Athena's Web
Week of September 24th - 30th,  1999

Hopi Roots

Columns Archive


   The Hopi hold a very special and sacred trust with this land. These people represent one of the oldest living traditions on the North American continent. Old Orabi, the capital of the Hopis, dates back to at least 1150 AD, and is the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the United States. The predecessors of the Hopi were the Hisatsinom, or 'the ancient people'. The Dineh gave them their more familiar name, the Anasazi, a term which means 'ancient enemies'. These Hisatsinom may date back to before 0 AD, but it was not until 700 to 1100 AD that they grew considerably in strength, with the peak of their civilization culminating between 1100 to 1200 AD. Around 1250, they simply vanished. We don't know what happened or where they went. The Dineh did not arrive in the Southwest until around 1350 AD. Between 1000 and 1300 AD, in what is curently the Montezuma County of Colorado, the native population grew to between 25 to 50 thousand people. Today, the same area supports a population of between 18 to 20 thousand. Originally, the Hisatsinom used split willow, rabbitbrush, and skunkbrush to make coiled water-carrying baskets, which were waterproofed with pitch to carry water. After about 550 AD, they began to use pottery, learned, according to legends, from the Mogollon, an 'earlier people' from the south. All of this conveys some of the depth of the antiquity of Hopi culture.

   Since the Hopi represent the oldest civilization in North America, it is interesting to note that they, too, have an End Time tradition. Many details bear tantilizing similarities to the end time prophecies of other traditions. This week, we will first glimpse an origin myth. Like the astrological, Christian, Mayan, and Vedic myths, the Hopi too believe that we stand at the end of one epoch, and the start of another. According to their prophecy, at the beginning of the current cycle, long ago, Great Spirit came down and gathered the people together, to talk to them. He told them that he was going to send them to the four corners of the Earth, and that over the course of this cycle he would change them into different colors. Each would be given Original Teachings. When they came together again, they were to share these teachings with each other, so that they could all live in peace. When this happens, a great civilization would come to flourish. Then, he gave each of the groups of people two tablets.

   To the East he sent the Indians. He made them Red. He gave them the guardianship over the Earth, and they were to learn from the Mother what plants to eat, and which to use as medicines. To the South he sent the Yellow People, and he gave them Guardianship over the Wind. They were to learn about the sky, breathing, and to develop spiritual advancement in this way. In the West He gave the Black Race Guardianship over Water, the most humble, and yet the most powerful of the four elements. Finally, into the North, he sent the White Race, and gave them Guardianship over Fire. At the core of many of the white man's inventions, you will still find this spark of fire. When these four groups come back together and sit, sharing the collected wisdom of their peoples, so then the New World Age will dawn.

   Next week: Return of the Serpent


Surgurd In the Act

Sigurd As He Slays the Dragon

Myths of the End Times

   Long ago, there was a universal language, and it was considered to be divine. That language is symbolism, and it survived in the memories of the myths, which speak to us from our dreams and across time. Once these images have been reanimated, they can start to speak to us again.

   Astrology says that we stand at the end of the Age of Pisces, on the verge of entering Aquarius. Some say we have already arrived; but the myths of various cultures uniformly address a catastrophe or natural upheaval at the end of the current cycle.

   In the Americas, the Mayans dated it very precisely, on the winter solstice in 2012. In the Norse tradition, Thor wrestled with the World Serpent in the final battle, and they killed each other. Many of the Norse gods did (or do) not survive. The Book of Revelation depicts a final battle with the Dragon, but opens at the end into a wonderful new dawn after the battle. Vedic, Greek and Roman myths all address a final cataclysm.

   Should we then, be surprised that the Hopi also share in several of these images? Next week, we'll see how the Serpent of the Norse, the Serpent Mound in Ohio, and a meeting, in an office in 1921 all fit into the pattern. The Hopi believe we stand at the end of the Fourth Cycle, while the Dineh believe it is the end of the Fifth. All of these ancient cultures feel that we now stand on the edge of time.


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