How I began my path of initiation

This is the story of my initiation. It is hard to think how something you don’t know exists, can become something you seek to learn and experience. Irrefutable proof of the non-existent, of the ignored, of the occult, presents itself when knowledge, the spirit, a living being, comes to you and unravels your first out of this world, miraculous experiences that are made to prove to you the existence of “it”. That’s when “it” becomes the only real thing you can seek in life.

That is how I felt. That is how strongly my first shamanic experiences were so they could prove me what my true destiny was. Let me tell you friends, how it is that in my life began, presented itself, the sacred spirit. How it is that my ordinary life since changed, and the sacred path begun.

When I was eleven years old my mom and I decided to leave Mexico City for better opportunities in the United States. My mother had re-established an old relationship and married with an ex-boyfriend that was now living in Eugene, Oregon. I set out on this adventure to find not what I was expecting.

Four years went by trying to adapt to a new culture and society that to me was never very welcoming. On the other hand my mother felt much more tranquil with the more polished social system available in the U.S.  But we found no tranquility.  A painful story of verbal aggression, treason and cheating developed in the small family. After a few years I became unable to deal with such painful situation at home and with the system that to me was so unfriendly. Forcedly in the United States, a teenager has to fit in within one of the different “stereotype” groups.  As a Latino I developed relationships and adopted the behaviour common amongst the “black and Latino group” at school.  As it is predictable y began skipping school, drinking socially and smoking marijuana. I had no notion that the system creates these situations intentionally to catch people into different ways of dependence. What was different for me is that the experience resulted as a light that led me to escape the prison.

I had to live the experience of escaping first. A friend that lived the same unbearable aggressive experience with his step father and I elaborated an almost perfect escape plan with Mexico City as the final destination. We were able to unnoticeably leave our houses and reach the Mexican border when they finally caught us and stopped our plans. My friend returned to his house; my plan to escape the system as I tried to failed, but at least I was able to return to Mexico City and live there with my  ex-step father.

The system in Mexico turned out to be more bearable, but living with my other step father wasn’t quite what I wanted.. There I met friends from whom I  heard that if you were to drink a bottle of cough syrup, you get very high. As a normal system educated boy I followed my curiosity and tried this powerful hallucinogen a couple times. These experiences though may seem negative, had their positive effects where I began to develop a feeling that something wasn’t quite right in the world.  I wouldn't learn anything serious until I drank the cough syrup for the third time.

I had returned to the US by then, hopelessly trying to finish school. My step father there had been coincidentally “fond” of the cough syrup and would drink small gulps a few times a day. Having realized that he had a more unhealthy behavior towards the syrup (being addicted to it, drinking it every day) I thought why not try it one more time. But this time everything was different and my life changed. The syrup my step father used had twice the psychoactive compound concentration the other ones I drank before had. I overdosed and very quickly became very ill.

The illness turned into pain, and the pain knocked me down on the ground. I couldn't stand up. I continued crawling on the ground trying to reach the phone to call 911, but was unable to do it. I felt I was going to die and my last resource was to almost involuntarily, pray.

-Somebody please help me- I formulated within my deepest self.

That same instant that in my mind and most especially in my heart I formulated that thought, I felt immediate relief. I opened my eyes and felt baffled by the sudden response to my prayer: I no longer felt ill. I could still feel the presence of the hallucinogenic substance in my bloodstream, but I no longer felt sick and dying. I felt as if someone had laid a healing hand on my stomach and soothed me. I rose and looked at where I had the warm sensation, and there were three tiny, coloured feathers, one blue, one yellow, one red.

I looked up trying to imagine how a bird could have dropped the feathers on me, but I was inside the house, difficult thing for this to happen. I immediately thought of the coloured feather dusters that are very common in Mexico. I searched the house looking for one but there were none. Still doubting the authenticity of the feathers I put them in a film container and would check them every day for the following months.

I was sixteen years old when this experience unleashed a never ending journey of discovery and self-transformation that fifteen years later is still happening as I write this.  It was those feathers that began the quest for answers to the mystery of that miraculous experience.

A place called the Saturday market became my new school. Alternative people of all kinds offer their goods like organic produce, crafts, alternative healing, and other curiosities in this interesting, light-hearted, alternative street market. I was there every week, looking for people with answers and was able to quickly find them. My newborn sense of seeing guided me to people that had some higher knowledge and state of perception.  One of them was a weird looking man that would hang around the market, in the area where skaters would recreate and different types of youngsters would gather.  In between the punkish, gangish bunch I noticed him and felt the call to speak to him. He was a Native American of the Lakota tribe.

Not your ideal native teacher, this young but quickly aging man was a dedicated drunk. In spite of drinking, wearing dark clothes, behaving and hanging out with “bad guys”, this man  kept some of his ancestor’s wisdom and spirit within him and I noticed it. In my newly developed state of perception and spiritual openness, I approached him. My presence quickly took him out of his common state of being into a more sensitive and spiritually connected one. He looked at my soul through my eyes and heard what I had to say. I told him my story and then he said:

-The spirit listens when the soul knows how to ask-

His words were sacred to me. A man I just met understood perfectly what had happened to me, and I even felt he knew who I was. He quickly reassured that. He grabbed my arm and took me to who seemed like his best friend: a tall, thin, aged man that sat on the edge of a short wall. Wearing a dark leather suit with white, long, straight hair; dark glasses and an extremely pale white skin color, this man was quite a sight.

-Show him- said my new teacher

Calmly this Indian looking white man opened his leather jacket to reveal a precious silver jewel that hanged from his neck. I approached to see what I thought was myself: a white silver wolf with emerald eyes. I saw myself as the wolf and felt like these men knew the same. Next thing my native friend instructs me:

-now you have seen. I must teach you how to heal- he paused and continued -go to the Native American store and buy either one or two bundles of sage, or sweet grass braids, whatever you choose. You must also buy a red string, and bring this back to me-

I did as he told. I went to the nearby Native American products store and bought two braids of the greenest sweet grass I saw and a red and black shoelace, and brought them back to where he was.
-You have passed the test- he then said once I returned. –You have chosen two not one, and sweet grass instead of sage. If you’d have chosen otherwise, it would mean I must not teach you, but you have passed; now I will teach you-

He showed me how a sacred bundle must be made, tying one of the braids in a circle to the thick end of the other braid with the shoe lace. Then he showed me how to use it, holding it and burning it to the four directions. One I learned he instructed:

-You must now go to the top of that mountain and do what I just taught you. You must look for two women to help you and you must heal this city-. Straight away I hopped on a bus and went to spencer’s butte park, a place with trails to the highest summit next to town.

I spent more than an hour in the parking lot, talking to women trying to invite them to accompany me to the summit for a ceremony, but everyone refused. It was getting late and most people where leaving, so I made the difficult decision to continue by myself. To save time I climbed directly to the summit, through the forest, rather than taking the more time consuming trails.

As I arrived to the summit, a large, rounded rock outcropping, so did two women, each coming from a different side of the mountain and arriving to the summit the three of us at the exactly the same time. Nobody said anything, we three looked at each other calmly and then I said:
-You know what we are here to do- both girls agreed.

We three carried on with a brief, powerful, tranquil and silent ceremony, burning sweet grass to the four directions. I continued cleansing each of the girls and allowing them to cleanse me. We hiked back so peacefully that I remember it as if we had suddenly appeared back in the parking lot. The girls had a car and gave me a ride back to town. As soon as I got out of the car a black homeless women saw me, shouted –It’s you- and then ran to me.

 –Give me what you have- she said as I pulled out my sweet grass and cleansed her. She gave me a hug and continued on. Seconds later another person felt immediately attracted to what I had to offer and approached me, and then another and so on. My life would never be the same after that day when I began healing and when I plunged into the sea of wisdom inherited by the natives of this continent. That day I learned the meaning of the red lace: it is the red path, the path of the people of this continent called today by its invaders North and South America, preferably to be called Abya Yala.

It is this path that I have followed, exponentially richer than the imposed “path of modern people”. My life before that moment was a terrible, invisible prison with no known escape. After that event, a light showed me the way to freedom.  Freedom didn’t come easy, and it still hasn’t completely arrived; the first years where tangled in an intense magic incomparable to the more experienced, softer magic I lived later on. This was certainly a time that shines brighter than any other time since it was the moment when I took the firm decision to permanently remove evil that had been subconsciously planted in my mind and body. 

My first days were an exciting time. A time when I was to be convinced of the existence of another reality. Miracles became the everyday thing, and “warrior” became the best word I could think of to describe what I did. I met with many healers, sorcerers, wise men, women and shamans that taught me and guided me along with my newly learned capability to listen to the sacred spirit. I began to receive constant teachings from the spirit manifested in the elements of nature.

My journey has continued since through many places in Mexico, Guatemala, Chile and Bolivia, living at times with different indigenous nations and always following the sacred spirit and the red path. With ups and downs, I have made more than one attempt to leave this path. Following the path of shamanic, and/or spiritual enlightenment is true work; it’s easier to choose a modern zombie life that everyone thinks they’re enjoying. The attempts never worked. For what may seem like easy happiness is only a vague attempt to not feel the pain of an empty death-producing life.  Learning has one price: learning.  I have received missions, and I must accomplish these missions as a warrior.

Times have changed when this type of learning was a privilege. Now it becomes an obligation. Today we arrive to a point in time when everyone must choose this path, since it’s the only path. It is the path of the heart, of mother earth and father sky. My experience is just a mirror of the awakening that must proceed in every person, and is proceeding with the universe as a whole. We are one with the universe and with mother earth and whatever happens to you, to me and to the earth, will happen to everyone. We must choose if we desire to continue on the path of life or stay in the stage of death.