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”.
Some years ago I made the decision, I was going to get back into hiking and camping in a big way. I decided I wanted to go to Scotland, but felt slightly trepidations about heading straight for the highlands. I needed somewhere remote but wanted to test the water first. I found myself in a second-hand book shop, a copy of a map came into my hands. It was for an area of Scotland, called the Ochill Hills, near Perth. I decided I was going to try this area.
I arrived on the train at the place I was going to start my hike and headed off into the hills. Then next day, I was walking along a path near a train line. I noticed some woods just beyond. I crossed the railway line and found lying there the carcass of a dead Roe deer. It had one of its antlers missing, I suspected it had been hit by a train. Some distance from the body, I found the other antler. Then I noticed from where the deer must have come. There was a woodland directly in front of me, which seemed somehow familiar. I stood there for a moment looking into the wood assessing the situation. I suddenly realised, I had been here before in lucid dreaming.
The dream had been a protracted one. As I remembered it had been very intense in its vividness. There was someone in the dream I had known. A person who had been living with me for sometime. I was following him in the dream through various dreamscapes. Then toward the end of the dream, I found myself in another place entirely. This part was more lucid than the rest, it was like waking up in daylight. I climbed over a branch of a fallen tree entering this new location. I looked down on the ground and there was a zippo lighter. The most significant thing about this person I had been following; was that I had given him a zippo just the day before. I picked up the shiny metal object and studied it. I walked several more paces and there to my amazement, was another lighter nestling in the undergrowth. This was a gas lighter but just as shiny, I picked it up as well. It was at that point I looked up and realised, I was in the grounds of something like a stately home; I suspected there might be even a game keeper. I woke from the dream.
This dream had been weird on several levels. It was odd that this person I knew had been in the dream. It was also strange that he had been leading me and the lucidness of the dream was stunning and unforgettable, in particularly this last part. The lighters seemed significant as something I had recently given away. And the fact I was finding them again seemed to mean I was being given something in recompense. The phrase “a double portion of the spirit” reverberated round my head.
The concept of dreaming is an important aspect of Don Juan’s teachings. He set out the idea that there are different levels of dreaming and gates to be crossed. The first gate of dreaming is to gain control over ones attention in dreaming by finding the hands. This anchors the double in the second attention. The second gate of dreaming is to learn how to wake up in the dream into yet another dream – enabling the dreamer to change dreaming locations entirely. The third gate of dreaming is reached when you find you are staring at yourself in a dream. The fourth gate of dreaming involves learning to use the energy body to travel. This can be used to find:
“firstly concrete places in this world; two, to travel to concrete places out of this world; and, three, to travel to places that exist only in the intent of others.”
There are three further gates. The Fifth gate of dreaming is to be able to bring out the dreaming double in everyday life. The sixth is to be able to transport the physical body to another location entirely. And the seventh gate is to be able to transcend the world entirely and to step beyond this world with the totality of oneself.
So, I understood that this is wood now in front of me in some way represented the woodland within my dream. The concept for me was that this was reaching the fourth gate of dreaming. I had found a “concrete places in this world”. The concept then in stalking relative to the dreamed experience, meant I had entered a state of awareness called “Dreaming Awake”. This is finding the location of your dreaming in waking life and dreaming the location again.
I had a moment’s deliberation, then set off into the wood. It all seemed very familiar. I took the zippo out of my pocket and inspected it looking down at my hands. I heard a noise which startled me and which made me look up. There some distance in front of me stood a huge stag. He was staring at me. The moment lasted for a while then he turned and lumbered heavily off into the woods. I went to follow him but realised there was a huge ravine that separated us, one more step and I would have fallen in.
I went back to the railway line. I understood then that I had been in the location of my dreaming. That the dream itself had meant reaching the fourth gate of dreaming and I had crossed it. The Antler was a power object – I took as my spirit catcher. In the dream the friend I had known must have been a Scout, even the shiny lighters I took must have been Inorganic Beings – hiding in the fabric of the dream. But most importantly, I had found in my waking experience the place which I had dreamed (the realisation of stalking)/and within the dream, I had found a real location of the world (the culmination of dreaming).
I had also through this state of ‘Dreaming Awake’ found my spirit animal. I looked up sometime later the significance of the deer and the stag. In terms of the systems of the indigenous Peoples of North America; the Deer is regarded as my spirit animal in connection with their horoscope. Also, especially in relation to the Mayan calendar; my Ahua Kin, is “Manik” which means ‘deer’ and the glyph for Manik shows the hand of the hunter. Manik is the powerful and transformative seventh face of the Ahau Kin and is associated with accomplishment and the Craft of Life. The successful hunt requires that the hunter fully understands – even becomes one with – the life energy of the prey. This balance between hunter and hunted is imagined as wholeness rather than opposition and expresses the character of Manik. Manik is the knowledge and transformation manifested by the sacrifice/forgiveness of Cimi(death).
A Nagual’s dream ~ The Warrior’s Journey – The quest for knowledge leading into the heart of the unknown. A visual and auditory landscape – a dedication to all those who faithfully follow the path with heart without rushing or faltering.
“Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions. To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then will you know that any path is only a path, and there is not affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition.
I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question. This question is one that only a very old person asks. My benefactor told me about it once when I was young, and my blood was too vigorous for me to understand it. Now I do understand it.
I will tell you what it is: Does this path have a heart?
All paths are the same, they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long, long paths, but I am not anywhere. My benefactor’s question has meaning now. “Does this path have a heart?” One makes you strong; the other weakens you.
The trouble is nobody asks the question: and when a person finally realizes that they have taken a path without heart, the path is ready to kill them. At that point very few people stop to deliberate and leave the path.
A path without a heart is never enjoyable. You have to work hard even to take it. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy; it does not make you work at liking it.
For my part there is only the travelling on paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length.
And there I travel looking, looking, breathlessly.”
– Don Juan
The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
“The nature of ruthlessness is that it is the opposite of self-pity. All sorcerers are ruthless.”
“As I have said, the fourth abstract core of the sorcery stories is called the descent of the spirit, or being moved by intent . In order to let the mysteries of sorcery reveal themselves it is necessary for the spirit to descend. The spirit chooses a moment when a man is distracted, unguarded, and, showing no pity, the spirit lets its presence by itself move the man’s assemblage point to a specific position. This spot is known to sorcerers as the place of no pity. Ruthlessness becomes, in this way, the first principle of sorcery.”
“The place of no pity is the site of ruthlessness. Let’s say that ruthlessness, being a specific position of the assemblage point, is shown in the eyes of sorcerers. It’s like a shimmering film over the eyes. The eyes of sorcerers are brilliant. The greater the shine, the more ruthless the sorcerer is.
When the assemblage point moves to the place of no pity, the eyes begin to shine. The firmer the grip of the assemblage point on its new position, the more the eyes shine.”
“For sorcerers to use the shine of their eyes to move their own or anyone else’s assemblage point they have to be ruthless. That is, they have to be familiar with that specific position of the assemblage point called the place of no pity. This is especially true for the naguals.”
“When the assemblage point moves and reaches the place of no pity, the position of rationality and common sense becomes weak.
Silent knowledge is something that all of us have, something that has complete mastery, complete knowledge of everything. But it cannot think, therefore, it cannot speak of what is know.”
“Continuity is so important in our lives that if it breaks it’s always instantly repaired. In the case of sorcerers, however, once their assemblage points reach the place of no pity, continuity is never the same.”
“The place of no pity is a position of the assemblage point, a position which renders self-pity inoperative.”
Don Juan Matus (The Power of Silence)
Derangement in my opinion is the worst thing that can be set a warrior. A man of knowledge is only such for a fleeting moment then he must return again to the world of ordinary affairs ~ knowledge is a crashing wave and as it breaks upon the shores of knowing – Only then does a warrior understand and perhaps see
The spirit tests us in order to learn…. The teaching of the spirit is hard but forces us to bring forth the understanding that will counter-act the derangement we experience at that moment
The spirit is inescapable and on the path with heart there is no turning back from the lessons that are taught. It is only through our ability to acquiesce to the spirit, that we can overcome the concepts and ideas that plague us while we are deranged….
…. these are aspects of human form are what Don Juan described as illusory ~ they are what has been taught to us through the description of the world… This anxiety will fade over time as personal power grows and awareness becomes sharper and with a greater ability to handle the gift which is given.
It is important to have a perspective then ~ only through seeing the world is it possible to transcend ideas such as the Flyers, and other aberrant thought forms. With ruthlessness, cunning patience and sweetness, it can be cracked ~
To arrive at intent is the greatest achievement of the warrior ~ to have recapitulated to such a degree that none of these things any longer matter ~ To have the power in themselves to handle intent ~ this is the NAGUAL the true SEER!!
Artwork : http://almanegra.deviantart.com/
In the first place to see beyond the illusion, is to not trust perception. To understand that the world is a description; a form of language created by the thought of self-reflection. And knowing that by ending this internal dialogue, in order to enter into inner silence and create a shift in awareness, that gives rise to a new perspective and an altered consciousness is to break the ties with perception.
While I am capable of dreaming, stalking is my predilection. I have probably dreamed to the sixth gate of dreaming, in as much as I have woken up in a place I did not go to sleep. Waking up in broad day light some where you did not go to bed is a surprising act to say the least.
Within dreaming we learn much about ourselves and the world – the message as it is received is metaphorical, a reflection of our waking experience; a prognostication. The same being said of our waking experience of course. But only by bringing these worlds together can we hope to understand the message that nature sends…
..seeing energy as it flows through the universe
with the techniques that Don Juan taught this is all possible,
Don Juan stated that man exists within just one world; foolish to believe otherwise. And yet this world is constructed of many layers like an onion each layer an entirely separate world within itself. The “whole” is fragmented and broken down into myriad layers creating separate worlds of perception. And everything we experience is polar opposites – light and dark, night and day, male and female, waking and dreaming and so on.
This is the unravelling – the questioning of reality: are we experiencing duality or non-duality in actual fact? Well the trickster mind sees only a separation.
Everything is in reality is “ONE PARTICLE”- The original thought – the particle splits creating the infinite whole. Creation is a convergence and the splitting of the aspect of the ONE – ONE CONSCIOUSNESS so to speak, the ONE AWARENESS – broken down and fractured into myriad of layers – where ever you look the divergence occurs – the light is sent through a prism and we no longer experience everything as it is.
INTENT is the driving force of evolution, the unfolding of reality and the nature of the UNIVERSE/MULTI-VERSE
Once we start tapping into intent – we are twirled – picked up by the force of the Spirit and flung into entirely new worlds – a difference attention then with a changed awareness – this is the shift; the movement into the 2nd attention. For me the world of the “tonal” or 1st attention as it is called ceased at this point. It fell away became unfamiliar, no longer home. With this shift, I was then in the world of the ‘unknown’ the 2nd attention or the “nagual.” And this is the place one must make your stand! We are confronted with the thought – of arrival and no way back. Only by realizing this can we make a viable experience of our existence. And knowing this we must continue into the unknowable with a chance at freedom – the ultimate goal. So relentlessly we press on. Until there is another break and shift in reality – I found myself in the 3rd attention, the place of “silent knowledge” through stalking in the waking moment – as is my predilection.
But we occupy only one world. Dreaming then is an extension of the waking reality and only by merging these experiencing into ONE is there a way to continue back into the light of being. Reversing the prism, working back through to the beginning – sending the dreaming double the other way!
It is in dreaming that we discover our potential – and so in dreaming we realize the infinite nature of our being. But waking reality is the place where we stop the world – through a repeated breaking down and reconstituting of our existence. By collapsing the world – stopping the internal dialogue – smashing the mirror of our self-reflection and a great deal of recapitulation – we break the ties with perception. With detachment and sobriety we push on; personal power lending the force required to bring ourselves back together again. The waking and dreaming experience merge as we remember – recapitulating the whole of our being into the one. Creating an existence in both places. And bringing back integrity to the self.
The road is long and hard, and as with any long journey the only way is to put your head down and keep going. Perhaps with an initial burst of energy in the beginning – a blessing from the earth; a wishing you well and on your way to the place of infinity.