26 Apr 2011
Walking the Land: Montezuma’s Well with Marchiene Reinstra, part 2
Copyright Marchiene Reinstra 2011
All Rights Reserved
Here is Montezuma’s Well which is part of the Verde Valley, Arizona
It was another bright sunny spring morning as Eileen and I headed out for our last walking the land adventure of this season. We began with brunch at Randall’s Restaurant in Cottonwood, and Eileen smiled when I picked pecan waffles from the menu, and later, a mocha latte, because she said it was a day governed by Venus, and that meant enjoying lots of sweet things. And I did!
After a delicious brunch, and some sober conversation about all the upheaval in the world, and the environmental disaster of the nuclear plant accident in Japan, we headed to Montezuma’s Well. Neither of us knew why that name had been chosen for this place. It would certainly not have been the choice of the Native Americans who have lived here for so many centuries. The famous Aztec ruler Montezuma was never in this area as far as anyone knows.
Here I am stopping along the trail that parallels the irrigation ditch created by the Sinagua people over a thousand years ago. This stand of Arizona Sycamore were beautiful and giving positive energy to this calm, peaceful area.
We didn’t know what name the original people who lived here had for the place, but we did know that it was the site of emergence into a new world in the myths of the Apache and Yavapai tribes who still live in the area. They believe that the people from a previous world emerged through the Well into this world after a hummingbird discovered this world a level up from the old one. They climbed up into it, led by many of the animals, on the stalk of a giant corn plant. But after a time, the people strayed from their Creator’s instructions, and a great flood came. They all perished except one young maiden named Komwida (White Stone) who they put into a big hollow log with a dove and seeds, sealed it with pitch, and told her to wait until she could feel the log come to rest on solid ground before she tried to get out. She did this, and after many days of floating on the floodwaters, the log came to rest on Minus mountain. She emerged safely, and the dove was very helpful in showing her how and where to plant the seeds and make her way in the new world which emerged from the flood waters.
Eileen and I had visited Montezuma’s Well last year, and journeyed here, and were told that the residences built into the cliffs surrounding the Well were used for ceremony, at special times, not just ordinary living. The Well is thought by traditional people to be bottomless, and it does indeed go very deep, is spring-fed with water that is always at a warm temperature, and connects to a huge underground aquifer in this region. An opening from the well allows the water to flow through a place in the solid rock walls around the well. From there it emerges near the banks of Beaver Creek. The ancient people who lived there figured out how to channel that water through an irrigation canal they dug by hand which carried the water out to flatter lands to fields where they grew cotton, corn, and other crops.
After giving offerings at a beautiful big cedar up on the rim of Montezuma’s Well, Eileen and I walked around the rim and then down near Beaver Creek, and soon found a perfect place to do our ceremony. We noticed there were rose petals floating in the water, though now roses were growing in that area. It was a luscious spring afternoon, with many birds singing, butterflies hovering over the path we walked, and everywhere trees budding and leafing, grasses greening, and overhead, a robin egg blue sky with fluffy white clouds. We noticed a couple of the bigger ones had holes in them.
We also noticed several energetic gateways, marked by boulders, or trees. (see pics) It was lovely, quiet, and peaceful, and we could feel the spirits of the generations of people who had walked this pathway for centuries.
This is a gate. It is two boulders, one on either side of the path. I greeted them, gave them an offering and asked permission to pass. They gave me permission.
We found a huge ancient great grandmother Ash Tree who very clearly wanted us to stop there to do our ceremony, and that is what we did. We prayed and offered cornmeal and seeds in the seven directions, and then sat down to journey together, leaning against the massive trunk of the Ash tree. We noticed we were actually in an ash grove. In this wonderful place, I quickly and easily slipped into an altered state and journeyed.
First, I saw Bololokon, the Rainbow Snake, emerge from the Well, and slither through the stream that flowed from the Well into the irrigation canal.
Next, she slithered through the water of the canal, past us, and on out towards the place the fields had once been. Then she made her way down into a big hole near Beaver Creek, and next I saw her emerge at the Petroglyph Wall which is quite near the site of the Well. It was also an ancient ceremonial site, and still carries that sacred energy. Bololokon looped up over the wall, and then spiraled up around it, stopping at the top to raise her head high towards the sky and bow in the four directions in a sacred manner. Then she sprouted huge dragon-fly wings that shimmered with rainbow colors, and flew up into the blue sky, swirled through the holes in the clouds with a dragonish “Whee!” and sped north towards the San Francisco Peaks. Clearly, a wonderful energy was now free in the area!
Here is another gate guardian. This is a huge grandmother Ash tree that is hundreds of years old. Notice how one of her arms arches up and over the path. That’s a clue!
Next, I saw Grandmother Komwida (see the story above) emerge from the Well as a young woman. She was holding seeds and sage. She allowed me to feel the sorrow she felt at the loss of the old world of which she had been a part before she was put in the log. I could feel tears stinging in my eyes as I imagined what it would have been like for her to be separated from everyone and everything she held dear, set adrift in a log, and emerge alone into a new world. As I watched, I saw Komwida grow huge, and assume her Grandmother appearance, the one familiar to me from previous encounters.
Once again, as many times before, she held up her sacred abalone shell with sage smoking in it and the smoke blended into the fluffy white clouds overhead, leaving a wonderful sage fragrance in the air. She stepped in front of us then, and placed her shell at our feet. Then she took two small pouches from her robe, and handed one to each of us.
“The old world is dying, and a new one is emerging from the old,” she said. “You must both plant the seeds of the new. They are my gift to you. Carry these seed pouches with you wherever you go out on the land.” With these words, she placed one of her hands on each of our heads, and then vanished. I took out my flute and played a tune I knew called “Ash Grove” and then just as the spirit moved me. As often happens when I play the flute, a breeze sprang up and I could feel the spirits of the area responding with appreciation. I love playing the flute out on the land, for it always makes me feel closely connected to everything around me. I believe all nature is always singing, and when I flute, i just join in the One Song.
Here is my drawing of what I saw during my journey. Grandmother Komwida gifted each of us with a pouch that was filled with seeds. Eileen was told to “expect a gift shortly” by Grandmother Komwida and she showed me what the gift was and how it was to be used.
After sharing our journeys and writing and drawing them in our journals, Eileen and I headed back out of the Well area, feeling light and happy.
Once again, we noticed the rose petals floating in the water. As we drove towards home, Eileen sensed I was thinking “Ice cream!” It was very warm by this time, and it seemed like a great idea to both of us. So we stopped and indulged ourselves in wonderful double chocolate fudge sundaes to celebrate a season.
Here we are at Denny’s alongside I-17 and route 260/Cottonwood turn off. I was hungry for ice cream and so was Eileen. Little did we realizing how HUGE this hot fudge chocolate sundae would be!! We can report that it was delicious and we earned every bite of our celebration for getting this far on Bololokon’s energy trail through our Verde Valley.
We’ll get together in the Fall of 2011 to finish our trek of Bololokon’s energy trail through our Verde Valley.