Title: How the Hopi Create Their World
Author: Keith Varnum
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How the Hopi Create Their World
by Keith Varnum
"Do you hear that?" I whispered to my friend Tobias.
"No, what?" he answered under his breath.
"Drumming. The sound of soft, distant drumming."
"No, but I see a faint glow over there by the cliff. Like a small
fire. A vague, flickering light cast against the rock face."
My friend Tobias and I love to explore old Indian ruins in
Arizona's desert canyons and mesas. Our favorite ones are the
secluded, out-of-the-way remains not normally visited by other
people. These remnants of a bygone civilization are quiet, dreamy
and somewhat desolate. Many of the aged, abandoned fortresses and
homes are over a thousand years old. These timeworn vestiges of
ancestral life are extremely serene -- and mystical. When Tobias
and I sit and meditate within their eroded walls, we often see a
dim, blurry campfire, or hear subtle, muffled, elusive drumming,
chanting or the sound of children playing. Experiencing visual
and auditory glimpses of the distant past is enthralling to us
and serves to heighten our interest in learning more about the
ancient ones who lived in the American Southwest so long ago.
One day, while exploring a windy, arid, remote mesa in the high
northern desert of Arizona, Tobias and I happened upon an
Anazazi Indian ruin with several partial dwellings still
standing. The crumbling abodes were awash in relics of antiquity.
Delighted to find a site that obviously hadn't received many
visitors over the years, we dropped to our hands and knees, and
sifted through the dirt for artifacts to help us understand the
long-departed residents. Our efforts were rewarded with
arrowheads, pottery shards and corncobs preserved by the extreme
In the center of this native village is a large oval pit about
sixty feet wide. Surrounded by a wall of very carefully fitted
slate stones, the pit sinks approximately five feet into the
ground. This submerged ring of stones is called a kiva by Native
The structure served as a ceremonial circle for Indian rituals.
Spellbound by the aura and electricity we sensed within the
ceremonial pit, Tobias and I speculated about its history. As we
sat on the sun-warmed stones in the kiva, we longed to know the
specific nature and focus of the ancient rituals conducted by the
Anazazi Indians so long ago.
The absolute quiet and serenity of the kiva reminded me of a
psychology experiment I read about in college. The research
project revealed a fascinating quality inherent in a vacuum.
Relaxing in the ominous silence of the kiva, I related the
experiment to my fellow explorer.
Scientists set up a near vacuum in a completely empty room.
Installed in this vacuum-sealed room were a speaker and a
listening device. From outside the room, one of the researchers
spoke distinctly one secret word, known only to him, through the
speaker into the room. The chamber was then locked and sealed for
five years. At the end of the five years, the scientists returned.
>From outside the room, they turned on the highly sophisticated
sound sensing equipment to listen to whatever they could hear
from inside the room. The device picked up the secret word spoken
into the vacuum five years earlier! The sound vibration of the
word was still alive and detectable within that environment after
The kiva was almost as still and empty as I imagined a vacuum to
be. It was the kind of quiet that absorbs every sound. Even the
intermittent whistling of the wind was consumed by the
Sitting in this timeless place, we allowed the tranquility to
envelop us. I sensed the space around us had been this serene
for the last thousand years. That's when the notion came to me.
Was it possible that whatever happened in the kiva a millennium
ago still exists on some subtle, vibrational level, just like the
sound of the spoken word in the scientists' vacuum? And, like the
word, is that vibration accessible and perceivable now?
What an exciting concept! I turned to Tobias to share my proposal,
"Maybe we could contact whatever occurred in this kiva long ago.
Perhaps even hear part of a ceremony."
Tobias caught my enthusiasm. Blond, blue-eyed and innocent,
Tobias had the adventurous curiosity of his Norse forebears. He
was as anxious as I to see if such a feat was possible. We were
flush with excitement. We were on a mission to connect with the
kindred souls who had preceded us on the planet!
We decided to sit quietly inside the circle and open ourselves to
sensing any vibrations remaining from previous activities in the
kiva. The most we expected was something along the lines of what
we'd experienced before -- a faint vision, a vague mumbling, or,
if extremely fortunate, a hazy, dreamlike apparition.
After about half an hour, neither of us had picked up any sound
or sighting. Then suddenly, to our right sat a Native American
Indian -- in the flesh! I tentatively reached over lightly
touching him to make sure he was real. I was taken aback by my
discovery. "Yes," I nodded to Tobias, "the man is a solid,
physical human being. He's not a phantom!"
The stoic Indian sat cross-legged on the bare ground. A hundred
canyon-like lines etched his noble, bronze face. He looked
ancient, and very sweet and gentle. His soft eyes, quietly
smiling, were so penetrating I kept losing myself in his calm,
A reverent silence engulfed the three of us for a very long
while. Finally the Indian elder smiled and stated, "You'd like
to know the purpose for which we used this ceremonial circle. Is
that not right?"
We had not expected a living tour guide and eagerly bobbed our
heads up and down to indicate "yes" -- a thousand times "yes!" He
nodded, took a long, quiet breath and began our lesson in
"Many, many moons ago, when the antelope ran free, the buffalo
grazed across all the land, and my brothers and sisters lived in
harmony with each other and Mother Earth, we would meet in this
circle every fall for the most important ceremony of the whole
year. This most sacred, vital ritual was attended by the chief of
the tribe, the medicine man, the tribe elders and all of those
who had achieved the status of a brave -- the hunters of the
tribe. After many days of purification through chanting,
drumming and praying in our sweat lodges, we sat around this
circle in silence and waited until the Great Spirit honored us
with a vision.
"Then, one by one, each brave would see and feel the specific
animals they would kill and bring to the village as food for the
tribe in the coming year. Each animal's spirit made an agreement
with the warrior who would be killing the animal. For a period of
time, their spirits would commune in the beauty and harmony of
their shared intention. In this time-honored way, the warrior
would connect with each bison, antelope and deer that he would be
providing for the tribe. When his vision was complete, the brave
announced to the rest of the group what he had seen and
At this point, the Indian took a full breath and said in a very
"And on this day, the entire year's food supply for the tribe
He stared at us closely to see if we heard his last statement.
Satisfied, he continued:
"Each warrior waited until he saw, greeted and came to a mutual
understanding with the spirit of each buffalo, antelope and deer
before announcing to the circle, 'I will bring so many buffalo,
antelope and deer to the tribe in the coming year.' And so it
went until, one by one, each brave met the spirit of each animal
that would come to him to be killed in the next year. One by one,
each warrior announced the food they would provide to the tribe
in the coming year."
Again, the venerable, timeworn storyteller paused. With great
passion, he looked directly into our eyes -- first mine, then
Tobias'. I have never felt such a piercing gaze. His look
penetrated the depths of my soul. Dramatically, he drew air into
his lungs. Repeating his message, he declared:
"And on this day, the entire year's food supply for the tribe was
Once again, he waited until he sensed that the import of his
words was fully absorbed before resuming:
"After all the braves had proclaimed the food they would bring
for the coming year, the chief, medicine man and elders would
bless the ceremony. All would leave the kiva knowing that on this
day, the entire year's food supply for the tribe was created."
Again, he waited, watching to see if we were fully digesting his
last sentence before speaking again. He continued in a very
"In the winter when the warriors could not go out hunting because
there was a blizzard with snow drifts twenty feet high, the
chief, medicine man, elders and braves would meet again in the
kiva and wait in silent, expectant meditation. Soon, from the
wind-swept prairie and the snow-covered plateaus would come a
bison, a deer or an antelope. On its own, the animal would find
its way into the tribal encampment and then into the kiva circle.
The creature would stand in the center of the circle until it
recognized the brave with whom it had made a spirit agreement.
Then the animal would walk over to the warrior, stand right in
front of him, and calmly allow itself to be killed in a very
quick and painless way. The creature gave itself up to the brave,
as previously agreed in the kiva, so that the people would have
food during the harsh, winter months. For, on that special day
the previous fall, the entire year's food supply for the tribe
had been created."
It wasn't until the Indian told us about the animals coming into
the circle in the winter and recognizing the warriors with whom
they had an agreement that Tobias and I finally realized what the
Indian was telling us. And at the exact moment we got the point
of the story, the old man disappeared in front of our eyes. Not
believing our vision, we scanned the kiva quickly, thinking he
must have been a very fast escape artist. It was thirty feet to
the edge of the circle and neither of us saw him leave. He
vanished the second we understood his message!
Driving back to Phoenix later that day, Tobias and I discussed
our shared encounter at great length. We agreed the Indian was
telling us something far more important than how the Hopi used
to create food for a year. He was opening a gateway for us to
understand how creation itself works.
The message Tobias and I received in the kiva was simple, yet
profound: the power to create lies in the Present, not in the
future. Creation happens now when declared with power, heart and
strong intention. Then, that which is created in the Present
unfolds in future time and space according to our mutual
agreements with the rest of the living beings of Mother Earth.
Copyright © 2005 Keith Varnum
About Keith: Keith Varnum shares his practical approach to
transformation as an author, radio host and "Dream Workshops"
facilitator. Keith helps people get love, money, health and
spirit with his free Prosperity Ezine, free Empowerment CD and
free Coaching at www.TheDream.com.
List of articles by Keith Varnum: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
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