Yawanawa – My first memories

Yawanawa – My first memories

Apr 10, 2022

2 days ago I had my closing ceremony of my dieta with Muca. Afterwards I drunk the first glass of pure water in almost 3 months… What a feast it was. My body was soaking it up, Joy was pouring into my body. Slowly I am coming back to daily life, the next weeks will be there for integration, slowly getting ready to go back to my life again. Looking forward to all that is in front of me. What a time this has been… So much gratitude, so much gratitude…

Gracias Yawanawa, Gracias Don Luiz, Gracias Muca….

Words fail to express my gratitude. So deep feelings, so deep experiences, having going through joy, fear, deep journeys, horror, bliss, laughter, tears, light, darkness, death, life, rebirth, grace, gratitude, love, light, music… A journey that brought me to the center of the universe, and beyond…

I went back to the beginning of the dream that we call life, and the following poem is what i remember of that moment, it might be the first chapter of the book that is in the making. It helped me remember again why I am here, and why I am doing the things that I am doing. I tried to write it down as accurately as i could. Afterwards i wrote some experiences of my time with the Yawanawa.

 


Let’s go way back to my first memory, to the place that I call Home. Let’s go back to the origin of this dream.

In that place only the On-ness existed. And being all one, it was difficult to experience what we all were, as we were everything in a same eternal moment. In that moment this one started to contemplate itself. It was like a conversation that started inside of that one-ness:

“ Wouldn’t it be nice to be separated, just for a moment?”

“ Why would we do that? Why would we separate? We are one, there is no need for separation”

“ That is true… But imagine, if we could separate for an instant, just for an instant, so we could experience every single aspect of what we truly are. Wouldn’t that be nice?”

“ But why? Why would we ever do that? Wouldn’t I miss you, wouldn’t you miss me, wouldn’t we miss each other?”

“ Yes we will… But in the end we would still be one, that can never change, we would just forget that for an instant, and go into the illusion of separation, we would go into a dream. And in that dream we can choose every aspect of what we are now, separately. And after that we will come home again, back into this one-ness. After that experience, this one-ness will be different, we will appreciate all this much more, we will feel even more love. Without separation, we will never know the difference, we will never truly feel what we are, right know. Would you not want to experience what we are? 

“ Yes maybe… But how would that look like? What will happen in that dream?”

“ You could choose anything in that dream. Any-thing that you want to happen, can happen in that dream. We could create time and space. Time so it will take a while before things happen, and space to have the illusion of distance. In that dream we can create energy to use for manifestation.”

“ What will we manifest?”

“ Everything will be possible, everything. There will be no limitations. We could create a planet to live on, physical bodies to work with. On that planet we could create metals to use in trading, as an exchange of energy. We could use energy to create Music, Dance, we could Paint. On that planet we could create plants, plants that produce the oxygen that our body will breathe, plants that nurture us, feed us, plants that will heal us, teach us.”

“ Why would we need healing, why would we need teaching? We have everything. We are completely at ease, we have all, there is no need for healing, there is no need for teaching.”

“ That is true. But there we would forget all this… So we can re-member all of this again, so we can re-member what we truly are: One. Sometimes we will feel not at ease, our body will have a dis-ease. It could be very uncomfortable at times. But in the end there is nothing to worry, as we will all come back full circle again. In the end nothing can happen to us, we can never truly get lost over there.”

“ I see… But if I have such a dis-ease. Will you come to me? Will you be there for me? Will you hold my hand, will you bring me the plants that will help me to heal, will you sing the songs for me?”

“ Yes, I will. I promise…I will be there for you, in any way I can.”

“ Ok, then let’s start…”

“ Let’s Dream…”

The song of One started there; the Uni-Verse. And while the One started to sing, it expanded, and in that expansion it decided  to create a mere image of itself . Santa Musica started to sing, and she became the queen of All that is.

There we started the dream that we call life.

 


 

So there I was; lying on my mattress surrounded by my mosquito net in my small Casita in the middle of the Amazon. I laid down, after eating the potato, and waited. I had felt a huge force coming in my body while eating the Muca and blowing my intentions out. Laying there I felt hardly anything… I kept my eyes closed, and laid still.
Luiz was laying in his hammock on my porch, and nobody else was around. It was a very sacred moment, and everybody respected that. The house was not finished yet, and the people working on the house stayed home, giving me space.

My mind started to run faster and faster. Many thoughts were coming up in a random order, it was difficult to keep track of them. Thoughts about my life, conversations, people, situations; one after another they would pop up, and not only with a fast speed; also with force. The thoughts were more powerful, almost louder in my head. I took me by surprise… At one point I even started to worry if it was all normal what was happening; Luiz had told me to keep my thoughts positive, and it was difficult with this speed and force of thoughts. Then a thought came in of my yoga teacher training, and some of the early teachings of my beloved teacher Sat Atma. She though us to keep repeating the mantra Sat Nam (Truth is my Identity) in our minds as soon as negative thought would come up. I was so glad to remember that at that moment and I started to do exactly that: Sat Nam, Sat Nam, Sat Nam, Sat Nam, Sat Nam, Sat Nam…. Then I would loose track for a bit, thoughts would come in, and then I would go back again to the mantra. It went back and forth like this for a while. Then I fell in a deep sleep.

I had not slept like that for a long time… I woke up more than 12 hours later, waking up without remembering anything of my dreams from that night. Muca was a dream plant, and no dreams in the first night? Hmmm….

Waking up, Louisa, the wife of Don Luiz, was already rumbling around the house. Always she was around cleaning, cooking, organizing, washing. Her energy was beautiful, and it reassured me always to hear, see and feel her presence. It looked so hilarious sometimes; she had made a broomstick from some leaves and a big branch of a tree. With that broom she would clean the floor of the jungle from leaves, small sticks and other things laying around. The first times I was watching that, I was laughing so much… Cleaning the floor of the jungle of leaves! HAHA!With a machete she would cut out any small plants that were left in the earth, roots of plants, and anything else that would stick out of the ground. It took her almost a week before the whole ground around the house was clean; pure earth.

She had collected many trees on a pile, and she would organize 6 or 7 trees in a concentric circle, and in the middle of that circle she would light the end of those trees into a fire to use for cooking. Even when it had rained for hours, she would manage to get the fire running in a minute or 2. Those people of the jungle know how to deal with the forces of nature… There she would be cooking instant noodles for breakfast, rice and beans for lunch and dinner, and when we were lucky she would fry some small fishes in oil. Frying fishes happened around 3 or 4 times a week, and it was always a feast…

The diet while being on the dieta with Muca was very simple, and eating such simple food all the time was not easy. Rice, spaghetti, beans, dried crackers (with butter, yeah!), instant noodles and sometimes some small fishes was all that I got during those months there. Drinking Kausumi, a drink made from corn or Macachera roots mixed with water, drinking pure water is not allowed while being on Muca. She would put the pots on the porch of the house when they were ready, then she would call me (sometime I was deep in my journeys in my hammock or on my mattress). She would call me with her soft voice, full of love, full of care for me, she really took care of me so well. WOW!

What a woman she was… “Denni… Denni….. Tem Arroz aqui, Feijão, macarão.”  She would tell me whole stories in those moments. The first weeks, I didn’t understand a thing what she was saying to me, as my Portuguese was almost non-existent upon arrival.  Coming out of the journeys, which took sometimes half an hour, with Louisa checking in now and then, I would stick my head out of the house, I would look at her and would ask: “Comida?”  “Food?”. She would nod.

It was very simple communication in the beginning. But on the deeper levels we were singing to each other, we loved each other so much. The Yawanawa indians don’t touch each other so much in public. When they greet they would point out their right hand, palm facing to the left, and like that honoring the person. I never saw them hugging each other. It is really a masculine society; the man are strong, they are warriors, hunters, leaders, they decide, the woman are there to cook, to wash clothes, and to have sometimes a conversation with (according to the man in the village…) Some man would have more woman, and sleeping with other woman in other villages was something to be proud of as a man. We spoke about relationships, and me not having one at the moment, they asked me why I did not have a wife yet; “Vāta Txanu, you deserve a good woman, you are a strong warrior. You need a woman to cook for you, to wash your clothes and to talk with sometimes.” I told them that it in the western world it doesn’t work that way… Woman are more likely to be equal to a man in a relationship. They told me that I should not accept that; a woman was there to cook, to wash and, if there were no man around to talk, to have a conversation with.  OK! If I would not find a woman soon, they would hunt one for me. I laughed… We laughed so much all the time…

During my whole time with them I never saw husband and wife hugging openly. Sometimes I caught myself dreaming about those big sturdy Amazonas… The woman were big, strong, fierce, they didnt talk a lot, were very serious. One time, when I received a bracelet after catching a big 8 meter long cobra with my hands (later more about that!) a woman put the bracelet over my hand on my right wrist. The bracelet fits really good around my wrist. So to get it over my hand was quite an action. She soaped my hands and my wrist, took the bracelet, and with force slide it onto my wrist, it all took at least 5 minutes. I just came out of the river taking a bath, sitting there in my boxer shorts, feeling the force of that woman, I got lost in a dream about spending a night with her… Feeling her force, I concluded that she would eat me alive… I did not speak a word sitting there, I just received… It was actually part of the dieta to have no thoughts about woman, but still it happened sometimes. What to do?

I started to give Louisa long hugs after she prepared a meal for me, or when she left to her own house in the village at evenings. The first times it took her completely by surprise, it was if she was in shock; she didn’t move or hug back, she took there like a statue, I didn’t gave up and kept hugging her. She was in her sixties, so it was just giving a hug. After a couple of times she really started to enjoy it, she would even come to look for me before leaving, ready to receive a hug. She would never initiate one though. The woman of the village would look in surprise to us from a distance when they would see us hugging.

Waking up, after having eaten the potato the day before, I felt I had strong expectations on what was suppose to happen being on a dieta with Muca. I had talked to some people before, that knew about somebody else that had eaten the root as well. Those stories were inside of me, creating expectations. I decided to get up, to take a bath in the small river close to the house. Bathing was always nice in the jungle.

I would walk to the small river, dressed in a towel, with a piece of soap in my hand. Taking a small, dented aluminum pot from the “kitchen”, and there we had created a wonderful 5 star shower for us: it was a big piece of wood, laying over the river.  There I would be, sitting on my heels, naked, pouring water over my body with that small dented pot. Then soaping my whole body and hair with the piece of soap, pouring it of again with fresh water from that small amazonian river. Pouring the water over my body I would look up high into the sky, life was pouring into my body.

My house took a couple of days more before it was finished. We had some more ceremonies on the porch of my house, laying in hammocks. We did different ceremonies. Some of them would be like the first one I described, laying in hammocks with our guitars, talking, playing music and honoring each other. Those were very nice, full of joy, laughter, fun. The words spoken in those ceremonies were always true words, creating a deep fundament, a deep trust and connection between us. I was so grateful that I had brought the Santo Daime here… It is very special medicine, and I would not have wanted to drink anything else during my dieta. During other ceremonies we would drink big doses, then go to our hammocks in silence, and be the whole ceremony in silence, without a single word being spoken, and no music. When I proposed this kind of ceremony for the first time, the others were a bit skeptical, but still decided to go with it. The ceremonies were my responsibility according to Luiz, so I made those decisions, when, where and how we would go into ceremony. Of course we would talk about it, and decide together, still I had the last word and everybody respected that. After the first silent ceremony, Luiz shared with us that that was the way that the shamans would drink together; in silence, in their hammocks.

Those ceremonies were very deep… It was during the first silent ceremony that I saw Mucanawa for the first time. Mucanawa is the Indian, that was a strong warrior of old times, a strong leader, very well respected in the stories of the Yawanawa Indians. He put his soul into the plant that I was dieting, so the teachings were coming from him. That ceremony was deep for me… Many things of my life came back to me, in a very random order, very chaotic. My mind was running very fast during that ceremony. In between all that chaos, I would get a glimpse of him… He was standing there, high above in the sky. A strong man, erect spine, sturdy face, a strong warrior, with a stick in his hand, and a huge cobra that was curled up before his feet. He was just looking at me, without any emotions, any expression. He was in the silence, and I felt that to talk to him, I had to go into the silence as well. At that moment i was far from being silent…

Sometimes I would look to the others lying in their hammocks and they would look back. Then we would put a thumb in the sky, letting each other know that we were well, and go back to our own journeys. Those ceremonies in silence were very precious to me… In that first silent ceremony I also saw clearly a temple next to my house.

Next day I shared everything with Luiz. He was very happy to hear that I had seen Mucanawa, that was a very good sign for the dieta he told me, a big smile appeared on my face hearing those words. Also I spoke to him about the temple. He liked the idea, and it took us 5 days to construct an amazing temple there in the jungle… The structure had a diameter of  9 meters, with a beautiful roof made of Paia leaves, a bush coming from the Palm family. The structure was made of 8 strong trees standing straight in a circle, and one big tree in the middle, with a pointed roof on top. The sides were open, the roof was covered with leaves, they had collected 1000 Paia leaves to cover the temple. It was truly amazing to see how fast they constructed it, with using just materials from the jungle around. They didn’t use a single nail for example… During the days of building many man of the neighboring villages came to help to build the temple. Edgi, the son of Luiz that joined me in the dieta, explained me many things. When people would come form the neighboring villages to help build the temple, we would have their alliance, they would be friends, supporting us in our work in the future. “BON!”  “GOOD!” everybody would say after hearing that, sticking their right thumb into the air.

Muca is a dieta of action, working, learning, studying, doing things, going in the jungle to discover, and that is what we were doing, all the time.

Many of the mornings Luiz would take us on long walks through the jungle. Those walks were very special… Luiz explained us that he was going to teach us Nipui; the wisdom of the plants. He told us that plants have spirits, and that we were slowly learning that as humans; plants have spirits, and we were going to learn how to work with them. He reminded us that we are depending on the plants as human beings; the oxygen we breath, the food we eat, building material, firewood, protection. But that the plants don’t need us; we breath out CO2 that the plants use in the process of photosynthesis, but CO2 also comes from other sources. So he reminded us that we depend on the plants, but that the plants do not depend on us. He knew so much about plants… Step by step he was teaching us about the plants.

In the jungle cobra’s are a big thing, and I am going to write later about the cobra. I had a deep experience with one, a couple of weeks into the dieta. Cobra’s do occasionally bite people, and Luiz told us that you could be lucky if you could get to the hospital, where they would amputate your leg or arm. They had no remedy for a cobra bite in the hospital. Luiz was one of the only persons in that part of the amazon that knew the plants to heal a cobra bite. He had saved around 50 people in his life that were bitten by a cobra, and people would travel far to see him, or to get him to come to a person. If you could heal a cobra bite in the jungle, then you were a very well respected medicine man. Luiz was very well respected… I found that out over and over again, heard it from many people. So grateful I have the opportunity to learn from him!!

So the fist “chapter” of our teachings of the plants contained plants for cobra bites. I was still getting into learning Portuguese, so I used that first period of around 10 days, to get used to understanding Luiz, to get used to looking at the plants. Sometimes plants looked exactly the same to me; green, with leaves and a stem. And in fact they were a different species.. I slowly got my eyes trained to differentiate all those different plants. Luiz also told us, that it would be impossible to learn form the plants in this way, if you were not in a dieta with Muca; Muca was the teacher of plants, he would be teaching us in our dreams about the plants. Just walking through the forest without Muca, was completely different he told us. So there we were…

We always took the plants back to the house, and slowly created an incredible medicinal garden around my house and the temple. After the first 10 days, we had around 35 different plants for Cobra bites, planted around my Casita. Luiz asked me if there were cobras in Peru were I live… I laughed, and told him they did not existed there. “So why didn’t you tell me this before teaching you about these plants?” he asked me.. Good question! I explained him, that I actually didn’t understand him so well in the beginning, and that I had used this period to learn more Portuguese and to get a more sharp eye to distinguish the plants from each other. He smiled back… “Clever!” He answered with a big smile. We liked each other! The next chapter was going to be about plants for cancer he told me. I was looking forward… That was one of the reasons why I had come to the jungle.

It was also in those days that I received a medicine called Kampu, or in other languages Kambo. It is the milk of a certain type of frog. The indians would go in the early morning, before sun rise on a boat, on the river. There they would slowly float on the water, listening to the songs of that particular frog. When they would hear one, they would catch it, and come back with it, the bag legs bound to a big stick with leaves, so it could not jump away.

Then they made a fire (it was around 5 o clock in the morning, I was just getting up…) and get a small piece of bamboo ready to use. They filed it in the right shape, in such a way that they could blow through it like a small tube. Then they would light it like a cigarette on the fire. With that glowing stick they burned 3 holes on the skin of my left upper arm the first time. It hurt… They would peel of the burned skin after a few minutes, and in that wound, straight onto the flesh they would put the milk, that they just had removed with another flat piece of wood, from the leg of the frog. It was a white milky, sticky substance. Maku was right next to me when Luiz applied it to me for the first time. I was in my boxer short, and had to drink around 3 liters of Kauzumi beforehand. That was not so easy… After weeks of drinking that white, milky, foul tasting liquid, I had enough of it… To drink so much of it on an empty stomach was difficult… It took me 45 minutes to do it. Luiz waited patiently for me to get ready. The other indians already had received the medicine and had walked of immediately. “Where the hell are they going?” I thought.

When I was ready, Luiz burned the holes, put the medicine straight onto my flesh and look me in the eyes. “Keep breathing,” he told me. Maku took me by the arm and let my to the river, where we normally would take a bath. The other indians were laying on the ground, randomly, clearly deep into their process… After around 2 or 3 minutes I start to feel the medicine coming in… it hit me hard. My face and lips began to swell up. My lips curled outside, my tongue got very thick and slow, it felt like my cheeks were swallowing up, I almost became a frog… I started to feel very nauseous, sick, my body got heavy, my thoughts went dark, my emotions were with a lot of weight… I felt on my knees, and then to my side. I could hardly stay up. My heart was beating wild, fast with irregular strong beats. Maku was next to me, always fully present, I felt safe having him there, I trusted him so much… I was pulling strange faces, and I couldn’t stop it. I must have looked ridiculous at those times, HAHA! Maku invited me to puke, I couldn’t… I just couldn’t puke. Putting my finger in my throat even didn’t help. I felt so shitty… Why the hell was I doing this??? Was a questions that crossed my mind a few times…

After like half an hour, Maku invited me to take a bath. I just wanted to be left alone, lying there in the mud I though: can you please just fuck of?… I felt so bad, so weak. He kept slowly urging me to take a bath, with so much love and care. He slowly started to take some water with his hands. He started to wash of the medicine form my arm. That brought immediate relieve, then he started to put water onto my face. The first time he did it, I was so annoyed, could he please just get the hell out of there? Then I felt the water, and it took me back, it awoke my body, and got me back to reality. The heaviness started to leave me, my face was getting back to normal. The water called me back to life, back into my body. It was so refreshing to take a bath… After a minute or so I was pouring the water all over my body, it felt so good! Then I walked back to the fire. The other were already sitting there. Luiz asked me if I had puked, No I told him, I dint puke. He nodded. The others came to sit around the fire and we shared our experiences. They had never seen anybody not puking before on Kampu, “Strong Warrior!”  they told me. Keeping the medicine in, takes courage, it takes strength. I was a strong warrior…

JOOOOOOEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHOOOOOEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

Luiz told me about the frog and how the medicine worked. The frog medicine was for the indians what were vaccinations for the western people. It would strengthen their bodies, their immune system. For that you had to take the Kampu 3 times in a period of 10 days. Then your body would be stronger then before. Kampu circulated in the heart, he told me. It makes the heart move strongly, so that things start to flow, bringing many good things to the person. Sometimes it is like having a cloud on a person, preventing the good things to come, then, taking Kampu, the green light of the frog would come, lifting the cloud away, making things easier.

He also told me the story how the Yawanawa had found the Kampu. In the old times there was a shaman called Kampu. At one time, many people of the village were sick, and the shaman had tried almost all plants that he knew, had tried almost everything that was possible for him to cure them. Kampu went to the forest, while drinking ayahuasca, Huni as they call it, and during that trip God came to visit him. God had in his hands a frog, and showed Kampu how to take the white secretion from the animal and how to apply it. Kampu went back to his tribe, the Yawanawa Indians, and applied the frog medicine for the first time to his people. After that treatment, all his brothers and sisters of the tribe were healed. After the death of Kambu, his spirit started to live inside of the frog, and since then the Yawanawa used the milk of the frog to stay strong and healthy. In the tradition of the Yawanawa it was a medicine used for people that are sad, have bad luck, having a life where nothing goes right. The purpose of taking the medicine is taking of this cloud of heaviness, in order to get good luck again; to become a good hunter and to attract woman.

Attracting woman, was for sure many times a topic in the following weeks…

He also told me about the frog, how it lived and how they would catch it. The frogs live in trees, singing their songs, eating mainly insects, close to the river. The Indians would go out to listen to their songs, in early morning, before sunrise. When they would hear one, they would climb in the tree, and there they could just take the frog. The frog would not jump away, as the frog has no enemies; it is extremely poisonous. They are hard to swallow, and snakes, when they try to eat them, spit them out immediately. So the indians just basically pick them up from the trees. They bind the 2 back legs together in an X, and would take it home. There they would scrape the white foamy secretion from the frog and would apply it. Another way of using the milk, was to wash the frog in Kauzumi, the milk that we drank. They would wash all the secretion of the frog into the Kauzumi, to later drink it. That was only something for real strong warriors… The process could take almost the whole day, and was only recommended for men with a lot of experience. I saw Muca going through that process. He was such a strong man, his whole arms were full of the white dots that the application of the frog medicine left on the skin. The indians would wear those dots with pride; the more dots, the stronger you were. Muca had both his arms completely full of those dots, and was busy getting his chest full as well. He drank that milk… it was a very strong process for him. I didn’t even considered it, HAHA!

Also sometimes they would make rapé with the secretion of the frog dried up, made into powder, to be mixed with rapé. Then it would be blown up the nose. Also that was very strong, and could take the whole day. I saw another man doing it, and he was basically out the whole day. I politely declined.

After taking the milk from the frog, the frog would be released again into the jungle. The frog would stop to sing for up to 2 years. During that time, the frog would not have milk. So they could only take frogs that were singing to be used for medicine. After that period the frog would start to sing again, getting ready to be used again as medicine. Hearing the effects to had on the live of the frog, I felt doubts on taking the medicine many times.

It was so beautiful to hear all those stories being told there at the fire in the morning. I enjoyed it tremendously. Luiz was a master in story telling, and I love stories… I soaked them all up. Also it was good that I did not speak so much Portuguese, that helped me to listen more, and to talk less. I was there to learn, to watch, to listen. I made the commitment before I went, to really experience the life with the Yawanawa, to not judge them, to not try to change them in any way; to just be there and live like a Yawanawa indian for the time I would be there, with all that would encompass that.

Slowly the night was coming closer where we would hold the opening ceremony of the newly build temple! We were all so exited, it was a big moment for the whole village!

 

They had invited many people from neighboring villages, so there would be around 30 people present in total. The prepared me for that ceremony, that I was going to lead. The woman of the village painted my body with a black paint made from a huge tree. I went with Muca deep into the jungle that day, to find the fruit of the Uruku tree. We found a tree, and it was huge… It was at least 30 meters high, with a stem of around a meter wide. Muca took his axe and in a few minutes the tree start to fall down. WHAT?? He is cutting that big tree, to get some fruits so we can paint our bodies? I was shocked, and asked him what he was doing, reminding myself not to judge, but to learn and watch. He told me that a dieta of Muca was a very special moment in a persons life, to be painted like a warrior with Uruku was an important part of the dieta. The tree was waiting all his life for this moment, and now the moment had come to be used, so we could become strong warriors. I accepted his explanation with difficulty.

We collected the fruits from the fallen tree, and went back with the boat to our temple. There the woman cooked the medicine for a few hours. We got undressed and they started to paint us. My arms became like the skin of a cobra, my chest became like that skin of an anaconda, many different patterns were put onto my body. Applied with a small, pointy wooden stick, that they would dip into the paint. The medicine dried up, and would stay on my body for around 5 days, water or my clothes would not affect it. That night we did a ceremony again on the porch of my house.

During that ceremony I felt the paintings so strongly… It was like an armor being shaped around me, it was like my skin became an impenetrable suit. A layer of protection I could feel around me, so strong, so powerful… Mucanawa was soaring in the sky, looking me deep in my eyes. It was like he was keeping me focussed, so I could be present for this armor to encompass me, like a strong shield of protection. I bowed to him, thanked him, and received my new suit. I was becoming a strong warrior Luiz told me the next day.

Then the opening night was arriving!

In the days before Luiz had told me a lot about many different animals of the forrest. Every animal had its properties, its story and its functions. They told me about the crowns of feathers they used in their ceremonies. Luiz sat down an afternoon and told me all about it. Explaining me that a feather crown was not for everybody. Strong man, wise man, good hunters, pagers, medicine man, leaders, man with many wives, they would wear them, but not ordinary man. Every bird that could be used to make a crown, had its own properties. The length of the crown could indicate also the strength of the person wearing it. So you could have a crown only surrounding the head, going in a circle. And you had crowns that were coming down in front of the chest, sometimes even going down towards the knees. That was only for very wise man… The sacredness of the animal could depend on different factors; how difficult it was to hunt them, the stories that were told about them, and many more. The more sacred an animal was, the more expensive they told me. The jungle works very simple!

During the ceremony where I felt the armor coming in, at one point Edgi had come up to me. He had told me that he had made a crown a few weeks earlier. It was a crown from feathers form a very special small bird. Those birds were always to be found in couples, sitting in the highest trees, singing their most beautiful song. To hunt those birds was very difficult, as they would be high up in the trees, up till 40 meters high. To shoot a small bird from such a distance was only reserved for extremely good hunters. Then, after shooting the first bird, you also had to shoot the 2nd bird as well. They had very primitive guns, with only 1 bullet at the time, so they had to reload for the second animal very fast, and shoot that 2nd animal in flight. Edgi had shot 2 of those birds, and made a crown out of it. To have a crown with feathers of that bird, was very special. Not many people could shoot them, they were very sacred animals. And by wearing those feathers, you would honor those animals, and their virtues, their strengths, connecting with the spirit of those animals. That was why they wear a crown; to honor nature, to honor the animals. Not to show of, or just for the fun of killing. They lived in harmony with nature, they honored nature, they respected natured, they were part of nature. Choosing a crown was a very special moment in life Luiz told me; you would choose the virtues of an animal, to connect with them, to honor them, and to embody them. Luiz told me to feel into it, not just to put something on my head.

During that ceremony, feeling the armor taking its place, Edgi crowned me with those beautiful yellow feathers. It was such a special moment… I cried. I felt the crown coming on my head, Muca sitting next to me, Edgi binding it to my head, and Luiz watching from a distance, in silence. It was a very special and sacred moment for me.

I stayed sitting up straight with that crown for the rest of the ceremony. I connected with those 2 beautiful birds during that ceremony. They had so much joy, so much light, so much life. And their songs were so beautiful… And then I understood what I was wearing; Music was my crown. It had been already all my life, and in that moment it felt like a confirmation, I  felt even stronger what I always have known; Santa Musica is the Queen of All that is.

Feeling that I had a wave of joy, light and love going through my body. Edgi and Muca saw it happen and there we were again:

JOOOOOOOOEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHHHHOOOOOOOOOOEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

We laughed so much, we laughed so much… Then they told me how beautiful I looked with the crown, that I was fitting me so well, the colors, the shape. They told me I looked like an indian now. My body was born in the Netherlands, but my soul was a Yawanawa Soul, they saw it clearly; I was a Yawanawa Indian.

“Welcome home”  Luiz told me from a distance, looking me into the eyes, putting his right thumb up in the air. He walked back to his hammock and slept for the rest of the ceremony.

2 days later there was the opening ceremony of the temple. But I guess that will be for the next post…

Sending you all my love!!

See you soon

Sat Nam

 

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