(The Universal Spiderweb by Armando Torres)
There are those who follow the lineage of the prehispanic traditional dancers, well known as “Concheros” (shell-wearers) because of the bells they carry tied to their ankles. They are a very numerous fraternity; we can find them almost everywhere [in Mexico]; it seems that there’s a group in every town. It’s very easy to find them; in general they’re in the religious parts of the towns, and in the ceremonial centers.
They are very fragmented, and each group can have sub-groups with their own goals and purposes. Although surely at the present time there are groupings that do their dance for mere amusement or simple gymnastics, there still exists among them some that are true traditional sorcerers still following this path.
Those sorcerers are the guardians of the knowledge. In their dance movements and expressions of praise, they hide many secrets of power. I had the fortune to know some of the original “captains,” so I could understand the message that the tradition of the old dancers brings. Carlos not only knew the dancer Zacatecas, but for a certain time he was in contact with other groups. For those who go in search of knowledge, this could be an open door.
As I’ve explained previously, I had the fortune of being integrated in a millennial line of healer-sorcerers called ticis, which is one of the oldest lines of traditional knowledge that we know of, but, surprisingly, it’s also one of the least-known. They’re unique because this line not only values the art of healing and of good ways to live, but they’re also fully devoted to the search for freedom.
The groups of healers are subdivided into several specialized types; for example, there are the “hueseros” (bone workers) that at present time are known as chiropractors, the “sobadores” (massagers) who today are called masseurs and masseuses, and there is also the branch of those who know the secrets of the plants that nowadays are known as herbalists. Others use acupuncture to treat the sick, while there are also those who cure by using passes to clean energy.
One should take into account that in all the branches of knowledge, we’ll always be able to find the full range, from very committed sorcerers with their traditions to charlatans who are only after profit. In the same way, there also exist among the healers those that do their work in an altruistic way without any interest other than helping those in need, while others are only interested in making money.
One can find sorcerers for rent almost everywhere; they’re professional charmers who make a business of their gifts. In general, the risk they run is that of being consumed by greed, and because of this, they’re derailed and lose their way.
One can find them in the markets, or in classified announcements of the newspapers, offering their services. Among these, it’s difficult to find any who are dedicated to the spirit. Most are windbags who copy the therapies of the sorcerers, but in fact they’re not able to cure anybody because they don’t know what they’re doing. People have to be careful not to be deceived by those who only are looking to line their pockets.
However, it’s possible that there are among the sorcerers-for-rent some who manage the art of the intervention with the help of spirits. These types do all kinds of harm, because it’s known that it’s much easier to cause ill health than to cure. Those who approach this kind of sorcerer should know what they’re exposing themselves to.
There is also the Hikuri (Huichol, Wixarika) brotherhood, well known as the “peyoteros,” who have also splintered into diverse groups with different interests. It’s only beneficial to work with those who don’t try to make a business of this sacred plant.
In addition, there are the temascaleros (sweat lodge operators) who have their own traditions and stories; they use steam therapies to reach special levels of awareness.
There are also the Voladores (flyers of the sacred pole) who have their epicenter in the town of Papantla, Veracruz. They follow a very strict discipline.
“In the search for knowledge, what counts is the disposition and the humility with which one approaches it. To have any chance to succeed, the aspirant has to put himself within reach and to summon great patience until the spirit is revealed.”
In popular Mexican folklore, even if people avoid speaking of the topic, everybody knows about the existence of naguals. If you ask the common people, they’ll say that they’re sorcerers who can trasform into animals, and that maybe they have a pact with the devil. The classic story that circulates among people, especially in small towns, tells about horrendous animals that come out during the night to do evil things. They tell of cases in which some animal was killed by the residents, and that the following day, what they found in its place was a naked, dead person.
Also among the naguales, there are several kinds of sorcerers, each with their own goals. Cases are known in which they just follow the tradition that they inherited from their ancestors; they suffer their transformations, almost as if it was a hereditary illness or a curse, and they continue that way out of inertia. They’ve lost the knowledge of how and why they do that they do.
There are others that are known as “diableros.” Some of these are utterly aberrant; they have the capacity to transform into animals, but they do it for even more sordid purposes because, still to this day, there are those who suck the crowns of the heads of newly-born children and drink human and animal blood in order to reach their dark objectives. These are what people often call chupacabras; even other sorcerers fear them.
Equally there are a great number of esoteric groups that follow diverse Oriental lineages. Even if some of these keep secrets of power, they don’t have much to do with the Mexican tradition.
There’s a variety of other groups of which I’ve only heard, such as the Sorens. They say that these sorcerers live around the Bacatete mountains in Sonora, and that many confuse them with the Surems, which are inorganic entities of the other world that also live in those mountains. They say that they’re very dangerous beings.
Others are groups from the north of Mexico and south of the United States that practice the cult of the great White Buffalo; among their rituals is the habit of hanging a person securely only by hooks in the chest. They say that with this technique, they’re able to have visions.
The groups of abstract searchers are rare, and from among them, those who focus on the search for freedom are even fewer. It requires great effort and dedication to reach the clarity of purpose; only this can provide the warrior with the necessary trust to keep walking in a straight line. The clarity is only reached by having a sober mind, using the available resources appropriately, and making use of all possible information, to, as Carlos put it, “fall in love with knowledge.”
He said that only the idea of death can give us the necessary force to act. Thus, with sobriety, clarity, and the awareness of our pending death, the warrior outlines his strategy. It’s not convenient to go through life without a defined strategy. The most probable thing is that this would only lead to disaster.
On some occasions, when the apprentice reaches the goal by himself, he can become a leader of a new group, or a Solitary Bird, called that because they are the kind of sorcerers that venture alone into the infinite. Some say that these warriors have not overcome the problem of personal importance, while others think that they’re supreme warriors who have gone beyond the human, and that they don’t need any recognition or aid.
For many of the countless groups of adventurers that dare to go on the definitive trip together, the way their groups are conformed is a secondary matter. “In a prison world like the one in which we live, any intent of escaping is valid.”
With the right disposition and time, it’s very feasible that anyone who attempts it will be able to find his place “because, as surely as there is a ground where we place our feet and a sky above our heads, the spirit has a special design for each one of us.”
The Native Americans have thousand-year traditions of searchers who have attempted the leap to freedom in all imaginable ways; the most successful has been to form warriors’ groups following the pyramid structure. They say that the first ones began to see energy and interact with the inorganic world by consuming power plants. Then, to continue with the exploration, they organized warriors’ groups following the patterns of the energy that they saw.
In one of his lectures, talking about faith, don Melchor told us, “When a group of devoted collaborators faithfully join forces with inflexible intent, everything becomes possible.
“It’s not a human decision who is chosen to be part of a group of warriors; that’s the prerogative of power itself.” For that reason, warriors look eagerly for signs because they know that when attempting to form the party, the spirit sends the necessary signs to take the following step and so on.
The reason why so many groups fail is because they don’t follow the signs. Thus, Carlos was right when he said that personal importance makes a work of this type untenable.