(The Sorcerers’ Crossing by Taisha Abelar)
In the late sixties, while I was living in Tucson, Arizona, I met a Mexican woman by the name of Clara Grau, who invited me to stay in her house in the state of Sonora, Mexico. There, she did her utmost to usher me into her world.
Clara Grau was a sorceress; part of a cohesive group of sixteen sorcerers.
Some of them were Yaqui Indians; others were Mexicans of various origins and backgrounds, ages and sexes. Most were women.
All of them pursued, single-heartedly, the same goal: breaking the perceptual dispositions and biases that imprison us within the boundaries of the normal everyday world and prevent us from entering other perceivable worlds.
For sorcerers, to break such perceptual dispositions enables one to cross a barrier and leap into the unimaginable.
They call such a leap “the sorcerers’ crossing.”
Sometimes they refer to it as ‘the abstract flight,’ because it entails soaring from the side of the concrete; the physical, to the side of expanded perception and impersonal abstract forms.
These sorcerers were interested in helping me accomplish this abstract flight so that I could join them in their basic endeavors.
For me, academic training became an integral part of my preparation for the sorcerers’ crossing.
The leader, or ‘nagual’ as he is called, of the sorcerers’ group with whom I am associated, is a person with a keen interest in formal academic erudition.
Hence, all those under his care were encouraged to develop their capacity for the abstract, clear thinking that is acquired in a modern university.
As a woman, I had an even greater obligation to fulfill this requirement.
Women in general are conditioned from early childhood to depend on the male members of our society to conceptualize and initiate changes.
The sorcerers that trained me had very strong opinions in this regard.
They felt that it is indispensable that women develop their intellects and enhance their capacity for analysis and abstraction in order to have a better grasp of the world around them.
Also, training the intellect is a bona-fide sorcerers’ subterfuge.
By deliberately keeping the mind occupied in analysis and reasoning, sorcerers are free to explore, unimpeded, other areas of perception.
In other words, while the rational side is busy with the formality of academic pursuits, the energetic or non-rational side, which sorcerers call ‘the double’, is occupied with the fulfillment of sorcery tasks.
In this way, the suspicious and analytic mind is less likely to interfere or even notice what is going on at a non-rational level.
The counterpart of my academic development was the enhancement of my capacity for awareness and perception: together the two develop our total being.
Working together as a unit, they took me away from the taken-for-granted life that I had been born into and socialized for as a woman; to a new area of greater perceptual possibilities than what the normal world had in store for me.
That is not to say that solely my commitment to the world of sorcery was enough to assure my success.
The pull of the daily world is so strong and sustained that in spite of their most assiduous training, all practitioners find themselves again and again in the midst of the most abject terror, stupidity and indulging, as if they had learned nothing.
My teachers warned me that I was no exception, and that only a minute to minute relentless struggle can balance one’s natural but stupefying insistence to remain unchanged.
After a careful examination of my final aims, I, in conjunction with my cohorts, arrived at the conclusion that I have to describe my training in order to emphasize to seekers of the unknown the importance of developing the ability to perceive more than we do with normal perception.
Such enhanced perception has to be a sober, pragmatic, new way of perceiving.
It cannot be, under any condition, merely the continuation of perceiving the world of everyday life.
The events I narrate here depict the initial stages of sorcery training for a stalker.
This phase involves the cleansing of one’s habitual ways of thinking, behaving and feeling by means of a traditional sorcery undertaking, one which all neophytes need to perform, called ‘the recapitulation’.
To complement the recapitulation, I was taught a series of practices called ‘sorcery passes’, involving movement and breathing.
To give these practices an adequate coherence, I was instructed with the accompanying philosophical rationales and explanations.
The goal of everything I was taught was the redistribution of my normal energy, and the enhancement of it, so that it could be used for the out-of-the-ordinary feats of perception demanded by sorcery training.
The idea behind the training is that as soon as the compulsive pattern of old habits, thoughts, expectations and feelings is broken by means of the recapitulation, one is indisputably in the position to accumulate enough energy to live by the new rationales provided by the sorcery tradition- and to substantiate those rationales by directly perceiving a different reality.