|Dreaming the World by Marti White Deer Song|
In his dream last night, Pba-Quen-nee-e told me to begin healing work on a group of people, saying that he would catch up with me there. When he appeared, I was working with the people and covered in perspiration from the intensity of the work. He found me so hot that he held me to cool me off and then we worked together. After the healing work, many people asked us to go home with them but we wanted just to regenerate in our secret house that is hidden in plain sight from everyone.
I remember dreams from my early years in Taos that were very vivid and powerful. These dreams were originally normal night dreams but before long they began to move into my waking life (is there such a thing?). These were not just beautiful dreams of healing and power but just as often heavy with grief, loss, betrayal and terror because the door of our true Medicine history swung open revealing both past history as well as future potential. The entities who were dedicated to holding us in a misdirected and defeated state were shaken out of their complacency and they were fighting back. I named them the “Black Smoke Beings,” because I saw them in a brief flash and they were like thick, dense smoke, opaque but not solid, and they were shocked at being seen. But the greatest danger came from within in the form of delusional conditioning from the past. Much soul cleansing was on its way. Too often beings either in the flesh or in spirit respond to another person’s effort to attain beauty, spiritual power, and knowledge as if they were in among a bunch of crabs thrown into a boiling pot all grabbing at each other with their pincers in a frantic attempt to escape while assuring that none of them will make it over the top.
Taos is heavily laden with powerful medicine, some light, and some dark. When I first arrived at this place, I was enchanted and confident that this was my Medicine home and the location of a powerful potion for healing the outside world of a schizophrenic detachment from its own life source. I was naive, to say the least. Then one morning I looked out the north facing window of my rented adobe casita toward the sacred mountain. At its base broiled an unsettling grey and smoky mist that I immediately recognized as stagnant rage and perhaps even witchcraft. Something was very wrong. Joe J. Suazo, (Medicine Mountain) had subtly warned me of this by talking around it. He knew much more than he would say. It’s as if he believed that it was best if one picked up the message intuitively. Now against my will I recognized the dark nature of this phenomena swirling at the mountain’s base with no good intention for anyone who attempted to penetrate it. This didn’t fit into my vision. But it was a first indication of what was in store. There is a longer story here but I’ll save it for a time when I can do it justice.
Even in the worst of times I understood that Pba-Quen-Nee-e and I were supposed to put something together that had been torn into mangled pieces and long ago shoved out of sight. There were times when those I came to call the Black Smoke Beings prevailed and I doubted that the unsettling revelations and strange visitations would ever end. Although these were challenging times, I was already in so deep that I had to keep the faith or succumb. Carl Jung is credited with saying, “the only way out is through.” I was learning all about that. Sometime during this trying period, Pba-Quen-Nee-e told me about his first encounter with his personal Medicine source.
At the time, he was drinking heavily. He was also on pain medication for a back injury. The combination should have killed him but in reality, he could no longer get drunk. On this particular day, he was in his studio painting and things weren’t going very well so he decided to consult his spirit guide Jack Daniels. He opened a new bottle but before he could take a drink, he heard a strange jingling sound. He was afraid his mind was slipping but he hadn’t yet reached inebriation. He looked around for the source of the sound but could find nothing. Then the jingling came closer. Soon it was all around him. From the corner of the studio a figure began approaching him. He thought he’d found an unusually potent drink. It grew larger as it approached and stars were dripping from its body. It came closer and closer dancing back and forth among the stars until it was dancing face to face with Pba-Quen-Nee-e. Its breath smelled of lavender. This being’s name was Star Dancer, and he told Pba-Quen-Nee-e that he knew him and his dad’s medicine and asked if he, PQ wanted to stay where he was in his life or go forward. Star Dancer then told Pba-Quen-Nee-e that he’d always held this Medicine for him and although he was going away, he would return if Pba-Quen-nee was ready to receive this power. After such an unnerving and inspiring experience, Pba-Quen-Nee-e took the just opened bottle of Jack Daniels to the kitchen and poured it down the drain. However, this was not actually the end to his relationship with the false spirit guide, Jack Daniels. It was many years before he had the perspective to accept the import of Star Dancer’s message in his life. This morning he wrote down last night’s dream and while we were discussing it, the story of Star Dancer came up again. Pba-Quen-Nee-e said although it was many years before he understood or accepted the message just as it had taken him many years to recognize the importance of our connection with each other, it was always playing in the background, gradually working through his mind and soul.
Pba-Quen-Nee-e came from a family of Medicine people. But more importantly, he came from a culture that acknowledged that path and the gift. Possibilities for which we have no name or concept tend to lie dormant; a mere potential. But all cultures at one time or another have some type of Medicine, and the secret to unlocking this potential seems to require being cast outside the box of the culturally agreed upon reality. It was necessary for me to arrive at a place where survival and sanity required it. Sometimes the power of a concept or teaching can only be learned in reverse order. Illumination moves from the center of the heart and radiates outward in all directions. Dark and light are brothers. I don’t believe any true enlightenment or power of re-creation is possible without first trekking through the darkest areas of life. Much like a photo negative, when dark and light are reversed the picture is revealed.
We recently experienced another Christmas Eve at the Pueblo. Mom and Dad (Joe J. and Frances Suazo) are no longer with us in the flesh but on feast days, they are still in control. Pba-Quen-nee-e invited practically everyone we knew and then we met two new couples, one the day before and the other at the bonfire itself. They fit perfectly and it seemed like we’d known them forever. This is how PQ’s charismatic Medicine works. It was a wonderful, chaotic, joyous festival. We didn’t make it to the Deer Dance the next day because PQ needed to recoup some energy. He managed to overcome his lung problems at the celebration and that contributed to the magic. The nature of the Christmas Eve ceremony expresses the Essence of Taos perfectly. There is the charcoal blackness of the bonfires rising up against the beauty of the sunset; then lighted faralitas (the traditional small lamps made from brown lunch bags with candles inside, also called luminarias in Albuquerque and south) glow along the adobe walls of the San Geronimo church as we stand in the biting cold. The ancient three storied Pueblo stands back in the darkness as if protecting its privacy from the great crowd of visitors in its plaza. Everyone is relieved when the fires catch. We all move toward the nearest bonfire. Before long one side is hot and the other side cold. I change back to front when I smell my coat getting hot. Then the old church bells begin ringing and two torches held high above help us locate the procession coming out of the Church in this milling sea of humanity. The shocking report of hunting rifles shakes the air. Slowly they move through the crowd and stop near the north-side kivas before turning back through the crowd, gathering worshipers as they go. This crowd is made up of Pueblo tribal members, Spanish and Anglo people from town, and many visitors on holiday. After the procession, people wander through the crowd to see whom they know. It’s a great place to find people you haven’t seen for a while.
We began a conversation with one couple we met at our chosen bonfire and took them back to the house with us. Somewhere in the midst of a conversation with, Jana, the woman, she commented that we reminded her of Mabel and Tony Lujan. We learned that she was fascinated with the Mabel and Tony story and went often to the Mabel Dodge Luhan House. Of course, she had no way of knowing that PQ is personally connected to that story. One of PQ’s ex-wives, with boyfriend, and best friend also showed up, and his sister in law and nephew who had been out of contact since mom and dad passed. Several family members were working like frantic elves in the kitchen. All attempts at organization succumbed to the joyful chaos of food, wine and the muddy coming and going of guests. I had to let go of any fantasy about keeping things orderly. Later I realized this is the way PQ’s Medicine works. First, one has to be accordant with the place one inhabits. Taos has uniquely untamable, high contrast energy. One of the first things I observed as a newcomer was its position between the highest mountain in New Mexico and a spectacular gorge. This may be an important oversight by many seekers of local Medicine power. Place, time, and season are all key ingredients in the potion. More and more I realize that Medicine is all around us but we have to learn to recognize it and avoid fighting against it, as we so often do while attempting to protect our version of reality. It’s a well-known fact that people often fall in love with a place for its difference from the place they came from and then proceed to make it into a clone of exactly where they came from. Taos is not exempt from this pattern except that no one gets away with it here. Taos has a nasty sting that will strike you just when you think you are in control.
I’m writing this between Christmas and New Year’s Day. There is a lot of attention being focused on the coming of 2012 because of the Mayan prophesies concerning the end of their calendar. I don’t believe we can accurately predict its true meaning from our perspective in a different culture and time. But we can become more sensitive to the processes of our world both outside and inside as well as how the external and internal worlds interact and mirror each other. The real initiation into Medicine knowledge doesn’t come from filling the brain with knowledge so much as becoming ever more aware of what the world is like in essence and without our tedious overlay patterns. I’m still working on it and I see a long road in front of me. There is a curve just ahead and I can hardly wait to see what I can’t see from here.