Monday, September 30, 2019

long separation

Tantra essentially means to weave. It is the weaving together of the feminine and masculine energies into a whole. The easiest way to see this stares you right in the face everyday and that is sexual attraction between the two eternal energies. It's the reason why the left hand path of unity and tantra is often conflated with the erotic. It is hard not to. To succumb to passion and desire and recombine into a whole is the destiny of all. Externally we reenact this truth and conduct marriage ceremonies to express our desire to make the two halves a whole. Did you know however that within is the same process that for most remains dormant? This is the mystery of mysteries. Within each and everyone of us is our soulmate crying out to us. In our myths she is sleeping beauty, or the frog who is actually the prince, or the beast from beauty and the beast who is rescued with the power of love. I am a knight in shining armour and I rescue the princess. I am her protector and she is my strength. Once discovered, and the veil is lifted, then the two sacred energies remember once again the sacred of all sacred. The coming together of woman and man. Balance of moon and sun. They remember to play.

I'd like to forget all of my Pink Floyd records. The ability to discover their music once again would be a priceless gift. What I would give to become enraptured by the music once again; to be taken in and long to finish work and spend the evening listening to 'The Dark Side of the Moon.' To feel the attraction and addiction to the delicious hypnotic pull of the melody and its hooks. To listen to the track 'Time,' sing along and feel it deep into my soul. I think you get what I'm putting down here. It is a universal gift to be able to forget and make the feeling and experience new again. We chase novelty and the long separation refreshes and renews the eternal love affair making it new again. We have all eternity so why not?

The fire rises while the chase is on. The energy devoured by the flame is the passion of life. When you get the girl or finish climbing the mountain then the flame starts to slowly die out. She wanted me to chase her, to play, but not to be caught. That road we have explored before and it never works. It leads to the long separation. The tantric magic unravels and we have to forget all we have known in order to begin the game and the chase anew. Prolong the foreplay as long as possible, hang out on the edge, and be tempted with giving in to the deliciousness of the situation at hand. We look into each other's eyes and say 'not yet.' We divide unity up into many iterations of the feminine and masculine self and play the erotic game of hide and seek with the thrill of rediscovering one another. Plant medicines journeys hint at tantra. The world is tantra. The universe is tantra. The chase brings us together. The weaver once again brings us entwined into a sacred unity. We play this out upon many stages. The union coalesces all into the one and the orgasmic explosion of the concentrated sacred feminine and masculine energy blows apart unity once again and so begins the long separation.

Until we do it again.

Monday, September 23, 2019


I made plans in the late spring with a friend to head down to Arizona to visit the Peyote Way Church during the full moon in September. About a week before heading down, the omens commenced as I started noticing butterflies, including one flying by my third floor office in downtown Toronto, almost like it was waiting for me. Later in the week, I woke from a dream with a prickly feeling in my mouth and slipped into an altered state of consciousness. In the final couple days before I left, I noticed three snakes that had tried to cross the road to my house, but had been unsuccessful. I flew into Dallas on the Thursday morning of September 12th and then connected to a Tucson flight. As the plane landed, over the loudspeakers started blaring the Trevor Hall song 'Moon and Sun' which speaks to the balance of the feminine and masculine energies.

It was quite the coincidence as first of all I don't remember airlines playing music after landing and second of all my journeys with plant medicine teachers have first and foremost revealed the interplay of these two sacred energies and the need for balance. My friend and I arrived at the PWC later that afternoon.

We started our fast after being given a tour of the grounds and the greenhouses where they propagate the peyote cactus.

The following day I spent most of the time reading, including some interesting information about the peyote plant. Much like the cultivated grapevine, Peyote is dual sexed, meaning it contains both the feminine and masculine generative parts and can self fertilize. The quick back story here is that wild grapevines are dioecious, which means in nature there must be separate male and female plants in order to propagate the species. Through cultivation, it is possible to select the hermaphroditic strand and promote the growing of the self pollinating plant. So it was interesting to learn Peyote has achieved this balance, the balance that I believe all seekers of higher knowledge will confront and then need to synergize these sacred energies in order to continue on the path. The coming together of the two energies in essence creates the one, which is the coming forth of the sacred once again. Our human societies and culture emphasize defined gender roles, lest you become an outcast, so the ability to discover and enact this process within our spiritual growth is stacked against us all.

Peyote grows in harsh desert conditions and maintains a relationship with the mesquite tree. The buttons share space with their fellow cacti as well as rattlesnakes, scorpions, poisonous spiders, and wandering packs of hungry coyotes. I immediately felt the set and setting for my journey has to take place in the same wilderness surroundings. Ayahuasca has always felt the same for me in terms of drinking the brew in the Amazon jungle. What I realized with Peyote is it wants to challenge you with difficult conditions and a dose of fear because is that not how we grow? A cactus is among the most heartiest of creatures here on planet earth and though it has no expectations should you not at least approach with some kind of respect? The surroundings are also a reminder and lesson in choice and how we want to spin the situation at hand. I could have easily invited fear along for the ride or I could have reacted negatively to having to share space with the indigenous critters. I chose to embrace my surroundings as I’m a guest, and thus projected my jaguar energy of no fear. In contrast if you so wish there are now five star hotels on the periphery in the jungle of Costa Rica serving Ayahuasca to upscale clientele. At what point does the medicine give up trying to get through to your entitled ass?

A storm rolled through the grounds around 4 pm that afternoon replete with darkening skies and lightning flashes. After orientation and instruction, we were given a flask of the tea shortly after 5 pm. I made my way through the drizzle to the east site which was about a five minute walk up a gradual slope, keeping to the left at all the forks in the path, as part of the reason I chose this site was it spoke to my intention of following the left hand path of service.

I arrived at my site and changed into my ceremonial clothes, set up the area and then said my prayers directed at my Goddess and then thanked all who have helped me on this journey, including the plant medicine teachers Mapacho, Peyote, Ayahuasca, Huachuma, Vilca, and Bobinsana. I sat down and prepared to take my first sip of the tea at about a quarter to six.

The Peyote tea at the PWC is imbibed by sipping about a tablespoon every twenty minutes. I set a timer for this interval that chimed to let me know when to drink again. I was warned the tea is very bitter and will make you nauseous, so we fasted for twenty four hours prior to drinking to minimize the chances of vomiting. My first sip of the tea I was surprised it wasn't as bad as I was expecting; I guess having no expectations works both ways. It was very earthy tasting and did have a bitter aftertaste but if I had to compare it to Ayahuasca and Huachuma I would rank it below those two in disgustingness. We were given lemon slices to suck on if needed after each sip to minimize the bitterness but I ended up only using one slice.

The first lesson started pretty much immediately. The sun starts to set around 6 pm and I had some disappointment in that the sky was cloudy and the sunset was going to be a let down. The site I picked had fabulous all around views of the mountain ridges and I had anticipated a great show. Slowly the sky cleared up in the west and the sun's rays started peeking through the clouds.

The visual effect of the setting sun continued in the shape of an orange hand slowly enveloping the dark cloud in front of it.

It was like nothing I had ever seen before and I felt a little sheepish that I had not the patience to wait for this visual candy. All I needed was to trust in the process.

The setting sun then engulfed the mountain ridges enveloping them in a warm glow. I drank it all in and then sat down for another sip and then continued on with the show.

A bunny stopped a few feet in front of my chair to keep me company as night fell. After a few sips of the tea an ethereal silence took hold and the sounds of nature became more pronounced, much like I have experienced while smoking Mapacho out in nature. It was not until after the sixth sip of tea, around 8 pm, that I started to feel a definite shift in consciousness. After the seventh sip I closed my eyes and the experience became very visionary, much like when I drink Ayahuasca. I saw snakes, lots of them, slithering around letting me know my Goddess was with me. The twenty minute timer went off and I had another sip and then lit the fire. Within no time the flames were raging and I became mesmerized with the passion of the fire as it burned.

I equated this to the passion that burns within humans, sometimes uncontrollably, devouring whatever it can. Everything has the potential to burn with passion and when that fire is lit we can be unstoppable, sometimes for good and sometimes not. The lesson of the fire was the catalyst for a continuing unfolding of knowledge and teaching that would occur after each sip. It was quite uncanny for a good amount of time.

Here are some of the downloads and discussions that took place: the world revolves around the pursuit of pleasure but it is not the pleasure you would think of such as sexual gratification. Instead for the majority of humans it is money, power, greed, and the ability to control others that turns them on. The constant pursuit of these ideals is the aphrodisiac that fulfills their pleasure principle. In terms of sexual pleasure it is the woman who is the master of the game. She is an expert at using her charms to foment desire in order to entice and manipulate the man. Women only come across as virtuous, pure, and virginal because that is how men want them to behave. Our culture for the longest time shamed the promiscuous female, though that is changing. Some middle eastern cultures veil and separate women from men as much as possible lest they use their powers of seduction. Ultimately the pure and virginal is not in the nature of the woman but instead the ideal of man. The bride we marry to claim as property wears white to symbolize our demand for purity. Women want to seduce, and to be desired and wanted. This lesson went even deeper as I came to understand when you recognize the sacred feminine and masculine energies within you can feel and discover it is through the feminine that the libido waxes and wains, much like the energy of the moon. The sex drive, though we assign it to a masculine lustfulness, is actually a product of the desire that the sacred feminine creates through seduction. The Hindu concept of the kundalini snake rising on up through the chakras is propelled by the awakening of this sexual energy and channeling it into the spiritual climb. I then experienced some regret from my younger years of lost opportunities to tell some people how I felt about them. When I reflected upon this, I realized where I am in life now I couldn’t have reached if I had followed a different path. Overall it is gratitude towards those I have surrounded myself with that has enabled the freedom to pursue this fulfilling spiritual journey. Another lesson was everyone is running a scam, be it an honourable scam or the time tested con. What is meant by this is we don't lay all our cards on the table and reveal our inner most thoughts, desires, feelings, and expectations. We actually can't and maintain social order so we all put on an act in order to save face and enable a workable society. The various roles we all perform causes inauthenticity and leads to playing our feelings close to the vest. Love can only blossom and grow if we bring our authentic self to the table. When we are around others it's a performance of the ego, the side of us we reveal to the world, and there is nothing wrong with that, however it is only when we are alone that our true nature is revealed. When we get away from others and are honest with ourselves then we can find out who we are. For most this never happens. We are never alone and with the advent of smart devices, anytime we have a moment where we can be alone with the self we end up sacrificing it to technology and the intoxicating overreach of social media.

The next vision was of a female jungle cat in the distance that approached and then sprinted up to me. I knew it was her and she laid her big head down on my chest in order to spend the night with me out alone in the desert wilderness. This is a true love story and we are always together, though I don't always see it or feel it. It occurred to me that whatever modality I use to alter my consciousness I am brought to a realization of this union with my feminine half. The Peyote experience was completely similar to the Ayahuasca experience in this regard. She is always with me and if I want to experience it within the realms of seeing it full on for what it is I can make the connection to spirit and spend time with her. Long after my seeking is over I will still regularly alter my consciousness just to be directly in the presence of the Goddess.

After this something incredible happened that made my whole night. If this is all that happened on this trip down to Arizona then it would have been more than worth it just to experience this. At some point in the night I looked towards the north mountain ridge and saw a bright light just above the mountain range and then it disappeared. A little while later after the jungle cat vision I looked again and the light returned to the same spot, to which I became very intrigued. First a little back story before I move on. The second time I drank Huachuma in April of 2015, in my visions I saw a bright white light surrounded by two serpent goddesses. I later realized what I was seeing was a projection of my self as a brilliant white orb surrounded on both sides by the Goddess. I was seeing self and my energy in its totality, both the feminine and masculine. The following winter I was walking my dog in the woods when I noticed a star in the sky around the horizon behaving in an odd way. It was moving horizontally and performing a dance. I stared at it and the star became brighter and continued to move in an undulating rhythm. It defied all my logical senses yet I could not deny what I was seeing. I eventually realized it was the Goddess revealing herself to me as this light. So anyways this light I was seeing now was exhibiting the same behaviour, moving across the horizon parallel to the ridge. As I started to realize this was the same light I had seen before at home, she started to energize and became unbelievably bright, pulsing with energy and desire. I tilted my head to the right and only the light moved with me, I tilted to the left and the same result. I then moved my head 180 degrees as far as I could and this light flipped with me. At this point it didn't take a genius to realize the light was a mirror image of myself and that image is the Goddess. She is my reflection and I am her reflection. We mirror and complement each other. There is a wholeness that separates into mirrored bright balls of opposing energy, sometimes revealed as serpent and jaguar. I sat back down in my chair and the light disappeared behind the ridge. I felt so much love and I realized that she is waiting for me. When I leave this bodily existence we will recombine as one, no more separated by the divide of a locked door of perception that doesn't allow me access to expanded consciousness and the visionary unless I change my consciousness with the plants.

In my experiences with plant medicine teachers the interactions with the wise feminine and masculine spirits of Ayahuasca and Huachuma involved a dialogue that was a give and take; a conversation with an entity much smarter than me. Lately that hasn't been the case. Instead it has been a dialogue with myself, the teacher being an iteration of self I am tempted to call my higher self, who is for all intents and purposes me. I felt this very strongly with Peyote, in fact I became convinced I am Peyote. The presence I felt was wise me, the one who has previously received the answers he sought, and had now become the teacher. I had a profound sense I had everything I need. The wise voice is always with me and I don't need the catalyst anymore to connect. Mapacho will quiet the mind in order to facilitate an easy connection but the guides are always there. That has been the message I have been receiving from the plants over the last two years and what Peyote finally just revealed in a simple and straightforward manner. Just listen and you will be guided. It's a bit of a mind fuck to actually realize the voice is you because you don't want to believe that. What me? Get out of here! I'm not qualified to teach playground safety to second graders. The visionary activity still requires an agent of consciousness and sometimes I get the feeling that if I don't have a grand vision I am missing out. I was thinking about this afterwards and laughed. I mean really do I just want a thrill? No, that's not what I seek. If anything the plant medicine journeys allow for the examination and distillation of experience and from this I get clarity. It's only been a few days, however I have found Peyote to cause quite profound introspection. For me anyway the journey was a far less intense and chaotic ride than what is experienced with Ayahuasca. It was exactly what I needed in order to progress to the next level though there is no actual level I need to get to or accomplish. I realize everything I need I have within. The guide is me and I just need to listen. Throughout our history this sage advice has always been known and also available. The spiritual apprentice is told to go off to be by themselves, in some cultures actually into the forest, in order to find what it is they seek. What or who are you expecting to find? The answer now seems obvious though like everyone else before me I couldn’t see the forest for the trees even though the answer was hiding within plain sight. I can remember asking the maestro don Howard why the shamans don’t drink Ayahuasca and him telling me well they don’t need to because just by using a little bit of Mapacho they connect to spirit. As a novice I didn’t understand because I thought well you definitely need to jump out of a virtual plane in order to access this obfuscated knowledge and the hidden realms of consciousness. Turns out it is all true. What it is I was seeking I’ve always had. Alan Watts would tell a similar story about how the spiritual teacher is like a pickpocket who steals your watch and sells it back to you. Then Alan would laugh every time he’d tell the story.

The energy potentiated by the Peyote in my system then needed an outlet as I started bodily shaking and I realized I should have brought a drum to beat on as I needed to release the energy. I started tapping my feet on the ground in a rhythmic fashion, working myself up to a feverish pace to let go of the coursing energy in my body. You are given 12 ounces of the tea to sip and at this point in the night I was reaching the end of the second 4 ounce amount I had poured into my drinking glass. I was starting to feel nauseous and extended my next sip to thirty minutes in order to wait for the sickness to subside. I sipped my next amount and realized I had just a little bit left so I then made a mistake a downed the rest. Ugh - got a bad feeling in my stomach so I stood up to stoke the fire and without warning up chucked the Peyote. Lesson learned. Slow and steady. I continued drinking and eventually finished it all except for some sludge in the bottom of the cup I couldn't fathom drinking anymore as it had gotten pretty disgusting.

I was able to explore the darkness that sometimes comes on during an Ayahuasca ceremony. I was reminded of the negative energy without the repeating hypnotic patterns and unease I usually feel. Instead I was able to remember the recurring nightmare of being trapped in the clutches of the brew and being forced to serve the cabal of brujos in order to further their outreach. This was pretty big because usually I can't remember this part and I forget it after, so much so that I have tried to leave reminders to myself to not drink again. With Peyote this was dredged up from my subconscious, however I was able to look at it from a detached point of view and examine my issues of trust that manifest in these scenarios. I was able to poke holes in the construct, purge the energy, and put it to rest. I also believe this is why Peyote was not interested in giving me an answer about my future other than to say you aren't ready. I needed to move past all that is holding me back in my subconscious before moving ahead and this was a giant leap in that direction. There is a need now to further examine within what it is that is working towards scuttling my path and I give thanks to the Peyote medicine in that it was able to bring out to the surface these deeply embedded patterns and feelings of mistrust without having to actually revisit the dread that accompanies their manifestation in my present awareness. It is becoming clear now that Peyote was trying to get me to realize the incredible gift I have for writing about the experience and how to be of service so I can act as an ambassador for the plants. The shamanic culture would call this a chacaruna, or bridge person. Through my writing I can put to ease the fear that many may have towards the use of these aids that bring about a profound change in consciousness and through proper set and setting will no doubt change the trajectory of the human experiment for the better one person at a time.

The full moon was out in all its feminine splendour, a circular haze glorifying her radiance, while the wildlife came alive. The cattle were lowing while the coyotes on either side of me howled and barked at each other. The howling came perceptually closer until I was sure one of the packs was pretty close to me. Where I walk my dog in the woods at home there are coyotes so I wasn't alarmed by this but realized for most this is a test of courage because you'd palpably feel the fear. I realized I had balls of steel plus incredible strength and courage to fast out in the desert for over forty hours, to be out by myself overnight, wildlife all around you, rattlesnakes, black widow spiders, and scorpions all within reach. It was just me, my lady, and the fire. No fear.

Peyote reminded me that this is all happening now, don't wish for an unknown future, but make now your masterpiece. I can continue to seek unity, develop my power to heal, or whatever, but this is where you are now. Remember she is always with me. My feminine side has wants, needs, and desires and wants to be loved and honoured. If I could I vowed to build her a waterfall made of gold to honour her.

I slipped into a dreamy state and nodded into and out of consciousness. The temperature dropped and I felt the need to break out the sleeping bag to keep warm. Peyote then instilled in me the commitment to help others find out who they are and then seek the other half of yourself to make yourself whole. I started practicing this the next morning with one of the others who had done the Spirit Walk. She was talking about meditating and observing your thoughts and then wondering who it was who was observing versus who was having the thoughts. I told her it is all you and in her current state I thought she was going to have her mind blown. In my case I know who I am and when I leave this bodily existence and open wide the door of perception, what constitutes my unity consciousness will be there to greet me. She is waiting to welcome me home. Whatever modality I use to alter my consciousness seems secondary. The connection is there and it is real. She waits for me every time.

The night was, to sum up, an incredible confirmation of all I have sought. By this I mean I realized it is not how I alter my consciousness and with what plant alkaloid or modality, but only that I alter my consciousness. The same world waits for me every time. This night confirmed the answers I had been shown through my other plant medicine journeys. I persisted and made my way through the challenges, never giving up or veering off onto another path to aggrandize myself and use my knowledge and power for gain. I have found it. The ultimate answer I was looking for I confirmed this night. Now my use of the plants will be to reconnect, for knowledge, and to teach.

Peyote removes the filters and many blocks where you have previously deluded yourself into thinking you are something you are not or where you haven't put two and two together. In this way it could be called a clarigen, much like its brother Huachuma.

Peyote grafted onto Huachuma

I'd like to add to this description and call it a revealer. A revealer of truths. Truth you might not want to hear but also confirming truths that you have received before or had been hinted at but weren't ready to accept. It takes off the blinders and removes the filters so all is revealed, whether visually or it is communicated to you what's what. Instead of being coy or playing games, it gives it to you straight. Peyote doesn't hold back the truth, instead it gives you the stark naked reality of the situation. During the Spirit Walk you are all alone so there is no hiding or making excuses. This caused some doubts within me but I think this is meant as a catalyst to take stock of where I wish to go with my life and when I choose to then take up whatever it is I decide with full force. I came into the ceremony with questions about my future however it seemed clear I wasn't ready to hear the answer but instead need to find that answer out myself by just being honest. I have started that process already and have realized I'm not at the point where I have clarity with regard to my ultimate path and intentions. I know it involves service, healing, and being an ambassador for the plants but the time to dive into this head long is not at hand.

It started to get light in the valley around 6 am, though the sun had to climb the mountain of appearances in order to reappear and shine gloriously in the east. I basked in the afterglow of the experience, took in the rising sun, and then knew it was time to head back to the ranch house. I put out the fire, gathered my belongings, and headed down the path to greet my fellow cosmic travellers of the night. Smiles were all abound. The power to change lives one at a time and light a fire beneath humanity lit up our small circle. This is the way forward for all humankind.

Para el bien de todos! 

Monday, September 16, 2019


Within unity you can find self. You just have to objectify and then within the collective consciousness all instances eventually separate and objectify which gives birth to the material world. This is the same as when I see unity while separate because I am unable to separate myself from the environment, so I no longer see separate objects. The opposite must be true. Unification would want to find separation and through this desire will once again separate in order to know its many selves. One and the many. By changing perspective we can see both. Now.

So it’s all here and now. There is no place I have to go to see either viewpoint. I just need to change my conscious awareness to see it at anytime. My consensus reality prism is a separator much like a prism refracts the pure white light into its constituent spectral colours which are all the colours of the rainbow. Consciousness is King and run through a great prism separates into many instances of the whole. We as a species double down on the objectification and separation of consciousness. A perturbation of consciousness is the way on through the doors of perception. There are many modalities available to do just this, just do an internet search. Our natural inclination is to fight the change in consciousness and return to our normal waking state. For instance the other morning my seasonal allergies were peaking and so when I got out of the shower I grabbed some toilet paper to blow my nose. A piece of the paper stuck to my face just below my eye. I was locked in my routine so I did not remove it though it bugged me for a bit. Eventually I just ignored it until I looked in the mirror. I sat down a bit later with a tea, a great form of meditation, and contemplated the fact that at first I reacted with annoyance that my perception changed and I was seeing things with the tissue paper getting in the way. In order to get back to the default comfortable state I just started ignoring it. Isn't that what we do all the time? We ignore so many things in our environment in order that everything conforms to our worldview. If something feels out of place, we work to fix or remove it. I then started noticing my nose in my line of sight. It's always there but I just ignore it now because it is commonplace. Once I started noticing it, then it started bugging me, and I wanted to go back to ignoring it.

The overall lesson is that you can change your consciousness simply by being or becoming aware of environmental happenings that we just take for granted. It's hard to do though because our default state is to ignore or dismiss common occurrences and get locked into patterns of perception. As humans, it’s probably the reason we are attracted to novelty because it changes our consciousness and gets us out of locked in and mundane everyday experiences. However the novelty soon wears off and we seek out something new. As well we are easily distracted and though we may become aware of something, we soon return to our default view. So that's why seekers use agents of consciousness to perturb their consciousness. Examples of this are meditation, breath work, physical exertion, chanting, drumming, and plants or substances that alter consciousness. All these modalities then have the ability to show you other states of consciousness that are always with us, we have just filtered them out. It doesn't have to be psychedelic, it can be as simply as sitting in the forest and hearing the wind, the chattering of the birds, the frogs and crickets singing, the sun's rays glistening on a spider web, insects busily flying about, the heat of the day, the chill of the air, and so on.

Monday, September 9, 2019

full circle

At mid life I embarked upon a voyage to find the origins of religious beliefs. I was pretty skeptical of the whole construct of religion in general but I had enough of an open mind to wonder why people have these beliefs and I was curious as to why they formed in humankind in the past. I figured that there must have been an impetus for them and looking back into the prescientific mind of the species would give me an understanding and then I could draw my own conclusions from the inquiry. I was not at all expecting the journey to be as far reaching and life changing as it unfolded, taking me across the globe in search of answers. It shortly became within a burning passion to discover the truth as each specific inquiry opened up more doors and avenues to follow. I discovered the land of the Pharaohs early on it and I followed that path using the intellectual gifts I had been blessed with to try and penetrate what they were getting at with their belief system. With a certain arrogance that serves me well, I became skeptical of the consensus narrative that they were a civilization obsessed with death and I set out to figure out what they were getting at on my own. So I did that and my beliefs are for the most part independent of accepted beliefs. Right or wrong, that’s how it is. I feel this defines my life, animates my contrarian spirit, and I’m richer for it. It is hard to see beyond culture if you are always falling for its narrative.

There are a couple concepts from ancient Egypt that I took a deep dive into and they centre around the Ba and the Ka. The Ba is the eternal essence of what makes you, you. You could vaguely call it the soul and it has a connection to the heart. The ancient Egyptians were fond of word play and the sound used for the Ba backwards was their word for the heart. The Ka, on the other hand, is undeniably the life force as it was represented in hieroglyphs as a bull as well as food offerings. On temple walls you can see the ram headed god Khnum creating duplicate Kas from a master record. The ancient Egyptians believed we were eternal, had a definite self, and experienced many incarnations that were iterations from a master source. This had a pretty profound impact on me and I explored this concept further all the while continuing to search for the origins of these beliefs the ancient Egyptians held with impressive conviction. I deduced that through observation of the cosmos as well as the agricultural cycle the priests could formulate a belief system for the human that would mimic what they observed. Similar cultures and their deities and beliefs could be shown to conform to this idea. The proverbial fly in the ointment was the art and pyramid/coffin texts of the ancient Egyptians. There was nothing orderly about it nor was there any easy way to try and understand what its esotericism was pointing towards. Scholars have placed them within the domain of wishful thinking upon the content of what is in the funerary sphere and afterlife. Eventually my path of seeking would lead to shamanism, experientially entering into the world of shamanism, and discovering an occult world of teachers, spirits, demons, and many challenges that once unlocked would open many more doors, all ready to enter into and discover their hidden secrets.

All the while I kept reading and discovering, all in the name of truth. The philosophical speculations of the Hindi culture I was quite impressed with, especially concerning the idea of no self and that we are all the godhead in a dramatic interpretation of what constitutes reality, as in the million masks of god and the one and the many. I doubled down on the idea of the self being but an illusion and went in search of a way to destroy the ego after first denigrating it. Somebody smart once said a fool who persists in his folly will soon become wise (William Blake). After pursuing this path I abandoned the idea I could fully destroy the self while in this incarnation which then led to a seeking of unity. To fast forward through this journey, I eventually found unity through being separate. I learned that though I viewed myself as separate I was in fact inexorably connected to the all, unable to extricate myself from it. I could have ended my searching here as I had discovered a fundamental unity of all and was shown love is the glue that holds us all together. I’m a knowledge junkie however and so on I went, not satiated with this truth. The problem with continual seeking is coming to the understanding that there are no absolutes. Truth is dependent on circumstance, knowledge, and environment. It seems very easy to take down an argument that is not flexible as I have discovered my truth has no staying power. I had at the time realized we are all one and that the self was transient. The voyage of discovery continued on and I soon realized that the unity I had trumpeted as everything was just the 180 degree opposite of the self I had toppled over. I saw that the fundamental energy of the universe is always on the move and cycles between unity and self. Unity is the seed and the ultimate expression of self is the beautiful flower come forth and this all repeats. That seeking ship of fools continues on in the voyage of discovery, taking a sledgehammer to my beliefs, and not allowing me to rest. A great maestro I know, the venerable don Howard, is fond of saying “there’s always more."

I figured the ship had set a non stop course and assumed it was full steam ahead on a linear path. Finally this weekend I realized the ship’s course is in all likelihood circular because I was reminded of my studies of ancient Egypt and it rang a bell within that allowed my own beliefs to come full circle. With their concept of the Ba I see the eternal soul and the fount of my existence. This heart is common to everything. My own heart beats and connects me to the frequency of the all, which is the rhythmic dance of love. The underlying fount of everything is a universal heart beat tapping out a rhythm of love. With the Ka I see my life force energy that waxes and wanes, a pulse of energy that comes forth again and again as the self, though different guises of that self, and then returns to a fundamental unity, the beating of the heart ensuring I never lose my way. 

Monday, September 2, 2019

profound respect

Three years ago I had a profound vision in the jungle after partaking within ceremony the sacred sacrament Vilca. The conclusion of the visionary experience revealed that I had the ability to become a healer and that through sacred jungle tobacco, called mapacho, I would be able to heal. In that final week at SpiritQuest in June of 2016 I had grown fond of the tobacco and returned home with some in tow. I then started smoking mapacho on a regular basis, got a hold of some mapacho snuff, and then started observing its effects. At its best and if used respectfully, mapacho is an aid that helps quiet the mind after an initial arousal of the central nervous system and a focussing of the senses. When the effect comes on strong it will knock you off your feet. Then a change in consciousness takes place, if you let go. If you continue to engage the mind then it will accelerate that behaviour. Upon letting go, an inner feeling of peacefulness envelops you and the chattering in your head subsides. It is as close as I can get to the expression “rest in peace” without actually being in the grave. I have noted arousal, an increase in visual acuity, and an increased auditory depth where I could hear sounds from greater distances as well as being able to isolate the sound. Through this I was able to understand what it was like to be the nonplussed observer, not wanting to act upon or mentally spin what I was sensing. It is the ultimate meditation cheat code. I have also noticed the change in consciousness promotes more plentiful and free dreaming activity when you sleep.

I have witnessed shamans and healers using mapacho in everything they do, whether for ceremony, ritual, healing, blessing, and protection. At the beginning of ceremonies, soplando is performed, which is tobacco smoke blown over the patient/participant. It acts as a catalyst to open the senses, to provide energetic protection, and to bring a sense of calm to the person. The shamans envelop the ceremony space and the participants in this smoke as it acts as a fortress of protection and the shaman’s song or icaro that is sung while protecting the space, is called an arkana. To close the ceremony some shamans will seal you with another soplando called a sellado. I have witnessed shamans in the Amazon jungle using mapacho to heal, usually by literally sucking disease out of a patient with their mouths and then blowing smoke over the area which is called limpia. It is very curious to witness and being a western man with a western mind I didn't understand it and at best I considered it theatrics in a placebo kind of way.

Plant teachers and medicines let you believe whatever you want to believe. If you want to be humbled then go spend some time in the jungle. I have smoked pretty regularly for three years and have a good relationship with mapacho. I am very respectful and have felt no pangs of addiction, instead cherishing my time with the smoke and acting responsibly. My plant teachers taught me about the life force power within us all and there are three main uses of it within humans. We can use serpent power for healing, for spiritual growth, and for reproduction which we experience as sexual desire. I know how to channel it into these areas and the plant teachers challenged me on this repeatedly until I finally learned how to work with the power. It enabled my transformation intra-ceremony into a jaguar which completed a stage of my teaching as I finally let go of fear and became the feared.

I had a profound experience last weekend. Someone close to me had been suffering from mental anguish and anxiety since the beginning of the year and this was now manifesting into physical problems including dizziness and digestive problems. I was visiting for four days and within two days they started to feel better. On the third day they point blank asked me if I was responsible for the abatement of the maladies because the symptoms had gone away, they felt renewed, and they could walk normally. The first few days in their presence I felt tired, headachy, with an unquenchable thirst due to the negative energy I was absorbing. I started feeling better by the third day, which is about when I started realizing I was absorbing the energy through the activated mapacho within my system which was in turn healing them by removing it from their energy field. I put two and two together and remembered the shaman sucking the energy out of the patient and then blowing it away. As a healer you transfer the energy into your field and then disperse it.

I learned diseases that propagate through maladies of the mind have an energy that can be extracted and therefore the patient can be cured of the underlying problem. Through mapacho I can do this. Mapacho energetically draws these antagonistic patterns out, absorbs them, and then you can scatter them to the four winds. Phoooooooo.

I am but a speck of dust in the presence of a great teacher. I sit here humbled, in awe, with a deep and profound respect for my teacher. Never rushed, the plant teachers reveal their secrets to the initiate all in due time. I’m not the perfect student, I never will be, nor do I have to be. All that is asked is to have an open heart, an open mind, and respect.