Yopo snuff or Anadenanthera peregrina is a psycho-active substance prepared and used by The Yanomamo (Yah-no-mah-muh) tribe of the Amazon regions of Brazil and Venezuela. Also called the Yanomami, and Yanomama, they are deep jungle Indians believed to be the most primitive, culturally intact people in existence in the world. They are literally a stone age tribe.
I was in Nevada visiting friends. We had spoken about doing a Yopo trip when I came out to visit them. And just as planned we headed out to the desert at night fall. Arriving at the canyon were going to stay we set up camp and lit a fire. This particular Canyon just outside Las Vegas, is noted for it Petroglyphs and cave paintings, it seems like a very ancient site.
After sorting some food and a hot drink, we sat by the fire. The mood was quiet and medative. I could feel the energy of this place and my feeling was that this was a sacred place. I listened to the silence and entered into slight trance which I saw as a positive omen. I used the opportunity to pray to the ancestors and to the spirit of the Yopo herself.
After asking for advice, guidance and protection, we set about discussing how much Yopo we were going to take. My companion had tried this batch on a previously occasion but it became clear that the dose had been too large. So I placed a small amount of the substance on a flat surface and snorted it. Not wanting to make the same mistake, my companion took half the amount.
At first nothing seemed to happen but then in a wave which seemed to come sweeping across the desert floor from in front of me – Yopo came and gripped me. I felt like I was suddenly covered in a blanket. The next thing I noticed was that we were surrounded by something like a caged dome although it was not to imprison. It rested on the desert floor and we were somehow inside this huge structure. The cactus and plants that were around were all dancing in the fire light. The cactus’ took the appearance of somehow not being real but rather cardboard cut outs. It was at this point I also noticed we were not alone. A host of different entities had come to call. The first type I notice due to their unmistakable size was that Atlantean giants were moving in. Passing right through where we were sat near the fire, these beings were 18ft tall, dark stony figures obvious against the night sky. I was a little unnerved at this point but recollected myself and I gazed at the scene once more. These Atlantean Toltec giants were so exactly like the giants that stand at top of Quetzalcoatl’s Pyramid in Tula Mexico, as to be indistinguishable from them.
I was then rushed by a different type of inorganic being smaller and brighter. This seemed to open me up even further and in astonishment, I realised just how many beings had gathered around us. As I focused on each type of inorganic being the next would reveal itself to me. There were a host of different entities maybe 5 or 6 types including the giants. But also on the edge of the firelight I saw the ancestors gathered. These were smallish red people, wearing red squares of material covering their private parts and painted up ceremonially – they were sort of checking me out whenever I remembered them and turned to look. They peeked out at me from the desert night making odd gesture now and again, as I took turn to look at them.
I looked into the sky and saw what was like a mother ship sliding in from the north – it was kind of like a sheet or film that covered the sky but had definite size, direction and purpose. It was like a diamond shape. The MATRIX was then lowered down over me and what seemed like a probe of a luminous fibre came down and engulfed me making me puke. I snorted out the Yopo from my nostrils and within about 20 minutes I was down completely. We explored the caves and the canyon. The really extraordinary thing that we discovered was that within the cave a short distance from where we were camped there was a stone approximately the shape of the matrix that had descended. It was pitted with carved regular sized indentures all over the surface. There was also a square on the cave wall, carved with the same indentures and cave paintings of what looked like beings.
I was surprisingly calm throughout the experience; probably the overwhelming nature of the Yopo. But even when the Atlanteans Toltec warriors decided it would be fun to pick the fire up to demonstrate their size I was not afraid. Throughout the experience, I was constantly reassured: “there is nothing here that is going to harm you”.
The western system is flawed; we are beginning to see evidence of a total system crash from economics to social unrest; with the developed world imploding in on itself. The world has finite resources and yet materialism demands production that cannot be sustained – blundering on at the risk of a complete environmental breakdown. Man works best in the tribal system. From the very beginning man formed into small tribal groups or bands and settled for this for a very long time. These tribal and clan systems grew up out of the need to organize in order to survive and from this developed into the indigenous systems we hear of today.
The people of the indigenous system, follow the shaman, in regard to their spiritual well-being. He recognizes everything is an illusion. This, in turn, means nothing is of importance. Even the suffering of his fellow-man is not his concern unless he chooses to make it so. The shaman in connection with his ancestral spirit knows that those he needs concern for are the people of his tribe. He is the one who guides, heals and protects the tribe from external forces. In this western world, however, we are separated from our tribe and tribal nature. And instead, our tribal ‘urges’ are tapped and suppressed with such activities as supporting your local football team or other artificial enticements (too numerous to name). The world in which we live is divided, each ‘individual’ supporting his own interests, be it his team, political party, or whatever.
Often people say, it is important to know your roots – to know where you come from. This generally means knowing what region your name originates from or something about your hometown or country. But to truly understand ‘who you are’, I would suggest takes dedication and discipline. In order to understand yourself, you must have some idea of the processes which lead to this present moment. In this modern age, we are mostly cut off from the past; cast adrift in the dark seas of awareness.
In past ages, man knew who he was by being aware of the hereditary lineage he was a part of. The ancestors were present. They could either be asked for advice or even sort for as guides. Knowledge would be passed down by word of mouth through stories and other means of transmission such as song or dance. Nothing was written – instead, the oral tradition kept knowledge alive. With the advent of religion, there was an inevitable fall into reason; a need to construct a means of organization and things were written down for the first time. Once something is written it ceases being known in the sense of ‘Lore’, and instead becomes ‘law’. When knowledge is acquired in the first place it has the capacity to be enlarged upon, developed to gain further understanding – to evolve! But once it is written it loses this ability.
Once religion took hold it was an obvious means of control for those who would wish to subvert the message. We arrive at the point today, where religion is empty and the rituals and ceremony reflect nothing of the true spirit of what early man ‘saw’ but are hollow gestures. If you go to any Anglican ‘high church’ service or maybe Catholic mass, you will see that all the pomp and ceremony is nothing but a reflection of the self-importance that it represents. The spirit I believe lost interest in religion a long time ago…
Religion is now the domain of man and his fruitless desires. Science has come along to de-construct the universe and while it still seeks knowledge, it does so in total isolation from the pressing issues troubling the planet. Religion and science while seeming to be avowed enemies, are in reality two halves of the same device. It is like the two-party state. The acquisition of knowledge has been divided into two camps: the first believing that everything is unfathomable mystery and nothing can be understood, while the other believes everything will someday succumb to its inquiry. Both are wrong and this duality causes only separation from the meaning of existence.
At this eleventh hour recognizing our tribal nature is of vital importance. The Ancestral spirit is what connects us to the past, brings us into relationship with the present and maps a way to the future. At this time more than ever man needs to remember his ancestral nature, in order to return to the spirit and to save the planet from annihilation.