(The Second Ring of Power)
“The Nagual told me that a warrior without form begins to see an eye. I saw an eye in front of me every time I closed my eyes. It got so bad that I couldn’t rest anymore; the eye followed me wherever I went. I nearly went mad. Finally, I suppose, I became used to it. Now I don’t even notice it because it has become part of me.
“The formless warrior uses that eye to start dreaming. If you don’t have a form, you don’t have to go to sleep to do dreaming. The eye in front of you pulls you every time you want to go.”
“Where exactly is that eye, Gorda?”
She closed her eyes and moved her hand from side to side, right in front of her eyes, covering the span of her face.
“Sometimes the eye is very small and other times it is enormous,” she went on. “When it’s small your dreaming is precise. If it’s big your dreaming is like flying over the mountains and not really seeing much. I haven’t done enough dreaming yet, but the Nagual told me that that eye is my trump card. One day when I become truly formless I won’t see the eye anymore; the eye will become just like me, nothing, and yet it’ll be there like the allies. The Nagual said that everything has to be sifted through our human form. When we have no form, then nothing has form and yet everything is present. I couldn’t understand what he meant by that, but now I see that he was absolutely right. The allies are only a presence and so will be the eye. But at this time that eye is everything to me. In fact, in having that eye I should need nothing else in order to call up my dreaming, even when I’m awake. I haven’t been able to do that yet. Perhaps I’m like you, a bit stubborn and lazy.”
“How did you do the flying you showed me tonight?”
“The Nagual taught me how to use my body to make lights, because we are light anyway, so I make sparks and lights and they in turn lure the lines of the world. Once I see one, it’s easy to hook myself to it.”
“How do you hook yourself?”
“I grab it.”
She made a gesture with her hands. She clawed them and then placed them together joined at the wrists, forming a sort of bowl, with the clawed fingers upright.
“You have to grab the line like a jaguar,” she went on, “and never separate the wrists. If you do, you’ll fall down and break your neck.”
She paused and that forced me to look at her, waiting for more of her revelations.
“You don’t believe me, do you?” she asked.
Without giving me time to answer, she squatted and began again to produce her display of sparks. I was calm and collected and could place my undivided attention on her actions. When she snapped her fingers open, every fiber of her muscles seemed to tense at once. That tension seemed to be focused on the very tips of her fingers and was projected out like rays of light. The moisture in her fingertips was actually a vehicle to carry some sort of energy emanating from her body.
“How did you do that, Gorda?” I asked, truly marveling at her.
“I really don’t know,” she said. “I simply do it. I’ve done it lots and lots of times and yet I don’t know how I do it. When I grab one of those rays I feel that I’m being pulled by something. I really don’t do anything else except let the lines I’ve grabbed pull me. When I want to get back through, I feel that the line doesn’t want to let me free and I get frantic. The Nagual said that that was my worst feature. I get so frightened that one of these days I’m going to injure my body. But I figure that one of these days I’ll be even more formless and then I won’t get frightened, so as long as I hold on until that day. I’m all right.”
“Tell me then, Gorda, how do you let the lines pull you?”
“We’re back again in the same spot. I don’t know. The Nagual warned me about you. You want to know things that cannot be known.”
I struggled to make clear to her that what I was after were the procedures. I had really given up looking for an explanation from all of them because their explanations explained nothing to me. To describe to me the steps that were followed was something altogether different.
“How did you learn to let your body hold onto the lines of the world?” I asked.
“I learned that in dreaming,” she said, “but I really don’t know how. Everything for a woman warrior starts in dreaming. The Nagual told me, just as he told you, first to look for my hands in my dreams. I couldn’t find them at all. In my dreams I had no hands. I tried and tried for years to find them. Every night I used to give myself the command to find my hands but it was to no avail.
I never found anything in my dreams. The Nagual was merciless with me. He said that I had to find them or perish. So I lied to him that I had found my hands in my dreams. The Nagual didn’t say a word but Genaro threw his hat on the floor and danced on it. He patted my head and said that I was really a great warrior. The more he praised me the worse I felt. I was about to tell the Nagual the truth when crazy Genaro aimed his behind at me and let out the loudest and longest fart I had ever heard. He actually pushed me backward with it. It was like a hot, foul wind, disgusting and smelly, just like me. The Nagual was choking with laughter.
“I ran to the house and hid there. I was very fat then. I used to eat a great deal and I had a lot of gas. So I decided not to eat for a while. Lidia and Josefina helped me. I didn’t eat anything for twenty-three days, and then one night I found my hands in my dreams. They were old and ugly and green, but they were mine. So that was the beginning. The rest was easy.”
“And what was the rest, Gorda?”
“The next thing the Nagual wanted me to do was to try to find houses or buildings in my dreams and look at them, trying not to dissolve the images. He said that the art of the dreamer is to hold the image of his dream. Because that’s what we do anyway during all our lives.”
“What did he mean by that?”
“Our art as ordinary people is that we know how to hold the image of what we are looking at.
The Nagual said that we do that but we don’t know how. We just do it; that is, our bodies do it. In dreaming we have to do the same thing, except that in dreaming we have to learn how to do it. We have to struggle not to look but merely to glance and yet hold the image.
“The Nagual told me to find in my dreams a brace for my belly button. It took a long time because I didn’t understand what he meant. He said that in dreaming we pay attention with the belly button; therefore it has to be protected. We need a little warmth or a feeling that something is pressing the belly button in order to hold the images in our dreams.
“I found a pebble in my dreams that fit my belly button, and the Nagual made me look for it day after day in water holes and canyons, until I found it. I made a belt for it and I still wear it day and night. Wearing it made it easier for me to hold images in my dreams.
“Then the Nagual gave me the task of going to specific places in my dreaming. I was doing really well with my task but at that time I lost my form and I began to see the eye in front of me.
The Nagual said that the eye had changed everything, and he gave me orders to begin using the eye to pull myself away. He said that I didn’t have time to get to my double in dreaming, but that the eye was even better. I felt cheated. Now I don’t care. I’ve used that eye the best way I could. I let it pull me in my dreaming. I close my eyes and fall asleep like nothing, even in the daytime or anywhere. The eye pulls me and I enter into another world. Most of the time I just wander around in it. The Nagual told me and the little sisters that during our menstrual periods dreaming becomes power. I get a little crazy for one thing. I become more daring. And like the Nagual showed us, a crack opens in front of us during those days. You’re not a woman so it can’t make any sense to you, but two days before her period a woman can open that crack and step through it into another world.”
With her left hand she followed the contour of an invisible line that seemed to run vertically in front of her at arm’s length.
“During that time a woman, if she wants to, can let go of the images of the world,” la Gorda went on. “That’s the crack between the worlds, and as the Nagual said, it is right in front of all of us women.
“The reason the Nagual believes women are better sorcerers than men is because they always have the crack in front of them, while a man has to make it.
“Well, it was during my periods that I learned in dreaming to fly with the lines of the world. I learned to make sparks with my body to entice the lines and then I learned to grab them. And that’s all I have learned in dreaming so far.”