I won’t be the first or the last one, but I need to tell you this anyway. Life really is not about the destination, it’s about the journey, it’s about the people and places you meet on your way. From time to time my journey takes me on the road with the Huichol Indian Tribe, the last Peyote guardians from the west of Mexico. I’m happy to take a few steps with them and swallow every single piece of teaching they are willing to put in my hungry mouth. For a while I was even blessed to live with a Huichol indigenous artist and learn from him.
The Huichol believe that every place has its guardians and it’s important to ask a permission to enter and to come with peace. They taught me how to honour the ocean by bringing flowers and fruits to show gratitude, how to apologise and how to ask for my prayers to be heard. They taught me how to greet the spirits of the jungle every time I kiss the earth with my bare feet. And they were next to me all night while I was praying for my beloved ones and feeding the fire with Latvian chocolate, herb alcohol, seeds and dark bread. The Huichol believe that on nights like these spirits come to talk with each soul present and that sometimes you can see animals coming out of the fire. It is overwhelming. I have never experienced real hallucinations or enlightenment, or whatever you want to call it, but, there are always a lot more animals around me afterwards. And this time was no different.
When the moon ceased its light to let the sun breathe and the day was still young, I was barefoot following the guy into the jungle; he had promised to show me a jaguar. And unlike other times when Mexican promises instead of “I will do it!” mean “I would like to do it for you, but…” this journey really ended as said. There she was sitting on the other side of the fence – the most amazing creation of nature that I have ever seen. With heart shaped spots. With eyes deeper than the ocean. And I dived into them to see her soul. After some minutes (or hours judging from the amount of mosquito bites on my body) tears were filling my eyes. There was no sparkle in her eyes, there was shame. I saw her spirit broken. A big cat in captivity. A big cat… for whom the most important thing is to be free. I was watering myself with tears because I suddenly saw myself. I suddenly understood that choking feeling I’ve had a few times in my life when it felt like I had a leash around my neck. It was a form of captivity that I had created for myself with contracts for daily 9-6 office work and with unwritten relationship contracts missing the most important “respect each other’s freedom” point. Suddenly I realized how vital for me it is to feel that there is no fence around me; that at any time I can stand up and run where my intuition is guiding me, because she knows where to go. My heart knows.
The jaguar girl came very close to me and sat down. I found a ball and she was playing like a little kitten. I wanted to touch her but my respect was bigger than my curiosity. I just sent her all my admiration and whispered that she is the most sublime creature, no matter what. Later that night I saw a fawn. I still don’t know if there are deer living in the Caribbean jungle. The next day two iguanas jumped from the roof to join me tanning on the terrace and a school of silver fish swam with me in the ocean. A little yellow bird just landed on my palm yesterday. Or was I hallucinating?
Maybe I don’t have enough humility to sit for a few days on the roof to talk with the ocean spirits before I visit the beach as the Huichol Indians do, but I do believe in energy. And I do believe that a 100 years old pine tree can teach me how to grow tall and strong and how to survive in a storm by bending not resisting. But that’s another story. Meanwhile, bend your knees, my dear friends, not to fall down!Photo by Chris Hunt