The Keeper of Time


“The Hopi Pootskwani (Spirit Law) is mouth to ear, it is not written in any book.

“I’hak itamuy it hikwsit maqaaqa pam ita muy him u’yta.”  The interpretation is this: “This One who gives us Spirit of Life, is the One who owns us” : This is our Mother Earth.  More importantly, it is Her hidden soul, the Underworld, “Maski” which is the Judge of all.  The first pootskwani is that we love our Mother Earth.  In Hopi we love Her above our own lives.  Our first pootskwani is “LAND AND LIFE ARE ONE.” (Tutskwa I’qatsi — Land and Life are One).

“Hak yaw rnokqw pay yaw hakiy hikwsi’at sa ahoy pangsoqningwu.”  This is the second pootskwani: When one dies, one’s soul returns to the Underworld (Earth Mother’s hidden soul (Earth-Heart/Christ/Core, “Maski” (literally “corpse” “home”) which is the Judge of all.

“Noqw pu’ itamuy Hopi iituy niqw pam peq Oongtupqaveq Maski.”  According to us Hopis the closest place to the Underworld (Maski) is the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is the deepest part of Earth Mother which is close to Hopiland, and for this reason we believe if we make a pilgrimage to the bottom of Grand Canyon, we are closer to Maski than anywhere else on Earth Mother.  To Hopi and to all Native Americans, MASKI, the Underworld is the dwelling place of GOD.  To many Christians who do not understand our Way, the Underworld is the dwelling place of the devil. But to *every* pure native American, and to *every* native American priest, MASKI is the dwelling place of GOD (“Mas” “ki” means “Corpse” “Home”).

To me, with this knowledge … heaven or hell is what we make upon the earth. Native Americans suffered much because Christian missionaries thought Maski was hell.  Maski is NOT HELL, Maski is the Soul of our Earth Mother.  Hell cannot be a place deep inside the body of our Earth Mother! We would not bury our dead in the soil if we thought that the soil was the way to Hell!  If you are a wicked sinner, Maski will Judge you accordingly.  Maski is not a good place to go for a sinner. A sinner makes his own hell.  Hope resides in our daily actions!  We are completely in control of Hope.  I walk with my head down, I keep my eyes on Earth Mother, She is my strength and my Hope is my actions.  When I encounter an obstacle, I walk around it.  If I cannot walk around it, I climb over it.  If I cannot climb over it I will sit and wait for it to go away.  If it never goes away, I also, will never go away.  We will wait together for my whole life, the obstacle and I, and finally I will die, never having struggled pointlessly with the obstacle.

The third pootskwani: “Hak itamuy yuk uuqa itamumi paas tun atvawta.” The interpretation is: “Our Creator watches all our actions very closely.”

“Hopi wiimit sa enang sutsep hintsakma.”  The Hopi does *everything* according to religion.  To the native American people, there is no way of life which is separate from religion.  We live our religious beliefs in our every action.  I want to repeat: “Hopi wiimit sa enang sutsep hintsakma.” To the good and pure native American Indian, there is no life which is separate from religion.  Our way of religion and our way of life are inseparable.  The heart of my words is this:  We must honor the Land as we honor our Life! We must not abuse Land, to abuse Land is to abuse Life!  Tutskwa Iqatsi! LAND AND LIFE ARE ONE.  If we live according to this Law, we have no need to fear Maski, the Underworld. For those who honor the Earth Mother as they honor Life, Maski is the Way to Paradise.  A good friend of mine, also a brother, and a high priest, said this “If the Underworld is Hell, why do Christian priests prostrate on the ground when they are ordained?”  I add this to his words: ALL priests prostrate on the Mother Earth face downwards to Maski, when we are ordained.  We seek the blessings of Masau with this action, Christians and native American priests alike, WE ALL PROSTRATE FACE DOWN ON OUR EARTH MOTHER.  We all face Maski when we are ordained. We have a saying in Hopi, interpreted it is this: “the holiest moment of the priest is when he is face down being ordained. When he stands up and casts his eyes away from his Mother Earth, he is never again as holy as he was in that moment when he lay prostrate on Her Body.”

“Naat yaw pas sinom tuuwaqalpeq moqhaqami qa unangwtalawvayaqw pep pu’ way puma Pooqangwhoyat pumuy Paaloolooqangwtuy maatapani.”  The best interpretation is this: We must all accomplish good moral behavior before the end of this world is upon us.  If we do not accomplish good moral behavior, we will be judged in Maski, by Masau, and we will be punished.  The punishment will be that we cannot go to Paradise, but we have to remain here in this troubled world until we learn good morals and live accordingly. Hopi people perform ceremonies to honor the next life, every day of every year.  I can say this: The most important action is to live this life in preparation of the life to come.  We do not live for the day, we live for the next life.

“Qahopqatsi pu’ pay pas nuutusaqa.”  The bad way of life has encompassed everyone now.  Temptation to live in the bad way of life surrounds even the holy Spirits.  The bad way of life beckons to everyone.  This is a sign that there are less than ten years to End Time.  We believe the End of this world will come very soon! We believe the End Time will come before ten years are past.  We believe we have less than ten years to earn Taalawsohu “The Morning Star,” Heaven.  All over the United States, Native American priests believe that we have less than ten years to make our brothers and sisters become GOOD.  The best way to become good is to love and serve our brothers and sisters, and to honor Maski, and Masau, and Mother Earth!

I repeat: ‘Hopiit angsakis yaasangwuy ang natwanpit hintsatskya.”

We are doing ceremonies for the renewal of Life. We do these ceremonies every year.  We do these ceremonies for everyone. RENEWAL OF LIFE!  This is important to every native American Indian!  We go to our grave with honor!  We go to our grave with no fear of Masau. We live every day of this life in service of Earth Mother, and in this way we make sure we will go to Taalawsohu-Paradise….We Hopi people do ceremonies to honor the good katsinam and to drive away the bad katsinam.  The Truth is very very plain and easy to understand, even for a child.  I want to repeat, we believe the End of this Fourth World will come soon.  We believe we must hurry and learn to love and respect Earth Mother.”