José Luis Stevens, PhD is the President and Co-Founder (with wife Lena) of Power Path Seminars, an international school and consulting firm dedicated to the study and application of shamanism and indigenous wisdom to business and everyday life. José completed a ten-year apprenticeship with a Huichol (Wixarika) Maracame (Huichol shaman) in the Sierras of Central Mexico. In addition, he is studying with Shipibo shamans in the Peruvian Amazon and with Paqos (shamans) in the Andes in Peru.
In 1983 he completed his doctoral dissertation at the California Institute of Integral Studies focusing on the interface between shamanism and western psychological counseling. Since then, he has studied cross-cultural shamanism around the world to distill the core elements of shamanic healing and practice. He is the author of twenty books and numerous articles including Encounters With Power; Awaken The Inner Shaman; The Power Path; Secrets of Shamanism; Transforming Your Dragons; and Praying With Power.
(Hint: For best results read all the way through even if you are not interested in plant diets.)
Two days ago I returned from two weeks with some Shipibos, an upper Amazon tribe in Peru who supervise plant diets. I was there to do another of many plant diets, seven days in a row of drinking the juice from one of a number of special plants Amazonian tribes take to make them strong, help them heal others, and offer them protection. These plants must be taken in a certain order, starting with tobacco, moving on to the rennequia, then bouasca, albaca, camalonga, and chiric- sanango. Others follow. On this trip, there was a small group of us each dieting with different plants but spending each day in a hammock receiving the teachings and assistance of the plants.
Some are sometimes surprised when they do not receive direct intellectual instructions or downloads from the plants but that is not the way they work. The truth is, the benefits come over a period of weeks and months and while taking them one might feel a variety of emotions, physical sensations, sleepiness, or exceptional clarity of mind. It is not unusual for some to sleep a good part of the day and then again at night so for some it may be very restful while for others it is stimulating and may be accompanied by intense reading, meditating, or listening to music.
During the 1990’s I was invited to perform as the staff Psychologist at Sol Y Sombra, a beautiful twenty acre estate in Santa Fe, once owned by Georgia O’Keefe. It had been bought by Charles and Beth Miller of Texas and turned into a showcase for sustainable living. Sol y Sombra became a salon for many famous people who would come to Santa Fe to visit the Miller’s. During my time there, politicians, statesmen, actors, entertainers, movie stars, directors, and producers all found their way there, some on a regular basis. To my surprise, Beth Miller would insist that these folks attend my weekly class, usually on some aspect of the Michael Teachings, personality styles, or some related metaphysical topic. At first, I was very self conscious, but after a number of years it became normal to have such luminaries as John Denver, the former President of Mexico, The late Ann Richards, the former Governor of Texas, Journalist Bill Moyers, and many others in my classes. Some came only once but others were regulars and participated in an animated way. Sometimes, they would book private sessions with me to find out more on a personal level. The late John Denver, singer and songwriter, was a regular and we would often talk privately after a class.
The frequency of the Earth is shifting, The hertz frequency of the earth is dropping temporarily while changes are being made from the core of the galaxy and from beyond this galaxy. This affects every human, animal, and plant on the planet and the climates and atmospheres of every planet in the solar system. We see animals and plants going extinct or migrating at a rapid pace to ensure their survival as the climate changes. Human beings, being highly adaptive, tend to remain in place as the climate shifts and the frequency of the earth shifts underneath their feet along with the climate. The result is that they are experiencing many changes in their everyday lives that they do not clearly understand. Let us look at some examples. This list will not be pretty so bear with me.
A recent visit to Guatemala to visit Mayan Shamans and Ceremonialists brought the whole question of where this planet is headed into vivid clarity. For months now, I have been doing research into the Mayan Calendar, Hopi, Qero, Tibetan, and other prophecies, astrological predictions, and whatever else sheds light on where we are headed. It is not that this is the first time I have been obsessed with the question of our future, but it has gained in urgency as we approach the date of the end of the long count in the Mayan Calendar, December 21, 2012. With my recent research efforts I began to see the future of the human race in a brand new light. In addition, a visit with several astrologers added to my evolving perspective that there is no more important work than forging a new future by collapsing the old worn out dream and creating a new dream via working with the quantum field.
One day an email came from an old grammar school classmate. He sent me a picture of my grammar school class and asked me if I could help him identify some of the people in the picture. He was organizing a fifty-year class reunion. The truth was, we had never had a reunion before and my curiosity was peaked. I was able to help him with a few names and just the process of going over the pictures sucked me in. These were the kids I had spent eight years with, from first to eighth grades. They were the ones who I had been with in those early formative years and they were the only people in my life that had witnessed and experienced those school years where so much had happened.
As a looked over the class picture I was struck by several things. The size of the class was huge, fifty kids and one teacher, a hard core Catholic nun. These days that would be unacceptable but in the fifties it was status quo. The other thing I noticed was ethnicity: Italians, Irish, Hispanics, Armenians, Poles, and some Asians but only one African-American child. We were diversified in a Catholic school sort of way.
In August of 2011 Lena and I decided to take a much needed short local vacation after months of hard work. Both of us were in great need of being in the great outdoors and doing something physical after months of Power Path events, writing, and seeing clients. We ventured out to Canyon de Chelly in Arizona, rented horses from a Dine man, and spent the day exploring the Canyon. It was great fun but by the end of six or seven hours of riding I had an aching back due to one of the stirrups being a little shorter than the other. After spending the night we were off to visit a friend in Telluride, hiked around the mountains, and rode our mountain bikes around local trails. The following day I decided to take my bike up the lift to ride down one of the mountain bike trails back into town. I went up with my daughter Anna and her husband Aaron and they decided to take a much longer trail. I was still tired and hurting a bit from the horse so I chose a shorter trail. The signs and maps were a bit confusing and soon I realized I was on a very steep expert trail that I was not qualified to be on. Too late! On my hair raising way down I fell off my bike twice but managed to get to the bottom without further incident. After a couple days of more activity we headed back to town just in time to do one of our programs on our land. The first day I was leading a chi gong exercise when I felt a little crunch in my left knee along with a sharp pain. After about an hour my knee had swollen up like a grapefruit and I could effectively no longer get around. I thought, “OH NO! A torn meniscus. How can that be? All I was doing was a little chi gong”.
People often confuse envy and jealousy. Envy is wanting what someone has and jealousy is wanting to possess someone all to yourself. With jealousy there is a feeling of ownership over the other person accompanied by a feeling or desire that they not show someone else attention, love, or affection. The jealous person feels that the object of their desire should show that attention, etc. only to them. If they think it is going elsewhere they feel enraged or overwhelmingly upset to the point where they feel they have to interfere or interrupt the activity. They may also accuse their love interest and try to punish them in a variety of ways, haranguing them, beating them, or giving them the cold silent treatment. In truly severe cases the jealous person may be imagining everything. In other cases their partner is in reality showing attention to others and may even be trying to make their partner jealous. Whatever the case, jealousy comes from a feeling of being deprived and a feeling of being overlooked or put down in favor of someone else. In other words jealousy indicates deep insecurity, lack of trust, and lowered self-esteem. Jealousy is a product of the dragon of self-deprecation, the fear of not being worthwhile.
A trip to visit our son Carlos brought my wife Lena and I to New York City in late November, 2011. He recently moved to Manhattan to work as the Creative Director of a computer design and animation company and we wanted to see where he worked and visit his apartment where we stayed for a few days. His apartment building on the West Side has a roof with a fabulous view of the entire city and we spent some time up there in the cold November wind getting to the know the city from that vantage point. Wall Street and the World Trade Center where Ground Zero is now being rebuilt and reshaped is a few subway stops away. Since he had to work all day for the first two days of our stay, we took the opportunity to ride trains and walk extensively throughout the city.
In early March 2012 I traveled to Real de Catorce, a tourist mining town in Central Mexico, arriving with a group of my shamanic students to do some ceremonial work in this high desert region. I have been going to Real for the last twenty five years and this was our annual pilgrimage lasting for several days. The town lies close to Mount Quemado, most sacred pilgrimage destination of the Huichol people, in the news recently because of a huge protest over an effort to mine the mountain by a Canadian mining company. Fortunately the protest was successful and the Mexican government issued a stay to all operations on Quemado.
After performing our ceremonies and prayers we always visit the Church of Guadalupe, a church that lies just outside the village, built in sixteen hundred by the Franciscans with indigenous labor. Although there is a large Catholic Cathedral in the center of town, I like to visit the little church because it was built by and for the indigenous people and therefore has unique qualities. It is situated with a view of Mount Quemado and is surrounded by a colorful and quite beautiful cemetery. Rather than Jesus hanging on the cross over the altar characteristic of most churches in Mexico, this church has a big picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe over the altar instead. Clearly it is a church dedicated to the feminine face of spirit rather than the masculine.
The smoke from several huge fires hung menacingly over the New Mexico horizon like a toxic shroud. The forests, still burning out of control, for a time threatened the Los Alamos nuclear labs with incineration. Other fires raged in Arizona consuming over half a million acres there while Texas burnt as well. In many parts of the country floods devastate the landscape, threatening a nuclear power plant, flooding huge tracts of homes and businesses. Few places are free of the threat of one kind of disaster or another. Times of purification are here.