Ricardo Amaringo is a Shipibo shaman based out of Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual. This Shipibo spiritual center is set in the jungle about 90 minutes outside of the city of Iquitos, Peru. I made it to this place after traveling around the Ecuadorian coast and the beautiful Cajas National Park. After relaxing in Montañita and dipping into the hot springs of Baños de Cuenca, I took a 24 hour bus ride down the northern Peruvian coast to the giant capital city of Peru—Lima. After taking less than a day's worth of rest from bus life, I immediately hopped back on a bus for another 24 hours to the perfectly placed high stoned city of Cusco. Cusco was enchanting and magnificent from an architectural, culinary, cultural, historical and Mother Nature point of view. After exploring the city for a few days I coordinated a five-day expedition to Machu Picchu, trekking through the much lesser traveled Salkantay Mountain. Hoards of crunched up groups of people take up the Inca Trail every day, but the Salkantay trek is a liberatingly expansive and much less crowded trek up the backside of the Salkantay Mountain towards the sacred Incan city. This beautiful alternative route is so quiet at times you can hear the notorious goblins howling at night.
Nicholas Kalmakoff died a lonely and impoverished death in the north of Paris in 1955. The ignored and talented, misanthropic visionary artist went largely unnoticed throughout his productive life as a painter. He grew up on Grimm's fairytales, which on some level, influenced his life as a painter of the fantastical. This, combined with his eccentrically suppressed beliefs on sex, spirituality, decadence and his fascination with his orthodox depiction of a hoof-and-horned devil influenced his life's direction into an alternative world of misogynistic eroticism.
A contemporary actor of Kalmakoff's time named, Mgebrov, recounted a rather peculiar encounter with the talented, but, deranged, devil-obsessed painter:
One day, while I was visiting him, he whispered to me mysteriously that, for some time now, he'd been painting the devil. 'I have all the sketches upstairs' he said with a strange glint in his eye. 'I stay awake late into the night and keep watch for him. I've caught a glimpse of his eyes... his tail... even his hooves... but I haven't yet seen him entirely. Still, I've made hundreds of sketches - do you want to see them?' And, in fact, in the dusty attic of his bizarre little home he showed me a fascinating and frightening variety of sketches portraying the devil's eyes, tail and hooves. He was absolutely certain that these were things he'd seen.
Triple lightning building strikes are rarer than double rainbows, and Craig Shimala, the multimedia director over at Threadless, has captured this heaven-meets-earth phenomenon on camera on two separate occasions. The Chicago inhabitant captured lightning simultaneously striking three of Chicago's tallest buildings on video over four years ago, and in a still from a recent time-lapse he shot on June 30th. East coast cities were taken by storm in last week's thunderous summer showers, but none got quite as lit-up as Chicago, and there's pretty amazing video below to prove it.
The United States was recently eliminated from the 2014 World Cup in an unbelievably exciting 2-1 extra time loss to Belgium, a country smaller than the state of Maryland. The amount of American heart and spirit poured into the game was unquestionable, it's the lack of technical talent (Tim Howard completely excluded) that usually prevents the US national team from advancing into the round of eight. The lack of talent on the team stems from a lack of national interest in the sport. And, I believe, disinterest in this global sport is deeply rooted in a single word; in fact, it might be the most boring word in all of the languages of the world: soccer.
In the text below we have another epic Ayahuasca Trip report from our friend Kairon over in the Netherlands. This is Part 5 in an ongoing trip report exploratory document entitled: Teachings From Hyperspace. In Part 5, Kairon begins to experiment with Ayahuasca outside of the familiar Santo Daime setting, and begins to hold at-home ceremony with the shockingly powerful psychedelic home-brew sacrament. We meet a new key figure pervading through Part 5 of this Ayahuasca experience, the archangel, Metatron. This esoteric being helps obliterate Kairon's, then, current understanding of the world, and introduces a new aspect to reality that few of us have had the tenacity to explore. This might be the greatest Ayahuasca Trip Report to date. We hope you breathe these transdimensional teachings in, learn something new, and enjoy.
Metatron is an archangel in Judaism and in Christian folklore. According to Jewish medieval apocrypha, he is Enoch, ancestor of Noah, transformed into an angel. There are no references to Metatron as an angel in the Jewish Tanakh or Christian scriptures (Old and New Testament); however, Genesis 5:24 is often cited as evidence of Enoch's bodily ascension into heaven —"And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." Although he is mentioned in a few brief passages in the Talmud, Metatron appears primarily in medieval Jewish mystical texts and other post-scriptural esoteric sources, such as the Books of Enoch:1 Enoch: Book of Parables, 2 Enoch, and 3 Enoch. In Rabbinic tradition, he is the highest of the angels and serves as the celestial scribe.
Setting: At home ceremony, Netherlands
Shulgin Rating Scale: +++ / ++++
Duration: 2.5 hours - 12 hours.
Part V ‘Redefining Reality’
Heel onze wonden
Oh houd me vast
Vul mijn hart met Licht
Heal our wounds
Oh hold me tight
Fill my heart with Light
Kairon, Oh Metatron, hymn 1.
It is the first time I am drinking “homebrew” ayahuasca in my living room in which I created a sacred space for the ritual. I enter hyperspace and meet a radiant being I recognize as the archangel Metatron. He radiates light, I relax my pre-flight tension. He stands in front of me and blesses me with his hands. I am filled with Light. It is intense, yet my whole body relaxes. I open up to the Light and allow it to flow through my body.
I am at home and enter hyperspace. Metatron is near and I start hearing a melody. I get my guitar and try to play it. After some practice I seem to match what I hear inside. Then the words start coming: Oh Metatron, light from the stars. I write them down, and sing the song along with the simple melody. Then a next line: Give me strength, take me far away. Oh Metatron, heal our wounds. Oh hold me tight, fill my heart with Light. Every time I write down a line, the next one pops up. As I sing the words, I experience them. Metatron is made from starlight. He gives me the strength to travel to other dimensions of reality. As he stands by, it feels like he holds me, embraces me and fills my heart with Light, helping to heal my wounds.
I enter hyperspace and Metatron takes me with him to a city of Light. Everything is Light, beauty, radiance. I recognize this place, but only from seeing it from a distance. This time I actually enter the city. Metatron gives me some sort of guided tour. All of the buildings are thought forms. Every house is a paradigm, an image of the world, a conceptual framework. I look around. Some buildings are very small, literally narrow-minded. Then I spot the building of Antroposophy. It is amazingly beautiful. It is hard to explain, because the stuff the place is made from are thoughts—it isn’t really comparable with any earthly structure. It has something that reminds me of high and small Gothic windows and wall drawings. But these earthly structures are only the material counterparts of these spiritual structures, relating to each other like a 2D drawing and an actual 3D object—a lower dimensional download of something I lack language for. Then I see another building. It is some sort of cathedral, a huge structure, kilometers long. I enter the structure. I feel humbled, amazed. Metatron explains to me: this is the building of Love. I feel astonished, touched, a feeling of breath-grasping beauty. While I walk around I look at the nice things that are possible with this type of architecture. I enjoy myself for some time in a corner in a way that isn’t easy to describe. Everywhere I look there are reflections, somehow like a play of light in mirrors and crystals. But what is reflected isn’t exactly light. It reflects my consciousness, the good and loving parts of my consciousness, to be more precise. Looking at the beauty of the architecture means seeing the beauty in oneself. The light of consciousness is caught, broken, reflected, mirrored into rainbow colors that contain images, feelings, love. It closely resembles looking into the eyes of someone that loves you deeply. While I slowly retreat from the building of love after some time, the beauty of the experience stays with me for several days.
After experimenting with some variations in my brewing technique, resulting in varying strengths, I seemed to have created an incredibly strong brew. The ayahuasca hits me with an amazing force. When I open my eyes I have visual hallucinations like the waving and flowing patterns on the carpet. I am propelled into hyperspace again, even though my trip has already been happening for the past two hours. The place I am in is crowded with entities. I am sucked into an ontological struggle. In the beginning it seems to be a normal conversation. They say: You talk about this love. And you hope this love is the ultimate ground of being. But is that true? Let us tell you, the universe is a battlefield. Those with the most power survive. Just look at the earth. Can’t you see we are destroying it? So where is this love of yours? Can it save you? Your love is a small corner in the universe, some small garden, while the bigger picture is dominated by use, with force and power. I feel awful and afraid. They can’t be right, can they? I think I am sure of that. Love is stronger. Is it not? I search for helpers. I sing for Mary, Santa Maria. I sing for Light. Sometimes I seem to find it, but there is some doubt in my system, some sort of ontological fear I am not able to tame. I feel like I am trapped in an ontological rollercoaster. Around this corner, my view is eternal love. The next corner, my view is the deepest, desolate hell.