“Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.
“And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of the many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy.”
- Black Elk
Day 161 - Thursday, November 30, 1995 – The walkers are out on the road again today, covering step by step the vast distances of western New Mexico. Able to see 40 or 50 miles, or even further in every direction, they find the landscape expands not only their outer horizons, but also their inner soulscape.
Here on the open plains of the West, the walkers feel bigger, as though life and their pilgrimage have greater possibilities.
|Turquoise Mountain - The Blue Bead Mountain (Mount Taylor) is one of the four sacred mountains that mark the Four Corners for Turtle Island (North America).
As the Sunbow pilgrims stride along, just to their north they see and feel the looming presence of the great holy mountain of the south, Mount Taylor, Turquoise Mountain.
With a summit over 11,300 feet above sea level, the majestic mountain dominates west-central New Mexico. You can’t help but notice it. The eye is pulled to it magnetically, and emotions are uplifted.
While it now bears the prosaic name of Mount Taylor after U.S. President Zachary Taylor, this massive, dormant volcano has had many names over the centuries. When the Spanish made their incursions into the region, they called it La Sierra de San Mateo. But well before that, it was known in the Navajo language as Tsoodzil—Turquoise Mountain; and it was appreciated as the great mountain of the south, one of four sacred peaks.
The Holy People, it it said, put four sacred mountains in four different directions: Mt. Blanca to the east in Colorado, Mt. Taylor to the south in New Mexico, San Francisco Peaks (Mount Humphrey) to the west in Arizona, and Mt. Hesperus to the north in Utah.
|Sacred mountain of the north - Mount Hesperus in Utah, a pole away from Turquoise Mountain in the south.
Turquoise Mountain, where the Sunbow walkers now make their steps, is sacred also to the people of the Zuni, Acoma and Laguna Pueblos, as Dorothy Purley informed us while we visited with her in the village of Paguate, which lies at the foot of the mountain.
Grandmother Dorothy told us that one of the hardest things for native people to have dealt with, was watching throughout the years of 'development' as their sacred mountain, Mount Taylor, was desecrated.
"They stuck the world's deepest uranium mine shaft into our sacred mountain," she said. “This was happening on our land, happening to our sacred mountain to the disgust of our traditional elders." A wound to the Earth in this place is a wound that impacts all of Turtle Island, for it is a sensitive and sacred place. Energy radiates out from here on concecrated pathways.
Copyright 2006 by Steven McFadden
Read Day 162 -- Odyssey of the 8th Fire