Category Archives: Ant People

Kachina Visions and the Expansion of Cultural Identity

This essay of mine just came out in the latest issue of Journal of Contemporary Shamanism! Here’s a PDF copy.


coverThis essay compiles several of the experiences I have recounted here in these blog pages concerning my experiences with the Kachinas who visit with me and instruct me.





The Elves on Flexible Identity at Solstice Time

By Gabriel Hartley

December 16-17, 2013


This morning as Anna and I were doing the Kyy Breath pranayama sequence that the Kyy serpent spirits taught me last year in Finland, I got to the second stage of the instructions where I normally indicate that it’s time for the “Spiral Breath.” As occasionally happens, this morning I felt inspired to add more specific details and ended up saying, “Spiral Breath, focusing on the Celtic and Hopi Spirals.” As soon as I said this, a voice that by now I immediately recognize as that of the Elf representative working with us corrected me, saying, “It’s not simply the Celtic or Hopi Spiral. The Spiral symbol is universal and has been granted to cultures of all times and places!”


As soon as Callador, the Elf representative, said this, I immediately agreed. In fact, this is in line with the message I have been receiving since my initial communication with the Kachinas during our travels through Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, and Taos in August. At that time I was struck by the coincidence of the presence of the Spiral symbol etched in stone in Ireland and the U.S. Southwest. We had been engaging with the Spiral throughout Ireland in June and now were doing so again in the region that is now called Colorado and New Mexico, and I was getting the clear sense that this was not at all accidental but a true coincidence in the root sense of incidents happening in direct relation to one another, things that were co-incident.

The larger point beyond what the Spiral symbolizes was the fact that various human groups at different times and places have been receiving the exact same symbolic images. And it was clear that Anna and I were being drawn to the image itself for very similar reasons. As the Kachinas made clear in August, the Spiral represents, among other things, the circulation of the sacred winds, including the breath. The ceremonial kivas are intended to take advantage of and even to stage the expression of these sacred winds. And this symbolic relationship between the concept-experience of the sacred winds and the Spiral image is a universal expression that goes beyond the limits of any specific cultural symbolic system.

The Kachinas before and Callador now stressed this point that certain symbolic terms and features should not be strictly associated with a specific culture. No individual person or culture can claim ownership of a particular image. This fact is important not just in terms of universal transcultural access but also in terms of an expansive notion of identity. This expansive notion of identity is related to the idea of universal symbols in that we need to stop imagining that one particular thing is what it is because it has some stable and unique core identity based on specific attributes. In fact, all things are far more mobile and plastic than we normally assume—as Buddhists have been contending for centuries. Each thing is at any moment the result of a specific constellation of frequencies and energies. So our notion of identity should be much more mobile and flexible in order to take this range of constellations into account.

I should comment at this point that although I began these notes over twenty-four hours ago (it is now 10:03 am on Tuesday, December 17), I have found it extremely difficult to get through the process of recording my meditation experience from yesterday morning regarding the flexible nature of identity. I see this in itself as a sign of inner and outer resistances to this message and therefore a sign that the message itself is far more important than I let myself think initially. Soon after starting the recording process yesterday, Anna and I found ourselves going through extremely intense emotional states individually and as a couple. We would go through a beautiful, romantic period of an hour or two of kissing, gathering firewood, listening to beautiful music, all leading us into a heightened state of ecstasy. This ecstasy would then almost immediately be followed by an equally intense period of arguing and shouting about personal boundaries and individual competencies and varying ways that we each approach and process things. And then we’d fall into each other’s arms again, madly expressing our deep love.

So it does not seem at all coincidental—in the usual sense of this term—that one of the topics Anna and I found ourselves passionately arguing about turned out to have to do with this notion of flexible identity and definition itself! Over the past few weeks I have been getting bits and pieces of suggestions that it will be important for us to do something relating to the upcoming Winter Solstice here on the Portal property. So what we found ourselves arguing about in the midafternoon was exactly what this “something” we might do might in reality be. We found ourselves getting deep down into the recognition that each of us perceives and responds to the very same energies and entities and experiences in quite different ways. This means that the same energetic experience of the Elves, for example, would lead to one kind of expression within me and to a very different kind of expression within Anna. Yet we were responding to identical impulses while addressing these impulses in our own ways. After forty years of intense academic intellectual activity, I, for example, find it quite natural to respond to things primarily through ideas and concepts; Anna, on the other hand, after a couple decades of intense graphic design activity, responds to things much more imagistically. And we both respond to these same things energetically but find ourselves resorting to differing methods of expressing our experiences of these energies.

This in itself is a perfect example of the need to be conscious of the flexible range of frequencies and energies that we call “identity.” What exactly is this experience we each have together? What are the better ways of approaching it, making sense of it, expressing our understandings of it? And what we concluded through this very important process of renegotiating our communicational styles was that each of us is right, and that together we are even more right! In fact, it appears that one crucial reason we have been called together as a couple on this spiritual path is to find the appropriate blend of our individual natures and to produce a more powerful and effective third position that serves as the constellation of each our energetic fields. Our working hypothesis at this point, then, is that we have much more to offer others through our combined efforts than either of us would have on our own. This freighted alchemy offers a mixture of potentials that takes on a flexible compound identity of its own.

Now I will return to my initial response to the message of the Elves concerning the need to loosen up my sense of identity. One reason their message is especially important to me at this point in my development is that in the past six months I have been finding myself in conversation with beings who call themselves Kachinas. And these beings lead me through various meditations on elements that they refer to as kivas, sipapus, Ant People, Emergence, Blue Star Kachinas, and other things the terms of which call us to think of the Pueblo cultures of the U.S. Southwest. After having spent over a decade intensely involved with the political struggles for indigenous rights in this hemisphere, I have been trained to be especially sensitive to anything that smacks of cultural appropriation, especially the appropriation of religious images and rituals. So in response to this sensitivity, I have very deliberately tried to avoid the typical New Age tendency to resort to a variety of tribal images and practices as a way of expressing my own spiritual growth and understanding. This means, then, that I immediately get nervous when I find myself called on to write about my experiences with beings called Kachinas and Ant People, for the last thing I want to do is trespass upon the sacred rights of any people, tribal or other.


But what the Kachinas insist on in response to my reticence is that they themselves have come to me; they themselves have identified themselves as Kachinas; they themselves have drawn my attention to the Ant People before I ever heard of such entities in any literature about, for example, Hopi belief systems. And they insist that they are not calling on me to invade Hopi or Zuni or other Puebloan territory and claim it as my own. What they are calling on me to do is to listen to their messages and respond to their energies with an open mind and an open heart.

And this again brings up the issue of identity. Whatever the provenance of the term Kachina, can it be said that one specific human grouping has exclusive access to such spirits? The Kachinas tell me time and again that they have been forever available to peoples across the planet and that they go by various other names (such as Kahuna). Whatever the power of the names we are given to refer to them by, the identity of the entities stretches far beyond any one culture’s imagination and participates in a planetary and extra-planetary exchange of frequencies and informational structures and processes. For whatever reason, they have identified themselves to me by the name of Kachina while asking me to recognize that their identity is not in any way exhausted by such a term.

So here we are on the verge of the Winter Solstice—which, by the way, is the beginning of Kachina season in the Northern Hemisphere, the day on which the Kachinas come back to the northern peoples to assist them through the hard and beautiful days of winter. And so here we are, Anna and I, nearing the darkest evening of the year and considering what this means for us, what this calls on us to do, and how this calls on us to expand our verbal, conceptual, imagistic, and energetic repertoires as we open up and make more flexible our senses of the nature of identity—our own and that of everything else in creation.

A Message to Humanity from the People Below

[The following message was channeled by me, Gabriel Hartley, in the early morning hours. This message is in line with several messages I have been getting for almost a month now conceerning the People Below, the Ant People, the Kachinas, and the Subterranean dimensions. I will post those messages as I can.]

December 9, 2013

Dear People of the Fourth World,

We have called on you now to listen and to open your hearts, for we have a message of great importance and urgency for you.

We are the People from Below. We are the people who remained below the Earth’s surface when the rest of you emerged into the Fourth World. We chose to remain below with our hosts the Ant People, those beings of light who have nurtured and sheltered us so many times in the past.


We stayed below in order to maintain a human presence on a subterranean level so that we could monitor the stages of the Planetary Evolution from an Inner Dimension. We exist in massive subterranean passages that occur primarily on what you understand as an Etheric Plane. But even this concept is not quite adequate for understanding our relationship to your dimensional planes.

You will learn more about these interdimensional planes and their qualities as time goes on. Our message today involves something more urgent for you to try to grasp: There is a massive shift in the Earth’s fundamental energetic structure occurring as we speak. Some of you received warnings of this shift during the past month, and some of the manifestations of this shift are now occurring on the Physical Plane in the form of tectonic shifts and increased volcanic activity.

There is some speculation among some of you that these shifts are due to your recent activity referred to as fracking. To some extent this is true, but not in a direct causal level on the Physical Plane. The impact of your activities regarding the decompositional planes of past existence—such as oil, gas, shale, uranium, and other fuel sources—and your intervention in the subterranean water systems of the planet have caught the attention of the stewards of the planet, the Planetary Angels.

We can say that the activities taking place in the form of earthquakes and eruptions, which are impacting the oceanic structures and patterns as well as particular weather patterns, are a result in part of your disregard for the integrity of the Planetary Being. These results are not due to direct impact by human activities on the tectonic structure of the planet but rather an impact on the energetic level. Your disregard for the well-being of the Planet is leading to a reaction by the Planetary structures.

Just as a horse’s back ripples when a fly alights on its flesh, the Planetary structure is responding with a similar rippling reaction. You are presenting yourselves to the Planetary Being as an irritant, a pest, and the Planetary structures are responding accordingly. You are being given notice that your activities are causing great energetic disturbance.

You could say that this is a response on the Astral Plane of the Planetary Being. The Planet is literally grieving in response to your activities, and even more in response to your lack of caring for this your home.

Yet this Astral reaction is not simply a response to human disregard for the health of the Planet. To a certain extent these reactions are a response to an evolutionary shift taking place in the very character of the Planetary Being. The Planetary Being is maturing, you could say, and entering into another stage of energetic development. This evolutionary shift is making itself felt on the Etheric and Physical Planes, but most of all on the Astral Plane. These are growing pains, so to speak.

One aspect of this shift involves our own Emergence. We recognize that now is the time to begin the stages of our own Emergence into the realm of existence you currently inhabit. The changes that take place as a result of our Emergence will lead to what you know as the Fifth World. This means that the Planetary Being is preparing for a massive fundamental shift that will usher in changes so great that your Fourth World will, in effect, disappear and the new world will take its place as the Fifth World.

All of this has been recorded for ages by some of your own peoples such as the Hopi. Those prophecies are now taking on special significance during this time of Planetary shift. We are asking you to tap into the structures of knowledge already available to you by your most sensitive peoples and their traditions of understanding.

This period of transition means that some of you will be called on to aid us in our Emergence. Some of you have been prepared to serve as guides for our transition to your dimension even as that dimension undergoes its own transformations. We are entering into a mutual learning process, and we each have much to teach each other as we go forward.

Keep your ears to the ground, your eyes to the skies, and your hearts and fingers on the pulse of the Planet. In your openness and attentive state you will learn much more in the coming days. The time has come for your and our mutual transformations. We pray that you will be able to hear our call to you and respond appropriately, for you are our Brothers and Sisters.

We move forward in hopes of peaceful transition. Whether such a shift is in fact peaceful depends on you.