Decoding the Past
The West Coast Dowsers Conference is an annual five day event which draws experienced specialists from around the United States and abroad. People come to share information and sometimes extraordinary discoveries. My colleague and I found ourselves in a room on the Santa Cruz Campus of the University of California listening to an archeologist from Arizona describe her find of an native habitation which she had high hopes would prove to be earlier than any previously found on the North American continent.
As she shared her discoveries at the dig site; hearth remains, partial skeletons, small items, and charred roof timbers, our minds stretched into the past. Two and a half levels had been excavated five feet below ground level. Artifacts included African trade beads unearthed at a depth of habitation long before Africans were brought over as slaves. Most intriguing was a prehistoric Sabertooth Tiger tooth which was found close to human skeletal remains from about 1100 A.D.
Because the materials found were so diverse in age and origin, the puzzle of context was proving to be difficult for a Ph.D. in the field of archeology to unravel by usual methods. She had come to this conference hoping to find some answers through dowsing, the ancient skill lending itself to 'seeking and finding' underground water and buried treasure.
We sat with our pendulums swaying as we each carried on an inner dialogue with the subconscious, seeking clues to the mysteries of how long the site had been used by human kind. Asking one question at a time, the pendulum is an effective divining instrument allowing the individual to focus attention and extend awareness. Many of us used a method of map dowsing; that is holding the pendulum over a map of the area and asking for answers to the questions looming before us.
How had the trade beads arrived in the semi-arid region of the Southwestern United States at such an early date? How long had people been traveling around the world and from where? There were oceans separating land masses. What was the racial heritage of the people who had lived here over the ages of time? After some minutes of silent deliberation, people began to share results. Several different speculations were volunteered, which the speaker remarked could not be so as other evidence had already been uncovered which proved otherwise. I suggested that my pendulum was responding affirmatively to continual habitation in that area as far back as 500 A.D. Then a man of American Indian lineage said he felt that site had been inhabited at least seasonally, since before the time of Christ up until sometime in the 13th century A.D.
The archeologist confirmed that through carbon dating the latest habitation was the 13th century. The earlier date could not be confirmed as the dig had not been pursued to that depth. However, interestingly, some discovery had uncovered that although a small spring had been an accessible year around water supply for many hundreds of years, it no longer existed after the end of the thirteenth century. The charred timbers and mud wall remnants were evidence that early peoples in the Southwest used trees to make roofs much like the dwellings found by the Spanish explorers in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The question that seemed most enigmatic regarded the Sabertooth Tiger tooth. How had a person living in the last 1000 years have such a thing? What came to mind was simply that on his travels he had found it and kept it; or maybe he had traded something for it. Another possible answer tugged at my mind. What if he had been a Shaman? What if shamans from prehistoric times when these creatures roamed the continent, considered this very strong and magical 'medicine'? What if his ancestors had passed this precious item down through generations as a mark of prowess and power.
That the man of American Indian heritage could look deeper into the past about the location in question, suggests that perhaps more than just a skill like dowsing may be involved in tracing the past. The concept that the body is responding on cellular levels to subtle energies which are amplified by a handheld device, may be a clue. Was he more intouch with the place we were investigating because of genetic memories carried within his DNA? Did this cause him to be more sensitive to fragments of evidence?
The comments by those present at the talk suggested deeper investigation might prove fruitful. As with most research, finding funding is always a challenge. Since that time research into the history of the peoples and cultures in America has uncovered amazing facts about ancient lifestyles which included sophisticated trade routes and irrigation systems. Both of these factors have always been vital to sustaining communities around the globe.
Tribes and Nations are actively reclaiming their pasts. The peoples of the western hemisphere have long histories recorded on rocks, in caves, and in still standing structures. Designed mounds and whole community complexes expressing ancient wisdom about the earth, the solar system and the universe are being uncovered and charted more and more. Human beings have been here a long time and the information seems to have been recorded in some form on every continent of the planet ages ago. Still to be understood is how they came by this accurate information about the cosmos.
A shortened version of this Prism Diary entry from 1987 was printed in The Twelfth House, Vol. 1, No. 4, 1996
Here, Decoding the Past appears in complete form with permission of the author, Prism, who is published internationally in transcultural and spiritual publications.