Southwestern College (Santa Fe) Faculty & Students on Wahatoya
WAHATOYA: The Spanish Peaks of Southern Colorado
For about five years, the Spanish Peaks (or traditionally Wahatoya, which is a native word meaning the breasts of mother earth) have been yelling at me. This happens
every time I drive by on I-25 headed toward Denver. It sounds something like,
“Hey. You. Pay attention.” So I usually stop beside the highway, pull out a ceremonial Pipe, and smoke it for them. This seems to quiet them down, and I then proceed on my journey.
This past weekend, as we traveled toward Boulder for a conference, Frank and I both noticed a lot of energy coming from Wahatoya. We couldn’t actually see the mountains very well (they are typically somewhat shrouded by fog or clouds whenever I drive by).
Nonetheless, these two mountains, which have been landmarks for travelers for thousands of years, were demanding our attention, but we chose to ignore them, since we were on a time schedule. We were soon bogged down in a traffic jam 10 miles long near Colorado Springs, which delayed us 3 hours. I don’t necessarily blame Wahatoya for the traffic jam which caused us to miss some meetings, but something was definitely up. That night, in a Boulder hotel, I dreamed of a snow covered mountain, rounded at the top, with a huge wedge-like protusion down the side. In the dream, I tried to fly around the mountain to get a better look. At that point, I awoke, and thought, “I have no idea what mountain that is, but it sure has a strange shape”.
The next day I had time to hike up to Blue Lake , a high mountain lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness not far from Boulder. The mountain above Blue Lake is called Paiute Peak. I thought perhaps Paiute Peak was the mountain in my dream, although it wasn’t rounded at the top, nor did it exhibit any wedge-like protusion.
It was, however, gorgeous, so I did a Pipe ceremony there and felt very connected to both the lake and mountain. Standing at the edge of Blue Lake at 11,500 feet,
well above timberline, and feeling a bit high from altitude and tobacco smoke, I concluded that this mountain was the mountain in the dream.
Later that night, Frank (who is very intuitive) said he was sure I was wrong. His feeling was that we should actually travel around Wahatoya on our way back to Santa Fe so we could get a good look at the two mountains and compare them to the dream mountain. So we turned off I-25 at Walsenberg and found ourselves staring into the huge almost pyramid-like West Spanish Peak , which sure enough had a rounded top and a wedge-like protusion down the west side. Frank found a dirt road which took us to a high pass looking straight into the south side of West Spanish Peak. We hiked out to a viewpoint and smoked a Pipe for Wahatoya.
The Spanish Peaks are in the Isabel National Forest and are protected as a Wilderness area known for its unique geological features, including tremendous dikes of lava which create walls of rock a hundred feet high and up to ¼ mile long. Locals report many sightings of UFO’s here. Frank and I didn’t see any UFO’s, but we definitely experienced unusually powerful energy. We promised Wahatoya that we would be back soon.
Carol Parker Ph.D.
Director, Transformational Eco Psychology program
July 31, 2012