Hopi Prophecy and the End of the Fourth World—Part 2
(Read Part 1 )
The Nine Signs of White Feather’s Prophecies
In the summer of 1958 a minister named David Young was driving across the Four Corners region of the U.S. when he picked up an old Hopi man named White Feather by the side of the road. This spiritual elder of the Bear Clan (the most sacred of all the Hopi clans) confessed that all his sons were dead and that the Hopi ceremonial cycle was slowly becoming extinct. After sensing Reverend Young was trustworthy, he decided to pass along nine primary Hopi prophecies that together would herald the destruction of the Fourth World.
White Feather stated that these “Nine Signs” would mean that the Fourth World was about to come to a close. He said that his ancestors had foretold the coming of all of the following events, long before they arrived:
- White-skinned people would take possession of the land and carry thunder-sticks that strike like lightning (rifles and pistols).
- Spinning wheels with voices in them would come (whirring wagon wheels and/or whining car tires; or, alternately, the spinning of records and CDs).
- Huge, strange beasts would appear, looking somewhat like buffalo but with long horns (cattle).
- “Snakes of iron” would spread across the land (railroads).
- “A giant spider web” would crisscross the land (telegraph, telephone, power lines, and now the Internet—the World Wide Web).
- “Rivers of stone that make pictures in the sun” would crisscross Hopi-land (concrete highways in the desert with their mirages of water).
- The ocean would turn black and all the living things in it would die (summer 2010, Gulf oil spill).
- Young people with long hair would come to Hopi-land to learn Native ways (the counter-culture revolution of the late 1960s and early 1970s).
- A “dwelling place in the heavens” would crash to earth, thereby producing a brilliant blue star ( Sakwa Sohu ). The Blue Star Kachina would remove his mask in the village plaza during a sacred kachina dance. After that, all Hopi ceremonies would cease entirely.
(Note: Kachinas—also spelled katsinam, plural, and katsina, singular—are spirit messengers between the world of the gods and the world of humans. They are analogous to angels in the Christian religion.)
All these portents are not strictly chronological, but the final sign will certainly conclude the series and may trigger the end of the Fourth World.
‘Kiva Kachina Dance’ by Ray Naha. ( firstpeople.us)
Warfare With Those Who Possessed the First Light of Wisdom
White Feather furthermore said that the conclusion of the Fourth World would be accompanied by great wars and mass destruction. He believed this would especially occur in the lands where the “first light of wisdom” appeared—perhaps the Middle East or the Near East? Fiery columns of smoke would rise, which might remind us of either the surrealistic scene of Saddam Hussein setting his oil wells on fire during the first Gulf War or the “Shock and Awe” campaign of the subsequent, disastrous Iraq War. Remember, this humble Hopi man was talking in 1958.
These are the Signs that great destruction is coming. The world shall rock to and fro. The white man will battle against other people in other lands—with those who possessed the first light of wisdom. [italics added] There will be many columns of smoke and fire such as White Feather has seen the white man make in the deserts not far from here. Only those which come will cause disease and a great dying. Many of my people, understanding the prophecies, shall be safe. Those who stay and live in the places of my people also shall be safe.
Thus, the territory in northern Arizona in the vicinity of the Hopi reservation will apparently be a safe haven during the transition between the end of the Fourth World and the beginning of the Fifth. White Feather’s account is corroborated by a passage from the classic Book of the Hopi , written by Frank Waters and Oswald White Bear Fredericks, published in 1963.
World War III will be started by those peoples who first received the light [the divine wisdom or intelligence] in the other old countries [India, China, Egypt, Palestine, Africa]. The United States will be destroyed, land and people, by atomic bombs and radioactivity. Only the Hopis and their homeland will be preserved as an oasis to which refugees will flee.
(The brackets in this quotation were inserted by the author Frank Waters.)
We need not be reminded of the early 2011 turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East known as the “Arab Spring.” Mass protests and unrest resulted in the deaths of innocent people who sought to throw off the yoke of dictatorship, military rule, or repressive theocracies. Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, and Syria may be the lands with the “first light of wisdom,” to which the Hopi elder referred more than a half century ago. The complexities of the various factions and issues unfortunately preclude any easy political or diplomatic answers or actions.
Meanwhile the apocalyptic strife continues to occur right before our eyes. The human suffering, mass executions, and deplorable hunger that we see on our TVs and computer screens naturally makes us recoil in despair. It is as if we are paralyzed by what someone has called “fear porn.” To make matters worse, a small minority of the general populace has assumed the role of fear monger, who interprets every major political or social event with some sort of conspiracy theory, some “false flag” operation. These purveyors of paranoia believe that nefarious truths lurk behind every headline, keeping many of us in a perpetual state of anxiety.
Universal Trial by Fire
On the other hand, let’s not pretend to be New Age Pollyannas. The Hopi basically believe that humankind must go through a very rough period called the Purification—a kind of universal trial by fire. This ordeal will essentially separate the wheat from the chaff, or more pertinent to the Hopi, the spiritual corn (maize) from the materialistic stalk.
So the end of the Fourth World will be hard—harder for some than for others. Another spiritual elder named Dan Evehema, also from the village of Hotevilla and also over one hundred years old when he passed on, talked about the cosmic results of what today we call “income inequality.” He claimed that the Day of Purification (the Apocalypse?) would “…culminate either in total rebirth or total annihilation—we don’t know which. But the choice is yours, war and natural catastrophe may be involved. The degree of violence will be determined by the degree of inequity caused among peoples of the world and in balance with nature. In this crisis rich and poor will be forced to struggle as equals in order to survive.
Most Hopi people ultimately believe, however, that this transition between world-ages will not mean the total “end of the world ” as we know it, but rather the beginning of what they call the Fifth World—a time of peace for humanity and pristine harmony with Mother Nature. Leaning more toward the possibility of renaissance (literally, rebirth) and regeneration rather than annihilation and desolation, Grandfather Monongye describes this Purification and its ultimate outcome.
It will then open our hearts and minds when a new age is about to be, with people renewed and purified through fire. It will be like the pure gold of a new day. But fire is red, and when it takes command, it will set the forces of nature in motion. We will then know purification day has come. We all are the caretakers of life. The balance of nature depends on us. The world will be what we want it to be.
Featured image: Petroglyphs in northern Arizona depicting the Hopi Creator in a prayer stance with upraised palms. This is superimposed with a cloud symbol and a snake symbol. Copyright: Gary A. David
Copyright © 2014 Gary A. David. All rights reserved. Website: www.theorionzone.com
(Read Part 1 )