Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Spirit of Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico


Pueblo Bonito Ruin, with the rockfall in the foreground, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com)

Lizard-Man Sighting at Chaco Canyon

On May 21, 2008, I continued my personal tour of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.  At 2:00 PM each day, a park ranger or volunteer takes those who are interested on a tour of  Pueblo Bonito, the grandest Pre-Puebloan Indian ruin in all of North America.  Arriving early, I took a self-guided tour around the huge masonry artifact.
 
Built, rebuilt and added to from 800 CE to about 1200 CE, the complex was at its peak around 1100 CE, with large ceremonial kivas, granaries and multi-story dwellings.  Excavated and placed in a state of arrested decay through the judicious use of concrete and native capstones, one can get a good feeling for the grand affect that Pueblo Bonito must have had on tourists and traders in its heyday.
Lizard Man, the Spirit of Pueblo Bonito resides on the rockfall, just to the left of the high standing wall at the ruin, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com)
At sundown, many people gather in the great plaza at Pueblo Bonito, perhaps to soak up the spirituality of the site or to commune with the souls of those who made this the ceremonial center of a once-vast culture.  At sundown, I prefer the less crowded sites, where the wind and birds are my only company.
 
This particular afternoon, I decided to take the self-guided tour starting at the end of trail, then making my way back from section to section, “ending at the beginning”, so to speak.  My intuition told me that I might see different things than I would if I took the same old trail in the same old way.
 
Lizard Man, the Spirit of Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico - Click for larger image  (http://jamesmcgillis.com)About half way around the trail, there was a reward for my iconoclastic approach to the tour.  While people were passing me going the other way, I came across a huge bolder cleft by its fall from the canyon rim.  Upon it was the image of what I would call “Lizard Man”.  Facing west, into the sun, the profile of a half-human, half-lizard was warming himself in the afternoon light.
 
Those who say it cannot be true that a spirit chose to show himself to me that afternoon might want to stick to the paved roads and sanitized attractions of our ubiquitous theme parks.  There, they can rest assured that even if something looks “real”, it is probably “real-fake”. 
 
To those who are interested in meeting Lizard Man or other ancestral Puebloan spirits, take the Pueblo Bonito trail backwards, in place and time.  When you round that corner where he stands, if he wishes to, he will make himself known.  Either way, I assure that he is there.