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Excerpts from Books by Carla Woody
Miguelito About Prophecy
... Miguelito was a respected shaman in his own right, coming from the nearby Mollamarka Indian village. One day he offered to give a reading using his traditional oracle, coca leaves. The session was held at night. When I came to my reading, I found a surreal setting instead of the normal place where we took meals. The room was candlelit, there being no electricity.

Miguelito was seated at the table, candles and moonshine coming through the windows assisting his concentration. Spread before the candles, masses of coca leaves were laying on his mesa. Over the glow of the tapers I acknowledged Don Américo and his daughter Arilu who were seated to the left of Miguelito. Having no facility with Quechua or Spanish myself, Américo would translate for Miguelito and Arilu would, in turn, translate the Spanish into English for me.

Miguelito was bent trance-like over the leaves, sifting them with his gnarly fingers and muttering under his breath. He acknowledged my presence by motioning for me to sit down on his right with a slight gesture of his hand, barely looking up. Presently, he picked up a few coca leaves and began chewing them, still muttering between chews. After a short time, he spit them out onto the table. Moving his hands over them he seemed to be noting where the pieces fell, perhaps in relation to each other or to the other leaves on the table. Then, he began to speak in a low guttural voice.

Stopping, he turned and looked me directly in the eyes as though searching for something and then went back to the coca leaves continuing to speak for a few more minutes, conferring with Don Américo. Then, he sat back waiting.

When the translation finally was completely received by my ears, Miguelito's words seemed quite unlikely to me. "That storm we had the other night?"

I nodded. How could I not recall it? I had started awake in the middle of the night to thunder like I had never heard before. Lightning had lit up the room from its savage dance across the mountaintops right outside my window. I had sat up in bed watching the storm for the longest time wondering if all was safe.

"The lightning was for you and its filaments are inside you now. I'm surprised that it was for you."

No more surprised than I was, as he sat there nodding. I just looked at him in wonderment, unclear of his meaning. Then, he abruptly got up from his chair, came over to me and starting rooting through the hair on the top of my head with his fingers.

"Ah, there's where it went in," seeming now satisfied with his finding he sat back down.

Excerpt from Calling Our Spirits Home: Gateways to Full Consciousness
by Carla Woody

wall About Unity
... After a while, Don Américo motioned, inviting us to follow him on a walk around the mesa's edge. I followed closely behind him, the others straggling farther back enjoying the view. After a distance, he came to a sudden halt and brought me over to the very rim and gestured to a flat rock jutting out below, indicating I was to light there and meditate.

I balked, clearly telling him with my gesture, "I don't think so!"

After all, he had no way of knowing -- or perhaps he did -- about the phobia of heights that I'd had for a long period in my life. I'd undergone a process some years before that released the fear, but I wasn't sure I wanted to test it to the extent to which he was directing me.

"Yes!" he said to me adamantly in Spanish. "This is good for your work."

Figuring he knew how to hook me, and grumbling a bit internally to myself, I acquiesced. Don Américo went on about his own business, leaving me to find the way to my perch. I didn't want to think about the sheer drop of at least a thousand feet and preferred to look instead at the narrow ground where I would place my feet. I charted a short course and then carefully picked my way to the stone and settled into a comfortable seated position. Legs crossed, spine straight and ready to meditate, a bizarre urge ran through me. There was a strong part of me that wanted nothing more than to physically leap into the lonely, empty space in front of me that stretched for miles! Quickly quelling that impulse and pushing it from my mind, I closed my eyes.

The stillness that had begun in the chullpa made itself known again and I immersed myself in the quiet. After a while, I heard a tranquil wind from the right, whistling softly, slowly coming along the perimeter of the mesa. Surprisingly, I felt it touch my body and instead of moving around me, it went through me on its way to the left. The wind was immensely long, its blowing gentle, but when its tail finally exited, it left me bodiless, having indulgently thrown me into the abyss I'd wished for after all. I dissipated into the dark nothingness of the Void while, at the same time, merged with the totality of the landscape, covering it. The silence was such that I have no words for it, but a feeling of profound tranquility and yet expansive joy permeated the being that I call myself.

I have no idea how long I remained in this state, a minute or an hour. It was timeless. Somewhere in the midst of it, something compelled me to open my eyes. And I received a jolt. Not only was my consciousness not fully in my body -- so to speak -- when I did so, but I had also erased from my awareness that I was seated on the precipice of a very high mesa rather than the usual ground! In addition, I had catapulted myself from the blackest black into the brilliant light of the high Andean sun. I slammed my eyes shut, unwilling to experience the colossal contrast.

Slowly though, I began to feel the outlines of my body and the friendly stone supporting me. This time I took my time raising my outer eyelids and gazed without fear across the miles of the Alta Plano, the high plains, all the way to the ring of mountains on the other side. I found that I was taken with the beauty of this place that many would consider barren and lifeless. I had discovered the richness hidden from casual eyes.

Excerpted from Standing Stark: The Willingness to Engage
by Carla Woody

Don Américo About Heart Opening
The next morning held the usual gorgeous, blue desert sky. The group had hiked some distance from our camp and found a natural rock amphitheatre. We made ourselves comfortable in the shadows of the boulders, out from under the Utah sun which was already getting quite warm. Don Américo began to speak. I don't remember now exactly what he said. I was being lulled by the lilting rhythms of his and his translator's vocal patterns that took the meaning of the words to some unconscious level.

Suddenly, he stopped and gazed intensely at me. He motioned for me to come to the middle of the circle where he stood. Under normal circumstances, I would have done so reluctantly, if at all, not being comfortable "exposing" myself to others in that way. In that case, however, I felt completely at ease.

I approached him. He stood directly in front of me only about eighteen inches away, his liquid brown eyes locking onto mine. It was as though he was channeling pure love directly into my being. Both of his hand hovered right outside my body at the chest level.

Making a motion of pulling apart outside the heart center, he said, "The way to see is with the body's eye."

I felt what I could only describe as a sweet welling in that energy center that began to undulate, creating a rippling effect.

He moved one hand up to my forehead. Making a wiping motion in my subtle energy field, he proclaimed, "Not the mind's eye!"

I felt something shut at that level, all the while the heart energy continued to reverberate. I was unaware of anything other than large waves of effervescent warmth that seemed to echo silently, returning from the stones surrounding us, further intensifying the awakening. People seated around us gasped and murmured. I have no idea how long I stood that way. I do not know how I found my feet to return to my seat. I do not recall what occurred the rest of the day.

I was opened. I was filled. I'd had my first direct experience -- beyond words.

Excerpted from Standing Stark: The Willingness to Engage
by Carla Woody

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