we are filled with an ardent desire, imagination lets us see the desire fulfilled."
Mythological Fantasy is akin to dreams. Pg. 6
Knowledge of the appropriate appeal to the Supernaturals is the means of obtaning
their help, and with it goes the power of control over adverse circumstances.
The compulsion of the proper word and act to bring divine aid is a cornerstone
of Navajo Religion. Pg. 34
Harmony and solidarity in family relations.
Chantway Myths, 1957; Katherine Spencer
burned a crystal for a fire. The crystal belonged to the male and was the symbol
of the mind and of clear seeing. When First Man burned it, it was the mind's
awakening. Pg. 2
Origin Myths of the Navajo Indians, 1956; Aileen O'Bryan.
of the Featherway symbolizes the theme of the world of darkness that must be
overcome. And that is just what happens in the story. Also in the tale is the
implicit fact that animals and men all living creatures have not yet learned
to reach beyond instinctual reasoning, therefore, in a symbolic sense, they
are deaf to the world they live in. The darkness that they inhabit seems to
be one of their own making, for they are blind to the inseparability of man
and woman whose virtues, like day and night in the Blessingway, must be equal
partners. Thus the characters in the Featherway exist very much in a dream world
where light cannot penetrate because The People are unable, or unwilling to
see the truth. Pgs. 83, 84
of the Gila Monster, Navajo Ceremonial Tales; 1993, Gerald Hausman.
Woman taught the allegorical string figures to the Navajo to help them "keep
our thinking in order" and thus also keep "our lives in order".
is my Mother, Sky is my Father:Space, Time, and Astronomy in Navajo Sandpainting;
1992, Trudy Griffen-Pierce.
to Navaho eschatology also, man is born with bi-polar opposites, good and evil.
The guiding principle of this evil is "a little thing, small as a grain
of dust, which Changing Woman (the Earth Mother) places in the back of a person's
head (where you see the depression) immediately after birth when the infant
makes its first sound. It remains there throughout life, causing the person
to have evil thoughts, bad dreams, and to make mistakes. Everybody releases
a ghost at death no matter how good he is, for some evil must have become attached
to him through thoughts or unintentional deeds. At death this thing goes to
the north the dark afterworld turning into a ghost four days afterward."
A Navaho ghost, then, is the embodiment, after death, of teh evil in man's life.
The Navaho spirit, symbolized by the breath of life, is the "good"
which also rises into the air and ascends to the sun. . . . . Pg. 186
Gods; 1950, Frank Waters.