The following is a shorten version of my story from our forthcoming, Tequila and Chocolate, Far Travels of the Morning Star, Memoirs of this World and the Otherworld – The Adventures of the Morning Star and his Soulmate:
The true essence of every religious system lies in the revelation of an individual soul closely bound to the soul of the cosmos: it has to do, in other words, with making man divine. (Laurette Séjourné, Burning Water)
It’s late May of 1995 and once again I find myself in Mexico, not in the jungles of the Yucatan or the mountainous highlands of Chiapas, but a ways outside of Mexico City. After I had determined that the star of my vision was Venus—the Morning Star, I had a feeling within my heart that I needed to visit Teotihuacán.
Words can only portray a small portion of the magical feeling one has when they first set their eyes on the ruins of Teotihuacán. The twin pyramids of the Sun and the Moon—awe inspiring to say the least, crown the ruined city in its majesty. This mysterious archeological site is surrounded by a tall barbed wire fence, which, in the fantasy of my mind, I wonder if it’s to keep people out or to keep people in! At night the pyramids are lit with an unearthly glow, suggesting a possible landing point for extra-terrestrials. Not far from the entrance to this “City of Gods” lies the local hotel that I was staying in, Villas Arqueologicas Teotihuacán.
Many people have a problem falling asleep at night, which for various reasons is very often connected with the stress and the worry in their life. Falling asleep is usually not a problem for me. But tonight, I was excited and my “land of dreams” was far away. I focused on letting the chatter in my mind disappear. And then in a semi-awake state, a voice within my mind said—“go for a run!” And repeated a second time—“go for a run.”
I’ve been a runner and a martial artist for thirty years and in that time I have always preferred late afternoon for my runs, never late at night. And after all those years of training and running, and of course the injuries (not to mention being in my late 40’s), when the sun sets my body determines it’s time to rest not run. I looked at the clock—close to midnight. I was in Mexico in an area that I’d never seen before—a white man running down a dark moon-less Mexican road at midnight. If you can imagine, this could possibly be the opening scene for a Quentin Tarantino movie. Hey, but the voice said—“go for a run” and I couldn’t sleep. Being who I am, I also thought that maybe I could find a way in through the fence and explore the ruins at night. I’ve done this before at other sacred sites such as Machu Picchu in Peru and Tulúm in the Yucatan.
As I walked outside the hotel the quiet and the aromatic scents triggered memories of times long lost to my genetic being and soul. In the years of my travels, many of the ancient sites I have journeyed to have resonated deep within my soul’s memory. As I walked through the darkness, feeling without seeing, the soul memories of Teotihuacán began to vibrate within the core of my being. I came to the road surrounding the fenced ruins. Very little light was casted by the few overworked street lamps. As I began my run, off to the left in the distance, the illuminated Pyramid of the Sun glowed as a welcoming beacon to all who dare travel in these lands by night. Little time was needed to determine that it would not be a good idea to try and get through the fence. I figured I would just enjoy the run and wait for the morning.
Over the years I’ve been involved in some frightful situations and little did I know that this run was going to be very unique. People run for a variety of reasons—for exercise, as an escape from the stresses of their life and for competition, either against themselves or others. In my case, I run to connect with the heavens; various ideas, insights and knowledge come to me while I’m putting in the sweat-riddled miles. Tonight was no different; as I explored with my mind the symbology of Teotihuacán, I rounded a corner and out of the darkness came a pack of wild dogs, snarling and snapping. Stopping suddenly, I had a choice to be made very quickly—keep running towards them and engage them in battle (but the last thing I needed tonight was to kill someone’s pet and end up in a Mexican jail as I’ve came close to before) or to get bite or scratched and worry about an infection or worse! My final option was to slowly back away, turn and retrace my steps. What would you do?
Of course as I slowly backed up and turned to run. Suddenly, out of the darkness and seemingly out of the void, a figure came running towards me. I wondered if it was the owner of the dogs. But the dogs had come from the other direction. No more time than it took for this thought to enter my mind and then disappear, there was a young, but ageless, man standing in front of me. As I looked back on this experience, later the next day, I realized that the dogs had suddenly disappeared.
This young man seemed to be agitated or maybe scared; he was speaking a language (not Spanish) that I had not heard before, except for a short phrase in English. Pointing at me he said, “Quetzalcóatl —the Sixth Sun.” Then other words, which I could not understand, then repeatedly again and again pointing at me: “Quetzalcóatl —the Sixth Sun!” Time seemed to have stood still as he was now pointing to my feet. Did he want my running shoes—but his shoes looked brand new! More strange words and then once again he repeated, “Quetzalcóatl —the Sixth Sun” while pointing at my shoes. I’d just run into a pack of vicious dogs that seemed to have disappeared; now this strange person was calling me “Quetzalcóatl—the Sixth Sun”.
Next he removed his non-descript baseball cap, which also appeared brand new, and offered it to me. In my many travels I have learned that in many cultures it is impolite and dis-respectful to refuse a gift. I took the cap even though I didn’t want it. Then deciding that this interchange was not getting us anywhere, I handed back the cap. Then a strange thing happened. As I placed the cap in his hands I looked closely into his eyes. The eyes are the windows into the soul to the depths of creation; I felt rather than saw an endless timeless space reflected in his eyes. This feeling is very difficult to put into words—it’s sadness but not sadness, it’s compassion but not compassion, it’s reality but not reality, it’s the meeting point of chaos and order and order and chaos! As he accepted the hat back, I had this overwhelming urge to hug him. There were no words exchanged as I broke the hug which didn’t feel real. Realizing this would be a good time to leave I smiled slightly, bowed turned and started running back the way I came. After a few steps, I looked back—he was not there/he had disappeared.
Well, so much for an uneventful run! After what happened, the mere act of running seemed boring; a few more minutes passed and then the sound—a rifle shot in the distance and the undeniable ricochet near me!
In times of danger our mind and our body can respond to the threat in a variety of ways; fear may freeze us or courage may move us and sometimes we just react without any conscious though at all. It wasn’t fear or courage just reaction as my legs moved the fastest that they moved in many years. But at that moment, my mind, being the wondrous thing that it is, remembered a scene from a movie starring Peter Falk. As the characters are running and being shot at (I believe on an airstrip in Central America), Peter Falk yells “serpentine.” Guess what, that’s what I did—zigzag…another shot, no ricochet and finally safety, not in the light but in the dark!
Over the years since 1995, I’ve wondered about his emphasis on pointing to my shoes while saying: “Quetzalcóatl—the Sixth Sun” and then the hat. Never figuring out the meaning of both, it remained an enigma to me until several years later when it struck me out of the clear blue. All shoes have one thing in common – soles (soul) and for the hat that covers our head—symbolically mind. He was saying that I had the mind and soul of Quetzalcóatl—the Morning Star! One last point, it is important to note that the final creation of the Fifth Sun took place at Teotihuacán.
Quetzalcóatl may be viewed spiritually as the “sacred and precious energy that has blossomed.” In other words, “matter ‘buds and flowers’ because of the power uniting the opposites.”[i] Quetzalcóatl, the Feathered Serpent, is the awakened divine human. And this awakening is achievable in this lifetime, here and now.
[i] Laurette Séjourné, Burning Water, 104.