Thursday April 2, 2015
The day before Easter. It’s near midday and the noon day sun is beating down through clouds as I stand, feet spread-eagled, hands reaching up to embrace the sky, my body a bridge between heaven and earth. In front of me the solid gravity of Mt. Jerusalem, Northern NSW, Australia, a dense foliage of trees protruding from the skin of the mountain, the earth and rock lovers whispering to the sun. I stare at the uppermost tree crowning this leviathan spirit as the beaming, mischievous smile of Dr. Octavio Rettig moves towards me. His eyes are deep pools as he holds a small glass pipe up to my lips, lights it and commands me to breathe in: slowly, slowly, that’s it you’re almost there, a little bit more, almost there, more, more… that’s it! Now inhale deeply and hold it...!
Consciousness unfolds like a lotus petal into a white, white pool of becoming… everything is here and it swallows me whole, the drop returns to the ocean and there is no longer an I left to remember being separate… I’m fading in and out of the white, drowning in the remembrance, and what’s left of my ego is panicking, split apart, bleeding soul stretched between all points in the spacetime singularity---and at that exact moment, I am held.
It’s not the shaman, not Octavio, my dear, dear brother, tending to my physical form as it collapses to the ground in the noon day sun, blessing it with his icaro songs and smoothing out my energetic body with his rattle. No, it’s the others. I can feel, not see, their silhouetted light body forms around me¬–guardian spirits? Ancestors? Fellow shaman brothers, masculine, ancient, old and wizened like Shipibo curanderos… And they gently hold an arm, touch a shoulder, adjust my pineal third eye with the cool mint touch of ease; they hold me and they love me and support me as I come back from the fullness, the awe-full ness of the ALL, till my Eye can remember where I am again, what I am again:
Between my eyes my pineal literally pops, and it bursts the golden white seed-juice of the light, and the liquid is pure LOVE, unconditional love. It becomes a waterfall that thunders down my throat and I’m drowning on the inside, drowning in the purest of the pure white light LOVE that is ALL THERE IS… And I REMEMBER…. I remember where I am, what I am, what IT IS! A cascade of 5-MeO-DMT washes through my mind-body-soul, de-armoring, releasing, remembering…
And I know: my shaman brothers are here, all of them holding me up and supporting me and joyfully welcoming me home and to the MISSION I am on and we are on and it is fluid translinguistic YES YES YES this is the moment JOIN US! We are all doing this together you are protected you are loved you are joy you are God You Am I Am You Am I… This is the WORK and this is all is in flow THIS IS HAPPENING AND YOU ARE SUPPORTED and I’m just so fucking full of joy… A lifetime of wounds, insecurities, broken lines in my energetic template are healed in this crucible and reforged anew. And then the universe opens up and I drink it in...
That single superglue gestalt consciousness that is both everything interconnected and one thing enters me and speaks through me, glossolalia spaceluv, and that sound: this is how you navigate. This is how the universe steers. This is how we get to where we need to be.
I open my eyes and Octavio is there, chanting, smiling, loving, and my heart beats with this man. Our paths are entwined, and we do this work together, entangled, all of us that have been activated by this medicine, entangled on the quantum level where we are all One.
Thursday July 16, 2015
The wheel comes full circle, and I am back in the melt with Octavio, filming for a documentary series, Shamans of the Global Village, about his work with the Sonoran Desert Toad. My crew and I have been welcomed to the Seri tribe, here in Sonora, Mexico, the desert heartland of this medicine. We have watched Octavio work with the indigenous youth of the tribe, helping heal addictions; we have been on the hunt for the Bufo Alvarius toad in the Seri reserve, under the permission of the elders. We have milked the toad and watched the glistening milky jism glinting in the light like snowflakes from heaven, drying on a sheet of glass. And we have, unprecedentedly, been accompanied by Antonio, the Chief of the Seri, and Chapo, the village shaman, to the sacred Tiburon Island, where our ceremony unfolds.
One by one our western guests are broken upon the shores of heaven. Octavio is dressed in a red ceremonial Seri shirt and pants, like a Mexican Elvis, shaking his rattle and singing the ancient Seri chants to his patients. We are all dressed in white, standing around a rock circle, holding space for the deep work that is to come and the One who goes in. The afternoon sun beats down, the crash of waves backbeats our ceremony, and we are immersed in this sacred space, far from the eyes of man.
I have learnt a deep respect for Octavio, and the way he works with this medicine, on the earth, outside in nature, where a full release can be held. I work by his side, splashing water into the nose and mouths of the seekers as he commands, watching, absorbing the lessons from him, his chants seeping into my unconscious. And one by one we all go in, under, into, yes… We die and are reborn, shattered by the power of the toad, and rewoven like shards of light. And then it’s time.
It’s dusk and the sun is setting as Octavio holds the pipe to my lips once more. And I remember the first time, and my four brother shaman spirits. And I look over and realize: last time is this time. Inside out, here and now, those four shamans are with me now: Octavio, Leo, our guide, Antonio the village Chief, and Chapo, dear Chapo, the octogenarian Seri shaman with the eyes of a child, the one who laughs and whose eyes glisten with the joy of each moment, who reminds us in gleeful tones as he whoops the sky: God is here. These are the four I felt with me before, and they assume the physical configuration around me as I go in again…
I’m staring at the sun. It wavers in the last gasp of afternoon haze as the magic moment hits, all of us focused on this perfect NOW. Octavio lights the pipe and the toad flakes burn and turn to smoke and I hold it in my lungs for as long as I can, slow and steady until I am totally full. The screen of my vision deepens behind an opaque screen, a veil parts as I stare at the sun without fear or harm and gaze deeply into the light. My pineal is buzzing as the smoke suffuses deep into me, and the light is all, and the breath within me curls down deep and I forget I even have to breathe… And IT is ON.
The Oneness is like a waterfall that comes from every direction at once, from within the center of the atom and the heart of all things and it is ON and ON and ON with such force, such loving force radiating outwards everywherewhichwhen all at once…
It’s as if the entire reality grid is a universal Photoshop file, with millions of fractal layers: the wind, the sun, the earth under my feet, the crash of waves, the smile of Jewelli, my beloved in the circle, the faces of my friends around, the rattle of the shaman, the wise Yoda face of Chapo my medicine man-child; all of these and so much more, including the holographic flow of moments that led up to this now, all of this, is full of spirit, and spirits. And all of these spirits are consensually IN on the whole thing; we are all connected. And the spirits are breathing through me, and the entire universe is like a cloak that I wear.
The universal cloak channels and radiates the fractal holographic spacetime continuum in and around me, through me, and the distributed consciousness of this frequency is TOO MUCH. It shatters the illusion of separateness, of ego and individuality, and I want it all to stop. I command it all to stop, not forever; what I’m saying in my clumsy language of engaging with the process on the psychic level is: I remember where I am. I understand. I know we are ALL ONE. I can feel you my brothers and sisters, spiritual beings, fellow shamans, and STOP. It’s too much. Tweak it, slow it down, okay. I’m doing it, I’m ready, and … not… now. I need to establish my boundaries, my sense of control of the uncontrollable. And this is the first ten seconds.
Alright. Let’s GO.
Protocol permissions established. Ballast engaged. Find the center within the cyclone. Claim my power and then... I fall to the ground under the gravity of love, rolling around, somatic body anchoring the enormous intense presence of the Source at the center of all things that radiates out from my every atom; all of that is and how I cope. It’s the arrival of that energy into the vessel of my being, my temple, and it needs to express itself. And Octavio’s chants and songs and shaman’s rattle is a pure joy to my activated being, they are codes back to the Source as I reverberate and ripple and weave…
The ALL is ONE and I feel that tangibly, so much more than these words: I can FEEL the ALL fractaling outwards into the universe, and I am not just connected to this current, I AM this current, and it is anchored in me in this moment, and the next, and the next, and the next, the eternal moment. My hands spontaneously form mudras to hold and channel the energy as I break into unbridled glossolalia and the spirits pour through me, sacred sound being born.
And my superconscious is conscious on multidimensional levels; everything I do has an equal and opposite reaction, so my cry moves my body and I roll with the sound and feel the caress of the sand and the earth grounding me as energy lightnings through my body. And that moment fractals into the next, holy holy holy holy and I kiss the dirt and it covers my face and the earth is aware and consensual in that moment, and it too is blessing me with its touch. Each thing I do is a blessing. Everything I am is a prayer. And it covers me and becomes me. And I spit and I cry and I laugh and I joy and I realize I AM IT.
And spirit breaks through my throat and into sound once more, a cacophony of spirit-sound, raining glossolalia-joy, gracias back to the Maker in each moment. And each of these fractal Photoshop layers is in perfect radiating superunion divinity. This is how the Source feels in the web of life as it becomes, the sacred hosted in the flesh of the world, the Word conjugated and holy vibration passing through our atomic selves, pulsing, pulsing, pulsing…
And my dear brother Octavio is still holding space, shamanizing over me, and Antonio is chanting with him and shaking his rattle, and Chapo is lifting his arms to the sky and laughing like a child, and this is IT and this is IT and this is IT and IT and IT and IT… Join us!
Then a perfect synchronicity moment: I remember this space where we are ALL ONE, this feeling of interconnectedness, this feeling of unity and weaving between us in harmonic resonance. And again, like before, always, now: Octavio splashes fresh water on my face, down my lips and curling into my nose to kickstart the breathing reflex. Water also hits my eyes, and inside, the seed of my pineal bursts once more with the golden juice of light perfectly synchronized with the splash of water on the outside, the pure unbroken crystalline vibration of LOVE. A Godgasm from the Source flowing through the portal of my being, bathing me in unconditional liquidlove. And the grace, the perfection of this moment… every domino moment, every fractal breath…
I walk towards the water, laughing, smiling, loving, wading in, my harmonica in one hand, and I am baptized in the holy, holy waters. The harmonica fills with water and as I shake it out I overflow with joy and water and love and understanding. I breathe out and a sharp, pure harmonica note bursts into the air, and the clouds billow overhead and entwine with the sun, and I look back at the shore, at the sacred land of Tiburon Island.
When we arrived on the island I had asked the spirits of this place to protect us, to strengthen us, to guide us, to love us. And I feel that in this space, in the rustling buzzing sacred power of this island, we were held, and initiated. And I could finally fully let go, fully embody this medicine, this being, the One that wears the universe as its skin. I was permissioned to fully become, and to be, because of all of you, all of US, and all that is, conspired to produce that moment.
This is the sacredness. This is the power. This is the medicine that Octavio Rettig brings to the world, wrapped in the chants, the power songs, his style of shamanizing, the deepest of healings and the deepest of openings that he holds space for. Great Spirit works through him.
I stand by this man. I fall with him. I rise with him. I salute him and the sacred work he does, and I say: if you feel the call, answer it. A song deep within us is asking to be sung.
Rise up and open your hearts, BE the song. Let it shine across the world, for the Dawn of the Toad is upon us.