As we write this, hurricane Ian is approaching the west coast of Florida, thousands of young men in Russia are fleeing their homeland or risk incarceration for taking a stand against their country’s war in Ukraine, and women in Iran are risking their lives to protest their government for the basic human right of self-expression. Each day reminds us that the sufferings of the world continue and undoubtedly will continue into the future. For this reason we feel it is important to honor the efforts of Indigenous Peoples to call humanity back to the original consciousness that the Creator gave our earliest ancestors.
And so we are republishing this article by Jose Lucero of the Santa Clara Pueblo of New Mexico. In it he recalls the statement by Indigenous People that was sent to the United Nations in 1977 and which inspired Indigenous leaders from both continents in the western hemisphere to gather in 2011 at Navajo Mountain in the Four Corners area of the southwestern United States. They gathered to address the Earth’s problems with prayers, ceremonies, and sacred teachings.
We hope that the article will strengthen our own efforts to return to that basic consciousness needed to create a safe and healthy world.
Originally published in the Fall 2011 issue of the Journal of Shamanic Practice
In 1977, a group of traditional elders from indigenous nations around the world issued a “Basic Call to Consciousness” to the non-governmental organizations of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. This “call” came in the form of papers which were presented giving the perspectives of indigenous people regarding the state of the world and its people. Their position was as follows:
- Human beings are abusing Mother Earth, as well as each other.
- The natural world, along with the indigenous people’s ways of life, is being destroyed.
- These problems point to humankind’s spiritual poverty.
Today, seemingly little has changed. Humankind continues on an accelerated path of war and destruction. In response to this, it is imperative to issue a “recall” to Basic Consciousness.
During an interview conducted on April 22, 1998, Thomas Banyacya, a Hopi elder, requested that Jose Lucero host a meeting of the traditional indigenous elders in the Four Corners area of the southwestern United States.
In June of 2011, traditional indigenous elders from the four directions of the United States as well as from Mexico, Central America, South America and Canada were invited to attend a gathering honoring elders who had gone before them. The meeting was held at Navajo Mountain, located in the Four Corners area of the southwestern United States.
Following the tradition of the Indigenous United Nations meeting, the gathering used a circular format and the concept of an open fire to invite all of nature’s family who share the love of life, and respect and care for Mother Earth. The open fire is symbolic of planting and nurturing the spiritual seed of traditional knowledge in the hearts and minds of all who were present. The circle represents a simple gesture of respect for Mother Earth. Within the circle are depicted the four directions and the four basic colors of humans: black, yellow, red, and white. These first humans were given instructions on how to live and care for one another. The people were also taught that they were one with all of nature, not separate or superior, but equal and sometimes less.
Participants at the meeting shared stories and memories they had of elders who had passed. Pictures were presented and statements by people who knew the men and women personally but were unable to attend the gathering were read. This was done in order to pay tribute to the people who had given their lives to be caretakers, spokespersons, and runners for their families, communities, and nation. During this time, tribute was also paid to the young indigenous people who had gone before. Although they did not live long enough to become elders, their lives, sometimes tragically short, were lived as though one day they would become the elders of their generation.
During the gathering, prayers were offered asking for the blessing of water to grow the spiritual seed of traditional knowledge and that rain be sent to our drought-stricken areas. This was done by casting a sacred pebble into the pool of life. This message was immediately carried by the strong desert winds which were present for most of the meeting.
Prayers were also offered to bring order to Mother Earth and to the human race. 2011 has continued to show us that our planet is in disarray. Countries around the world are suffering from extreme heat, flooding, tsunamis, earthquakes, and tornadoes. Diseases and famines continue to stalk and kill our fellow human beings. Pollution poisons the land, air, and water and kills our animals. Natural resources are being depleted at alarming rates.
Sadly, not only is our planet out of order, but the human race is as well. Wars are still being waged, new weapons are being built, and people are starving, and being tortured and killed. Natural resources are not being conserved, preserved, or shared. We, Mother Earth’s children, have become “Pac-Children”(like Pac-Man the video game), gobbling up everything in our path, to the detriment of everything and everyone, including ourselves.
It was with this heavy load that the elders at the meeting made a pilgrimage to “The Heart of Mother Earth” by Navajo Mountain. While there, they offered amends and condolences and asked for forgiveness on behalf of all peoples. For whether we are good or bad, we are all children of Mother Earth. While the rings the sacred pebble made in the pool of life continue to grow and reach further and further, so we reach out toward the future and the year 2012. It is at this time that a “cosmic alignment for spiritual enlightenment” must be made which will coincide with the alignment of the planets in our solar system. The planets are governed by the spiritual strings of our Grandfather Sun, who is in turn ruled by the Creator. The solar flares from Grandfather affect all life forms and events in the solar system. As these events begin to occur we must not be fearful, but aware, and humble ourselves as we transition to recognize the higher consciousness. As an example, forests in New Mexico continue to burn. While we mourn the loss of life, we recognize the fire as a recall to basic consciousness in that it purifies the land and prepares the way for new growth.
While the forests belong to no one in particular, but to all of nature, including humans, the sacred sites which have been destroyed must be restored by the indigenous people to whom Creator entrusted them. We must remember all the sacred sites and not abuse, copy, or be in the way of those who are responsible for site-specific areas and objects, for the Creator gave the original people around the world special instructions regarding them. These instructions have been passed down from generation to generation in the form of ceremonies conducted in native languages, songs, prayers, and the practices of fasting and meditation.
We would be wise to follow the example of the indigenous traditional elders who have gone before us, and those who are here with us today, and return to Basic Consciousness in order to help Mother Earth and all her children. For as we think and love, so Mother Earth, the solar system and ultimately the universe will respond to us in like manner.
Un be og gin de way da. With respect and love for all.