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The cave of life, petrified forest national

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The cave of life, petrified forest national

  1. 1. A Fertility Ceremony Illustrated in The Cave of Life, Petrified Forest National Park, AZ. © Peter Faris, 2008
  2. 2. The Cave of Life is an opening among a pile of boulders in Petrified Forest National Park, AZ.
  3. 3. Interior spaces between many of the boulders are decorated with petroglyphs.
  4. 4. A petroglyph panel is found pecked onto the back wall of the interior space.
  5. 5. Elements of the panel include: 1. A couple engaged in ritual coitis. 2. A Kokopelli figure. 3. An ornately equipped shaman. 4. A double outlined cross (often identified as Venus by Pueblo peoples).
  6. 6. Fertility aspects of the panel are emphasized by the ritual coitus, the erect phallus of the shaman, and the presence of Kokopelli, who is a fertility figure.
  7. 7. On the date forty five days (1/8 year) before, and after, the winter solistice, a ray of light pierces the center of the star.
  8. 8. At Hopi, in mid-November, 1/8 year before the Winter Solstice, the first winter ceremonial, Wuwuchim, is dedicated to returning fertility.
  9. 9. The timing of Wuwuchim is today determined by the motions of the stars. All of this suggests that at one time ancestors of the Hopi may have observed the sun dagger in the Cave of Life to mark the date for a fertility ceremony.