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Henry Hudson in a Time of Prophecy (cont.)
By Evan Pritchard

It was said that in the time of Creation, we were each granted two cycles, which I assume to be 112 years, but as an approximation, as the universe is constantly in flux. Those who reach the age of 56 today are often considered elders by native people, though one’s actions speak louder than the gray hairs that appear. Even then, foolishness and angry ways had cut that time in half for many native people. The prophets said that each lifespan-length was to be called a “fire,” and that seven of these fires laid end to end would be the length of the era of the great prophecy that was about to begin, the era of “the seven fires.” This was the largest of hoops, [again shown by a single stone ring or turtle shell, with each “fire” represented by 8 of the 56 scutes or spokes, each scute now representing 14 years of that cycle] a single round of which would take 784 [112 x 7] years to “walk.” The important highlights would be preceded (or in some cases, followed) by solar eclipses, rings of fire visible from the Bay of Fundy’s Fire Island, and would roughly coincide with the newness or the fullness of that cycle. Evidently, wherever these “prophets” came from, they were people who understood something about eclipses and Saros cycles.

These prophets foretold of seven cycles to come and what would happen in each fire. The prediction about each “fire” was presented by one prophet. However the fourth and central “fire” (the one directly opposite the starting point on the wheel) was so important it was represented by two prophets. It was a teaching in duality, a morality play on a grand scale.

According to accounts still preserved by the Midewiwin lodges (mostly now in the Great Lakes region) a prophet of the fourth fire told the people of visitors from the eastern direction who would come in brotherhood to teach them new things they never knew. Then another prophet of the fourth fire came and told them of visitors from the eastern direction who would be filled with hatred, bringing weapons of war. They were told that if these the eastern visitors did indeed come in brotherhood, all would be well and a new “rainbow” race would emerge on Turtle Island (their name for North America), a mingling of the four colors of humanity, which the elders say was known because of the four colors of the birches, red, brown, white, and yellow. However, if the visitors came with weapons of war, their arrival could lead to disaster at the end of the seven fires, unless the fears and misunderstandings could be worked out. If both types of visitors came together, well, that was a different story. It would bring a series of difficult tests for the native people of Turtle Island.

The Algonquin spiritual leadership must therefore have been primed for the arrival of visitors in September 1609, the central year of the central “fire” of the seven, the furthermost point on the wheel from the beginning/ending, in their cyclical view of time. At that time they made a special wampum belt to record these prophecies. The belt is of purple and white, with a diamond representing each “fire” or cycle of time. This magnificent work of art features a double diamond in the fourth position at the center, where the belt buckle would be if fastened behind as a sash or belt. There are many layers of meaning imbedded into that magical weave; however, one that all agree on is that it represents the passage of time, measured by the sun and moon. Therefore, the center of this diamond would have been included, through a complex system of lunar and solar calendars, August 28, September 11 and October 1, 1609, [days important to Henry Hudson] as we shall see.

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