Walking the Land: Montezuma’s Well by Eileen Nauman, Part 1

Walking the Land: Montezuma’s Well with Eileen Nauman

Copyright Eileen Nauman 2011

All Rights Reserved

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Here is a sketch of the Path of the Snake through the Verde Valley. Bololokan’s route, the Rainbow water snake, is shown here. We are stopping at each of these places, in step-by-step fashion to open up the dormant or blocked energy, so that this valley once more, can be in harmony and balance. All areas of the world have places like this. They need conscious human beings who can connect with the land and the spirit guardians of that given area to clean it out, clean it up and once more, create connection with the seen and unseen worlds that we all live with. By doing this, we are bringing harmony and stability to the Earth and “all her relations.”

Marchiene and I met and went to Randall’s for a brunch before we took off for Montezuma’s well. We’d been there previously, two years earlier. But now, we were going back to continue to follow the path that Bololokan, the Rainbow water snake spirit traversed. And it was along this line of energy that the region/valley was ‘fed’ and kept ‘in harmony.’ Before White man came to this region, the Native Americans routinely, every year, traversed this route, according to Grandmother Komwida of the Yavapai Myth about this area. I can’t stress enough knowing the myths and stories of the area where you live. Find them out first because chances are, you’ll run into either the local spirit guardian and/or the regional one. Grandmother Komwida, for example is local/regional guardian spirit of this area. Bololokan, on the other hand is a global spirit; one of four snakes (fire, earth, air and water) that are charged with the health and care of this planet. Their work is to keep the Earth in harmony.

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Here is the US Forest Service map of the Montezuma Well area. It is open to the public.

It might be a good place here to talk about PROTOCOL. Those who live in the indigenous world around the world, have protocols when dealing with the unseen part of their world. I was taught to always bring cornmeal or tobacco in a pouch. It’s something I carry everywhere with me in case I run into a ‘gate’ which signifies I’m about to enter a sacred area, a portal to another dimension or area on the Earth (or not), a vortex. At each of these places there is ALWAYS a guardian in spirit. And you don’t want to just dumbly or blindly walk into these areas without conducting protocol. These guardians have a lot of power. I’ve seen them bring an attack of bees on an unsuspecting or unwitting hiker who blindly entered a sacred area without conducting protocol first and asking for permission to pass. I’ve seen others climbing a hill or mountain endure a rock slide, or rocks being hurled at them. Guardians can send a snake, insects or anything else that lives in the area to attack the trespasser…and that is how you are seen–trespassing.

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We got such a hysterical laugh out of this sign on the steps on the way up to Montezuma’s Well! Here is Bololokan, the snake, right there..do we need any more signs? haha. Actually, the Forest Service put up this sign to warn visitors to stay on the sidewalks because around the area are rattlesnakes. But still…here’s a “double check,” if we ever needed one. We got a huge chuckle out of this :-)).

Imagine this from the guardian’s perspective as it is his or her duty to protect a sacred area from alien energy that may upset the fragile energy balance of the area. A guardian guards her “home” where she lives. A guardian can be human, animal or some other fantastical form. Guardians usually take on the guise of the area they live in. Now, consider this. We each live in an apartment or home. What if some person came up to your house, just opened the door and walked in? Without first knocking. Without first asking permission to come into your home. Wouldn’t you feel threatened and violated? You bet you would. Why? Because that person failed to go through a social protocol of knocking, introducing themselves and asking to come into your home.

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Here is Marchiene on the lip of the Well. You can see the white limestone surrounding it.

Well, it’s no different out in the world where there are sacred areas. Guardians EXPECT that (a) you know when you’re in a sacred area and (b) you are going to do the same thing: give a gift of cornmeal/tobacco, introduce yourself by name, why you are here, what is your business with this sacred area and asking permission to be granted access. The guardians are highly evolved, spiritually speaking. They are in charge of a given area to keep it up, running, in balance and harmony. That is their job. And they are also charged with making sure disparate or upsetting energies don’t enter the area to upset the applecart, too. That means us. And I’ve met some very fierce guardians who would not give a second thought to sending us packing if we didn’t know proper procedures, introductions, social connection and coming in a humble way.

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Here is the path we were on. Marchiene is looking up at a Grandmother Ash tree. You can see the irrigation ditch the Sinagua created by hand. The water flows from Montezuma’s Well out to the fields where they were able to water and irrigate their crops. Smart people.

I want to share this protocol with you because it’s a world-wide expected social sharing that goes on between a human and a guardian spirits. First you need to know what gift is appropriate for your area of the the world. It differs and you need to contact local indigenous group or medicine person and ask. For the Southwest where I live, it is cornmeal. Cornmeal is almost a world-wide gift of choice where CORN grows. If it don’t grow there, you can’t use it. In the Plains states of USA, tobacco is favored by the spirits, instead. So, doing your homework for your area is a must. In the USA sacred sage is always a safe choice. There are different sage in different parts of the country. In the deserts, there is one type. In areas where there’s plenty of rainfall, it might we a water sage plant. Find out what kind of sage grows in your area.

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Here is Marchiene with her eagle flute that she played after our journey to honor the spirits of the area. And thank them for allowing us to share this day and time with them.

Assuming you have your pouch of cornmeal or tobacco or sage, when you find yourself in an area that is sacred (we’ve put many examples on Walking the Land of gates so you should be able to visually spot them). Most people are not honed in on their own intuition, so visual spotting is the first choice. You can FEEL you’re in a gate area because there is a shift/change in the area. I call this, “going through the veil.” And you may go through 3-6 veils before you arrive at the spot. At the gate (rock or tree), you will stop. I’m always assuming you have GROUNDED yourself beforehand. If you have not, you absolutely need to do it now. Grounding is closing your eyes, taking in three deep breaths into your belly and releasing the air out through your mouth. You keep your knees “soft.” Which means they are slightly flexed, but not a whole lot. With your eyes closed, you see beautiful silver tree roots winding gently (not tightly) around your ankles and the point of the root going straight down through your physical foot and about twenty to a hundred feet into Mother Earth. You can open your eyes at this point. You are GROUNDED.

Take our your offering, and then spread it out in front of you. Mentally say, “I am —— (your name). And then mentally say, “I’m here (state your reason). May I have permission to pass?”

If you aren’t tuned in to hear the “yes” or “no,” you can FEEL it. A sensation of being pulled forward or being pushed forward is a YES. If you feel a backward push from the way you just came, that’s a NO. If you get a feeling of joy, welcome surrounding you, that is a YES. If you get a sense you’re not welcome, that’s a NO.

Sometimes, you’ll get nothing. There’s no sense of anything. If you get that, it’s a NO. The guardian isn’t even going to take the time to respond.

If you get the welcome mat coming out, then give a second gift spread out before you and enter. At this point, if you can’t see or hear the guardian, then you really need to stay alert to visual clues as to what is going on in the area. For example a vortex may have a tree with many trunks coming out of the ground (3 or more) and that clues you in that this is a vortex area. Again, go through our Waling the Land series for more information on this.

Protocol is EVERYTHING in the invisible realms when you’re walking the land. Getting in contact with the local/regional guardian is essential. Plus, that guardian, if he or she grants you entrance, is also a fount of information from the past if you can hear them and speak with them. They give you a LOT of valuable information about the area and can turn into your advocate and support your heart centered work to help your local area. Plus, if you are under the protection of a local or regional guardian, this is nice too. It means they won’t allow dark or nasty energy or spirits to bother you. So, it’s a win-win for everyone. The guardian gets a conscious human being who they can work with to help keep an area cleaned up, unclogged or unblocked and online and you, the human get the humble responsibility to be a PART of nature in all her facets. As it should be. When you can clean up your area and be a part of the FIX instead of being part of the BLOCK or disintegration, then this is good for “all our relations” and the planet as well.

Getting back to our work at Montezuma’s Well, I always love coming to this spot. There is no other place I the world like this place. Hence, it is IMPORTANT in bold, capitol letters. And it is where the Yavapai creation myth started. The people came OUT of this well and emerged from the third world into our world of today, the fourth world. Bololokan also utilizes the well as one of her sipapu’s–emergence points–to come in and out of our third dimensional world. It’s importance cannot be ignored. And according to Grandmother Komwida, who gave me the map of energy through Verde Valley, humans routinely came to this well as part of their yearly trek through it to perform ceremony, work with the the guardian and energy to keep it ‘clean’ and running properly.

Geologically (and this is something else you need when you Walk the Land, is an understanding of local geology) geologists say Montezuma’s well was created twelve million years ago. Before that, there was a large, shallow lake they call Lake Verde. It covered the entire Verde Valley we now live in. It was 27 miles long and 15 miles wide. Then, about 2 million years ago, Lake Verde broke through the sediment dam at the southern end and the water flowed out of the valley. Today, all that remains is our present-day Verde River, an echo of a once huge lake.

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Montezuma’s Well. In the early morning hours it turns a turquoise blue. In the daytime sunlight, a beautiful teal blue color.

The well is a natural sinkhole 368 feet wide with cliffs that are seventy feet above the water’s surface. Everyday, 1.5 million gallons of water (74F) flow into the well. It is fed by three to four large underwater vents, some as deep as 56 feet below the surface. The water exits the well through a cave three hundred feet long, emerging on the southeast corner of the well into an irrigation ditch originally constructed almost one thousand years ago by the Sinagua people. They lived and farmed there for centuries.

At the same time, underground streams in the area were dissolving the limestone formed by the sediment from Lake Verde. It produced caverns below the surface of the Verde Valley. Eleven thousand years go, one of the caverns collapsed into a sunken pool, creating Montezuma’s Well. Since the formation there has always been a constant supply of water flowing through it. Limestone gives off carbon monoxide. And so, nothing except turtles, can live in the well. There’s not enough oxygen for fish to survive. Duck swim on top of it, but that’s about it.

We chose a path to walk on to the area we were being led too. The irrigation ditch has been fashioned by the hands of the Native Americans a long time ago. The area is privy to Hackberry, Cottonwood and Ash trees, like a bower along our path. I had a vision from a past life. I saw Marchiene and I as little six year old girls running along this very path. We were brown skinned, barefoot, wearing deerskin dresses and laughing as we ran. Many times, you incarnate into an area where you have lived before and this was no different for us this time. It felt really good to be ‘home’ on this path again; my heart opening and feeling a wellspring of joyous emotions. It brought tears to my eyes because that incarnation was a very happy one where we worked and were trained by Grandmother Komwida, who was our real grandmother at that time..

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Here is one of the stone houses built by the Sinagua outside the Well. There are stone houses within the well, but we were told by Grandmother Komwida they were for ceremony ONLY. The people who care took the well lived here and in other stone huts that are now destroyed, outside of the well. This is one of them. Marchiene is walking down the path past it.

At one point, we stopped at a huge Grandmother Ash and she begged and pleaded with me to stop and perform our ceremony here. I had another place in mind, but she was really insistent. I said fine and we settled down. I didn’t bring the drum this time. Nor did we give sacred sage ceremony. When in a park it’s a different horse of a different color. I didn’t want to beat the drum and have curious tourists coming over and gawking at us….it’s a distraction. And when I do ceremony, I don’t want distraction. Fire is not allowed on park lands and I respect that. The sage we brought was not lit. It was simply gifted by hand to the area. It all works. Marchiene had brought her flute and that was fine; flute music doesn’t carry far like a drum sound will.

Above us the sky was a beautiful tuquoise blue. Clouds, round ones, with holes in them, intrigued me. All of Nature ‘talks’ with us if we’ll only open our eyes to see. When I saw the round cloud above us with the hole, I thought, “We’ve come full circle.” A cloud with a hole in the center (looks like a donut) reminds me of a portal or entry gate to the other worlds. I knew this symbol had something to do with my planned journey.

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Here is the round cloud with the hole in the middle of it. It formed above us just before we were going to do our journey work. A sign.

We got comfortable against Grandmother Ash and I moved into my non-ordinary realm. I saw Grandmother Komwida emerge from the well, abalone uplifted in one hand, the sage smoking thickly from it. She fanned it with a Golden Eagle feather fan in her other hand. Then, Bololokon playfully shot out of the well, splashing water all over the place. She went to the sipapu on Mingus Mountain, and once more, went to each place we’d gone before, retying the energy as she went. When Bololokan got to the Well, she dove down into it and then popped back up out of it. Then, Bololokan raced around and around the well, spreading her rainbow energy all around the area. At the same time, Grandmother Komwida was turning to each of the major directions, chanting and wafting the sage smoke in that direction with her eagle fan.

Bololokan, when finished, retraced her energy steps backward to each sacred spot, retied the energy and then took it back to the sipapu on Mingus Mountain. She then, flipped up into the sky, headed for the Grandmother’s (Humphrey’s peak) in Flagstaff and blipped out of sight.

When Grandmother Komwida was done, she showed me a bright, shining star in the sky. Only you could see this ‘star’ during the daylight hours. She said it was this star that shone brightly in the blue sky that led people to this Well. (As an aside, I was questioning this but thought I’d better look at astronomy. I vaguely, vaguely recalled there was some kind of super nova that was recorded in the Bayeux tapestry. I made a mental note to check this out because that would double check, Grandmother Komwida’s story).

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Marchiene is walking the path parallel to the irrigation ditch created by hand by the Singaua indians who lived here. The energy is one of incredible peace, nurturing and feminine in its expression.

She said that the well was connected with the constellation Cassiopeia, the “W” group of stars. She said the people (these would be HER people) saw the milk white limestone surrounding the well as the color of breast milk. Further, the water coming from the well symbolized the feeding of the land with the “milk” of the energy from this constellation. And because of the color, the symbology and tie with this constellation, the people (Sinagua) decided to stay in this area. They created the irrigation ditch from the well to the fields so that the milk/water “fed” the people. I thought that was pretty cool.

Then Grandmother said that because of our consistent and ongoing work with the land in the Verde Valley, that she said, “A gift is coming to you shortly because of your work.” Of course, I had to ask, what “shortly” meant because their time and ours do not coincide at all. Grandmother laughed and shook her head. “Shortly,” she said, grinning. I had to laugh and told her I had to ask. She just shook her head and disappeared.

Well, after I came out of my non-ordinary reality and told Marchiene about the gift, she just laughed. I’ll let her tell the rest of his story in her blog. Needles to say, “shortly” really meant, “right now.” :-).

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Here is Marchiene making her drawing of her journey. It’s important o draw/sketch what you see, sense, hear or feel. It grounds the energy into our third dimensional realm and that’s important.

I went to Google the super nova and sure enough, information came up. There was a super nova explosion in the crab nebulae around July 4-5 of 1054. There are records in Japanese and Chinese records about this astronomical phenomena. And there were two brief reports from medieval Europe. This “bright star in the day sky” that Grandmother Komwida talked about was visible in the day light sky around the world for 23 days. And then, it was viewable for the next 653 days after that. So, that was 1054 a.d. Archeology records suggest the Sinagua came to Montezuma’s Well “about a thousand years ago).

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A NASA photo of the Crab Nebula that exploded in 1054 A.D. This was the ‘star’ in the daylight sky that the Singaua saw, according to Grandmother Komwida, that was a sign for them to stop and make their home here at Montezuma’s well.

There is also a record of it in the petroglyphs of Chaco Canyon, another culture in New Mexico and here it is. I suspect that there is also a record of it here in the Verde Valley. I’ve seen some that could well represent seeing this super nova in the daytime. And I need to say this is my speculation; I’m not an archeologist. But to me, this shows that “star.” We saw it at Loy Canyon petroglyphs and ruins.

Chaco canyon super nova petroglyph by by P. Charbonneau, O.R. White, and T.J. Bogdan.jpg
Here is a petroglyph from Chaco Canyon that archeologists feel show the Crab Nebula supernova of 1054 a.d. Chaco canyon super nova petroglyph by by P. Charbonneau, O.R. White, and T.J. Bogdan photograph.

And so, our Walking the Land together comes to an end. Marchiene will be heading to her home in Michigan. When she returns in the Fall of 2011, we’ll be finishing the path of Bololokan. Our next stop will be the V bar V petroglyphs site where there is a portal. Then, on to Grandmother Bell Rock and finally, to the Four Grandmothers (Mt. Humphrey’s) in Flagstaff. We’re looking forward to completing this wonderful journey and adventure together. Thanks for coming along.

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Here is a sketch of what I saw during my journey.

Tomorrow: Marchiene’s report and experience on Montezuma’s Well.