A Conversation with ChoQosh Auh'Ho'Oh
by Dale Lewis
met ChoQosh Ah'Ho'Oh at an October New Moon gathering of women
at a private ranch in Refugio Canyon near Santa Barbara. “Mending
the Sacred Hoop” sounded like the perfect purpose for coming
together. I had heard that ChoQosh would share with us the Chumash
and Hopi prophecies that foretell our being at the eleventh hour,
when we must mend the sacred hoop by speaking truth to all peoples
using the critical mass of consciousness to recognize each other.
To the Hopi Indians, the Sacred Hoop represents the unbroken observance
of the laws of harmony and balance with all things. These laws
have been broken, they say, by acts of war, violence and dishonor.
Ancient stories tell of a time when people from the four corners
of the world will come together in knowledge, compassion, wisdom
and love. According to the prophecy, the power and truth realized
by this reunion will provide the balance needed to mend the sacred
told us stories, taught us dances of empowerment at sunrise, revealed
information about healing herbs and psychic protection. She sang
and laughed with us. It was far more than a good time we shared.
“Woman Is Medicine” is a conversation with ChoQosh
that I taped to record something of the experience of that special
October afternoon. I am grateful to Jacqueline Taylor for creating
the opportunity for this group of women to be together. We traded
information about the work that we do. We made new friends. We
experienced renewal. We went home to our families and our communities
with a vision of wholeness.
DALE: ChoQosh, what is the work that you do? What
is your livelihood?
Why don't you start with something easier? When people do work of
this kind, they're working on one level consciously, and lots of
times the most sacred and important part is happening on yet another
level. What I see is the need that is in the Earth right now for
women's voices, women's hearts, women's beings, and spirit to start
coming back, to return the balance that we've been so far away from.
So I serve that, as many of us do. Also, I want to do anything and
everything that I can to empower human beings to realize that they
are sacred and to act accordingly. In some ways I never thought
I was going to be doing this kind of work. In my search to find
tools of survival for myself, I found some real truths, some things
that worked for me. Now how could I possibly live with other human
beings, who, like myself are trying to survive – do more than
survive – are trying to put something back into the Earth
to make it better, and if I know something that they don't know,
how can I call myself a loving human being and not offer to share
it! There is a chance that there may be one person who has had a
search like I have had, and a need like mine, and this might help
to change, to make a difference. If I can help one person, then
my life has not been in vain. It just tickles me so much, it just
fills me with so much energy, and I just DELIGHT in the sharing
of and the communing and doingness that you couldn't really hold
me back anymore. So I don't know if it's really altruistic. I have
never had so much fun in my life!
That is what most people say who are doing the work that they love.
I just attended a gathering with you called “Mending the Sacred
Hoop.” Could you describe what you mean by “Mending
the Sacred Hoop?”
It is quite a few things. Again, we're dealing with levels and dimensions.
On the one hand, it is an answer to what Thomas Banyacya talks about
in the Hopi prophecy. At one time, before the world was divided,
we all knew the truth, that there was a continuity and a fullness
of truth. The Tarahumara talk about before the Veil of Illusion
was brought across the world, when our union with the tree, the
animal, the dirt, the stone, the air, the fire, the water and the
Creator was complete, and what our place was here on Earth. Perhaps,
like a tree, we didn't ask the question. We simply were what we
were, and we were that. There wasn't this sense of alienation, separateness,
The Hopi people say that after the Third World was destroyed by
water, the survivors came up out of the Earth, and that Maasaw the
Messenger divided them, and they became the clans. He sent a group
into each of the four directions, to go until they completed their
migration. With the understanding of the refinement of the portion
of the truth that they were given, they would then return. At that
time, when the truth was divided and fragmented and everybody took
a piece of it, and even more so, once the people claimed that they
had the ONLY truth, and created wars over it, that was truly the
breaking of the Sacred Hoop. The sacred circle was broken and divided.
Now, in this eleventh hour, what will save us as a people is if
we realize that we are a part of the whole. Once the whole was divided
we needed names. Now that we can return with honor and respect to
speak to each other, we teach each other, we learn from each other,
we listen to each other's truths. Most of all, we honor that
portion of the truth that is in every human being, and every religion,
and every tribe, and every country of the world. We open ourselves
to that, we listen, we acknowledge, we take and glean from it that
which is truth, and we became whole again. As an Earth, we have
mended the sacred hoop, and as human beings we have mended the sacred
hoop within us. We are no longer in particles, we become whole.
As we become whole, the Earth becomes whole, and the truth is everywhere.
We need to see that.
You are involved in healing work with women. I gather that
you see women as having an important role in recreating the balance.
I see women as the great healers. I made a statement earlier
today, when somebody asked me what to call me, I am a medicine woman.
What I replied was “WOMEN ARE MEDICINE.” I really believe
that. The more I say it, the more seriously I take it, and the better
it feels to me. I believe that the men have done the best they can.
The Earth has been out of balance for a long time. Women learned
to keep their mouths shut. When we opened them, I think it was in
a very ineffectual way. Now we are discovering our beauty, our strength,
our truths and the necessity for us now to stand beside our brothers.
Not in front of them, not behind then, but beside them, to bring
back balance. We have to speak out – we are the caretakers
of life. Among the Seneca Indians, the men could go off to war,
but only the women could declare it. Isn't that an interesting balance!
How many women would willingly send off their husbands, their fathers
and their sons to war? Any man who happens to find his way to my
teaching lodge, any man who cares to learn, I will share what I
know with anyone. If the women become strong and clear, eventually
it must be to share that with our brothers. No one can stay in the
dark while some are enlightened, and still expect this thing to
be balanced. Eventually, the men and the women will both know. I
will speak to men and women. To tell you the truth, I do feel that
my work is mostly with the sisterhood now. It's not exclusive in
any way, but I love to gather with women and to celebrate!
I can see that.
Yes, I really do. And do you know, be they short, fat, tall, skinny,
whatever, all women are beautiful, all women are magical. I am looking
at my sisters as if I have never seen them before. I am really appreciating
their endurance, their heart…
Their commitment, yes.
You told us a very beautiful story last night that the Chumash Indians
tell about the people of the heart, pushed to the western edge of
the continent. Could you tell me the story again, briefly, could
you reveal that metaphor once again, about the way that the people
of the heart will push back the people of the mind?
The Chumash people say that they got here after having
lived on a great continent of land in the Pacific Ocean that was
destroyed because of an imbalance of technology. Those survivors
that then came here to the western edge of the continent made a
covenant to eschew the technology or the inventions of man and to
live with the gifts of the Creator. I guess you could see that that
certainly would have kept things in balance. They were warned that
the people of the mind would come again. They were warned that we
must not take of their technology, and if we did, that would give
these people a foothold, and once they got a foothold on this land,
there would be no stopping them. And there would be a great wave
of destruction of the natural, destruction of the balance, and it
would move all the way across from the eastern edge, the seaboard,
to the western edge, and there would be no stopping it until it
reached the Pacific Ocean. Then, when the people of the heart found
themselves with their backs against the sea, at the westernmost
edge of this hemisphere, when they could be pushed no further, they
would begin to turn around and recognize each other. And they would
begin to remember. And the more they recognized, and the more they
remembered, the stronger they would become, until from this encounter,
would be created a great wave of the heart that would begin to push
back. And it would go from the West to the East and they would push
back, not with weapons, but with the strength of the heart and they
would be successful.
I gather from something you said earlier about the eleventh hour
that you think the time is at hand for this wave to push back from
the west. Please tell us what you mean by “Teachings for Spiritual
Activists in a Hurry.”
Oh, the new course! Well, you know, these lessons, these
tools, these gifts, they work! To the women who were here today,
I know what I gave was of value. And I also have no more to teach
you! You do not need me as a teacher any more because it is in your
hands. Now you know as much as I do, and the only difference between
us is that you haven't done it yet on your own.
Woman of Power
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