“Sorcerers say that true rebellion, and humanity’s only way out as a species, is to stage a revolution against their own stupidity. As you can understand, this is solitary work. The goal of sorcerers is this sorcerers’ revolution: The unrestricted unfolding of all our perceptual possibilities. Don Juan demonstrated that it is possible!
I cannot guide you, but I can put you in front of an abyss which will test all your abilities. It depends on you, whether you hurl yourself off it to fly, or run to hide in the security of your routines.”
“To achieve the mood of a warrior is not a simple matter. It is a revolution. To regard the lion and the water rats and our fellow men as equals is a magnificent act of a warrior’s spirit. It takes power to do that.
To be a warrior is not a simple matter of wishing to be one. It is rather an endless struggle that will go on to the very last moment of our lives. Nobody is born a warrior, in exactly the same way that nobody is born an average man. We make ourselves into one or the other.”
“I never noticed the noise in my head, until it stopped”.
Yopo snuff or Anadenanthera peregrina is a psycho-active substance prepared and used by The Yanomamo (Yah-no-mah-muh) tribe of the Amazon regions of Brazil and Venezuela. Also called the Yanomami, and Yanomama, they are deep jungle Indians believed to be the most primitive, culturally intact people in existence in the world. They are literally a stone age tribe.
I was in Nevada visiting friends. We had spoken about doing a Yopo trip when I came out to visit them. And just as planned we headed out to the desert at night fall. Arriving at the canyon were going to stay we set up camp and lit a fire. This particular Canyon just outside Las Vegas, is noted for it Petroglyphs and cave paintings, it seems like a very ancient site.
After sorting some food and a hot drink, we sat by the fire. The mood was quiet and medative. I could feel the energy of this place and my feeling was that this was a sacred place. I listened to the silence and entered into slight trance which I saw as a positive omen. I used the opportunity to pray to the ancestors and to the spirit of the Yopo herself.
After asking for advice, guidance and protection, we set about discussing how much Yopo we were going to take. My companion had tried this batch on a previously occasion but it became clear that the dose had been too large. So I placed a small amount of the substance on a flat surface and snorted it. Not wanting to make the same mistake, my companion took half the amount.
At first nothing seemed to happen but then in a wave which seemed to come sweeping across the desert floor from in front of me – Yopo came and gripped me. I felt like I was suddenly covered in a blanket. The next thing I noticed was that we were surrounded by something like a caged dome although it was not to imprison. It rested on the desert floor and we were somehow inside this huge structure. The cactus and plants that were around were all dancing in the fire light. The cactus’ took the appearance of somehow not being real but rather cardboard cut outs. It was at this point I also noticed we were not alone. A host of different entities had come to call. The first type I notice due to their unmistakable size was that Atlantean giants were moving in. Passing right through where we were sat near the fire, these beings were 18ft tall, dark stony figures obvious against the night sky. I was a little unnerved at this point but recollected myself and I gazed at the scene once more. These Atlantean Toltec giants were so exactly like the giants that stand at top of Quetzalcoatl’s Pyramid in Tula Mexico, as to be indistinguishable from them.
I was then rushed by a different type of inorganic being smaller and brighter. This seemed to open me up even further and in astonishment, I realised just how many beings had gathered around us. As I focused on each type of inorganic being the next would reveal itself to me. There were a host of different entities maybe 5 or 6 types including the giants. But also on the edge of the firelight I saw the ancestors gathered. These were smallish red people, wearing red squares of material covering their private parts and painted up ceremonially – they were sort of checking me out whenever I remembered them and turned to look. They peeked out at me from the desert night making odd gesture now and again, as I took turn to look at them.
I looked into the sky and saw what was like a mother ship sliding in from the north – it was kind of like a sheet or film that covered the sky but had definite size, direction and purpose. It was like a diamond shape. The MATRIX was then lowered down over me and what seemed like a probe of a luminous fibre came down and engulfed me making me puke. I snorted out the Yopo from my nostrils and within about 20 minutes I was down completely. We explored the caves and the canyon. The really extraordinary thing that we discovered was that within the cave a short distance from where we were camped there was a stone approximately the shape of the matrix that had descended. It was pitted with carved regular sized indentures all over the surface. There was also a square on the cave wall, carved with the same indentures and cave paintings of what looked like beings.
I was surprisingly calm throughout the experience; probably the overwhelming nature of the Yopo. But even when the Atlanteans Toltec warriors decided it would be fun to pick the fire up to demonstrate their size I was not afraid. Throughout the experience, I was constantly reassured: “there is nothing here that is going to harm you”.
Many moons ago I had what could be termed the first of my extra-sensory experiences…I was informed by a friend of mine about a technique he described as something that would enable ‘dream navigation’. He told me this technique and said that I had to stick to it very rigidly but if you did it was almost guaranteed to work. I had been working on developing my dreaming, so one night I went to bed and decided to try the technique. This is what he told me:
‘To lie very still in bed, close your eyes and keep them closed, in your mind count backwards from 100 down to 1, but actually picturing the numbers in your mind as they go past and count very slowly. As you are doing this examine every part of your anatomy, starting with your feet – become aware of every part of the body working upwards to the head (sort of saying goodbye to each part of the body as you examine it). Then as the numbers get down to one in your head imagine a ‘Door’ in the centre of your mind. Really picture the door in every detail, the handle the frame, the door itself – then once you have this door fixed in your mind open it and step through!’
Well the effect of this was dramatic – As I tried to synchronise all the different activities to reach a kind moment of singularity – I felt my body going to sleep, but my mind was clear. I went into full sleep paralysis with my mind full aware, my body seemingly unconscious. At the moment I imagine the door I realised I was then dreaming but in a strange place as I could see the room in my mind’s eye but it was not exactly like my room, the door seemed to appear in the air above me, I opened it and to my astonishment there was a white light behind it which was exceedingly bright. I remember the door and the light clearly to this day. I then had the sensation of lifting out of my body fully detached from my waking body – I tried to go through the door – I felt I did but also in a sense could not. I saw the room clearly. At this point my courage gave out and I wanted back to my waking body. I seem to remember counting again and coming back to sensation in my body and in time to full wakefulness once again.
The experience kicked off everything for me. It gave me an understanding of the dynamics of dreaming to a large extent – that we enter into another world during dreaming that there is a cord that binds our waking body and the dreaming body and that we can traverse this cord with enough skill and precision (or even given the right advice). That we are not trapped in this reality but called to traverse a multi-layered reality that includes dream scape. There then is the possibility to become aware of our dreaming and to actual navigate through this immense area of our sub-consciousness.
10 years ago I went walking around the country for three months. I boarded a train with the intention of travelling to Hope in Derbyshire. However due to difficulties I was having on the train I had to get off at Edale, one stop short of “Hope” if you will…I got off the train and headed into the night. I got to the top of the nearest hill and surveyed the sky. It was a perfectly clear night and I was under the flight path of Manchester airport – the whole sky was filled with planes; small lights made their way steadily through the sky. I looked down and saw the carcass of a dead sheep. During this three-month period that I was walkabout there was a foot and mouth epidemic in the UK and most footpaths were closed. For the rest of the three months I had to choose my route carefully and quite often found myself walking on the roads because the use of the Pennine Way was not possible due to this epidemic. That night I stood there on the side of the hill staring at the sky – I looked down at the dead sheep, and had the strangest of thoughts. Maybe the powers that be had a special new aircraft that could circumnavigate the globe flying at ultra high speeds and altitude. It would be for monitoring and controlling humanity. Strangely enough the thing that most concerned me was the pilots. How weird their experience must be in having their humanity stripped away in the process of following orders. That was the thought and it never came up again throughout the three months. It was a strange moment
I continued my walk making my way north towards the Lake District and then across the country to Durham. This was amongst some of the nicest walking I have ever done because there is a silence to the North York moors, a kind of stillness that comes from the isolation. I got to a town just short of Durham one night. The effect of fasting and walking everyday for at least ten miles or so had placed me in quite a stressful state of being. I moved through the town and got to the other side where there was a quarry. It was late on about two o’clock in the morning and I had to think about making camp. I walked round the quarry surveying it for a possible camp sites but decided against it. There was water running into the quarry from the cliffs and I imagined it keeping me awake. There was also just something I felt about this place, like a presence possibly. I made my way out of the quarry and found a perfect spot on the other side of a bridge. There was a small bank a short way up-stream surrounded by poplar trees. Because it was late at night and I wanted a fire and I didn’t know how close to civilisation I was; the trees acted as a very good barrier in case there was a house nearby.
I lit my fire and had something to eat and after which a smoke, I was already in a very strange place and then from this entered into a deep state of what I considered a sort of dreaming. A portal opened up in time. I felt a kind of connection though which the past present and the future all melded together, time became meaningless and I could communicate freely with the past and future simultaneously.
I was standing by the fire and suddenly an eerie wind came up that stopped me in my tracks. I looked up to see the poplars being blown in a powerful and silent gust that moved only the tops of the trees. There was then a sudden quiet and I was distracted – I could not believe my eyes.
I saw coming in just behind the wind a V-shaped craft with the whole of the fuselage lit up with powerful flashing landing lights. There was a lit cockpit undercarriage with two pilots seated in it. So clearly could I see them that I knew their visors were blacked out and they were wearing flight suits (I could almost read their insignia). I looked then to the rest of the craft which seems cloaked against the sky, as if painted invisibly black. This craft flew over at about thirty miles and hour – gliding slowly over head, far too slowly for the internal combustion engine, but then it made no sound either. I watched the whole scene as it as it flew slowly across the sky; the humanoid pilots, the undercarriage lights, the dark black shape again the night sky. Then the next moment it was gone.
I can’t remember what happened after that. I got on with my hike and ended up somewhere just beyond Durham not too many days later. I got a lift home and carried on with my life. The strangeness of this vision broke my continuity – I could not place it into a linear time frame that connected with anything else. I thought about it for a long time and could recall every detail. But the vision had seemed like an altered state of consciousness, I had the premonition on the hill-top after all. I thought probably, It had been an enormous shift in my awareness that had forced me into another dimension – it felt more like a dream experience than being awake.
I spoke with friends about this eventually who suggested I might have actually seen a U.F.O. plain and simple. Possibly new secret technology being tested over Durham or even an alien craft. I had not considered any other possibility prior to this. I still do not know whether it was an enormous shift in my assemblage point which propelled me into a waking dream, or something else. I may never know.
Playlist: Doctor Rick Strassman talking to Whitley Strieber on Dreamland Radio
I am reluctant to talk about my visions on the whole, I would rather talk of knowledge on a practical level of what I know. Visions are in general unexplained phenomena which take years to be explained. But in the interests of emptying myself which is the shaman’s practice I will tell you about my Saturn return.
The Saturn Return is an astrological phenomenon that occurs at around the age of thirty, coinciding with the time it takes the planet Saturn to make one orbit around the sun. It is believed by astrologers that as Saturn “returns” to the degree in which it occupied at the time of birth a person crosses over a major threshold and into the next stage of life. With the first Saturn Return, a person leaves youth behind and enters adulthood. With the second Return, maturity. And the third and usually final Return, a person enters wise old age.
The first Saturn Return is famous because it represents the first test of character and the structures a person has built their life upon. According to traditions, should these structures be unsound, or if a person is living out of touch with his or her true values, the Saturn Return will be a time of upheaval and limitations as Saturn forces him or her to expel old concepts and worn out patterns of living. It is not uncommon for relationships and jobs to end during this time of life restructuring and re-evaluation.
I was working in a holiday home by the sea in a place not far from where I live now. I had for many years struggled with my self-importance. Self indulgence seemed to engulfed me on a day-to-day basis; I felt pity for myself and the world. And as I worked in this place my problems seemed to manifest themselves. I had been homeless for a time and I was reliant on my employer for a place to stay. I was at my lowest ebb, lower than I had been for a long while. I found it difficult to keep my head above water; maintaining my position in this establishment was near impossible with the difficulties I was experiencing.
Then one day I had a moment of clarity – a sense of giving up and abandoning myself to what might be. I had made a friend in this place, I can’t even remember his name but he was a decent person I liked. I stepped outside of the building onto the patio to gaze at the world for a moment while on a break.
My friend stood next to me. I remember looking down to see I was standing on a grate – I made a pun to myself of the word imaging it spelt GREAT and that “I was standing on the GREAT”. We stood in silence it seemed a sombre moment. But just then he said to me “Just look at that”…
I surveyed the horizon looking out to sea, the man to my right pointing. I could not believe what I saw. Instead of the seeing the sun setting on the horizon, I now saw Saturn with its rings. It was enormous and utterly eclipsed my mind. I had entered into a state of wakeful dreaming. As I stood there gazing at the scene something had shifted within me and I was in a dream-like vision, I could not have even imagined. My friend was calm, as if his eyes had seen this many times before (I doubt he was seeing the same as I was) Just for a moment I stood there between the worlds of waking experience and that which is dreamed. And Saturn returned to me.
It was an omen of prolific proportions. As is the nature of these things I thought I knew but in a sense was totally unaware of its significance. Particularly as only until recently did I discover the term ‘Saturn Return’ and understand its meaning. But now many years on I see the significance. This for me was a moment of portent and promise – a return to not quite to sanity but to a place of well-being and a place where I could be free.
The man left the place I was working – thrown out I was told. As was I a short time after. But there was no regret for me due to what I had seen. I felt uplifted, as if I had passed a test. And the stage was set for me to continue on my path of discovery.