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Caption: Even a "little book" of spiritual knowledge is too much for us to swallow; it tastes bitter unless it is shared. (St. John the Divine eats the little book. Albrect Dürer. First printed in the 1498 edition of The Revelation of Saint John).

Chapter 1

Visions of the Millennium

Beginning with their Genesis, and carrying through their Old Testament of previous worlds, and their New Testament of the present to the Revelation of their esoteric ceremonialism, the tenets of this books are as sacred to the Hopis as the Judaic-Christian Bible is to other people. (1)

The world has grown so complex, so vague and ambiguous, that it sometimes seems beyond any individual's ability to understand, much less to control. The brave dreams of our Victorian ancestors-so convinced that they were on the verge of solving all the mysteries, conquering all the demons that had held us captive for so long-have grown stale and crumbled into dust. Once the theme of "progress" seemed an anthem that would lead us forthrightly (and self-righteously) into a glorious future of unending achievement; now progress has stalled and advance has yielded to retreat. The mood has passed from optimism to pessimism, then to despair and, most recently, to a greedy hedonistic apathy.

Yet on the horizon looms a sight so glorious and strange that we don't even have mental categories to encompass the vision. In one of Colin Wilson's books, he tells the story (perhaps apocryphal) of Captain James Cook's arrival in the South Seas. When Cook's great three-masted ships appeared on the horizon, the islanders could not see the ships. They literally could not see the ships and were startled when the white men appeared on their shores. Without some concept of such a ship, they could not find a mental compartment adequate for the strange sight before them, and so they saw nothing at all. Like the islanders, today we stare at visions that fill the entire field of sight and somehow manage to blank them out and see nothing at all.

All over the world, people are trying to contain these strange visions in some way. Change is never welcome, and when nothing but disaster is expected, all change appears to portend disaster. If the world isn't going to die of starvation, it will blow itself up. If the economic structure of the world isn't going to collapse, leaving the rich richer and the poor dead, then the reverse will happen: the undeveloped nations will become so powerful that the current world-powers will become second-rate has-beens. If the dictators don't get us, the terrorists will. We've heard so many terrible scenarios that we just sit numbly, expecting the worst. Yet all of these are just attempts to explain the previous unexplainable. When the familiar disappears, how else to try and explain the new?

All over the world, prophets are arising, reminding us of the old prophesies of world's end, or crying new prophesies to fit our times. All seem so close to our circumstances that we shiver and intellectualize them out of our sight, trying in our tired, frightened way to exorcize the demons that threaten to swallow us.


The Hopis first released information about their history, myths, legends, and religious ceremonies-all of which form a single entity for the Hopis-to Frank Waters, who published them in his Book of the Hopi in 1963. (2) However, the Hopis revealed only part of their mysteries at that time. More recently, they have chosen to release additional information through a variety of spokesmen, including members of other tribes, "breeds", even whites. (3) However, to understand the Hopi prophesies, we have to understand something of the Hopis.

The Hopis are an isolated, introverted, mysterious people, living alone on the plateaus of Arizona, surrounded by their numerous out-going neighbors: the Navajos. Most anthropologists think that the Hopis were a Mongolian people who crossed the then-existent land bridge over the Bering Strait twelve hundred years ago, and then migrated southward. Tree-ring analysis shows that their three main settlements at Oraibi in Arizona were first settled over seven hundred years ago. The Hopis have lived there in their splendid isolation ever since.

The Hopis' own histories tell a very different story. According to Waters, they assert that they made a great ocean crossing, passing over a series of "stones" (i.e., islands), thousands of years ago. They didn't come from the North and migrate southward; they entered in Middle America and migrated northward. The medicine chief I studied with said that-in histories not revealed to Waters-tthe Hopis tell of the time before this migration, when an earlier migration was made - from the stars. They say that their ancestors came from the Dog Star Sirius one hundred and eighty thousand years ago. Interestingly, an African tribe with no known connection with the Hopis-the Dogon-also believe that their ancestors came from Sirius. The Dogon are also aware that Sirius has a "twin star" not visible to the naked eye-a fact not known to modern science until 1862.

In favor of the anthropologists' theory is the fact that every Hopi child is born with the Mongolian spot at the base of their spine, which seems irrefutable evidence that the Hopi, like their probable cousins, the Mayans, are Mongolian in origin. Other evidence, however, favors the Hopis' version of history and argues that their Mongolian ancestors came to the Americas long before the land bridge across the Bering Strait came into existence . For example, fossil remains have placed men on the North American continent over twenty thousand years ago. In addition, analysis of blood groupings show that Native Americans have the purest "Type-O" blood groups in existence. This would mean that Native Americans were isolated from their ancestors much longer ago than anthropologists would have us believe. Frank Waters says:

There is a great body of literature, ever growing from antiquity to the present, asserting that sea crossings were made from Asia to America centuries before the Vikings and Columbus arrived from across the Atlantic. The earliest of these is the most ancient Chinese classic, Shan Hai King, compiled about 2250 B.C. It describes a voyage across the 'Great Eastern Sea' and a two-thousand-mile journey down the length of the land beyond. Long regarded as a book of myth, it is now asserted to be an accurate geographic description of various landmarks in America including the "Great Luminous Canyon" now known as Grand Canyon. (4)

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Caption: Petroglyphs and pictographs of the migration occur in many different locations from Chichén Itzá in Mexico to Arizona and Colorado. The circles record the number of "rounds" completed. (Frank Waters, Book of the Hopi).


According to Waters, the Hopis' histories/mythologies talk of four successive worlds, each destroyed by a great catastrophe, after each of which men emerged into a new world. To the Hopis, the destruction of these "worlds" is-at one and the same time-both literal and symbolic. The "worlds" represent both stages of consciousness and epochs of human history. At each stage, there is both a collective state of consciousness within the world and a corresponding personal state of consciousness within each person. The latter corresponds to a particular psycho-physical location in the human body. We are now living at the end of the fourth world, which corresponds to the most material, the least spiritual, of the four worlds. It is the nadir; when it ends, a higher series of worlds begins.

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Caption: Petroglyphs and pictographs of the migration occur in many different locations from Chichén Itzá in Mexico to Arizona and Colorado. The circles record the number of "rounds" completed. (Book of the Hopi)

According to Waters, after their "emergence" into the fourth world at the " Tuwanasavi" [i.e., Center of the Universe]-which is located at the current site of Hopi settlements in Arizona-the Hopis split into four groups or clans, each of which went off to either the north, east, south, or west. Their task was to journey until they reached the sea, then return to their starting point. Having completed one "round", they would start in a new direction and again make a full round-trip. They were to proceed thus either clock-wise or counter-clock-wise until they completed all four "rounds". Their journeys would have formed a great cross or swastika about the Tuwanasavi, where they could come together in a permanent settlement, free of clan arguments or differences.

They left pictorial records-"glyphs"-of their migrations on rocks throughout the Americas. Mayan glyphs can be readily read by Hopis, which buttresses the Hopis' claim that both had common ancestors. These pictorial records describe clearly how many of their four journeys each group had taken, and the order in which they were taken. Only the record at Oraibi, the home of the Hopi, shows all four migrations completed.

The symbol found at Chichen Itza [author's note: the capital of the Mayan empire; a city which-like Babylon-became the capital of successive empires, each time to be abandoned and later rediscovered] indicates that the people covered only one round before returning to the same area and attests to the Hopi belief that the Mayans were simply aberrant Hopi clans who did not complete their migrations (5).

The Emergence and the migrations are so beautiful in concept, so profoundly symbolic, one is tempted to accept them wholly as a great allegory of man's evolutionary journey on the Road of Life. . . . It is difficult to reconcile a people having such an enlightened concept of spiritual life with an actual primitive people wandering over a vast and undiscovered continent in prehistoric times. Yet such were the Hopis. Archeological remains and ancient records attest this. (6)


Traditional Hopis live in isolation in Oraibi, shrinking in numbers, preserving their heritage, their magical teachings. They believe that by practicing their beliefs, they keep the world in balance. (7) They have no priesthood because every male Hopi serves as priest at one or another of their ceremonies during the year "after which he returns to work in his fields, wearing no vestige of priestly garb and carrying no aura of sanctity." (8)

The Hopis live a life so thoroughly entwined with religion that modern Westerners may have a difficult time grasping it. The Hopis view religion on both the abstract level and the literal level simultaneously, rather than falling into literalistic interpretation or dismissing religion with abstract interpretation. This combination seems-to Western eyes-either primitive or profound depending on our willingness to accept their very different view of reality. Linguist Benjamin Whorf studied the Hopi language and found that it exhibited the same complexity. He comments that "the Hopi thought world has no imaginary space . . . it may not locate thought dealing with real space anywhere but in real space, nor insulate space from the effects of thought." (9)

That duel level of acceptance is most clearly expressed in their prophesies. The Hopis have studied these prophesies, which are spread over the walls of special underground chambers called kivas (literally "world below"), sacred places where the Hopis hold their religious rituals. During the Hopis' ancient migrations, "they had no homes save small pits they dug in the earth and roofed over with brush and mud." (10) Like virtually everything else in the Hopi culture, these kivas evolved into both a practical solution to their need for a gathering place and a symbolic representation of their articles of faith.

Cylindrical or rectangular, it was sunk deep, like a womb, into the body of Mother Earth, from which man is born with all that nourishes him. A small hole in the floor symbolically led down into the previous underworld, and the ladder-opening through the roof symbolically led out to the world above. (11)

The kiva is thus the focal point of Hopi life. It abstractly symbolizes the tenets of the ancient ceremonies performed in it; it functions on the secular level; and it is the underground heart of all that is truly, distinctively Hopi. (12)

Others may visit many of the sacred sites of the Hopi -visitors frequently tour other more pedestrian kivas, but not these particular sacred caves, where the ancient teachings are recorded. Like all such ancient knowledge, the prophesies are expressed in symbols and, hence, are open to interpretation, but the Hopi have had nothing but time to carefully study and interpret these writings. They were willing to withdraw into seclusion originally because the teachings told them that this would be necessary, that the white man would rule over the Indian for this long time.


In 1987, Michael Toms interviewed John Kimmey, a white man whom the Hopi elders picked to spread their message, on New Dimensions radio. Almost twenty years earlier, fresh out of the armed forces, Kinney visited what he later found to be a "sacred place" in Northern California. While there, he experienced the earth "speaking" to him. He returned to the spot many times. During one visit, he "heard" two words: "Taos" and "Oraibi." (13) He vaguely knew Taos was a town in New Mexico, but had never heard of Oraibi: the village in Arizona where the Hopi Indians have lived continuously (almost entirely in peace) since before 1150 a.d.

Kimmey went to Oraibi and told his story to an elder (a "grandfather" in Native American terms). Shortly afterwards, in Taos he found the teacher he was intended to find: "Little Joe" Gomez, with whom he lived and studied for eight years. Upon Little Joe's death, Kimmey acquired a Hopi "grandfather." Since then, Kimmey has been both a student of the Hopi elders and a teacher of the Hopi children. He is an adopted Hopi and has been delegated by the Hopi to spread the Hopi prophesies.

In Kimmey's description of the Hopi prophesies, the time of "purification" (that is, the critical time of passage from one world to the next) would be announced by

. . . a "gourd of ashes" which is spilled upon the earth. This ash will be poison. Everything will burn for a great distance around that area and nothing will grow there for a long time. The ashes will get into the water and air. People who drink the water will soon die. Women who are exposed to it will not be able to give normal birth. (14)

In 1946, the first atomic test explosion took place in Almagordo, New Mexico. When the Hopis heard about the bomb, they knew this was the "gourd of ashes" which would announce the time of purification. In 1947 they convened a meeting of the elders of all the clans in Hopiland, in order to synthesize all their varied knowledge of Hopi teachings and prophesies into a single version they could present to the world, as their prophesies had told them they must. Though Frank Waters discusses none of this, it undoubtedly figured in the Hopis decision to share some of their knowledge with him.

Kimmey says that the Hopis predict three great symbolic " shakings" of the earth. The first is symbolized by the Swastika, the ancient masculine symbol. (15) The Swastika was also the pattern described by the migratory routes which the Hopis and Mayans took when they arrived in the Americas. The Hopi "grandfathers" interpreted World Wars I and II as the predicted "masculine" upheaval; the Nazi Swastika was for them a proof of this interpretation. The Hopis saw these terrible wars as evidence of the trouble caused when the masculine principle, with its inherent need for aggression and expansion, is cut-off from the gentle receptivity and containment of the feminine principle.

The second "shaking" of consciousness was symbolized by the sun, which the Hopis regard as the symbol of the feminine because they view the sun as the mother of the earth. After much reflection, the Hopi "grandfathers" have concluded that the Western world's "continuing dialog with the Eastern hemisphere" (the land of the "rising sun") marks this second, feminine upheaval. Obviously, as evidenced by our wars in Korea and Vietnam, the West's response to the East has largely been negative. On the other hand, Japan's integration of Western ways into their Eastern culture marks a positive aspect of the dialog, as does the spread of Eastern fields of study such as Zen, Vedanta, Aikido, etc. in the West.

The third great "shaking" of the world is symbolized by the " red hat and red cloak people." They can either bring us wisdom which we accept or they can destroy us. Kimmey says that "the Hopi people are very cautious about interpreting [this symbol] because we are in the midst of it." A "purification" must inevitably occur, which will cleanse the remains of the "fifth world" to prepare for the "sixth world." [The "fifth world" occupies only a brief period following the longer four worlds discussed by Waters]. (16) The outcome of the third shaking is, however, ambiguously presented: either of two resolutions can occur. One possibility is a successful union of the male and female principles, which the Hopis view as following the inborn, instinctual plans set in each of us at birth by "the Great Spirit." The other possibility is, of course, that we can use the "gourd of ashes" to wipe out all life. If we take that path, the Hopis say that the world will be decimated in a single day, and "the ants" will be left to rule the world.

Happily, one of the signs which presaged a more positive resolution has already occurred. The Hopis predicted that a representative of the "red hat and red cloak people" would send a representative to share their wisdom with the Hopis. The Tibetan lamas-who wear red hats and cloaks-also have prophesies of the time of "purification." These said that "in the time when the iron bird flies and the iron horse rides on rails," they would be exiled from their land and scattered over the earth. At that time, they must go to the place of the "red-faced people" to "plant the seed of the Dharma." Acting upon these prophesies, the exiled Dali Lama consulted his oracles to finw where among the "red men" the wisdom should be taken; the oracles said: "go to the Hopis."

Six years ago, a representative of the Tibetans - Go Man Kin Rimpoche - was sent to Hopiland. The Hopi grandfathers asked if, in his trips among Zen centers, etc. in the Unites States, he had seen any who had successfully merged the masculine and the feminine. Sadly, he said "no;" many were striving to join the two sides, but he concluded that cultural difference prevented the Americans from being able to successfully use the Eastern teachings. Because of this, the Dali Lama considered the Native Americans as offering the best chance of saving the world.

I'm reminded of the story Wordsworth tells of crossing the alps in his epic poem: "The Prelude." Wordsworth and a friend went on a walking tour of the alps. Both looked forward with anticipation to the point when they would reach the peak of the alps. But their journey took them alternately up and then down so many times that they wondered when they would ever reach the top. They stopped a peasant and asked him how far it was to the top. He kept pointing back in the direction they had come from. Though there was some difficulty with language, they were finally made to understand "that we had crossed the Alps." The Hopis see the point of passage from the "fifth world" to the "sixth world" in similar terms. Perhaps in hope of this better outcome, we might add these further words from "The Prelude."

Our destiny, our being's heart and home,

Is with infinitude, and only there;

With hope it is, hope that can never die,

Effort, and expectation, and desire,

And something evermore about to be. (17)

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Caption: Mayan stone carvings. (American Indian Design & Decoration).


Paradoxically, despite achieving great sophistication in architecture, sculpture, art, road building, writing, numerical calculation, calendar systems and predictive astronomy, the Mayans never invented the wheel, never discovered metal or glass, had no clocks which could measure time intervals of less than a day, and never made use of beasts of burden. Stone Age practices went hand in hand with extraordinary arithmetical sophistication.

- John D. Barrow. (19)

In recent years, there has been a spate, I might even say a surfeit, of books and articles predicting enormous changes, for good or evil, in the year 2012. The largest portion of these are based on interpretations of Mayan prophesies. To very briefly summarize the core of all these interpretations, the Mayans had a complex calendar system referred to as the Long Count, based on an equally complex numbering system. It appears that the mathematically sophisticated concept of zero was independently discovered in the New World by the Mayans as well as in India at approximately the beginning of the Christian era, though the discovery may well have first occurred as many as several centuries earlier. It enters into the predictions based on the long count as we'll see. (20)

Frank Waters, whose views on the Hopis we have already discussed at some length, wrote of the Mayans that "No other people on earth have been so obsessed with time. Our imaginations balk at the astronomical figures of their mathematical calculations." (21) Where we consider days, weeks, months, years, centuries and perhaps millennia, the Mayans thought of time in much larger terms. They used kin (days), a 20 day uninal (a sort of semi-month), 18 uninals (22) giving a 360 day tun (year), a katun (20 years), a baktun (20 katun), and a world age cycle of 13 baktun. They also had pictuns (20 baktuns), calabtuns (20 pictuns), kinchiltuns (20 calabtuns), alautuns ((20 kinchiltuns), on and on up to a hablatun, which would translate into 460.8 billion days; i.e., nearly 1.3 billion years. (23)

If we represent Mayan dates, substituting our normal number symbols with periods for place values instead of the symbols and place values used by the Mayans, any Mayan date can then be calculated on our own calendar. Using that modification of the Mayan notation, the beginning of the Long Count would be (hence all zeros, the beginning of the most recent World Age for the Mayans); modern scholars have calculated that date to be August 11, 3114 B.C. The end of the current world age would be, which equals December 21, 2012. That's the key date that has so many so excited. It's important to realize that the Mayans didn't think the world begin on or ended on On various shrines, they had dates extending both before the beginning date and after the end of the long count. (24) For example, archaeologist Guillermo Bernal of Mexico's National Autonomous University points out that at other Mayan sites, there are dates far beyond 2012-including one that roughly translates into the year 4772. (25)

It's regarding this date for the end of the current world age that commentators ("twentytwelveologists" in John Major Jenkins' wonderful coinage) take every possible position from arguing that this means absolutely nothing to, at the other extreme, crying out like Chicken Little that on that day we're all doomed. A 2009 sci-fi movie, "2012," took the "we're all doomed" point-of-view to its extreme, with special effects showing the entire earth destroyed by cataclysmic earthquakes, floods, and fires. Despite poor critical reviews, it was a worldwide success. It's no wonder that books taking the same point-of-view have been more successful than those drawing more on facts. The current Mayans themselves are alternately bewildered and/or bored by this Western version of apocalypse being projected onto their calendar. (26)

Beyond the arithmetic of the Long Count itself, things can get very complicated, with calculations showing how this exact point in time also corresponds to a global convergence between the December solstice sun and the Galactic center of the Milky way. This isn't as mystical as it sounds, as Jenkins and others point out: the Mayan New Year was defined at the Winter Solstice, and their calendar was developed on the basis that it would reach round numbers on those days. This particular convergence though is indeed rare: an event that occurs only once every 25,800 years; i.e., after five Long Counts, five world ages. And that brings us to Frank Waters and a "coming sixth world of consciousness."

In Mexico Mystique: the Coming Sixth World of Consciousness, Frank Waters drew on these prophesies, largely as recorded in the Mayan's sacred book, the Popol Vuh. According to Jenkins:

[Waters's] observations in his book Mexico Mystique are those of a mature, elder philosopher, presented in sure-handed tones. . . .It was patently clear to him that the Baktun cycle was part of a World Age Doctrine . . . Waters's book was the first one dedicated to the end-date question, and he can be considered the man who launched the 2012 phenomenon. (27)

His book has been largely overlooked by later twentytwelveologists because Waters made use of a calculation for the starting and ending date of the world age that has later been superceded by further scholarship. He had the end date in 2011. But his book is unmatched for the richness of understanding of the culture not only of the Mayans but of both their ancestors and successors: Olmecs, Zapotecs, Mixtecs (and perhaps Hopis).

We earlier discussed the Hopi belief that the Mayans were aberrant Hopis who hadn't fully completed the four full rounds of migrations that formed the sacred Swastika. In studying the Mayan prophesies, Waters was able to draw on his knowledge of Hopi culture and mythology to counter-balance his scholarly research into Mayan history and tradition. There were many points of agreement. We don't need to decide whether the Hopis were right about the Mayan origin, or whether the Hopis were themselves descendants of Mayans. His interpretation of the Mayan prophecies and the meaning of the Long Count was that the Mayans were at one and the same time talking about potential future events and at the same time talking of stages of consciousness. He argued that at this watershed, if we successfully survive the transition, we would then enter a sixth world of consciousness. The idea that we are entering a new stage of consciousness is what the present book is about, though I would hardly dare to date it as exactly as the twentytwelveologists have, or even to pick a particular year. Major changes in consciousness, whether in a person or a culture, normally take place so subtly that we don't realize that they have taken place until long after the fact.


Prophecies are symbolic. Unfortunately few in our materialistic times understand symbolism. We want something to be either true or false, with no shadings in between. We especially don't understand that something can be psychologically and spiritually true without being in any way literally true. We try and take a symbolic document, like the Bible, literally. That leads to two ridiculous extremes:

the scientist who condemns the Bible out of hand as nonsense because he knows that the world wasn't created in seven actual days, nor is it only 4,000 years old; or

the fundamentalist who accepts everything in the Bible as literally true even if it contradicts known historical or scientific facts. As a little girl, my mother heard a minister in her Southern town say: "I believe in everything the Bible says. If the Bible said that Jonah swallowed the whale, I'd believe it."

The great religious works are records left by someone who had a great mystical vision into the heights and the depths of the spirit. Mystical visions are impossible to communicate rationally, since there are no words adequate for the experience. However, since visionaries feel compelled to make an attempt at communication, they are forced to express the inexpressible in the only language possible - symbolism. The symbol system they use is normally common to their particular culture. That is, a Jewish mystic will communicate a vision in terms of Jewish religious symbolism; a Hopi or Mayan shaman will communicate his vision in terms of Hopi/Mayan religious symbolism.

Psychologist C. G. Jung said that a living symbol is the "best possible expression for what is still unknown." (28) I will have much more to say about the nature of the "symbol" in the pages that follow. However, consider Jung's statement as a hypothesis in dealing with both the Hopi/Mayan prophesies and the symbolism we will encounter in the Book of Revelation. Jung meant that a symbol cannot be reduced to any simple definition because it is prior to definition. Symbols come first, rational explanations come much, much later. As Jung never tired of stressing, a symbol is not a sign.

Though Jewish mystics and Hopi mystics express their individual visions in symbolism characteristic of their cultures, the actual experience tends to be largely identical. Therefore, once the cultural trappings are removed or translated, the underlying symbol is universal. That's why, for example, a conscious pastiche using symbols reduced to signs (which was a common literary form in the Middle Ages) no longer engages our interest, while a true vision using seemingly identical symbolism still captivates us.

We all encounter similar symbols every night in our dreams. Both Freud and Jung realized that dreams, coming from the unconscious, are pre-verbal and speak not in words, but in symbols. But Freud regarded symbols largely as empty signs: long objects are phallic symbols, hollow objects symbols of the vagina. In contrast, Jung regarded dreams as sacred mysteries, each a window on both our personal unconscious and on a transpersonal realm he termed the collective unconscious.

Jung felt that a true symbol is inexhaustible. As an example, a cave in a dream might, in part, represent a woman's vagina. It might represent anything hidden away from consciousness. The symbol of a cave would carry all the connotations that caves have had both in our personal life and in the life of mankind. We might have visited one of the great caves, like the Carlsbad Caverns or Mammoth Caverns. We might remember Tom Sawyer's harrowing adventure in the cave with Injun Joe. We might remember the Caves of Mirrabar in Passage to India. Each such experience of a cave would impart a particular resonance to our approach to caves.

Hundreds of thousands of years ago, our ancestors lived in caves, protected against the terrors of the night. Tens of thousands of years ago, their first religious ceremonies were held in special caves, hidden from the knowledge of those not allowed into their mysteries. Two thousand years ago, the ancestors of many of us buried their dead in catacombs, holy places where at least in death they could be safe from persecution.

When we dream of a cave, all of those associations cluster around the symbol of a cave. The similarities and differences between our particular dream cave and all those other associated caves further color the symbol. The context in which the cave occurs in the dream, the dreams we have had before in which caves appear, everything adds to the richness of the symbol. It is just not sufficient to reduce a cave in a dream to a vagina.

For Jung, every person, every object, every situation in a dream is a symbol, capable of almost infinite amplification; i.e., we don't follow a single associational string of memories back to a single source, nor do we say a cave equals a vagina and that's that. Instead, we build up a penumbra of associations, personal and transpersonal, that surround every part of the dream. The associations between each person, each object, each situation in the dream blur into each other since ultimately every symbol can encompass all of man's experience, if it's stretched far enough.

Let's return to Jung's contention that a symbol is the "best possible expression for what is still unknown." In our example, a cave occurs in a dream because there is something unknown which is being presented to our conscious minds from the unconscious - something for which we have no adequate verbal expression. This unknown something can be better expressed by a cave-a particular cave in a particular circumstance-than by anything else. Once we consciously understand the issue presented by the dream, it's no longer unknown; the unconscious no longer needs to show us that particular cave.


What is the source of these symbols which appear in the Hopi prophecies, in great religious works, in our daily dreams? In his studies of the dreams and fantasies of his patients, as well as in his readings of the mythologies of widely divergent cultures, psychologist C. G. Jung came to accept that each of us contains within us a doorway into a far wider world which he called the collective unconscious: "collective" because it is accessible to all, "unconscious" because it can't be reached through conscious awareness. It's a much maligned and much more misunderstood concept which we will refer to many times in these pages. (29) For now, the reader should be aware that material which comes from the collective unconscious has a vast amount of emotional energy; it is experienced as numinous, awesome, eerie, godlike, or any of the other human reactions to the more-than-human.

The great religious historian Mircea Eliade saw the world of myths and prophesies much as did Jung, but with a difference in emphasis. The great moments in the life of a person or a nation are all existential crises, times when no solution based solely on reason or tradition will do. These watersheds generate incredible energy because of our nearly total involvement in the issue, our inability to escape from the problem. At such times, this energy enables us to transcend our normal world and pass into the world of religion; we are forced by our desperate need to advance into a new relationship with divinity. Eliade sees religion as coming into existence at the "limit points" of human experience.

Eliade sees the world of the collective unconscious accessible to the individual through dreams and visions as only one manifestation of the Godhead, and a limited one if it isn't actualized in the outer world. Thus Eliade sees the myth as more primary than the dream, because it was powerful enough to move many men, not just one as the vision or dream of an individual might. Jung sees the dream as foremost, the myth its best attempt at collective expression. But both are far too aware of just how difficult it is to denote primacy to either inside or outside, individual or collective, when the gods play with the world.


Once we begin to think symbolically, we begin to live symbolically. We reject literal interpretation, we reject linearity. As I've mentioned earlier in this chapter, the Hopis' great migrations consisted of moving as far as they could go in one direction, then returning to their starting place, making a cycle or a round-thus circularity. Returning to the starting point, they turned at right angles and made another "round." Four "rounds" made a cross, seemingly linear. Yet there was more; at the end of each arm of the cross, the Hopis took care to turn briefly at right angles before they retraced their path; thus the cross really formed a swastika. A swastika is an expression of the movement inherent in the seemingly linear; a swastika is ready to spin, forming a wheel. If the above seems to the reader to be far too complex for supposedly "primitive" natives to understand, I can assure him otherwise. The Hopis are totally aware of all the symbolism I've mentioned above and have refined it at great lengths in their elaborate symbol system.

From one point of view the unconscious is a purely natural process without design, but from another it has that potential directed-ness which is characteristic of all energy processes. When the conscious mind participates actively and experiences each stage of the process, or at least understands it intuitively, then the next image always starts off on the higher level that has been won, and purposiveness develops. (30)

At a very difficult time in his early adult life, four years after breaking with Sigmund Freud, Jung had a great dream which showed him that the developmental path each of us takes during his or her life (which Jung termed "individuation") is not linear. Instead, it could be best expressed by a spiral. A spiral is both cyclical and linear, thus much like the Hopis' swastika.

Visualize a spring resting on its base, coiling upward. Taking a godlike view, looking down on the spring from the sky, it looks like a single circle. Looked at from the ground, it appears like a series of sloping lines, each separate and distinct, advancing into the sky. From the godlike view, moving around the spiral is just an endless trip around the circle, each time coming back to the starting point in a rather Sisyphean effort. However, from the ground, the movement seems to pass gently upward, disappear for a moment, then appear at a higher level, ready to begin another upward journey.


The important thing in viewing any prophesy is to resist the temptation to become lost in a useless examination of its literal truth. It's fascinating if the Hopi, Mayan and Tibetan Buddhist prophesies actually predicted the critical world events leading up to our present watershed. In this book, however, I'm going to be much more concerned with symbolic truth than literal truth. The Hopi prophesies speak symbolic truths about changes in consciousness. Prophetic literature of all cultures speak in symbols, symbols whose primary purpose is to capture inner - not outer-change.

If the symbols are accurate enough to show outer events as well, more power to them. But prophesies are records of inner experiences of transformations and transcendence. These experiences are more similar than dissimilar-regardless of the time, place, or individual identity of the person recording them. Thus all are potentially available to serve as psychological "containers" during times of struggle and transformation.

Therefore, in a time of major transition-a time like today-we can approach such prophetic literature as potential "containers" for our own new vision of reality. This vision seems too strange to be directly perceivable; it has to be seen through symbolic lenses. We need to find images, stories, songs, poems, that awaken something both old and new inside us. We need symbols that capture something of this strange new time, so that we have some alternative to the endless litanies of gloom and despair. The new is frightening because it destroys the old. But the new is also a thing in itself, and needs to be seen as such, not merely as the destroyer of the old, the negation of the known.

The Hopi prophesies provide us with such a guide to the new. But still, most of us aren't Hopis. I've stressed just how isolated and introverted the Hopis are, with a view of reality closer to relativistic physics than to contemporary Western culture. Their whole life is wrapped up around their religion and their prophesies in a way that Westerners can only shake their heads at. In his book Pumpkin Seed Point (31), Waters described how, after three years spent living almost entirely with the Hopis, he felt that he was as far from understanding them as when he began. The Hopi prophesies, while fascinating for all of us, can only serve as psychological containers for the Hopis themselves. But perhaps there are other prophetic books closer to us that will serve us as the Hopi prophesies serve the Hopis.

The Christian Bible is the Western world's record of its spiritual teachings and prophesies. Though we may live in the late twentieth century, a time when many may believe that "God is dead," the stories, heroes, legends, and symbols of the Bible are so ingrained in our psyches that they can still evoke wonder in nearly everyone. We may not be able to quote chapter and verse like our ancestors, but most of us know the Bible stories, often without remembering where they learned them. More importantly, even if we have never read the Bible, or heard it read to us, the Bible is part of our heritage, a heritage that is unique. The Bible can speak to those of us from a Western European heritage more directly than Hopi prophesies, or the Koran, or Buddhist sutras.

In this book, I'll examine the Book of Revelation, the last book in the New Testament of the Christian Bible, and see if it can provide us with a container capable of capturing our unique time of transition.


The last major transition in consciousness began with the birth of the Christian era, the era of the god/human. Men and women began to realize that God wasn't exclusively outside, that we all contain divinity. Like the gods, we can think and create. When the Book of Revelation of the Bible was written some time in the 1st to the 2nd century A.D., this new realization was still inchoate. It has taken nearly two millennia to rise to mass consciousness. Like other such prophetic documents, the Book of Revelation comes from deep places in the human soul. It speaks the symbolic language of dreams and visions, of myths and fairy tales. It seemed the perfect map for the approaching change of consciousness.

The Book of Revelation contains psychological truths about a change in consciousness. The energy generated in each of us by the symbols of the Book of Revelation is the purest proof of its ultimate psychological "truth"; literal truth is not the province of this book. As Mircea Eliade never tired of demonstrating in his writing, religion appears when something is separated from its environment and labeled as holy. In Eliade's terms, the Book of Revelation is holy because we have singled it out as holy. My interest, like Jung's, lies in what that separation reveals about the psychological nature of transcendence. In examining a "holy" book in this manner, I have no intention of reducing it to the merely psychological. I'm addressing the psychological truths it provides; its religious truths are the province of theologians.

Therefore, it is not to the point whether the Book of Revelation came into existence as a prophesy concerning the times when it was written or whether it was a symbolic tool specifically created to guide an initiate into the deeper mysteries of Christianity; there is a great deal of critical literature arguing for both points. It's not important to my study whether its author was one person or a series of people who over time added and polished previous sources, both oral and written; again there are arguments for both views.

The Book of Revelation has been all things to all people, a cornucopia of delight for scholars and theologians, crackpots and madmen. It has never lost its magic power to arouse strong emotions; though we can read many contradictory meanings into its words, the words continue to fascinate. In fact, it is exactly because we can read multiple meanings into the words and images that they continue to fascinate us. All true myths and prophesies contain that more-than-human allotment of energy; they fascinate at a level not accessible to logical analysis.

This book is not an attempt to offer still another alternative "true" reading of the Book of Revelation. I intend to point out some of the symbols contained within it which can still capture our attention, that seem to speak to our times and our predicament. Whether this is why the words were written and whether history will follow the pattern of this great book is not the issue. I hope the readers, like the Hopis, can realize that prophesies speak more to the spirit than the flesh.

When something eternal in the human psyche speaks to us, the vehicle is not important. The only question is whether we can still experience the mystery of the revelation. If we come to prophetic material with the right attitude, we feel a chill run up our spine. Something deep inside us can still experience symbols directly, without the need for intellectual interpretation. And, if prophetic material is psychologically true, questions of literal truth or falsity are immaterial. When we approach the Hopis' teachings or the Book of Revelation, we need to listen with our whole being.The chill of recognition is important because these prophesies offer not only an end, but also a new beginning. The Book of Revelation doesn't end with Armageddon and the Fall of Babylon, but with the New Jerusalem!

1. Frank Waters, Book of the Hopi (New York: Penguin, 1977), p. xi. First published in 1963.

2. Waters later published a more personal record of his time with the Hopis, and his difficulty in understanding the Hopi mind, in Pumpkin Seed Point (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Books, 1969).

3. This information shared by Harley "Swift Deer" Reagan in his weekly workshops held at his home in La Canada, Ca.

4. Frank Waters, Book of the Hopi, p. 116.

5. Frank Waters, Book of the Hopi, p. 104.

6. Frank Waters, Book of the Hopi, p. 115.

7. a 1983 movie " Koyaanisqatsi"-which is Hopi for "world out of balance"-attempted to show the contrast between the balance of nature and the out-of-balance condition of modern men and women.

8. Frank Waters, Book of the Hopi, p. 192.

9. Benjamin Whorf, in E. T. Hall, The Hidden Dimension (Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1966), p. 92.

10. Frank Waters, Book of the Hopi, p. 126.

11. Frank Waters, Book of the Hopi, p. 127.

12. Frank Waters, Book of the Hopi, p. 131.

13. From the radio interview of John Kimmey, by Michael Toms, New Dimensions Radio, Tape #1741, 1987.

14. This and all the following quotes are from the John Kimmey interview.

15. The swastika is an ancient symbol that first appeared as early as the Bronze Age. Until adopted by the Nazi party in World War II, it was an honored symbol with deep religious significance for virtually all early traditions except the Egyptians.

16. See Frank Waters, Mexico Mystique: the Coming Sixth World of Consciousness (Chicago: Sage Books, 1975).

17. This and previous quote from William Wordsworth, "The Prelude, Book Sixth: Cambridge and the Alps." Retrieved Sept. 23, 2010, from Bartleby.com, http://www.bartleby.com/145/ww292.html.

18. In this section, I'm largely using information and conclusions from both Frank Waters and for updates since Waters' time, John Major Jenkins, who comes as close as is possible, to being an authoritative (and sane) expert in the strange field of twentytwelveology.


John D. Barrow, The Book of Nothing (New York, Vintage Books, Random House, 2000), pp. 27-28.

20. see a history of the complex issue of the discovery and evolution of zero in John D. Barrow, The Book of Nothing: Vacuums, Voids, and the Latest Ideas about the Origins of the Universe (New York: Vintage, 2002), chapter 1.

21. Frank Waters, Mexico Mystique, p. 252.

22. This exception to the multiplication by twenty was to make it align with the 360 day year. This is in part a problem causes by their use of a twenty digit number system rather than our own ten digit system. They were quite aware of the actual period of the solar year to a degree of sophistication unique at that point in time and had a 365 day year for solar purposes.

23. Frank Waters, Mexico Mystique, p. 250.

24. John Major Jenkins, "The Origins of the 2012 Revolution," in The Mystery of 2012 (Boulder, CO: Sounds True, 2009), pp. 37-66.

25. AP article, Mexico City, Oct. 12, 2009. Retrieved Oct.5, 2010, from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/12/ap/strange/main5378465.shtml.

26. AP article, Mexico City, Oct. 12, 2009. Retrieved Oct.5, 2010, from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/12/ap/strange/main5378465.shtml.

27. John Major Jenkins, The 2012 Story (New York: Tarcher/Penguin, 2009), pp. 96-97.

28. C. G. Jung, Collected Works, Vol. 6: Psychological Types (Princeton: Princeton University Press, Bollingen Series XX, 1971/1976), par. 820.

29. For a full introduction to Jung's model of reality, see my book Beginner's Guide to Jungian Psychology (York Beach, ME: Nicolas-Hays, 1992).

30. C. G. Jung, Collected Works, Vol.7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology (Princeton: Princeton University Press, Bollingen Series XX, 1966), par. 386)

31. Frank Waters, Pumpkin Seed Point (Chicago: Sage Books, 1969).