August 21, 2013
By Gabriel Hartley
After a couple days of amazing visionary experiences on our Southwestern trip through Colorado and New Mexico, Anna and I left Santa Fe this morning for Taos via the High Road through Chimayó. I had been told that a trip to Chimayó would be important, but I had no idea what the nature of the experience might be. I was expecting to get a clearer sense of the energetic geography of the canyon (which I did) and perhaps a clearer sense of the Kachina message to us at this point in our development (which also happened). What I did not in any way expect was a vision concerning the Kachina nature of the Christ.
As we descended into the Chimayó canyon from the first stretch of the Taos High Road, we could each feel the growing energy that saturates this little canyon river valley and its surrounding hills. In a message from the Kachinas that I had received during the night, I learned that we should first go to the little stream at the Santuario, Potrero Ditch (not a very compelling name for such a beautiful stream). I was told that yesterday at Chaco Canyon we had experienced the elements of earth, sky, and air (winds), and that this morning we should open ourselves up to the element of water and the river gods. So we parked beside the stream and walked down into the river bed.
After just a few moments of our getting acquainted with the spirit of the stream, Anna said, “Look! A coyote!” And true enough, about a hundred yards from us there was a small, young coyote in the cow pasture on the other side of the stream. Being so young, it looked quite a bit like a kit fox. It looked up at us out of curiosity and then got back to its play in the field, occasionally pouncing on small animals or insects in the grass. We watched it for about five minutes before it finally disappeared from site as it wandered off towards the hills.
We then wandered slowly and meditatively towards the Santuario. As we got closer I began to sense an overwhelming grief coming over me. (Chaco Grief) I had felt this in the past, of course, but always took this to be in response to the deaths of Dylan and Jesse. But this time the grief felt very anonymous, unattached to me, as if it were part of the Astral Plane of the site. In fact, as I write these words I am more convinced of this. The whole complex contains a store of unprocessed grief going back to early indigenous times long before the arrival of the Spanish and the ensuing conquest. But the majority of the grief comes, of course, from the function of the site as a place for hope and healing. There is evidence of its healing effects, but there is just as much evidence of the many prayers that appear to have gone unanswered. This is especially true in the Santo Niño Chapel.
Anna and I entered the Holy Dirt Shrine and spent a few moments tuning in to the healing spirit of the place. I picked up some sand and rubbed it into my palms. While this felt comforting on some level and we could feel the energy, but I was a little disappointed that I had not received another powerful message from the powers of the Shrine. A few people starting crowding around us, so we walked back outside and entered the Chapel from the front door.
The mass goers were saying Hail Marys, the Lord’s Prayer, and singing songs in Spanish and English. Still moved by the site’s sorrow-effect, Anna and I sat in a kind of moving emotional swirl while the chanters spoke and sang. The chapel is a stunning example of 18th-Century northern New Mexico Spanish architecture and artwork. The wooden retablos on the walls are done in that primitive angular, moving style that exaggerates the emotional or astral dimension of spiritual experience. Images of Jesus were circled by smaller depictions of saints and angels.
I felt myself going multidimensional and then realized that I was being addressed by the Kachinas again. They told me that they were going to elaborate on the lesson they shared with Anna and me the day before in the Dark Room at Pueblo Bonito. That lesson focused on the consciousness of the role and dynamics of the Holy Wind of existence. This spiral wind enjoys the status of primary energetic focus in the kivas.
The Kachinas continued the new lesson at Chimayó, explaining that the images of Christ behind the altar also functioned as a pictorial embodiment of this Holy Wind. “How is that?” I asked, and they said, “Look at his wounds.” As I did so, I began to see long beams of bright light shooting from each of Christ’s wounds, first from the abdomen, then the right hand, then the left hand, the feet together, and finally the ring of head wounds caused by the crown of thorns. I suddenly felt myself captured by and sucked into the light streaming from the right hand wound. My entire energy body was itself lit up and energized as I was slowly drawn closer and closer to the wound opening out from the flesh of the hand. I was then suddenly sucked right through the wound and out into another dimension on the other side of Christ’s hand.
I had passed through the wound and into another level of existence. This dimension opened out onto a landscape of light, with rich orange-yellow glows as the atmospheric medium. I then saw a spiral of bright white light—the same light that I had seen shooting from the wounds—as it wound itself around and around Christ’s body, which I saw as if I were standing just slightly behind his right arm, facing the backward direction, a point from which I could see Christ’s ribs curve round to his back. The light spiral formed the same spiral image that has so caught my attention in Ireland and in the U.S. Southwestern indigenous sacred sites. I could see that in this dimension the light curved from one hand wound into the other, forming a ring of light around Christ’s body (and my own, now that I was standing at his side), whereas in our normal everyday dimension the light shoots out in straight lines.
I was told that this spiraling energy was the primary energetic nature of the Kachina Christ. At this point, I believe, I then saw the rays of light that were streaming from his head wounds forming rays of traditional images of the sun. These rays formed the solar disk that is represented in so much sacred art, the halo circling Christ’s head as an image of the sun’s brilliance. This then became a three-dimensional sphere of intertwining rays, with Christ’ head (and my body) encircled within the light sphere. Christ then began flying through the skies with me still wound up in his light rays. I felt the most beautiful, intensely moving warmth shooting through my body and I realized that in the everyday dimension, where I was still sitting in the Santuario Chapel, I was crying, tears streaming down my face as I sat looking at the Christ image in utter ecstasy.
I was then asked to look at the figure at the top of the retablo on the right hand side of the Chapel (the wooden board display sitting at the left of the congregation as they face the altar), and I saw a beautiful primitive image of an angel kneeling over a stream of water. The Kachinas then told me that this was the Angel Gabriel as he had appeared to the indigenous peoples many centuries ago. He was now floating above the stream that flows along the edge of the Santuario complex, the coyote stream that Anna and I had been asked to visit when we first arrived. I was told that this Gabriel represented we had had here in previous lives as we had earlier engaged with the Kachina and other spirits of the high desert and mountains of this region. I melted into the image of Gabriel, overcome in gratitude at being afforded the opportunity to have such a vision of unity with the spiraling energies of the cosmos.
The Stigmata of St. Francis in Rancho de Taos
After lunch at Rancho de Chimayó, Anna and I continued along the High Road to Taos. As we dropped down from the mountains, vibrating in utter ecstasy, into Rancho de Taos, we decided to go see the famous San Francisco de Asís Mission Church. My original intention was basically touristic—”Let’s go see this amazing famous church that was photographed by Ansel Adams!” When we got there we decided to take a look inside.
Unexpectedly, I found myself swept away in multidimensional fervor yet again as I saw the retablos of Christ and the Saints and Angels. My Kachina Christ vision kicked back in gear as I was hearing a rehearsal of some of the themes from the original vision in Chimayó. I never could have imagined how surprised we would be, though, when we turned around and started walking back outside. We saw painted above the door a mural of the stigmatization of St. Francis. It turned out that his vision was almost identical to mine! There was the flying Christ with beams shooting from his wounds, but in this case the beams were broadcasting the blood rather than the light of Christ. Each blood ray penetrated the hands, feet, etc., of St. Francis as he fell to his knees in awe. I had never seen this image before in my life, and now in less than three hours I had my own vision in Chimayó and then its stigmatic repetition here in Rancho de Taos. I started crying on the spot, this being about the fourth or fifth time for the day.
Channeling the Kachinas: The Significance of this Kachina Christ Vision
Gabriel, we will review with you the significance of this visionary experience, its larger meaning in terms of your own travels and development, and its larger meaning in human and extra-human terms. And this last phrase is the key: We are deliberately leading you beyond the point of cultural differentiations and towards a point of human unification. Beyond this, we are leading even beyond the limits of the current notions of the human being itself. And our key for this is the Spiral.
As with the Sídhe spirits that you have been encountering and working with, we also find the image of the Spiral to be a powerful talisman and learning key for human consciousness. This symbol captures on many levels at once the multilayered and multidimensional levels of existence. And if we add to this image the experience and concept of the Sacred Wind, then we can provide you with a tool for stringing out the infinite layers of existence for cognitive understanding and experiential knowledge.
We distinguish between understanding and experiential knowledge for important reasons. It is one thing to have a conceptual grasp of the rules and techniques of a basketball game, for example, and quite another to know through experience how to play basketball. Only through the bodily weaving in and out of the other players’ bodies, the bodily engagement with the dimensions of the court and the movement and spinning properties of the ball, the placement and centering principles of the basket, the lineaments of the body and its relationship to cognition beyond cognition—the ability to know when and how to curve to the left at just the precise moment and angle without having to speak such instructions to oneself—all of these things move us beyond the simple notion of cognition and conceptualization as a simply mental activity. Cognition is an integral part of the sacred movement of Life. Cognition takes place beyond the verbal intellectual realm. And this also proves the difficulty of explaining the nature and significance of the experiences you are undergoing currently. They are not just beyond language; they are beyond the current notions of the limits and functions of language. Language, in fact, is far greater than humans currently assume, even—or maybe even especially—for those who make their living at analyzing linguistic activity. We are showing you the realms of consciousness that exceed what humans currently imagine as their own cognitive limits, their essential boundaries.
What we are asking you to do is ultimately to communicate to others just this notion of spiritual experience as surpassing all specific cultural definitions and boundaries. What we are aiming at is the awareness among humans that everything they can imagine is far larger than what they currently do imagine. By some indigenous peoples of this region, we, for example, are referred to generally as Kachinas. Yet even the common nonindigenous understandings of the notion of Kachina are far too limited and expanded simultaneously. In other words, we are at once more varied in terms of our nature as group entities than most people imagine—there is no single entity that is Kachina per se. And yet we are more universal to the extent that many other cultures have encountered us, but in very different terms. Each culture has its own way of imagining and representing what and who we are for them. And one key example of this is the Kachina Christ.
The primary point of your visionary experience in Chimayó was the recognition that Christ goes far beyond “Christ.” In other words, the spiritual experience referred to as Christ by most Christians and non-Christians alike is identical in potential to certain Kachina experiences. Your experience of the Christ yesterday was of the Christ in its Kachina aspect. Your experience was profoundly shamanic, as that term is today understood among westerners. You were led by spirit guides (us Kachinas) on a journey of initiation through the portal of Christ’s wounds to the dimension beyond ordinary experience and understanding where you were given certain truths that you then brought back with you to share with the multitude of humans and other entities with whom you constantly engage. This truth in general concerns the universally potential experience of the spiral energies of the Sacred Winds and Lights, energies that in a fractal way manifest themselves on many layers and in many dimensions simultaneously. As we said at Pueblo Bonito, As Above, So Below; As Within, So Without. The human head is itself the kiva chamber through which the Sacred Winds bring forth the experience called Kachina, the experience called Christ when the Christ experience is fully understood in its depths—beyond “Christianity.” Christ exceeds Christianity; the Kachina exceeds indigenous expressions of it. These culturally-specific experiences weave in and out of themselves and each other, forming an intricate web of human and extra-human relationships. This is the whole point of the Sacred Wind Kachina experience: To engage the infinite Web of Existence in its universal immediacy.
This truth was also behind Anna’s comments regarding the manifestations of sorrow at Chimayó: each person, each group, each culture has its own particular way of framing and representing the nature and significance of grief. We each create our own expressions and embodiments of grief and trauma. Yet humans rarely allow themselves to see beyond the immediate representations of grief to its larger implications. You were drawn through the wound of Christ into the infinite ecstatic joy of the light beyond all suffering, the light of joy that is the other side of suffering. We all suffer, and thereby we all are one. In this Oneness, we are all united. In this Unity we experience the joy of existence. We ourselves are the particular point where sorrow and joy become manifest and express themselves through the Infinite Universal Particularity of Existence.