Being in Dreaming_ An Initiation into the Sorcerers' World - Florinda Donner.pdf

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“Being in Dreaming: An Initiation into the
Sorcerers' World” - ©1991 by Florinda Donner
For all those who dream sorcerers' dreams.
And for the few who dreamt them with me.
Author's Note
Chapter 1. ---------- 4
Chapter 2. ---------- 24
Chapter 3. ---------- 44
Chapter 4. ---------- 62
Chapter 5. ---------- 77
Chapter 6. ---------- 88
Chapter 7. ----------104
Chapter 8. ----------126
Chapter 9. ----------144
Chapter 10. ---------155
Chapter 11. ---------178
Chapter 12. ---------195
Chapter 13. ---------212
Chapter 14. ---------229
Chapter 15. ---------238
Chapter 16. ---------257
Chapter 17. ---------270
Chapter 18. ---------289
Chapter 19. ---------310
Author's Note
My first contact with the sorcerers' world was not something I planned or sought out:
It was rather a fortuitous event.
I met a group of people in northern Mexico, in July of 1970, and they turned out to be
the strict followers of a sorcerers' tradition belonging to the Indians of pre-Columbian
That first meeting had a long-range, overpowering effect on me.
It introduced me to another world that coexists with ours.
I have spent twenty years of my life committed to that world.
This is the account of how my involvement began, and how it was spurred and
directed by the sorcerers who were responsible for my being there.
The most prominent of them was a woman named Florinda Matus. She was my mentor
and guide. She was also the one who gave me her name, Florinda, as a gift of love and
To call them sorcerers is not my choice.
Brujo or bruja, which mean sorcerer or witch, are the Spanish terms they themselves
use to denote a male or a female practitioner.
I have always resented the negative connotation of those words, but the sorcerers
themselves put me at ease, once and for all by explaining that what is meant by sorcery
is something quite abstract; the ability, which some people develop, to expand the
limits of normal perception.
The abstract quality of sorcery voids automatically, then, any positive or negative
connotation of terms used to describe its practitioners.
Expanding the limits of normal perception is a concept that stems from the sorcerers'
belief that our choices in life are limited, due to the fact that they are defined by the
social order.
Sorcerers believe that the social order sets up our lists of options, but we do the rest:
By accepting only these choices, we set a limit to our nearly limitless possibilities.
This limitation, they say, fortunately applies only to our social side and not to the other
side of us; a practically inaccessible side, which is not in the realm of ordinary
Their main endeavor, therefore, is to uncover that side.
They do this by breaking the frail, yet resilient, shield of human assumptions about
what we are and what we are capable of being.
Sorcerers acknowledge that in our world of daily affairs there are people who probe
into the unknown in pursuit of alternative views of reality.
The sorcerers contend that the ideal consequences of such probings should be the
capacity to draw from our findings the necessary energy to change, and to detach
ourselves from our definition of reality.
But the sorcerers argue that unfortunately such probings are essentially mental
endeavors: New thoughts and new ideas hardly ever change us.
One of the things I learned in the sorcerers' world was that without retreating from the
world, and without injuring themselves in the process, sorcerers do accomplish the
magnificent task of breaking the agreement that has defined reality.
Chapter 1
On an impulse after attending the baptism of a friend's child in the city of Nogales,
Arizona, I decided to cross the border into Mexico.
As I was leaving my friend's house, one of her guests, a woman named Delia Flores,
asked me for a ride to Hermosillo.
She was a dark-complexioned woman, perhaps in her mid-forties, of medium height
and stout build.
She was powerfully big, with straight black hair arranged into a thick braid.
Her dark, shiny eyes highlighted a shrewd, yet slightly girlish, round face.
Certain that she was a Mexican born in Arizona, I asked her if she needed a tourist
card to enter Mexico.
"Why should I need a tourist card to enter my own country?" she retorted, widening
her eyes with exaggerated surprise.
"Your mannerism and speech inflection made me think you were from Arizona," I
"My parents were Indians from Oaxaca," she explained, "but I am a ladina."
"What's a ladina?"
"Ladinos are sharp Indians who grow up in the city," she elucidated. There was an odd
excitement in her voice.
I was at a loss to understand as she added, "They take up the ways of the white man,
and they are so good at it that they can fake their way into anything."
"That's nothing to be proud of," I said judgingly. "It's certainly not too complimentary
to you, Mrs. Flores."
The contrite expression on her face gave way to a wide grin:
"Perhaps not to a real Indian or to a real white man," she said cheekily, "but I am
perfectly satisfied with it myself."
She leaned toward me, and added, "Do call me Delia. I've the feeling we're going to be
great friends."
Not knowing what to say, I concentrated on the road.
We drove in silence to the check point.
The guard asked for my tourist card, but didn't ask for Delia's. He didn't seem to notice
her- no words or glances were exchanged between them.
When I tried to talk to Delia, she forcefully stopped me with an imperious movement
of her hand.
Then the guard looked at me questioningly. Since I didn't say anything, he shrugged
his shoulders and waved me on.
"How come the guard didn't ask for your papers?" I asked when we were some
distance away.
"Oh, he knows me," she lied, and knowing that I knew she was lying, she burst into a
shameless laughter.
"I think I frightened him, and he didn't dare to talk to me," she lied again.
And again she laughed.
I decided to change the subject, if only to save her from escalating her lies.
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