An Anasazi Story by Jeff Posey.
She went away a girl and returned two years later a mysterious woman, unmarried, without child, her hands soft from lack of labor. She came back, she said, because she dreamed seven nights in a row of a black full moon rising between the spires of the Twin War Gods.
To the elder women, including her mother, she explained that she had nursed a sick child back to health in the village of her mother’s sisters. After hearing that, every mother within a day’s walk brought her their sick children and she rarely saw the light of day.
For four days the women held counsel. They ignored her premonition of the black moons rising and decided to give the girl a new name, Satikya, healer of children, and planned a ceremony to celebrate her return and coming of age. They chose the rising of the full moon following the first harvest of fresh sweet corn.
As custom dictated, she sat in a special place that day and evening before the rising of the moon and the villagers called on her for her blessings and guidance.
“Tonight, she is Most Wise, more even than Grandfather Skywatcher,” said her mother to anyone who cared to eavesdrop.
Grandfather came last to see her, even as the first perceptible light of the moon smudged the northeastern sky. With much effort he kneeled before her and looked into her radiant face. Her hair had been woven with turkey feathers and flowers into a wide arc that half-haloed her head. The dancing flames of a young fire lit her face.
“Give me your hands,” she said, and Grandfather placed his gnarled paws in her warm brown hands.
She closed her eyes and swayed as if winds buffeted her, then brought Grandfather’s hands to her face. Tears rolled down her cheeks when she opened her eyes.
“Soon you will be in pain no more,” she said. “Something terrible will happen that has never happened before, and you will become high above others, and everyone will see you and some will come afterward who will prevent that terrible thing from ever happening again.”
She released Grandfather’s hands and covered her face with her own.
Grandfather wondered what she meant, but asked no question, as custom called. For years, since before this girl had left a girl and returned a woman, he had dull premonitions he could not clarify. Something terrible would indeed happen, he thought, as the girl said. He would be held high for all to see, and it would rile some into revolution.
I will be a martyr, he thought.
He rose slowly, pain shooting through his knees and lower back such that he could not breathe. He stood until it eased.
“Thank you, my wise fortuneteller,” he said. “I accept my path.”
Then he left to watch the rising of the full moon as he had done without fail since before all others in the village had even been born.
A sign is coming, he told himself. I must be vigilant. It must be left to others to prepare for what comes after.
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Although no one knows Anasazi customs, it’s not uncommon among Native American cultures for young girls who become women to be considered “most wise” during a short period of time, during which they bestow blessings and healing words to visitors. The coming sign that brings terrible things is the Taurus Supernova, which appeared on July 4, 1054, and became the brightest object in the sky except for the sun and the full moon for a month.