ChoQosh Auh'Ho'Oh
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A Conversation with ChoQosh Auh'Ho'Oh

by Dale Lewis

I 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 hoop.

ChoQosh 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?

CHOQOSH: 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!

DALE: 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?”

CHOQOSH: 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, confusion.
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.

DALE: You are involved in healing work with women. I gather that you see women as having an important role in recreating the balance.

CHOQOSH: 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!

DALE: I can see that.

CHOQOSH: 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…

DALE: Their commitment.

CHOQOSH: Their commitment, yes.

DALE: 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?

CHOQOSH: 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.

DALE: 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.”

CHOQOSH: 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 magazine Woman of Power
a magazine of feminism, spirituality, and politics


Winter, 1987

Page 8

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