The Fortune Teller of Second Mesa Day School
I slid open the closet door to find the maroon vest and matching billowy pants with three buttons at each ankle.
This was to be my genie or fortune teller outfit for the Halloween Party at our school, Second Mesa Day School.
I was the school counselor at the K-8th grade Bureau of Indian Affairs School located near the intersections of I-87 and 264 across the road from Second Mesa, Arizona post office. This was truly the heart of Hopiland. All three Second Mesa villages, Shungopavi, Shipalovi, and Mishongovi, had children attending the school made of resconstructed brick and portable trailers.
I found the outfit with ease and a white nylon knit shirt with long sleeves to wear underneath the vest. I put a long blue and red silk scarf over my head and wrapped it around and tied it behind my right ear. I carried with me a crystal ball that was made of smoky quartz and about six inches in diameter. It was my crystal ball. I brought my mini box of angel cards in case I blanked out about what to say to anyone.
My yellow and white cinder block house was two houses and lesss than fifty steps away from the front door of the main school house. There were spider webs made of spun cotton on the corner of each side of the archway of the school hallway.
Big styrofoam and black fluted paper spiders hanging down from their Halloween webs decorated the entrance to the school.
I had recently been hired a month into school starting. This was the highest paying education position I ever had. I felt the fact that I had two masters degrees was acknowledged and compensated in this government position.
Served as vice principal, truant officer and staff facilitator in addition to my role as the school child and family counselor. I smiled as I walked down the main hall. I got a student desk and chair to sit and set up my crystal ball and angel cards on another scarf I brought for the table cover.
It was peaceful here and I was happy to be on Hopiland. Nearly six months pregnant with my first child, I wasn't really showing much yet. My breasts were very sensitive and the padded vest gave me more comfort.
Every person I had eye contact with or smiled at came over for a reading. I thought I'd be asked questions about the future, but found myself easily tuning into each person telling them of a quality or ability I saw in them and how they could develop it or express it or how it was currently showing up in their lives.
Each reading was intimate and magical with children and adults I encountered. A young Hopi man came over and sate across from me at my booth. His coal black pupils were so dialated, I couldn't see his iris. His jet black hair was pulled straight back over his crown into a pony tail. "Tell me something about myself," he stated.
"You have the gift of creativity and sensitivity. Trust and listen to your inner voice more steadily. Best not to second guess your inner guidance." I asked if he remembered a time he didn't listen and was sorry he didn't. He nodded his head slowly and methodically up and down in a yes repsonse.
Few people were left at school as I walked out into the night. It was a clear and starry evening. The sky was alive with constellations and falling stars. Planets and planes could be seen with my naked eye. The silence of the evening was full of cold, crisp air. Walking slowly, I cranked my head all the way back so I wouldn't miss any falling stars on my way home.
I lived alone in this three bedroom house. As I entered the front door, the only light coming into the living room was the street light's reflection. I placed my crystal ball and purse on top of the book case in the living room. As I glanced to my right, I saw several kachinas dancing in ceremony down my hallway.
I could hear the drumming and chanting with my inner ear. I blinked my eyes and their holographic light images were still seeable! They looked like deer dancers, like ghosts from the past, their presence was a blessing I sensed and I didn't understand why I could see them tonight. Perhaps they were welcoming me into this new community.
That same night of Halloween, I had a significant dream. My baby's biological father was offering me teachings from a sacred tree with large fruits on it. In the dream, he was offering me what he had to give, which was his wisdom of experience. I awoke feeling good about our communication in the dream.
Found out later in the week that one of the villages of Second Mesa Day School had their deer dance the weekend before. The deer dancers had fasted for ten days and chanted and prayed in the kiva every night before the dances at the villages. The kivas were like deep wells they descended into to chant, pray and smudge themselves in the fire pit in the middle of the kiva with a ledge for them to sit around the outer edge.
The deer dancers wear heavy white skirts with red and green geometric designs like a stair step around the outer edges. Deer skin shoes, deer antlers for part of the headdress and fur around their ankles, necks and wrists. They were barefoot with tortoise shell rattles on their lower calves. They were in a trancelike state for the entire time.
A fellow counselor from Polacca (first mesa village) was Hopi and a friend of mine. He told me of the rigorous preparation in becoming one with the deer before the dancing ever begins in the village. He said he fasted for three weeks and chanted and participated in the kiva prayers for the entire time as well.
Another dream I had during the first six months of living at the foot of two of the three villages, Shipalovi and Mishongovi, was related to one of these villages. A wise woman who was keeper of the gourds, held one in each hand and played them like instruments and used them for communication. I felt her calling me to come to the village.
In the dream, I was a young Hopi brave and I was terrified of the wise gourd woman. She held the secret to his dream, but he was too shy to show himself behind the stone wall.