American Indians are a diverse ethnic group. Their languages, customs and social systems vary greatly. One common characteristic found in many Indian nations is an affinity to the spiritual side of life. Out of this have come many prophecies.
Native American Prophecies Fulfilled - excerpts from a talk given byLee Brown (Baha'i- Cherokee) at the 1986 Baha'i Continental Indigenous Council, Fairbanks, Alaska
"There was the cycle of the mineral, the rock. There was the cycle of the plant. And now we are in the cycle of the animal, coming to the end of that and beginning the cycle of the human being. When we get into the cycle of the human being, the highest and greatest powers that we have will be released to us. They will be released from that light or soul that we carry to the mind. But right now we're coming to the end of the animal cycle and we have investigated ourselves and learned what it is to be like an animal on this earth.
At the beginning of this cycle of time, long ago, the Great Spirit came down and He made an appearance and He gathered the peoples of this earth together and He said to the human beings, "I'm going to send you to four directions and over time I'm going to change you to four colors, but I'm going to give you some teachings and you will call these the Original Teachings and when you come back together with each other you will share these so that you can live and have peace on earth, and a great civilization will come about." And he said "During the cycle of time I'm going to give each of you two stone tablets. When I give you those stone tablets, don't cast them upon the ground. If any of the brothers and sisters of the four directions and the four colours cast their tablets on the ground, not only, will human beings have a hard time, but the earth itself will almost die."
And so he gave each of us a responsibility and we call that the Guardianship. To the Indian people, the red people, he gave the Guardianship of the earth. We were to learn during this cycle of time the teachings of the earth, the plants that grow from the earth, the foods that you can eat, and the herbs that are healing, so that when we came back together with the other brothers and sisters we could share this knowledge with them. Something good was to happen on the earth.
To the South, he gave the yellow race of people the Guardianship of the wind. They were to learn about the sky and breathing and how to take that within themselves for spiritual advancement. They were to share that with us at this time.
To the West He gave the black race of people the Guardianship of the water. They were to learn the teachings of the water which is the chief of the elements, being the most humble and the most powerful. When I went to the University of Washington and I learned that it was a black man who discovered blood plasma, it didn't surprise me because blood is water and the elders already told me the black people would bring the teachings of the water.
To the North He gave the white race of people the Guardianship of the fire. If you look at the centre of many of the things they do you will find fire. They say a light bulb is the white man's fire. If you look at the centre of a car you will find a spark. If you look at the centre of the airplane and the train you will find the fire. The fire consumes, and also moves. This is why it was the white brothers and sisters who began to move upon the face of the earth and reunite us as a human family.
And so a long time passed, and the Great Spirit gave each of the four races stone tablets. Ours are kept at the Hopi Reservation in Arizona at Four Corners Area on Third Mesa. I talked to people from the black race and their stone tablets are at the foot of Mount Kenya. They are kept by the Kukuyu Tribe. I once had the honour of presenting a sacred pipe at the Kukuyu Tribe carved from the red pipe stone of Mount Kenya. I was at an Indian spiritual gathering about 15 years ago. A medicine man from South Dakota put a beaded medicine wheel in the middle of the gathering. It had the four colours from the four directions. He asked the people, "Where is this from?" They said, "Probably Montana, or South Dakota, maybe Saskatchewan." He said, "This is from Kenya." It was beaded just like ours, with the same colors.
The stone tablets of the yellow race of people are kept by the Tibetans, in Tibet. If you went straight through the Hopi Reservation to the other side of the world, you would come out in Tibet. The Tibetan word for "sun" is the Hopi word for "moon" and the Hopi word for "sun" is the Tibetan word for "moon".
The guardians of the traditions of the people of Europe are the Swiss. In Switzerland, they still have a day when each family brings out its mask. They still know the colors of the families, they still know the symbols, some of them. Each of these four peoples happen to be people that live in the mountains.
So we went through this cycle of time and each of the four races went to their directions and they learned their teachings. It was in Newsweek not too long ago that eight out of ten foods that people eat on the earth are developed here in the western hemisphere because that was our Guardianship, to learn the teachings of the earth, and the things that grow from the earth. We were given a sacred handshake to show when we came back together as brothers and sisters that we still remembered the teachings.
It was indicated on the stone tablets that the Hopis had that the first brothers and sisters that would come back to them would come as turtles across the land. They would be human beings, but they would come as turtles. So when the time came close the Hopis were at a special village to welcome the turtles that would come across the land and they got up in the morning and looked out at the sunrise. They looked out across the desert and they saw the Spanish Conquistadores coming, covered in armor, like turtles across the land. So this was them. So they went out to the Spanish man and they extended their hand hoping for the handshake but into the hand the Spanish man dropped a trinket. And so word spread throughout North America that there was going to be a hard time, that maybe some of the brothers and sisters had forgotten the sacredness of all things and all the human beings were going to suffer for this on the earth.
So tribes began to send people to the mountains to have visions to try to figure out how they could survive. At that time there were 100,000 cities in the Mississippi Valley alone, called the mound civilization: cities built on great mounds. Those mounds are still there. If you ever go out to Ohio or the Mississippi Valley, they're tourist attractions now. There were 100,000 cities of Native people and they were wondering how they could survive. They began to try to learn to live off the land because they knew a hard time was going to come. They began to send people to have visions to see how we could survive this time. People came on the east coast and they went across this land to the west and they were told in the prophecies that we should try to remind all the people that would come here of the sacredness of all things. If we could do that, then there would be peace on earth. But if we did not do that, if we had not come together as a human family, the Great Spirit would grab the earth with his hand and shake it.
And so, if you read the treaty negotiations from Red Jacket of the Six Nations on the east coast of this land clear to Chief Joseph and Chief Seattle on the west coast of this land, they all said the same thing. Chief Joseph said, "I accord you the right, and I hope you accord me the right, to live in this land." Always we were trying to live together. But instead of living together, you all know there was separation, there was segregation. They separated the races: they separated the Indians, and they separated the blacks. In the state of Washington it was against the law for an Asian to marry a white person up until not too long ago. There was separation.
So when they got to the west coast of this land the elders that were made aware of these prophecies said they would then begin to build a black ribbon. And on this black ribbon there would move a bug. And when you begin to see this bug moving on the land, that was the sign for the First Shaking of the Earth. The First Shaking of the Earth would be so violent that this bug would be shaken off the earth into the air and it would begin to move and fly in the air. And by the end of this shaking this bug will be in the air around the world. Behind it would be a trail of dirt and eventually the whole sky of the entire earth would become dirty from these trails of dirt, and this would cause many diseases that would get more and more complicated. So the bug moving on the land, of course it's easy to see now. In 1908 the Model-T Ford was mass produced for the first time. So the elders knew the First Shaking of the Earth was about to come about- that was the First World War.
In the First World War the airplane came into wide usage for the first time. That was that bug moving into the sky. And so they knew something very important would happen. There would be an attempt to make peace on earth on the west coast of this land and so the elders began to watch for this. They began to hear that there was going to be a League of Nations in San Francisco so the elders gathered in Arizona around 1920 or so and they wrote a letter to Woodrow Wilson. They asked if the Indian people could be included in the League of Nations.
At that time the United States Supreme Court had held that a reservation is a separate and semi-sovereign nation, not a part of the United States but protected by it. This became a concern because people didn't want the reservations to become more and more separate. They didn't want them to be considered nations. So they did not write back and the Native people were left out of the League of Nations, so that circle was incomplete. In the League of Nations circle there was a southern door, the yellow people; there was a western door, the black people; there was a northern door, the white people; but the eastern door was not attended. The elders knew that peace would not come on the earth until the circle of humanity is complete, until all the four colors sat in the circle and shared their teachings, then peace would come on earth.
So they knew things would happen. Things would speed up a little bit. There would be a cobweb built around the earth, and people would talk across this cobweb. When this talking cobweb, the telephone, was built around the earth, a sign of life would appear in the east, but it would tilt and bring death. (the swastika of the Nazis) It would come with the sun. But the sun itself would rise one day not in the east but in the west (the rising sun of the Japanese Empire). So the elders said when you see the sun rising in the east and you see the sign of life reversed and tilted in the east, you know that the Great Death is to come upon the earth, and now the Great Spirit will grab the earth again in His hand and shake it and this shaking will be worse than the first. So the sign of life reversed and tilted, we call that the Swastika, and the rising sun in the east was the rising sun of Japan. These two symbols are carved in stone in Arizona. When the elders saw these two flags, these were the signs that the earth was to be shaken again.
The worst misuse of the Guardianship of the fire is called the "gourd of ashes". They said the gourd of ashes will fall from the air. It will make the people like blades of grass in the prairie fire and things will not grow for many seasons. I saw on television not too long ago that they were talking about the atomic bomb, the gourd of ashes. They said it was the best-kept secret in the history of the United States. The elders wanted to speak about it in 1920.
They would have spoken of it and foretold its coming if they could have entered into the League of Nations. The elders tried to contact President Roosevelt and ask him not to use the gourd of ashes because it would have a great effect on the earth and eventually cause even greater destruction and the Third Shaking of the Earth, the Third World War. I'll get to that in a few minutes.
So they knew after the Second Shaking of the Earth when they saw the gourd of ashes fall from the sky then there would be an attempt to make peace on the other side of this land. And because the peace attempt on the west coast had failed, they would build a special house on the east coast of this Turtle Island, and all the nations and peoples of the earth would come to this house and it would be called the House of Mica and it would shine like the mica on the desert shines. So the elders began to see they were building the United Nations made out of glass that reflects like the mica on the desert, so they knew this was the House of Mica and all the peoples of the earth should go to it. So they met and talked about this. They said that in the 1920s they had written and they had not been responded to, so they said this time we better go to the front door of the House of Mica because things might get a lot worse.
So elders representing a number of tribes I believe drove to New York City. When the United Nations opened they went to the front door of the house of Mica and they said these words: "We represent the indigenous people of North America and we wish to address the nations of the Earth. We're going to give you four days to consider whether or not we will be allowed to speak."
They retreated to one of the Six Nations Reserves in New York State. The Six Nations Reserves are keepers of the Great Law of Peace of the prophet that appeared here in North America, Dekanwidah. And this Law of Peace is still recited, it takes four days between sunrise and noon. Each year an Indian, by memory, must recite it about this time of year. Four days later they came back and I believe the nations of the earth heard that the Indians had come to the door. And they voted to let the Indians in. They wanted to hear what they had to say. But the United States is one of five nations of the United Nations with a veto power and still they were concerned because this time the Native sovereignty was even stronger. And I believe they vetoed the entrance of the Native people.
So then they knew other things would happen on the Earth, and the United Nations would not bring peace on earth but there would be continuing and deepening confusion, and that the little wars would get worse. So they retreated to the Six Nations Reserve and they talked about this and they said the time is really getting close now... 1949. They said, "We're going to divide the United States into four sections and each year we're going to have a gathering. We're going to call these the 'White Roots of Peace Gatherings'." They began to have these around 1950. And they authorized certain men to speak in English for the first time about these prophecies.
One that I used to listen to many times, over and over, was Thomas Banyaca. He is a Hopi man. He was authorized to speak in English about what was on the stone tablets and he has dedicated his life to doing this. And they began to tell us at these gatherings, they said "In your lifetime you're going to see things happen." It was strange when they said it in the 1950s and 1960s but now it seems very clear. But then it was unusual... They said "You're going to see a time in your lifetime when the human beings are going to find the blueprint that makes us." They call that now, DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid. They said, "They re going to cut this blueprint." They call that now, genetic splicing. And they said, "They're going to make new animals upon the earth, and they're going to think these are going to help us. And it's going to seem like they do help us. But maybe the grandchildren and great-grandchildren are going to suffer"... The elders said long ago, "They will release these things, they will use them." This is going to be released not too long from now. They are making new animals. The elders talked about this. They said, "You will see new animals, and even the old animals will come back, animals that people thought had disappeared. They will find them here and there. They'll begin to reappear."
They said, and I know many of you are from tribes that also have this prophecy, "You're going to see a time when the eagle will fly its highest in the night and it will land upon the moon." Some tribes say the eagle will circle the moon. Some tribes say the eagle will fly it's highest in the night. "And at that time," they say, "Many of the Native people will be sleeping," which symbolically means they have lost their teachings. There are some tribes that say it will be as if they are frozen: they've been through the long winter. But they say, "When the eagle flies it's highest in the night, that will be the first light of a new day. That will be the first thawing of spring." Of course, at the first light of a new day, if you've stayed up all night, you notice it's really dark. And the first light, you want to see it, but you can't. It sneaks up on you. You want to see it change but it's dark and then pretty soon it's getting light before you know it. We're at that time now. The Eagle has landed on the moon, 1969. When that spaceship landed they sent back the message, "The Eagle has landed." Traditionally, Native people from clear up in the Inuit region, they have shared with us this prophecy, clear down to the Quechuas in South America. They shared with us that they have this prophecy. When they heard those first words, "The Eagle has landed," they knew that was the start of a new time and a new power for Native people. There was absolutely nothing strong before us now. We may do anything we wish.
In 1776 when the United States Government printed the dollar, in one claw [of the eagle], if you've ever noticed, there is an olive branch in this claw. They said that represented peace. The Indian elders shared with me in South Dakota that to them that represents the enslavement of black people. In the prophecies of the Six Nations people they say there will be two great uprisings by black people to free themselves. We've seen one about 1964. There will be a second, more violent one to come. I'll get back to what that means in a minute. In the other claw is 13 arrows. The founding fathers of the United States said that represents the 13 States. But the elders say that represents the enslavement of the Native people. When the Eagle landed on the moon, they decided to print a special silver dollar to commemorate that. I don't know how many of you noticed it. The original design showed the spaceship landing on the moon but at the last minute it was changed to an actual eagle. And in the eagle's claws is the olive branch, but the arrows are gone. The elders said, "That's our prophecy- we have been released." There was one more uprising coming for the black race of people and then they will be released and this is also going to have an effect on Native people, a good effect. There's a whole new set of prophecies from the Iroquois people about that and I won't have time to go into that this morning.
But we're in that time now. We're between the first light of a new day and the sunrise. The sunrise is about to come and when it comes up everyone is going to see it. But you know how it is in the village there's a few people that get up early, and there are some that sleep until noon. They said when that Eagle lands on the moon, the powers will begin to come back to us. As an alcoholic person, I feel that one of our greatest diseases is alcoholism. Within seven days of the time of the Eagle landing on the moon, the first Native alcoholism program was started on an Apache reservation in Arizona. Within seven days of the time the Eagle landed on the moon, the Freedom of Indian Religion Act was introduced into the United States Congress. Eventually it was passed in November of 1978, signed by President Carter, making the song that Kevin [Kevin Locke, a famous Indian Baha'i who spends his time travelling around the world sharing the North American Indian culture through dance and music] sang legal to sing in every state of the United States. It was punishable at one time to go to jail for 10 years and/or a $10,000 fine for singing a song or doing a sweat. This was changed in 1978; the legislation was introduced in 1969, less than seven days after the Eagle landed on the moon. These are the physical manifestations of the spiritual prophecies that we have.
So he said at this time you're going to see that things will speed up, that people on the earth will move faster and faster. Grandchildren will not have time for grandparents. Parents will not have time for children. It will seem like time is going faster and faster. The elders advised us that as things speed up, you yourself should slow down. The faster things go, the slower you go. Because there's going to come a time when the earth is going to be shaken a third time. The Great Spirit has been shaking the earth two times: the First and Second World Wars to remind us that we are a human family, to remind us that we should have greeted each other as brothers and sisters. We had a chance after each shaking to come together in a circle that would have brought peace on earth, but we missed that.
Tonight they were talking on the news about the sign for the Third Shaking of the Earth. They said they're going to build what the elders called the "house in the sky". In the 1950s they talked about this: they will build a house and throw it in the sky. When you see people living in the sky on a permanent basis, you will know the Great Spirit is about to grab the earth, this time not with one hand, but with both hands. Many of you of Native background may have heard "the spirits will warn you twice, but the third time you stand alone." We've had two warnings, the first two World Wars, but now we stand alone in the third one. As it says in the Baha'i Writings, there will be no-one protected. When this house is in the sky, the Great Spirit is going to shake the Earth a third time and whoever dropped that gourd of ashes, upon them it is going to drop.
They say at that time there will be villages in this land so great that when you stand in the villages you will not be able to see out, and in the prophecies these are called "villages of stone", or "prairies of stone". And they said the stone will grow up from the ground and you will not be able to see beyond the village. At the centre of each and every one of these villages will be Native people, and they will walk as "hollow" shells upon a "prairie of stone". They said "hollow shells" which means they will have lost any of their traditional understandings; they will be empty within. They said after the Eagle lands on the moon some of these people will begin to leave these "prairies of stone" and come home and take up some of the old ways and begin to make themselves reborn, because it's a new day. But many will not.
And they said there's going to come a time when in the morning the sun is going to rise and this village of stone will be there, and in the evening there would just be steam coming from the ground. They will be as steam. And in the centre of many of those villages of stone when they turn to steam, the Native people will turn to steam also because they never woke up and left the village. And this used to bother me when I was a young man. I used to ask the elders, "Isn't there anything we can do?" And they said, well, it's just that way that if a person does not have the spiritual eyes to see, it's very hard to show them. Or if they don't have the ears to hear, it's very hard to speak with them. We wish that we could go get them all but we can't. It's just that some are not going to wake up. But some will wake up.
And so they say there's going to be the "third shaking of the earth." It's not going to be a good thing to see but we will survive it. We will survive it. And when we survive it, then there's going to be another attempt to make a circle of the human beings on the earth. And this time the Native people will not have to petition to join but will be invited to enter the circle because they say the attitude towards us will have changed by then, and people will let us into the circle and all the four colours of the four directions will share their wisdom, and there will be a peace on earth. This is coming close. A lot of times when I share this message of the prophecies, people say, "Can't we change it? Could we stop it?" The answer is yes.
The prophecies are always "either/or". We could have come together way back there in 1565, and we could have had a great civilization, but we didn't. Always along the path of these prophecies, we could have come together. We still could. If we could stop the racial and religious disharmony, we would not have to go through this third shaking. The elders say the chance of that is pretty slim. It seems to me like it's pretty slim, too. But they say what we can do is we can "cushion" it. The word we use is "cushion". We can cushion it so it won't be quite as bad. How do we do this? We do this by sharing the teaching that will reunite us.
The Hopis in their prophecies say there will be a religion that comes here. Maybe it will be true and bring unity, or maybe it will not be true and not bring unity. If it does not bring unity, a second religion will come, and the people of this religion are known in the Hopi language as the Baha-ni, the people of Baha. Ni means "people of". So I was looking for the people of Baha. I wondered who the people of Baha were. I was a Baha'i for quite a while before somebody told me that Baha'i means "people of Bahà". I thought, 'O my God!' Here I was looking for it all these years and I never even noticed it!' And I had already found it!
I was stubborn and didn't want to become a Baha'i but my grandfather who passed away, you know he must have found out about it in the next realm because he came back to me four times in dreams to tell me, "Hey, look at that again, look at that again. Look one more time."
Baha'i... it means "light or glory". Baha'i means "follower of the light", or the people of Baha. We've been waiting for these people for a long time. They say they will bring a Teaching that will unite the earth. So we need to share this Teaching. They say the fire will come from the North. So here we are, in a circle, in the North, talking about the Bahà-nis, the "people of Baha..."