1971 Guadalupe’s home, Colonia Acayapan, Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico
One of the first questions don Jose asked me was, “Do know you how to dream”?
Whenever a person seeking a cure came to don Jose, he would tell them he will dream on it, that night, and let them know the next day. Dreaming was the primary channel to access insights, in order to learn: the cause of an illness, how to cure it and what life changes a person needs, in order to become healthy again.
Learning to dream is a skill, acquired via apprenticeship, of at least six years, that includes celibacy, visits to wilderness places of luminosity and power (kakauyari), and periodic use of the Huichol sacramental peyote cactus.
“Nierica” don Jose explained (as did the Huichols yarn artists of his village) is a tunnel or passageway between waking and dreaming. Yarn painting artists ( in his village) depict it like a mandala, or kaleidoscope of symmetrical patterns. When we were in California (1976) we went to see: “2001 A Space Odyssey” by Stanley Kubrick. Don Jose liked the movie, and said the rush of colors and patterns that appeared before the space capsule descended to Jupiter was an extraordinary display of the nierica.
The Huichol word “nierica” has various definitions, including: my face, votive offering, mirror, and for some yarn artists and shamans the “interface” region between waking and dreaming.
(c) Paul C Adams 2014