Maitreya - the Future Buddha

According to Buddhist teachings, at some point in the near future, another great Buddha will return to Earth to ensure the transition from a realm of delusion and Bardo to a Pure Realm of Bliss. This future Buddha's name is Maitreya.

In a meditation early this summer I was given a message that the time for major world change would soon arrive. That there would be a sign in the (south)west this fall or early winter which would unmistakably signal the start of the transition period. As I posted yesterday, this sign is obvious to all who take a few moments to look to the moon (in the southwest) at sunset - the conjunction.

Last night I took a photo in which one can clearly see the triangular conjunction with the moon to the top left, to the top right is Jupiter and at the bottom center lies Venus. From this I created a simple thangka of Maitreya as a dharma protector. May the energies of love and compassion guide you and protect you through chaotic times. May wisdom be your light.


Sign of the Times

Tonight, December 1st, look to the southwest sky right after sunset. Beaming brightly through the twilight you will see a tight three-way conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and the crescent Moon forming an equilateral triangle. This conjunction will continue to be visible for several days after the first of the month, but the planets and moon will move further and further apart, forming a highly skewed triangle.

The Maya believe that the planets and stars provide gateways to alternate dimensions. A conjunction of heavenly bodies is thus a major focus of energies affecting our consciousness. In the case of the current conjunction appearing low in the southwestern skies, the energies are of opening and transformation, returning to the original roots of creation. Perhaps signaling that the opening of the dark path or "Royal Road of the Ancestors" - xibalba be - to the 2012 transformation has in fact begun!

Who are the players in this conjunction?

Venus is both the Morning Star and the Evening Star. Venus serves as a gateway to the Underworld, its rising and setting are times of dangerous, intensely powerful energies. (For the Maya, Venus is not feminine love but rather masculine action, such as required for warfare or the hunt.)

Jupiter is the Old God, the ruler of solar planets and of royal lineages. He is sometimes referred to as Lord One Death and associated with jaguar spirit. Jupiter is thus the fundamental masculine energy of creation. Related closely to Old God are the figures of Hurakan, "Heart of Heaven" - another creator deity (whose aspects include wind, storm, fire) and Itzamna - the Lord of the Fire, Lord of the Underworld (whose aspect includes the Milky Way).

The Moon is often referred to as Lady White Quetzal or First Mother (with aspects of water, the Underworld, feminine energy). Related closely to the Moon is the goddess of fertility, health and the healing arts, Ix Chel, seen to be a young maiden. However, just as the Moon has a light and a dark side, Ix Chel, the maiden, has another side: Chac Chel, the old crone, whose aspects include death, darkness and the Milky Way (home of the ancestors), as well as being a root Earth Goddess.

What this brings into play, then, is the re-mixing of the root energies of masculine and feminine into a new moment of conception. Blessed by the Ancestors, this conjunction announces a new cycle of creation and transformation.


Terence McKenna on the Mystery of Nature

What is the Archaic Revolution? What is the role of the shaman in the struggle to save the world? Listen up here! (Note: this mp3 clip came from The Psychedelic Salon podcast #159. It is a Creative Commons mix by Waking Sleep using Nine Inch Nail's Ghost album release.)

Terrance McKenna Portrait


Yantra of Vajrayogini

One of the most powerful female deity forms is that of Vajrayogini - the Thunderbolt Dakini - whose fierce energy both protects one's dharma practices but also thrusts the practitioner through the inherently dense and difficult to traverse barriers of ego and delusion. She embodies the core feminine energy of necessary creation/destruction in its most evocative form. Here Vajrayogini is shown within a three dimensional Merkaba; she is the master of all forces of creation and duality. She holds a Vajra dagger in one hand (by which to cut through ego illusion) and drinks a skull cup overflowing with cosmic blood (the elixir of enlightenment) from the other hand.


Lady One Death

Lady One Death presented herself to me several months ago during deep meditation. She is a root Mayan goddess, the Mother of All Being (First Mother, the Moon) and is an esoteric form of Ix Chel (the Healer). She serves to actualize and stabilize the energies of the creator god, Itzamna- Giver of Life, Lord of Fire. Her name derives from the codex naming hieroglyph "One Skull" - shown above.

Lady One Death embodies the dark root energy of creation and creativity, a place where death and life are one, the realm of ultimate potential and necessary dissolution. As such, she embodies similar energies to that of Kali and Durga.

Meditations on Lady One Death

Part of my practice to better integrate the Lady's energies has been to work on various thangka images and portraits. Below, I have posted a selection of these meditation images.

Altar of Lady One Death

Totem of Lady One Death

Lady One Death Invocation

Yantra of Lady One Death

The gem seen in these images reveals some of her underlying attributes (symbols within the opal stone): we see an eagle flying, diving, ready to capture it's prey. At the bottom slithers a rattle snake. Between the two floats the rattle itself - a symbol of shamanic journey (rattle), of the Milky Way, as well the time of upcoming galactic Solstice Alignment. The star field behind is that of the Pleiades, home of the Mayan Star Ancestors.

Durga Altar

As part of the Lady One Death series, I created this image of her embodiment in the form of Durga. Here Durga serves as a fierce protector of the Land of the Ancestors at the gates of Xibalba Be (The Dark Road).


Shaman Dreaming Web Site

My new shamanic meditation and visualization website is now live! Please check it out at www.shamandreaming.org.



Lion's Gate

The Helical Rising of Sirius occurs around the end of July or early August. (This year, nominally, the date was August 2.)  The ancient Egyptians set the date for Sirius' heliacal rising as the first day of their new year and the time of the inundation of the River Nile.  Thus this was a time of life-giving fertility and promise, a time of creative destruction and renewal watched over by Sekhmet and Isis. They called Sirius "The Second Sun" because it is the brightest star seen in the night sky. Sirius is one of the 4 (or 5?) root star civilizations which created (seeded DNA of) mankind on Earth. (For interesting contemplation, try Googling "Dogon" & "Sirius"! Also, Google "panspermia".)

This year, the 8.8.8 Lion's Gate opens during a very powerful dimensional gateway for ascension energy attunements:  the Leo New Moon (August 2) falls on a total solar eclipse, with the coming full moon (August 16th) falling on a lunar eclipse.

8.8.8 Sekhmet and the Lion's Gate

Mother Sekhmet - Goddess of Healing & Justice

Sekhmet is also paradoxically the Goddess of the sunset, destruction, death, and wisdom. The cycle of life and death was created when the Goddess Sekhmet-Bast divided into two sisters, Sekhmet and Bast. For shamanic journeyers, Sekhmet is the Guardian of the Gates; no one may cross her on their path to wisdom and the Home of the Ancestors without offering proper respect. She has also been called the Great Dark One, the all powerful feminine aspect of creative chaos and destruction. Thus she shares these aspects with Durga and Kali (Durga's destructive form.)

Temple of Sekhmet


Ecstatic Body Postures

I had this book on my shelf for years, one that looked interesting, but which I had long since forgotten, gathering dust unread. Then one day a few months ago, while cleaning up the bookcase, I uncovered this book once again: entitled "Ecstatic Body Postures" by Belinda Gore (Bear & Co, Publishing.) It purports to be "an alternate reality workbook."

As I leafed through it, I recalled that the premise of the book is that art and artifacts of cultures around the world include figures (figurines) which show a man or woman or totem animal in specific body positions, arms held this way or that, seated, standing, lying down - and so forth. These body postures are gateways to alternate realities, i.e.;  shamanic tools. Anthropologist Felicitas Goodman discovered quite unexpectedly that people who assume these postures while in a light trance (induced by rattle) report strikingly similar experiences. The results of her research show that certain body gestures, positions and movements, with proper intention and context, trigger altered states of consciousness.

Belinda Gore wrote "Ecstatic Body Postures" to cover a diverse set of re-discovered postures as evaluated and tested by Goodman, Gore and others at the Cuyamungue Institute in Sante Fe, N.M. (http://www.cuyamungueinstitute.com.)
A second book on the topic covering still further postures recognized and evaluated since the original text is also available: "Ecstatic Trance; New Ritual Body Postures" by Felicitas D. Goodman and Nana Nauwald (Binkey Kok Publications) - available in the U.S. through the Institute.

That same week after uncovering the book in a pile of neglected tomes and feeling a great interest in the topic, I received an email notice that an Ecstatic Body Posture workgroup had been formed in my area, meeting each new moon to partake in a selected posture. The facilitator of this group is Marianne Carroll, who is being certified at the Institute after extensive training and hands-on group jouneying experience.

Maya Empowerment Posture

This is the first posture that I undertook at the monthly workshop, a posture which has been found in artifacts from as diverse places as Mayan, Minoan and Persian cultural areas. It is considered to be a "healing" posture. Afterwards, I decided to transforming the basic posture/pose diagram based upon trance experiences of the assembled participants. The result is this image (above) informed with the energy of Hunab Ku - the one giver of measure and motion - Lord of our Milky Way galaxy and destination of xibalba be (The Royal Road of the Ancestors.)

(In the following postings based upon a New Moon workshop, I have freely quoted background information from the two trance posture books mentioned above.)

Ritual Posture: Mayan Oracle

Mayan Oracle

9.29.08 - Libra New Moon. On the left we see the oracle holding up her hand (which holds an obsidian crystal mirror used for divination). Above her hand are two Mayan hieroglyphs - the upper one for "smoking mirror" (the obsidian gazing device, also denoting human consciousness) and the lower one for "oracle speaking" (or a divination).

To the right center we see the path of the seeker into the forest/jungle... To the far right is a multidimensional projection (hologram?) of the Temple of Inscriptions at Palenque. In front of this appears a symbolic constellation consisting of several Native American petroglyphs - a pair of shaman protectors, an ancestor/ancient one (in the center, egg-like), and a turtle below (recall that the Americas were referred to as Turtle Nation.) The ancestor and shamen are riding on the back of the great turtle - also a symbol of the fecundity and power of Mother Earth.

Ritual Posture: Poppy Woman

Poppy Woman

9.22.08 - Equinox - The figure of Poppy Woman was found in Crete, created by the Minoan civilization circa 1350b.c. She wears a headdress of poppy seedpods, known as "the plant of happiness". Poppy is a source for intoxicants (opium) as well as healing medicine. It is a symbol of fertility, slumber and reincarnation. For the Greeks, poppy is the flower of Demeter, Goddess of agriculture and fertility. This posture, with arms upraised like antennae tuning into the spirit realm, has been found carved on ancient temples throughout the Mediterranean region.

Research indicates that the posture often results in experiences of healing and transformation, as well as death and rebirth (such as by sowing and reaping). In our own group, some common themes included lightning, walking a path between darkness & light, spinning, connection to Mother Earth. Several participants reported sinking into the earth's core (or into the underworld), thence emerging again re-invigorated and full of radiant, healthy energy.

Here is an excerpt from my journey: I am face-to-face with the bear spirit who wraps his arms around me and proceeds to use his claws along my backbone to cut open and totally flay my skin - which he gently hangs up to dry on the cave wall like a coat. I am then instructed to roll around on the cave floor, coating myself with mud. Next I am wrapped in corn leaves like a Tamale. After some time has past, I feel as if I am sprouting and growing into the sunlight. I am a stalk of corn ripe for harvest...

Ritual Posture: Singing Shaman

Singing Shaman Pose

8.02.08 Leo New Moon - Figures carved in the Singing Shaman posture have been found in places as varied as Melanesia and New Guinea to Alaska and Central America. The oldest known figure is from Cyclades Island, in Greece, about 5000 years old. This is a posture in which a sound is intentionally made during trance, affecting people both emotionally and physically, and it is often felt to be intensely healing and heart opening. (The sound vocalization is an short "a" as in "father", repeated on the extended out-breath for the duration of the trance session.) The sound produces a dynamic vortex or channel connecting dimensions.

In my trance, I first noticed vibrant phosphene snakes inter-twining in the sky across the horizon, forming a woven diamond matrix, the fabric of spacetime. Above, high at the apex of the sky, a burning log wheel complete with 4 Navaho Sky Gods riding on each of its four spokes slowly rotated. Under the bright moonlight I found myself transformed into a tall cactus with white fragrant flowers. All around me, animal and ancestor spirits moved about, many joining in the ritual song.

Other workshop participants reported seeing spiraling DNA and similar all-over woven patterns. Many participants spoke of being "at one" and feeling as if there were a multitude of animal spirits and ancestors joining in the trance sounding. Some heard the sounds to become like animal cries, angel's voices or chants and spoken words. Most reported a clearing or opening of their heart chakras.

Ritual Posture: Sub-Saharan Soothsayer

The Nupe Mallam Posture

7.02.08 Cancer New Moon - The Nupe Mallam pose is a "divination" pose of the Nupe tribe. It is purported to provide a wide, all-encompassing perspective on a current issue or problem.

My own trance journey begins with witnessing the Mallam repeatedly tossing and reading a set of painted and marked augury bones. Only the Mallam is not African, but rather a lone Lama hermit in a stone hut somewhere in the hills of Tibet. Behind him on the altar is a crystal skull. He finally gives me a reading in a few short phrases indicating that September will be an important time of change, then tells me to give butter lamp offerings to the skull... The journey ends with a vision of a wide blue lake with a flock of white egrets taking flight over the waters, their reflections shimmering. The positions of the birds echo the 9 major stars of the Pleiades. Thus, I am told this is to be a meditation symbol to use for attunement to the Pleiadian Star Ancestors.

Ritual Postures: Sekhmet

5.05.08 New Moon - Sekhmet is the Lion Goddess, sister or wife of Ptah. She holds the key to sexual energy, especially Kundalini. She is a master of initiation: birth, death, re-birth. Cycles of materializing and de-materializing the world of forms. She is the Dark Goddess of Destruction and the Light Goddess of Creation.

In my journey I see myself as a lily growing in a field. Seasons go by, I sprout, grow, bloom, drop seed and die. Over and over... I become aware that I am looking into a bowl of water - ripples - reflecting the garden outside my window. Around me in the room are dried herbs, flowers and so forth. It is my workshop. Blue Tara is on my altar - The Jewel Tree of Healing.

Ritual Posture: Ecuadorian Spirit Journey

South American Lower World Posture

4.04.08 New Moon - This posture's spirit journey can be visualized as beginning with a descent through a hole, cold damp cave or a stairway to the Lower World of animal spirits. It may be used to locate one's power animal, totem animal, or spirit helper. Reports of healing such as soul retrieval may also spontaneously occur during this posture.

In my journey, a white Snow Leopard leads me through an "A" shaped Inca stone gateway along a winding path to a hidden valley with steep slopes and terraces planted with flowers. In this valley there is a spacious workshop, my herbarium, which I explore in detail. Elsewhere, in the distance, a large crowd is gathering under a prayer flag pole to celebrate Solstice.

Many other participants in this body posture workshop relate stories of animal guides, meeting power animals and removal of energy blocks.

Ritual Posture: The Lady of Cholula

The Lady of Cholula

3.07.08 New Moon. Mars opposite Pluto. Divination posture - The Lady of Cholula is a wise old Grandmother who can give sage counsel to your intended question. (Cholula was an important religious center in the Pueblo province of central Mexico, established by the Toltecs, to later become an Aztec center devoted to Quetzalcoatl.)

In my journey, a old woman waits for me by a hearth. She offers me a small cob pipe to smoke and a small glass of Agave (homemade Tequila). She asks me to call her "Grandmother." She says that I need to learn to relax more, enjoy more. Sit, smoke, drink and tell stories with friends. Enjoy life. She takes me into her backyard garden, refulgent with flowers, birds and butterflies. She says that she plants the seeds, waters the garden, does some weeding. But ultimately, no matter what your desire or intent, the plant will grow in its own way, according to its own internal essence. Let the plant be and simply enjoy its self-expression. Likewise it is with people, especially those you nurture and teach. She then tells me to spend time with the Ancestors and to be certain to return often to sit and visit with her.

Other workshop participants have journey visions of a giant web being spun, the Web of Life, the Web of Causality. Spirit guides such as a black bear transform into the Great Dipper. Around a ceremonial fire, figures trance dance. Magical transformation is everywhere.

Ritual Posture: Bird Man

Bird Person of Veracruz

For Divination and Spirit Journeys.


Shaman's Journey Series

Its all here, folks - vision quests, sacred medicines (ayahuasca, mushroom, peyote, soma), spiritual guides, power animals, flower allies, "xibalba be" (The Royal Road, The Dark Road to the Underworld and the Ancestors), star gates and star ancestors...

Guardian of the Gate

Spirit Circle

Spirit Fire

Spirit Path

Royal Road / Dark Road

Shaman's Gate


Spirit Mountain

Spirit Tree

Offerings and Medicines


Salvia Divinorum

Be Here Now

Here are portraits of some cultural heros, early psychonauts of the 60's and beyond.

Portrait of Ram Das

Portrait of Terence McKenna

For interesting, often funny & great, podcasts of Terrence McKenna (as well as many other figures discussing sacred medicines, altered states and shamanism), tune into the Psychedelic Salon  (http://www.matrixmasters.com/podcasts) hosted by Lorenzo.


Hummingbird is a Native American totem animal of the North direction, the land of the Dead. Hummingbird's quick flight ensures strong communication with the Ancestors. But also Hummingbird can float in place, wings a-blur. Thus, Hummingbird is a master of vibrations. 

In this series of Huichol-influenced images, we see Hummingbird cleansing and re-tuning various chakras with a nectar of divine light.


Deity Self-Portraits (Becoming One)

This Tantric practice, an active meditation visualization, involves merging oneself with a target deity - or more specifically, with visualizing the deity first external to oneself. Then while attuning to the energy signature of the deity, moving the visualized deity form from outside to inside oneself, merging (overlapping) bodies, chakras and energy meridians.

By taking on the cloak of the deity, simply by pretending "as if", one can begin to entrain one's energy to match. Little by little, the effect becomes stronger each time. This process can be amplified through visualization of beams of colored light and seed sound mantras flowing from the crown, throat and heart chakras of the deity into oneself before full merging.

Self as Avaolkasavara

Self as Thai Buddha

Self as Bon Protector

Our Lady Of Visions

A phosphene field of Taras provide protection during sacred ceremony. Medicine Buddha (at top center) presides over the offerings of mushrooms, salvia and morning glory.

1000 Taras

The gaze of 1000 Taras creates an ocean of mercy and compassion for all beings living in delusion. (This design is based upon a classical thangka motif.)

Protector Dakini

Here we see offerings, medicines and ritual tools guarded over by a fiery Dakini goddess who dances at the healing altar.

Medicine Buddha

In this thangka, Medicine Buddha holds a chalice or bowl filled with healing elixir. In front of him, a pair of protector Dakinis dance. All around them, lay ritual offerings and tools. By meditating on him and visualizing with this image, we come face to face with the true nature of the Medicine Buddha whose smile radiates compassion to the universe. We now imagine a ray of golden light coming from the heart of the Buddha and gently penetrating our own heart chakra.

Perform this meditation and invoke the Medicine Buddha before preparing medicines and whenever offering healing to patients. While doing so, simultaneously chant his mantra:


As you recite this sacred formula, visualize nectar flowing down from the syllables of the mantra into the medicine. The syllables then completely dissolve into the medicine and grant it the potency and power to heal.

21 Taras

Lady Tara shines her Compassion and Wisdom Bliss for all beings in all dimensions and times. Tara protects those who call upon her, guides those on the path, provides knowledge and wisdom for those who open their hearts. She is the source of one's health and well being. Hail Tara!

Om Tara Tutare Ture Swaha