...reposted from Jun. 7th, 2002 at 6:16 AM with a few edits...
~This fall it will be thirty [eight] years since I journeyed to Mexico. I'm not talking about a day trip to TJ. I went all the way down to Chiapas, down by the Guatemalan border.
1972 had been a rough year. My draft lottery number had come up 39 the previous year, which meant there was a very good chance that I was going to Viet Nam. I was torn over this. Military service is part of my heritage. On one side of my family, the men had served as career NCO's in the British army as far back as the War of the League of Augsberg in the 1680's. On the other side, they had ridden with Bobby Lee as officers in the Army of Northern Virginia during the American Civil War.
But by 1971 it was obvious to nearly everyone that Viet Nam was a disaster. I had studied the war extensively: read books and reports, talked with over a hundred returning Viet Nam veterans, etc. I knew without a doubt that we were done. But I still felt the pull.
My step father got completely hysterical at any mention of my doing military service. As a child of Eastern European Jews, the military was still seen as an instrument of racial oppression [Czarist Russia drafted Jews to 'assimilate' them.]. Plus his own control issues were raised by the thought of my becoming a soldier of any kind. My father was in the Air Force in the UK when he met my mother, so all this challenged my step father on several levels.
As usual, the issue was resolved with an over expenditure of time, money, and energy that left all concerned emotional drained. If I had just said, "I'm gay" it would have been over in an instant. As it was, I told that lie, along with several others, and that is what finally ended the whole exercise.
Afterward, I needed to escape. It would be a quarter of a century before a past life regression lifted the pain and allowed me some peace about my actions to avoid military service. In the meantime, I desperately required some sort of 'passage' into manhood. Fate made a trip to Mexico available to me. In the fall of '72, I left New York with a rather motley group. Bobby Hall, who put the trip together, was someone I knew from high school. A mutual friend, Kevin Cooke, had been Bobby's dealing partner in New York. They both felt it was time to get out of town for a while. The rest are not worth mentioning. Except for Danny, who we picked up in Memphis. He was a Viet Nam vet from Blue Mountain, Mississippi and a former Hell's Angel. We talked small arms and biker club social structure and became friends.
It took us a week to drive to Mexico City, where we stayed with Bobby's sister for two weeks. She had married a wealthy Mexican industrialist. Funny thing is, he was a Jew who originally came from Poland, but had grown up in Mexico. We got along because I could already speak a fair amount of Yiddish even then.
The drive to Chiapas took another week. After a few days of messing around in San Cristobal, the regional capital, Danny and I decided to hitch hike to Comitan, which was supposed to our jumping off point into the jungle. [Bobby's plan was to build a research center in the Usumacinta River valley.] We got there in a day. The rest followed two days later.
Danny told me that the rest of them were fuck ups and that Bobby's plan wasn't going to happen, but that I should stick it out unless it became too dangerous. He said I could use the 'seasoning'.
We headed into the jungle to a village called Tziscao. These people were [and still are] pure Mayan. We erected up a large tent by the side of a lake and settled in. After a week, Danny left, wishing me well. After a month, Kevin, with Sal from Brooklyn, took off in the car and never came back. We got a letter saying then had wrecked it and split the country. Bobby's fiance, Nancy came down to stay with us. Ray, who I despised, left soon after. So, it was just the three of us. All this in two months.
My mother wired me $200.00 every two weeks. That was a lot of money down there, back then. That is what we lived on. And fairly well, too. Every two weeks, on a Friday, I would go into town and pick up the money from the bank. I would get a hotel room, go out to dinner and go to the movies. Saturday morning, I would take the bus up to San Cristobal to see my friend Enoch. [He had helped get me out of jail. That's another story.]
I was reading a lot of books on the occult and psychic phenomenon. One Saturday morning I got on the bus to head north. I had a copy of "Psychic Discoveries Behind The Iron Curtain" with me. I was half way through it. I wasn't a 'morning person' even back then. Through my grogginess I heard a voice that sounded like wind chimes, "Come sit by me," it whispered. I looked around the bus, which had seemed empty a moment ago. And I saw her sitting toward the back, right where I would usually sit. She smiled.
As I sat next to her I saw a slim, attractive woman in her mid thirties with wide blue eyes, weathered from an outdoor life, but still pretty good looking. Her name was Zora Lita Chavez and she said she originally came from Montreal, but had lived in Los Angeles with her mother for the last few years. She was fascinated by my book. I told about some of what I had read so far, my favorite story being Mrs Mikailova of Leningrad. She could move a glass of milk across a table telekinetically. But only milk. And she would lose two or three pounds and have blurry vision for an or so afterward.
Zora Lita told me that she was a witch. I told her about how my high school sweetheart Kathy and I had planned to make a Hand of Glory three years earlier. We were going to chop off the hand of a Bowery bum and dry it during the Dog Days. The Hand of Glory is a very potent Majikal tool. But we didn't have the nerve to go through with it.
I was surprised that I told her that. But she laughed and said it was just as well that we didn't, because only a truly experienced practitioner could handle such a powerful tool.
Then, she spoke to me about her trip. She was returning from Guatemala. She had been recuperating from a Majikal journey in Oaxaca. She had danced with Mescalito and traveled 'up' several levels, until she had encountered a creature she could only describe as a 'vampire', though not what we would recognize as one. 'He' was a creature of energy and he was going to eat her soul and occupy her body. She knew that she was not strong enough to resist him, so she 'came down' and fled to the south. There a shaman she knew stood guard over her while she slept and regained her 'self'.
As she is telling me this, my memory of the event, the two of us sitting on that bus, surrounded by the locals, mostly Indians, is that we were in a small pocket of light in the middle of shadow. And her face started to become younger and brighter, glowing from within. She had shielded us and revealed herself to me. Then, she began to tell of her encounter with The Goddess.
A half dozen years earlier, she had dropped acid in the Central Valley of California. It was good, clean acid, made by people with clear energy. An artifact of the Sixties. As she peaked, she was surrounded by Monarch butterflies. When they parted, like a curtain, she saw a large elaborate stone temple in what had been an empty field. She 'knew' that it was a Temple of The Goddess.
She ran up its stairs and inside found a cauldron filled with swirling fire. She leaped into the fire and was 'transformed'. Then, she found herself, once again, outside the temple, which had subtly changed. Once more, she ran up the stairs and this time found the cauldron filled with swirling water. She leaped in and was 'transformed' once more. Again, she found herself outside the temple. Again, it had 'shifted' in appearance. She ran up the stairs and found the cauldron filled with swirling air, like clouds, she said. She leaped in and was 'transformed'. This time, she found herself in an empty field. But she could feel those three temples inside of her Spirit.
At this point, the 'shadow' began to fade and we were coming into San Christobal. She once again looked like the woman I had first met only a few hours ago, though it seemed years. When we got off the bus, she gave me her phone number in LA and drew three Majikal symbols in my address book. She looked at me as if to say, "Would you like to be my lover tonight?" I was twenty and strong and handsome and full of vitality. But, I was in a trance and could not respond. She smiled wistfully at me, gave me a kiss on the cheek, and disappeared into the crowd. I never saw her again.
Five months later, I was in LA. I called and got her mother. She told me that Zora Lita was in the south of France, at a Sufi encampment. I left a message, but I never heard back from her.
I have thought of Zora Lita on and off over the years. But it wasn't until the summer of '96 when I was telling someone about Megan and how she was one of a group of women [there would be one more: Sarah] who had lead me to, and upon, The Left Hand Path, that the meaning of that encounter hit me. Zora Lita had started me on a twenty two year cycle to that place I found that year. And it was Sarah, who I met two months later, who would help me open The Door through which my Spirit Guide E would enter my life.
...and most of you know what that event has led to...