Athena's Web
Week of October 15th - October 21st,  1999

Future Hopi Prophecies

Columns Archive


   Last week we examined those prophecies which Maasaw gave to the Hopi and are believed to have already been fulfilled. This week, we will examine the prophecies which still lie in the future.

   The Hopi believe that they are at the end of the Fourth Cycle of time. According to their traditions, the last cycle ended in a huge flood, which they were able to survive because of their kivas. These are sacred chambers which the Hopi access by climbing down a ladder from a hole in their roof to perform many of their religious ceremonies, including communing with the Mother Earth.

   There are interesting parallels between the Hopi stories and the Biblical flood. In both tales, the people had grown corrupt and sinful, and it is the Creator who authored the flood as a means of getting rid of mankind. Noah used the birds after the flood, to help determine whether or not land had reappeared. According to their legend, the Hopi also sought the aid of animals and birds to help them ascend to the next world at that time. It's curious that these two cultures, separated by an ocean, should have randomly told such a similar tale if these tales are simply fabrications based on falsehoods. If, on the other hand, they were based on a common event which took place in the distant past, then their similarities are not so surprising after all.

   What do the Hopi predictions say about the end of the current cycle, and its aftermath?

   "The Hopi play a key role in the survival of the human race through their vital communion with the unseen forces that hold nature in balance, as an example of a practical alternative to the suicidal man-made system, and as a fulcrum of world events. The pattern is simple. 'The whole world will shake and turn red and turn against those who are hindering the Hopi...'"

   " still may lessen the violence by correcting his treatment of nature and fellow man... The man made system now destroying the Hopi is deeply involved in similar violations throughout the world. The devastating reversal predicted in the prophecies is part of the natural order. If those who thrive from that system, its money and its laws, can manage to stop destroying the Hopi then many may be able to survive the Day of Purification and enter a new age of peace. But if no one is left to continue the Hopi way, then the hope for such an age is in vain."

   "To encourage, rather than threaten life. To benefit everyone rather than giving advantage to a few at the expense of others. Concern for all living things will far surpass personal concerns bringing greater happiness than could formerly be realized. Then all things shall enjoy lasting harmony."

   "Since mankind has lost peace with one another through the conflict because of the new ways, the Great Spirit, the Great Creator has punished the people in many ways. Through all of this there was always a small group who survived to keep the original ways of life alive. This small group are those who adhere to the laws of the Creator, who keep the spiritual path open, out from the circle of evil. According to our knowledge we are not quite out of the circle."

   "At time's end, a new age will appear."

   -from The Hopi Survival Kit, by Thomas Mails


Hopi Ceremony Inside a Kiva

Hopi, inside a Kiva, performing one of many rituals

The Water Serpent Ceremony

   As the impersonators approach the kiva, the light is extinguished. A few minutes later, the room is reilluminated to reveal an elaborate screen stretching from wall to wall. In front of the Sun Shield covers on the screen, are placed tiny corn shoots stuck in cones of clay. To the accompaniment of roaring sounds, the Sun Shields lift and the heads of huge plumed and horned serpents appear. Snakelike, they sway farther and farther into the room while the Koyemsi sing. With violent motions, they sweep away the miniature cornfield. The Mother of All Kachinas, Hahai-wuuti, approaches the serpents with a tray of corn meal and nurses them.

   The Koyemsi attempt to push the serpents back under the Sun Shields but the snakes resist. They continue to wrestle as the ceremony builds in intensity. With great strength, the serpents send the Koyemsi tumbling. Finally, the serpents are forced back and the shields are closed. The purpose of this entire ceremony is to honor and enact the story of the serpents who guard the waters of creation for us all.


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