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Hopi Prophecy and the End of the Fourth World

Hopi Prophecy and the End of the Fourth World - Part 1

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More than any other tribe in North America, the Hopi Indians have developed according to the dictates and demands of what may be called a legacy of prophecy. The predictions of the life to come do not merely pertain to the Hopi themselves but deal with impending events on a global scale.

These prophecies began to be made public shortly before the mid-20th century. The Hopi are an aggregation of clans that came together at the “center-point” ( Tuuwanasavi) in northern Arizona during the course of their migrations. Because they are not a monolithic tribe, the sources of their prophecies are fragmentary and multifarious. Part of the lack of narrative clarity also has to do with the secretive nature of the Hopi.

These isolated, sedentary farmers living in unpretentious pueblos (basically stone apartment buildings) on the high desert of the American Southwest have looked into the future from their kivas (subterranean, communal prayer-chambers) and have seen some rather disturbing scenarios. Many times they simply do not wish to share these visions with the outside world. Considering the history of exploitation and genocide of Native Americans in general, this is understandable.

Snake Kiva in the village of Oraibi - Hopi

Snake Kiva in the village of Oraibi, the oldest continuously inhabited community on the North American continent, established about 1100 AD. (Library of Congress)

Hopi Cycles of Time

Like the Maya, among whom the Hopi once lived and with whom they later traded, the Hopi conceptualize the cycles of time as world-ages. The Hopi believe that we have suffered three previous world cataclysms. The First World was destroyed by fire—a comet, asteroid strike, or a number of volcanic eruptions. The Second World was destroyed by ice—a great Ice Age. As recorded by many cultures around the globe, a tremendous deluge destroyed the Third World.

These three global destructions were not the result of merely random earth changes or astrophysical phenomena but of humankind’s disregard both for Mother Earth and for the spiritual dictates of the Creator. In other words, cataclysmic events in the natural world are causally connected to collective transgressions, or negatives human actions.

Unlike the Maya, the Hopi are rarely specific about the dates for the shifting of these ages. It has been said that the Maya were masters of time, whereas the Hopi are masters of space. The verb tenses here are deliberate, given that the Maya no longer follow the Long Count calendar of 394-year cycles. Instead they now use the Tzolk’in calender of 260 days—an amazingly complex system, nonetheless.

Are We Reaching the End of the Fourth World in Hopi Prophecy?

Living on their three primary mesas, the Hopi continue to perform a series of annual sacred rituals within their ceremonial cycle in order to keep not just themselves but rather the whole world in balance.

Hopi Niman or Going Home ceremony where group of Hemis Kachinas and a variety of Kachina manas perform and bring gifts of harvest food for the spectators and Kachina dolls for young girls, by Hopi/Tewa N David SR. (MarkThree/CC BY-SA 4.0)

As time goes by, this task is increasingly difficult because our contemporary lifestyle, with its technological gadgetry and unseemly allurements, continues to erode traditional ways of life and ancestral Hopi values. Fewer and fewer young Hopis are learning their indigenous language, customs, and ceremonies. More youth are leaving Hopi-land to seek employment in urban areas.

Those that do stay on the reservation are confronted with intra-tribal squabbles and, much worse, with high rates of alcoholism and increasingly available lethal street drugs. The dire signs of a Native American version of the “End Times” are everywhere.

Many Hopi spiritual elders (singular, kikmongwi) claim that we are living in the final days of the Fourth World. For more than 60 years, different Hopis have predicted various Earth changes that signal the conclusion of the current age and the onset of the Fifth World. In 1970, Dan Katchongva, Sun Clan leader from the village of Hotevilla, who died at age 112, spoke about deteriorating conditions of our time:

We have teachings and prophecies informing us that we must be alert for the signs and omens which will come about to give us courage and strength to stand on our beliefs. Blood will flow. Our hair and our clothing will be scattered upon the earth. Nature will speak to us with its mighty breath of wind. There will be earthquakes and floods causing great disasters, changes in the seasons and in the weather, disappearance of wildlife, and famine in different forms. There will be gradual corruption and confusion among the leaders and the people all over the world, and wars will come about like powerful winds. All of this has been planned from the beginning of creation.

The Two Life-Paths On Prophecy Rock

Another spiritual elder from the same Third Mesa village, David Monongye, who may have lived even longer than Grandfather Dan, had warned: “When earthquakes, floods, hailstorms, drought, and famine will be the life of every day, the time will have then come for [either] the return to the true path, or going the zig-zag way.”

The “zig-zag way” refers to a line found on Prophecy Rock, a panel of ancestral Hopi petroglyphs (rock carvings) in northern Arizona. The zig-zag is the upper of two parallel lines. It supposedly represents the path of the Two-Hearts, who are wreaking havoc on our Earth Mother and living contrary to ecological principles and the laws of Nature. The lower line, on the other hand, is the path of the One-Hearts, who are close to soil and the growth of corn, beans, squash—that is, adhering to the true Hopi way.

The upper path is divorced from the natural world and totally immersed in the synthetic, manufactured reality of iPhones and Xbox 360s. In essence, it is a lifestyle that the Hopi call koyaanisqatsi, which means “world out of balance,” or “life of moral corruption and turmoil (regarding a group).” The lower way, rooted in earth-based rhythms, finds solace and spiritual sustenance from corn pollen, sunlight, soaking rains, and vast desert vistas—a life in accordance with the Creator or the Great Spirit.

Hopi Sandstone panel

This large sandstone panel facing due east was incised in ancient times with various arcane symbols. The petroglyphs were carved on the vertical surface of the boulder. (Caveat lector: What follows are merely possible interpretations. They are by no means an official Hopi reading of the symbology, nor are they sanctioned by the Hopi themselves.) The figure at the lower-left is Masau’u (Masaaw), the Hopi god of death, fire, and the earthly plane. He carries a bow with his arrow pointing to the underworld (previous Third World). His left hand holds the path to the current Fourth World. The circle to the right represents the Earth or rim of the horizon. The Christian cross signifies the Spanish (Catholic) incursion of Hopi-land. The square represents a village, pueblo, plaza, or the Hopi territory.

The two parallel lines positioned obliquely refer to the two life-paths humankind may take at the end of the current Fourth World. As previously mentioned, the upper line is the path of the Two-Hearts. On this line are four figures with enjoined hands, the last figure appearing to have two heads (hearts?). This line ends in a zig-zag up in the air. The lower line is the path of the One-Hearts.

Resting on this line from left to right, are three circles, which represent three “world shakings,” or three world wars. To the right of the last circle are a corn stalk and a Hopi man tending corn. This line extends to the right across another section of the rock, whereas the upper line is not extended. The line on the right between the two parallel lines and perpendicular to them represents the last chance the Two-Hearts have to descend to the true path on the lower line.

Grandfather Martin Gashweseoma from the Fire Clan of the Hotevilla village on Third Mesa stated to a group of us in front of Prophecy Rock during the summer of 2011 that this lower line represented “everlasting life” and the rising sun. Indeed, I did a quick compass-check of the extended lower line (see upper-right of the graphic) and found that if one stood at that point with his/her back to the rock, one would directly face the spot on the horizon where the sun rises on the summer solstice. The Hopi say that at this time Taawa, the sun god, is the strongest and resides in his Taawaki, or “summer house.”

Grandfather Martin Gashweseoman, Fire Clan, Hopi

Grandfather Martin Gashweseoman, Fire Clan, Hotevilla, Arizona by Prophecy Rock.

Signs that the Fourth World is Winding Down

Some other predictions made public by various Hopi elders in the 20th century include the possibility of the Fourth World’s demise. These involve an increasingly erratic climate and a few specific signals or signs of social and political imbalance. The prophesized Earth changes include earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, record flooding, wildfires, droughts, and famines.

The Hopi also predicted a number of technological changes that would signal the end of the Fourth World. Long before it happened, the elders said a “gourd of ashes” would fall on the Earth. This refers, of course, to nuclear explosions—first the atomic test blast at Trinity Site in New Mexico, then the dual holocausts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and finally the other hydrogen bomb tests on Pacific atolls and in the American Southwest (with their carcinogenic effects on the “down-winders”).

Hopi prophecies include the fact that people would ride in “horseless wagons” on “black ribbons” (vehicles on asphalt). In addition, aerial vehicles would travel “roads in the heavens” (pathways in the sky, either benign contrails or deleterious “chemtrails”). The Hopi also stated that one of the final signs is that People would be “living in the sky” (International Space Station).

Hopi elders also foresaw numerous social changes. They said that Hopi delegates would travel at four different times to the “House of Mica” (the U.N. building in New York), but each time their pleas for peace will be ignored. The socially conservative Hopi culture also believed that the end of the Fourth World would be signaled by women starting to wear men’s clothing (Women's Liberation Movement, etc.).

Finally, a Hopi friend of mine in his 50s said that his grandfather had predicted in the 1960s what seems to refer to 9/11/2001. He said that an event would happen when America was sleeping, and the country would wake up to a thunderous eruption of war.

We must remember that Hopi prophecies are not contemporary readings of world events, but statements made centuries or perhaps millennia ago. These disturbing commentaries on our current state of global affairs were simply relayed through the generations to the present via the Hopi oral tradition, with very few alterations made in the process.

Read Part 2 - The Nine Signs of White Feather’s Prophecies

Top image: Hopi painting. Source:

Copyright © 2014 Gary A. David. All rights reserved. Website:

By Gary A. David

Updated on June 16, 2021.




bruce lee

The Hopi Prophecy and Lakota (Sioux) Prophecy are nearly identical.

Both reveal that seven (7) of the nine (9) prophecies, have come to pass.

As of last week, we as humanity, have entered into the days of the 8th prophecy - according to both versions, and in effect, it states...

(below is not a literal translation; some words used in the prophecies, have no translations)

...That the Seven Tribes must come together to prevent the Black Snake from crossing the sacred river - Should the black snake be allowed to cross these sacred lands, humanity will suffer greatly. The end of the 5th world will quickly become, inevitable.

So, we as The People must now stand and state loudly, "enough!" - enough poisoning of the water for the sake of oil; enough poisoning the air.

Start enforcing and re-writing environmental laws and enforcing them, strongly; at the behest of the women and children they bring into this world to perpetuate humanity.


sorry if i offend

miigwetch, thank you and please, be well

It's not about when seeing it coming, its about the unexpected prophecy can actually happen in time in any day, month, or years.

In the early 80's I had the unusual experience to have a brief audience with Grand Father David. We were not allowed to take notes, or photograph, or record anything. I wish I had a digital memory. It all went by so fast. He had several ( Sargents) that stood as protectors around him, and were ready to intervene at any time.
An interruption from a rep from the power company came in. A person on the very edge of the Mesa wanted electricity. But, since it was still the Mesa under Grand Father David's control, the request was denied. I had just witnessed one of the last of the laws of the Elders being upheld.
When we tried to ask about the prophesies, Things began to waiver. There were no straight answers. Rather a long stream of visual provoking choppy references to corn, the elements, We could not get an answer about the Star and the Blue Star Kachina dancing in the plaza as the prediction of end of times. I stayed with a farming and live stock keeper family in one of the villages over several visits. Got to see first hand some of the ritual dances. Was nice to have a great deal of it explained to me the best it could be done. I walked the fields with them and watched both the hand planting and the use of the tractor. They use very old techniques of knowing ley lines to plant. The largest concern even before the 80's when I was there was the risk of genetic polution from people like Monsanto GMO grain. They have their own safe seed vaults and share them with their deep Southern cousins in South America. They need help to fight Monsanto and the government experiments.
I also had the experience to sit in conversation with Grand Father David's good friend Rolling Thunder one evening when I visited Rolling Thunder's Commune. Similar questions...but much the same garbled answers. The really sad thing is that most all of the wisdom of these last elders was lost because they were considered senile and their words were unusable. Yet, the whites and the rest of the world have no real clue that tere are several that are still passing down the stories, legends, and exact ceremonies that have been practiced since the earliest times. Some will leak out in books from time to time... but we will never hear all the history and truths. Just get your go bag ready if you get an accurate news piece stating the kachina with the blue star mask removed his mask in the plaza. Start paying attention. you might be witnessing history to be documented happening right before your eyes...and not just on your cell phone.

Tsurugi's picture

It is difficult for me to tell what's going on with historical tales from survivors of catastrophic events. They always say the world was destroyed because humans were wicked or playing too much xBox or whatever...thus implying--overtly or not--that they themselves were pure and righteous. After all, they didn't die, did they?

It's not difficult to imagine that, having somehow miraculously survived a cataclysm that killed nearly everyone and everything else on the planet and totally reshaped the surface of the earth, a person might believe it had been some kind of divine punishment. Logic would thus dictate that everyone who died was bad, and anyone who lived was good. So the survivors are by default "righteous" people. This is what is described in the biblical Genesis as well, with Noah and his family being "righteous" and everyone else being sinful, because the former lived and the latter died.

I'm just saying, I don't know how much credence to give such accounts. Seems too easy to fall into such a mindset whether it was true or not. The PTSD and survivors' guilt must have been overwhelming.


garydavid's picture


Gary A. David

Gary A. David is an author, independent researcher, and archaeo-astronomer. For over twenty-five years he has studied the archaeological ruins and rock art of the American Southwest. His nonfiction books explore Hopi mythology, star knowledge, and rituals,... Read More

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