Monday, April 30, 2012

Discovering Sorcery and Black Magic in New Mexico

Figurehead at Gallina Canyon Ranch*
Michael Taussig, anthropology professor at Columbia University, writes about how he discovered through his work with Shamans using the powerful hallucinogen, yagé,  a crack in our everyday world leading to another dimension, a realm he calls “the space of death.” ⁠1
Indigenous Spirit standing guard outside a gallery in downtown Santa Fe*
“It helped me make sense of my yagé experience, blending personal worlds with a large historical view of the European conquest of the New World bringing into juxtaposition the spirit underworlds of Africa, Spain, and the Indians, with each group attributing power to the spirits of the Other, very much including the magic and sorcery entailed therein….”
Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno, Unknown Artist*
Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos, NM
“For me the space of death was a space of transgression, more like a time out of time in which anything could happen and catch you by surprise. As I figure it, this space of death allows for unworldly visitations and interior journeys, as by shamans with their hallucinogens, but it also occurs when terror strikes or the world falls apart, as with disease and tragedy and everyday states of emergency" like today's 24/7 news cycles of death, destruction, war, and global warming with human extinction predicted to be right around the corner.
Nyandak, Tibetan artist, untitled oil & acrylic on canvas*
Mirador Gallery, Santa Fe
“Then, no shaman is necessary. The space is charged, “shamanic,” one might say, all on its own. The deadest, which means the most alive, layers of this space of death are not innocent death but deaths due to what could be called the Conquest, the Ongoing Conquest, ongoing to the present day with the dislocation of indigenous people worldwide" as rich nations and corporations buy up all the natural resources and rich farmlands at the expense of a sense of place and living sustainably within the rhythms of nature.
"The Last Supper" Jonathan Warm Day, Taos*
Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos, NM
Taussig says the Conquest has stalled; the end game has come: we are now suffering through “the last writhing of the Great Experiment” called capitalism.  And out of the ashes of old, out of this space of death, new mythic forces are arising.⁠2

* Above photos taken by J. Stimmell during April 2012 trip to New Mexicao
1 Taussig, Michael (2011-10-20). I Swear I Saw This: Drawings in Fieldwork Notebooks, Namely My Own. University of Chicago Press. Kindle Edition.
Jung also talks about this crack in reality that happens only in extraordinary circumstancese , capable of causing a sudden paradigm shift to wholeness:  "Only something overwhelming, no matter what form of expression it uses, can challenge the whole of man and force him to react as a whole. " 
2 I Swear I Saw This: Drawings in Fieldwork Notebooks, Namely My Own (Kindle Locations 1409-1425).

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