Ancient Voices, Future Destinies

Linda Moulton-Howe

© 2001 Linda Moulton-Howe

Article 6 in our series Future Link

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Ancient Voices, Future Destinies

"There is a predestination doctrine known as the Two Spirit Theology, in which one's soul is said to be fated for all eternity, blessed or cursed as the result of a kind of angelic wrestling match between two of the 'Watcher' spirits: ... a Good Angel and an Evil Angel, who struggle for possession of your soul..."

David Flusser     Israeli Biblical Scholar     Commenting on Dead Sea Scrolls


From Enoch's "The Testament of Amram"    Dead Sea Scrolls     Translated by Prof. Robert Eisenman

Enoch: "I saw Watchers in my vision, the dream-vision. Two men were fighting over me ... holding a great contest over me. I asked them, 'Who are you, that you are thus empowered over me?' They answered, 'We have been empowered and rule over all mankind.' They said to me, 'Which of us do you choose to rule you?' I raised my eyes and looked. One of them was terrifying in his appearance, like a serpent, his cloak, many-colored yet very dark. ... And I looked again, and in his appearance, his visage like a viper. ... I replied to him, 'This Watcher, who is he?' He answered, 'This Watcher ... his three names are Belial and Prince of Darkness and King of Evil.' I said (to the other Watcher), 'My lord, what dominion (have you?)' He answered, 'You saw (the viper), and he is empowered over all Darkness, while I (am empowered over all Light.) ... My three names are Michael, Prince of Light and King of Righteousness.'"

Koyllur Riti

The Incas in Peru use that name for a glacier that caps a 22,400 foot peak in the Andes. The name loosely translates as "star" and "snow." The stars are the Pleiades, a cluster of blue suns which the Incas believe have long watched over and judged them with a ruling hand.

The glacial snow, according to legend, is where heaven and earth meet. It melts and puts water into the ground to grow plants which feed bodies and babies, an endless cycle of transformation from life to life, mineral to earth to plant to body, sex, birth, death. Inside that sacred snow, the Apu gods reside. Climbing Koyllur Riti is a yearly ritual for several Inca tribes, a penance in exchange for redemption and renewal from the Apu while the overseeing Pleiades sink below the horizon in the June procession of the heavens.

I was there in 1987 and share the trip now with Future Link because Koyllur Riti, like the Dead Sea Scrolls, links ancient voices to future destinies. First, I traveled from Cuzco by van. We drove the first day on bumpy, dusty roads through brown hills where llamas tiptoed along the steep slopes. As we got higher, the dark hills receded below huge, white Andean peaks. The camp site was above 14,000 feet and the temperature that night was below freezing. We all gathered in the cook tent to drink tea and wait for hot food. After dinner, in spite of the bitter cold, the amateur astronomer in me was drawn outdoors. No city lights, no noise, no Big Dipper, no Orion's Belt. It was an alien sky dominated by the large Southern Cross. Off to the right was a large triangle of stars. I stared at them thinking how fresh and beautiful the strange constellations were to my North American eyes. A bright light flashed from inside the triangle. Satellite? I waited for the next flash. It came below the first. Another white light flashed to the right. I realized the flashes formed the corners of a triangle that fit neatly inside the larger triangle of stars. I began moving toward the cook tent. "You guys, the stars are moving out here!"

The flashes erupted in a triangular sequence again, inside the constellation triangle. I wanted to run to the tent and pull people out as witnesses, but I could not take my eyes off that astonishing sky. Perhaps something up there responded to my awe. The next action began inside the Southern Cross. It was as if a large, unseen hand drew a perfectly straight and bright, white line from the Cross to exactly the mid-point of the triangle of stars. That long, white line stayed bright between the two constellations for several seconds. Was something reading my mind? Had my thoughts about the beauty of the sky provoked someone to respond? Was the white line showing me that another intelligence knew where my eyes and mind had been focused only minutes before?

The next morning, dressed in arctic ski clothes, we mounted horses to climb the remaining 8,000 feet. Mine was a big, black-haired, gentle male. The road became a small path as the elevation increased. Children in bare feet walked next to their mothers and fathers who wore only sandals. The women were traditionally dressed in skirts and petticoats, their legs bare. Some had walked more than two hundred miles. The mountain path became frightening. A two-foot-wide ledge and the horses' confidence were all that kept us from plunging into a deep ravine to our left. I kept my eyes on the moving feet of a woman and child in front of me. They had walked up behind our horses and patiently worked themselves around the animals to our right on the uphill side of the mountain. The woman was thin, a baby strapped on her back. Her other child was probably four. I shivered inside my parka, wondering how she and the children could stand the harsh air. Penance, prayer, redemption. Thousands walked that cold and narrow path.

My horse stumbled once on a hair-pin turn, lunging forward toward a child in front of me who never flinched. I closed my eyes in blind faith, faith that life was meant to go on, faith that the horse had good sense, faith in the power of the pilgrimage to the ice of Koyllur Riti. The horse staggered against the hillside and kept going. Several hours later we were at 22,000 feet near the summit with four hundred feet of glacier above us. Every breath, I wanted more air. A panic took over. I was going to suffocate. But we had to get the tents up before sundown and numbing cold. Survival took priority and work preoccupied our minds. But when we lay down to rest, the panic took over again: air, more air!

I could hear drummers. The steady, low-pitched pulse continued uninterrupted over four days and nights as Inca tribesmen took turns to sustain the heartbeat.

By sundown, my breathing panic subsided and I walked toward the drums. Thousands of Incas were now spread over the mountain. Only a few of us were outsiders. I was there because I was curious and wanted to experience ancient ritual. I was also there because I, too, wanted redemption, wanted to touch the face of God and know the certainty of His compassion in a universe that confused me with its harshness.

The drumbeat was coming from a circle of men dressed in Inca costumes near a large, gray stone church. The man-made structure on that wild, open mountain seemed an intrusion. But my Inca companion explained that in 1780, two boys were herding sheep near the glacier when they saw a ball of light. They followed the light to an enormous rock about fifteen feet high and wide. The children saw the light surround the rock which then cracked. The boys were convinced it was Christ himself in the light and ran to tell their parents. The elders decided the large crack was Christ's mark. To protect the miracle, the church was built and the large rock is the wall behind the altar.

That first night as I reached a doorway, I could hear the voices of prayer. Men, women and children were standing tightly together and moving slowly forward to pass Christ's rock. Everyone was holding at least one small, burning white candle; some had many candles wedged between fingers in each hand. I slowly moved sideways through the crowd determined to see the rock. In front of me, I heard sobbing voices. Two women not much taller than four feet and wrinkled with age and sun were looking up toward the Christ rock. Each of their hands held four candles that were dripping hot wax onto their fingers. As they cried, they spoke out loud. I asked a man near me if he understood their pleas.

In broken English, he translated: "Oh, dear Christ, we are so sorry that you suffered for us. Please forgive us. May we suffer now, too."

As I watched the agony in their faces, I felt a sting in my eyes. The sting gave way to the pressure in my chest and tears.

Closer to the altar, I could see that the crack in the rock had been augmented with gold paint. The artificial crown and body were superfluous to the unquestioning faith in those human hearts.

The cold air at the exit was suffocating again, but the scene before me was not. Candles and campfires turned the mountain into a starry sky. That sky continued into the black and white one above. Like a perfect mirror image on a very calm lake, stars were above, below, everywhere. There was no horizon.

I moved outside along the church wall back toward the drumbeat. The circle of men was larger, perhaps fifty feet across. In the middle, one man was dressed as an "angel" with white paint on his face. He raised a bullwhip high above his head. His target was another Inca tribesman dressed as a "devil" a few yards away. The devil also had a bullwhip. The two stalked each other slowly, cautiously. Suddenly, both lashed out and stung each other's flesh. Over and over, they whipped. Then the devil and angel embraced, backed away into the circle and a new angel and devil began another round.

I turned to my Inca friend. "Why didn't the angel win?"

He laughed at my bias and answered, "If the positive and negative get out of balance, the universe gets sick. The Incas believe that the positive and the negative must always struggle with each other and then embrace to keep the universe from falling apart."

Balance, he said, was the key to survival. Nothing was all good or all bad. The universe was neutral, not harsh. Its creator dreamed, observed and loved us all.

Keep an open mind, he urged me. Days later, he said tears were not needed for the fourteen women and babies who died from the cold during that Koyllur Riti. The moment of death, he explained, was simply a walk into the next room of the dream.

Koyllur Riti gave me a different ear with which to listen to scientists warn about diseased coral and marine life, disappearing rain forests and dying species, rapidly melting glaciers, rising sea levels, crop circles, and unusual animal deaths. When my frustrations are too great over mindless or deliberate environmental destructions or my fears deepen over humanity's hubris and potential doom, I think of the Inca tribesmen painted as devils and angels. And I remember their embrace after the painful whippings, an embrace of opposites that ultimately sustains the whole.

For years in my television, documentary, writing, radio and internet work, I have reported facts about deteriorating Earth ecosystems and polluted waters, lands and air. The pressure of facts, I thought, could change the world just as drops of water falling in a cave can build up stalactites and stalagmites bit by bit. But too many times I saw how power and greed influenced decisions and laws, even allowing raw uranium into the tap water of a Denver suburb.

The earth and all earth life, including humans, are under great stress, out of balance and sick. But as my Inca friend said, the tension of the negative and positive struggling to stay in balance is the essence of God's plan. Each one of us has to make choices about which side we want to be on. as fence sitting does not seem appropriate in the big scheme. The moment of death, ancient voices say, gives birth to destinies based on the soul's growth and power, or stunted growth and weakness, to determine choices.

Since my return from the domain of the Apu gods, I have been convinced that a common source of energy pervades all there is and can be an ally to living life. That energy, I think, moves in cycles like the spiral below found carved in rock all over this planet. That is why I used the spiral as my graphic motif throughout my two-volume book, Glimpses of Other Realities. Part of the old symbol's meaning is that the machinery of the universe involves the evolution of souls. The spirals are not static and not two-dimensional. The symbol is a slice. A larger reality can be imagined as a spiral upward and downward through innumerable other frequencies or dimensions. Ancient wisdom understood that the moment of death was simply a transition into another frequency on the spiral. So all lines in all directions are simultaneous and filled with life forms ebbing and flowing, supported by a singular force, an invisible matrix of energy from which everything emerges and to which everything returns.

If we are what we think, fear, love and do, then perhaps humanity will finally, willfully, reject war and earth destruction and choose to preserve and sustain all life as precious. My career boils down to producing a stream of news and facts that articulates the potential of life. If humanity is to survive a new cosmology must emerge based on an understanding that the universe truly gives what it gets and that human consciousness can contribute by positive will and choice to its spiraling evolution.

Linda Moulton-Howe

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Editors note:

The Future Link segment of the Forum brings together an array of scholars and educators who have expertise in two fields of great importance: the physical sciences and metaphysics. In our articles some authors will share with you only from their area of study; in other articles authors will merge both paths in a flowing synchronicity. All paths of exploration are valuable and will give you seeds of insightfulness. Enjoy; we look forward to your comments on our topics.

©dwij 2001
The spiral labyrinth representing the cyclic renewal of life, the great round of death and rebirth, the journey of the soul in and out of past, present and future forms. These have been found carved on ancient rocks in England, Ireland, the Adriatic region, Hopi Indian lands, Greece, and Crete dating at least 4,000 years before the current era.
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