Monthly Archives: June 2013

In the Light of Reverence



Ten years in the making, In the Light of Reverence explores American cultures relationship to nature in three places considered sacred by native peoples: the Colorado Plateau in the Southwest, Mt. Shasta in California, and Devils Tower in Wyoming. Rich in minerals and timber and beloved by recreational users, these holy lands exert a spiritual gravity which pulls Native Americans into conflicts with mining companies, New Age practitioners, and rock climbers. Ironically, all sides see themselves as besieged. Their battles tell a new story of culture clashes in an ancient landscape. Produced as a preview of Standing on Sacred Ground, a 4-part series, by the Sacred Land Film Project –

View the trailer

Film website

Download the Teacher’s Guide,d.cGE

Water has Intelligence

Hopi and Japanese: Water has intelligence

Japanese and Hopi gathered on Hopiland to share this truth in 2004: Water has intelligence and responds to positive and negative words. It is republished now, following the tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan.

Water is alive

Article by Brenda Norrell
Photo: Water crystal responding to positive words.

On Hopiland in 2004, Vernon Masayesva, executive director of Black Mesa Trust, and researcher Dr. Masaru Emoto, chief of the Hado Institute in Tokyo, spoke at the Hopi Veterans Center and revealed the secrets and science of the intelligence of water.
During the Hisot Navoti (knowledge of ancestors) Masayesva showed amazing film footage, revealing startling transformations in water crystals when exposed to music and written words. Emoto’s photographs reveal water crystals, under high magnification, have drastically different forms from different water sources. Further, Emoto shows that water changes its expression as a result of human actions.
When water is exposed to the music of Mozart and Beethoven, crystals expand and become more beautiful. These crystals resemble diamonds, with flower buds blossoming on their points, as the music plays. Emoto explains that water carries and responds to the vibrations of music. He reveals even more amazing research, showing water responds to the written word.
When clear tubes of water are placed over positive and negative words, the structure of water crystals change. Water crystals increase in beauty when placed over the word “peace,” but are transformed to dark and ugly crystals when placed over the word “war.”
When water is placed over the word “let’s,” the crystals expand and increase in beauty. However, when water is placed over the word “must,” the crystals become ugly with a dark green center. Emoto says water is letting us realize the hidden power of words.
During the gathering for the defense of pure water, Jerry Honawa, Hopi elder, said, “Water has intelligence.”
Masayesva said, “If you are happy, you will have happy crystals; if you are angry, you will have angry crystals.” Masayesva also shared the history of the Hopi people, revealing their destiny intertwined with the earth and its mysteries.
“According to Hopi, long ago there was nothing but water from the beginning of time. This is what we call the First World of Hopi. “Life was created from water, from the land, from the sun.” When life was first created, it was beautiful, a perfect circle. On Hopiland today there are areas of perfect seashells, proof that this land was once underwater as Hopi are told. There are perfect fossils here, he said.
“Where does coal come from? It comes from plants. Everywhere you go, you see dinosaur tracks. This must have been a beautiful place at one time.”
In the First World, there was balance, harmony and peace. This balance and harmony, however, was destroyed in the Third World because of man and his greed. The ancestors began searching for a safe place to begin a new life. Bird was sent out and returned with news of this place.
“Through the bamboo, they entered the new land,” Masayesva said. “It is a metaphor, we don’t really know, but we came from somewhere where there was bamboo.” When the people arrived in this new land, they thought they had left evil behind them. But after a child died, they realized that evil had come with them. Those with the two hearts had come. “Evil is necessary to understand what good truly is,” Masayesva said.
The people knew they had to learn from the destruction of the Third World and not return to those ways. They wanted to create a new way of life. The Hopi people were not led by politicians, they were led by priests, often the poorest man in the village who denied himself everything for the benefit of his children.
In this new place they found a man who grew beautiful corn. It was Ma’sau, guardian of the land. Ma’sau said it is a harsh land, but if the people were willing to live Ma’sau’s way of life, they could stay here.
Ma’sau told the people, “If you follow this way of life, you can stay here forever.” Ma’sau showed the people corn, a gourd of water and planting stick. “He said if you decide to stay here you must help me take care of this land, then you can stay.”
Ma’sau told them that others are coming. “They will claim everything when they come, even the oceans, the air and the stars.” Ma’sau told the Hopi people to migrate to the four corners of the world, then return here to Black Mesa. The gourd to carry water was also a revelation, showing that water here is not infinite, it is limited.
Masayesva said the colors of the corn represent the colors of all mankind, yellow, purple, red and white. The sweet corn also represents the ancestors and the purple the heavens. Corn, too, gave Hopi a new way of life, and meant that the people no longer had to search for food every day, leaving them free for other things.
The planting stick represents tools or technology, which can be used for good or for destruction. There was a time when smallpox nearly eliminated the Hopi people, with only 300 Hopi surviving, Masayesva said technology can prevent and cure illness today, but it threatens to end humankind with the production of nuclear bombs. Nuclear power and travel to distant planets have resulted in dangerous “god-like powers.”
The waters–aquifers, springs, lakes, rivers, oceans and glaciers– work in harmony to sustain life. Hopi believe the aquifers breathe, breathe in rain and snow and breathe it out. The springs are the breathing holes. Humankind is a participant in water-life; mankind’s thoughts influence whether the rain and snow comes.
Of the world’s water today, Masayesva said 97 percent is seawater and 2 percent is bound in glaciers. Only1 percent is available for drinking.
However, America is a nation of waste. “We are a throwaway society. We think we are never going to run out of anything.”
Masayesva said the people must honor their trust as guardians of the water and land.
“If we don’t, we will break the circle.”

Black Mesa- Protecting our Sacred Homeland by Vernon Masayesva



“Underneath your feet lies enormous wealth. Guard it.
Do not fall sleep, for if you do, it will be pulled out.
Do not use it until the right time to do it, in the right way,
and only use it for the right purposes”.
~Instructions from Hopi Ancestors.
In 1970, a chain of dynamites exploded, and ripped Black Mesa apart. Then deep
water wells were sunk into the earth. The traditional elders from Hotevilla and
Shungopavy, and their allies from other villages, stood helplessly as the world’s largest
strip-mining began. Their worst fears became a reality. The Hopi people fell asleep. The
covenant with Massau was broken. They feared the Fourth World of the Hopi was coming
to an end. Massau, the Guardian of Mother Earth knew about the wealth and why it was put
there, within the cupped-shaped human hand, Hopi call Tuwanasavi, Earth Center, now
called Black Mesa. The Hopi ancestors met Massau at the fingertip of Black Mesa, as they were
journeying, looking for a safe place to start a new civilization. They were fleeing from
Palatki, their ancestral city far away in the South. They followed a river and came out of a
deep canyon, the Hopi call Sipapuni*, the umbilical cord, a sacred shrine marking “a place
of emergence to the Fourth World”.The elders sang an ancient prophecy song with tears in their eyes: “One day you will sell rain waters. For this you will be punished. Springs, once abundant, will dry up and you will begin your exodus. Carrying tin cups and belongings on your backs, you will
visit the springs now dry. For you have broken the covenant”.

From the beginning strip mining was not the right thing, not the right time and not in
the right way. Even the lease which set it all in motion was not right. Negotiated singlehandedly
by John Boyden, a lawyer, hired by the Hopi Tribal Council in the 1950’s to
resurrect the Hopi Tribal Council and to clear the way for corporations interested in
prospecting for coal, oil, and uranium. Records, recently uncovered by law students at the
University of Colorado, show conclusively that Boyden was billing Peabody for expenses
during the time when he was representing the Hopi in negotiations with Peabody Coal Co.
for rights to Hopi coal (Boyden’s conflicted behavior is disclosed in “Fire on the Plateau”
written by Charles Wilkinson, a distinguished professor of law at the University of
*Sipapuni is located about 100 miles west of Black Mesa deep in a canyon today known as the Grand Canyon, Hopi call Öngtupkya (SaltCanyon). The big river is Colorado River.
Paalatki is the name of the mythical city located somewhere in Central America.

In the Peabody coal lease, approved by former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall,
the Hopi Tribe unwittingly approved payments of $1.67 for use of fossil water stored in an ancient
aquifer, and a coal royalty rate of 3.333% of market value, well below the market value that the
federal government was charging mining companies on public lands. The intent of coal mining on Black Mesa was: first, to provide low-cost electricity to bring water from the Colorado River to Phoenix and Tucson, via Central Arizona Project; second, to supply a huge demand for electricity in booming cities in the Southwest. Black Mesa became a sacrificial area for producing cheap electricity. The Hopi Tribal Council did not understand the magnitude of the mining and the devastation it would cause. Little did they know that by the end of 2005, over 45 billion gallons of pristine groundwater would be used to operate a coal slurry project, enough water to sustain the entire Hopi population of 10,000 for over 300 years.Neither did they know that the hydrologic balance
would be permanently and irreparably damaged. After close to 40 years of strip mining
operations the Hopi people still have no idea of the magnitude of damages done to Black Mesa, their
sacred homeland. The real extent of damages is hidden in the computers — the same computers used by scientists to assure the Hopi and Navajo people that mining will cause no “significant material damage” to their land, plants, waters, wildlife and cultural resources. In fact they claimed to have irrefutable proof that the negative impacts will be minimal. Agents of the federal government who approved the leases committing 670 million tons of coal on 68,000 acres to Peabody justified their decision by saying the economic benefits will far out-weigh the damages. Today less than a dozen Hopis work at the mine; the Hopi Tribe is receiving less than $10 million, and unemployment is among the highest in Indian Country.

The people who walk the land see the impact and tell a different story. Washes
and springs they said, have dried up just as the ancestors had predicted. Different
types of birds and plants are gone and Moencopi Wash, which used to water cornfields,
is dry most of the year. They blame Peabody and the federal government. Those who
walk the land, who tend the fields, and honor the springs are witness to the damage.
They see and know more than those who sit in the cooled rooms where they stare at
computers and crunch numbers. The damage reached deep into Hopi.

Rain People no longer visit as frequently as they use to because by allowing waters to be wasted, the Hopi people are showing the Rain People they no longer need them. Only the wind comes when we call out to them. Just as the mining has caused irreparable damage to surface waters and waters
that lie deep below, so mining has erased the foot prints of Hopi ancestors who settled
on Black Mesa while awaiting entry into Villages of Shungopavy, Oraivi, Mishongnovi,
and Walpi prior to 1100A.D.

In a 20-year survey, starting in 1968, Peabody found 1,026 historic sites and
1,596 prehistoric sites of which only 168 sites were excavated. The study also located
178 burial sites. So what happened to the remains of Hopi ancestors? What happened
to the rest of the ancestral villages? Were they systematically destroyed?
Black Mesa Trust (BMT), the first and only non-profit Hopi environmental
organization, has made a long-term commitment to seek the truth about the real extent
of damages and to start laying the foundation for citizen complaints and future litigation
for damages done to the place where the Hopi people were supposed to teach
humankind how to serve Mother Earth.
To accomplish our mission, BLack Mesa Trust will need financial support to carry out
necessary hydrological legal research, investigative activities, and the tools to develop public
education material and awareness.Please lend your financial support to Black Mesa Trust in the amount of $25 or more, today.

Kwaq kwa! (Thank you),
Vernon Masayesva
Founder and Director
Black Mesa Trust
P.O. Box 33
Kykotsmovi, AZ 86039
Phone: (928) 255-2356
“The Hopi people need your help in stopping the world’s
most destructive and largest coal strip-mining operation in
the world. Hopi is the oldest living civilization in North America, trying
to survive in a modern technology driven world.
Black Mesa Trust speaks for the Hopi elders and the young
people who are working together to transition away from a
coal-based economy to renewable clean energy.
We have plans to build a 1000 MW solar plant on our land.
We do not accept federal and state grants but rely on
citizens for financial support.
Please support our mission for Black Mesa Trust, The Hopi
Nations, and the restoration and protection of our Mother
Earth and her Waters for the future of all life.


noto coalstoppeabody

Black Mesa

We believe Black Mesa represents the earth center, Tuuwanasave’e. Underneath lies untold wealth. We believe the aquifers have life. They breathe in the rain and snow and breathe out in the form of springs. The springs are breathing holes — passageways to Paatuuwaqatsi (the water world). Over 30 years of groundwater pumping by Peabody has weakened the water pressure and weakened the aquifer’s breathing, causing many of our springs and washes to dry up. We believe it is time for everyone, especially the indigenous peoples of Black Mesa, to unite in defense of our sacred waters.