The nagual Mariano Aureliano had once told me that sorcerers, when they talk among themselves, speak of sorcery as a bird: They call it the bird of freedom. They say that the bird of freedom only flies in a straight line and never comes around twice. They also say that it is the nagual who lures the bird of freedom. It is he who entices the bird to shed its shadow on the warrior’s path. Without that shadow, there is no direction. ~ Florinda Donner, Being-in-Dreaming
But it was night and there was no shadow. The three of us were standing on the cool Saltillo tile looking up towards the northeast at the Andromeda Galaxy through a high-powered telescope. It was a mild evening and since we were in the phase of the new moon last weekend it was very dark and the millions of stars in the Milky Way were brilliant. There wasn’t any sound at all except the gentle lapping of the waves from the Sea of Cortez. We were in the Sonoran Desert, donde el desierto y el mar se encuentran; where the desert meets the sea.
And then it came without warning and was as silent as the night was balmy. A white blur moving in from the west, very large and completely illuminated. The three of us watched it fly above us, far away and yet close. Convinced it was a UFO, I was handed the binoculars to see it more clearly and was startled to see in the lenses a gigantic, pure white bird. I passed the binoculars to another so they can have a look and said, more as a question, it’s a bird? He looked and said “yes, it’s illuminated from the lights” and handed the binoculars to the next while my mind was racing to convince me that it was not a bird at all, there were no lights in the pitch black to illuminate it; we were merely attempting to put the inconceivable into a familiar framework. The next person said, “it’s a spirit bird!”
I looked once more through the binoculars. It was pure white with no definition at all. No feathers, no details, a blank template in the shape of a giant bird that was luminous in an otherwise completely dark evening. We watched it in total awe and silence as it moved towards the east until it disappeared.
The three of us stood there; me, a young Yaqui dreamer and a master of perceptual paradox and we didn’t know what to think. Words could not define what we had just witnessed. We agreed that since it was so fully visible and that there were no lights nearby that it was indeed illuminated. We determined that it was atypically large for a bird. And we agreed that we were attempting to define it within our similar and individual cognizant context but we each knew that it didn’t fit into any category that we were aware of. Spirit being, UFO, bird of freedom…quite the conundrum indeed!
In my deepest knowing, however, I am aware that my objective has been to loosen my assemblage point completely in order to become fluid enough to align with intent and dance in a state of heightened awareness also known as dreaming awake. What we perceived that evening is not something that can be explained or rationalized and defined. It is, indeed, the beginning of a new dance along the lines of awareness.
The bird of freedom, as ushered in by the nagual, appeared and three of us saw it because we were dreaming awake together and had the energy to do so. Did any of the sorcerers before us ever see the bird of freedom at night? And if not, does that invalidate it as the bird of freedom because it soared in at night and did not cast a shadow? Sorcerers build upon an existing body of knowledge and are acutely aware that the evolution of this knowledge comes when we are open to perceiving in ways that will continue to differ from another’s tale of power. As sorcerers we have no choice but to remain open to ensure our assemblage points are fluid and that our experiences cannot be rationalized to the point where we can guarantee that it fits within the expectations and definitions known by consensual reality.
Did we see the bird of freedom? Undoubtedly. And without a shadow to provide us with direction we are free to wander within the unknowable however we want to and to perceive the inconceivable without any need to have what we see validated or corroborated. The doorways are open. ~Keep Dancing!
The moment one begins dreaming-awake, a world of enticing, unexplored possibilities opens up; a world where the ultimate audacity becomes a reality; where the unexpected is expected. That’s the time when man’s definitive adventure begins. The world becomes limitless with possibilities and wonder. ~ Florinda Donner, Being-in-Dreaming
I appreciate what you say here, really, it’s kinda sweet, but it makes me feel like I’ve missed the whole point if I actually read it 😉
Journey well and keep dancing!
The bird bearing a gift!
We are dancing together! 🙂
Perhaps the shadow was the shadow of night.
Quite possible, la Águila de la noche 😉
You really strive for authenticity. I’m sure this affect is sensed in your readers heart. I hope, when I write, I strive for the same! 🙂
There is only authenticity in the warrior’s world. 🙂
I’ve seen that bird.
feathers do fall from the sky in dreaming….
yes, “the doorways are open!
“Now, for the first time…… in the proper position to
understand that dreaming is an energy-generating condition.”
The grand task of sorcerers is to bring forth the idea that, in order to evolve, man must first free his awareness from its bindings to the social order. Once awareness is free, intent will redirect it into a new evolutionary path. ~ Don Juan, The Art of Dreaming
Thank You for this book by Florinda. I did read it sometime back from your page. And The Art of Dreaming is certainly my favorite Castaneda book…Great Post:)
I like this! I have seen a white bird. Twice. One cannot follow her, though. I had to leave me behind!
One of the most common obstacles we face is the tendency to seek perception of other realities via the mind/senses. The consensual self. We meditate or engage plant spirits, seeking to acquire experience that fits into our per-conceived mental matrix. Doesn’t work that way. To actually perceive freedom, it is necessary to surrender. This is not about declaring the willingness to allow spirit into ourselves;…. no. It is about releasing the self. As a dreamer, the process of shifting (releasing) is exactly like falling asleep! I “fall asleep” and instantly wake up without the sheath of the tonal. Now, these are only words, but relative freedom can be experienced via the dreamer. Anything perceived via the senses/mind is simply an enhancement of this consensual band. Let me be clear. A shift is the movement OUTSIDE consensual awareness. NO senses register perception. NO thought occurs. NO separation is apparent among beings. NO pausing or analysis is possible. Nothing is like this world unless it is only a (psychic) perceptual enhancement. Don’t settle. You will be a tasty morsel if you do!!!