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Bringing Prophecies to Life: Indigenous Leaders Converge at Mayan Pyramids
By Tracy L. Barnett Posted in Indigenous Peoples, Mexico, Spirituality on April 5, 2024
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Participants of the Second Gathering of the Union of the Condor, Hummingbird, Quetzal and Eagle assemble in front of the Temple of the Inscriptions in the ancient ceremonial site of Palenque in Chiapas, Mexico on March 21. (Credit: Yolanda González)

Over 250 Indigenous representatives and allies unite to forge Sacred Covenant at Palenque’s ancient ceremonial center.

It was a scene that could have played out a thousand years ago, or more. Amid a cluster of ancient Mayan temples, a rainbow-hued assemblage of Indigenous elders and young leaders formed a ceremonial circle. They looked on as Hereditary Chief Phil Lane, Ihanktonwan Dakota and Chickasaw, and Grandmother Ejna Jean Fleury, an elder from the Crow Creek tribe of South Dakota, took their places. 

The two had traveled thousands of miles from the United States and Canada to unite with fellow Indigenous leaders throughout the hemisphere, from as far north as Alaska and as far south as Argentina. Conch shells rang out in tribute to the four directions, and the smoke from the sacred copal from the South mingled with that of the sage from the North, carrying a prayer skyward: a petition for unity, peace, and a new beginning throughout the world, one in which all beings could thrive.

Dr. Jane Goodall, the famed British primatologist, sent a video message to the gathering that arrived just in time for the opening ceremony. (Credit: Four Worlds International Institute)

Dr. Jane Goodall, the famed British primatologist, sent a message from Tanzania for the entire assembly. It arrived in time for the opening ceremony.

“I want you to know I am with you in spirit as you gather from across the Americas and around the world,” said Goodall in the video. “Such an incredible gathering of indigenous wisdom has never happened before and I am absolutely sure that as a result there will be a change in consciousness and that people will begin to get together for the long process of healing Mother Earth from which people came. The spirit of the Creator will be with you and wonderful good will come of it.”

The Second Union of the Condor, Hummingbird, Quetzal, and Eagle, held over the recent Spring Equinox in the ancient Mayan ceremonial center of Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico, was hailed as a fulfillment of ancient prophecies. Participants see it as a pivotal moment in a long process that will usher in the end of 500 years of darkness and propel a transition toward restoring balance and harmony on the Earth, with Indigenous peoples and allies leading the way.

Para leerla en español, vea “Dando vida a las profecías: líderes indígenas convergen en las pirámides mayas.”

These prophecies in essence said that a long spiritual wintertime was coming… A time of great sadness and suffering in this material world of time and space. A time of great preparation. A time of great testing. A time of great challenge. And this would last about 500 years.

Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr.
Adriana Alvarez, Four Worlds executive director and founder of La Ventana Palenque, the First Global Center For Indigenous Science and Ancestral Wisdom, holds aloft the pipe of Lakota warrior and prophet Crazy Horse, of which Chief Phil Lane is the carrier. (Credit: Yolanda González)

Forging a new path

“It was a great gathering of the spirits of all of our nations,” said Fleury, one of the council’s leaders, still visibly moved by the energy of the encounter in a subsequent interview with Buffalo’s Fire. “The gathering of Palenque demonstrates the force of prophecy in our lives… Prophecy is guiding, but we don’t always even know how it’s guiding us.”

More than 250 Indigenous people and allies from across the Americas convened in Chiapas for the meeting, organized and hosted by the Union of the Condor, Hummingbird, Quetzal, Eagle and The Four Worlds International Institute from March 17-24, in consultation with the National Council for the Development of Original and Afro-Mexican Peoples (CONADEPOA). The reunion featured seven days of ceremony, healing rituals, and intercultural dialog, with a series of agreements reached among the representatives. CONADEPOA represents 68 Indigenous nations across Mexico, with 25 million people and 4 million Afro-Mexicanos.

An altar with ceremonial items, such as a sahumerio or incense burner, a muwieri or feather wand of the Wixárika people, a bowl of blessed water and pods of cacao, sacred to the Maya people. (Credit: Yolanda González)

Among the initiatives launched at the event was an Indigenous-Ally-led Global Peace Movement, beginning in the Americas. Attended by luminaries such as Anne-Marie Voorhoeve, founder of the Hague Center for Global Governance; representatives of the Indigenous Grandmothers of Europe; and a group of veterans, including special forces from the U.S. Navy Seals. 

The foundation of the global peace movement is the Sacred Covenant: Unify Humanity. Restore Mother Earth. In a ceremony around the Eighth Fire, participants agreed to the principles of the covenant: establishing core values, an ethical framework, and a commitment to foster unity and peace, empowerment of communities, and restoration of Mother Earth. That covenant is now circulating the globe.

Chief Phil Lane, left, holds a staff with the symbolic eagle wing as Grandmother Ejna Fleury prays in preparation for a water blessing. (Credit: Yolanda González)

Bringing prophecy to life

Fleury and Lane refer to the main prophecy, the Reunion of the Eagle and Condor Prophecy, which originated in the Andes before Columbus’s arrival. Different versions are known to many tribes, but the central theme is that when the Eagle, representing North America, and the Condor, representing South America, fly together, it will signal the potential for a new era of peace and understanding. 

“These prophecies in essence said that a long spiritual wintertime was coming,” Lane told Buffalo’s Fire. “A time of great sadness and suffering in this material world of time and space. A time of great preparation. A time of great testing. A time of great challenge. And this would last about 500 years.” 

He said that 500 years have come to a close now, and with it, the opportunity to shift to a new model of humanity. Lane is one of those who has dedicated 55 years of his life to helping propel that potential into a reality. Indigenous wisdom, he says, will be critical in bringing about this change. 

(Credit: Yolanda González)

“The indigenous peoples of these lands are the spiritual mycelium, the cultural mycelium that unite across the Americas,” he said, and meetings like these reinforce and propagate that mycelium across the globe. He noted that a critical mass was beginning to form, with an estimated 80 million Indigenous peoples throughout the Americas, a population beginning to approach that of the time of the conquest, when an estimated 100 to 108 million people lived here. 

But Latin America will be key to this strategy, he said, as only about 8 million Indigenous people live north of the US border with Mexico; the other 72 million are south of that border.

A team of experienced medicine women and men were commissioned to carry out all the sacred duties of the event, such as these two fire carriers smudging Chief Phil Lane with copal from the south and sage from the north. (Credit: Yolanda González)

Healing Through Ceremony

For Fleury, one of the most moving moments was the Eighth Fire Ceremony, when Indigenous representatives from Colombia proposed unification. 

“And they offered this condor feather to Brother Phil and I in representation of the divine masculine and divine feminine….so really bringing more healing to the state of that relationship right now. And how lovely to move in poetic ways and more mythological ways in honoring our human journey.” 

Fleury has been collaborating with Lane since the two met in 2015. A counseling psychologist and meditation facilitator whose ancestors died at Wounded Knee, Fleury has dedicated much of her work to healing intergenerational trauma. At the 125th anniversary of the 1890 massacre at the reservation, she led a program called Healing Hearts at Wounded Knee. 

She opened the event in global healing ceremonies via Zoom, and Lane and Fleury met in conjunction with that event. The two began talking and realized they were related—both were Delorias. Since then, they have been collaborating more and more, with Fleury’s Sacred Earth Council and Divine Mother’s Love being a part of the recent events in Chiapas.

Berito Kuwaruwa of the Uwa People of the Colombian Amazon, winner of the 1998 Goldman Prize for his work to stop international oil companies from drilling in his peoples’ sacred lands. (Credit: Yolanda González)

A New Dawn for Humanity

Lane traces his connection with the Eagle and Condor Prophecy to another spring equinox journey on March 21, 1971, when he traveled to Bolivia to live in Sucre. He traveled the Andes of Bolivia, including the ancient city of Tiwanaku and the sacred Islands of the Sun and the Moon in Lake Titicaca. For almost two years, Quechua and Aymara elders and communities mentored him culturally and spiritually.

At the conclusion of his journey to Bolivia, he was at Lake Titicaca with sixteen Quechuas from Chuquisaca, who had been among his mentors and guides in understanding the culture passed down from the Incas.

“When I was there, I saw and felt the very fulfillment of all these prophecies,” he recalled. “It was kind of like in the early morning when the sun is just rising and all the things are starting to wake up. That’s the feeling I had, spiritually. I could feel the rustling of the leaves, like when a big, big group of locusts take off, and people wonder, how does that happen? Just one locust rubs her wings against another. And boom, we all take off.”

Before he left Bolivia, the Elders assigned him the responsibility of sharing the Prophecy of the Reunion of the Condor and the Eagle with the world, and he has done so ever since.

Lane served 16 years as an associate professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, and has worked with Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Micronesia, Southeast Asia, China, India, Hawaii, and Africa. 

Fire Ceremony altar, an integral ritual in Mayan spirituality. (Credit: Yolanda González)

In 1982, Chief Lane co-founded the Four Worlds International Institute with Indigenous elders and spiritual leaders. Lane is also President of Four Directions International and Compassion Games International and has hosted many events bringing together people worldwide to educate, lift, and practice Indigenous ways of life.

Fifty-two years after his experience in Bolivia, at the Spring Equinox of 2023, Lane, Fleury, and other collaborators in this work began a new cycle, this time in Chiapas — 52 being a year of closing the cycles for the peoples of Mesoamerica. The symbology of the Quetzal was integrated, representing the Maya peoples, and the Hummingbird, representing the peoples of the Amazon. The people organizing the Equinox Ceremony in Palenque in 2022 asked him to send six eagle feathers. Instead, he sent a whole eagle wing and asked Fleury to deliver it.

“The spiritual leaders knew this was something special,” said Fleury. “He entrusted me with that sacred task of taking the eagle wing to Mexico, and it was so moving that it generated a huge pilgrimage.” The pilgrimage traveled from Palenque to Bonampak, another archaeological site in Chiapas, and then across the border into Guatemala, where they made their way to Tikal, the ancient center of the Mayan world and the lost city of El Mirador. This set the stage for what participants see as the fulfillment of the prophecy of the reunion of the Condor and Eagle on March 21, 2023, and the establishment of the Union of the Condor, Hummingbird, Quetzal, and Eagle.

We’re not playing small games here, we’re trying to make a prophecy come together.

Héctor Manuel Benton Martínez, Indigenous leader of the Pericú people, Baja California, México

“The Council of the Eagle, Quetzal, Hummingbird, and Condor is a group of 13 individuals who are elected, in a non-partisan, non-political way to guide and serve the entire network of the Union of the same name, which strives to represent the 80 million Indigenous people throughout the Americas,” said Alvarez. “Of those 13 Council members, seven are women, six are men, seven are elders, and six are young Indigenous leaders, representing an equilibrium between the wisdom of the older generations and the energy and innovation of the youth and women.”

Chief Phil Lane cleanses the spirit of one of the sacred dancers using eagle feathers at the Equinox ceremony on March 21. (Credit: Yolanda González)

Unification of North, South, and Center

Mayan grandmother Adriana Alvarez, Executive Director of Four Worlds, is the founder of La Ventana Palenque, the First Global Center For Indigenous Science and Ancestral Wisdom. She emphasizes that the movement consists not only of ceremony but also of producing concrete results. 

One is Sanctuary Earth, the bioregional mapping project that puts leaders in charge of each bioregion who will coordinate cultural and ecological restoration and community development projects in that region. She cited Grandfather Antonio Oxte, who will carry the staff representing the Yucatan bioregion to promote Mayan culture and traditional medicine, creating “living universities” to spread and uplift this ancient knowledge. Other representatives will be working from Veracruz, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Campeche, Chiapas, and across the border in Guatemala.

The Aztec Huehuetl and Teponaztle are typical precolombian instruments used in ceremony throughout Mexico. (Credit: Yolanda González)

“Personally, I am very committed and very happy because I was chosen to carry that Sacred Eagle Staff from Palenque, Chiapas, with the La Ventana project, which is allied with Four Worlds International Institute, which brings this initiative of Sanctuary Earth, a series of global centers for Indigenous peoples with technology and ancestral knowledge.

“So we are reinforcing the work we have done in La Ventana for 13 years. We are making this alliance and La Ventana is being supported, visibilized, and nourished with all these initiatives, by allies who also come to cooperate, to collaborate, to participate. This, I think, was one of the most important outcomes of the whole event.”

Hector Manuel Benton Martínez, an Indigenous leader from the Pericú people of Baja California, Mexico, saw the meeting as an essential return to the old ways, to the types of council meetings that were once held regularly in communities worldwide. 

“My message from this is to be awake. Be awake and be ready to listen for the messages, because the new generations, the seven generations after us, they’re becoming stronger and more open minded and connected to spirituality,” said Martínez. “They’re the ones that have to be awake, they have to be ready to connect with all these situations around the world. Because we’re not playing small games here, we’re trying to make a prophecy come together.”

An earlier version of this story was published in Buffalo’s Fire.

Adriana Alvarez enters the opening ceremony with the eagle wing staff as Hector Benton accompanies her on the drum. (Credit: Yolanda González)


Global Fire website:

The Eagle and the Condor, a Prophecy for Our Times, by John Perkins

La Reunión del Cóndor y el Águila, FASE II: LA CREACIÓN DE UN FUNDAMENTO FUERTE Y DURADERO. 26 AGOSTO DE 1999. Preparado por: Cuatro Mundos. Foundation Covenant-First Council of the Union of Condor, Hummingbird, Quetzal, and Eagle. Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico.

Chief Phil Lane Jr.  and the Four Worlds International Institute, internal document

Adriana Alvarez with others in the group saluting the Four Directions. (Credit: Yolanda González)

Chief Phil Lane Jane Goodall Palenque

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