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Frank Waters - Book of the Hopi - Initiation



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

"Book of the Hopi" -  Frank Waters

 The first conscious initiation took place seven or eight years after birth. Then the child became a member of the religious community. He or she learnt that although they had an ‘earth’ mother and father, the real parents were ‘Mother Earth’, who  gave them their body and Father Sun that gave them life.

At the same time, the child was made aware of two more aspects. On the one hand, they were a member of a family and the tribe clan; and, on the other hand, they were a part of the Great Universe, one of the Creator's ‘plan executors’. They also learnt that the greatest virtue one should aspire to is humility.

Initiation rituals usually reflect the whole process of cosmogenesis. The majority of the Hopi community members role play,  taking on the persona of different dwellers of the subtle world of the spirits  - the Kachinas.

These spirits enter the participants' bodies during a ceremony lasting many hours, which takes place in the Kiva temple (a model of the ant-hill where the Hopi waited until the era of the  ‘previous worlds’ was over). Then participants left the temple through the opening in its roof, wearing the costumes and masks of different spirit Kachinas, they then danced. The Hopi believe that through them, the  spirits get the opportunity to influence the physical level of reality.

The source of the experience

Native American Indians

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Being a child
Squash the big I am