Spiritual practices within the Navajo Nation are focused on the restoration of harmony and balance to each life. When these two elements are achieved, then good health can be produced.
The Navajo believe in two classes of people. There are Holy People and Earth People. Before arriving to this world, it is believed that each person passes through three other worlds. Our existence would be the fourth world, which is sometimes called the Glittering World.
According to tradition, the first world, which is the Dark World, is where humanity first came into existence.
The 4 Sacred Mountains in Navajo Belief
The Holy People instructed the Earth People to view the 4 sacred mountains in their area as the boundaries of their homeland and that they should never leave that area. The Mountains are Hesperus Mountain, Mount Taylor the San Francisco Peaks, and Blanca Peak in the Four Corners region of the United States.
There is great importance placed on these four peaks. In the original structure of the Navajo Nation, there were four clans. There were four colors and four times of day. There were also four primary songs sung during rituals.
All of this came about after the Navajo Spirits recognized that true death had come into existence. This occurred after the Holy People were forced out of the second and third worlds to enter this fourth world.
Similarities to Other Belief Systems
The story of the Navajo Spirit is similar to that of other creation stories found in world religions. It is in the first world where light and darkness are separated, and humanity begins to exist. In the second world, the Blue World, showed signs of life. In the Third World, which was south of the Blue World, the four sacred mountains were found.
Then, because of a great flood, all were forced to find another world in which to live, which is the Glittering World, our world, named as such because of the stars, sun, moon, and the creation of the seasons.
From a timeline and content perspective, this is very similar to what is found in the major holy books of the world. What is remarkable about this fact is that the Navajo Nation were separate from the other cultures which developed these books, yet each story is very similar.