Monday, March 8, 2010

In the desert, you can remember your name

***First in a series***

Max LeMonk, the monkey puppet, and I wandered the cool, clear, dry, dark hills, guided by the moonlight.  Lost in conversation, we were nonetheless enrapt by the earthbound nature of our relationship. Max seemed especially conscious of the idea that without earth and without me, his existence, not to mention his head, would become quite hollow.

Then we happened across an old man in a blanket (well, he just turned 50. That's not old. Heck, I turn 50 this year, too) who uncovered himself when we tripped over him.  It was don Rey Ortega, a yaqui shaman; the ventriloquist nagual.*

After scolding us for, in the huge open spaces of the desert, managing to stumble (ouch!) over him, he spoke from his soul - and his hand, ala Senior Wences. Then he summoned a voice from his napsack, just because he could. We acknowledged the presence of a master, and deposited a fivespot into his hat.

We asked don Rey whether perfection in ventriloquism was possible on this earth.

He replied:
"Like my Master once told me, there are secret and powerful phrases that can lead you to the road of success.
This is ancient Sanskrit and before you speak it out loud, be sure of your intentions then say to yourself with total conviction,
'Yagatta Wanna.'"
Max and I stood motionless, feeling the power of don Rey's words. Then we did as don Rey instructed us. Max explained how lost he feels, and is desire to follow a path to wisdom and enlightenment.  Don Rey smiled, inexplicably tossed dirt on Max's shoes, and said:
"Hold your hands in a prayer position and say,
'Bailo selhai.'"
Then, in a sudden burst of dust and wind, don Rey disappeared. In his place was a flier for a cruise ship vacation, two tokens for free drinks, and the night.
* Carlos Casteneda wrote several spiritual/mystical books in the 1960s and 1970s. His mentor was don Juan Matus, who had the "energetic configuration of a 'nagual'", and, if the spirit chose, could become a leader of a party of seers. Books of this nature are engrossing to me  when I get my head around the big concepts. His later works, when Casteneda was past his peyote madness, are particularly good reads for a spiritual thrill seeker.

So imagine a ventriloquist nagual, who, when the spirit chose, could become the leader of a party of voice throwers. Probably the life of the party, too.

It's not too big a leap at all. Is it?

Casteneda's books were also subject to debate for being published as non-fiction while considered by many to be pure fiction.  Now doubt, this post will cause the same debate.

(I just tell you this background so you don't think I'm just making stuff up. Because I'm not, you know.)
When not being a nagual, or at least a nagual wannabe, Rey Ortega's adventures in entertainment can be found at Thanks, Rey, for joining the fun.

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