Greeters Of The Dawn
By Julie Elizabeth Mignard
Moonless night on the high plains was never deeply dark. In the black sky the universe shines from all the vast and far flung stars. In the east, before the glow of dawn appears, the Hummingbird Star is rising. Ten thousand men and women are silently preparing to walk the path of one thousand years. The perfection of today’s celebration provides security for the coming one thousand years. By the reckoning of the historians this will be the eighth time the ceremony has been performed. All of the many accomplishments of the last seven thousand years are attributed to the perfection of the Ancestors’ actions on this most important day.
The one thousand most accomplished men and women of the world are being tethered to the sky throne by the sacred threads. They will dance in a compact circle, shoulder to shoulder. These masters who know the secrets of the four sacred metals, those who had learned the lifting of giant stones, the weaving of the twelve sacred fibers making up the threads representing the spirits of earth connecting to sky, the wise historians and shamans, they are the greatest treasures of the world. Only once every 1000 years were all of these arts united in one ceremony.
Three girls all born eight years ago to the day traditionally make the sacred footprints in the Hummingbird Path. These are sisters, the daughters of the Holy Emperor of the World. If it were not for their high birth they’d never be here today. There are women present who secretly hold severe doubts about these ghost daughters. Traditionally, ghost babies were killed at birth not raised to perform this most sacred dance. The three identical sisters are magical. They are pure white, white skin, white hair, and turquoise eyes.
Now, hands hanging relaxed, fingers motionless, they wait, their long straight hair lifting lightly in the cool pre-dawn breeze. Smooth shoulders untouched by chill bumps, they radiate a heat of their own. Everything in their eight years of life has been in preparation for this day.
They hold no doubts about dancing the Hummingbird Path. Now the sky throne is aloft. Floating high overhead, their god-king father watches. Already the sun is illuminating the pure colors of his sky throne’s giant canopy held aloft by the spirits of air and fire. Behind the sisters, the drums begin. Tiny bare feet pat the dust. Left right pause, right left pause for the sacred breath, marking out the ancient Path of the Hummingbird. For twelve days the path has been purified by the smoke of copal. It has been swept by the blessed feather brooms.
No tiny pebble will mar the footprints of the shining white sisters. The sisters are intelligent, their preparation complete. The assurance of safety and well being of the earth is felt by all of the thousands here combining their spirits in a wall of force that rises to the height of their floating god-king. The one thousand masters are connecting the earth and sky with the threads, now tautly stretching from the sun headdress of the throne to each of their own headdresses glittering with the flutter of thin gold feathers.
The sun has now fully illuminated the plateau. The clear sky has lost all of its dawn colors and shines pure beautiful blue. All is perfection. The ten thousand greeters of the dawn have begun their march to the east. From the west, behind the backs of all a bolt is coming from the blue. For an unseen instant a thin electric leader reaches from the sky throne towards it. In that instant the lightening completes the circuit from miles away, exploding throne, king, and canopy in a blinding fireball.
The one thousand sacred threads incandesce electrocuting the one thousand masters. There will be no protection for this age. The sky gods have spoken. It is the end. The empire has fallen, never to be rebuilt. The Hummingbird ceremony will never again exist. In the profane ages to follow all sacred knowledge remains lost. Only the mysterious paths remain. Unexplained.