Plant Medicine

We are told to lay low.  Not to draw attention to ourselves or DJ.  If there is an out pour of support for him then a deeper investigation might lead to harsher penalties from a  French judge.

The strategy is that even though, there is a documentary, a book, videos, and many, many folks who have sat with him in Ayahuasca Ceremonies through out the planet, maybe the judge will send DJ back to Peru to be with his family, if, somehow, evidence of his long history abroad of bringing the Amazonian brew can be dissimulated.
Perhaps so.

France is very anti-immigrant at the moment so the charges of importation and distribution of a controlled substance against DJ along with his host, Cyrillio, who apparently had been on the radar of French police for a bit is mired in complex sociopolitical dynamics.

Sadness, loss, disappointment, anger and hope  is what I am experiencing as I write this.

They each have separate lawyers, Cyrilio and Don Jose.  The Ayahuasca Defense Fund is involved.  I presume DJ will be presented as what he is: A traditional healer from Peru. Cyrilio and his operation will most likely get scoured for trafficking. Money needs to be raised. 10,000 Euros to begin with and no less than 40,000 euros as Jose's case moves through the court system for the next year and half or so.  Maybe, though unlikely, bond will be posted and he can stay with a French family awaiting trial instead of incarceration at Vesoul, France.

 DJ has very wealthy friends and associates who support him.  There is a good chance that the funds for his defense can be raised.  Character references, testimonies of the benefits of Ayahuasca and so on can be sent to his lawyer and so forth.   The French Court, along with with many who work the levers of justice, politics, medicine, and spirituality will benefit from being educated about the Vine of the Soul or so we hope.
In the meantime, letters of support, clothing, etc., can be sent to DJ.  A prisoner number is given.  All correspondence will be checked by the guards.
I am saddened, first of all, because DJ and I collaborated on a book and documentary together through MWP Divine Arts.  We also activated Ceremonies throughout many new places. I learned much from him as his shamanic musician, ally, and most of all friend for many years. We had a great time together.  I feel a sense of loss and concern for my brother who must be experiencing fear, loneliness, regret, and anger.

I am also, passingly, upset with him.  DJ had been declared personna non grata almost 5 years ago for violating the conditions of his tourist visa in the United States.   I had advised him not to venture out as he was planning but sure enough the rolls of cash, paintings, business cards and the acknowledgement of a friend he trusted that he was earning income while in the US were obvious violations of Immigration Law.

Those of you inside the world of Aya know how treacherous certain components of the practice can be.  From the outset Aya medicine has been deployed as a shamanic weapon against enemies in the Wilds of South America. The healing properties of the brew can be secondary to other interests. Fear, avarice, protection, and retaliation have motivated many of the indigenous people to use this amazing compound in the service of all kinds of power games.  Even though the Aya Diaspora has brought other traditions from the West such as yoga,  Buddhist brushtrokes, New age sympathies,  neuro-cognitive therapies, etc., to generate unique hybridities in the ritual use of Ayahuasca, shadow lines st permeate the Aya habitat.  Such dark features of the practice along with Ayahuasca's illegality throughout much of the planet create a culture that is riddled with players that are in it for the money,  fame, power over others, status, and the full spectrum of the human all too-human.

Shamans, curanderos, healers as we know are self shamanizing while in Ceremony.  It is not just about the participants.  The facilitators of Ayahuasca groups are involved in an experiment of psychological and spiritual transformation of their own through the songs, music, dance, prayers, cleansing and stories that occur in these circles.  DJ is no different and here is where I will allow myself to voice my upset.  Why do this, my dear amigo?  Why jeopardize your well being, the possible loss of longtime contact with your family, the distress this brings to many of us by taking such a chance in bringing medicine to France of all places and on the way to Bhutan? Do you need the money that much when you have a thriving legal spot in Pucallpa that brings you folks all year long at pricey admission fees? Is it to spread the medicine when it has already wound its way through the planet in the hands of many solid facilitators and shamans?  Who in your circle of associates is whispering to you to be so reckless with your life?  What is their agenda?  What drives you to say "Yes" to such risk taking?

Very well.  Done.  I cleared an intense aggressive edge around the bust.

We are told to lay low.  In whatever country you reside and if you are tied to DJ in some way morph into an owl, bizon, armadillo, worm.  Avoid the surveillance apparatus. There is much value in this advice even though French law and the USA where I currently reside have different legal and sociopolitical and juridical constellations. Risk for an encounter with the Law is always a concern.  In my own personal case,  I choose a different strategy. I will continue on my path which is one of affirmation of many new collectives emerging, of novel subjectivities and embodiments, of hybrid lineages and spacious intelligence.  I will continue to surround my self with folks who have left behind certain kinds of predilections and ambitions.

 We are exalted creatures of pure wisdom magic and of open ended knowledge creating benefit in all ways.  We will find ways to advance Shamanism as an evolving wisdom culture.

Certainly, there is "medicine"  to ponder besides my personal integration of the situation:  Who regulates what you put in your body, how, and why?  How can international law benignly accommodate alternate religious/socio/political/medicinal practices?  How to address the rampant mythologizing of Aya through out the globe? What are the ethical responsibilities of facilitators, guides, and participants when transgressing the laws of their respective countries?   What do "healing,"  "awakening," mean in Plant medicine practices? 

For now, I will send my friend, DJ, clothes, songs and money.   I look forward to swimming with him again in the Amazon streams.  I look ahead to practice Ceremony anywhere on the earth a free sentient being.

1 comment:

William said...

Thank you Alberto
for alerting us to Do Jose's situation.
How can money be sent for his support?

Dare to be at peace