Secret : Sacred
My journey began at a very early age. I say at the age of four, but maybe ealier.
Growing up, my grandfather ,Papumba, would randomly start dowsing while watching TV with me. I remember this particular time we were watching the Flower Parade on Venezuelan television, and he started to dowse about some serious matters. Curious, I asked him about what he was doing and right then and there I got my first dowsing lesson.
Another time, I was cuddling up with him and began playing with his chain and the many charms it held. He, most likely inadvertently, opened me up to a world that I could have not fanthomed. Papumba began sharing one by one, the meaning behind the blank slate, the pentagram, the quartz pendulum, and a little hand expressing the sign of horns. He told me how Catholicism had changed the meaning of certain teachings and symbols to make people afraid. He told me how many people in our society saw him, a Free-Mason, as some sort of witch.
In the city I grew up in, we had the typical haunted house urban legend that circulated among all age groups back then. After hearing the story many times, I dismissed it. After all, it was a legend until I could ask a trust-worthy source. I must have been around 7 years-old when Papumba and I were driving by this big white mansion-style house in Cucuta, and I somehow found the courage to insert the question in our conversation. I remember being afraid of being judged by him because I might be asking something stupid, maybe I had fallen in the same category as all the other people, perpetuating something without proof.
However, that small, seemingly stupid question turned into a small but powerful conversation about spiritism, the doctrine, the works of allan Kardec and how that house was in fact, haunted.
I was relieved, somewhat afraid and excited. He told me about trapped spirits, about trauma, about how just as we get stuck inside ourselves, our spirit can get trapped in this dimension. He mentioned ,nonchalantly, how one day he would start taking me with him to release spirits trapped in our dimension.
I grew older, and I began to notice how other children's quality time at grandma's house did not include numerology, dowsing or talking about the Tibetan Book of the Dead, TM, or even less, about the christ consciousness in the book of Urantia.
I realized that talking about calling upon spirits for help was more of a figure of speech and not an actual ritual. Knowing as much as I did about the things my grandfather taught me, forced me create an aspect of myself that I could show to other people. The real me was, in the eyes of other kids, always trying to scare people talking about energy, aura colors and spirits. I was to them, full of lies or even worse, just nonesense.
This was probably the first time I felt that I HAD to reinvent myself. This new self cared only to talk about fashion, get the latest diesel jeans and sit around surrounded by angsty teenagers to blabber about nothing.
For a short time, at the age of 13 or so, I connected with a classmate named Juliana. She was "coincidentally the daughter of one of my mother's friends from elementary school. I wish I remember how I let the juju talk slip with her, or maybe she initiated it?
What I know is that in a flash, we became really close. She shared some similar connections to "the beyond" as we called it. My fondest memories with her, illustrate how I still operate in between worlds today.
When I think of her, I remember coming over one afternoon to do homework together. I remember vividly jamming so hard to Nirvana's Nevermind and Metallica's black album over algebra. Our study breaks would take us to magical places, and to my favorite place: The Void.
We would go into a room and close everything, would begin to breathe and leave our bodies. I remember feeling cold, and always felt giddy and excited to share our adventures after returning.
It wasn't weird, it wasn't witchy, it just was. It was two classmates doing homework, taking a break from this world for time to time.
I cant remember what happened. How and why we stopped "traveling" and playing with the energy we knew we could conjure. Maybe it was for the best at the time. But to this day I am grateful that I had a glimpse of that. I could see myself reflected in someone else who might have had to keep that hidden from others just like me.
Time went on, and I grew accustomed to that other "me" much more. I was cruising through. Not raising any eyebrows, not boring my friends with things they didn't care about or understand, and happily not going against the church in an
uber-catholic country, making if at all, just a tiny little hole for animism, paganism and spiritism to shine through in the collective reality.
A few years back, I was going to Colombia for a dentist visit (thanks america!), and I had my first re-introduction to myself. I had a 6 hour lay-over in Bogota, where my hippie uncle lives. During those 6 hours, he managed to turn his apartment living room into a ceremony space. His friend Carlos Arturo Jordan, has been walking the red road for a long time, and he wanted to honor me with a Cannupa Ceremony during my very fleeting stay.
Skins were rolled out, tobacco was offered and I learned SO very much, as if though I was only remembering. He gave me a feather, my first, and taught me about cleansing my energies in a good way. He was humble, and humbled to share. He showed me with his integrity how and why I aim to walk the red road myself.
A year passed, and I held this ceremony and those cannupa prayers close. I held them close because once again I had been rekindled with the mystic, the magical, the unseen. The part of reality that we also operate in but are afraid to embrace.
The sacred wasn't a secret anymore, this time permanently.
I now knew other people that embraced what I grew up in. It wasn't the same tradition, but it had common roots to me. Living in ceremony, the magic of rituals and the power of song spoke to me like the inner voice I had held quiet for years.
Meeting myself again through the beautiful Lakota Ways gave me hope. Hope that my original self was still there, waiting to be nurtured. But it also made me too aware of that I wasn't living my purpose.
I tried to make peace with myself, have self-compassion, and all other feelings I could think of in order to find a balance. But the balance would not come. There was no time , but there was money, then there was some time but not enough money, and I got caught in that dance ... for longer than I wanted.
I could not do both and, I realized it was either or.
But then grandmother Ayahuasca came knocking. After not showing up for over 10 years. I felt it was finally time to answer the call. And Boy did she have a lot to tell me!. I wont go into the most amazing experience of my life, but I have to share the part in which she showed me who I was. A woman in a robe standing at the edge of a red rock canyon, in a circle with 5 other women.
I understood who I am, and how I have to work to remember my medicine.
Changes occurred within weeks and I found myself renouncing everything I knew and heading to find myself and my teacher.
It has been a very hard and rewarding ride. In a new country, away from friends or family. Confronting myself every day. I have been blessed by Tunkashila's love that reminds me he is there guiding me even when I have given space to despair.
Landing in what I felt was "the middle of nowhere, mexico" on a mountain top where everything would be new and different, was more familiar than I could have imagined in my wildest dreams.
As I approached the mountain, I couldnt believe my eyes. There were tipis everywhere, an amazing camp kitchen with a full mexican VEGAN menu and it was a LAKOTA SUN DANCE!
I expected everything but coming from the north and being received by the north, in a new land. I was honored to be assigned to care for the Lakota elders and make them feel at home, even though it was my first day in Mexico. The ceremony was healing in all the ways I needed it. The new friendships with the Lakota men and Geraldine (Dineh) still fill my heart.
At the end of Sun Dance, I found myself praying in a tipi with new friends. We honored our ancestors, we honored ourselves and we honored each other. I will always keep Geraldine and Sandor's prayers for my journey tattooed in my memory.
The blessing I received that night, has kept me grounded in the most turbulent of times.
Sundance in Mexico was all the proof I might have needed to reassure myself and feel infinite gratefulness for walking the flowering red road.
The plant teachers reminded me of which road to walk, and with that it has brought beautiful relations that span from Miami to Arizona and beyond. They have brought me close to people in my family who I never taught to share these ways with. But most importantly, they have shown me my real authentic self.
I now know very clearly who I am. But its not so easy. The work of cleansing and uncovering all which I have used to dim that light, takes time and hard work.
Im learning that sometimes its not good to be a warrior, and to be strong. At times, like now, its better to be like a breeze, or better yet, to be fluid and patient like a constant a drop of water, which can make a crack in the hardest of rocks.
I am finally now in place. Answering the call on my second saturn return. Remembering each and every teaching from my ancestors. My african ancestry, my mestizo lineage. Who I am, and who I am constanty becoming, unbounded by predispositions while honoring my past.
I am Sacred. and I am not willing to hide that anymore. Instead today I embrace it so fully. I Surrender to the will of Wakan Tanka and let myself be guided on this flowering Cankú Lúta.
For all my relations