SEPARATE REALITIES, PARALLEL DIMENSIONS,
SORCERER'S APPRENTICE, SEASON OF THE WITCH
(Psychic Warriors, MKULTRA, LSD)
1. The Separate Reality: A Sonora Day in Search of a Sorcerer
2. Project ULTRA: Assassins, Psychic Warriors, LSD
3. Body Snatchers, Shape Shifters, Black Holes, Eaters of Souls: The Sorcerer Speaks
4. Season of the Witch: The Demon Princess Queen
5. Warriors: Killing Devils and Demons
6. Owl Woman and the Warlock
7. The Door to Past Lives and Parallel Dimensions
8. Seeing vs Looking, Multiple Futures, Parallel Realities, Magic is Technology
9. Passageways to Separate Realities. Transmigration of Souls: To Die and Be Reborn
10. To See as Gods! A Door Opened - A Door Closed
The Separate Reality: A Sonora Day in Search of a Sorcerer
The desert Sonora sun was at 12 o'clock high and my head would have baked to a crispy brown if not for the denim cowboy hat which provided a semblance of shade for my sweating brow. I was cruising along highway 15, in a brand new 1969 rag-top VW Beetle, in search of a "Brujo" --a Yaqui Sorcerer known only to me by his alias: don Juan Matus.
I sped up, the odometer rapidly clocking away the desert miles. There wasn't much to see: Cactus, gullies, canyons, low mountains and an occasional dead animal broiling on the hot asphalt pavement. Perhaps every hour or so I would pass an ancient old woman or sometimes two wrinkled old crones dressed in black or the standard peasant-Indian garb, bundles balanced on their heads, walking slowly alongside the dusty road, going who knows where, as there were no houses or stores, and the nearest village was usually dozens of miles away.
I had begun my search just three weeks prior, in a little border town near the Arizona Sonora border. I traveled light, my luggage consisting of food, water, weed, guitar, Pentax camera, extra clothes, camping gear, several books including my personal copy and a Spanish-translation of a dog-eared paper-back book, "The Teachings of don Juan"; and, courtesy of General Wheeler and "The Company" about $3000 in cash, a Colt 45, and a Kodak Instamatic Movie Camera stowed in the trunk.
This was my second "assignment" for "The Company"--which, at first, I eagerly embraced. Escaping induction into the Army and death in the jungles of Vietnam was just icing on the cake. My "cover story" was to be "me."
What exactly "The Company" was, I didn't know, though I had my suspicions. But I did know General Wheeler, met him twice in 1966, when I was "dating" his granddaughter, Carrie, the first love of my life. The General lived in a colonnaded brick mansion on a military base in Virginia, his servants: captains and lieutenants who served lunch, and on another occasion dinner, as Wheeler questioned me about "California", "beatniks", "hippies", "LSD," "ESP," the "Berkeley Free Speech Movement" and the "war in Vietnam," and then listened thoughtfully to my replies.
At that time my family was living in a diplomatic community in McLean Virginia. It was not uncommon for the parents of my friends--generals, ambassadors, elected officials--to engage me in detailed discussions. My girlfriend, Carrie's father was probably CIA, and when he made one of his infrequent visits home, even he would talk to me. I was well read, articulate, and from sunny California which always piqued their interest.
Two years later, after moving back to the Golden State, I was assigned draft lottery number 52. Having taken a year off before starting college I was now facing certain induction into the Army's meat grinder war machine. Vietnam here I come! Hell no, I didn't want to go; but what was I to do? That's when Wheeler's emissaries made me an offer I would have been crazy to refuse.
Following three months of "training"--first by the military and then at a research center in Palo Alto-- I was now doing exactly what, initially, I would have loved to do: search out and locate a Yaqui Sorcerer, AKA: don Juan Matus.
After three weeks of fruitless searching, I was growing bored and nearly out of weed. I'd stopped at dozens of Mexican villages, towns, and open air markets, often more than once, approaching men and women I assumed to be Yaqui Indians, waving the "The Teachings of don Juan", and asking, in my rudimentary Spanish, as to the whereabout of this "Yaqui Brujo, Juan Matus." I had no luck at all. The Mexicans and Indians would glance at the book then at me, puzzled and uncomprehending; some making the sign of the cross as they hurried off or backing away as if I was mad and dangerously insane.
My last stop had been a dry, dusty little town with a crowded open air market. As usual, I'd been asking questions, getting nowhere.
Finally, I spied a clapboard medicine booth consisting of four wooden posts, cross beams, and an overhead tarp to block the sun. There were two wooden tables, and book shelves laden with a variety of dried plants, mummified animal parts and fluid filled jars with who knows what swirling inside. From a post hung a hand lettered cardboard sign which announced in Spanish: "Medicinal Plants." A grizzled old man, wearing a straw hat and white cotton shirt was strolling back and forth in front of this booth, a withered plant in one hand, a dead snake in the other, singing, in sing-song Spanish, that his medicines could cure any illness, the dreaded names of which he recited in beats of four thus giving rhythm to his cadence.
He and I glanced into the sky. A black crow, or maybe it was a raven, was circling overhead.
Book in hand, I approached the old medicine man, introduced myself, handed him the Spanish translation of "The Teachings", then stated my purpose: "I'm looking for don Juan Matus. He is a healer who is renowned for his knowledge of medicinal plants. Have you heard of him? Do you know where I can find him?"
The old man didn't seem to understand. Instead he led me to his booth and tried to sell me some of his concoctions.
I noticed then, sitting in shadows of his stall, a wrinkled old crone, gray haired and as old as the hills. She looked mummified. I wasn't sure if she was dead or alive.
Then, a flutter of wings, a slight breeze, and, as if out of nowhere, a green eyed beauty with long hair as black as night, stepped up to the booth and began inspecting the wares as she absently cooled herself with a dark feathered fan. She was dressed in a black tight fitting blouse and skirt, which emphasized her many charms. I studied her in profile. Wow. She was shockingly beautiful, a true "Foxy Lady." What a babe!
She glanced my way. Eyes of fire, face of desire, and lips like the sun. Smitten I gave her my most charming smile--but the old medicine seller stepped between us, holding up a clutch of herbs, trying to get my attention. Again, I showed him "The Teachings of don Juan", and asked, in my rudimentary Spanish, as to the whereabout of this "Yaqui Brujo."
"Brujo! Brujo!" I repeated.
The ancient old crone in the shadows suddenly came to life; her eyes clouded with muck, staring blindly. She waved one hand in a circling motion, and mumbled strange words under her breath. The old man, his face a worried frown, took several steps back away from me.
The beauty in black was glaring, her eyes narrowed, glowing, like a bird of prey. She cursed in Spanish, took a step toward me, and using her fan began shooing me away, forcing me to step back as I held up my hands and repeated stupidly: "Eres una mujer hermosa" and "Nina hermosa" (You are so beautiful!).
My attempts at charm and charisma were rewarded with mumbled curses. To my added surprise, she raised her hands and arms above her head, mumbling strange words and oaths. Even so, she was stunningly beautiful! A total foxy lady! Too bad she was nuts! What the hell was wrong with her? Then, her blazing eyes upon me, more curses.
Others were gathering and watching with interest as she spat and cursed and flicked her black feathered fan. The prospect of getting arrested and ending up in a Mexican jail for, who knows what, had no charms for me. I made my escape, found my car, and headed for the highway.
There was almost no traffic along this asphalt-smoldering two lane desert highway. The cactus-studded landscape was arid, hot, and boring. To the side of the road, only the occasional carcass of a cow, horse, dog, or the remnants of various creatures which, after having been smacked by some car, lay rotting and cooking in the desert sun.
I still had a quarter tank of gas, which is not much when driving in the heart of the Sonora desert with a broiling sun up above. I should have gassed up at that last village, but, in my haste to escape, gas had been an after thought.
Up ahead I could see a cluster of adobe hovels and shacks surrounded by a graveyard of wrecked disembodied cars, and old tires piled in heaps. I spied an ancient "Pemex" gas pump, and two old men on a wooden bench.
I glided to a stop beside the single, old fashioned, glass-caped gasoline pump, leaving clouds of dust in my wake. I glanced at the two old men who sat together in the shade of dozens of stacked tires, waiting, for what? A bus maybe? I reasoned.
I heard the flapping wings before I saw the bird, which made me think of the beautiful black-clad Yaqui woman who, that morning, had chased me off with a flicking of her feathered fan. There was no woman this time. Instead, a big black crow, the sun gleaming off its shiny wings, made a two-point landing on the hood of my VW. Its side-mounted eyes narrowing over its beak, it cocked its head to the left and right staring as I stared back.
The two old men stood up, shading their eyes as they peered into the distant sky. I followed their gaze and spied what I thought might be a small plane, but as it flew closer, descending toward the desert sands, I thought: Eagle? Condor? It was holding something in its talons.
A tall but skinny sun-browned Mexican man, the owner of this gas station, wiping his hands on a dirty rag, emerged from the nearest shack which had a small dust covered dilapidated sign reading "Cantina." A short, fat sweating woman and two dirty squirming brats stood in the ancient wooden doorway watching.
The crow with several flaps of its wings, took two steps across the hood of my car. My eyes followed. Had that eagle just landed back behind the cantina Pemex gas station? No. Not likely.
And then, the crow flapped its wings, and was gone.
Stepping out of the car, I stretched, and thought about rolling a joint. But it was just too hot.
The owner and I quickly reached an agreement on the price of gas which he proceeded to pump into my tank. Fetching my Spanish edition of "The Teachings," I began peppering the owner with questions about "don Juan."
"No comprehende," he kept repeating, his eyes firmly on the nozzle, his focus entirely on pumping gas.
Fuckin A! I was bored, frustrated. This was no fun at all. Total bummer. Complete waste of time. What bad luck. If not for the new draft lottery, I would never have accepted this deal, and would probably be on a Santa Cruz beach with a beautiful babe soaking up the California sun. But I got lucky number 52; and within weeks a draft notice and orders to report to the Army Induction Center in Oakland.
Wheeler's men showed up next. The deal was simple: I could serve my country and the military, without serving in the military; and, would receive training in weapons, tactics, martial arts, $2,000 a month plus traveling money, and a guarantee I would never have to kill anyone or spy on my friends in the anti-war movement. The former but not the latter, turned out to be a damned lie. When I seemed doubtful, one of Wheeler's emissaries began talking about "James Bond," and said I'd be "fucking a lot of hot chicks!"
"Fuckin A! Sign me up!"
James Bond? Another lie. Hot chicks? Well, there are always women looking for Mr Right Now. As to finding "don Juan", well, yes, that did seem interesting, exciting at first. But now I was wondering if "don Juan" even existed and if Castaneda's book was total bull shit.
Fuckin A! It was hot!
"Coca cola?" I asked the owner his eyes still on the nozzle. He nodded toward the open door of the "Cantina" just as an ancient old man, his back bent with age, his face a roadmap of wrinkles, strolled slowly from around the side of the buidling. He was barefoot, no hat, dressed in a very clean white-tanned cotton shirt and pants, and carried a large tethered brown leather sack about the size of a shopping bag in his left hand. He looked to be 100 years old!
The two old bench warmers leapt up at his approach, bowed with respect, and each kissed a ring on his right hand. I silently observed as they exchanged words and then money for tightly wrapped packages of varying size which the ancient old man retrieved from his leather sack.
The old man next spoke to the fat woman in the doorway and handed her a small parcel. She looked at me and nodded. Then the two of them stepped inside the Cantina. In less than a minute the old man, or his son, stepped outside.
I blinked my eyes. The sun must have broiled my brain!
What had been a wizened old man, bent with age, did not look ancient at all. The wrinkles were almost gone, his silver-grey hair nearly black; he exuded energy, charisma, vitality. I would have guessed him to be maybe 50. Yeah, he was still old, but certainly no Methuselah!
Sidling up, and giving the inside of my convertible VW admiring glances, the man introduced himself as "don Valencia Rojas" and asked if I would give him a ride.
He looked harmless, but I was wary. He could have a gun in that sack, and next thing I know, I'm not just giving him a ride, but my car and my life.
He seemed to read my thoughts, and with a laugh opened his sack and said: "See, I have no guns. No knives. Just me."
Well, I did receive six weeks of weapons and martial arts training, and another week where I'd been forced to put them to use; so, what the hell.
"Where are you going?" I asked.
"As far as you care to journey," he replied.
"What's that supposed mean?" I asked.
"Your car is pointed East."
"Sure, get in. First, though, I need to get a cold coke and talk to those men," I said, but then realized the two old men were gone.
Five minutes later, a Coca Cola in hand, we were on the road, the sun now aimed like a heat-seeking missile at the back of my broiling neck. There was no temptation to put the top up. With no air conditioning we would be baked alive. The wind was our air-conditioning.
"don Rojas" apparently didn't mind the heat. He was becoming so talkative I had to interrupt him to bring up "don Juan" and show him the book.
He laughed, his eyes sparkling with mirth as he gazed at "The Teachings," and said: "A paper back book! Careful, when in the deserts of Mexico, the peasants use those books for toilet paper."
Then he said, in a mixture of English and Spanish: "Maybe I can help you find what you are looking for."
"And what am I looking for?" I asked.
"Maybe a little smoke? Maybe mescalito?" He held out his brown leather sack, the mouth of which was secured by strings of leather. "Isn't that what all the young Gringos search for down here? Or maybe you desire a beautiful dark-eyed Senorita to keep you warm on cold desert nights."
Again I showed him the book. "I'm looking for a Bruja. A sorcerer. don Juan Matus. This book tells his story. I'm searching for him."
don Rojas began laughing and slapping his thigh between laughs.
"Why's that funny?" I asked, annoyed.
Between chuckles, he replied: "A bruja is no sorcerer. A bruja is an evil witch, a servant of Diablo. A bruja will eat you. A Brujo is a sorcerer! You Gringos. Always searching never finding, never seeing what is right before your eyes."
"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked.
don Rojas stopped laughing and gazed at me seriously: "Searching is looking without seeing. Without knowing. Seeing is knowing!" he said. Then he laughed.
I slowed the car to a crawl and met his gaze. His eyes were twinkling with mirth; as if he knew something I didn't; as if I was the butt of a secret joke and he found me immensely amusing.
"Seeing is knowing? Knowing is seeing?" I repeated. "That sounds like a tautology. Circular reasoning. Meant to sound heavy, deep, when its just words."
"A true sorcerer," he replied, "a Tetlachihuic can make magic with words."
"Tetlachihuic?" I asked.
"A magician. Tetlachihuics are true sorcerers, serving neither good nor evil but who can do both good and evil, even call upon a demon from hell, just by saying its name."
"And how do you know all this?" I asked.
don Rojas, laughing and slapping his thigh, simply said: "Maybe a little bird told me."
"A little bird?" I asked. "I don't understand what you're talking about."
"You are not seeing," he replied. "Not really. Not yet."
I put the car into third gear and speeded up.
"Explain!" I demanded.
"You and I saw each other before I asked for a ride," he answered.
"Yes, of course," I replied. "You walked around the corner of the building first. Then we met."
"No no. Before that!" don Rojas insisted. He was no longer laughing. He seemed disappointed.
"You mean in one of the villages?"
"No. Think," he said. "You came here hoping to learn to see. So see. If you do not wish to see, then go home and be blind. Continue to sleep, to never awaken to the layers of reality of which this world is only a fragment."
"Some people believe life is but a dream," I replied.
"Is that so?" He asked. "Then, maybe, I am dreaming you."
"Or vice versa," I answered.
"Or maybe god is dreaming us both," he replied.
"Have you been to college?" I asked. "You seem well educated."
"The world is my university," he answered. "I have read many books of knowledge."
I put the car in fourth gear, accelerated and pondered his comments and the possibilities.
"Are you a Brujo?" I asked.
He frowned at me. "Some say I am a doctor. Médico."
"What kind of doctor? What's your speciality?"
don Rojas ignored my questions.
"You say we met before. I think you're mistaken," I said, giving him a sidelong glance.
"Not met. Seen! Visto!" he answered. "I was expecting you."
Expecting? My thoughts began to race. Feeling uncomfortable I slowed the car to a crawl, stared at him, searching his smiling face.
"Why were you expecting me? What do you mean by that? And where did we see each other? When did this happen?" I demanded.
"Today," he answered. "This afternoon. You were seeing. Think! Try to remember!"
I thought hard. Then sniggered a laugh, convinced he was talking bull shit, trying to make a fool out of me.
"A crow landed on the hood of my car at the gas station. Are you trying to tell me that was you?"
don Rojas began laughing uproariously and slapping his thigh between laughs. "Don't be ridiculous. Of course not."
I pulled to the side of the road, careful not to stray too far for fear the tires might sink in the sand.
"Is this where I get out?" he asked.
"I also saw an eagle," I said in a challenging voice.
"So you did see," he replied thoughtfully.
Was he claiming to be an eagle? Not for a moment did I believe him. I began laughing. But don Rojas didn't laugh. He was staring with such intensity it felt as if two hands had taken hold of my head and were squeezing the thoughts right out of my brain. I didn't like it at all. I began to feel anxious, maybe a little afraid.
I kept the car in neutral, undecided if I should kick him out, which seemed like the smart thing to do. That's when he put his hand inside the leather bag sitting on his lap, which made me wonder if it contained a hidden weapon.
"What's in the bag?" I asked, trying to be nonchalant as I positioned myself into a defensive posture.
"Magico," he replied. don Rojas pulled out a writhing, hissing green serpent which he waved in front of my face. It's forked tongue licked the air to determine if I might be something good to eat.
"Fuckin' A. Is that thing poisonous?"
"You are looking, but not seeing," he answered.
The serpent became a squawking green parrot which looked at me wild-eyed. Then the parrot became a green handkerchief embroidered with serpents and parrots which don Rojas used to wipe the perspiration from his face, then blow his nose.
I was stunned. This was no cheap magic trick. Or was it?
"Are you a wizard? A sorcerer?" I asked.
"I've been called worse," he answered with a self-depreciating shrug. "Are we going to drive or just sit here in the hot sun."
I put the VW back in gear and we continued down the broiling, desolate, desert highway.
"Are you don Juan? The don Juan in this book?" I asked excitedly.
"A real sorcerer, a true magician would never tell anyone his true name," don Rojas answered.
"Power. Those who know the true names of the demons, diablos, sorcerers and creatures which haunt the cosmos, can call upon them, and use their power for good, or evil."
"Creatures of the cosmos?" I asked.
don Rojas gave me a look of disappointment: "Certainly, my young gringo amigo, you did not think we are alone in this universe."
"Are you saying that aliens are demons?"
"Ghosts, demons, devils, fantasmas, diablos, spirits, sprites, creatures from other dimensions, other planets; if they are not humanos, they are aliens," don Rojas replied. "And sometimes they take possession of a human to do evil."
"They enjoy it. It can be a game. Even wars can be a game played by gods and demonios."
"How do you know this?" I asked. "Or are you just speculating?"
"Even the gods have gods who have gods," he replied cryptically.
I pulled back onto the highway. This guy was blowing my mind!
"You said you were waiting for me. How'd you know I was coming?" I asked.
"Waiting? No. You arrived before me," he answered. "And there are only a few highways in Sonora. It was easy to figure out where you've been, where you are going."
"I don't understand," I muttered.
don Rojas laughed. "People talk. Word gets around. You made a big impression, visiting so many villages with all your bothersome questions and your long hair. Some feared you may be a demonio or a Brujo, a sorcerer of black magico."
"That's crazy!" I answered. I accelerated and put the car in 4th gear. "Me? A demon? A Brujo? I never gave anyone that impression. Why would anyone think that?"
He stared intently, studying me. "Because maybe you are not of this Earth," he said.
"Bull shit," I answered.
"Language," don Rojas interrupted, "contains words of power; energía positiva y energía negativa. A man of knowledge, of wisdom, a man who sees, would be careful before uttering such words as they are auto-destructivo; they suck energy from the mind, the soul, alma, making the warrior weak."
I began to slow down again, thinking, feel confused.
"Keep driving," don Rojas encouraged. "The wind feels good on my face."
"Okay. How am I not of this Earth?"
"Perhaps you are already dead; the ghost of a boy who died a long time ago."
"What the fuck? What are you talking about?" I asked. But I knew the answer: I died when I was three years old, suffocated, choked to death on a peanut. But the doctors brought me back to life. That's when I first saw the Three Luminous Beings hovering over my hospital bed.
don Rojas smiled at me: "Have you ever suspected, my gringo amigo, that you are a cosmic accident and not supposed to exist in this layer of reality?"
"What the fuck!?" I stated emphatically, my face a frown.
"Perhaps you died, and a black sorcerer conjured you forth from a separate reality."
"And why would a sorcerer do that? Why would you even think this?" I demanded.
"Oh, it is not I, who thinks this; but a little bird who whispered in my ear. So, I decided to see."
I looked at don Rojas who was watching intently, studying me.
"I am not a demon. I am not dead. I am here. I exist. No demon or Brujo conjured me up," I stated emphatically. "And I am not a Brujo. At least, not yet."
"Yes, I can see," don Rojas replied.
"I read this book" I said, holding it up. "This is why I'm here, in Sonora. I am searching for the key to the door that leads to a separate reality. I believe don Juan, or a Brujo, can help me."
don Rojas gazed at me questioningly. "But those with power are using you, are they not?"
I kept my eyes on the road, thinking. Did he know about The Company? Impossible.
"I'm my own boss. Maybe its me who's using those with power," I replied.
don Rojas, never taking his eyes from me, reached into his bag: "I have in here flowers, plants, herbs, peyote, mushrooms, God’s Flesh, the keys and the doors to those separate realities. You are not ready to open those doors."
"Not ready? Why? What could happen?" I asked.
"Because, if you pass through those doors, you may not come back," he replied.
"Why's that?" I asked.
"You are weak, easily conquered by lust. The illusion of a woman's beauty will lead you astray," he answered. "And there are many beautiful demonios."
"I am willing to risk that chance," I answered. "And I've taken LSD and chewed peyote. I also meditate and practice Yoga. I've been to places in the mind most people don't even know exist."
"Yes, I can see," don Rojas replied. "You are different from the others. You seek, you know of these realities without understanding their nature. You are a warrior, yet you are lost, in need of a guide. You will make great discoveries which can never be acknowledged in this world because you do not exist. You died. You are not supposed to be here. You are a cosmic accident. I can see all this. But why did you survive? Why did you come back to life? These are my questions. I too am a seeker of knowledge which is power. This is why I asked to ride with you."
"For what purpose?" I asked.
"Teachers must teach," he answered. "Or they lose their purpose and cease to exist. A teacher must learn, or he cannot teach. I may learn something from a man who died but lives and should not be here."
"You're offering to teach me?" I asked.
"I didn't say that," he answered.
I sped up, deep in thought: cactus to the left of me, cactus to the right, and the occasional rotting corpse of some animal smashed flat by a passing car or truck.
"Tell me," I asked. "If you'd decided I was a demon, what would you have done?
don Rojas became very serious: "I would have sent you back to the hell from which you had come."
"You were planning to kill me?"
"No. I came to see. To learn. You interest me. And now, my gringo amigo, we shall take a journey together, along this road in this fine new automobile. But, our real journey begins with a little smoke."
From within his brown leather bag, don Rojas retrieved a small oblong wooden box which contained a pipe carved out of bone. He unbuttoned the throat of his shirt and detached three small leather satchels which hung from his neck by leather straps.
From each of the little satchels he retrieved a pinch of a flowery mixture which he inserted, as a series of layers, into the pipe. Lighting the pipe, he inhaled deeply.
"I'd like some of that..." I said, but he interrupted by blowing a cloud of smoke in my face.
"Just drive," he replied. "The little smoke will take us to our destination."
Suddenly, my heart was racing, my breathing accelerating, and the landscape rushing by at an increasing pace as if my "VW" was doing 150 miles per hour and speeding up. Impossible!
The surroundings become a rushing blur. The sun appeared to be falling! I could see it setting, faster, faster... and not just the sun but my thoughts were racing, as were my answers to don Rojas' questions which he fired off at a dizzying pace.
Time was speeding up, becoming compressed. One moment it was three in the afternoon and... then it was dusk and just as suddenly a billion stars were twinkling up above.
And when not questioning, he was teaching: "Tetlachiwikes can sicken or kill their victim by touch or the stare of an evil eye." "Tlawkpochimes are evil witches, almost always women, who remain young by killing and drinking the blood of virgins and young babies." "Tetzitacs are almost always men and can control the weather, bring rain, hail, or snow." "Nahuatls are shape-shifters and can become birds, beasts, rocks, plants and can assume the shape of other humans." "Tetlachihuics have all these powers, and more. They can heal the sick, travel through time, and are often called upon, and paid for their services, by those in need of a cure, some white magic."
"Are you a Tetlachihuic?" I asked.
don Rojas merely shrugged.
"You said you can cure. Is that true?" I asked.
"Si. Cure, cast off evil spells, exorcise demonios."
"And you get paid for this?" I asked.
"Si. I have become very wealthy by doing good."
"You make money being a sorcerer?" I asked, disbelieving. "I thought sorcerers lived like hermits and cared nothing for money."
don Rojas explained: "Only those with little power, or who are crazed, loco, possessed, or consumed by evil, remain poor. Power is money. Money is power. The more power, the greater the wealth. Those afflicted by disease, or who are cursed by the evil ones, pay good money to be cured, to send the spells back to where they came. Power is control, and even sorcerers, if they are not wary, if their true names are known, can be controlled," he said with a flourish.
Can a Tetlachihuic control those in power? Kings? Queens? Presidents?" I asked.
"Influence, yes, depending on the distance. If the Tetlachihuic has bits of hair, clothing, feces, nail clippings; the greater the power."
"And you do this by casting a spell? By using Voodoo?" I asked.
"By the power of inner vision. By creating a mental image of that man, or woman, and making them, the image, do what you desire, at that moment. They become a puppet dancing in a parallel reality in the mind's eye."
I thought of the old crone in the medicine booth, with the dead blind eyes. I though for sure she may have been a witch casting a spell.
"Can a woman become a Tetlachihuic?" I asked.
"One is born a Tetlachihuic. Power can be absorbed, enhanced by herbs, spells, medicinal plants, Teo-nanacatl, and by learning; like exercising a muscle. But yes, women, my mother, my wife, my daughter, were born Tetlachihuics."
"You're married? You have children?" I asked, surprised. "A sorcerer with a family. Wow. Far Out! Never thought of that before," I admitted.
"Even Jesus was married," don Rojas replied. "Jesus, Mary Magdalena, both were Tetlachihuics."
"How do you know that?" I asked.
"What I do know is Tetlachihuics are the most powerful of all sorcerers, and the women are the most dangerous."
"Why's that?" I asked.
"Jealousies. Crazy love. Sexual desire. Women are smarter than most men. Inteligente! And they are devious, cunning and mask it with a smile or by pretending to be weak; and they are more emotional, irrational and may wish death even to those they love. They may kiss their best friend on the cheek, and stab her in the back at the same time. Even the Devil fears his wife."
"Your daughter is a Tetlachihuic ?" I asked.
"Yes, but she is very powerful, dangerous."
"How so?" I asked. "Is she evil?"
"Is the lion who eats the lamb, evil?" he asked with a smile.
"Well, if you're the lamb, yeah. Evil," I replied.
"My daughter is all woman," don Rojas explained. "Women are dangerous. Use sex as a weapon. Worship their youth. Vanity thy name is woman."
"Are you saying women are evil?"
don Rojas laughed: "Angel's face. Devil's heart. No, my daughter is not evil. Remember. Women are smarter than most men who are easily tricked by a beautiful woman. My daughter, she stays young and grows stronger, more powerful, by entrancing men with her beauty and sucking away the power of foolish men who dare to love her. All women do the same. This is why, my amigo gringo, you must never fall in love with and never make love to my daughter. If you do, you shall be cast from the garden of Eden and the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge may be lost to you, forever."
And now the moon was rising, shadowing trees in silhouette.
"Slow down!" don Rojas commanded with a clap of his hands. "There's a turn off, up ahead. We will take that road."
I slowed down. Everything slowed down.
"Where are we going?" I asked.
"My hacienda. Stop. Stop. Now turn to the right," he commanded.
There was a full moon and the landscape was illuminated with an eerie moon-light glow. I couldn't see any turnoff. No intersection. Just trees, scrub oaks, pines.
"But there's no road," I complained. "That looks like a gully, maybe a canyon!"
"It is," he answered.
"What if the car gets stuck in the sand?"
Slowly, gingerly, I maneuvered my VW over the rugged and rocky terrain, then down a gentle slope which led to a one lane hard packed dirt road on either side of which were an increasing number of trees.
"Follow the road. Keep driving," don Rojas said reassuringly.
We came to a river and a wooden bridge. On the other side a one lane paved road bounded by lush vegetation and a variety of oak, pine, and deciduous trees. don Rojas directed me to keep following the road.
"I'm feeling a bit confused," I admitted. "After I picked you up time went by very fast. I don't understand what's happened. It was like time speeded up. Seems like five hours went by in five minutes."
don Rojas laughed. "It's the little smoke," he replied. "My special blend. I call it, conciencia a la velocidad de la luz."
"Consciousness at the speed of light?" I repeated giving him a questioning look.
"Si. Two more puffs and consciousness would accelerate so fast we would have headed back into the past."
"So you're saying the smoke made us jump into the future?" I asked.
"Not jump. The little smoke made consciousness go faster which made what we experience as time, contract. Have you heard of the reading a book, very fast? Lectura veloz?"
"Speed reading? Sure," I answered.
"The little smoke was like speed reading the pages of time, consciousness at the speed of light. Four puffs and we would have gone so fast along that silver string we would have visited the future and ended up in the past. And this too gives the Sorcerer great power. A Sorcerer may change his past, and his future."
"The sliver string?"
"Yes, and it stretches from your navel, across the years of time, from the moment you were conceived to the moment you die. Pluck the string, and time vibrates into your future and your past. Time, is a circle. Future, past, now, all a circle."
"And a sorcerer can travel to the future?" I asked.
"We all travel to the future. But a sorcerer, if he has you in his grip, or with a touch, or a kiss, can also take you into the future, or back in time, into the past."
The landscape on the other side of yet another bridge had been farmed and there were a variety of growing crops. We came upon rows of corn, squash, melons, which don Rojas told me were fed by irrigation ditches leading from the river.
"Do you own all this? Is this your land?" I asked.
don Rojas laughed. "Typical Gringo question. How can anyone own land? Its like asking if I own the sky, or the clouds. We are almost to the Hacienda."
I spied an ancient dilapidated wooden barn and a mud-brick hovel which was in such bad shape, leaning at impossible angles, I was sure a strong wind could easily knock it down.
"Nice place you have here, Mr. don Rojas," I said and laughed.
"Pleased you like, my amigo. The hacienda is just over that rise, hidden by the trees. See the glow? Follow the light," he instructed, and I did.
I was stunned. The hacienda was huge, magnificent, castle-like. Two stories, all lit up with lanterns and what looked like electric lights... and there was a fountain and a large circular brick driveway with pickup trucks and jeeps parked out front.
There were also a number of outbuildings, five car garage, huge barn, corral, stable for horses, hutches and pens for the farm animals, and fruiting trees and well tended gardens.
"This is all yours?" I sputtered as I climbed out of my car, my mouth agape.
"Yes," he replied modestly.
Seven big dogs ran up, all but two happily wagging their tales, exuding joy at the return of their master; and two growling under the breath, signally they did not like me at all.
don Rojas patted their heads, scratched their eyes, and off they ran.
"Those dogs look like wolves," I said.
He didn't answer, but instead led me around the hacienda. It felt good to stretch my legs.
Even more surprising: a huge circular spiral antenna on the roof and two more set up to the far left of the hacienda.
"And what are those for?" I asked, pointing at the spiral antenna. "I thought only NASA had those things."
"Satellite dishes," he explained. "My ninos, the first born in December of 1962. Added those over there in 1965 and 1967. Keeps me informed. El conocimiento es poder! El conocimiento es poder!"
"Where do you get the electricity?"
"River turbines. Solar power. Gas generators."
"How do you pay for all this?" I asked.
"Deniro. Lots of money."
He led me to a well lit courtyard. A beautiful young woman stepped out of the hacienda into the light. She wasn't smiling.
I was stunned. Eyes of fire, lips of desire! It was her! Or her identical twin! The same cursing beauty who chased me from the village square that same morning.
"You should have killed him," she said, then turned, and with a sway of her hips, strolled back toward the hacienda; but not before stopping, gazing over her shoulder, and giving me an enticing smile.
My dick was standing straight up at attention. What a delicious babe! Foxy Lady!
"You have been struck by the thunderbolt," don Rojas laughed. "But remember," he continued, turning serious. "Beware paradise lost, so take care, or you will be cast from Eden!"
Eden? What was he talking about? I knew paradise when I saw it: and it was right between her legs.
don Rojas took me by the arm and led me through the stained glass double door entrance of the big hacienda. We were greeted by an old lady, a housekeeper. He instructed her to bring an evening meal and to prepare a bedroom for his guest, meaning yours truly.
The interior of the hacienda was magnificent. Antique furniture, marble and terracotta statues, wood and ebony carvings of magical beasts, exquisitely painted pottery and porcelain, brilliant paintings by artists famous and unknown. It was like stepping into a museum.
"Wow! This place blows my mind." I said. "Totally out of sight! But, I'd think a real Sorcerer wouldn't be into all this materialism."
don Rojas laughed. "Every world, every reality, has its own materiality which differs from the rest. We live in a materialistic world. We eat, shit, keep warm, and do what we can to live comfortably. Yes, its all an illusion. We all have our illusions. I happen to enjoy my illusions without being controlled by them."
"You got all this using sorcery?" I asked.
"Knowledge is power," he answered. "Power is money."
I looked at him askance. Was don Rojas some far out crazy rich guy totally off his nut, or the real deal? I wasn't sure what to believe.
don Rojas laughed. "Tell me," he replied, "Why would a sorcerer, a man of power, live like a peasant? True, some do, but only because the power, the ability to see, brujería, made them loco. So they withdraw from the world and live like ermitaños en un agujero de mierda."
Yet another room was one massive library. From floor to ceiling, row upon row of well stocked shelves bursting with books, parchments, and scrolls, many extremely ancient.
"Wow. Far out! Have you read all these books?" I asked.
"Not all. Many are for reference."
Then another spacious, ornate and richly furnished room, but crowded with musical instruments, horns, a clavichord, harps, drums, and those the likes of which I'd never seen before.
"I didn't realize you were a musician too," I said, admiring his collection.
"These are for magico," he answered. "La música of the spheres."
"Magic?" I asked. "In what way?"
don Rojas laughed: "All music, good music, can be magical, and transport us to other worlds."
The old lady housekeeper appeared and indicated dinner and my room were ready. "Will your daughter be joining us for dinner?" I asked.
"Perhaps," he answered.
"And what about your wife?"
don Rojas' smile disappeared.
"She is dead," announced don Rojas's daughter as she entered the dining room. "Killed by a jealous Tetlachihuic. My father, with his roving eye, is to blame."
She strolled boldly across the room, her fiery eyes blazing. "I am Sophia," she said, offering me the back of her hand to kiss. "We have already met twice, earlier this day."
I took her hand, her fingers long slim, elegant. Turning it over, I kissed her palm. The feeling was electric. Surprised, she pulled her hand away, and then stared at me curiously her green eyes flashing with curiosity and a hint of desire.
"You say we met twice?" I asked. "No, I would remember you. We only met once. And, you were not very nice."
"That's because," she said airily, "I did not know what you are. Now I see," she laughed wickedly, "you can't even see."
"But he has power," don Rojas replied.
"Does he?" she said, looking at me with growing curiosity.
"Yes, and he has seen the Trinidad from the other side."
I looked at him with surprise. Did I really tell him about those three entities?
During dinner, which was absolutely delicious, and in reply to my questions about music and magic, don Rojas explained that certain sounds and frequencies have physical properties, which, he said, interact with the "cosmic energy that enclose and keep the parallel realities separate and apart."
"Sounds can make holes in the cosmic barriers, and make the holes grow larger," he explained. "A sorcerer, if he has courage, may cross over into another reality through the holes he makes. He may also be taken captive by demons, and not come back."
"Well, that's a vacation I'd rather not take," I replied.
Throughout dinner, don Rojas and Sophia would sometimes surreptitiously observe me as I tried certain foods from the numerous side dishes or drank from my glass; which led me to wonder about drugs or poison. But, there was nothing sinister about their behavior. On the contrary, don Rojas was a friendly gracious host, and Sophia was surprisingly intelligent, articulate, knowledgeable, and, flirtatious. When I caught her eye, she'd smile, laugh or boldly stare and ask: "What?"
Eyes of fire, lips of desire! A slim but curvaceous body that begs to be hugged and squeezed! Hot damn she was a beautiful babe. What a fox! This is a woman I'd happily eat for dinner, and for desert too! Of course, I kept those thoughts to myself.
Dinner over, don Rojas slid his chair from the table, and said: "You are tired. Let us rest, sleep. Dream. We will continue our journey in the morning."
"Where are we going?" I asked.
"To another reality," he replied.
I wasn't tired, and wanted to go for a long walk, stretch my legs and think. Sophia, to my delight, offered to escort me.
"Otherwise you may get lost, my handsome gringo man," she teased.
don Rojas gave me a look of concern as he ascended a spiral stairway to the upstairs bedrooms. "Remember, my gringo amigo: Beware paradise lost! Sí. Its the truth. So watch out."
Paradise? I was looking at her!
Sophia and I strolled together in the moonlight. It was very romantic. To my delight, Sophia said to me: "You may hold my hand."
Her skin was cool, smooth, electric, our fingers entwined as if we had always been two hearts, now joined together as one. Wow. I really liked this woman!
We came upon some cats sitting in a circle, a fox slinking off into the moonlight followed by a hopping rabbit. Two hooting owls turned their heads 180 degrees following us with their eyes, three goats stood their ground and stared, and a parade of mice in rows of two slowly made their way toward a well kept barn, in the shadows of which I could see lots of glowing eyes.
And was that a mountain lion, maybe a jaguar, sitting, lying in the distant shadows, watching? I was about to point them out and ask, when seven big hairy dog-like-wolves came bounding up, a few snarling, the rest wagging tails, happy to greet us; a repeat performance from when I first arrived. Sophia scratched their ears, patted their heads, and contented and happy they turned and went their way.
"Lots of animals roaming around here," I said casually.
"Helpers. Servants. Familiars. Workers," she replied, then added: "And visitors. They come, they go."
I wasn't sure what the hell she was talking about, but kept my questions to myself, staying focused entirely on enjoying her company. I really liked this woman!
Side by side we continued to stroll, holding hands, basking in the moonlight. The air was moist, the evening temperatures just right. I could smell the river. A gentle mist was settling over the moonlit landscape. It was magical, beautiful, enchanting... and... she asked about the "Trinidad" so I told her of my experience.
She was sweet, affectionate, squeezing my hand, leaning close next to my side.
"Its hard to believe you're the same woman who chased me away this morning," I said, gazing into her emerald eyes.
"I'm a shape-shifter," she replied.
"I like your shape," I answered.
"Shape shifting is how my mother died," she said softly. "Terranza killed her." "Terranza? What's that? I don't understand," I replied.
"My father has a wondering eye. Never faithful. He's had many lovers; some of whom he'd love, then cast away, a ship passing in the night. Terranza was his lover. But Terranza was a Tetlachihuic. Jealous of my mother. Angry with my father. Terranza did not like to be trifled with."
"What happened?" I asked.
"Tetlachihuics can die. We can be killed. Shape shifting takes power, drains energy, and can make a Tetlachihuic weak, like an old woman when retaking human form. One needs a few moments, magic, power, to recover."
"My mother was flying high, she had become an Eagle, soaring through the sky to rendezvous with my father. A hunter's gun, in the power of Terranza, shot my mother. Wounded, my mother took human shape, fell from the sky, upon the earth, and died."
Strolling in the moonlight, I tenderly squeezed Sophia's hand and gave her a look of sympathy--though, in truth, I didn't believe a word. It was all too fantastic. We slowed our pace and stopped beside my car.
"And what happened to Terranza?" I asked.
"My father, and I, together, we combined our powers. Casting spells, calling her secret name, we shape-shifted Terranza into a spider, which we captured, then starved to death inside a glass jar."
"I told my father," Sophia added, "we should kill Terranza's son, an evil man who is a padre to diablo. We must change him too, into a spider, or he may seek revenge, I said to my father. But, he say, no, the man did my mother no harm and he has little power."
Tuning people into spiders? What nonsense, what a crazy chick, I thought, and almost laughed, but masked my disbelief by changing the subject.
"Want to go for a ride?" I asked.
"You don't believe me," she said, pulling her hand away. "You are a child. You don't know how to see."
"Seeing is believing," I replied.
"Then see," she demanded.
"Okay. Show me," I challenged. "Change into an eagle."
"Too dangerous," she answered. "I prefer blackbirds, ravens, hawks. No one pays them attention, and there's little risk of being shot by a hunter's gun." "Okay. Do it," I challenged.
In reply, Sophia leaned close and kissed me deeply, passionately, her darting tongue exploring. My mind exploded with light... I was flying...soaring through the air, gliding with the wind... I could see the desert, then a village down below... an open air market... a gringo, me, moving through the crowds... I glided downwards, and landed with a flap of my wings, which became a black feathered fan, and stood at a booth gazing at the magical herbs and potions, aware of the handsome gringo appraising me with heart throbbing desire...
I pulled away from Sophia's eager red lips and gazed at her with excited confusion.
"How'd you do that?" I demanded.
"The silver thread," she replied, her eyes flashing. "A Tetlachihuic can travel backwards in time."
"Fucking A! That was far out amazing!" I exclaimed.
Sophia took my hands, leaned close, her breasts pressing against my chest, and whispered tiny kisses in my ear sending tingles of electric delight up and down my spine.
"I can take you higher," she promised.
To my astonished delight, she dropped down to her knees, and while gazing innocently upwards into my eyes, unbuckled my belt, my pants, and down went the zipper. She pulled out my throbbing cock, stroked it with her fingers, kissed and licked the head, then slipped it into her mouth and began sucking like an angel!
I was in heaven, melting, leaning against my car for support... and then... I pulled my cock from her sucking lips, and turned her over, face down on the hood of my car. My hands slipped beneath her skirt, beneath her panties, squeezing her tight butt, running my fingers between her legs... touching, feeling, exploring... she was wet, gasping with excitement... and I took her from behind, shoving my cock deep inside her... in and out...in and out... faster, deeper...kissing the back of her neck, my arms wrapped around squeezing her breasts... in and out... in and out...
I wanted to shout: I love you.
"You are an amazing lover. I love fucking you," I gasped.
"I can take you higher," she purred, and turning round, she leaned against the car, spread her long legs, held me close, and I was again inside her... kissing her eager lips, squeezing her breasts, her buttocks... feeling her, holding her, loving her... in and out... in and out... deeper... harder... and... we were flying... flying.... higher... higher...the desert down below... cactus, gullies... a highway... hovels in the distance...a graveyard of wrecked cars... flying, flying...soaring across the sky... and I was deep inside her.... and cumming, she was cumming, her long legs wrapped around me, blazing eyes locked onto my own... and... she was milking me with her puss and I kept cumming and cumming... my eyes tightly closed in one final heavenly ecstatic explosion of orgasmic delight...
I was exhausted, drained of energy, and overcome with the need for sleep.
Opening my tired eyes I gazed through the windshield at a black crow standing on the hood of my car. It cocked its head to the left and right staring at me as I stared back.
I turned my head this way and that, looking at my surrounding. I was back at the Pemex gas station. A short, fat sweating woman and two dirty, squirming brats stood in a dilapidated doorway. A tall thin Mexican man was striding toward my car, a dirty rag in his hands.
And then, with a girlish-human-like laugh, the crow flapped its wings, and was gone.