Palongawhoya and Poqanghoya
sat between them as they spoke about an upcoming sweat lodge and the things
they needed to do for it. There were some white men coming from Toronto and New
York City who wanted the real Indian experience so they planned to give
them an authentic sweat lodge and some authentic teachings. Thomas was pinched
against the window deep in thought. When Grandfather offered him a cigarette he
saw the thinness up close. It was as if he existed in the ethers surviving on
tobacco rather than meat and potatoes.
what do they say exactly about the twins?" he asked, again thinking of the
things Josh had said to him in the past.
Pahana will be weakened from life," Grandfather replied. "It is said
that the window to his soul will be scarred." The brothers glanced at each
other. It occurred to Thomas that they were the exact same age as Jesus when he
was crucified, which didn't comfort him in the slightest. Thinking
opportunities would be few, Thomas asked him if he could give him a spirit
name. Nodding slowly, Thomas sensed he already knew he would ask for one.
they arrived at Whiteshell Provincial Park, they followed Grandfather towards
the sound of a waterfall. On the way they walked past a river that gave Thomas
a strange sensation, like a de ja vu; as if he had seen this river in
his dreams. Reaching a large waterfall, Thomas walked to the water's edge, and
hung his head down in disbelief because he was sure he has seen this before in
his dreams too.
flown over these falls in a dream before, looking down to this very place."
Grandfather and Josh looked at him curiously.
flew over?" Josh repeated.
called astroplaning, one of the highest forms of dreaming."
here in this cave, at this place on the continent, is the very center of our
land," Grandfather said. "It is a holy site where our forefathers have
protected these glyphs since the earliest times. Not many people know of them."
Grandfather went ahead, hugging the rock to get behind the waterfall where
there was an opening to a cave, hidden from view by the falling water. A breeze
stirred his hair and the sun reflected off the water illuminating their faces,
causing Thomas to shiver. He knew he had been here too in his dreams.
a word they went into the cave through the ankle-high water with minimal light,
until Grandfather told them to stop. Josh shined his flashlight on the wall
where they could see lines engraved in the rock. The first thing Thomas could
make out was the distinct image of Kokopelli, with his spiked hair and
the God of Mischief," he said, getting some spring back in his stride. The
etched lines in the wall were made from red ochre paint. At first glance the
writings on the rock looked like Viking runes, but when Thomas looked closer he
saw they were slightly different. The connected lines and slashes seemed
Celtic, like that ancient script archeologists called Ogam.
there's the ladder leading to the sun," said Josh. Thomas could see the
swastika in the sun with the ladder curling around it.
you see the star?" asked Grandfather. Josh shined his light closer to the wall.
His hand went up to the rock as if helping his bad eyesight, but Grandfather
told him not to touch the wall.
don't believe it," he said, pointing at a simple "X" above the ladder that was
parallel to the swastika. With his bad eye he misjudged how close his finger
was to the wall so it touched the star and there was a snapping sound. His
elbow shot backwards as he yelled out. In the darkness they all saw the orange
spark. Josh knelt down to recover his breath, as Thomas's laughter echoed
through the cave. While he was busy with his schadenfreuden laughter,
Josh reached out and touched Thomas's forehead. This stopped the laughter
because he felt the electricity and heard the snapping sound. Then it was
Joshua's turn to laugh, face turning red from laughing as Thomas rubbed his
forehead. Standing there it soon grew quiet in the cave, wind howling past them
and through their legs. It seemed to penetrate through the opening on his
forehead between his eyes.
When they leave the cave, they stopped for a drink of
water at the waterfall where Grandfather opened his leather satchel. He took
out two arrows and approached them beside the water. Looking at Thomas he said:
"A blue arrow painted with juice and oil of many medicinal plants; this is for
you." He took the arrow in his hands, noticing the intricate care that had gone
into creating it. "You are the left-handed twin from the East. The Hopis call you
he approached Josh and handed him a black arrow, and said: "A very special
arrow, blackened from the smoke of herbs burned in medicine fire." Josh
accepted the arrow. It had been carefully blackened over a fire and treated
with a finish that made it glow. "You are the right-handed twin from the West.
The Hopis call you Poqanghoya. These are your twin names." They both
nodded, and felt the burning scratch on their foreheads.
looking at Thomas Grandfather said: "Your totem animal is the black bear and
your spirit name is the Red Phoenix, Bird of the Sun, a crow dancing in
a dying fire. You are the Protector and Keeper of the Fires of Creation. You
symbolize fire, rebirth and learning to forgive." Having an intuitive reaction,
Thomas was surprised at how sure he was that the Phoenix was his Indian spirit
name. "You are the son of the sun," he said and smiled.