The Cherokee Prophecy of the Four Guardians
Extracts from a talk given by Lee Brown at the 1986 Continental Indigenous Council, Tanana Valley, Fairbanks, Alaska.
At the beginning of this cycle of time, long ago, the Great Spirit
came down and He made an appearance and gathered the peoples of this
earth together "they say on an island which is now beneath the water"
and He said to the human beings, "I’m going to send you to four
directions and over time I’m going to change you to four colors, but I’m
going to give you some teachings and you will call these the Original
Teachings and when you come back together with each other you will share
these so that you can live and have peace on earth, and a great
civilization will come about." And He said "During the cycle of time I’m
going to give each of you two stone tablets. When I give you those
stone tablets, don’t cast them on the ground. If any of the brothers and
sisters of the four directions and the four colors cast their tablets
on the ground, not only, will human beings have a hard time, but almost
the earth itself will die."
And so he gave each of us a responsibility and we call that the
Guardianship. To the Indian people, the red people, he gave the
Guardianship of the earth. We were to learn during this cycle of time
the teachings of the earth, the plants that grow from the earth, the
foods that you can eat, and the herbs that are healing so that when we
came back together with the other brothers and sisters we could share
this knowledge with them. Something good was to happen on the earth.
To the South, he gave the yellow race of people the Guardianship of
the wind. They were to learn about the sky and breathing and how to take
that within ourselves for spiritual advancement. They were to share
that with us at this time.
To the West He gave the black race of people the Guardianship of the
water. They were to learn the teachings of the water which is the chief
of the elements, being the most humble and the most powerful. When I
went to the University of Washington and I learned that it was a black
man that discovered blood plasma, it didn’t surprise me because blood is
water and the elders already told me the black people would bring the
teachings of the water.
To the North He gave the white race of people the Guardianship of the
fire. If you look at the center of many of the things they do you will
find the fire. They say the light bulb is the white man’s fire. If you
look at the center of a car you will find a spark. If look at the center
of the airplane and the train you will find the fire. The fire
consumes, and also moves. This is why it was the white brothers and
sisters who began to move upon the face of the earth and reunite us as a
So we went through this cycle of time and each of the four races went
to their directions and they learned their teachings. It was on
Newsweek not too long ago that eight out of ten foods that people eat on
the earth are developed here in the western hemisphere because that was
our Guardianship, to learn the teachings of the earth, and the things
that grow from the earth. We were given a sacred handshake to show them
when we came back together as bothers and sisters that we still
remembered the teachings. It was indicated on the stone tablets that the
Hopis had that the first brothers and sisters that would come back to
them would come as turtles across the land. They would be human beings,
but they would come as turtles.
So when the time came close the Hopis were at a special village to
welcome the turtles that would come across the land and they got up in
the morning and looked out at the sunrise. They looked out across the
desert and they saw the Spanish Conquistadors coming, covered in armour,
like turtles across the land. So this was them. So they went out to the
Spanish man and they extended their hand hoping for the handshake but
into the hand the Spanish man dropped a trinket. And so word spread
through North America that there was going to be a hard time, that maybe
some of the brothers and sisters had forgotten the sacredness of all
things and all the human beings were going to suffer for this on the
So tribes began to send people to the mounds to have missions to try
and figure out how they could survive. At that time there were cities
built on great mounds in the Mississippi, called the mound civilization.
Those mounds are still there. If you ever go out to Ohio or the
Mississippi Valley, they’re tourist attractions now. There were
thousands of cities of Native people and they were wondering how they
could survive. They began to try to learn to live off the land because
they knew a hard time was going to come. They began to send people to
have visions to see how we could survive this time…And they were told
in the prophecies that we should try to remind all the people that would
come here of the sacredness of all things. If we could do that, then
there would be peace on earth. But if we did not do that, when the roads
went clear from east to west, and when other races and colors of the
Earth had walked clear across this land, if by that time we could not
come together as a human family, the Great Spirit would grab the earth
with his hand and shake it….
…The elders that were made aware of these prophecies said they
would begin to build a black ribbon. And on this black ribbon there
would move a bug. And when you see bug moving on the land, that was the
sign for the First Shaking of the Earth. The First Shaking of the Earth
would be so violent that this bug would be shaken off the earth into the
air and it would begin to move and fly in the air. And by the end of
this shaking this bug will be in the air around the world. Behind it
would be a trail of dirt and eventually the whole sky of the entire
earth would become dirty from these trails of dirt, and this would cause
many diseases that would become more and more complicated. So in 1908
the Model T Ford was mass-produced for the first time. So the elders
knew the First Shaking of the Earth was about to come about, that’s the
First World War. In the First World War the airplane came into wide
usage for the first time. That was the bug moving onto the sky.
…So they knew things would happen. Things would speed up a little
bit. There would be cobweb built around the earth, and people would talk
across this cobweb. When this talking cobweb, the telephone, was built
around the earth, a sign of life would appear in the east, but it would
tilt and bring death. It would come with the sun. But the sun itself
would rise one day not in the east but in the west. So the elders said
when you see the sun rising in the east and you see the sign of life
reversed and tilted in the east, you know that the Great Death is to
come upon the earth, and now the Great Spirit will grab the again in His
hand and shake it and this shaking will be much worse than the first.
So the sign of life reversed and tilted, we call that the Swastika, and
the rising sun in the east was the rising sun of Japan. These two
symbols are carved in stone in Arizona. When the elders saw these two
flags, these were the signs that the earth was to be shaken again.
The worse misuse of the Guardianship of the fire is called the "gourd
of ashes. "They said the gourd of ashes would fall from the air. It
will make people like blades of grass in the prairie fire and things
will not grow for many seasons. I saw on television not too long ago
that they were talking about the atomic bomb, the gourd of ashes. They
said it was the best-kept secret in the history of the United States,
the elders wanted to speak about it in 1920. They would have spoken of
it and foretold its coming if they could have entered into the League of
Nations. The elders tried to contact President Roosevelt and ask him
not to use the gourd of ashes. Because it would have a great effect on
the earth and eventually cause even greater destruction and a Third
Shaking of the Earth, the Third World War. I’ll get to that in a few
So they knew after the Second Shaking of the Earth when they saw the
gourd of ashes fall from the sky that there would be another attempt to
make peace on the other side of this land. And because the peace attempt
on the west coast had failed, they would build a special house on the
east coast of this Turtle Island, and all the nations and peoples of
this earth would come to this house and it would be called the House of
Mica and it would shine like mica in the desert sun. So the elders began
to see that they were building the United Nations made out of glass
that reflects like mica in the desert sun so they knew this was the
House of Mica and all the peoples of the earth should go into it.
In the 1920’s they had written and not been responded to, so now they
said we better go to the front door otherwise things might get a lot
worse. So the elders representing a number of tribes drove to New York
City. When the United Nations opened they went to the front door of the
House of Mica and they said these words: "We represent the indigenous
people of North America and we wish to address the nations of the Earth.
We’re going to give you four days to consider whether or not we will be
allowed to speak."
They retreated to one of the Six Nations Reserves in New York
State…Four days later they came back and I believe the nations of the
earth heard the Indians had come to the door. And they voted to let the
Indians in. But the United States is one of the five nations with a veto
power and still they were concerned because at this time Native
sovereignty was even stronger. And I believe they vetoed the entrance of
the Native people.
So then they knew other things would happen to the Earth, and the United
Nations would not bring peace but that there would be continuing and
deepening confusion. And that the little wars would get worse…So they
said, "We’re going to divide the United States into four sections and
each year we’re going to have a gathering. We’re going to call these the
‘White’ or ‘Peace Gatherings.’ They began to have these around 1950.
And they authorized certain men to speak in English for the first time.
One that I used to listen to many times, over and over, was Thomas
Benyaka. He is a Hopi man. I believe he is still living. He was
authorized to speak about what was on the stone tablets and he has
dedicated his life to doing this. And they began to tell the gatherings;
they said, "In your lifetime you’re going to see many things
happen"…It was strange when they said that in the 1950’s and 1960’s
but now it seems very clear. But then it was unusual. They said, "You’re
are going to see a time in your life when men are going to become
women. The Great Spirit is going to make a man on the earth. He made him
a man but this man is going to say, "I know more than the Great Spirit.
I’m going to change myself to be a woman." And they will even nurse
children. The Great Spirit is going to make a woman on the earth. She’s
going to say, "I know more than the Great Spirit. I want to be a man."
And she will be physically a man. This sounded strange then. And maybe
in a vision they saw Boy-George.
They said "You’re going to see a time in your lifetime when the human
beings are going to find the blueprint that makes us. "They call that
now, DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid. They said, "They are going to cut this
blueprint." They call that now genetic splicing. And they said, "They
are going to make new animals upon the earth, and they’re going to think
that these are going to help us. And it’s going to seem like they do
help us. But maybe the grandchildren and great grandchildren are going
I don’t know if you heard on the news last night in the United States
they have genetically spliced a new germ, never before released in the
environment. They want to release this germ into the cotton fields of
the south because the say it will strengthen and rejuvenate the cotton.
They had scientists on the CBS Evening News the other night talking
about it. One scientist said what the elders said in the 1950’s, that
this would not harm us. We’ve put it in a lot of tests. And the other
scientist said what the elders also said, no, this has never been before
in the environment. We have no idea what it will do. The elders spoke
of it long ago. They said it would seem harmless, but it may be able to
hurt the great-grandchildren. The elders said long ago, "They will
release these things, they will use them." This is going to be released
not too long from now, they are making new animals. The elders talked
about this. They said, "You will see new animals, and even old animals
will come back, animals that people thought had disappeared. They will
find them here and there. They’ll begin to reappear."
They said, "You’re going to see a time when the eagle will fly it’s
highest in the night and it will land upon the moon." And at that time,
they say, "Many of the Native people will be sleeping," which
symbolically means they will have lost their teachings… "When the
eagle flies at its highest in the night, that will be the first light of
a new day. That will be the first thawing of spring." Of course, at the
first light of a new day, if you’ve stayed up all night, you notice
it’s really dark. And the first light, you want to see it, but you
can’t. It sneaks up on you. You want to see it change but it’s dark and
then pretty soon it’s getting light before you know it. We’re at that
time now. The eagle has landed on the moon, 1969. When that spaceship
landed they sent back the message, "The eagle has landed."
…We’re in that time now. We’re between the first light of a new day
and sunrise. The sunrise is about to come and when it comes up everyone
is going to see it. But you know how it is in the village, there are a
few people that get up early, and there are some that sleep till noon.
I’m probably one of those that sleeps until noon.
…At this time you’re going to see that things will speed up, that
people on the earth will move faster and faster. Grandchildren will not
have time for their grandparents. Parents will not have time for their
children. It will seem like time is going faster and faster. The elders
advised us that as things speed up, you yourself should slow down. The
faster things go, the slower you go. Because there’s going to come a
time when the earth will be shaken a third time. The Great Spirit has
been shaking the earth two times: the First and Second World Wars to
remind us that we should have greeted each other as brothers and
sisters. We had a chance after each shaking to come together in a circle
that would have brought peace on earth, but we missed that.
Tonight they were talking on the news about the sign for the Third
Shaking of the Earth. I heard it while I was sitting in the airport
after I missed my plane. They said they’re going to build what the
elders called the "house in the sky." In the 1950’s they talked about
this: they will build a house and throw it in the sky. When you see
people living in the sky on a permanent basis, you will know the Great
Spirit is about to grab the earth, this time not with one hand, but with
both his hands. Many of you of Native background may have heard "the
spirits will warn you twice, but the third time you stand alone." We’ve
had two warnings, the first two World Wars, but now we stand-alone
before the third one. As it says in the Baha’s Writings, there will be
no one protected. When this house is in the sky, the Great Spirit is
going to shake the Earth a third time and whoever dropped the gourd of
ashes; upon them it is going to drop.
They say at that time there will be villages in this land so great
that when you stand in the villages you will not be able to see out, and
in the prophecies these are called "village of stone", or "prairies of
stone". And they say the stone will grow up from the ground and you will
not be able to see beyond the village. At the center of each and every
one of these villages will be a Native people, and they will walk as
"hollow shells" upon a "prairie of stone". They said "hollow shells”,
which means they will they will have lost their traditional
understandings; they will be empty within. They said after the Eagle
lands on the moon some of these people would begin to leave these
"prairies of stone" and come home and take up some of the old ways and
to begin to make themselves reborn, because it’s a new day. But many
will not. And they said there’s going to come a time when in the morning
the sun is going to rise and this village of stone will be there, and
in the evening there would just be steam coming from the ground. And in
the center of many of these villages of stone when they turn to steam,
the Native people will turn to steam also because they never woke up and
left the village. And this used to bother me when I was a young man. I
used to ask the elders, "Isn’t there anything we can do?" And they said,
well, it’s just that way that if a person does not have the spiritual
eyes to see, it’s very hard to show them. Or if they don’t have the ears
to hear, it’s very hard to speak with them. We wish we could go get
them all but we can’t. It’s just that some are not going to wake up. But
some will wake up.
And so they say there’s going to be a Third Shaking of the Earth.
It’s not going to be a good thing to see but we will survive it. We will
…A lot of times when I share this message of the prophecies, people
say, and “Can’t we change it? Could we stop it?" The answer is yes. The
prophecies are always "either/or". We could have come together way back
there in 1565, and we could have a great civilization, but we didn’t.
Always along the path of these prophecies, we could have come together.
We still could. If we could stop this racial and religious disharmony,
we would not have to go through this third shaking. The elders say the
chance of that is pretty slim. It seems to me like it’s pretty slim too.
But what we can do is we can "cushion" it. The word we use is "cushion.
"We can cushion it so it won’t be quite as bad. How can we do this? We
can do this by sharing the teaching that will reunite us.
When I first heard about these prophecies, none of this made any
sense. Now most of it has come to pass. Last night I heard on the news,
they said the "house in the sky" would be put up in 1996. It was going
to be put up some time sooner, but its been postponed for four years.
Maybe it will be postponed again. But in not too long it’s going to go
up. The earth as we know it is going to change.
You know, one time the scientists came to the Hopis and they said,
"We want to take a piece of the stone tablets." They said, "We want to
take the stone tablets to a scientific laboratory to determine how old
they are. The Hopis said, "We know how old they are. "Well the
scientists said, "We want to confirm it. "So the Hopis let them take a
little piece, and they tested it by the carbon dating method. They found
these tablets were at least 10,000 years old, maybe 50,000. So when I
say, "Thousands of years ago, there were Native people that spoke of
these things," that’s exactly what I mean. They told their children and
thousands of years ago, their children grew up and told their children,
and then their children grew up and told their children. And they spoke
about the people that will live in this time.
And now it is us. We are the ones they spoke of long ago. They say to
be alive; to come into creation and to live upon the earth at this time
is a great honor.
In the cycle of time, from the beginning to the end, this time we are
in now will change the purification of all things. They say this is the
hardest time to live, but it is also the greatest honor to be alive and
…We are now within the purification of all things. Non-Natives call
this the "Apocalypse". The Native call this the "Purification". I want
to share one Non Native prophecy with you. There was a seer in Europe
whose name was Nostradamus. I’m sure many of you have heard of him. He
foresaw three Great Shakings of the Earth. He said the Third Great
Shaking would begin when Lesser Arabia and Persia engage in a war. Five
years ago …Iraq attacked Iran. Lesser Arabia is today called Iraq.
Persia is called Iran. These two prophecies coincide. Both the Native
elders and Nostradamus said this will start slowly, almost unnoticed by
the people of the earth, but eventually it will involve us all.
Eventually the "gourd of ashes" will fall from the sky so …the
Mississippi River, will boil from the heat of the "gourd of ashes" that
will fall on this land. But don’t despair. It sounds terrible, but we
will survive it. We will live through it. I don’t think there’s anyone
chosen to live through it, but some people will.
So, in closing I would like to call on each and every person,
regardless of who you are, young or old, Native or non-Native, to arise
now, and to awake, to embrace this time, to learn everything you can
about the Teachings and the Writings, to arise awake and go
forth…Peoples everywhere are now receptive to the Message…There’s
people out there waiting to hear, waiting to hear…