Haquini--Empowerment at Walnut Canyon

It was a silent snow, white and wondrous.  Falling in huge flakes.  Accumulating fast.  Creating breathtaking beauty as it quickly covered the Ponderosa pines on 89-A winding out of Sedona through Oak Creek Canyon (one of Rand McNally's top 5 scenic drives).  I was captivated by the change from dry cold in Sedona to the pristine white coating enveloping the world outside the bus window, punctuated by glimpses of red rock and Oak Creek.

Maria, our guide, explained to me long ago that each snow flake is considered a blessing.  If that were true, then our mission and pilgrimage were being showered in hundreds upon thousands of blessings.  The bus curved its way up into the mountains, skirting Flagstaff by a few miles, to arrive at Walnut Canyon National Monument in a swirling snow flurry, as though someone gave the snow globe a really good shake and set us down.

The park rangers had just finished shoveling the path to the rim view and were considering closing the park by noon, so off we set, bundled in our parkas, hats, gloves and scarves to catch our precious opportunity.  The snow was holding nearly every other visitor back, giving us the park to ourselves.

Snow at Walnut Canyon National Monument, by Lynda Yraceburu
Snow at Walnut Canyon National Monument, Photo by Lynda Yraceburu
The view was stunning.  Dark blue clouds on the horizon, softly falling snow, the muffled drumming of a woodpecker in the distance.  At the edge of the canyon, which is 400 feet deep and 1/4 mile wide, are some benches and a railing at an overlook.  In the snow, the view was stunning, revealing the steps to the ancient cliff dwellings and time-worn pathways down to the water source.  Between the snow and the silence, it seemed a walk across a threshold into a different time and space.
Group at Walnut Canyon, Photo by Lynda Yraceburu
Photo by Lynda Yraceburu
It was our time to announce to the land who we were and in so doing, why we had come.  In order, we were instructed to go to the railing and shout our names with intention.  Just the day before, we had visited Tuzigoot, a terraced pueblo ruin outside of Clarkdale, AZ, and had set out our stones to the four directions and asked permission to do ceremony on the land and the feeling of the day had been introspective and respectful.

Cliff Dwellings, Photo by Lynda Yraceburu
Cliff Dwellings at Walnut Canyon, Photo by Lynda Yraceburu
Today it was time for haquini.  Haquini is an act of empowerment.  It is gathering to you the awareness of your lineage through the ages, memories of all that has happened in your life to make you who you are today, summoning your spirit guides, accessing your past life history, and allowing it ALL to flow out of you in one giant I AM statement.

For me it was exhilarating and scary; a little bit crazy and humbling; loud and proud.  It was truly the first time I announced to the earth who I was in my fullest future potential, with knowledge of my accumulated lessons, mistakes, and triumphs, and completely grounded and aware in the present, happy to be alive.

Kaliani, I am Fog Runner, Photo by Lynda Yraceburu
Kaliani, Fog Runner, Photo by Lynda Yraceburu
I approached the railing with more than a bit of trepidation.  We are so used to playing it small, coloring inside the lines, that this huge blast coming from each person in succession was giving us all chills.  I remember standing at the railing with tears in my eyes.

"I am Fog Runner," I bellowed out in a booming voice out over the rocks, affirming my Apache name.  It was a moment of profound solemnity and empowerment.  I was present, in my body, heart, mind and spirit.  There was no hint of hesitation or equivocation.  It was one of the few moments in my life when I knew I was in the right place at the right time with the right purpose.  No second guessing.  No maybe.  A sacred moment.  A resonant YES.

It took a moment for the echo to return, but it was clear and strong.  The land returning my words in confirmation.

Each of us took our turns at the railing; each standing taller in succession, many with fresh tears and bright shining eyes.

Fire Hawk Sings, Photo by Lynda Yraceburu
Fire Hawk Sings, Photo by Lynda Yraceburu
And, as we finished, Maria asked Fire Hawk to sing.  What a beautiful choir loft.  Her strong, clear, sweet voice sailed up and out over the canyon rim, and as she did, the clouds literally parted.  At the beginning of the song there were dark clouds menacing.  By the end, the sun was out and the snow had all but stopped.  We had arrived and the sun shone down upon us and our journey.

My heartfelt thanks to Lynda Yraceburu for sharing her photographs of that day with me.


Maria Yraceburu said…
My sister, my student, my friend, I am so proud of you and all the things we have done through the years. The Sacred Parents truly hold you in their love.

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