An ancient prophecy of salvation for here and now
What would it take to reverse humanity’s current catastrophic course? Must we keep growing faster, consuming more, fighting each other for power, and destroying the Earth, our home and source of life?
Indigenous people have pondered these questions for centuries, ever since Industrial Man came from Europe and started killing them. Here’s one of the stories that came to them, from the Achuar people of the Ecuadorian Amazon, as told to Lynne Twist and recounted in her book The Soul of Money.
“In the beginning, all the Earth’s people were one, but long ago they divided into two groups, and each followed a different path. The people of the Eagle were highly scientific and intellectual. The people of the Condor were highly attuned to nature, relationships, and the intuitive realm.”
“At a certain time of Earth’s history, the Eagle people, the people of the intellect and the mind, people with a highly developed sense of the aesthetic and cognitive skills — will have reached a zenith in their amassing of scientific knowledge, technology and tools, high art, and the ability to build and construct. The Eagle people will produce technological marvels of awesome power and breadth. These accomplishments will bring tremendous material wealth to leaders of the Eagle world. At the same time, they will be spiritually impoverished to their peril, and their very existence will be at risk.”
“In this same era, the people of the Condor — people of the heart, the spirit, the senses, and deep connection with the natural world — will be highly developed in their intuitive skills. They (the indigenous peoples) will reach a zenith in their wisdom, their understanding of the great cycles of the earth, their connection with the spirits, the animals and the plant kingdom. At the same time,, they will be disadvantaged in their interactions with the material world of the eagle such that their very existence will be at risk.“
“At the beginning of the fifth Pacha — an Inca calendar cycle of 500 years, the time we are in now — there will be a great upheaval, called a pachakuti. A reunion will come to pass between the long-separated people of the Eagle and people of the Condor. Remembering they are one people, they will reconnect, share their knowledge and wisdom and save each other. The eagle and the condor will fly together, wing to wing, in the same sky and the world will come back into balance after a point of near extinction. Neither eagles nor condors will survive without this collaboration.”
Well, that’s a hopeful story, but really?
According to the web site LivinginPeru.com, the fifth pacha started in 1990, but is there any evidence that this pachakuti, this upheaval leading to reconnection is actually happening?
Indigenous people are certainly trying. Lynne Twist met Achuar leaders and heard this story after receiving a long series of visions of faces in traditional crowns and face painting. When she described the visions to Amazon jungle defender John Perkins, he said they sounded like Achuar headdresses and set up a meeting. In the meeting, the Achuar said they had been sending these visions out, hoping to reach people in the Eagle world who could help.
Now, through their connection with Twist and the Pachamama Alliance they created, the Achuar have their own web pages and a retreat center where they can connect with rich-world people. They can tell their own story.
Others are following this path toward reconciling Eagle and Condor. Robin Wall Kimmerer, PhD, wrote her book Braiding Sweetgrass, subtitled “Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the teachings of plants.” The whole book consciously seeks to braid the Eagle and the Condor paths together, and her book has changed millions of lives. Published in 2013, it didn’t hit the New York Times bestsellers list until 2020. Now it has been there for 115 weeks, has sold well over 500,000 copies, and sales are still rising. People are hungry for this.
Kimmerer is a unique and awesome talent, with European and Indigenous American ancestors and extensive training in both botany and Native ways. But she is not alone. Here are some others to check out, read, and consider joining.
Winona LaDuke, whose father is Ojibwe and mother Jewish from the Bronx, graduated from Harvard and has spent most of the succeeding 45 years organizing. She co-founded the Indigenous Women’s Network, the White Earth Land Recovery Project, and Honor The Earth, which she co-founded with the Indigo Girls band. She ran for Vice-President on the Green Party ticket in 1996 and 2000. She works for land back to rightful Native owners, restoration of forests and wetlands, and much more.
Her many books include Recovering the Sacred and All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life.
Hundreds of other indigenous leaders around the world start movements for better lives for their people (of all species) and for the Earth in countries like Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Canada, and pretty much everywhere. If enough Eagle people follow them and support them, a lot of seemingly impossible changes could happen. And groups are following. Check out
Pachamama Alliance supports indigenous people and land in the Amazon
The Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) funds research and publicizes efforts of Condor people like the Achuar.
Bioneers, founded in 1990 in New Mexico, their slogan is, “It’s all alive. It’s all connected. It’s all intelligent. It’s all relatives.” They hold conferences and classes with strong indigenous input.
There are dozens more such groups, many of which are listed in The Soul of Money.
So you see. There are leaders; there are places to connect; the Achuar’s prophecy is coming true. Note that they don’t predict a final struggle, but a coming together of the scientific and the intuitive, the material and spiritual. As Charles Eisenstein wrote in The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible, it’s not about good vs. evil. It’s about people waking up to our shared oneness.
And people are waking and sharing the story. But the prophecy only predicts there will be, in this pacha, a potential for transformation. It’s not guaranteed. It’s up to us, the people of this place and time, to make this beautiful, sustainable world a reality.
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