Shamanic Purification


Posted on 22nd May 2010 by Ramsses in Uncategorized

It remains to be seen how lasting it is, but it certainly feels like a purification. You would have to be desperate to resort to these measures to free yourself of your emotional garbage. Who in his right mind would get up at four in the morning to drink some guck and puke his guts out?

It was much further than I expected, almost at the top of the volcano, a campsite in dense wood at the end of a long, winding paved lane with hairpin turns, and then a dirt road, equally long and winding, stoney and potholed, with a sign forbidding vehicles not four-wheel-drive. I had gone too far to turn back. I was dismayed to find people already there, but what had I been expecting? He was friendly and welcoming, just him and his three kids. When three more vehicles pulled in after dark, I was ready to leave. But where could I go? I got back in my tent and found myself enjoying the voices. It was a good crowd, a group of friends, college kids. I had brought extra blankets but forgot my sleeping bag. Throughout the long, freezing night of half-sleep the worst memories of camping at my shithole boarding school came back to me, and I had ample time to reflect on how negative past experiences distort present perceptions. At 4 a.m. I was up on the dot. Too punctilious is not good. I waited a while, then drank it down. Victoria called, as she said she would. So far so good. She was off to catch a flight. Mine would arrive shortly. After half an hour I congratulated myself on my superiority to the potion. Far be it from me to vomit like a dog. This was going to be like ayahuasca, only better. I had only a few moments warning before it came, and sense enough to unzip my tent. I was just able to get my torso out the door. As instructed, I had not eaten anything since early afternoon the day before. What came out was the deepest, darkest bile. And that was only the first round. In the next couple of hours there would be three more. In the morning there was a neat little row of three brown spots in the grass before the door of my tent. By the time the fourth round came, I was more experienced and I had made it out to the side of my tent. If I had thought about it, I would have tried to line it up with the other three. Symmetry. I slumbered into the morning light, too sick to go anywhere, and finally staggered out for a sun bath. One of the kids sympathetically asked if I needed anything. They had heard me sick in the night. I apologized. He hadn’t heard it. Others had. I explained that it was a shamanic purification. He was polite and uncomprehending. I had a good sun bath for a few hours and then the fog rolled in. Suddenly we were all leaving. They had already packed and returned from a hike, so they had only to jump into their pickups. It took me a few minutes longer. The loneliness of the place was intolerable.

DreamingBear at the Temple of Peace


Posted on 25th February 2010 by Ramsses in Uncategorized

Some are born dumb, some achieve dumbness, and some have dumbness thrust upon them. I am of the essence of dumbness. It is why I seek out enlightened beings. Take DreamingBear, for instance. He is everything that I am not. He is happy and free. He has fun. He swims with the dolphins. He chose to live on Maui as the most beautiful place on earth when he could have lived anywhere. He speaks poetry. He has the Pharaonic falcon tatooed on his chest. He has not just lived in Egypt but is intimately acquainted with every part of it. He carries a fabulously carved cane with a cobra curling around it. He doesn’t need a cane.

It is the little things that are the most telling. He drums on something that looks like a flying saucer, a resonance amplifier, he calls it, except I haven’t got the name right, and he was explaining it to us when a big bug plopped on his face. He so gently brushed it away. When a woman came in handing out flyers for her missing dog, he unhesitatingly accommodated her and asked everyone to hold a thought for the wellbeing of that creature.

I’m not used to this. I don’t like going to religious services, and I especially don’t like being asked to interact. But he gets away with it. He’s like an outrageously happy kid who wants everyone to feel what he feels.

It was the photo that got me, a diamond flash, the beautiful poet’s face, long curly dark hair like the Sun King, Louis XIV, his finger against his temple, the look of cool irony and lofty thought. He has robbed my heart.

Hank Wesselman at Studio Maui


Posted on 17th February 2010 by Ramsses in Uncategorized

My First Workshop:

About thirteen years ago I came across Hank Wesselman’s book, Spiritwalker, the author’s account of how, as an anthropologist who had recently taken up residence on the island of Hawaii, he began to have spontaneous altered states that opened up another world. He would find himself in the mind of a man five thousand years in the future postapocalyptic world. Both his host and he were undergoing a shamanic initiation. Hank’s scientific worldview suddenly underwent radical adjustment. So did mine. And mine had never even been all that scientific. I had never read anything like this. To my further amazement, I discovered he was giving a shamanic workshop in nearby San Diego, and, in the throes of disengaging myself from a long, dark classic cult experience, I went to it with the giddy exhilaration of a bird being freed from a cage. There was one more workshop a year later, and that was it. I went to Maui and never saw him again.

Until last week. We passed a fist-sized broken rock around the circle. These stones are found in ancient sites along with scoured bones. Our ancestors used them for scraping off the meat. Animal protein resulted in bigger brains, and the rest is history. Hank has been working on the digs in East Africa for decades. The missing link predicted by Darwin has recently been found, half human, half ape, four and a half million years old.

Kahuna Hale Makua, full-blooded Hawaiian and high priest of Polynesia, effectively appointed Hank, a white man, as his heir before his passing. Anyone who takes seriously the concept of the planet as a living being might find this of interest.

My Second Workshop:

Maybe I’m eclectic, or maybe it’s the Great Mystery, but contradictions intrigue me, and while much of what Hank teaches is in direct opposition to my religion, I only find myself enriched. The age of the guru is over. You must never kill your ego. Tantra or sex is a perfectly valid means to spiritual awakening. The best teacher you will ever find is yourself. You can access God or your own oversoul at any time.

And this from a man who contacts Christ, as does his wife, Jill, in their shamanic states from time to time, to say nothing of the myriad of other animal spirit helpers, guides and great masters, when they are doing their healing work. At the end of the workshop Hank paired us up for some healing excercises. First he showed us how to access power through the top of our heads, drawing it down to the solar plexus with the breath to charge the energy body, and cueing the somatic memory with a mudra. The woman I was working with placed one hand on my bad arthritic hip and the other on my head, and did the exercise. I was in no small amount of pain. It was gone, completely gone, for many blessed hours. We did a harmonizing exercise together, facing each other cross-legged, hands together, left palm up, right palm down. Suddenly I was aware of this woman as a lovely, sweet spirit. I was utterly amazed. You don’t see what’s right in front of you. She was naturally gifted for this work. She had the vision of spirits around us while doing these exercises.

There was so much more. Hank spoke of his great friendship with Hale Makua, whose extraordinary assertions uncannily matched scientific chronology. “How far back do you go?” Hank asked him. “Eighteen and a half million years.” Hmm. Let’s see. The planet was covered in vast forests … and the first anthropoids emerged. Okay.

Hank also is an Elder. This is no slight matter. Karmic predisposition or even predestination does not alone confer that title. It comes with a titanic struggle. We’re talking mavericks of the uncharted domain.

Sacred Voyage


Posted on 7th February 2010 by Ramsses in Uncategorized

It’s been two months since I’ve swum to Black Rock. That’s how long it took to recover my strength from the swine flu that nearly killed me. It’s a gorgeous Saturday morning and I get right in the water at Hanakao’o Beach Park, pull on my fins and propel myself below the surface like a fish. No matter that my body protests against the exertion, today I’m going to do it. I come up for a breath and find myself meeting the challenging look of a crew member of a canoe about to be launched. Will I be such a fool as to block their progress? He decides that I will not. It is quickly apparent that this is no mere outing and that these are serious Hawaiians, three strong fellows covered in the ritual cross-hatching of sacred Hawaiian tatoo, two others concealing their fat under heavy shirts, and another so covered in leis, the ceremonial leaf and flower garlands of Hawaii, that he might have been an offering to the gods. Where were they going? I had no idea, but it did strike me as a happy coincidence that I had been selected, so to speak, to be the first spirit they met on the waters. They would surely not have attached much importance to it, but then spirits are notoriously elusive.

Later, after I had returned from my swim and was reading on the rocks just south of the beach, a tourist lady asked me why there were so many flowers in the sand. I told her I was reasonably certain that it had something to do with some kind of sacred voyage that had embarked earlier.

E Komo Mai, Maui!

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Posted on 11th December 2009 by admin in Maui Ponderings |Uncategorized

Welcome to the Calendar Maui Blog! This is where Maui comes to talk. Please feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, ponderings, stories, and daydreams… whatever you feel like writing, you now have a forum in which to be heard