THE PLACE OF PEACE
The Sacred Mountain
and Valley of the Vapors
For thousands of years, this magnificent site was the gathering place of many nations. Tribal leaders and spiritual elders made pilgrimages to the Great Ma-na-ta-ka Mountain to sit in great councils with many tribes. Some came every seven years, others came every eleven years, and others made the journey more frequently depending on local custom.
Tribal leaders prayed and made peace offerings to the Creator, the Great Manataka (Place of Peace) Mountain and each other. They danced and sang around huge campfires in the narrow valley situated between the Manataka mountain and her second sister mountain. Their daughters gathered rare medicinal herbs found in great abundance in a large area surrounding Manataka in the shape of a circle. Their sons found precious clear crystals, gold, silver, pyrite, and whetstones.
Everyone sought healing and pleasure in the magical hot waters of Nówâ-sa-lon (Breath of Healing) that spewed from the sides of the mountain creating dozens of crystal clear pools. No one was allowed to enter the `Valley of Vapors' carrying a weapon into the sacred area decreed by the Great Mystery as the `Place of Peace'. No fighting or discord was allowed.
Should anyone violate these laws, they were taken outside the valley and severely punished.
The Lady of the Rainbow, referred to as Ix Chel by the Mayan, was said to have presided over the peace in the valley. Dressed in all white buckskin and holding one eagle feather in each hand, she stood on the mountain overseeing the peace. When quarrels did arise, a vision of the Rainbow Woman could be seen at twilight rising in the vapors of the highest pool as a warning to the offending person. If the guilty one did not listen to this warning, the Lady of the Rainbow came to him and dropped one feather at his feet, which meant it would be wiser to fly away than to disturb the peace again. If this warning was not heeded, she dropped the second feather as a sign to his family and others to remove the offender from the valley by whatever means necessary.
Our Grandfathers saw dense green forests surrounding the narrow valley. Steam rose from abundant hot springs on the side of the mysterious mountain. The valley was shrouded in misty vapors which feathered the lush underbrush and curled upward through the tall trees. Sometimes the vapors joined low clouds to float away in the pink evening sky. Other times they lay lightly upon the ground like a soft blanket or swirled around the bubbling crystal pools.
Manataka was a place of strange, mystical beauty.
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