Chaco Canyon: Pueblo Arroyo and Chetro Ketl

The concentric circles of this tri-walled structure at Pueblo Arroyo at Chaco Canyon were built in the 1100's.  I was privileged to tour the site with Maria Yraceburu, who holds deep insights into sacred sites in Arizona and New Mexico.  It was here that I felt the most powerful energy.  This pueblo likely held ceremonial significance.  It was aligned to the east, to the rising sun.
Pueblo Arroyo Tower, Photo by Kaliani Devinne, Copyright 2013
Pueblo Arroyo Tower Ruins
In many of the Southwest petrogylphs and pictographs, concentric circles represent a metaphysical concept of the different worlds that have existed through time according to oral-tradition teachings.  In the native cosmology it is said that humankind is just now entering the Fifth World of Coming Together.

Although no one knows for certain the purpose of this outlying pueblo, it is undisputed that the builders, and those who occupied this structure, were very much in tune with the seasonal cycles, the movement of sun, moon and planets, and reverence for planet Earth.  The pueblo was a specialized living space, separate from the rest, and no doubt, part of a ceremonial or ritual observation of the cosmos, and perhaps of the cycles and dimensions of time itself.
Kivas at Chaco Canyon, Photo by Kaliani Devinne, Copyright 2013
Kivas at Chaco Canyon
To me, the energy of the pueblo felt like a vortex, similar to a labyrinth's function: to draw you in for contemplation and then release you out into the world forever changed by the experience of the energy.   The group of pilgrims with whom I visited the site, made our prayers for the healing of Mother Earth here, allowing gifts of feathers, signifying Spirit flight, to take our prayers to Creator.

Internal Structures at Chetro Ketl, Photo by Kaliani Devinne, Copyright 2013
Internal Structures at Chetro Ketl
From there we walked to Chetro Ketl, a large ceremonial kiva in another area of the Chaco Canyon National Park.  Again, the power of this giant structure was palpable.  We stood in a circle on the rim of the kiva, learning of its history and offering our prayers.  The focus of our intentions was on ending a drought in the Southwest at the time--requesting that the rains return by observing and carrying out ceremonial prayer.

(Follow this link for a 360 degree view of Chetro Ketl.)

A wonderful interactive activity site with much more information about Chetro Ketl is located here.  It includes a simulated view of what the kiva may have looked like and ways in which it may have been used for ceremonial purposes.  It's a great site for children, and adults alike, to visualize what these ancient underground kivas looked like.  I highly recommend you spend some time checking this animation out before you visit the park.  It includes a recording of a winter solstice song still sung, the Turtle Dance Song of the San Juan Pueblo, so you may experience the sights and sounds of a kiva ceremony.

Chaco Canyon Kiva View, photo by Kaliani Devinne, Copyright 2013
Chaco Canyon Kiva View


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