What if? Remember, a “myth” is not necessarily untrue; it just can’t be tested or disproved.
I was destined to love the series Ancient Aliens. Perhaps inevitable for someone like me – someone who grew up on the desert free to experience nature up close and very personal. Daily, my brothers and I explored the rugged, timeless landscape so beautifully cosseted by wide-open cloudless skies, but sometimes harshly disciplined by dark, roiling thunderclouds. We had lots of time and opportunity to feel the magic of where we lived.
As a young girl my mind wandered the open dry terrain as my body followed tiny trails made by some creature’s habit, maybe a snake, or wild donkeys—or maybe Javelinas (wild pigs - reference Old Yeller.) It didn’t matter where these thin, dusty lines went, because all the trails led to the horizon somehow—out to The Great Mystery. Even as a child, I got this. The edge of the planet is not the end of the trail. It isn't a barrier to the rest—the mysterious rest. So, fast forward into my adult life, where, recalling those days and the possibilities beyond that real and metaphorical barrier, I am writing a romantic suspense series about the big "What If?" What if they were here. What if they still are?
Okay, it isn't just my fanciful desert-girl youth, or Ancient Aliens TV episodes that influence my haunted canyon series. It is the depth of Native American Indian oral history that mentions over and over "beings from the stars." If these origin stories are just "myths", it's not hard to see how they came about when centuries ago, the ancestors gazed at a night sky like this one.
So much of Indian lore and the practice of Indian culture and mysticism refer to this Mystery. Each culture has its own stories of tribal origins. Judeo-Christian theologies developed from a human-centric platform. Native American mysticism and beliefs, it seems to me, developed more organically, weaving earth and sky with all the animals as integral parts of the magical unfolding of life on the planet. In many of the oral histories, The Sky is where the magic originates.
Indian Star People "myths"
A Lakota legend speaks of seven maidens being chased by a bear. On their knees, they prayed for divine intervention, the result being that the ground beneath them erupted, high into the air, lifting them out of harm’s way, as the bear clawed at the risen ground. The result was Devil’s Tower (Wyoming), the bear’s claws having carved vertical geological features into the rock, and the seven maidens having been installed above as the Pleiades.
Lakota speak not necessarily of Star People, but of mysterious beings coming from above as spheres of light.
The Hopi believe their ancestors came from the Pleiades, the place, or people they call Chuhukon, or, those who cling together, a reference it seems to that tightly grouped starry cluster, as it appears to the naked eye.
Likewise, early Dakota legends speak of the Pleiades, or Tiyami, as the abode of the ancestors.
Other native oral histories, or legends, speak of an origin, if not in the Pleiades, then in the stars generally, or other constellations. The Cree, for example, arrived on earth from the stars, as spirits, and then became human beings.
And, of course, the Anasazi. Oral tradition is clearly shown in cave paintings like this one.
And see below the Ute Indian petroglyphs of Utah. Great Ghost and Friends, Horseshoe Canyon, Canyonlands National Park, Utah. Many of these stone "paintings" inspire alien visitation theories.
From Legends of the Star People: Ancestors in High Places - David S. Lewis recounts oral histories from various tribes.
This one in particular: "Clifford Mahooty, a Zuni elder and member of the Kachina Society, tells us that his “grandfathers” taught him about a “very direct connection” his people have had with “beings from space.” Lewis offers that Mahooty is showing that "modern Native American thought—that the ancestors were extraterrestrial aliens, and that they continue to visit and interact with peoples to this day, is an integral part of the culture."
At right, a petroglyph in Wyoming depicting an alien?
Sure makes you wonder, doesn't it. What if?
In the Canyon Series is this what Darcy, Alan and Sam discover?
The native legend that inspired me in my story, Blood Stones: The Haunting of Sunset Canyon, and mentioned throughout the book, is the Legend of Feather Woman and Morning Star. This story is found in the High Plains Indian culture and is told in several ways. To me, it is an intriguing story as so many of the Native "myths" are. It is also very romantic - hence my inevitable urge to write a supernatural romance centered in the place where I grew up, and square in the middle of that question so beguiling - "What if?"
From Paul Gobles' telling of the Blackfoot People's legend:
"Come." he said, holding above her a juniper branch in which a spider had woven its web. "We shall go to my home in the Sky World. Close your eyes." He wrapped his painted robe around them, and spoke to the spider. As he did, they were lifted up into the sky.
The spider's web is often found in Native legend. And a web plays a big part in The Canyon Series!
I'll continue this blog entry next time with
the story of Star Boy and The Morning Star and explain how these "myths" inspire my story of The Haunting of Sunset Canyon.