The Peyote Ceremony

13 Jun

Peyote Dance

Wednesday, May 22, 1968, 84 Days

We got up at 0900 hrs. and after Larger, Farrer and I took our showers, we loaded the car up, and had breakfast, at the café. We studied the map that I bought from the Hopi Indian on Sunday, and saw that we needed to start out on Hwy 45 going South. It was an arid drive as we passed Samalayuca. After we traveled about 50 miles, we came to a sign that pointed towards an unpaved road, marked Laguna Sta. Mar`ia. If we kept on 45 we would go to Villa Ahomada, so we turned onto the unpaved road. We traveled close to 100 miles South West until we came to a river marked Rio Ste Mar`ia, then we turned North on another dirt road, for about 10 miles, until we came to a ridge, around 1700 hrs.

What lay on the other side of the ridge was a shock to the eyes. It was a pleasant shock, like seeing the Grand Canyon in the flesh for the first time. Out of thousands of square miles of arid geography here was a tropical Garden of Eden that was probably a few square miles of lush Oasis garden surrounded by parched brown desert. When we drove down the road, into the valley it led towards a village, next to a waterfall, that poured in from the Rio Ste` Maria, and irrigated the entire valley.  The village must have been home to about 1000 Indians.  As we drove in some men approached us, and one of them spoke English. 

“Why are you here?”  He asked.

I handed him the map that the Indian sold me. After he looked at it, he told us to park our car, and come with him, so we locked it. We followed him to a large tipi that an old man was sitting in. Flaps on the sides were open lighting up the inside. The old man looked at us and smiled, then he said something in what I guessed was Hopi and shook a rattle at us. He was the village Shaman, that the map seller said was his brother.

After saying something to our guide, he walked over to a table with pottery bowls on it and he told us to each take one. Then the guide led us to another larger tipi, that was lit only by a fire in the middle with benches set in three hexagonal circles. 

The guide led us to the inner row, and had us sit down, and said.  “Wait here.”

In a little while men came filing in and taking up all the seats in the 2 rows behind us.  Then the Shaman came in holding a bowl in his hand, followed by 5 other men also holding bowls.  Then the Shaman said something and shook his rattle. The Shaman came to us with his bowl which was filled with dried greenish brown button like objects. 

When the guide who was carrying a bowl behind the Shaman told us to take 6 buttons each, Rublay said that he didn’t want to partake.  So the guide told him that he would have to wait in another place until we were finished, and led him to the entry portal, where another Indian took over. 

After the bowl was passed twice we all had 12 buttons, then the bowls were passed around to all the other behind us.  The bowl carriers and the Shaman sat down in the front row with us.  The Shaman held a button up in the air and recited something, then he put it in his mouth. All the other Indians around us did the same, so we did too. This went on until all 12 buttons were ingested.  By this time it was 1910 hrs.

Then the Shaman started chanting something, in Hopi and then the others joined in. We just sat there. Then the Shaman stopped and told us to hold our pottery jars in our hands, they looked like they could hold ½ gallon of liquid. 

Then the guide said.  “Use these when you get sick.”

About the time that I was wondering what he meant, my stomach began going through convulsions, and I stuck my face in the jar. After an undetermined amount of time I began to lose the feeling in my hands and I realized that I wasn’t holding the jar anymore.  There was chanting going on, and I began to see patterns of incredibly lucid color. The colors were pastels, purple was the most dominant one. 

I passed through time and space, and became all animals. I was the frog in the creek. I was the buffalo on the plain. I was the termite in the wood.  I was the red winged black bird. I was everything and I was in everything. I was life and I was death.  I was male and I was female. I was all in all, and I was all that there is, because all that is, was me. 

As soon as this realization began to puff me up with pride, that was bursting my seams, colors began seeping out of a balloon like object that was floating in infinitely dark emptiness. As soon as the colors seeped out, they were extinguished by the darkness, like the ocean would douse a match. I realized that the now empty balloon was me, and it began disappearing into nothingness, as my awareness traveled away from it.

All that was left now was my awareness.  That awareness screamed out in terror, but there was no sound. Then it realized that awareness was the first gift that all others flowed from. That realization created a rift in the black nothingness, and soon color began bleeding into the darkness, until there was no darkness left, only rich flows of color that began to take on shapes, that multiplied at an exponential rate, until my awareness was having an orgasmic rush.

This was the most joyous experience I had ever had, eclipsing my LSD trips, but at the same time they were all similar. I once again understood that life and death are both dispensed through the same passageway in mammals. That is sperm and urine. This too was an apparent clue, stating the secrets of life through the mundane and the profane.

It was around Midnight when I gained consciousness enough to be able to look at my watch.  After that immersion into the unconscious state like with LSD, I floated in and out of consciousness, until I recognized my surroundings again, which was at 0300 hrs.  However during that period of hallucinations I saw myself in an orgasmic relationship with a woman who was singing and playing an instrument that looked like a guitar. The sound of her voice and instrument combined into a sound that exploded with color and a changing panorama of visions. This went on for the next 4 hours until I became aware again to the sound of chanting, which I soon began to be part of.  I didn’t understand the words, but it didn’t matter, because it was the sound that carried the meaning, so I just began speaking whatever sounds would come out of my mouth in rhythm with the dozens of other men. 

I became aware that I am human, and as a human, all men are my brothers, as are the animals and plants. we are all part of the same whole, and the purpose of that whole is to fulfill its destiny though us all.  By 0700 hrs. we were led to a tipi lit by a single kerosene lamp. This was where we were supposed to sleep now.  We all laid down on straw beds, with blankets on top of them, and fell asleep.

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