Between 900 and 1100 AD it is believed that the Hohokam, an ancient people of the American Southwest, became increasingly concerned about the dwindling number of Big Horn Sheep where they hunted. One response by the Hohokam, who lived in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona, was to trek to a spring in the canyon pictured above and request spiritual assistance to ensure the animal would prosper.
Here at Hieroglyphic Canyon the Hohokam conducted a painstaking ritual that involved drawing sheep, people and other geometric designs into the rocks.
As I took my photos I imagined these ancient people under the same sky, in awe of the same view. I imagined they were drawn back to the canyon as I was. You can’t see it but you know something is there. I imagine that when they arrived the Big Horn Sheep were scattered over the canyon calmly drinking. And like me, I imagine that the Hohokam take this moment to pour out their concerns, let their hearts desires be made know to their creator, and leave feeling healed and hopeful.
Sitting on the rocks I felt my heart warm from the sun on my skin and an amazing sense of thankfulness began to overflow. I laid down my concerns on the rocks and left them there. In my haze of sunshine and thanksgiving I visualized many more days like this in my future. More days with my family, in the sun, using my body, feeling loved and provided for by the universe.
The dedication of the Hohokam paid off; the Big Horn thrived for hundreds of years after the ancient people no longer hunted in the area. What do you imagine could happen for you if you were to dedicate yourself to a spiritual mission like the Hohokam? See for yourslef and hike Hieroglyphic Canyon. Check out Hiking Ruins Seldom Seen by Dave Wilson for an excellent guide to the site.