Following a Dream into the Huichol World
In my dream, a man with jet-black hair waited to meet me at the Hanuman Temple in Taos, New Mexico.
Dreams always have been one of the strongest ways I connect with the paranormal. Often a message in a dream turns out to be life changing.
When I awoke, I urgently wanted to go to Taos. I had recently received an invitation to a Hindu ceremony at that temple, so I hopped on a plane to attend the service.
At the temple entrance, a familiar looking man stood next to me. Certain he was the man in my dream, I said, “Don’t I know you?” He didn’t speak a word of English. Months earlier I had attended a drumming ceremony by Huichol tribe members, who still live today as their pre-Columbian ancestors did in the isolated, high mountains of the Sierra Madre. This man’s embroidered clothes reminded me of them, so I was about to ask him if he was a Huichol Indian when he said in Spanish, “Yo soy Huichol.” (“I am Huichol,” pronounced wee-chol.)
Miguel was a short, handsome man with bronze skin, jet black hair and brown Asian eyes. I immediately felt attracted, so I bought one of his yarn paintings depicting a Shaman healing a child — a small piece of plywood with yarn pressed into beeswax.
The Huichol people have no written language and until recently they have had little contact with the outside world. Today they are internationally known for their magnificent artwork and clothing, with intricate embroidered designs, stunning beaded jewelry, and woven belts and bags. The Huichol consider their art magical because through it they are able to communicate with the gods. On the final day of the peyote ceremony, all the peyoteros sit in a circle and dream together to decide who their community’s leaders will be. Dreams are an everyday part of their spiritually rich culture.
The next day after the Hindu ceremony, Miguel and I drove to the ancient cave dwellers’ ruins at Bandelier State Park. My Spanish wasn’t great, but we communicated with a lot of laughter. He said he had seen this place in a dream and his 100-year-old shaman had told him of the cave dwellers’ time. His face full of joy, he turned to me and said in Spanish, “You have a great heart and an Indian Spirit. The Indian spirit in this place is very great.” The tall wooden ladders to the caves looked scary going straight up, but Miguel seemed to fly up and down them without using his hands, jumping and leaping off the rocks and cliffs.
I was dying to smoke a joint as we walked around the sacred ceremonial Kiva. I guess the god of marijuana heard me because out of nowhere I smelled pot, and, lo and behold, the only other visitor in the park was smoking a doob. By that time I had experienced this kind of everyday synchronicity in my life many times, yet it always came as a surprise. I asked if I could join him and he happily shared.
With distant thunder cracking, Miguel and I walked briskly until the rain sent us into a cave. We climbed to the farthest spot and went down into the ceremonial room. Circling around the fire pit and singing in the Huichol language, Miguel lit sagebrush that some Hopi Indians had given him. He blessed me with his feather wand by moving the smoke all around my head and body. He put his arm around me and thanked me over and over for bringing him to this sacred Indian place. With him holding me, I felt so safe.
The sky changed rapidly. I cried for the beauty of the sun breaking through the clouds and how my heart had been opened. As we drove away, the full moon was rising behind a partial cloud cover, making the yellow colors look like a sun setting. I was in the middle of a total Indian Trip, and I knew that Miguel was the person in my dream I was meant to meet. We exchanged phone numbers and I invited him to visit my home in California.
Miguel had been in the U. S. on a museum sponsored art tour. The night before he came to visit me, I dreamt I was watching him unwrap a cloth holding an old eagle feather. The white string wrapped around the quill was discolored with age. He laid the feather across his hands and presented it to me. I told Miguel about the dream when I picked him up at the airport. Later that night as he unpacked, he pulled out an eagle feather. He said a shaman gave it to him and told him it was old and very powerful. It had blue string wrapped around the quill.
He held the feather across his hands and gave it to me.
I wanted to show him the beauty of California, so I took him for a one night trip to Yosemite. Ignoring park rules, we hand-fed deer in the field, an honor for Miguel because deer are the Huichol spirit animal. We hiked Yosemite Falls followed by dinner at the park’s famous Ahwahnee Hotel that displays Miwok artifacts of long ago. Miguel, most likely the only pure-blooded Indian in the room, dressed for dinner in full Huichol clothing embroidered with deer, birds, and colorful borders. We held hands as we walked down a long red carpet in front of a few hundred people. He strutted like a peacock, with everyone in the dining room straining their necks to look at us. I felt like royalty sitting with this gorgeous man at the same table where Queen Elizabeth had recently dined. That night our love making was filled with hot primitive energy.
This is a peek at a larger memoir. The other stories already on Medium can be found here. If you enjoy what you’ve read, clap generously! Feel free to contact me at ghayssen at sonic.net.