always I've had these two spirits in me, truth and fantasy
I am the element ‘A’
I am the air
I am the wind
My body maketh the rue-
A spiritual avenue
I am the ‘A’ in air
Listen to what
I have to share
Give me a moment
Hear what I bear
And you too might
Float, lighter than air.
Dreamer, wake up. Wake up dreamer!
I’ve heard it all my life.
Father, schoolmaster, employer and wife.
Always I have these two voices in me- truth and fantasy.
Born and bred in stability, suburbia, 'normality'.
My father owned a successful pharmacy
My mom was at home, a dutiful wife
Dedicated to family her entire life.
Mine’s quite a boring existence, really-
lived in the same town all my life.
Married and in love with the same wife.
Two little children a girl and a boy
Our home’s our peace, and works' our joy.
24 years me and my Berni, she was just 14-
I’d finished the Army.
Never a salary’s been paid my way earning a commission from the very first day.
We’re so so happy- still totally in love, we think it’s predestined in the stars.
7 years courting and 17 we’re wed and the flames
well alive in the marriage bed.
Ok... I suppose that's ...enough said.
I really tried to make this not rhyme but for that you’ll have to give me more time.
We do love the mountains, the rivers and the sea.
Retreating for weekends to where nature will be.
Still plagued continually by this nagging. I know not why
In the presence of spirit, I expand and fly.
I spoke to God once. … I know, (you can take me away just after).
I asked for a journey and boy, did I get one.
I don’t much watch cricket or golf or rugby
More likely to find me engrossed in my poetry
Or contemplating life’s inevitably challenges
Reading, writing singing, experimenting.
I do love my hair, it’s sacred I believe it.
I’m just really battling to keep it.
Well so I could go on and on.
But how else can I tell you who I am
My name is Andrew Huisamen, but I also have another name
It was given to me one weekend and the story is an analogy of a great part of who I am.
SPIRIT JOURNEY AT BEAVER LAC
On holiday with friends in the mountains above Piketburg at a camp called Beaver Lac I had an experience that began a serious and earnest calling.
Much like the Baainskloof mountains, but older in terms of the rock formations. It was our first time visiting there, a recommendation by friends. We arrived late on Friday afternoon, set up camp and enjoyed a leisurely braai and some drinks with friends and later passed out with Berni in our tent. Little Amber slept in the adjoining section.
I woke up the next morning after a refreshing nights sleep. In the outdoors, mountain air I like to get up early, when everyone else is still asleep and Mother Nature is preparing for yet another scorching day. I kissed my sweet little Berni and peered in at my 1 year old, Amber, all tucked up, and set off to explore the area.
I often feel a strong urge or sense to get up and move in a certain direction without understanding why and I could feel this was one of those times. I took my bag of goodies for rituals and set off with a melody humming itself in my mind.
I headed east towards the rising sun which hadn’t quite woken up yet either. The mountain soil and brush were hardy and brash and crisp with morning dew. After about 10 minutes walk I came to a pool where I felt a presence. The pool had a rock wall descending into it on the east and reeds all around from Northeast to Southwest. I stood on a flat rock, which gradually merged into the water on the Southside. Without a sound I removed my clothing and slowly entered the still black pond. I felt something there as if watching me. When I came up from out of the water I knew I needed to meditate, so I emerged from the water, picked up my bag and climbed the rock wall finding a spot to sit on top.
With salt, a feather, some water from the pond, and a candle. I cast a sacred circle facing east. I left my body there and contacted my higher self. It must have been an hour or so when I opened my eyes and returned from the silence. My candle had become a waxy puddle where it had stood.
The world was totally still. Over the last few years I had learned to quiet myself and shut off from the world with solitude and meditation. A wonderful serenity comes over one, almost as if nothing in this world matters. You simply feel at one with each blade of grass, the trees, the rocks, the sky, one can almost here the earth grinding as it spins through the universe on its journey around grandfather sun. A blissful state.
I started heading back and agter a few moments something covered the sun casting a shadow before me. I looked up and there, high above me was a bird, a raptor I think. I glanced at my path and then back up at the bird. I stopped in my tracks, as the big wings seemed to turn, in slow motion, fold back and dive, straight towards me. Looking up standing there in the fresh morning sunlight the moment almost surreal, it was an instant that seemed eternal.
The buzzard hit me full in the chest knocking me into the scraggily scrub.
When I came too my head felt thick and heavy I sat up almost dreamlike and got to my feet. My arms ached and as I examined them, I saw that they transformed themselves into the most magnificent set of wings, hinged at the elbows as thick as my arms were.
I spread my arms and tried to flap them and with the utmost ease I floated off the ground and gently down again. Was I dreaming? I could feel myself... oh I didn’t care. I bent my knees and with one giant flap, I lept into the sky. Like a bullet I ascended up, up,up. I could hardly look back but in my pariphary all I saw was the earth growing smaller below me until I saw the curve of the horizon and then the most incredible happened.
As I sped upward the sky changed from watery blue to gray to black. Once in pitch darkness the speed increased so, until eventually there was a flash of light, if felt like an elastic band snapping. The force propelling me was gone as I gently floated until my feet rested on what looked and felt like a glass road. Curved many miles above the surface of the earth, barely visible – my feet glided on pillows of pressed air.
Before me was an avenue of awesome gigantic creatures, with heads of mammoth elephants framed with lion like manes. The stately regal poise of these giant beasts, seemingly unaware of my presence but only there for me, sent a gust like ice through my being, that feeling like you know you're in grave danger but you cannot but continue. Their bodies were strong and hardy like buffalo hide and front legs steady as rhino staves. Trunks extending, they let out a thunderous trumpet call and with tears streaming down my face I floated forward in awe involunterily. All along the way my mind churned this impossible event. When I though that I had come to terms with it and chose to open my perception to its purpose I seemed to be at the end of the road. There before me was a dark mountain. The mountain amphitheatre had four old carved faces of wrinkly old woman and in the sky above them hung the images of the grand fathers of the four directions.
Standing there, dwarfed by this awesome sight the first grandmother spoke. “Child” she said in a mothering voice “ I am the spirit of mother earth and I wish to send a message with you. My message is simple and pure. Take care. Take care child, tell your people to heed the warnings. The earth is ill. Her forest are disintegrating and ending in desert. Poisons and toxins from insecticide and plastic contaminate and suffocate. As the animals die ad more and more become extinct. So too will you all be eradicated before long if you continue in your ways. In all you do, look to the earth and she shall serve thee.” Touch her and ground yourself and ollk upon her beauty to find inner peace. The old woman’s face returned to stone. The grandfather of the north smiled. “You would be wise to hear this old crone and take this message home.” I promised I would with a definite nod.
The next grandmother spoke, her voice thick with emphysema “EARTHMAN” she rasped. “I am the spirit of air, your modern ways are choking me and filthifying my spirit. Even the standing people, your trees cannot cope to filter such amounts of impurity. Smoke, steam, noise and scorching sunlight have changed my vibration. Be cautious, tell your kind to wake up before you need machines to breath.” BREATH IS LIFES she concluded.She spoke with difficulty and looked long and hard into my eyes before bowing her head gracefully.
Her grandfather of the east spoke: “my son let the inspiration of this experience give you strength to take this message. No one else but you are chosen, no other being but you. Be strong and be wise – you are blessed. Teach your kind to breath and heal their troubled souls” Again I thought I must be dreaming . He continued. “Different dreams”, he said, “ are merely different directions taken in different realms. Some dream feels so real while you’re in them that they may as well be your reality. Reality sometimes so surreal, it may as well be a dream but you remember what you believe and tell yourself, soon becomes your reality.” He seemed to wink at me.
The grandmother water spirit spoke
“Spirit being” her voice flowed gently. “You have come among us out out of your own free will, you have sought our solace and I know you to be akin to the water as you come to know and love it. But alas it bleeds, son. The destruction of water is destruction of life in itself when will you see.” A huge tear rolled from her old stone eye. The grandfather of the south seemed to comfort her saying; “prepare now son, to take these words to your kind. And when you head for the ocean and mountain pools on your annual vacation you should sit and make your people mindful of their waste and destruction. Teach your children well also. It is for them that we preserve it. His eyes remained fixed upon me as the last grandmother spoke; “ I am the guardian of the fire spirit” – at that moment a violet laser beam stretched from the center of her forehead to reach out and touch mine. It cleaved a line down my frame cutting me clean in half. All that I knew of my physical being fell beside me in two halve and frazzled into the platform and what remained was my spirit being, glowing in radient light, brilliant white. “I annoint thee `Wind e rue` and by that name shall yea be known in our realm from this day forward. Instead of using my power to destroy your earth begin now to let it help you to unite one with another – and make yourself a sacred chinappa pipe– with a bowl of earth and a stem of wood. Fill it with sage, sweet grass, cedar and tobacco and bless one another as you pass it among yourselves. Go now with your new found spirit, go now with these words and be filled with joy because you are alive and this is good for our relations.”
The grandfather of the west bid me a final farewell. “For now that you have purpose and have the blessings of Earth. Air, Water and Fire go in the four directions of north, east, south and west until you feel the need to turn within again and come to the fountain to drink, before you continue on your quest. Be strong little brother – but go now. Akelah Mitakoye Oyasin.” “Akeleh Mitakoye Oyasin” I replied.
I turned to go back through the avenue of beasts bit they were no more. With the mountain now at my back, before me was a regiment of buzzards, hawks and falcons as far as the eye could see. My heart lept as I kicked off from my foothold and soared above them. Each row I passed, took off as I did following me in procession. We flew faster and farther this myriad of totem animals and I, until the sky again went black sending us into a dive toward the earth. We went faster and faster until the speed increased so that I passed out.
When I awoke I lay in the same position as when the bird had hit me, my chest and arms aching. My arms and body were back to normal except for one single down feather, trapped between my fingers.
I sat for a moment feeling rather drained.
When I got back to the camp, all my friends were chattering around the breakfast fire. My wife looked at me and began to frown ; "What's that mark on my forehead.' she asked.
Shamanism from bone seed to wounded healer
This section contains graphic and disturbing images- proceed with caution
I am not a shaman, because I have neither fully lived or died yet. Matsuwa
Shamanism is the dawn of spirituality in the proto human mind.
It is hot, and often painful, but afterward it is cool, cleansing and enlightening.
The shamans journey is not an easy one it ussually takes a life time or longer.
The bone seed
Some are born some are called. All will come... eventually.
Before Francis Crick discovered DNA, shamans have refered to genetics as- the bone seed.
The stories we carry down the generations are equal to the genetic material we pass to our offspring.
If your ancestory contains, mayors, judges and medical people you may belong to the priestly class and be called to become a doctor, a lawyer, a priest or a shaman.
The crisis journey
As the shaman's mind is brought to change so his body and spirit undergo change. Change itself is seldom easy where identity is concerned it can bring the shaman to the brink of death, but the strong mind can accept difficulty and endure because it understands that the pain is temporary but the results are inevitable and glorious.
The shaman will come to a certain crisis points in his or her life where physical pain, torture, disability, mental illness or any number of seeming ailments will force him off the path most modern people travel and onto the good red road. Each crisis, will involve severe incapacitation, a recovery period and an evolution.
The wounded healer
How can I understand your pain if I have not been there myself?
How can I take you to face your demons if I do not know the way there ...and back?
How can you trust me if I cannot show you I too have suffered?
The shaman is a patient him/herself. Often disabled, crippled or disfigured. He has been discriminated against by society and set apart. She has heen brutalised or ill treated and knows the darkness of depression, abandonment and sorrow.
But from the quagmire of the brink of a seeming end, the life rises from the ashes like the phoenix and flies across the face of the sun to bask in its glory once again, to breath, to dream and to live out loud. This one life.
In dying we are born to eternal life
Every crisis is a dying, every evolution a shedding of the old nand an assuming of the new.