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Thursday, May 4, 2017

stone

When starting on this journey one of the first things confronted is your servitude. It becomes clear when the illusion is laid bare before you that you are a slave. A well fed and willing slave but a slave nonetheless. Knowing this, it eats away at you to escape the system but the thought of the loss of the comforts you have grown accustomed to presents a major challenge. When first faced with this dilemma I just wanted to return home from the vexing jungle and go back to my familiar servitude. I didn't want to face up to this challenge. Eventually I regrouped and was able to take steps forward on the journey, being more careful this time. I've reached the point where I'm using my servitude as a springboard to further my spirit quest but haven't cut ties to my bondage. My attachments, which are near and dear to me, curtail the freedom I head towards.

The use of psychedelics in a responsible manner will force you at some point to come to terms with identity, its malleability, and the constructs culture uses to keep the sense of whom you think you are rigid. The plant medicines also have an ability to open up your heart in an ineffable way, even if just temporary. You are shown what it is like to live with love in your heart. They reveal many secrets and at some point this clarity of being that you develop I think can lead to contentedness and inaction. I’ve been thinking about this lately along the lines of what happens when you reach a stage of perceived ‘enlightenment’? Does something holy descend upon you and give you a certificate and then you retire to your exalted place of awesomeness? All joking aside there seems to be a danger or a trap laid out for the seeker. One day I was discussing Greek mythology with my son, in particular the Gorgon Medusa, when an idea struck me about the metaphor of the stone that humans are turned into when they gaze upon her visage. The following is my unique esoteric interpretation of the myth based upon my journey into different dimensions of consciousness.

The myth of Medusa deconstructed lets us know directly by her head full of snakes for hair that she is an aspect of the Great Goddess.

Medusa by Arnold Böcklin, circa 1878

If you look directly at her you will turn to stone as the feminine power will birth you into this world and usher you through life into death - which really is just a transitional phase, a rebirth or becoming, into something new. This all makes for a great exoteric adventure story involving the demigod Perseus who must slay this Gorgon in order to free his mother from the clutches of an evil and amorous king.

Perseus with Medusa head

The king takes advantage of Perseus’ boasting of his strength and sends him on his way to return with the head of Medusa. He enlists the help of the deities Athena, Hermes, Hephaestus, and Hades to complete the task and is successful. He then uses the head of Medusa to immobilize the king and his court thus freeing his mother. In gratitude he gives the Gorgon head to Athena, who places it in the centre of her aegis.

Athena's aegis with Gorgon head

But what does all this mean?

To me Medusa is representing the world illusion, known in eastern philosophy as Maya, that entraps you through culture and identity games. As the hero on a hero’s journey, Perseus' ultimate task in his quest is to free himself from the stultifying effects of participating in the world system. To come face to face with that illusion, represented by Medusa, will turn you to stone. Why is that? It's because at some point anyone who has spent some time soul searching will come to the realization that this is all an elaborate game or hoax. At that point it is easy to declare a victory of sorts and decide you have figured it all out. You become complacent; this is what turning to stone is all about. The hero's journey comes to an abrupt end because you have the answer. You look directly at the illusion and it stops you in your tracks; there is no need to continue on. You become essentially a stone Buddha. Perseus had to figure a way out of this predicament which had felled many before him. This battle had the potential to stop him stone cold and he was victorious by reflecting the image of Medusa back onto her therefore causing her to turn to stone. He then beheaded her and used her head as protection against his foes in battle. Perseus heads back into the world, balancing his inner life, to continue the battle. The act of beheading her suggests a break with the mask of personality. We all wear our mask which is used to project the image we want to convey to the world we operate in however we all know or will discover that deep down we are all an act creating our own drama. The physical act of beheading is symbolically demonstrating that Perseus fully comprehends and sees through the game. The other elements of the story are also suggesting to us things we can use or expect on our journey. The help of the gods are accessible if your intentions are sincere. Take it for what you will but I received a cloak of protection from the Goddess the first time I entered into the ‘other realm’ and for sure I have needed it or I would have been throughly trounced. This cloak I perceive as the aegis of Athena. The freeing of his mother from the evil king is a metaphor for the overthrow of the ruling patriarchy of the world. In order to complete your quest you must at some point reconcile your relationship to the great mother goddess. Medusa has been described as both beautiful and ugly.


Is this not how we shiftingly view the world? At times we see its beauty and other times we are aghast. Seeing the illusion for what it is reveals a part of the created world which is surely upsetting. The snakes for hair demonstrate serpent power being the animating force of this world. But once again beauty is in the eye of the beholder; once you are over your initial shock you become free of the illusion and can use this knowledge to find peace within the game.

I am convinced some myths can only be decoded through experiential means. You have to live the myth yourself before approaching the essence of the mystery and its esoteric threads. This is my antidote to complacency.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

confluence

The alkaloid nicotine found in the tobacco plant is used as a pesticide against herbivores. The shamans of the Upper Amazon tell us plants love tobacco smoke and tobacco can be used as a reciprocal offering when harvesting medicinal plants. These shamans don't have a scientific practice as far as I can ascertain, yet they know plants love tobacco smoke and will readily accept tobacco as an offering. Furthermore, prior to an Ayahuasca ceremony a competent shaman will build an arkana (magical fortress) around the ceremonial circle using mapacho (jungle tobacco) smoke for protection and also give each participant a personal icaro arkana (an icaro is a magical song learned from doing rigorous dieting with the plant) and a mapacho soplando, which is the blowing of the smoke over the participant. I figured these were rituals all used to keep 'evil' spirits away. What is going on here? In the 'physical' realm, which correlates with the shamanic middle world, tobacco smoke repels insects that prey upon plants and from a 'spiritual' standpoint the mapacho smoke repulses the parasitic entities of the etheric worlds that try to attach to our 'double’, which is the energetic body. I can't footnote or reference this information because the spirit of tobacco taught me this and without experience with plant medicines this is admittedly difficult to fathom and accept. However if you can let go of western paradigms and prejudices, in conjunction with acceptance of what is experienced in a plant medicine ceremony, this becomes fully plausible.

A few weeks ago my intuition suggested my tobacco education was going to move on to the next level. I received such a feeling because I had developed some kind of plateau or tolerance and I was experiencing a pleasurable smoke instead of the head rush followed by a clearing of the mind and a state of bliss that would last for ten minutes or so when smoking mapacho in the evening. I am of the curious sort so there must have been an expectation that I'd start experimenting with different methods of administration. I've been reading the book 'Tobacco and Shamanism in South America'


which reads like a textbook documenting the different tribes and how they use the plant, especially in a shamanic context. This gave me ideas on tobacco's power and how its sacred use was approached. So I started experimenting with different methods of inhalation. At the start of the week as I basically intoxicated myself with nicotine at a greater level I noticed this peculiar sensation of arousal. At first it would be sexual and then move on to the rest of my senses. Previously I had found the smoke to be very relaxing and I would want to lie down afterwards which was perfect to do before bedtime. I had not found it sexually arousing though I had wondered why I would wake up every night with an erection, which I did curiously note. Anyway I did this for a few nights but I figured I could go further with it so one night I tried rapidly puffing and then pausing with the smoke in my mouth for a while then releasing it. This method caused an immediate stirring in my loins and then a lightness and body weakness and the familiar head rush. This all took me a bit by surprise because it was pretty intense and I forgot to turn off my mind so I was bouncing around different ideas and acting almost like I was drunk. After I reigned all that nonsense in I returned to the heart space and remembered something of great importance. When I have drank Ayahuasca it has at times felt very erotic and occasionally the visions have become sexually charged. I then remembered about serpent power and how I had been given its secret and knew it could be used positively for sexual, health related, or spiritual power as well as a potential for misuse. It all then added up. The mapacho upon onset stirs what the Hindus call the kundalini power and the base level of that energetic force presents upon onset physically as sexual stimulation. It's funny, I already knew that but it took me a few tries to connect the dots with the sacred use of tobacco. What I am also thankful for is this knowledge that I have a choice in how I wish to use the power. Without this understanding I'd have figured I'd discovered an aphrodisiac! What I experienced my last trip to the Amazon was using this power to make your consciousness rise and it's how I became a jaguar. In the eastern tradition you may envision it as the feminine shakti power rising up the spinal column lighting up all chakras of your ethereal body until you are a fully realized spiritual entity.

rising power

So now my late evenings will be spent channeling the stirring of this energy into raising my level of consciousness. This realization took nine months from the time I returned from Peru last year to start my latest integration. I remember the first time I went down it took about the exact same time to the point where I felt strong and in control once again after my severe beat down. I find what is called the integration period after a cycle of work with the master plant medicines utterly fascinating, a continuing education of sorts and sometimes the lessons are hard and failure is part of the curriculum. But it is so rewarding. My deepest respect to my teachers - spirit, human, plant, and animal. In terms of understanding serpent power in my own experience I can also describe this power as light that has entered into the body and diffracted into different levels of vibration. The base vibratory power settles at the bottom of the spine and is red in colour. It is the common oscillation of this power, the lowest form of vibration, and in eastern mysticism is the root chakra which is very materialistic. Serpent power at this point is experienced sexually as well as in expressions of violent behaviour such as rage and anger. As your spiritual awareness is raised, the vibrational intensity of this power increases and this is depicted in the ascending colour scale of the chakras until once again the light returns to its pure white state and exits out of the crown chakra. This can be thought of as enlightening all the chakras and at this point you can keep your 'channel' open and be constantly enlightened by the light. The three areas primarily affected by serpent power in my experience are sexual potency, health and vigour, and spiritual ascendency. When this power is channeled into each area it necessarily takes away from the other area. With Ayahuasca it is a requirement of most traditions that the drinker abstain from sexual behaviour a few weeks before drinking and a few weeks afterwards. If you are expressing this energy out through sexual behaviour then there will be less energy accessible for healing and spiritual work. As well, I have also experienced where the body's use of this power to heal itself of sickness can be curtailed by engaging in sexual behaviour and temporarily deplete the self of this power. There is then a need to rebuild up stores of this energy. I have also found spiritually I am more in tune with my 'higher self' when I abstain from sexual behaviour. It seems this serpent energy presents with a constant choice where we can use it for sexual energy or spiritual energy if it is not needed to heal. When under the influence of Ayahuasca this has been presented to me very clearly. My body was in a heightened state of vibratory ecstasy, I was feeling the love, and I felt this energy coursing into me and rising on up out of my body. At this point my visionary activity became inundated with sexual imagery, in particular writhing, sexually charged women. I understood the visions at this time to be the direct result of this serpent energy and there is always a choice to channel this energy into the sexual or the spiritual. I chose the spiritual in this instance and it solidified my belief in this power and what it is used for.

I should also caution that by just smoking strong tobacco you are not going to achieve some epiphany of an available surging power within. I have spent ten years on this path of discovery and the last four years working with plant medicines and I am amazed at what I have discovered and I kind of feel it is a little bit accelerated due to my knowledge and understanding of ancient Egyptian mythology as well as an ability to make connections across different disciplines and cultures plus I have a treasured relationship with the Great Goddess. I also will warn that this wisdom is not easily accessible. There is a dragon on the path and other pitfalls that will steer you away from the unveiling. It's a challenge and I'm not sure many succeed on this journey. I experienced much failure but always got back up and eventually moved forwards. In a way I am hesitant of revealing this information however I do understand most will have no clue about what I am talking about and to get to a point where you know what I am talking about is a hard journey forward.

As an aside, an example of my continuing education with plant medicines is when a month ago I was in the woods smoking and I was pondering my direct experiences which I try to put an emphasis on. You can read and hear about others' experiences and thoughts but they remain just that so I think we should honour what we directly experience however accepted or not accepted by others. What I was pondering was my experience with the three worlds - lower, middle, and upper - which I experienced when I separated and floated away from my body after the inhalation of Vilca snuff. In each world I retained a sense of self though it was separate from the body. It's leading me to believe the self reflective consciousness that gives us a sense of some kind of autonomous self will remain upon bodily death and will remain as long as we remain in this dualistic cycle governed by the illusion of time, possibly to do more work or help others. It also helps clarify my experiencing of entities outside of a physical body. I was curious as to why we can sense these 'ghost' types when consciousness is perturbed if upon bodily death we return to the all and lose the sense of self. In essence we are each fundamentally the all which is of course what some major eastern teachings expound and this thinking entails all or nothing and no in between states upon bodily dissolution and liberation of consciousness but I am sensing there is self reflective consciousness in these in-between states and this explains why shamans will tell you these entities you meet are the ancestors and it personally explains my interactions with various spirits. And I believe it boils down to choice upon liberation from the body as long you haven't given away the ability to make that choice or have had some agent of a trickster convince you that you were part of some covenant or cult and have a debt to pay for your life. Where we are now is self reflective consciousness in a physical vehicle, the I Am paradigm, and if we choose we can fold back into the all and become part of the all once again but in the process lose the ability to know self without the mirror illusion construct we currently find ourself in.

Curious thing this serpent power is. It is erotically charged and being in a corporeal body that is a challenge difficult to master. Even in its latency the power must to a degree somehow influence the sex drive. I've always throughout my post pubescent life felt a rhythm to its coming and going, though I had no idea what it was, and at its peak found it uncontrollable, with a need to be satiated. I ceded control of it at some point to the darkness and along with that I started associating the sex drive with deviancy and attaching a negative connotation to it which corresponds with the prudish attitudes and mores of western civilization. The result of over thirty years struggle with this aspect of its power led finally to a mastery of its cycle and a period of celibacy in order to reclaim control. On the other hand, my journeys with plant medicines have tended to have an erotic aspect to them. My relationship with the Goddess is multi-faceted but the underlying aspect of it is an intense erotic attraction between us. With Ayahuasca she manifests as a beautiful seductive woman as well as charged whirling energy. My most recent experiences with the incredible plant medicines Ayahuasca and Huachuma revealed to me this power as serpent power and when I was struggling in these sacred ceremonies I discovered I could raise the level of my consciousness and become invincible by accessing this power. It is how I became the jaguar. I believe this is the power referred to by shamans as being able to access and then being human we succumb to temptation once discovered and start using it for personal gain. It has never been my intention nor my desire to enrich myself from the acquisition of this power. I am eternally grateful and thankful to the Great Goddess to ever allow my intentions to become selfish. I have been through enough to ever want to enter back into the quagmire of self aggrandizement and darkness.

I was walking in the woods yesterday with my dog when the antiquity of this power hit me. The biggest mystery of ancient Egypt - Osiris lying on a bier flanked by the two goddesses Isis and Nephthys and sporting a large erection.

ithyphallic Osiris

The gross reading of this curious story reveals the two goddesses, Isis and Nephthys, searched Egypt for the scattered remains of Osiris who had been dismembered by his brother Set. When they reconstituted him and made him hale, Isis was able to procreate with him and become impregnated by his seed. This led to the birth of Horus and is the exoteric understanding of the myth. Underlying this understanding however, once you know, is the energy of the serpent. When this energy is stirred within, its onset is sexually charged. There is a stirring in your loins and as I have mentioned smoking mapacho activates this power and I am at the point when I basically intoxicate myself with the plant the power is centred at first in my genitals as arousal. From there I know I have to become heart centred and allow the power to rise. Looking at the Egyptian mystery there is the raising of the djed pillar, which is the raising up of Osiris with some kind of magical power.

raising the djed pillar

Osiris wears the white crown which is the expression of this power being fully realized in the crown chakra. It's becoming Osiris. The realization of this power is depicted as the twin serpent sisters who rouse this energy within Osiris who had been murdered by his brother. Osiris is the eternal light that has embedded itself within human consciousness and then is left for dead after being assaulted by the darkness represented by Set. The depiction in art of the power enveloping Osiris is revealing only some of its awesome power. The full effect is left for mystery and those who know.

Another curious artifact from ancient Egypt are the caducei carried by the wisdom god Thoth which each have a serpent entwined on them.

Thoth with his wisdom caducei

The two serpents are representing the sisters Wadjet and Nekhebet who are serpentine forms of Isis and Nephthys. This is curious and leads me to believe Thoth as the god of wisdom is given his wise power by the serpents. Furthermore the two staffs he carries could possibly be phallic in symbolism. I speculate this is the case because his Greek counterpart, Hermes, has curious monuments to him distributed throughout Greece as phallic objects called ‘Herms’. The upshot of all this is the attainment of wisdom is through serpent power which reveals itself at first as sexual power that causes erection in the male! This gives new meaning to the healing rod of Asclepius, which is serpent entwined, when you think about it.

rod of Asclepius

The power to heal is the same power which is the impetus behind erection. This all leads back to my understanding of the serpent power being able to be used for sexual potency, health and vigour, and spiritual ascendency as well as being misused for personal gain. There is a strong sense of virility attached to this power being that it causes arousal upon activation. I am also reminded of the ancient Egyptian Sed festival whereby the Pharaoh had to prove he still had the strength to rule over the land and maintain possession of the double crown. Wadjet and Nekhebet would watch over the renewal of the Pharaoh's power and the ceremony would conclude with the raising of the djed pillar. As well, preserved in the tomb of an official of Pharaoh Amenhotep's court is this curious deference to the Great Goddess of Egypt Hathor in her serpentine form as being the provider of the power Amenhotep uses to rule.

Over the dancers and musicians in the lower register is a powerful invocation to the starry snake goddess of the night, Hathor 'Gold', whom they call on to rise and be propitiated through the dances they perform in her honour. But they dance not only for this beneficent queen of the night, shining in her fiery brilliance, but also for Amenhotep who has great need of her power.  In their chant to the goddess they implore her to take him to the east of the sky, to the place where at dawn, 'the doors of the sky open and a god goes forth pure'.  And this is what they sing:

Make jubilation for Gold
and sweet pleasure for
The Lady of the Two Lands,
that she may cause
Nebmaatre [Amenhotep], given life,
to be enduring.

Come, rise. Come
that I may make
Jubilation at twilight for you
And music in the evening.
O Hathor, you are exalted
In the hair of Re, in the hair of Re,
For to you has been given
The sky, deep night and the stars…

Hathor Rising, The Power of the Goddess in Ancient Egypt, Alison Roberts, pages 26-27

Serpent power is the mystery of the mysteries. It is so mysterious that when you have your first realization of it you deny it and are culturally taken aback by its presence. Western baggage and a religious heritage that denigrates the sacred feminine and the serpent will do that to you. For myself, there were erotically charged Ayahuasca sessions but I sensed no connection to the serpent. When I re-examine my second ceremony a few years back when I was transported to this city of gold where there were all these men gathered outside the castle where the Goddess resided, I realize now the erotic power of the serpent was manifesting at that point. When I looked around in my vision I noticed this crazy erotic vibe and many masturbating men not being able to control themselves in the presence of this power. I ascended the stairs to the castle entrance and the doorman told me no one gets in to see the Goddess. I looked to my right and saw her at the window and then I was allowed in to see her and what followed was an interesting sexual rendezvous and conjoining of our hearts. Later on in that cycle of work during the final Ayahuasca ceremony the Goddess appeared in her temple in Denderah in my vision. It was the ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor in her guise as the Goddess of Love dressed in a red corset and as she approached me and lay over top of my body I experienced the most erotic sensation that I have ever felt. Among many connections in the iconography of Hathor is a connection to the serpent Wadjet, representing the power of the rising serpent, and a subject of the aforementioned book by the Egyptologist Alison Roberts.


Following that ceremony, the first time I drank Huachuma a few days later it stirred within me this sexual energy once again - I commented that Huachuma was an aphrodisiac, aphrodisiac being an allusion to the Greek goddess Aphrodite who is equated with the Egyptian Hathor. That night when I laid in bed I closed my eyes and saw many writhing snakes in my vision. The second Huachuma ceremony I participated in is when I had a grand vision of the two huge serpents surrounding a magical light. Others were asking me what I was feeling and I remember saying 'serpent power' to which they looked at me in astonishment. I was puzzled too! Later on that evening when I was showering I looked down and saw serpents forming in the water. The next ceremony I remember feeling so much sexual energy being in the jungle and this overwhelming feeling of life and death. I witnessed the naked manifestation of the red (base) and green (heart) energy all around me. The presentation of the two colours were related to a shaman's ability to heal, to the pulsing sexual energy of the jungle, and then the energy manifested in the open heart being experienced by one of the women who was in the ceremony. There were no serpents in my visions at this time, instead this incredible energy was unveiling itself. At this point this energy was a bit disconcerting; I'd connected with it but I didn't quite know what it was. My last trip to Peru the third Ayahuasca ceremony was very serpent charged as at the conclusion of the ceremony I had a vision of a large green boa entering into me and settling on my left arm after she had transformed into a beautiful indigenous woman. Then another smaller serpent entered into me through my mouth and settled at the base of my spine and later that night while resting on the bed this serpentine energy coursed through me in an undulating rhythm. Further ceremonies I used this power to dispel the darkness and make my consciousness rise. I felt this power stirring at the conclusion of the fourth ceremony which was very erotically charged, in essence this power manifesting as an erotic woman and looking back I can see now how this power has constantly presented itself to me in the form of erotically charged scenarios. In the final ceremony it fuelled my transformation into the jaguar after I was assaulted by the darkness. I know fear had to be conquered before I sensed this mystery. It’s a confluence of cultures I have sensed in ancient traditions familiar with the serpent - Amazonian, Egyptian, and Hindu - applied to my own experiential mode of discovery. I know fully now what the mystery is, what the power is, and I know I have lots within. My intentions are pure and this next chapter is just beginning.

Friday, February 24, 2017

tinkuy

I wish to initially touch on 'The Contendings of Horus and Set' story from ancient Egypt concerning the homosexual acts perpetrated upon each combatant and from this position end up journeying intellectually into the Andes mountains. Horus and Set are the personification of the dualistic masculine mind that can be thought of as reverse images of each other. Another way to envision this is when the sun rises it is as Horus; when it sets it is invoking the power of Set, and this solar behaviour was combined into a deity called Harakhty by the ancient Egyptians. When Horus sees his reflection he should see Set and when Set looks in the mirror he would see Horus.

Set and Horus combined as Hrwyfy

They are of the same principle but performing the opposite action. Another example would be the interplay between the light and the dark. Without the other there is no distinction between the two; these opposites are what make up the created world and they operate as complementary waves each with its own peak. Set's attempt at sodomizing Horus is likely an attempt to prove dominance as it seems this behaviour was also used to depict the subjugation of other nations in that particular era. By foiling Set's attempt at penetrating him, and then using trickery with the help of Isis to get Set to ingest his semen, Horus is able to eventually prove to his elders that he is the dominant one able to conquer Set and lay claim to the white crown of his father Osiris and thus assume the dual kingship of Egypt.

Horus at Kom Ombo with the double crown

This might seem unrelated but bear with me. I have been smoking jungle tobacco, called mapacho, regularly since August and one of the things it has helped me with is the dreaming. My dreaming for quite a while had been sporadic almost to the point of non existence and if I did dream I couldn't remember them. It seems mapacho provides a light into the visionary dreamtime and I now dream vivid story lines which I remember clearly almost every night. A couple nights ago I had this kind of disturbing dream, well I have noticed that my dreams run the gamut of behaviour and emotions so having this type of dream isn't necessarily uncommon, anyway this male figure appeared and eventually tried to sodomize me which was an uncomfortable situation to say the least. I resisted the attempt and then awoke kind of confused. The next day I was trying to make sense of what this was symbolizing when it occurred to me the metaphor concerned my other half, the dark side if you will, and it was trying to reassert its dominance over the light side. By resisting, it was a sign of where I am in my journey and is suggestive that the tables can be turned now and the light can dominate the dark if I so choose. However that leads to another line of thinking.

I had been reading of Pre Hispanic Mesa rituals in the Andes over the past month with the majority of the data cited coming from the Spanish conquistadors' observation and interviewing of the former ruling Inca class and the various nations they ruled over. The author of one book called 'Decolonizing the Sodomite' was able to bring to light and reconstruct some of the rituals by extracting meaning from the indigenous words used and by critically examining the pandering to the Inquisitors concerning the explosive issue of sodomy which the Spanish had witnessed as being practiced by the Andean people along with rituals where men would cross dress. My take on this is the Andean specialists, shamans called quariwarmi, who were dual gendered shamans that mediated between the symmetrically dualistic spheres of Andean cosmology and daily life, were tasked with reconciling this very thing I have been discussing in which they ritually were bringing balance back into the complementary pair of the masculine through ritual sodomy and then going further to establish a centre balance between the feminine and masculine through the symbolic act of cross dressing which invokes the idea of the third gender recognized as an androgyne. This is the idea of a hermaphrodite being present in their conception of what constitutes the all encompassing monad, the deity called Viracocha, and of which I have written extensively about in my critical examination of ancient Egyptian mythology.

the dual gendered Viracocha

It would be proper at this point to explain the indigenous idea of 'tinkuy' as this is what the quariwarmi shamans were trying to achieve. Tinkuy is the joining together of complementary opposites through ritual mediation. It's all about bringing everything into the centre, the in between space, to find balance. This place was called the 'chaupi' and the central axis in this common territory was called the 'chhimi' which means the heart. It's interesting that what I can intuit as being the answer to the vexing problem of duality - love and the heart - was ritually mediated by a culture very in tune with this necessity and this was driven underground and pretty much destroyed by the conquistadors over 500 years ago.

Again while smoking mapacho the other evening this idea came to me as my mind faded away and I became the observer that while the masculine mind manifests the middle world and the feminine gives it form, the state the world currently finds itself in is largely due to the stubbornness of the masculine polarity. The mind has the capacity to know all and refuses to accept the need for the feminine's freely given love and wisdom in order to enact the perfect creation. The situation feels like the feminine is used to mainly birth creation and the masculine is confident from then on it can bring about utopia. The endemic stubbornness of rejecting love as the overarching principle for this most perfect world has sunk us into the abyss we currently are submerged in. The inherent duality that lies within the masculine mind is constantly in battle, symbolized by the light and the dark, and will never be at peace until surrender to love is viewed as a show of strength and not weakness. Love is always available to rectify this pathological condition if we so choose.

Here's another way to look at this: the two polarities of the omnipresent energetic force are the opposite attractors of feminine and masculine. Within each node of polarity (think of an alternating current) are the same sex pair described above which can be described as symmetrical though opposing - the Horus and Set never ending conflict that bedevils the masculine node. The idea of looking into a mirror and seeing a reflection of oneself describes this symmetry. Each polarity must balance its contending duality before becoming fit to mediate and reconcile its relationship to its polar opposite. Examples of this would be the dominate feminine traits of love, nurturing, healing, and sexuality harmonizing with warfare, destruction, pestilence, and chasteness. The resulting feminine iconography of the mediation of these characteristics produce ritual and symbolic displays of warrior goddesses with ithyphallic traits. Drawing on my knowledge of ancient Egypt this is iconographic in the goddess figures of the raging bringer of pestilence and healing lioness Sekhemet and also in the primeval combative and creatrix goddess Neith.

the ancient Egyptian goddess Neith with erect phallus

In ancient Greece this confluence of gender traits manifests in the warlike Athena who so attired can appear as what could be described as a female cross dressed.

Athena adorning a column in Athens

This need for balance extends to the masculine traits such as aggressiveness, single mindedness, dominance, and righteousness being reconciled with compromise, inclusion, trust, and free association. This act of restoring individual harmony in our society is a difficult path to follow as the male's gender role is society is rigidly defined and deviation from that is considered effeminate and queer. However it is a recurring archetype and especially prevalent in the arts. The artist David Bowie is a perfect example of the Dionysian impulse that lays bare the societal exaltation of the alpha male figure.

David Bowie

In my study of pre Colombian Andean cosmology it is revealed how in tune the various cultures were of the need to achieve this balance. Sacred performances involving cross dressing males, called ipas, were performed ritually to mediate the male tendency towards judgment and destruction. The masculine force, sufficiently tamed, would be prepared to be symbolically united with the opposing feminine force in a process called tinkuy. This balancing act and subsequent joining together of the opposing forces ritually recreates the original androgyne along a central axis bisecting the feminine and masculine polarities which in turn unlocks and radiates unconditional cosmic love and demonstrates this union is the origin of all there is and is represented in ritual and symbol as the mediated third gendered hermaphrodite.

Mountains can be considered these peaks of masculine power, the feminine would be the valley and rivers running through the landscape, and the indigenous people of the Andes referred to these landscape formations as Huacas - idols invested with elemental powers - and they are representative of these contending powers. The masculine will to assert dominance would anthropomorphically have one polarity declaring that they are the most high. Picture in your head two sine waves, each wave successively creates a mountain and a valley and when one aspect is at its peak and is dominant its complementary wave must be moved out of phase in order to keep it in check.

Sine waves out of phase

Combining these two waves in a harmonious relationship creates a figure 8; rotate the 8 ninety degrees and it's an infinite expression of all there is and all there will ever be.

Infinity

Each power rises and falls, has its complementary power symmetrically opposing it, is mediated by its relationship to its opposite counterpart, and is checked and harmonized when the all encompassing powers cross in the centre. Indigenous wisdom that came before our marauding western civilization and now lost to intolerance and time, created this congruence through symbol and ritual and they strove to lead lives imbued with this idea of balance and reciprocity referred to as tinkuy.

So dark has become our situation that in order to change it a return to the archaic world of symbolism and ritual is much needed. The two estranged waves of masculine polarity, in order to be corralled, must be mediated to the centre where the wise and fully realized feminine power alone in her castle remains in wait for her lover to arrive.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

path to and with heart

There is no self. The final attachment we cling to is the sense of self and language and culture are not our friends in this regard. Language is pretty well near impossible to use in an everyday manner without the assumption of selfhood. Try it - I dare you! Pretty much everything about me is an attached behaviour and I can reduce myself to a sense of conscious awareness combined with this emotional feeling of what we call the heart - the intuitive, insightful, and loving part. The combination of these divine principles within is us. The mother is common to all as the heart and our minds are individual beacons of the divine mind at large which represents all of consciousness. We are all children of divine parents and we incarnate in this world and build this edifice by attaching behaviours to it by choice; the choices we make are of course compromised by previous choices we have made and these are also influenced greatly by our environment and circumstance. Advertisers and their sophisticated systems of data analysis know this all too well. It is stunning to see how they track and use our online behaviour to pretty much build a complete profile of us as individuals. It’s funny, I’d almost expect an advertising information technologist to become the world’s foremost proponent of an eastern type of philosophy of letting go of the self. It is clear that only by shedding these acquired behaviours, attachments basically, that we can hope to figure out who we are. Without giving up the sense of self, which we have spent a lifetime building up, we can never get to a point of understanding.

In mythology you can see now why the Goddess is both the mother and the lover. The feminine and masculine are joined together and that is the all. They separate and we have the building blocks of creation. The feminine takes the energy and births forms. The masculine is the intellect driving the direction of all this creation. The mind desires to incarnate into the multitude of forms in order to self reflect and understand itself. The feminine mother acquiesces to this desire and allows the mind into forms through the construction of a limited mechanical device called a brain which allows for consciousness to appear in a restrictive and low vibrational material form. The masculine mind gets lost in creation and the feminine mother is buried away as we lose connection to her because of the dominant nature of consciousness which by now has split into a bipolar nature in this dualistic existence. The original eternal pair retain a faint memory of each other and call out in desperation. They are the original divine lovers and the mother becomes the lover once again searching for her lost loved one. This theme is the basis for many myths.

I saw this interplay in at least three visions. First time I drank Ayahuasca I was witness to the feminine as lover, soul mate, and the Great Mother. Fifth time I drank I went to the castle of gold where she is locked away. Seventh time I drank was an erotic meeting in the temple at Denderah (The most erotic feeling I have ever experienced).

Goddess Hathor's temple at Denderah

As well my Huachuma vision of the light and the two serpents was the intellect protected by the two aspects of the feminine, mother and lover, that form the heart.

Huachuma Vision

This was followed by her telling me the ego mind will stop at nothing to prevent the reunification of the two divine principles. This last journey to Peru seems like it was a summation, a call to finally understand what this was all about, to trust the heart space and turn off the intellect because it is tainted with the ego mind. When I was finally able to do that it began the process of piecing it all together. I knew the story now and just had to find her. I've found her.

To heal others is to help them find her as well. That seems to be my path going forward.

Monday, January 9, 2017

strange medicine

I returned from close to three weeks in the Amazon in July of 2016 and had a rash of maladies that lasted for six weeks or so which I admit wore me down. I felt really good about my time in the Amazon this past year and coming home I was quite eager to begin the integration process and learn as much as I could from the plant teachers. My plans and the plans of the masters seemed to be quite different though! August was a most challenging month. I've been successful in some ways in fulfilling what I knew needed to be done but I have also backslid a bit into old behaviours and I have felt very challenged in that regard. Serpent energy, as I was taught in the Amazon, is what makes the world go round. It's all in how you use it; it can be used for healing, for sexual procreation, and to attain higher spiritual states and conversely used for the negative aspect of these graces - illness, sexual misconduct, and darkness. These are all freely available but there's a catch in that it can be very strong and not controllable especially if combined with intentions that are less than pure. When you channel this serpent energy into actions that are not pure of heart it will devour you; it will destroy your higher self you have previously awakened. As I have learned, abstract language is not the preferred method of communication from the metaphysical aspects of what we perceive of as the heart and the higher self. Symbols, signs, and metaphors that we interpret and give meaning to is the language commonly used by these higher principles.

On a late August Sunday morning I took the dog outside for a walk as per our normal routine. I stepped out of the house and the dog went to investigate something to our left. It was a snake devouring a frog. I immediately recognized it as a sign. I took the dog away from the snake who was feeling vulnerable and threatened by our presence. Curiously the frog just seemed to be accepting of its fate. As we proceeded on our walk the wheels in my head starting spinning, my knowledge of mythology allowed me to quickly grasp what this is representing. In the ancient Egyptian cosmology the primordial feminine power is represented by the snake and the masculine is the frog.

8 primordial powers - feminine serpents and masculine frogs

The snake is ever present in our world and it can be considered a chthonic creature. In the Amazon the three shamanic worlds of water, earth, and air have the serpent as being central to the first two. The snake sheds its skin to renew itself and though it may disappear into the waters or hide under or within clefts of rocks, it is always present. The frog on the other hand goes through a birthing process of tadpole which then undergoes a metamorphosis into a frog. The frog springs forth from the tadpole in the water in an act which symbolically represent a springing forth motion that can be interpreted as a resurrection out of the waters. So the female motherly principle is a cycle of renewal which is always present. Its spiritual connection is to the heart and soul and is a nurturer. The frog is the higher self or spirit that suffers repeated death in the lower realms and is symbolized by the motifs of the resurrected god man throughout mythology. It is very dynamic. In harmonious combination these two principles are attractors, you could say soul mates, that unite to create a transfigured luminous being; the rising kundalini energy experienced by those who have awakened these two divine essences being how we can directly experience this. So of course now you're wondering why is the snake devouring the frog?

To put it bluntly if not used wisely serpent energy will kill. If not used wisely plant medicines can kill. If your intentions are nefarious then these modalities can be used to harm others. The lesson was staring me in the face. It is not enough to suppress your dark side or to ignore the negative aspects of serpent energy, instead you need to manifest and come to terms with these demons and conquer without remorse. The beginning of the month of October was waiting in the wings. I fell back into the abyss.

I surprisingly really struggled this time after my latest journey with the plant medicines. It's funny, I thought I did really well and the integration period would be clear sailing and so on. It turns out the opposite result was awaiting. It's like okay you want to take this to the next level, well you have to deal with all the baggage and nonsense you have suppressed. Four months later and I was reeling, everything had resurfaced. I broke down crying in the woods on a pleasant October morning; it's the day I also found the secret of my heart. I was so sorry for hurting my heart once again. I could never do that again. But in the process I found something. I had been searching for so long and I didn't quite know what I was searching for or why I was searching for a Goddess but I knew I had to find her. She’s my heart. The Goddess I can contact is my heart. She's also everyone's mother, healer, and wise woman. When you drink Ayahuasca the feminine spirit is your heart and she is common to all so we all report this rendezvous with a Goddess. I get it now. We have a divine mind and an ego mind in this world of duality. The ego mind takes over, makes the divine mind subservient, and then buries the heart. The princess gets locked away in the castle by the dragon and the prince has to come to his senses and rescue her. It was by peeling away all the layers of who I am that I finally understood this. The final attachment is to the sense of self. Everything is an attached behaviour and I reduced myself to a mind and what we call the heart - the intuitive, insightful, and loving part of us. The result of these two divine principles within is us. The mother is common to all and our minds are individual beacons of the divine mind at large which represents all of consciousness. We are all children of divine parents and we incarnate in this world and build this edifice by attaching behaviours to it. It is only by shedding these behaviours, attachments basically, that we can hope to figure out who we are. Without giving up the sense of self, which we have spent a lifetime building up, can we ever get to a point of understanding. I see pretty clearly now. That was a hard lesson to learn.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

what the shadow knows

While smoking mapacho and burning incense outside on the deck I noticed the smoke has a shadow. I always bring a flashlight out with me to illuminate the smoke of the incense so I can watch it dance. The smoke was swirling, but not frenetic, and it was making dark creepy shadows upon the walls of the deck. It was so creepy I had to blow mapacho smoke on the shadows. As with most things that cross my path, physically and intellectually, this lesson was not complete. The next morning while walking to the bus stop I noticed my own physical shadow and how it behaves. I detected it on my right, it grew bigger then disappeared. It reappeared behind me, walked out in front of me and became elongated and then disappeared once again. Next I couldn't find it until suddenly it appeared on my left, quickly gained on me and overtook me and then once again disappeared. I thought what an apt way to describe the behaviour of my shadow side. At times I think I have vanquished it only for it to reappear and then become really overbearing. And then it disappears again. This happens to me in my own personal drama so this was all very curious. I'll be on the lookout for its reappearance. I also got the thought that in order to completely defeat the shadow you have to live in the dark in an unenlightened world which is not at all familiar with light. If you walk in the light you will always have to contend with the shadow. When you become the light you are free once again.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

nowhere paths

In my third Ayahuasca ceremony of my recent trip to SpiritQuest in June of 2016 I experienced a major turning point. The beginning of the intoxication once again started off in a dark place and was very challenging, as it should have been as the issue being addressed was my knee jerk reaction which at first always looks towards the negative. I came to the realization the mind is a hindrance in trying to move past this unpleasantness and the failure to bypass the mental will lead to delusion and travel further down into an abyss of negativity. I turned off my mind and called out the thoughts which tried to repopulate the void. I successfully navigated the treacherous waters designed to shipwreck the Ayahuasca voyager and before me in my vision was the elephant deity of Hinduism called Ganesha. I later learned that Ganesha clears your path of obstacles - the mind, and its ego baggage being a major obstacle of mine. I now have a jacket emblazoned with an image of Ganesha that I constantly wear. This story is leading to this point in time about five months after that ceremony. I walk my dog in the woods on this makeshift path, a path largely of my own creation. There are lots of branches and logs that litter the path, a great deal from an ice storm last March. So a few weeks ago a bunch of workers showed up with chainsaws and wheelbarrows and cleared the path of all obstacles. I ran into one of the workers and asked what they were up to? He said they were cleaning up the river so the water would flow more freely - it's a floodplain where I walk the dog. The path they cleared for easier access of their wheelbarrows and they have done a ton of work; it is quite impressive how much they have cleared. It dawned on me on the weekend I should take this as a physical sign for what I have accomplished post ceremony in my mental state where I trust the heart and let her lead now. It was really quite wonderful to realize this synchronicity. I thanked Ganesha and my Heart/My Mother down at the river's edge.

The paths available to me now are a good representation of how the Ayahuasca intoxication initializes. There are now two choices for entering into the woods due to the good work of the clean up crew. The original way was not cleared and you have to navigate over some fallen branches to get to the cleared path. This path is representing entering into the visionary state still being mindful and facing a challenge to trust your instincts and turn off your mind. Once you find the path then it is clear, if you don’t then you get stuck in a maze of shrubbery, fallen trees, rotting logs, and thorn bushes. The other path detours down a trail next to the pond, the pond representing the stillness of the mind. This part is a little tricky but once negotiated the path is opened up in front of you. It represents entering into the heart space upon commencement of the intoxication. It is the wiser of the choices but both paths are valid. The clear path last for a good while and then eventually you reach a point where it is not cleared once again. This is a sign denoting that ahead in the journey are challenges but it is familiar terrain now and I'm more than capable of being successful. After weaving through this section I come upon a clearing down by the river's edge that I call witch's cove after these two young ladies who held a full moon ceremony there in May of 2015. I connect here with the Goddess, often bringing incense and smoking mapacho in this location. After this section the trail becomes adventurous and the options for exploring are presented. It is a very apt depiction of what is possible with Ayahuasca once the entrance into its world is cleared and you realize you must check your mind at the door. Thank you very much Ganesha.

Sri Ganesha

I love you brother.

Friday, January 6, 2017

wishful thinking

I came across the ideas of wishful thinking or wish fulfillment plus the avoidance of difficult situations, my feeling being that difficult situations can be incredibly healing and allow you to transcend your current situation. These ideas gave me pause for thought due to the nature of duality we live in. The masculine intellectual mind has the ego mind as its polar opposite. The feminine world soul, our hearts, I have viewed as being an undivided rock mainly because of my belief that love transcends duality and is something that comes from unity hence our difficulty with it, though when exposed to it we realize it is the only way. Engendered from the love bequeathed by the feminine polarity is wisdom and from this we also get intuition. There's always been the question of how do you know your intuition is correct? That's where the wishing comes in. We may wish something to be true or decide to believe the best or worst about something or someone despite our intuition telling us something else. It's the intuitive faculty being compromised by a function of ego steering us towards a fantasy or something we or the ego wants to control by assigning a false belief towards. It's a very subtle way by the ego of directing the edifice it has attached itself to towards its end goals. It is a form of delusion that creeps in slowly because instead of using our inner guide we start believing things based on whether it aligns with our thinking and what we want to happen. Intuition can be uncomfortable and it can challenge us, reveal things about our nature that are not at all pleasant and not always positive.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

self analysis

In terms of behaviours I have a question. I want to be left alone a lot. It's a tiring effort to be in others' company. I have caught my ego mind fantasizing about being left alone as well. In contrast, I like being around animals. I connect with the heart while alone in nature or sitting on the deck smoking mapacho and these moments are my favourite times. In trying to understand this behaviour I realize a few things: first of all in terms of ego I find it is a struggle to connect with others in terms of personalities. Many traits in others I find turn me off and make me want to avoid them because they are either tiring to deal with, drain my own energy, or I don't want to listen to another ego babble on about themselves and the edifice they have created. I'm also guilty of similar behaviour and the creating and careful crafting of a personality. I have sculpted mine so it's shrouded in a little bit of mystery, the “what's he up to?” game and I tend to keep to myself because I know I don't want to hear about others' drama so I recognize that in reality not many want to hear my story or of this me I have built. And what a marvellous edifice it is! I've figured it all out and will lay claim to that distinction. That's a pretty big ego boost! Okay I know I haven't figured it all out and I remain enthralled by discovery but part of me, the ego, wants to lay claim to this, advertise it, and participate in an act of self aggrandizement. It's another big reason to strip away the sense of self and be left with just the feminine and masculine polarities and a blank slate. By losing the sense of self I can avoid falling into the ego trap. There's nothing real then to attach the label of spiritual to. But back to the behaviour of wanting to be alone. A great deal of this when I was growing up was because my mind was utterly fascinating. It was smart, inventive, and good company. I recognize a lot of that was part of a developing ego mind as I would over analyze and judge everything but also I had a healthy intellectual mind and enjoyed exercising that part of me as well, on my terms. Meditation always seemed strange to me because I thought why would I want to turn off my mind; it's my everything! I built up a sense of trust with my mind and I didn't realize its inherent duality. At some point the ego mind, whom you now trust, leads you into behaviours that benefit it and allows it to control and subvert your mind. A little bit at a time, it's very crafty, and then it demands more and more. At this point you don't know why you are behaving this way and since you have always trusted the mind it can't possibly be the mind. Until one day you explore this aspect and it is unmasked. It really will stop at nothing to enslave you to its desires. Always remain vigilant. So was this behaviour and desire to be alone that continues to this day a product of the ego mind? I think it capitalized on it. I never would have discovered my heart without going through all this. So being attracted to this behaviour was steering me towards a lifetime of quiet contemplation that would lead me to the heart. It does seem risky though because of the aggrandizement of ego by constantly living in the head space unawares of the danger but at least it was tempered by not needing to be a big ego, instead it was a smug and superior ego. Little did I know the ego was playing a game as well. It was trying to destroy me because I would not use my power to dominate others and I get the sense to lay claim to that victory would be something of a fantastic accomplishment for it. It came pretty close I must say and it is almost like I stopped it at a critical juncture. And when I finally caught wind of it, it was very difficult to extricate myself from its dominance and it played havoc on my mind. Even still in psychedelic journeys it would offer me untold power, a chance to be part of the conquering of the universe, and anything I wanted along with frothing threats to kill me if I did not give into it. My heart as the Goddess, warned me during one inner voyage that this power would stop at nothing and would create fantastic deceptions to learn the secrets of the divine mind. It was not until I learned to quiet the mind completely that I was able to bypass its grasp and dig down deep into my soul. I'm in a good place now.

True self analysis leads to the discovery of no self. I can strip myself right down of everything I think is me and be left with a meat shell that is sustained by instinctual needs to prolong physical survival. All the rest of this edifice I call me are behaviours I have chosen to attach to this mental and physical construct. When your instincts badger you to be fulfilled - hunger, sleep, sex drive, survival - your intellectual mind is reduced or switched off in order to get out of the way. It is a mechanism used to ensure survival of the corporeal body and looking at the big picture the species in general. This presents an opportunity for the ego mind to dominate the mind set while the instincts are front and centre. The much used axiom about men thinking with their genitals as opposed to their head is very appropriate. Instead of approaching the sex drive from an instinctual basis it becomes hijacked by the ego mind and is led down strange paths of fetishism, almost looking for the next and greatest 'high' that can be achieved. Since the ego mind has carved out a piece of the brilliant mind for itself it uses this to its advantage and concocts all kind of schemes in the pursuit of a perverse hedonistic pleasure. There is nothing inherently wrong with seeking pleasure but there seems again that the ego mind is using it to achieve ends which are nefarious. The ego mind seems to take great delight into leading the human into perdition and it is very patient at doing this if need be. When the ego is allowed to be dominant it results in behaviours where people seek power without care for others, they become controlling, there's no compassion, along the same line the food intake can reach unhealthy levels, the sex drive is perverted, resulting in all kinds of deviant behaviours and in some these behaviours are taken to the extreme - sadistic serial killers, sex crimes, grand obesity, eating disorders. These are all outcomes of the ego mind which is essentially parasitic. Looking at the use of alcohol it removes inhibitions - it loosens you up. The grip of the mind is eased at first and the intoxication relaxes you. Upon further use the ego mind takes over and latent behaviours inherent to the ego take over such as anger and pleasure seeking outside normal boundaries, plus language filters are removed concerning topics not normally discussed. To some this is the true personality manifesting however I disagree. They are products of the ego mind that are allowed to come forth due to the use of these intoxicants. It is important to see what the ego is trying to do to you, to control you, and steal your light. If it is not successful it takes a perverse pleasure in destroying you. The ego mind is a killer; if it cannot get its way, and this is the path of power, it will start killing if need be and will not stop at killing the host if necessary. From this it is possible to conclude the ego is a parasitic entity on the look out for a host and can survive the material death of the host, much like consciousness survives physical death as well. This is purely speculative but the evidence points in this direction and is worth intellectually pursuing.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

consciousness as a remedy to suffering

On the question of suffering: I really don’t know if there are cascaded parallel worlds built off of each other, which seems plausible as a dream within a dream and so on, each with diminishing levels of consciousness and by dream state I mean projected energy emanating from the masculine mind. The suffering in this world would reflect the level of consciousness within its creation. This world contains mental energy emanating from the 'mind at large' masculine spirit which is then materially formed and birthed by the feminine soul, this sum total reflecting the current consciousness level and requisite amount of suffering. The mental energy is not fixed; we can actively change it for the good or the bad through choice. If I currently had to guess at a reason for existence of the paradigm we find ourselves in it would have to be to evolve into a purified mind that through free will has shed the darkness and embraced love while being ensconced in a hostile world which presents a difficult dilemma of what choice to make. The further our conscious intention is enveloped by love the more perfect world we can create. I’m not sure it has a fixed destination, however Love is the path and the way forward.

In a ways the mythology which could be created by this idea is one where the male seeker was distraught because he was forever being pursued by an evil villain and wished to vanquish this dragon once and for all. So they became locked in this world created to host combat so twisted that the hero ultimately forgot what he was fighting for. The feminine lead is distraught and desperate to get him to awake from this amnesia and worldly distraction which will lead him to remember why he is on this journey. She too is confused as to her whereabouts but still holds a intuitive connection through the heart to the reason behind this madness. She is suppressed and subjugated to second class status in order to keep her away from the hero. The darkness' goal is to continue the conflict for as long as possible, racking up victory after victory, and sinking the hero further down into the abyss. It is through letting go of self and embracing love that the hero finds this goddess and the strength to ultimately prevail. Until that event happens, round and round the combatants are entangled in a struggle no one can win.