Creation: Seed clan tested

Sounding the conch shell.
(Image Copyright: Sam Weber)

“Often the people rested from their wanderings, building great houses of stone which may even now be seen, until the Conch of the Gods sounded, which lashed the ocean to fury and beat the earth to trembling. Then the people started up, and gathering the few things they could, again commenced their wanderings; yet often those who slept or lingered were buried beneath their own walls, where yet their bones may sometimes be found.

“Marvelous both of good and evil were the works of the ancients. Alas, there came forth with others, those impregnated with the seed of sorcery. Their evil works caused discord among men, and, through fear and anger, men were divided from one another. Born before our ancients, had been other men, and these our fathers sometimes overtook and looked not peacefully upon them, but challenged them – though were they not their older brothers?

“It thus happened when the ancients came to their fourth resting place on the Eastward journey, that which they named Shi-po-lo-lon-K’ai-a (or “The place of Misty Waters”), there already dwelt a clan of people called the A’-ta-a (or “Seed People”), and the seed clan of our ancients challenged them to know by what right they assumed the name and attributes of their own clan.

“Behold”, said these stranger beings, “we have power with the gods above yours, yet can we not exert it without your aid. Try, therefore, your own power first, then we will show you ours.”

At last, after much wrangling, the Seed Clan agreed to this, and set apart eight days for prayer and sacred labours. First, they worked together cutting sticks, to which they bound the plumes of summer birds which fly in the clouds or sail over the waters. “Therefore”, thought our fathers, “why should not their plumes waft our beseechings to the waters and clouds?”

These plumes, with prayers and offerings, they planted in the valleys, and there also they placed their Tchu’-e-ton-ne. Lo! for eight days and nights it rained and there were thick mists; and the waters from the mountains poured down bringing new soil and spreading it over the valleys where the plumed sticks had been planted. “See!” said the fathers of the Seed Clan, “water and new earth bring we by our supplications.”

About Running Elk

My given native name, Running Elk, was bestowed in 2008 as I took my first steps as a fully fledged Medicine Man of the Zuni tradition. A most unlikely candidate for the role, my journey as a healer began some four years prior. The detour onto the shamanic way was most unexpected, yet has been one of the most rewarding challenges to date.
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