Where The Two Came To Their Father
For the life of me, I could not find this old Navajo warrior ritual, Where The Two Came To Their Father, anywhere online. so, here it is, as told by Joseph Campbell.
Having emerged from the Underworld, the people were settled in this middle place here:
and in the 4 directions are the mountains of the 4 directions, filled with the seeds of all things.
This is the house of Changing Woman, a wonderful figure in Navajo mythology. She was born miraculously of a cloud and she became the mother, then, of these boys, by miracle, by virgin birth. She was bathing at a spring and the sun shone upon her, and when she came home she gave birth to a little boy.
There were monsters troubling the neighborhood, so she dug a little hole and put the boy down there in a kind of under-earth cradle to protect him from the monsters, and then went back to the spring to wash herself and she conceives again, this time, of the moon. And so here are her two little boys:
The boy who is born of the sun is called Killer of Enemies and here's the way he appears in the dance rituals:
He is the warrior, outward directed.
[And his brother] He is the medicine man, the shaman.
The Twin Hero motif is common to many, many mythologies of the world and they represent the warrior chieftain and his magician priest.
Well, they're living with their mother, and they see that not only their mother, but, the whole neighborhood is being troubled by monsters and so they think they ought to go and get help from their father, the sun- the sun is ultimately the father of them both because the sun lights the moon, so forth and so on-to help their mother.
Now, their mother had told them, "It's dangerous around here, boys. You can go to the East, West, South, but don't go North." So they go North. That's the only way to get new material, don't obey the community, they're the ones that are stuck or in trouble.
So, guided by Rainbow Man,
They go through the Mountains of the 4 Quarters - everything in Native American things is in 4s - they circumambulate the world and are on their way.
When they come to the end of the known world, that is to say when they reach the horizon, they are confronted by this threshold gaurdian who's name is White Sands Boy. He is the guardian at the east. He has long arms, seizes people and burries their head in the sand and smothers them. He is the one that sees to it that people don't go beyond the bounds of the mythology. The boys give him praise. They say, "Oh wonderful White Sands Boy, there never was there a thing in the world like you." And he'd never received such praise in his life, and so, he said "Ok, you can go on."
They make the rounds; there's white sands boy, blue sands boy, and so on. And now, they are beyond the bounds of the world. They're going along in a kind of featureless landscape, and they see an old, old woman, and her name is Old Age. She says, "Oh, hello, boys. What are you doing way out here, you earth people?"
"We're on the way to our father's house, the Sun, to get weapons to save our mother from the monsters."
"Oh," She says, "That's a long, long way. You'll be old when you get there. But," she said, "I'll give you some advice, don't walk on my path. Walk to the right of it." So the boys start walking along to the right of it, and then they forget - I know, heroes always forget - and they are walking on the path again and they begin to feel old, and they have to pick up sticks to walk with until finally they can't walk at all, and, Old Age, the old woman, has been watching and she comes and says "Tsk, tsk, I told you!"
"Well," they said, "Can't you make us young again?"
"Oh," she said, "If you'll be careful now, I'll do that." and so she spit on her hand and took moisture from under her armpits and between her legs and rubs it onto them and says, "Listen here now, you stay on the right of the path."
So, they go along, and pretty soon they see another little, old lady. Black, little old lady. This is Spider Woman. Now, these spiders live in the ground, and this is kind of the counterpart of the fairy godmother, she's the spirit of the earth mother itself. "Hello, earth boys, what brings you out here?"
"Oh, we're on the way to our father's house, the Sun, to get weapons to save our mother."
"Oh, that's a long long trip, you better come down into my little house and I'll fix you up for your journey." Then, she made the sun go fast - she has power over the sun itself - so that it should set and they'd have to spend the whole night with her. They thought, well, the entrance to her home is very small, how can we fit through that? But when it came time, there was no problem at all. They go down, and she feeds them certain foods, and gives them certain pieces of ebony and turquoise to swallow; fixes them up for their journey and tells them what problems they're going to meet and she gives them a feather to protect them.
The feather from Spider Woman
She said, "Hold this feather close and you'll get through the obstacles." Now, here are the obstacles:
The Cactus that cuts, the Reeds that Pierce, and the Rocks that Clash have been omitted because they are so powerful.
The boys then come to the ocean that surrounds the world
The boys now cross the water with the magic feather that has been given to them.
Then, they're approaching the house of the Sun which is guarded by four types of animal guardians. First, we have the four serpents:
(The young man who is being trained to be a warrior, having his psychology transformed from that of secular to military consciousness, comes walking in along the line, kneels down here,
With his head over this basket of Yucca suds - he undergoes a ceremonial washing, a purification-you have purification before you have the revelation and that's the sense of this rite.)
The Guardian Bears; Thunderbird; Winds
The boys, having past these, come to the house of the Sun.
Here is the sun's house, it is a microcosm of the macrocosm, with the four directions. We see the Sun's daughter, the Sun's horse with which he rides around the world with his son's shield. The crosses are steps of the boys in pauses, where they meet the obstacles along the way.
They arrive while the Sun is off on his daily trip and the boys are met by the Sun's daughter. She says, "Who are you?"
"We're the sons of the Sun." They say
"Oh, you are, are you? Huh." So, she says, "Well, daddy's not home now, but when he comes home, he's going to make it tough for you so I'll protect you." And she wraps them in clouds of the four colors and stores them over the doors of their proper color (over the black door she stores Killer of Enemies, over the blue, Child of the Water).
In the Evening, the Sun arrives. He gets off his horse and comes into the house, hangs his shield on the wall and it goes "clonk clonk clonk." Then, he turns to his wife and says, "Who were those two young men I saw coming in here today?"
She says, "You've always told me you behave yourself when you go around the worldâ€¦ and, these boys say they're your sons."
"oh they do, do they?" He searches the house and by gosh, he pulls them down. Then, he submits them to tests- this is a favorite motif in American Indian stories, the father test or the father-in-law test or what not- he throws them against flint spikes of the 4 colors in the 4 directions. They hang onto the feather. They survive. He gives them poisoned tobacco to smoke and they survive. He tries to sweat them to death in a lodge and they survive, so, finally he says, "I guess you are my sons."
He takes them into the next room, and stands one of the boys on a black buffalo skin, the other, on white. He tells them their true names, and each acquires his own true character. You remember before, the twins were both black and the same size, now, they're taller, and Child of the Water is blue. (The description of that moment of initiation, in that room, where thunders come in, and lightening, & wow, it's something terrific.)
This is the second birth through the father, and, when they have survived that, they are so powerful that they split into four.
Yellow is the counter-part of Killer of Enemies, and the White, of Child of the Water.
In full power, they start back across the cosmic ocean.
They come to a hole in the sky.
The feather seen here is not from Spider Woman, it is from their father
Their father, now at the hole in the sky, gives them their final examination. "What's the name of the northern mountain" and all this kind of thing, and the answers are whispered to them by Big Fly and Little Wind (counter-parts to The Holy Ghost). Now, you may say this is cheating, but, if they weren't worthy of this they would not have received the inspiration. If you're meant to pass the examine, you'll pass.
So, having passed the exam, they come down to the central mountain, Mount Taylor, and there you see their footprints landing on the mountain. Before they go to work to kill the monsters that are troubling their mother, they have to kill the archetypal monster, and he lives here by this lake, and his name is, Big, Lonesome Monster
The characteristic of monsters is that they mistake shadow for substance, and so this Big, Lonesome Monster sees the two boys reflected in the lake and thinks he can drink them.
Note: these are the second pair of twins.
Big Lonesome Monster, mistaking shadow for substance, drinks up the lake and digests it & spits it out again and by gosh, there they are. He drinks up the lake four times, and wares himself out, and so, the boys move in. Interestingly, this monster is also a son of the Sun, but the sun moves in to help the boys kill the monster.
The monster is killed and they're ready to go home.
When they come past the foot of Mount Taylor, they trip, and their father's weapons are gone. They have moved from the realm of sheer male fire into the mixed realm of water, where the fire is mingled with earth
They are met by Talking God, who is the male ancestor of the female line of the gods; he is mixed of male and female, and he gives them a talking prayer stick to guide them that is made of male and female corn.
Talking God gives the boys double weapons of male and female corn. The energy radiating from the boys in the form of flint indicates that they're filled with magic power and are still riding on the feather
His mouth and eyes are made of masculine rain coming down and female mist rising. His nose is of a corn stalk. He has given them the weapons to kill the earthly monsters
After a terrific series of battles killing tremendous monsters, the boys are nearly wiped out. They're so wiped out, they've lost their arms and legs, and Child of the Water is in danger of becoming just the reflection of Killer of Enemies.
So, the gods come down and enact a ceremony over them and they're given health again. And what do you suppose the ceremony is? The one you've just heard, it is their life story. Just as the psychoanalysis leads you back to your childhood and puts you back on the proper path again, so they.
And when they have passed this test and gone through the ceremony,
then they are again, 4. This is the strongest sand-painting of the lot, the 4 boys, each standing on the mountain of his own color.