Creativity From Within

“The Poet Speaks”

This is a chapter in my book “Compassionate Tarot Companion”.
The book’s overview with download & 2 chapters … {-here-}
All blog posts that are chapters … {-here-}

We step out in new directions. We turn our minds and hands to new tasks that we choose for ourselves and we choose work that is hard.

Now suddenly this is another way to seek the truth for this is work that blossoms from our inner selves and shows us to our selves, yet also presses out against the boundaries of what is real, to tell us about the world.

May I describe a piece of video? I saw it once. A short documentary, very rare, an anthropology field res­earch recording really, about twenty minutes, observing two spirit doctors in Central America. Very interesting. This is true.

The soundtrack and color are poor. Occasionally we hear some English from a local translator who is on-screen now and then, or from the anthropologist who is managing the camera and therefore invisible to us, a sort of ghostly presence.

We find ourselves in a tiny village, very old, been there for ages, quite traditional, in a thickly wooded valley.

As we quickly learn, there is a branch of medical care that’s still done here by normal human practice. Every­one is going to act like everything we’re going to see is very normal and commonplace.

Nothing is surprising except perhaps a few things near the end.

Spirit doctor #1, with a patient, inside a dark but spacious hut. A tiny fire is thinly veiling the wide dark room with smoke. The female patient lies on a blanket on the earthen floor, attentive but silent and as profoundly calm as if this were a Reiki session.

The practitioner, a shaman, in this case an active wiry man in middle age, devotes himself to dancing round the patient, shuffling really, making music with a rattle and his voice. He has a slow rhythmic insistent repeti­tious song. It’s obviously a powerful tool for deep hyp­nosis and he behaves as though in ecstasy.

Outdoors now. Time has passed.

Arrives now doctor #2, actually at this time a young man seeking the vocation, a stranger from a distant place, walked for miles on forest tracks to introduce himself quite cautiously to #1 who is frankly skeptical and am­used. He’s not a doctor yet but has come here in hopes to get himself changed into one. They talk.

In the forest: #1 and a couple of merry sidekicks, maybe sons or nephews, have got #2 tied up to a tree. His elbows are pulled around behind and he’s asking if this really is all necessary.

The old gent assures him that it is, oh yes oh yes oh yes, so the butterflies will come during the night and teach him his song.

The fellow seems a little reassured but then appar­ently there’s a kind of giant ant in those parts and at the old guy’s demonstration these two laughing side­kicks start picking up these big insects off the ground and pinch­ing them very carefully in fingertips so their jaws will open and they’re hanging these venomous little poison clamps on the fellow’s tender flesh.

The old guy does one nipple first and soon we see they’ve got these things hanging off his nipples, lips, ears and eyelids even. There’s about a dozen of them. It’s apparently a psychoactive drug but the lack of any quick intoxication leads me to guess this divination actually requires the diviner’s ability to self-induce a trance.

The fellow’s squirming now with gritted teeth so the old gent takes a serious approach and assures him very seriously, oh yes oh yes oh yes, now the butterflies will come during the night and teach him his song. Watch for the butterflies, he says in parting.

Cut to morning. Young #2 seems quite refreshed. The sidekicks are taking off his rope and he limbers up. The old gent asks a little fearfully if the butterflies came.

The fellow frankly seems a trifle bitter at the ques­tion; No, he says, it was the toucan birds. Toucan birds? the old guy asks in some surprise. The fellow only grunts in answer.

I looked it up and toucan birds are said to croak like frogs.

Back in the treatment room. Wide dark space again thinly veiled with smoke. Again the total calm except that now there is an energy and pride in the old man’s steps we did not see before as he dances chanting round his patient.

There is another patient on the earthen floor, over there, and there the new shaman takes his rattle from a leather bag and now begins his version of the usual rou­tine, in utter easy confidence, with a different song.

That is creativity from within.

(- Here is the end of this blog post.-)

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