REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: Getting ready for the great year 2012


Two weeks ago, my personal search for a definitive answer to the question, “What does the year 2012 really mean?” ended when I was offered the chance to attend “Women’s Earth Ways.” This was a day of ceremony to discuss the role of women in the upcoming year of 2012 with Native American Apache prophecy keeper, Maria Yraceburu, and her partner, Linda Yraceburu.

Although I jumped at the chance to meet Yraceburu — considered a 13-generation Quero Apache Diiyin or “Holy One” — many women might recoil at the thought of spending an entire day talking about women with women, believing lessons learned in the “estrogen tank” don’t get one very far in the material world.

This attitude, shared by some women, and men, I see as a product of our off-balance world that conditions us into believing that cultivating the feminine qualities of receptiveness, intuition and nurturing are a waste of time when compared to the prized masculine qualities of action, logic and competition. So I can’t really blame another woman for resisting processes to heal parts of herself that have been deemed by society as inferior.


Often a reporter entering into any situation makes people feel uneasy, so I agreed to the request made by Yraceburu’s handler for the day, Kym Sawtelle-Castuera, to participate in the ceremonies with the other women in order to make everyone feel more comfortable.

Maria wasted no time in getting to the point of why we were all gathered together on a Saturday morning at the United Methodist Church in South Laguna.

The Great Year of 2012 is commonly attributed to the prophecies of the Mayan timekeepers in conjunction with the Mayan calendar, but Maria points out that this year was also prophesied by the Incan, Hawaiian, European Celts and African cultures as well.

According to the Hopi Nation, the manifestations of the Rainbow Prophecies have come about as the universe is now leaving the Fourth World of human depravity and entering into the Fifth World of coming together. The Fourth World — characterized by the left logical brain — excludes the heart and the intuitive right brain, causing an unnatural separation of the divine masculine and the divine feminine energy that exists in everybody.

Maria explains that a successful transition into the Fifth World depends upon women reintroducing the universal laws of wholeness and goodness to facilitate a new paradigm of energy that will save humanity from its present state of turmoil.

Before a woman can integrate the divine feminine into human consciousness, Maria asks that together women perform a series of rituals to help us heal from our past, so we may reclaim our personal power with joy and grace.

“Things can’t get fixed, if you can’t take them apart,” she said.

To begin the ceremony, a ritual of smudging [burning incense] and sharing a peace pipe was done to cleanse the spirit of outdated energy that prevents us from living a balanced life.

Then Maria instructed us to stand in two circles, one inner circle that would remain stationary as the outer circle would move from person to person in a counterclockwise direction.

Each woman stood in front of the other, looked into her eyes and said, “I honor you for who you are in my life today.”

Like the process had promised, the past hurt that had isolated me from a relative melted away as the sensation of forgiveness and compassion replaced my false sense of pride.

The next ritual, hugging each woman for five seconds, followed the same circle pattern and was a hard act to follow considering the emotional breakthrough that occurred for me in the previous ritual.

The hugging station fell short for me, and for some reason the saying, “Hugs, not drugs” kept replaying in my mind.

Lastly, each woman was to reclaim her intuition by selecting an item from an altar and then meditating on what that item meant to her.

After we shared with Maria and the group our findings during meditation, she told us what the artifact meant in Native American culture.

Many of the women were accurate in their findings about the artifacts when compared to their original symbolic meaning.

When I asked Maria what the everyday woman — who cannot afford the average $150 admission price to her seminars — could do to ensure world peace by 2012, she smiled and said, “Hang out with your girlfriends and support each other; but most of all, have a good time.”

All of a sudden Friday night out with the girls just took on a whole new meaning. Aho!