The Sign of the Pahana
Joshua's teacher was the medicine man who gave the healing ceremonies to those
who perished after the World Trade Tower disaster in 2001, and by all accounts
a very important and respected man, Thomas was nervous meeting him. He was an
internationally known elder who had taken his twin brother under his wing, both
as a student and as a writer to record his teachings in a book. He couldn't
help thinking of all the things that could go wrong.
be nervous meeting Grandfather."
how do I do that?"
all negative thought."
"Easier said than done."
no four times to rid yourself of any negative thought." He followed this
advice but didn't feel any different afterwards.
you have any tobacco to offer him when you meet?"
stop then at the store up here to buy some cigarettes." They stopped at a
general store in Seven Sister's Falls and bought a few packs of cigarettes.
this in your pocket. Right after you shake his hand, that's when you offer him
tobacco. Give him the whole pack. Listen, I can see you're uptight. Relax. He's
one of us. Just be yourself." He tried to tell himself it wasn't all that
important but if his twin brother respected a man this much then it was
walked down front yard walkway with trimmed grass and a big totem pole that
stood beside the entrance.
that at the top?" he said, pointing to the top of it. "That's a
Thunderbird." He knocked lightly and a very old looking man with deep lines in
his face appeared, opening the door slowly. Thomas was surprised at how small
afternoon Grandfather. I have someone I would like you to meet." Josh smiled,
enjoying the moment and exuding confidence. "This is my twin brother I have
told you about. Thomas. He has just come from the Far East." With grace, he
opened the door, put out his hand and studied his face, smiles and then laughs.
Josh too began to laugh. Thomas didn't know what was so funny but because he
was so nervous, he joined in. Grandfather didn't take his eyes off him as he laughed,
studying him deeply through the wrinkled lids of his weathered face. But
compared to the guttural freedom of their laughter, Thomas is embarrassed at
how repressed and tentative his laugh was. He thought if laughter was the sound
of the soul breathing, then he had some damp stones in his heart he needed to
twin brother," said Grandfather.
he brought his hand up to touch Thomas's beard as if checking to see if it was
real. Thomas kept his eyes on Grandfather in awe of the sea of wrinkles that
crisscrossed his face.
he said, shaking his head in disbelief and nodding approvingly. Grandfather
deliberately opened his eyes wider to show Thomas a glint of intensity.
Grandfather. He has finally come back from the East."
not come back. He visits his twin brother first to learn his destiny. Then
he will return according to the prophecies." There was something in the way he
said this that caused both brothers to stand tongue-tied as if children again.
He transformed himself from a frail old man to a wise sage with the reverence
in his voice that he had earned through years of cultivating his spirit.
large crows swooped down and landed not ten feet away just as the brightness of
the sun poked through some clouds. Grandfather's eyes moved to the birds as the
sun reflected off his eyes, showing the joy within.
is an honor to meet you Grandfather," he said, and handed him the tobacco.
is time when you must come together to become stronger and harness your power,
harvest the wisdom you have gained. It is time the twin from the East brings
back the sacred stone to its rightful home here on Turtle Island, and usher in
the Coming of the Pahana - the Healer of Mankind." Grandfather
looked at both crows just as they squawked. He gestured the tobacco toward the
identical crows and then to Josh and Thomas. Sounds of birds, chipmunks,
crickets, woodpeckers and every kind of wildlife was almost deafening for a
pure heart is the only weapon for a warrior of the spirit," he said, and then
he invited them inside.
Thomas it was noticeable that they both moved with full awareness of mutual
respect, and comfort that came from friends who harbored no doubt of each
other's loyalty and dedication to their bond of friendship.
a big drum in the corner of the living room was a large painting of two crows.
It was strange; the painting was of the two crows that were just outside on the
front lawn. Pointing at the crows, Grandfather stepped close to Thomas.
Thunderbird gave that painting to me the first week he came here to Seven
Sister's Falls many years ago." He looked back at Josh with a paternal look in
his eye. "At that time he did not know that the crow was one of my totem
animals and one of my sacred medicines. At that time he did not know his Spirit
Name and did not know much about Native beliefs. He had only chosen to follow
his vision to come here from the West to find me - the teacher who he saw in
his vision. When I first saw your brother, I knew that he was the one I had
been expecting. Even before I learned he was a twin, I had seen his face before
in a dream. It was his face I recognized. And the voice too."
you remember what you said to me when you first saw the painting?" asked Josh.
Grandfather looked at the painting again, momentarily lost in recollection.
asked you if you had a brother," he replied.
when I answered that I had an identical twin brother?"
I know." There was gentleness in his voice, and movement as if the grace of God
was in him. "Yes, tell your brother," he said, nodding.
said: ‘Taiowa has sent you.'" At this memory, they both laughed with an
easiness that caused any anxiety he felt to evaporate. "'Taiowa' means the
motioned for them to sit down. Instead of smoking a peace pipe, which was what
Thomas expected, they all smoked cigarettes. Thinking he wasn't saying enough,
he pulled out the piece of paper with the sketch from his pocket.
of questions," he said, looking at Josh.
we have a question about a dream Thomas had last night. I thought that you
might be able to decipher it." Thomas handed the sketch to Grandfather.
night Thomas had this dream, so this morning he decided to write it down, only
his dream was visual - like a picture." Grandfather's eyes narrowed on the
instead of normal steps there are these swirls like a double helix that lead up
to behind the sun. Not only that, there is a straight line to the top of
the ladder." Josh pointed at the ladder and the swirls leading up to the sun.
the dream when I reached for the straight line I got a shock," added Thomas.
orange spark?" Josh and Thomas looked at each other, eyes wider.
it was a spark and it was orange. I could feel the spark; that's when I
woke up." Grandfather kept his eyes on the sketch and pointed to the pillars.
two pillars were weathered stone," he went on. "The one below the sun on the
right was smaller. In the dream it was almost as if I were holding these
pillars for balance. The steps in the ladder were moving in a swirling motion
and the star in the sky was glittering. And I couldn't stop staring at the
star was sparkling?"
It was turquoise and had a power that lured me toward the foot of the ladder
where the God of Mischief is." The laughter that came from Grandfather was
light - lighter than any laugh he had ever heard - like a mild explosion of
silk. Grandfather shook his head in disbelief. There was a tear that brimmed in
the eye closest to me, not of sadness but from an intensity of emotion.
know of this dream," he said in a low voice. "I have heard an elder speak of
such a dream many years ago. He said it would return when the time was near;
when it was time for the missing stone tablet to come back to its rightful home
from the East." He pointed at the sketch. "See how the ladder goes behind the
sun to the House of the Great Spirit? See how the swirls cannot be
measured by man's system of numbers yet acts as a conduit to where our
ancestors live? See how the straight line calls for a pure heart? See how it is
announced to the sages of man by the sparkling star overhead, like the star
that shone during the time of Jesus's birth? The Hopis call this star the Blue
Star Kachina." There were beads of sweat on Grandfather's brow. Thomas was
bewildered into silence until he put the sketch back on the table and lit a
what does it mean? And why did I dream of it?" Grandfather folded his hands,
turned his body and looked directly at him after he exhaled.
the Great Knowing Spirit truly knows why you have been given the sacred
story. It is an ancient Indian dream, not a dream for a White Man. But you are
not all white. You have the skin of a White Man but inside you think like a Red
Man. You have the heart of a Métis Indian. It is believed in the
prophecies that he who comes to heal the dying spirits of man will not be Red,
White, Yellow or Black. He will be Métis. He will look white but have a
spiritual life of a Red Man. He is called the Pahana. He is also known
as the True White Brother. He will come during the Time of
watched to see if the profundity of this dream was registering in his deeper
mind but Thomas was having trouble centering his thoughts.
was the God of Mischief in the dream?" asked Josh.
is said that the Pahana will be like a hippie, caring not for piety nor
conventional morality as has traditionally been followed by Christians. Instead
He will follow His own rules and let His heart show its true colors. They say
that He will be unknowing of his destiny until later in his life. He will not
be a saint; He will be a man." Grandfather closed his eyes to invite more
questions. The thought of Saint Augustine's reckless youth crosses Thomas's
Pahana has an identical twin, doesn't he?" Thomas asked, knowing that
this was central to how Josh identified himself as an adult. Grandfather nodded
solemnly with his eyes closed.
Messenger must have an identical twin, just as Jesus and his twin brother Jude
Thomas were twins two millennia ago." How either of them knew of this Thomas
had no idea, but it was indicative of how far these two men had studied the
histories and prophecies of religions.
the Pahana will heal mankind through another means, other than preaching
means of his ministry will be specific to his time in history. It is said that
the message will be simple and easy for all to grasp; that it will eventually
outgrow all other religions because it distills the essence of all religions
down to first principles. It is said the message of Jesus was marred by Rome
and that the Second Coming will be the full message to bring all his sheep into
one fold, all the descendents of Abraham."
behold,'" said Josh, mocking a preacher. "'The things which this apostle
of the Lamb shall write are many things which thou hast seen; and behold the
remainder shalt thou see,' to quote from Nephi in the Book of Mormon."
Thomas cannot process his brother quoting passages from the Book of Mormon.
will be revealed in time," Grandfather said, looking at Thomas.
is the sacred stone tablet?" Josh asked, not letting this opportunity slip
through his fingers.
is said that the keepers of the prophecies have it in Arizona. The other sacred
stone of the East is in Tibet."
was just a dream," said Thomas, comforting himself with this basic fact.
only in our dreams can we receive the messages from the Great Spirit," replied
"Okay. If we were to look for it, how would we ever find
a Native saying that goes: ‘A friend always leaves a trail.'" He stood
up, and gestured to the door. "Let me take you to the oldest petroglyphs in
North America. It is there in a cave where you can make up your own minds. I am
only a guide."
brought a leather satchel with him as they all walked out to Joshua's truck and
sped off to the cave.