Sorcery makes us aware of different realities; different possibilities, not only about the world but also about ourselves, to the extent that we no longer are able to believe in even the most solid assumptions about ourselves and our surroundings. ~ Carlos Castaneda, Being in Dreaming
Don Juan used to take Carlos out into the desert chaparral for numerous reasons but most importantly to have what he called an appointment with knowledge. For many years I have visited such a place in the Sonoran desert of the greater Phoenix area that is affectionately known to us as the place of intent. It is an amazing place, a power place of great magnitude that unerringly alters ones perception and provides a heightened state of awareness just by sitting there.
Last weekend a fellow warrior and I hiked in one evening as the moon was waxing towards full. We brought no flashlights with us, the moon in the desert provides sufficient light and we were able to see quite clearly as we walked deeper into the illuminated darkness. That sounds paradoxical but it isn’t when you are in the desert at night with the light of the moon. Once the eyes adjust you can see everything just as well as you can during the day, everything is just bluer.
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.
What is required of a modern warrior is a condition of sustained energy gain, until his attention can flow between reason and silent knowledge. When moving in that way, he is more sane than ever, and yet he is not a rational being. From whichever position he assumes, he will always be sighting the other side, and his vision acquires perspective and depth. Sorcerers describe this condition as ‘being double” or ‘losing the mind’. ~ Carlos Castaneda, Encounters with the Nagual
As warriors of awareness, Don Juan says that every day is a battle and that a warrior will fight that battle to the last day. What are warriors battling? Themselves. They fight to break the description of the world which has been injected into their mind, freeing themselves from the mold of man. This allows the assemblage point to shift so new things can be perceived.