by Jane St. Clair
Many centuries ago the elders of the Yaqui tribe came across Talking Tree. Now this was no ordinary tree. He was very tall and without branches or leaves so he looked more like a modern telephone pole. Two young Yaqui twins understood what Talking Tree was saying — even though the wise men of the tribe could not. Talking Tree told the little girls about the coming of Christianity and many other things that have since come to pass. The Yaqui held a beautiful ceremonial deer dance, and miraculously, a real deer came.
— After the Talking Tree prophecy, some Yaqui chose to leave the earth and live in enchanted worlds under the mountains and in the oceans. These are the Surem. Other Yaqui stayed to live on the earth.
The Wilderness World or Huya Ania is where every plant, animal and rock are one and communicate. The Yaqui approach the Huya Ania in a spiritual way. They don’t just hike into the desert but they first ask permission to enter and to bless their way. It’s a very practical thing to do. It’s good to have the blessing and permission of rattlesnakes, gila monsters and puma when you invade their territory.
Finally, there is the Sea Ania or Flower World, the world beneath the dawn, home of Little Brother Deer or Saila Maaso. Little Brother Deer brings the blessings of the Flower World when he visits as he once did in person after Talking Tree spoke.
The flowers in Sea Ania are metaphors for all that is good and beautiful for each individual.
Deer Dancer is so very beautiful with flowers on his antlers. He has a rattle and a belt with deer hooves and he makes beautiful sounds as he dances. On his legs Deer Dancer wears cocoons that were once home to beautiful butterflies still with him in spirit.The Yaqui drummer imitates the heartbeat of Saila Maaso and musical sticks imitate his breathing.
Deer Dancer like everything about Yaqui beliefs is beautiful.
May we walk in the desert on enchanted feet like little Brother Deer. May we feel enchanted worlds in our hearts.
“One sees clearly only with the heart… Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” …Antoine de Saint Exupery