Not for Innocent Ears, IV.1-IV.3



Autobiography of a Pul



R.M.'s Childhood



Cahuilla Religion



Songs for the Dead



Spiritual Politics



Plants Have a Spirit Too



Women's Songs & Plants



Good Pul-s



Healing Soul-Loss



Portrait of a Pul



Healing Soul-Damage



Raising Children


pp. 25-7 pul's dream-helper spirit-ally

p. 25

"My grandmother's Uncle ... was a pul, a shaman with healing and dreaming power. Uncle ... always said that a real pul is born, destined to be one. It's a calling . You are chosen by ... our Creator. ...

He makes you a pul in the womb.

{Wrong. Each shaman was already a shaman in each praevious lifetime, and therefore (being already a shaman before every specific incarnation) it is not necessary that anyone be "made" so by a deity.}

p. 26

One of the things which distinguished a pul is his ally, or dream helper. Puls obtained their helpers through Dreaming. ... But my helper came spontaneously ... .

I Dreamed to the 13th level.

{Numbered Dream-Levels (#1 to #10) are described in OFGMR, pp. 95-9.} {There are 10 Polynesian -- but 13 MesoAmerican -- heavens.}

The way you do that is by remembering to tell yourself to go to sleep in your first level ordinary dream. You consciously tell yourself to lay {yourself} down and go to sleep. Then you dream a second dream.

{A more usual (easier, albeit unreliable) way of entring other dream-levels is spontaneous "false awakenings" within the dream -- that much I have experienced at times.}

This is the 2nd level and the prerequisite for real Dreaming. Uncle ... called this process "setting up dreaming."

You can tell yourself {intentfully resolve} ahead of time

where you want to go, or what you want to see, or what you want to dream.

{This ability is considered a major accomplishment by proficient lucid-dreamers.}

On the 3rd level you learn and see unusual things, not of this world. On both the second and third levels

you can talk to people and ask questions about what you want to know."

{This capacity to converse must evidently be derived from the deliberate effort to lie down and fall asleep within a dream. In having merely spontaneous false-awakenings, I did not achieve such capacity so to converse.}

"When I dreamed to the thirteenth level, that first time, I was young and

didn't know how to get back.

{This state in the dreamer is perceived by persons in the waking-world as so-called "catalepsy" (of the material body).}

Usually I only dream to the 2nd and 3rd levels.

{To transit to further (beyond the 2nd and 3rd) Dream-Levels may require specialized assistance from dedicated dream-deities.}

But that time I kept having different dreams and falling asleep and going to another dream level. That is where I met my helper,


{a name phonetically similar to (in Saxo Grammaticus) Aswid (discussed in JB, pp. 163 & 538), aequivalent to Alswid (in the Edda)}

the eagle. But I was in a sort of coma, asleep for several days. My father tried to bring me back, but couldn't. He had to call my Uncle {the same man described as her grandmother's uncle on p. 25} ... who finally

managed to bring my spirit back. That was one of his specialties, healing soul loss. ...

{This sort of managment (and not the healing of ordinary sicknesses) is the true "soul-retrieval" manoeuvre which is the special skill of shamans.}

The way you return is to tell yourself beforehand {while as yet awake} that you are going to come back (like self-hypnosis),

{Like all other utilization of "self-hypnosis", when one performeth the instructing of one's "self", a minor divinity (praesumably one's fravas^i/spirit-guardian) is eavesdropping on such instructing, and taketh it as something to fulfill in the dream-world.}

later in the dream you have to {thou art divinely enabled to}remember.

Once, before I knew how to dream and think {remember cogently} simultaneously, I was dreaming on the 3rd level and wondering how I was going to return. Sud-

p. 27

denly a giant bird appeared, like a

pelican : it came along and I grabbed its neck. We flew way up in the sky.

{cf. escape from perils in dream-world : "There was my dove and I jumped to her. We flew up and out to the light." (DE&S, p. 66)}

I saw the earth burning below

{implying that Amerindian myths of the world-fire are derived from such a shamanic praedicament (divinely assisted return from Higher-Level Dreams)}

and I sort of came out of it into the 2nd level dream. It's really hard to come out of those higher levels."

{Whereas the authoress (R.M.) remained in human guise on the 3rd level, the animal-guise mentioned by T.J.K. would apparently indicate transiting beyond the 3rd level.}

OFGMR = Kurt Leland : Otherwhere : a Field Guide to Nonphysical Reality ... . Hampton Rds Publ Co, Charlottesville, 2001.

JB = Raven Kaldera : The Jotunbok. {Jo,tun-bo`k} Asphodel Pr, Hubbardston (MA), 2006.

DE&S = Timothy J. Knab : The Dialogue of Earth and Sky : Dreams, Souls, Curing and the Modern Aztec Underworld. U of AZ Pr, Tucson, 2004.

pp. 27-8 emmets generate whirlwind

p. 27

"taught me that whirlwinds live underground. The way you could tell the difference ... was that the ant hole went down at an angle ... .

{Both the the twin-brethren Xolotl and Quetzalcoatl became emmets.}

p. 28

Well this one time I poked a stick into a whirlwind's home and she came out! ... She was angry and spinning all around me."

{For Quetzalcoatl as wind-god there are aedified circular fanes, for the circular whirlwind.}

p. 28 praeternatural mosquito

"That mosquito ... simply went into my left cheek. It's living there now. And mosquitoes don't bother me at all."

{According to Carlos Castan~eda (SR, p. 61), a praeternatural gigantic gnat can assault a shaman. (Tropical gnats do, alike unto mosquitos, suck blood.)}

SR = Carlos Castan~eda : A Separate Reality.

pp. 28-9 fly praeternaturally posing as musician

p. 28

"Another insect that occasionally talks to me is the grey fly. ... The grey fly has a pink butt, red eyes and

p. 29

stripes around its body. ... .

... that grey fly ... waking around ... with his little hands crossed, ...

{[Dieguen~o] "the fly rubs his hands together constantly, because he is begging forgiveness" (VW, p. 148).}

answered, "I'm going to play a song. I'm a virtuoso." ... It was wearing a swallow-tail coat!"

VW = Margot Edmunds & Ella E. Clark : Voices of the Winds. NY : Facts on File, 1989.

pp. 29-30 elephant-tree {torote, Bursera microphylla -- "the bark is thin and flaky, white on the outside with lower layers green, then red." ("ETBM") -- "The alternate leaves are aromatic with a scent of camphor." (ThPF"BM") -- "copal tree (Bursera microphylla)" ("MMM")} imparteth psychic powers

p. 29

"Elephant trees are very sacred to our people. ... .

{"Cahuilla Indians called the Elephant Tree kelawat eneneka and believed that the sap, ... red ..., had great power and was dangerous to be kept in the open. It was always hidden and used by tribal shamans" (Lindsay 2001, p. 154 -- "FM&K").}

... the bark ... could also be powdered ... for eating. This medicine gave great perceptual/visionary power to certain puls ... . ... But the medicine would talk to your soul. ...

p. 30

You'd hear its voice ... . ... Suddenly, one of those grey flies ... said in my own language, "It's all right." ... all right for me to be with the Elephant trees."

"ETBM" = "Elephant Tree Bursera microphylla"

ThPF"BM" = Theodore Paine Foundation Bursera microphylla"

"MMM" = "Making Merry in Mexico".

Lindsay 2001= Lindsay, D. : Anza-Borrego A to Z : People, Places and Things. Sunbelt Publications.

"FM&K" = "Frankincense, Myrrh and Kelewat".

p. 30 plant-spirits & rock-spirits

"The real truth is that plants have a spirit too. In our religion everything has a spirit.

Even the rocks have a spirit.

{cf. the "mountain-wights ... parts of them look as if they are permanently made out of stone" (JB, p. 167)}

... I could see things in rocks. I could see human forms and animals like the lizard."

p. 31 her dream about the caerimonial house (temple)

"especially after I was forty, I could hear {commandments to do} things. Usually I hear things {commandments} in my dreams. I have to have a ceremony ..., because I had a dream that

the doors of our ceremonial house were closed. Ancient people were inside.

{"prison" (Ys^a<yah 53:8)}

An old man was calling for people to come and eat".

{"he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat ... without money and without price." (Ys^a<yah 55:1)}

pp. 31-2 various uses for the caerimonial house

p. 31

"Umna>ah means "Big" or "Huge," ... Kish Umnawet means "Big House" ..., and that is the name for our ceremonial house.

{"The Huichol word for the templi is tuki {similar to the name /Tookisyl/ mentioned on pp. 51 infra?}; when speaking Spanish to outsiders Huichols commonly call their temple calihuey, an inversion of the Nahuatl (Aztec) uey calli, big house" (PP, p. 330).}

... each clan here ... had their own Big House. ... The clan puls might dream of something bad coming and the people would have to get together and dance to keep the evil away. The Big House was also used to heal people and for funerals ... .

The clan net lived in the Big House and cared for it. He raised eagles there too. ... the people thought that eagles were human. ...

p. 32

Today we get together in the Big House and sing songs to the dead whenever someone dies and again one year to the day after their death. The songs for the dead tell the story of our creation. ...

There were different songs for dying women called "Moon Songs,"

{cf. myths of departure of goddesses to the Moon -- e.g., Maori goddess Rona}

but we don't sing those anymore. ...

The songs for the dead used to take four nights to sing entirely through. The whole story is told by Patencio (1943)".

PP = Stacy B. Schaefer & Peter T. Furst (edd.) : People of the Peyote: Huichol Indian History, Religion, and Survival. U of NM Pr, 1997.

Patencio 1943 = Francisco Patencio : Stories and Legends of the Palm Springs Indians. Times-Mirror Pr, Los Angeles.

pp. 32-4 song for the dead (cf. pp. 115-4 infra)

p. 32

"their Creator ... had brought death into the world.

So the flicker said, "Let's witch him. Pee-um. ..." ...

p. 33

So the Creator called four different kinds of snakes to doctor Him. ...

He called horsefly and wind to doctor Him ... . ...

He told crow to bend down and suck the poison out ... . ...

The Creator's feet and arms were getting cold. His whole body was getting cold and numb. ...

The people sent coyote to the east, where the sun comes up,

{[Yuma] "toward the east ... is the sun, ... So he told Coyote : "Go get a spark fron the sun"" (AIM&L, p. 79).}

to gather firewood.

{cf. name of Maori hero Wahie-roa?}

When he was far away they burned the body. ... Suddenly coyote jumped over badger and grabbed the Creator's heart (all that was left) and jumped back over badger again. ...

{[Dieguen~o] "Coyote ... sprang over the heads ... and seized the heart" (VW, pp. 149).} {[Yuma] "Before he died, Kokomaht had told Coyote, "Friend, take my heart"" (AIM&L, p. 79).} {cf. the rescue of the sacred heart of Zagreus?}

p. 34

And strange plants came up from the ashes. ... .

... tobacco, pivat, my breath. ...

... corn {maize}, tumah, my teeth. ...

... black beans, tevemalem, my eyes.

... pumpkins ..., nyashlum, my stomach.

... my nostrils, summer squash."

AIM&L = Richard Erdoes & Alfonso Ortiz (edd.) : American Indian Myths and Legends. Pantheon Bks, NY, 1984.

p. 34 frog-sorcery

"Frog sorcery ... is the worst kind of witchcraft. ... Then you sew up the frog's mouth".

{"The lizard's mouth was sewed up" (TDJ, p. 47).}

TDJ = Carlos Castan~eda : The Teachings of Don Juan.

p. 35 clan-animals

"Each of the animal/people at the cremation were ancestors of different clans {was an ancestor of a different clan}. ... Other animals like

iswatem, mountain lion, and

tokut, the bobcat[,] were there.

Univetem, the bear, and also

unal, the badger, was there.

But these clans are all died off. A clan known as wanshwum, meaning "swept away," were washed away by the flood that came after the Creator died. ... Frog though was not a clan ancestor. ...

All the clans had their ceremonial "Songs for the Dead." The words were the same, but the tunes varied. Each clan had their {its} special songs, like the grasshopper clan, wietem, would add their part about the grasshopper who saw the Creator die.

The "Songs for the Dead" have words which guide the dying man's spirit to "That Place." ... The words say we should "forget" this life.

"It's all a dream. It's all in the mind.

{The Buddha likewise preached that life in the material world is similar to a dream.}

We should forget the dying man too. We can follow him on that one trail soon enough.""

p. 35 anniversary-return to the living of the soul of the dead

"It was believed that a dead person's soul came back one year to the day after death.

{[In Haiti,] "Upon death, ... the soul goes "beneath the waters." ... ... the individual ... may be "drawn out of the water" after a year and a day" (DDS, p. 73).}

So the people made an image of the person who [had] died out of yucca stalk. They put clothes on it and danced with the image in sorrow."

DDS = Kenaz Filan & Raven Kaldera : Drawing Down the Spirits : the Traditions and Techniques of Spirit Possession. Destiny Bks, Rochester (VT), 2009.


Ruby Modesto & Guy Mount : Not for Innocent Ears : Spiritual Traditions of a Desert Cahuilla Medicine Woman. new edn. Sweetlight Bks, Arcata (CA), 1986.