By Ina Woolcott
“When the world ends, it will be like when the names of things are changed during the peyote hunt. All will be different, the opposite of what it is now. Now there are two eyes in the heavens, Dios Sol and Dios Fuego. Then, the moon will open his eye and become brighter. The sun will become dimmer. There will be no more differences. No more men and women. No child and no adult. All will change places…”
The Huichol Indians live isolated, high in the Sierra Madre mountains of northwestern Mexico. These indigenous people have preserved the most pure pre-Colombian culture. They call themselves ‘the healers’. For centuries they have carried out ceremonial rituals they believe heal the Earth and keep nature balanced.
The Huichol shamans say that we are perdido, lost, and that we are destructing Yurianaka, Mother Earth, and that Taupa, Father Sun, is approaching earth to purify it. They feel troubled about the future of their children and of all of earths inhabitants. Great ceremonies are taking place, with shamans from many areas attending to try and “hold up the sun.” However, they know they cant do it alone – they are not the ones destroying our shared home, mother earth. It is the ignorant ones amongst us, the ones who need to stand up and take responsibility for their actions, to find their lives. The earth belongs to us and our children. We need to show respect and do what we can before it is too late.
The purpose of the Huichols sacred pilgrimage to the holy land of Wiricuta is to find their lives. Peyote is used ritually in their ceremonies to do this. Their ancient knowledge of the sacred gives them the ability to ‘change channels’ and access ‘state specific information’ only accessible on the wavelengths of specific channels. They do not change channels to escape, or for recreation, to get lost in imaginary hallucinations that have no basis in reality. Their aim is to get a more precise interpretation of the nature of reality, gaining access through the nierica into the supernatural other-world always present beneath the limited, material world of the sensory. They see the non-material energy that is all around us and contained by every-thing in varying degrees.
Information that is gathered is used for the healing and the power that can be used here in ’ordinary’ reality to better their lives and the lives of their people. Depths of mystery are accessed that are not to be taken on the light shoulder, for the mystery is all about power and power can reveal itself in many ways. Out of respect, the Wisdom Elders are attentive to this power and communicate with it in all its manifestations. From this base of phenomenological data of mind in nature, nature in mind, they came to learn the order and structure of life’s connectedness, and that all things are dependent upon each other and hence are related. They recognise that a universal life force, kupuri” flows through all of nature’s creations, offering the world great wisdom as we approach the unknown future. Their advice is that we must realise the fragility of the Earth and be stewards for life that dwells upon it, to seek the healing power in nature and to be of one heart with all things. We ALL, every last one of us, must learn to share the tears of every living thing, to feel the pain of the wounded animal, the crushed blade of grass, the wounded war victims. Every-thing is raised to the status of sacred, and remaining in harmony with ALL of creation is done at all costs- when this is NOT done and respected, damage that cannot be undone happens, this is facing the world today. As you sow, so shall you reap…
The Huichol are well known for their stunningly beautiful, intricate yarn paintings and bead work. When producing a yarn painting they ingest peyote so that they can journey with and talk with the spirits. It is very important to see the reindeer in their journeys, as this means that they are in contact with the Gods. Their communication is sacred. The artist uses what was witnessed to make these paintings.
To view some of their artwork: Huichol Art
Related link: Peyote, Visions and Alternate Reality