Portrait of the Shaman as a young man.

This week has been a milestone for myself on my Sacred Journey as an “Aj Kin”, or Daykeeper Shaman.   It was 20 years ago on Jan. 1, 1994 that the world heard of the Zapatista uprising against NAFTA.  To me this was a major awakening moment.   I began reading all the communiques released by Sub-commandante Marcos, the leader of the Zapatista rebellion.  I would later find out he was friends with my mentor the Mayan Grand Elder Don Alejandro Cirilo Perez Oxlaj, “Tata” for short, who told me Marcos was working now at the UN, but he did not reveal Marcos’ real name to me.

In 1994 I was in college studying music composition and classical guitar.  I was not the best student, I’ll admit.  I was feeling very isolated from my classmates and from society in general.  My upbringing was not very typical at all, my family had moved many times for my Dad’s work from Texas to Colorado, New Jersey and Caracas, Venezuela, and back to Texas, I practically went to a different school each grade until high school.  When we landed and built a house, it turned out to be in the most conservative county in Texas (and that’s a hard title to claim!), in a little town called New Braunfels.

One part of traveling I remember very well was going to visit the National museum in Mexico City and seeing the great Aztec calendar stone when I was about 7 years old.  Just like the pyramid at Chichen Itza or Teotihuacan, you have to see it with your own eyes and stand in awe of it’s presence to truly understand why this kind of monument is so revered and important to the whole world.

At the end of 1994, a long-time friend showed me a National Geographic magazine featuring photos of a nature preserve called Cuatrocienegas that was just over the border from us in Coahuila, MX.  The day after Christmas 1994, we left with three other amigos and went to check it out.  What we found there literally changed my perceptions and my life’s path forever.  It was a magical little cactus called peyote.  On that same trip we also visited Real de Catorce, a mystical semi-ghost town once renowned for silver mining, and a Mecca for the Huichol and other tribes who journey hundreds of mies to climb the Wirikuta mountain, a place where the wisdom of the Cosmos enters into the Earth, to make offerings and collect peyote along the way.

I made many more trips in to Mexico since then, collecting crystals from desert mining towns and stopping at Cuatrocienegas for the most amazing spiritual journeys anyone can imagine.

In 1997 a cloud of smoke came up from Chiapas, MX and covered the entire state of Texas for weeks.  That was my smoke signal that it was time to go deeper South.  By chance, my father got a job at Isla del Carmen, Campeche, MX.  That would be my springboard for major expeditions to the Mayan pyramids.

To be continued…..

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