The last native sacred site that I wish to discuss involves the Hopi tribe of Arizona. A site that, sadly, no longer exists. The Hopi tribe once surrounded their homeland with a series of shrines that aid in communion with the Creator and their kachina allies. The documentary speaks about one of the these shrines literally getting bulldozed in an asphalt mining operation. Since some of these Hopi shrines are now on privately owned land the Hopi have no say over the fate of these shrines. Although they did communicate their concern to the landowner, their pleas fell on the deaf ears that only profits create.
What strikes me as so sad about the destruction of these sacred places is the different value that our “free-market” culture places on the Land. “Raping the land” has become a cliche, but what is a cliche but a succinct truth? The Hopi have been the victims of our never-ending thirst for new resources to exploit, as have many other cultures and of coarse, working class people from all over.
Paganism, and Druidism in particular arises at this time in history for a purpose. That purpose is to help all of humanity learn to value the land in a different way. The heart-felt, unshakable knowledge that the Land is a goddess and the ultimate source of our life; this revelation turns our values towards the welfare of the community and the needs of the Land, not towards a world rampant with the coldness of social Darwinism and individualism at all cost.
One of the most mind blowing books that I have ever read is “The Book of the Hopi” by Frank Waters. I highly recommend it to all pagans and Celts that I meet and respect. The essence of the traditional Hopi worldview is one of voluntary hardship. The traditional Hopi view sees hardship as a continual purification that keeps us healthy in spirit. The Hopi must rely on their prayers for rain, rain to water their crops, crops to feed their families, and families to keep the Hopi alive to see the next dawn. This reliance on ceremony is meant to keep them thankful to their Creator by honoring the Land that sustains them.
Our corporate culture sees the Land in a manner that amounts to suicide. Could it be that Pagans, Druids, Witches, etc. are individuals who hold some of the greatest hope for the future? I like to think so. But are we up to the challenge?