That was the end of the faerie tale, when the simple brother’s pet bird awakens the sleeping princess from her coma. The chirping bird calls back the lost soul from the path to the underworld. Wealth and power could not accomplish this, only love awakened her elan vital. The King, her father, offered a portion of his land to anyone who could heal her. None could; neither magician nor powerful doctor, because the sickness of her soul needed a loving counterpart, in this case the masculine, to complete her, to make her whole.
This idea is central to the Chinese Book of Changes, the I Ching. Spontaneous affection is the glue of human relatedness, “the all-inclusive principle of union” (Hexagram #54, Kuei Mei, The Marrying Maiden). When we feel that magic attract us to another person, we can open a door to another world, even call back the dieing so that they can be reborn. Spring is a good time for such miracles. The earth which appeared dead is called back to life. That surprising renewal came for me in the magic of a ceramic coffee cup on Easter morning.
I had attended a Brazilian Santo Daime Work, called a Mesa Branca or White Table Work Saturday night. We drank medicine, sang and prayed, even called down the healing and protective spirits in their Christian forms of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, not to mention their Afro-Brazilian counterparts. The prayer service was profoundly strong, the teachings subtle but noticeably transformative. Although it wasn’t Greek Easter, I cooked lamb stew. That was a traditional food in my wife’s family, after the midnight service, where we symbolically received the Light of God in the form of lighted candles, we brought the Spirit home with us. Christ was called forth from the Underworld and reborn like the spring. We celebrated. We broke the fast. We called him forth with our songs and prayers. We rejoiced that the Dark Night of the Soul was over. That was what my Holy Saturday was like.
And in the morning around sunrise I needed my coffee latte. I had been fasting from coffee as it doesn’t mix well with ayahuasca. I wanted my morning ritual of coffee and cream and I had my close friend there to complete the night’s ritual. I love drinking with my friends. So we stopped at my favorite shop in the town where I Greek folk dance. The barista loved my ceramic cup. This was not unusual as most of them do. It is hand cast and extremely light weight, and it fits perfectly into my 2006 Chevy’s cup holder. But the light, or should I say the “glow” of the Daime was upon me and my friend. We engaged the barista in conversation. He told me his friends studied ceramics in the nearby college and that’s why he was so amazed by my thrift shop cup from Ojai. When I went back to get a refill, my server disclosed that he drinks ayahuasca during trance dancing. Now I hadn’t said a word about the Daime to him, yet the medicine in him was recognizing it in me. We formed a psychic bridge of spontaneous affection. I gave him my card. We plan to get together and talk more about our experiences.
Life calls to life. After driving my friend to his home, I drove up to Ojai and arrived in time for the morning breakfast in the Native American Church peyote ceremony. I was welcomed in and my granddaughter asked me to sit beside her. After the ceremony I talked to my nephews about the inner feminine in men, our inherited ancestral aggressiveness and how to deal with it along the lines of our lineage. Then I said goodbye and arrived at Our Lady and All Angels Liberal Catholic Church in time for Easter Mass. Three traditions, and all affirming the rebirth of the human spirit in their unique ways. Yes, life calls to life and we are reborn with it.