The Hopi Way - Cloud Dancing

This site is dedicated to the late and great Chief Dan Evehema

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The Hopi Way - Cloud Dancing
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Celebrating Life: PA-MU-YA (Purification)

This is a phase of the cycle we can understand best by reading the Elderly Elders' own words. Having established the mood for the year in Soyal, the instructions tell the people to make themselves fit for communion with the Creator and His helpers. It is a time of washing off the old and corrupt and becoming clean. It is a time to dress up in new garments and new thoughts. Pa-mu-ya is a time of establishing a healthy environment for all things, for as the humans cleanse themselves, the impurities are also cleansed from Mother Earth. This is an entirely new approach to environmentalism. Because of what is being accomplished, the purification is a happy and social time, a prelude to a period of celebration.

In Pa-Mu-Ya, the water month (February), the Kachinas, the messengers between the Hopi and the cloud spirits, come to bring food and happiness to both young and old. This part is activated by the religious groups and by the religious and spiritual leaders of every phase of the ceremonials. No ceremonial is complete without the proper leaders - the religious priests. This purification month has an important part in our yearly cycle. There are many parts and dramas which are spiritually meaningful and complete the ceremonial. We need not explain much of it because the word itself, purification, is clearly explanatory to those with an open mind.

The Hopi Pa-Mu-Ya ceremony itself is only performed by the members of the sacred Pa-Mu-Ya Society. This ritual takes all day with the songs or chants, praying, blessing, and the purification of the land and all life on it. The purification ceremony is performed which cleanses away the impurities upon Mother Earth.

But you may do your own Pa-Mu-Ya as follows:

  1. Begin this important season in February by thinking about purification - what it means to become fit to step into the presence of the Creator where you will seek his blessings. Ask yourself what you should put aside before you did that. Always begin what you do with a positive approach. Long before the Kachinas come they prepare the gifts that are given out to celebrate the fact that, having asked, the people will receive. Build in yourself the same attitude.
  2. Pray about purification for yourself and everyone else in the world. Try to connect with them to make this a common endeavor.
  3. Use water and prayer to perform a purification ceremony that cleanses yourself, and also the impurities upon Mother Earth. When you do this, you will automatically share in the kinds of deeds that are being done by other, and which we realize need to be done. There will always be the need to clean up ourselves and preserve the planet and its creatures.
  4. Remember that in this season the Traditionalist Hopi celebrate the rebirth of new age to old age. They acknowledge that this life must continue on the Earth, continuing its cycle from season to season. At the same time this is being done, they bear in mind that should we forget and stray from the great laws of the Creator, we will at the end of time all face a New Age that will appear as all civilizations disappear.

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