star gazer

Encyclopedia Article


In some versions of Navajo healing traditions, a star gazer completes a ceremony to diagnose the type of illness a patient has. The star gazer first creates a sandpainting in his patient's hogan. He then exits the hogan to sing star-songs and use a “glass rock” to cast light upon the hogan or the patient. The color of light that comes from the quartz crystal determines if it is a serious sickness or not. The star-gazer uses this information to give a diagnosis on the illness.

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"Night sky viewing at the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Cortez, CO, April 9, 2014" by Bureau of Land Management is licensed under CC BY.

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