoration of the coming into existence of the present cycle of time.
As scholars have recognized, many of the gods (the ideas) of the later Toltec and Aztec cultures are already recognizable at Teotihuacan, although a great deal of the obviously mythic imagery contained in the painted murals that decorated most of the inner and outer walls of that sacred city still puzzles today's scholars. What is clear to everyone, however, is that this city was the center of the mythological tradition of the Basin of Mexico, a tradition that reached out to Monte Alban, to the Veracruz coast, and deep into the realm of the Maya, as references to Teotihuacan mythic forms in the art of those cultures attest." The Flayed God, pp.16-18.
"This quadripartite symbol of ultimate reality calls powerfully to mind another Aztec god--Tezcatlipoca, the manifestation of the generative force, Ometeotl. Tezcatlipoca, as we have seen, is himself both one and four, both the center and extension of reality. (This is the exactly the Christ that Paul preached). The image of the quincunx represents exactly the image of Tezcatlipoca's characteristic quadriplicity as he unfolds into four different aspects, each representing one of the four cardinal directions and one of the four segments of daily time marked out by the sun's diurnal course. These aspects are linked to the periods of duration of each of the ages of the Four Suns, with the Fifth Sun at the center providing a point of synthesis, an axis mundi, metaphorically comparable to the unitary Tezcatlipoca, a place that is sacred above all. This is the point at which the vertical (sky, earth, underworld) and the horizontal (the four quadrants of space, the world of the Fifth Sun) worlds intersect, just as the unitary Tezcatlipoca is the "meeting place" of the four gods who are his unfoldings." The Flayed God, pp.82,83.
The gods directed the Aztecs to settle where they saw an eagle perched on a cactus, his wings stretched out to the rays of the Sun...One Nahuatal poet wrote: "The City (Mexico City) is a Great Domed Tree, precious as jade...Beneath it the lords are settled."
We will see, however, just because a city is constructed in the form of the Universal Mandala it is not a sign that its inhabitants are among the original children of Light, as was the case of the Aztec culture that appeared later in the Mexican basin, and as it is in the present case of the (serpent) rulers in Washington, D.C...
...and as in the case of any culture that literally offers human sacrifices (even its own sons and daughters) at the summit places of their own national philosophies (their temples), believing themselves to be in total unity with the One True Sacrifice whose own cosmic limbs are stretched out on the altar of Life itself...
For just as there are Ten steps upward to the top of the Mystery of the Tree of Life, there are Ten steps downward into the realm of Darkness and the chambers of Death. Beware, therefore, lest that light in thee be darkness, then how great the darkness. Those who make war, one against the other, who take what is not theirs, and who sacrifice (murder) others in the name of God, are the children of Darkness. Those who lay down their own lives in the cause of the Universal Christ are the children of Light. Thus the words: Let them grow together until the harvest, (Matthew 13:24-30), for God hath formed all things for himself, even the wicked for the day of evil...(Proverbs 16:4).
Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practice it, because it is in the power of their hand.
And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.
Therefore thus saith the Lord;; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for the time is evil...(Micah 2:1-3).
If any one have an ear, let them hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints...(Revelation 13:9,10).
AND SO BEGAN THE AMERICAN EPOCH
Hast thou killed, and also taken possession?...(1 Kings 21:19).
The Trouble With Columbus
As the 500th anniversary of his New World voyage approaches, a fundamental argument about its significance is growing in stridency.
The Two Views:
1. Columbus' journey was the first step in a process that produced a daring experiment in democracy, which in turn became a symbol and a haven of liberty. Or...
2. Indigenous peoples were doomed by European arrogance, brutality and infectious diseases. Columbus' gift was slavery to those who greeted him; his arrival set in motion the ruthless destruction of the natural world he entered. Time, October 7,1991.
BOOKS ON THE SUBJECT
The Conquest of Paradise, Christopher Columbus, by Kirkpatrick Sale.
"It is hard to know from his later writings what impelled those dreams, but the standard historians' line that the European conquest of America was driven by God, gold, and glory would seem to be pretty much on the mark in his case. Of his dedication to God and his belief that he was God's chosen instrument of redemption (which he was in the most paradoxical way), there is little doubt; it was, indeed, obsessive and not entirely salutary, as we may judge from his later frenzied preoccupation with the kind of bizarre millenarianism, complete with Second Coming and Final Judgment, that seemed to have infected the entire age. His dedication to gold was equally evident, and would even determine the course of every one of his explorations in the Caribbean: "Gold is most excellent," he wrote after his last voyage, and, "whoever has it may do what he wishes in the world." And his compulsion for glory, for personal glory...had occupied him so much during the past half-dozen years that he nearly jeapordized his entire scheme by insisting on grandiose benefits, titles, honors, and privileges far beyond those usual for a man of his station; and they continued to occupy him until, in the last years of his life, he thought of little else." (pp.17,18).
Millennium, Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World, by David Maybury-Lewis.
"The most extraordinary meeting of all took place in 1492 when Christopher Columbus and his men set foot in the Americas. At that moment they reunited without knowing it two portions of humanity that had been separated for about four thousand years. But Columbus met no monsters. To the contrary, he was favorably impressed by the first Americans he met, the gentle Arawaks. He admired their appearance and their modesty (though they were naked), their friendliness, and their generosity. More ominously, he added that they were likely to make good and skilled servants, for they were quick to repeat whatever was said to them in languages they did not understand. From the very first moment, Indian servitude was in the minds of the European invaders.
The Indians soon learned that the invaders wanted gold, land, and slaves. They were amazed by the newcomers' lust for the precious metal. One Aztec chronicler wrote that the Spaniards grabbed for the gold as if they were monkeys. He added that "they thirsted mightily for gold; they stuffed themselves with it; they starved for it; they lusted for it like pigs." But the Spaniards brought more than gold fever with them. They brought pestilence and oppression. (Did the Roman church rebuke and oppose them)? The Indians died from alien diseases before being subjugated by alien power.
The Aztecs who ruled despotically over a mighty empire in what is now Mexico, were devastated by the arrival of the Spaniards. These strange beings were preceded by fearful omens. A comet, a great fire, portentous lightning, the sudden boiling up of the lake on which their city stood, strange voices, dust storms, a rain of stones. Their emperor Montezuma was terrified. He feared not just the end of his reign but the end of the world. Perhaps the strange beings from the east were gods (see Psalm 82:6-8)? They were certainly fantastic enough: clothed in metal, led by huge dogs, perhaps physically connected to their horses. But gods would not throw down the oracles or mistreat the deities of the Indians. Gods would not lust after gold as the Spaniards did. No, they were not gods. They were more alarming still, for gods have some interest in humans and can be placated by them. These beings were aliens, ruthless and possessing strange powers.
Those Indians who received the Spaniards courteously discovered their mistake too late. So did those who allied with the Spaniards to throw off the yoke of the Aztecs. They now had to live through the nightmare of being conquered by fantastical creatures who considered their subjects scarcely human. Indian chroniclers describe the experience. Before, as they wrote, "the Indians had no sickness; they had no aching bones; they had no burning chest; they had no abdominal pain; they had no consumption; they had no headache. At that time the course of humanity was orderly. The foreigners made it otherwise when they arrived here." The Indians saw their world destroyed. As the same chronicler wrote in despair. "Let us therefore die! Let us therefore perish! For our gods are already dead."
Many of them did die. It is impossible to say how many in the absence of reliable censuses, but it is certain that the invasion of the Americas produced the greatest demographic disaster that the world has ever known. By the end of the sixteenth century, the Indian population of the Americas had been reduced by half. Those who survived faced a future of slavery, serfdom, or forced labor unless they were sufficiently remote to defend themselves at the margins of European settlement." (pp.13, 14).
The Shaman's Secret, The Lost Resurrection Teachings of the Ancient Maya, by Douglas Gillette.
"Along with the Jaguar-god (the Lord of the Jungle--just as the One God is Lord of the entire human realm), the Olmecs passed on to the Maya other aspects of their religion as well. One of these was the terrifying ballgame, a drama of real death and hoped-for resurrection. Another was a belief in the stupendous creative power of the cosmic World Tree, the vast central pillar that the Creator-god--called First Father by the Maya--in orgasmic ecstasy, had thrust upward at the beginning of time to lift the sky off the earth and begin a new world." (pp.9,10).
The Broken Spears, The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico, by Miguel Leon-Portilla.
Memory of Fire, Genesis, by Eduardo Galeano.
How Do You Like Our City?
Father Thomas Gage, newly arrived, amuses himself on the Alameda promenade. With hungry eyes he watched the ladies float along beneath the tunnel of all trees...and behind each lady comes a retinue of flashy black and mullatto women, their breasts peeping from their de'colletage. Fire and fun, they wear roses on their high-heeled shoes, and amorous words are embroided on the silk bands around their foreheads.
On an Indian back the priest arrives at the palace. The viceroy offers him pineapple preserve and hot chocolate and asks how he likes the city...From the viceroy's mouth bursts a torrential account of last year's uprising. Do you know that I saved my life by a hair?...Father Gage learns that the viceroy has spent a year in the San Francisco monastery and still cannot put his nose outside the palace without risking a hail of stones. However, the rebellious archbishop is suffering the punishment of exile in remote, miserable Zamora, a few priests have been sent to row in the galleys, and the hanging of three or four agitators sufficed to crush the insolence...
"If it were up to me, I'd hang the lot," says the viceroy. He rises from his chair, proclaims: "Yes, the lot! The whole of this damned city!" and sits down again. "These are lands always ready for rebellion," he breathes, "I have cleaned the bandits off the roads of Mexico."
Confidentially, stretching his neck, he adds: "D'you know something? The children of the Spaniards, the ones born here...Who was at the head of the mob? It was them! The Creoles! They think the country belongs to them, they want to rule..."
Father Gage stares with the eyes of a mystic at the heavy crystal candelabrum that threatens his head and says: "They give grave offense to God. A second Sodom...I saw it with my own eyes this evening. Worldly delights..." The viceroy nods confirmation.
"For they shall soon be cut down like the grass." The priest passes sentence. "They shall wither as the green herb." He takes the last sip of chocolate. "Psalm Thirty-seven," he adds, gently resting the little cup on his plate. (pp.203, 04).
The Columbian Exchange, Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492, by Alfred W. Crosby, Jr.
The ancient and medieval pronouncements on humans and human behavior seemed to leave the Europeans little choice but to condemn the Indians as allies of the Devil...The problems of explaining Africa and Asia were difficult but surmountable. After all, it had always been known that they were there and, if Europeans had not seen elephants, they had at least always known about them. But America, who had dreamed of America? The uniqueness of the New World called into question the whole Christian cosmogony. If God had created all of the life forms in one week in one place and they had then spread out from there over the whole world, then why are the life forms in the eastern and western hemispheres so different? And if all land animals and men had drowned except for those on the ark, and all that now exist are descended from those chosen few, then why the different kinds of animals and men on either side of the Atlantic?...And why do the Peruvian heathens worship Viracocha instead of Baal' or some other demon familiar to the ancient Jews? The effort to maintain the Hebraic version of the origin of life and man was to "put many learned Christians upon the rack to make it out."
The problem tempted a few Europeans to toy with the concept of multiple creations, but the mass of the people clung to monogeneticism. They had to; it was basic to Christianity. For example, what would happen to the validity of the Pope's 1493 grant to Spain of "all islands and mainlands found and to be found, discovered, and to be discovered," in the western Atlantic unless their inhabitants were truly men and women and thus under papal jurisdiction? The famous Requirement of 1512, which the Spanish monarchs ordered the conquistadors to read to the Indians so that they would realize that their subsequent slaughter and subjugation were justified, opened with the statement that "the Lord our God, Living and Eternal, created Heaven and Earth, and one man and one woman, of whom you and I, and all the men of the world, were and are descendants..." Being descendants of Adam and Eve, the American aborigines were subject to the Pope and, by his donation of America to Spain, to Ferdinand and Isabella...
The Pope denounced as satellites of the Devil those who claimed the Indians "should be treated as dumb brutes created for our service," a view common among the conquistadors. The Pope proclaimed "that the Indians are truly men, and that they are not only capable of understanding the Catholic faith but, according to our information, they desire exceedingly to receive it."
Thus it was decided by Rome that the aborigines of America were worthy of conquest and too worthy to be treated as domestic animals. Again and again during the centuries of European imperialism, the Christian view that all men are brothers was to lead to persecution of non-Europeans--he who is my brother sins to the extent that he is unlike me--and to the tempering of imperialism with mercy--he who is my brother deserves brotherly love.
The papacy remained undisturbed in its confidence that the Book of Genesis provided all the paleontology that a Christian needed. But America was such a very square peg to fit into the round hold of Genesis. In 1520 Philippus Paracelsus, whose mind was ballasted with little dogma of any kind, is supposed to have said that no one would easily believe that "those who have been found in the out-of-the-way islands...are the posterity of Adam and Eve...It is most probable that they are descended from another Adam." Joseph de Acosta was a churchman, but the contrast between the creatures of the Old and New Worlds...led him to the brink of heresy...He offered the explanation that (in America) "it may be God hath made a new creation of beasts." (Indeed; compare Ecclesiastes 1:1-10; 3:14-22 and Revelation 13:1).
The problem of America troubled the seventeenth century too, helping to lead some few men into unorthodoxy and at least one into jail. If Eden and Mount Ararat were both in Asia, then how could man and animals be in America?...Isaac de La Peyr'ere was more inspired to heresy by biblical ambiguities and references in ancient documents to seemingly pre-Adamite events in Egypt and Phoenicia than by the enigma of a biologically unique America, but his theory provided explanations for all three sources of confusion. Adam was the product of a second creation and father only to the Jews. (The Hebrews). The first Creation, which preceded that of Adam by a very long time, (see Genesis 1:14-19), had included the creation of the ancestors of all the non-(Hebrews)--the pre-Adamites--and the Flood (if interpreted as a literal geological event, see chapter 4) had been only Palestinian in extent and had not affected them." (pp. 3-13).
The Sacred Tree, by The Four Worlds Development Project.
"Dedicated to the countless clans, tribes and nations of indigenous people throughout Mother Earth whose sacred visions, dreams, prayers, songs, wisdom, experience and kind guidance form the foundation and living reality of the Sacred Tree..
For all the peoples of the earth, the Creator has planted a Sacred Tree under which they may gather, and there find healing, power, wisdom and security. The roots of this Tree spread deep into the body of Mother Earth, its branches reach upward like hands praying to Father Sky. The fruits of this Tree are the good things the Creator has given to the people: teachings, that show the path to love, compassion, generosity, patience, wisdom, justice, courage, respect, humility and many other wonderful gifts.
The ancient ones taught us that the life of the Tree is the life of the people. If the people wander far away from the protective shadow of the Tree, if they forget to seek the nourishment of its fruits, or if they should turn against the Tree and attempt to destroy it, great sorrow will fall upon the people. Many will become sick at heart. The people will lose their power. They will cease to dream dreams and see visions. They will begin to quarrel among themselves over worthless trifles. They will become unable to tell the truth and to deal with each other honestly. They will forget how to survive in their own land. Their lives will become filled with anger and gloom. Little by little they will poison themselves and all they touch.
It was foretold that these things would come to pass, but that the Tree would never die. And as long as the Tree lives, the people live. It was also foretold that the day would come when the people would awaken, as if from a long drugged sleep, that they would begin, timidly at first but then with great urgency, to search again for the Sacred Tree.
The knowledge of its whereabouts, and of the fruits that adorn its branches, have always been carefully guarded and preserved within the minds and hearts of our wise elders and leaders. These humble, loving and dedicated souls will guide anyone who is honestly and sincerely seeking along the path leading to the protecting shadow of the Sacred Tree."
Clues To America's Past (The National Geographical Society).
"Interest and excitement about the past have deep roots in America. Almost as soon as European settlers reached these shores, there was speculation about the stone tools and carvings found in woods or turned up by plows. Earthworks, especially, suggested a notable prehistory. Yet such remains were not considered old at all by present standards, certainly no more than a thousand years. This, of course, reflected the age of the earth proposed by biblical scholars. Further, a single culture was thought responsible for all prehistoric materials and this was variously identified--one of Lost Tribes of Israel, the Welsh, ancient Egyptians or Phoenicians, or occupants of the lost continent of Atlantis or Mu. Whoever they were, many Americans assumed, they could not have been the ancestors of those ferocious, impoverished Indians seen over the sights of a gun...
Now a more complex picture of America's past began to emerge, with a realization that Indians, not some "lost race," had created these prehistoric remains. The past lengthened, as the timetables of geology gained wider acceptance. Step by step, the beginnings and content of prehistory were pushed backward...Today we feel confident in saying that man must have reached this continent more than 25,000 years ago." (Douglas W. Schwartz, pp.9-38).
Red Earth, White Lies, Native Americans and the Myth of Scientific Fact, by Vine Deloria, Jr.
Low Bridge--Everybody Cross
"It may appear that I have sufficiently discussed the origins of man and thereby eliminated the Bering Strait theory as a possible explanation of the source of the occupancy of the Western Hemisphere by American Indians and that devoting more time to this idea is superfluous. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Most Americans do not see the connection between the different scientific theories, nor do they understand that a shift or collapse of a major scientific doctrine requires a significant adjustment of all subsidiary doctrines that relied on it for their validity. Thus, people accepting the idea that outmoded explanations of human evolution have been modified substantially will continue to hold with the Bering Strait theory even though to do so is a great inconsistency. But another point must be made which requires a chapter of discussion--and that is whether or not the Bering Strait is simply shorthand scientific language for "I don't know, but it sounds good and no one will check."
There are immense contemporary political implications to this theory which make it difficult for many people to surrender. Considerable residual guilt remains over the manner in which the Western Hemisphere was invaded and settled by Europeans. Five centuries of brutality lie uneasy on the conscience, and consequently two beliefs have arisen which are used to explain away this dreadful history. People want to believe that the Western Hemisphere, and more particularly North America, was a vacant, unexploited, fertile land waiting to be put under cultivation according to God's holy dictates. As Woodie Guthrie put it: "This land is your land, this Land is my land." The hemisphere thus belonged to whoever was able to rescue it from its wilderness state.
Coupled with this belief is the idea that American Indians were not original inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere but latecomers who had barely unpacked before Columbus came knocking on the door. If Indians had arrived only a few centuries (or even a few millennia) earlier, they had no real claim to land that could not be swept away by European discovery...
These ideas have great impact on how non-Indians view the claims for justice made by Indians...(In a Nebraska courtroom, after a challenge of land claims made against the Sioux nation by the United States, one of the litigants) gushed over what had been said about the Bering Strait as if she were the chairperson of an anthropology department and left me with the comment: "Well dearie, we are all immigrants from somewhere." After reflecting on her comment...I wanted to run down the hallway after her and say, "Yes, indeed, but it makes one helluva difference whether we came 100,000 years ago or just out of boat steerage a generation back."
Her remark was symptomatic of the non-Indian response to the pleas of Indians. By making us immigrants to North America they are able to deny the fact that we were the full, complete, and total owners of this continent. They are able to see us simply as earlier interlopers and therefore throw back at us the accusation that we had simply "found" North America a little earlier than they had." (pp.67-70).
Myths of the American Indians, by Lewis Spence.
Who Were the Mound Builders?
(The author will conclude that these structures are of modern origin, and have no connection to the structure of the greater world-mystery)
"It is not probable that the reader will agree with all the conclusions...which would claim for these structures a hieroglyphic as well as sepulchral significance. But such speculation cannot destroy the inherent interest of the subject, however much they may irritate those who desire to arrive at logical conclusions concerning it. Who then were the folks who raised the mounds of Ohio and the Mississippi and spread their culture from the Gulf states region to the Great Lakes? Needless to say, the 'antiquaries' of the last century stoutly maintained that they were strangers from over the sea, sun- and serpent-worshippers who had forsaken the cities of Egypt, Persia and Phoenicia, and had settled in the West in order to pursue their strange religion undisturbed. But such a view (this author will conclude) by no means commends itself to modern science, which sees in the architects of these mounds and pyramids the ancestors of the present aborigines of North America. (But he will also say): Many of the objects discovered in the mounds are of European manufacture, or prove contact with Europeans (which in reality go on to prove the existence of an ancient Fellowship of Light, or the actual connection that existed between the shamans, mystics and adepts in the Hebrew mysteries, from one continent to another, but the author, perhaps in defense of the indigenous character of these tribes themselves, says), which shows that the structures containing them are of comparatively modern origin...
(Nevertheless) The Algonquins were the first Indians to come into contact with the white man. As a rule their relations with the French were friendly, but they were frequently at war with the English settlers. The eastern branch of the race were quickly defeated and scattered, their remnants withdrawing to Canada and the Ohio Valley. Of the smaller tribes of New England, Virginia, and other eastern states there are no living representatives, and even their languages are extinct, save for a few words and place-names...
Allegheny, "the Place of the Foot."
The Ohio Valley tribes, with the Wyandots, formed themselves into a loose confederacy and attempted to preserve the Ohio as an Indian boundary; but in 1794 they were finally defeated and forced to cede their territory. Tecumseh, an Algonquin chief, carried on a fierce war against the United States for a number of years, but by his defeat at Tippecanoe (and the battles at Detroit and the Thames, at which he lost his life) in 1811 the spirit of the Indians was broken, and the year 1815 saw the commencement of a series of Indian migrations westward, and a wholesale cession of Indian territory which continued over a period of thirty years." (pp.20-25).
America B.C., by Barry Fell.
"These calendar matters, linked with Celtic religion, and hence reflected in the physical orientation of their religious buildings, are undoubtedly to be traced to an ancient cult of sun worship, and certain symbols widely distributed across the Old World at sites where where the sun was worshipped in ancient times occur also on the walls and lintels of some of the Celtic temples in New England. They are also found at some other sites linked with various tribes of North American Indians, and there can be no doubt that the Indian shamans acquired these symbols from contact with ancient colonists in America such as the Celts...
We can extend these studies to the Algonquian languages, and work now in progress shows substantial numbers of Siberian roots occur in the Western dialects of Algonquian, the proportion diminishing as one passes eastward into the New England area...For example, the word "matsu," and similar forms, designates "tree" in the northeast Siberian tongues, the root element being the syllable ma-. As one passes into the Americas, words very similar to "matsu" are used for tree all across the Algonquian belt until one reaches New England. There an abrupt change occurs, and the word for tree in the Wabanaki dialect of Maine becomes "abassi." Now "abassi" means "foeman" in the Siberian tongues, so why does it designate a tree in New England. The answer is simple, it is not a Siberian word at all, but instead a well-known Semitic word, meaning "tree" and still in use today among Hebrew-speaking people of Israel, the language of which is related to Phoenician...
Take the name of the Amoskeag River, for example...When I first visited the site the name meant nothing to me and I assumed it to be Algonquian, but never thought to inquire if the name had a meaning. Indeed it has, as J. Almus Russell has pointed out...According to Russell, competent scholarship shows that the Algonquian sense of "Amoskeag" is "one who takes small fish." But no sooner had I seen this translation than I immediately recognized the word as the Celtic "Ammo-iasgag," which means "small fish stream." The Gaelic word for fish is "iasg" and the suffix -ag is the sign of the diminutive, giving the sense "small fish." Evidently the main purport of the name was imparted to the Algonquian Indians by the Celts, but some details of the sense as well as the precise pronunciation have been blurred with the passage of time." (pp.142, 283, 248).
Cahokia, City of the Sun, Prehistoric Urban Center in the American Bottom, by the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society.
"By A.D. 800, as the Mayans declined in Mexico and Europe muddled through the Dark Ages, Cahokia was ripe for the emergence of a great civilization based on agriculture. The physical and cultural environments there offered the fruits of thousands of years of development to the emerging Mississippi people...
Cahokia's (Illinois) geographical setting at the confluence of three major rivers and four ecozones was ideal. The meeting of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois Rivers created an exceptionally fertile and expansive flood plain called the American Bottom...
Not only did the emerging Mississippians at Cahokia have the benefit of favorable conditions in the American Bottom, but they also profited from contact with other cultures that had developed throughout North America...From their central position they traveled vast distances...They got copper from the Upper Great Lakes, mica from the southern Appalachians , and seashells from the Gulf of Mexico. And in the process of obtaining these materials, they observed traditions and lifestyles they would incorporate into their own.
Despite striking similarities to features of cultures in Mexico and elsewhere, there is no scientific evidence (ah, but the historical evidence is overwhelming) that several Mississippi trademarks--flat-topped temple mounds, calendric systems (a solar woodhenge), and ceramic styles--were the result of anything other than independent invention. (How silly). No Mexican artifacts have been found in the American Bottom or in any other part of this country outside of the southwest... (pp.8-13).
(The historians at Cahokia cannot see the forest for the trees. Or rather, they can not see plainly beyond the Midwestern Plain. They do not understand the mysteries of centrality. Like every other proponent and defender of some particular religious tradition or another--as if any had to be defended against any others--or in this case, of their own private historical turf, they believe theirs' sprang out of nowhere, and cannot see how the builders at Cahokia, Illinois, were directly influenced by the Mayan or the Central European mysteries).
"There is evidence that Cahokia was a theocratic chieftanship: that is, governed by a leader who claimed divine power. Called the "Great Sun" in later Mississippian cultures, he was thought to be the brother of the Sun and sat on top of a well-defined social order..." (p.20).
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the North, the city of the Great King...Psalm 48:1,2.
Lift up Thy Feet unto the perpetual desolations; even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary...For God is my king of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth...(Psalm 74:3, 12).
The mysteries of Central Europe in the Americas
"The sprawling disturbed landscape always amazes me. When I visit Cahokia, I know that it is not alone, for many other sites within our borders testify to the accomplishment of the American Indian. But Cahokia is the grandest. It represents an unparalleled zenith in native American development.
I have walked a little of the central area, more than five square miles...I have climbed some of the great mounds not yet leveled for suburban development. I have made my way up Monks Mound, named for a Trappist community that settled there briefly in the early 1800s; it bulks to a height of one hundred feet, the largest mound in the United States.
"When you climb it," my friend George Stuart says truly, "you lose the sense of its moundness. It's like a mountain. It still dominates the suburbs coming in around it--it's still king."
Always the same questions strike eager students and jaded colleagues alike, bemused by their surroundings. What manner of people were these? How could they have done it? And to what purpose? Difficult questions to address to those quiet mounds vacant of ancient life..." Clues to America's Past, by Jeffrey P. Brain, p.74.
"By the late 14th century, construction at Cahokia stopped and the population began to decline. Eventually the city was abandoned, visited only occasionally by local Indians who came to bury their dead. Why Cahokia waned is one of the questions that cannot be answered simply. Again, I am reminded of events far away: the abandonment of the huge city of Teotihuacan about A.D. 750, the collapse of the Classic Maya civilization some 200 years later..." (p.69).
(Again, we must be reminded of that original Sacred City, the prototype of all abandoned Sacred Cities, which was both concealed and forsaken in the centuries before the time of Christ [Matthew 21:42-44; Psalm 118:22-24; Isaiah 8:13-16; 28:16-18; 1 Peter 2:6-8; Ephesians 2:17-22, KJV]. That city, Jerusalem, the City of DVD--situated in the center of Europe at the place named Beauty, or Tipheret, on the World Tree [the concealed image-below of the ancient Middle Kingdom above; the hidden focus of the Tibetan Shambalah]--is the Mother of all Sacred Cities. Her mysteries, carried throughout the world by the Divine Spirit, came with the tacit instructions that any city or temple built in their reflection must also be abandoned in time, and left to the speculations and wonderment of men until the whole World-Mystery is revealed again at the end of the age).
"De Soto was a hard man, "much given," said a contemporary, "to the sport of hunting Indians." From the beginning he chose to adopt a policy of intimidation. The Indians had never seen a horse, and were terrified (initially) by the prospect of a figure half-man half-beast. Often, as Garcilaso emphasized, the mere appearance of the cavalry would scatter determined parties of warriors...The Indians were hunted, harassed, and finally harnessed to the cause, enslaved as porters and menials. Recalcitrant braves had a hand or a nose--or head--struck from the living flesh as an example to others. Many women were seized, said Ranjel, "and these not old nor the most ugly" because they were "desired for both as servants and for foul uses and lewdness."
Thus De Soto fought his way along a great perambulating journey to find wealth like that of the Incas. He was disastrously unsuccessful in this venture, though he pursued it mightily for three incredible years. His general route is known. It traversed some 350,000 square miles of Indian domains, frequently and understandable hostile. From present-day Florida he went north through Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee; south through Alabama; north again through Mississippi, until he "discovered" the Mississippi River, his popular claim to fame." Clues to America's Past, p.76.
"Cahokia is arranged around Monk's Mound, an earthen falt-topped monument that has no equal in size north of the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan and the great Pyramid at Cholula, in Mexico...Once there may have been 120 mounds in Cahokia. Fewer than 65 still keep their original shape. Railroad rights-of-way, highways, stores, housing developments, fast-food facilities, gas stations, and even a drive-in movie theater have encroached upon the site..." (p.76)
Genocide Against the Indians, Its Role in the Rise of U.S. Capitalism, by George Novack.
"The capitalist rulers of the United States mounted to power through a series of violent struggles against precapitalist social forces. The first of these upheavals took place at the dawn of modern American history with the invasion of the Western Hemisphere by the nations of Western Europe and the conquest of the aboriginal inhabitants. The uprooting of the Indians played a significant part in clearing the way for bourgeois supremacy on this continent.
However, the pages of the most learned historians contain little recognition and less understanding of this connection between the overthrow of Indian tribalism and the development of bourgeois society in America. As a rule, they regard the ousting and obliteration of the natives simply as an incident in the spread of the white man over the continent. They may condemn the treatment of the Indians as a lamentable blot on the historical record, but they do not see that it has any important bearing upon the formation of the United States. (And they have certainly lost sight of the fact that according to the law of Jubilee the entire continent must be returned to its "original inhabitants" in the Day of the Lord. The law of Divine Love will govern thereafter).
This conventional view of Indian-white relations is shared by conservative and liberal writers alike...President Conant of Harvard has...supplied an instructive illustration of how far the Indian conquest has faded from the consciousness of bourgeois thinkers. During a speech at the New York Herald Tribune Forum in October 1948, Conant stated: "In the first place, this nation, unlike most others, has not evolved from a state founded on a military conquest. As a consequence we have nowhere in our tradition the idea of an aristocracy descended from the conquerors and entitled to rule by right of birth. On the contrary, we have developed our greatness in a period in which a fluid society overran a rich and empty continent..."
The contemporary professors do not know how to fit the Indians, and the facts of their dispossession and disappearance, into their schemes of interpretation any more than the pioneers were able to absorb them into bourgeois society. The government's final solution of the Indian problem has been to segregate the survivors in reservations, an American equivalent of the European concentration camps and the African compounds. The historians dispose of the Indians by also setting them off to one side, in a special category detached from the main course of American historical development.
Indeed, because of their unconscious and narrow class outlook, the bourgeois historians, on the whole, are hardly aware that the fate of the Indians presents any problem. They assume that private property must be the normal foundation of any "good" society. And so, the annihilation of Indian collectivism by the white conquerors for the sake of private property seems so much in the nature of things as to require no explanation...
And all that believed were together, and had all things common...(Acts 2:44).
But there is more involved than inertia or indifference. Freud has explained individual lapses of memory by an unconscious wish to hide from what is shameful, fearful, socially unacceptable. Where a social lapse of memory occurs, a similar mechanism and similar motives for suppression are often at work, especially where representatives of ruling classes engage in systematic forgetfulness. That is the case here. The abominable treatment of the Indians is extremely unpleasant to contemplate, and equally unpleasant to explain.
At the bottom of their censorship lies the bourgeois attitude toward the communal character of Indian life. The bourgeois mind finds communism in any form so contrary to its values, so abhorrent and abnormal, that it recoils from its manifestations and instinctively strives to bury recollections of their existence. In any event, the run-of-the-mill historian feels little impulse to examine and explain primitive communism although it was the cradle of humanity and, in particular, formed a starting point of modern American history." (pp.7-10).
America's Wars & Military Encounters from Colonial Times... by Edwin P. Hoyt.
This study of America's wars and military excursions is intended to give readers a sense of the continuity of the American military presence over four centuries. (See Genesis 15:12-16). The book is proof of the old adage that wars and military excursions are extensions of political policy. For the most part wars represent a failure of politicians, (but moreso, a failure of the priests and ministers of the Gospel to rebuke the politicians, and to endure steadfastly in the teachings of Christ), whether it be by the Massachusetts Colony's refusal to treat the Indians fairly, which was the beginning of the long period of Indian wars that did not end until the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890, or the concentration of political errors that involved the United States in the war in Vietnam...
The French and Indian wars began, really, with King Philip's War in Massachusetts in 1671. To be sure, there had been previous troubles with Indians. In Virginia the whole first colony had been wiped out by famine, pestilence, and Indian warfare in the sixteenth century. In 1636, racial antagonism had boiled over in Massachusetts with the murder of a New England trader named John Oldham. Colonial troops from Massachusetts and Connecticut decided to destroy the Pequot tribe, whose members lived between the Thames River and the present eastern boundary of Rhode Island, as well as on Long Island. On May 26, 1637, the English colonists ravaged the main Pequot village, at the site of what is now Stonington, Connecticut, and virtually exterminated the Pequots in the whole area.
King's Philip's War, which began in 1671, was the result of the Indian realization that individual tribes could do nothing against the English. The tribal leaders believed they could unite and act together to drive the English out of North America. They were fifty years too late...The Indians lost King Philip's War, and the tribal remnants were thereafter driven westward by English expansion. Indian resentment became a ready tool for the French, who coveted all of North America as eagerly as did the English. In the wars that spread across the Atlantic from Europe, the French enlisted the Indians, particularly the Hurons, to harry the western boundaries of the English colonies. The French and Indian Wars continued unabated from the last of the 1600s until the 1750s...
In prosecution, the American Revolution was a peculiarly violent war, a civil war in every sense of the word, with brother pitted against brother and father against son. The British added two elements which made the war even more vicious: the Indians who fought the colonists for vengeful reasons of their own, and the Hessians, those hired peasant boys from Germany, who knew nothing about the language, the customs, or the terrain of the country in which they fought, and were the more savage for that. When the war ended, the Hessians went home to Europe...but the Indians had nowhere to go, and successive generations of Indians paid dearly for the excesses of their forebears until the late nineteenth century when General William Tecumseh Sherman enunciated an American policy that had been building up for years: extermination." (pp.ix-xiii).
Great Documents in American Indian History, by Wayne Moqin and Charles Van Doren.
Remarks to Captain John Smith (c 1609)
Powhatan (Powhatan Confederacy)
"I am now grown old, and must soon die; and the succession must descend, in order, to my brothers, Opitchapan, Opekananough, and Catataugh, and then to my two sisters, and their two daughters. I wish their experience was equal to mine; and that your love to us might not be less than our love to you. Why should you take by force that from us which you can have by love? Why should you destroy us, who have provided you with food? What can you get by war? We can hide our provisions, and fly into the woods, and then you must consequently famish by wrongdoing your friends. What is the cause of your jealousy? You see us unarmed, and willing to supply your wants, if you come in a friendly manner, and not with swords and guns, as to invade an enemy. I am not so simple, as not to know it is better to eat good meat, lie well, and sleep quietly with my women and children; to laugh and be merry with the English; and being their friend, to have copper, hatchets, and whatever else I want, than to fly from all, to lie cold in the woods, feed upon acorns and roots, and to be so hunted that I cannot rest, eat, or sleep. In such circumstances my men must watch, and if a twig should but break, all would cry out, "Here comes Captain Smith"; and so, in this miserable manner, to end my miserable life, and, Captain Smith, this might be soon your fate too, through your rashness and unadvisedness. I therefore exhort you to peaceable councils; and, above all, I insist that the guns and swords, the cause of all our jealousy and uneasiness, be removed and sent away." (p.111).
By William Albert Allard
"Before the continent was called America, before white men came looking for land, Nez Perce children learned many things through the imagery of legends. From the adventures of Coyote, Fox, and Grizzly Bear they learned the virtues of bravery and honor, and the tragedy of greed. Around the warmth of winter fires they came to understand the mysteries of plants and animals and the sacredness of Mother Earth. And on one of the most ancient legends they learned that Coyote had once predicted the coming of "new age"--the time of "human beings." With that age, he had said, would come a struggle to overcome sorrow.
Today many of those legends have been forgotten, buried with the bones of the old people who knew them as well as they knew the freedom of eagles. And locked in the deep silence of their graves are the stories of those who struggled to overcome the terrible sorrow of freedom lost.
In a weed-choked cemetery in Nespelem, Washington, on the Colville Indian Reservation, stands a monument to past bravery and old sorrows. There on a gray dirt hillside, a marble column rises in modest elegance amid other graves marked with crosses of weathered wood or clusters of rocks. Carved into the column is the face of a handsome man and the words: "He led his people in the Nez Perce War of 1877. Age, about 60 years. Died September 21, 1904." His name: Hinmahtooyahletkekht--Thunder Rolling in the Mountains. He had another name as well, more deeply etched in history than in stone. It was Joseph.
"All men were created by the same Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers. The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it. You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who was born a free man should be contented penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases..." Chief Joseph.
"Say to us if you can say it, that you were sent by the Creative Power to talk to us. Perhaps you think the Creator sent you here to dispose of us as you see fit. If I thought you were sent by the Creator I might be induced to think you had a right to dispose of me. Do not misunderstand me, but understand me fully with reference to my affection for the land. I never said the land was mine to do with as I chose. The one who has the right to dispose of it is the one who created it. I claim a right to live on my land, and accord you the privilege to live on yours." Chief Joseph.
"It is cold, and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are--perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me. my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever." Chief Joseph. (National Geographic).
American Indian Myths and Legends, by Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz.
"The ghost dance was peaceful, but whites thought of it as the signal for a great Indian uprising. They asked the army for help, and in the end many unarmed ghost dancers, mostly woman and children, were killed at Wounded Knee. We Indians think that the white people were afraid of the ghost dance because they had a bad conscience having taken away half of the remaining Indian land just a few years before. People with bad consciences live in fear, and they hate most those whom they have wronged. Thus it was with the ghost dance.
At the time, Sitting Bulll lived on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota with his Hunkpapa people. He was not, as some people think, the war leader who defeated Custer on the Little Big Horn. He was a holy man, the spiritual leader of the Sioux nation. He got along well with some whites, even had a few white friends, but he always said: "I want the white man beside me, not above me." Sitting Bull, or Tantaka Iyotake, as he is called in Sioux, was a proud and dignified man, and nobody's slave.
Now, at some time before 1890, Sitting Bull had joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. He had traveled all over the country. In New York he could be seen sitting on a doorstep on Broadway, giving nickels to poor street urchins and saying that white folks did not know how to take care of their children. He also said that all children--red, white, black, yellow--were alike in their innocence, and that if grown-ups could remain children in their hearts, all would be well...
At that time the Great White Father in Washington, and the white agents who ruled the reservations, thought that the solution to what they called the "Indian problem" was for Indians to behave like whites: to speak and dress like whites, to become Christians and worship like whites, to own property and work like whites, to marry whites, and to be swallowed up by white society. The "problem" would be solved by simply having no more Indians, by letting them disappear into the great American melting pot.
Sitting Bull opposed this. He did not want the Indians to die out. He wanted them to remain true to their old ways, to go on worshipping the Great Spirit, to continue speaking their own language and singing their old Sioux songs...
Oyate wan waste ca
Wankanta Tunkansila heya ca
O ye people, be ye healed;
Life anew I bring unto ye.
Through the Father over all do I thus.
Life anew I bring unto ye.
(The Indian Book. Songs and Legends of the American Indians, by Natalie Curtis).
And because Sitting Bull was a Wichasa Wakan, a medicine man, the most respected one among Lakota people, many Indians rallied around him. Thus he became the center of the resistance to be swallowed up by the culture of the whites. And thus he became the enemy of those who wanted to make the Indians into white men.
They said that he stood in the path of progress, and the ghost dance trouble seemed a good opportunity to get rid of the old chief. He was accused of siding with the dancers and protecting them. The white reservation chief sent out the Indian police, forty-three of them, to arrest Sitting Bull. If he resisted and was killed, so much the better. The police force was made up of what we now call "apples," men who are red outside and white inside. They were led by Lieutenants Shave Head and Bull Head.
The police came to arrest the great leader before dawn on an icy winter morning. The ground was covered with snow. They burst into his one-room log cabin with six-shooters drawn. They dragged him naked from beneath his buffalo robe and pushed him outside; they would not even let him dress properly. They kept pushing at him as they put handcuffs on. The commotion awoke Sitting Bull's friends and relatives...A woman's voice rose in a song:
Sitting Bull, You were a Warrior once, What are you going to do now?
The old chief stopped abruptly. He pushed the policemen away, saying: "I won't go!" Immediately one of the police chiefs shot him through the body, and an all-out fight to the death began." (pp.267-269).
The Ghost Dance, by James Mooney.
"Probably every Indian tribe, north and south, had its early hero god, the great doer or teacher of first things...Among the roving tribes of the north this hero is hardly more than an expert magician, frequently degraded to to the level of common trickster, who, after ridding the world of giants and monsters, and teaching his people a few simple arts, retires to the upper world to rest and smoke until some urgent necessity again requires his presence below. Under softer southern skies the myth takes more poetic form and the hero becomes a person of dignified presence, a father and teacher of his children, a very Christ, worthy of all love and reverence who gathers together the wandering nomads and leads them to their destined country..."Under him the earth teemed with fruits and flowers without the pains of culture. An ear of Indian corn was as much as a single man could carry...
In short, these were the halcyon days, which find a place in the mythic systems of so many nations in the Old World. (See Numbers 13:21-25). It was the golden age of Anahuac. When at last his work is well accomplished, he bids farewell to his sorrowing subjects, whom he consoles with the sacred promise that he will one day return and resume his kingdom, steps into his magic boat by the seashore, and sails away out of their sight to the distant land of the Sunrise.
Such was Quetzalcoatl of the Aztecs...Curiously enough, this god, at once a Moses and a Messiah, is usually described as a white man with flowing beard. From this and other circumstances it has been argued that the whole story is only another form of the dawn myth, but whether the Indian god be an ancient deified lawgiver of their own race, or some nameless missionary who found his way across the trackless ocean in the early ages of Christianity, or whether we have here only a veiled parable of the morning light bringing life and joy to the world and then vanishing to return again from the east with the dawn, it is sufficient to our purposes that the belief in the coming of a messiah, who should restore them to their original happy condition, was well nigh universal among the American tribes.
The faith in the return of a white deliverer from the east opened the gate to the Spaniards at their first coming alike in Haiti, Mexico, Yucatan and Peru. The...natives welcomed the white strangers as the children or kindred of their long-lost benefactor, immortal beings whose near advent had been foretold by oracles and omens, whose faces borrowed from the brightness of the dawn, whose glistening armor seemed woven from the rays of sunlight, (see Ephesians 6:10-17), and whose god-like weapons were the lightning and the thunderbolt. Their first overbearing demands awakened no resentment; for may not the gods claim their own, and is not resistance to the divine will a crime? Not until their most sacred things were trampled under foot, and the streets of the holy city itself ran red with the blood of their slaughtered princes, did they read aright the awful prophecy by the light of their blazing temples, and know that instead of the children of an incarnate god they had welcomed a horde of incarnate devils..." (pp.20, 21).
THE DOCTRINE OF THE GHOST DANCE
You must not fight. Do no harm to anyone. Do right always.--Wovoka
"The great underlying principle of the Ghost Dance doctrine is that the time will come when the whole Indian race, living and dead, will be reunited upon a regenerated earth, to live a life of aboriginal happiness forever free from death, disease, and misery. On this foundation each tribe built a structure from its own mythology, and each believer and apostle has filled in the details according to his own mental capacity...with such additions as come to him from the trance...The differences of interpretation are precisely such as we find in Christianity, with its hundreds of sects and innumerable shades of individual opinion. The white race, being alien and secondary and hardly real, has no part in this scheme of aboriginal regeneration, and will be left behind with the other things of the earth that have served their temporary purpose, or else will cease entirely to exist.
All this is to be brought about by an overruling spiritual power that needs no assistance from human creatures; and though certain medicine-men were disposed to anticipate the Indian millennium by preaching resistance to the further encroachments of the whites, such teachings form no part of the true doctrine, and it was only where chronic dissatisfaction was aggravated by recent grievances, as among the Sioux, that the movement assumed a hostile expression. On the contrary, all believers were exhorted to make themselves worthy of the predicted happiness by discarding all things warlike and practicing honesty, peace, and good will, not only among themselves, but also toward the whites, so long as they were together. Some apostles have even thought that all race distinctions are to be obliterated, and that the whites are to participate with the Indians in the coming felicity; but it seems unquestionable that this is equally contrary to the doctrine as originally preached...
The messiah (Wovoka) himself has set several dates from time to time,as one prediction after another failed to materialize, and in his message to the Cheyenne and Arapaho, in August 1891, he leaves the whole matter an open question. The date universally recognized among all the tribes immediately prior to the Sioux outbreak was the spring of 1891. As springtime came and passed, and summer grew and waned, and autumn faded again into winter without the realization of their hopes and longings, the doctrine gradually assumed its present form--that some time in the unknown future the Indian will be united with his friends who have gone before, to be forever supremely happy, and that this happiness may be anticipated in dreams, if not actually hastened in reality, by earnest and frequent attendance on the sacred dance." (pp.139, 140).
Noble Red Man, Lakota WisdomkeeperMatthew King...with Harvey Arden.
THE GREAT MYSTERIOUS....You can call Wakan-Tanka by any name you like. In English I call Him God or the Great Spirit. He's the Great Mystery. That's what Wakan-Tanka really means--the Great Mysterious.
You can't define Him. He's not actually a "He" or a "She," a "Him" or a "Her." We have to use those kinds of words because you can't just say "It." God is never an "It."
So call Wakan-Tanka whatever you like. Just be sure to call Him. He wants to talk to you.
TALKING TO GOD...When we want wisdom we go up on the hill and talk to God. Four days and four nights, without food and water. Yes, you can talk to God up on a hill by yourself. You can say anything you want. Nobody's there to listen to you. That's between you and God and nobody else.
It's a great feeling to be talking to God. I know. I did it way up on the mountain. The wind was blowing. It was dark. It was cold. And I stood there and I talked to God.
LISTENING TO GOD...When I go up on the hill to pray I don't just talk to God. I try to get the talking over quick. Mostly I'm listening. Listening to God--that's praying too.
You've got to listen. God's talking to you right now. He's telling you all the words you've got to speak and all the things you've got to do in this life. If you don't listen, you don't hear what God's saying, and then you don't know what God wants you to say and do.
So that's how you pray to God. You listen.
A TALK WITH A CONGRESSMAN...I had a talk with a congressman about why we won't sell the Black Hills. He asked me, "Why do you Indians need all that land? You don't do anything with the land you've already got. Why do you need more? We'll give you some money instead of those hills."
I told him, right there in the halls of Congress..."You say I don't do anything with my land? Well, what do you mean by doing? To the White Man, doing means changing things, destroying everything, chopping the forests and damming the rivers and polluting the skies. White Man wants us to be like him and build factories and motels and hamburger stands?
You say I don't do anything with our land? What I do is live there by God's Law. That's what I do there."
THE BLACK HILLS...The Black Hills are where we came out of the Earth, where our ancestors are buried, where we go for sacred ceremony. They are the birthplace of Lakota people. The White Man wants us to take a hundred million dollars for our Black Hills. But a hundred billion wouldn't be enough. Not even four hundred billion. That wouldn't even pay for the damages you've done.
You can never pay us for what you've stolen or destroyed. You can never pay for all the eagles you've killed, for all the buffalo, all the wild game. No, and you can never pay us for all the Indians you've killed.
The Black Hills aren't for sale. What if we offered you a hundred million dollars for the Vatican, for Jerusalem?
HOW WILL YOU PAY US...White Man thinks he can buy everything. He thinks money can buy our Black Hills. He's wrong again. God gave us those hills. They're holy. You can't have them.
You think it's an accident that the White Man drove us back into those hills and badlands only to find that this land was rich with gold and copper and coal and uranium? Now you want the uranium. But you can't have it. We are the guardians of the uranium of Grandmother Earth. You can't have it. You'll only use it to destroy God's world.
I asked one of your congressmen where the United States was going to get all the money that your Supreme Court says you owe us for stealing the Black Hills. He said, "Why, we'll get it from the U.S. Treasury." I had to laugh,,,"And where did your Treasury get that money? I'll tell you where you got it. You stole it from us. That's not your money. That's Indian money. You stole our hills, our resources, then you put the profits in your Treasury. And now you're going to take a little bit of that money...and give it back to us as full payment. You're going to pay us with our own money! You must think we are crazy, but we're not. WE WANT OUR HILLS BACK."
GOD'S JUDGMENT: A PROPHECY...I prophesy many things that come to pass. God is going to put a judgment on the world. He's mad. I'm sorry it's going to happen. He's not going to destroy the whole world, but every living thing will perish, and it'll be maybe another million years before a new life begins again. All because of White Man's wickedness.
Grandmother Earth will be alone. She's going to rest.
You're going to fall and fall hard. You're going to be crying and wailing. You'll realize that you can't get away with destroying God's world. Don't think you can get away with it. God's going to wipe the wickedness from the Earth. You can see His signs...
You white people are going to learn the most important lessons--that God is the most important thing there is...We Indians aren't afraid to die. We got a place to go, to a better place, so we don't care. We're ready. We just want you white people to know. Maybe you can change, maybe you can stop what's coming. There's not much time.
A MESSAGE TO THE WHITE MAN...God put us both on this Earth, the Red Man and the White Man. I don't know why. There's a reason. I've looked for it all my life and I'm sorry to say I havn't found it. I can't understand why He sent you here to destroy His own Creation. It's a mystery. But God is always a mystery. I try to work with the mystery even when I don't understand it.
We're both God's children. When White Man came here he said that he was our Father. But he's not. Only God is our Father, and the Earth is our Mother. We Indians have proof of that, because our skin is the color of Mother Earth. God meant us to live in peace. He has a purpose for each of us. He doesn't want one of us to kill the other.
It's been a long war between our two people. Five hundred years. We want it to end. Maybe White Man think's he's already won. But you can't win when you go against God, against Nature. All you win is God's wrath and God's judgment. God will always be the winner.
Seasons of Our Joy, by Arthur Waskow.
"What do we accomplish by acting out the cycle, using the symbols, telling the stories?
Long ago our people believed that if we celebrate the cycle, the cycle was more likely to continue. The rains would come when they were due, the sun would shine more warmly in its season, the crops would grow--and die, and grow again.
If we celebrated the cycle, we believed, our deliverance from slavery would come again. The spiral of history would keep on circling upward if we lived through the spirals of our past. Someday the spiral would free us fully--with Messiah.
And there is one more reason to observe the cycle: from the beginning the Jewish people have celebrated the festivals in order to honor the Unity that underlies all life. The very interweaving of the themes of history and nature, the human life cycle and moments of spiritual experience--remind us that in some sense all the realms of life are Dancing with each other. The circles of the Sun, and of the Moon; of a single human life between the generations, and an entire people's history of renewal; of every quiet act of newness, birth, creation--are all echoes of One Circle."
Romans 10:1-4; Hebrews, chapter 12.
The Truth of a Hopi, by Edmund Nequatwa.
THE RETURN OF THE BAHANA
"All this time the Hopi seemed to know that the real Bahana was coming, but they were warned to be careful and patient, for fear that it might not be the true Bahana who would come after the Spaniard or Castillian. So if he ever did come they must be sure to ask him about his books, which they thought would contain his secrets, and it was said that the book of truth would not be on top, but at the very bottom after all the other books. If he asked the Hopi for the privilege of teaching them his language and taught them how to write, they must be sure to ask that they would like to be taught in the book of truth, because if he was the true Bahana he would quickly consent to teach them of this book. For their belief is, that if he is not the one they are looking for he will refuse to teach them his religion. Now if they learned his religion they would compare it with their religion and ceremonies, and if these were alike they would know that the Bahana had been with them in the beginning.
Most everybody was anxious to see the Bahana come, for they were afraid that he might not come in their lifetime, and they would not be able to enjoy all the benefits that he was to bring with him--for the Bahana was supposed to bring great knowledge with him. These people were telling their children that the Bahana was wise and with his inventions had reached the rising sun and was coming back to them again, for they had seen the big eastern star and that was a sign and they were waiting for him. Every grandfather and grandmother was telling their children that they were growing so old that they would not see the Bahana. They would tell their children to go out in the mornings before sunrise with sacred corn-meal to ask the sun to hurry the Bahana along so that he would come soon.
Well, I guess many years had passed, probably a century. You know, some were rather superstitious and they would say that when the Bahana came he would know who was practicing witchcraft and that he would know them by sight. They said that he was to come and make peace and do away with all evil so that there would be no more trouble. And so, for this reason, the people who had so much trouble were the most anxious to see him come.
Well, finally they heard that the Bahana was at Tsehotso (Navajo for Fort Defiance), which means "range of sharp-pointed rocks." He was calling for the Hopi chiefs to come to that place to meet him. Now at that time all the tribes were on hostile terms with one another and it was dangerous. The Hopi wanted to go and see what this Bahana looked like. The chiefs from all the villages went there and they told him if he was the true Bahana they would shake hands and lay down their weapons, for they had a "theory" that when the Bahana came there would be peace forever." (pp.50, 51).
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe it not...
Wherefore if they say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in secret chambers; believe it not.
For as lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall the coming of the Son of man be.
For wherever the carcase (the corpse of all the people) is, there will the eagles (both the good and the evil ones) be gathered together...(Matthew 24:23-28).
For the earnest expectation of the creature (all created beings together) waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
For (all of us) were made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.
Because (all of us together) also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our Body...(Romans 8:19-23).
For Messiah is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth...
For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.
How then shall they (the Jews) call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they (all others) believe in him (DaViD) of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful ARE THE FEET OF THEM that preach the Gospel of Peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!...(Romans 10:4, 13-15).