East West Journal December 15, 1975, page 36
THE HOPI PROPHECY
by Thomas Banyacya
Ancient knowledge of the Path of Life was drawn on one of the rocks near Oraibi, one of the two oldest continuously inhabited villages in the Western Hemisphere
"Meditate, fast, pray, walk through the earth, look at animals, look at the sky, think about these things, nature, and you're going to be filling yourself with spiritual power and you will have better respect for one another. "
Thomas Banyacya is an interpreter for the spiritual leaders of the Hopi Nation. Their whole spiritual life is based on seeing to it that living things are not interfered with: "We are all related; we are all one with nature. At this very moment we are all linked together by the air that we breathe. Hopi believe that everything is alive. Hopi believe that we must, from our heart, give that spiritual feeling to others so that nature will continue on its natural course. "
Thomas Banyacya went to a government-sponsored college: "I was forced to learn to do things, so I teamed many Bible verses and had a chance to look into many world religious books. In the written books I found the same things that I had learned from my elders when I was growing up, so after I finished two years [1930-32] of college in Oklahoma, I went back home and met with my elders in their sacred kivas to learn. In 1948 they started revealing the ancient knowledge for the first time. At the end of the four days they wanted someone to bring this message to the world for them, to write letters for them, and to be an ear and tongue for them, so they appointed some of us to be their interpreters."
The Hopi religious leaders also instructed their people to search for their native American brothers, so Thomas Banyacya met with Mad Bear and Beeman Logon, a chief from the Seneca Tonawanda reservation. They were surprised to find that the ancient knowledge and drawings of the Hopi and the Iroquois were very similar even though they had never had contact before. They traveled around the country, holding spiritual meetings to help reestablish the traditional religious principles that "are now being broken down by pressure from the Bureau of Indian Affairs' programs across the land. In some places the people have completely lost their songs and languages, and they don't know where they belong. So I spent a week with them, camping out, and going through the ceremonies. Twenty years later, these men are now coming out proud and strong. They see where they belong, learn their languages and songs to become active in their religions so that this land will not be totally destroyed again."
Fifteen to twenty native Americans traveled from as far away as Washington state to attend the Temple of Understanding's Spiritual Summit Conference V at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and the United Nations in New York City in October. Thomas Banyacya spoke about the Hopi prophecy as it applies to the Hopi, other native Americans, and "all brothers and sisters" throughout the world in the past, present, and future.
East West Journal December 15, 1975 37
Hopi prophecy is the spiritual side of our lives, our knowledge of things pertaining to the land, Mother Earth, and to the sun, moon, and stars as the elements that help to keep nature in balance. Hopi knew that there was a life before this one and even one before that one. Both were destroyed--the last one by a great flood--because mankind had gone too far away from love, nature, and the Great Spirit's plan of life. He went on inventing things, became corrupt, and destroyed himself. There are always a few who hold on to the spiritual instructions, and through their faith and courage a few people are able to survive. This is how we came to this land and the third world we're in now.
The symbol [see] stands for the Great Spirit, whom we call Massau'u; surprisingly, in the Bible he is called the Messiah. He's a spirit who comes to you in some form. He came to us as a man in the beginning of this new life, and the people gathered before him and he told us how to live on this new land. He laid down the spiritual path for us and told us what will happen. He gave us the symbol of a serpent, a very sacred symbol, and said that as long as we follow this path. there will be no end to life, and everything else was laid on this path of the rectangle.
We met him again and he said, "In order that this life will never be destroyed like the other ones, I will appoint three nations that will have the power to develop and invent things, to become strong and powerful." Their duty will be to watch other races of mankind to see if they follow religious instructions and do things the way the Great Spirit told them. And if we do things contrary to the Great Spirit, it will be their duty to shake us up and warn us. Our skin is the color of the great Mother Earth. We were given the duty to take care of the North American continent so that this life will go on and on in a natural way with everything in balance. We do not want to disturb things so much. We let animal life have its way, plant life have its way, rivers run freely. We use them in a simple way so we do not disturb them in any way.
Another group of religious leaders was given two stone tablets with all the knowledge within. Two brothers who had this same knowledge separated. A set of stone tablets was given to the older brother, who was told to go in the eastern direction to another land to develop, record, and invent things. It was told that someday he will come back and look for his younger brother, who is still holding on to his land and life in a spiritual way. The older brother, after many years, may change in color of skin. which may become white, but his hair will remain black. If the white brother has not turned completely away from his spiritual path, he will recognize and join with us, and there will not be much disturbance. The material and the spiritual will join, and we will do things in a much more spiritual way before we invent things, so we will not disturb this land so much.
But if our white brother comes and has already completely turned away from the instructions, he will change the symbol [circle] and we will know he has changed things. They warned us that when your white brother comes with another symbol ( + ), you had better watch out. He's going to have a sweet tongue; he's going to have many inventions; he's going to tell us, "Let your way go. Come follow me." This happened once already, and much life and property were destroyed. It will stop for a while and another man will come with better inventions; now we have radios, televisions, roads in the sky. People want those things and they forget about religions. Now the third one is coming, with much-improved inventions.
When our white brothers came to our homeland from across the waters, we welcomed them and did everything a brother would do for a brother who had been away for a long time. We gave you food; we let you live on our land; we even stepped out of our ____ to let you live in our home. We did everything so that you could have this kind of life.
But today we find this life has been broken down because our white brother has come with different inventions and ways of religious belief. The American government, through the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs, is supposed to be the guardian and protector of our native land, religion, and way of life, but their policy is to try and change us into something else through education, industrialization, and their programs that say they would help to bring about better conditions among our people. Even though our religious elders, because of spiritual knowledge, warnings, and instructions from the Great Spirit, do not want modern conveniences, they keep pushing them on us. We go too far, manufacturing things without spiritual understanding. Today we find great destruction in our sacred area; at Black Mesa, where strip mining is going on, huge holes are being formed. They have also been digging oil and uranium. Our underground water sources are being used so much that our sacred spring may eventually dry up. In that area we have no irrigation, but through spiritual exercises our religious leaders are able to bring rain so that there will be enough corn, melon, beans, and pumpkins provided for our families. Hopi do not want any chemical fertilizers to be brought into these areas. They are planning to put seven generator plants along the Colorado River just north of us. Each one will burn coal that is now being strip-mined. One of them is already putting out enough smog to equal that of Los Angeles and New York combined. In spite of protests, they are building housing projects right in the sacred area, where members of the sacred societies use the land as a spiritual center. They are trying to put in water and sewer lines against our wishes. All these are signs to us, to the religious leaders, that we must go east in our land, as the prophecy said, to look for the house of mica where world leaders will be gathered and present this to them, not to try to change their ways, but hoping that maybe one, two, or three nations would say, "Let's look into it." We tried it in 1959, but they would not let us speak in the United Nations.
The ninety-year-old man who called the meeting in 1948 was told by his grandfather that he might be able to see some of the inventions the white brother will be bringing: "You will see carriages pulled by animals at first, carrying people across the land. Pretty soon, they are going to run by themselves. They're going to build trails in every direction from their homes upon the land. If you go down one of these trails, you may see water in front of you." We have no word for pavement, but that's the way to describe actually seeing a mirage on a hot summer day. "Pretty soon we'll be talking to each other through cobwebs (telephone lines). We are going to close all windows and doors, but way over the mountain some of us are going to be hearing and talking (radio and TV). There will be another world-shaking event taking place: somebody will invent something. A gourd full of ashes, a small thing that's going to be so powerful, if whoever invents it ever allows it to fall on the earth someplace, it will boil rivers and oceans and burn everything to ashes. Out of it will come sickness that our medicines will not be able to cure."
Then he said, "There will be roads in the sky. If man goes to the moon and brings something back with him, we will not be able to control what will happen, because balance will be disturbed. When man starts messing around with moon and stars, look at your life. It will be similar to the way it was before the destruction of the last world: Men will not listen to each other. Men with the same language will not be able to control themselves; they will desecrate each other and assassinate high leaders. Children will not listen to their parents, and parents will neglect their children. There will be restlessness all over this land. They're going to invent more things and will start interfering with male and female. They can even invent man. If they succeed, then those people will have no mercy for anyone. They will be very cruel and destructive and we cannot control them. Animals will become bigger and stronger, more aggressive, because of all the chemicals we put in them. There will be changes in seasons and destruction by earthquake, fire, and lightning. Mountains will sink. We will know that the time has come that man has to get together when the sun will rise blood-red and will set blood-red." They could not understand this then, but I see now there will be such pollution that the sky will be dark red. We've already seen that. The Six-Nation Iroquois Confederacy prophecy said pollution will get so great that tall trees standing straight will now bend low. When you see this, the dangerous point has been reached. We will be at the end of the path that the Great Spirit has laid down for this world.
We are in the third world now, and if we straighten ourselves out, we are ready to go into the fourth world. When it looks as though everything we have invented is going to go on forever, that things are perfect, some of our own people will join the others. The figure on the top line separated from the other three represents one of our own people leaving the Hopis; the zigzag line represents man's advancement in technical, scientific knowledge.
We let the white brother go on his own path to see which one would bring a good life. We have seen mineral resources running out: oil, gas, iron. Man invented so many chemical things: highly developed nuclear power, atom bombs—we have those planted all over this land. Do you think we are going to save ourselves by doing that? If you want to have living things around you, you had better put those aside. You should stop manufacturing armaments and sending them abroad so other countries can kill themselves off, creating a situation that divides people and destroys their culture and religion. Everything is based on our spiritual foundation; once that is destroyed, there is no way you can save yourself.
The symbol [see] represents the spiritual center; to the Hopi it is the four-corner area in northern Arizona where four states come together. It is there that we have planted our sacred shrines, ruins and petroglyphs. Then we went in four directions to the edges of the land and all over the world. Now we are coming back, but we have not yet recognized one another. It is told in your history books that you came to this land for religious freedom, a good free life. But what are you doing to your brothers who are holding to this land in a simple, spiritual, and humble way? We have no guns, no army, no police, no money, no jails, or court systems, no written law. Our villages —Old Oraibi, Shongopovi, Hotevilla—are still built on a spiritual structure: they don't need these things. Each of our families is supposed to support themselves by working the fields, going through the ceremonies, and carrying on their own way of life in the villages.
We are waiting and searching for our white brother who has taken the stone tablets to a far land and is now coming back. There is a sacred shrine already prepared below Old Oraibi, where one set is kept and where the other set will be when our brother comes. There will be a password, explanation of the sacred stone tablets, and a recognition that will prove to the world that we are brothers. It will be that white brother who will say, "What have these people been doing to you?" Power will be given to three purifiers who will bring him to us at that time. We are almost there.
After many years of trying to find out who was commissioned by the Great Spirit at the very beginning to watch other people, to warn them, and finally to correct them so that this life will not be totally destroyed, the elder who called that meeting in 1948 showed me the gourd rattle [see] we still use in our sacred ceremony. When you rattle it once, they sing and dance; when you rattle it again, they stop. The gourd rattle with the symbol drawn on it represents the world. Of all the races of the world, somebody is going to show the swastika symbol and somebody is going to show the sun symbol. Those two nations were given the great sacred mission in this world, to watch other nations' people. They will become powerful and invent many things and be very strong. They are going to purify themselves first by performing their duty of warning others; they will almost destroy themselves, but out of it a new generation is going to arise, much stronger and with great purpose. There will be a third nation to rise soon, "a man with a red cap, red hat, or red cloak." He will have many people with him, become strong, and have many inventions, and will be very powerful. He belongs to no religion but his own. They will find out the spiritual leaders of this land are about to be destroyed, and are mistreated, plundered, and killed for no reason at all. Some unseen being is going to send that message to them: "Your brothers are about to be destroyed; you had better go and help them." This is what some of you refer to as flying saucers; they are watching us every day to see how far we are to destroying our spiritual people who are holding this land and life in their hands for the Great Spirit and all the children, not for any government.
We are getting close to this time of purification because all around the edges of land right up to the spiritual center of Hopi people, the land has been taken by force, by bribery. They tell our Hopi people, "I took your land a long time ago but I never paid you for it; you sue me, I'll pay you for it."
The Great Spirit says these three will arrive from the eastern direction quickly and they will take it over in one day, but if they fail in their mission, there is one who is coming slowly over a long time from the west. They will be like a million ants crawling on the western soil. When that happens, don't get on the housetops to watch, because they will have no mercy for anybody; they will be very cruel and will knock everything down.
Then, if none of these fulfill their mission in this life, the Hopi leaders will place their prayer-feathers to the four corners of the earth in an appeal to the Great Spirit. He will cause the lightning to strike the earth people. Only the righteous ones will revive. Then, if all people turned away from the Great Spirit, He will cause the great waters to cover the earth again. We, humans, shall have lost the chance to enter everlasting life. They say the ants may inhabit the earth after that.
But if the three fulfill their sacred mission and if one or two or three Hopi remain fast to the last on these ancient teachings or instructions, then the Great Spirit, Massau'u, will appear before all that will be saved and the three will lay out a new life plan which leads to everlasting life. This earth will become new as it was from the beginning. Flowers will bloom again, wild game will come home, and there will be abundance of food for all. Those who are saved will share everything equally. They will all recognize Great Spirit, and they may intermarry and may speak one tongue. A new religion will be set up if the people desire it.
This is the prophecy of the Great Spirit We cannot change it, we cannot add anything to it, we cannot stop it. We are looking. Who is our white brother who will not lie and cheat and plunder us, but really come to help that we can join as brothers and sisters, and start together a new life, a new age? I hope that some of you will understand, and that some of you will do something so that this spiritual center of ours will not be totally destroyed. [ ]