I have begun reading Alberto Villoldo’s The Four Insights this weekend, which is not to say that I did not read all of it–only that I will be reading it again and again in great detail. Villoldo discusses the shamanism of the Laika, a group associated with the the Inka of Peru, with whom he studied for 25 years.
Insight is the perfect title for these perspectives on reality because they teach how to see the Universe within oneself, and oneself within the Universe. Each insight is linked to a totem animal: Snake, Jaguar, Hummingbird, Eagle. What I found coincidental –or more likely, synchronistic– is that as I have studied energy work, magic, and manifesting, I made associations with Snake (feminine earth magic of renewal) and with Jaguar (community, relationship, creativity). Both of these associations happened years–even a decade before I read this book this weekend, but Villoldo’s explanations of how these insights work and what their gifts are align perfectly with my experience of them.
My magical name, Snake Dancer, came to me as I studied the feminine mysteries in a Dianic circle. I came there to learn about the divine feminine and to make my transition from mother to crone. This experience was very helpful in learning new stories and new perspectives on stories I knew, not only about goddess wisdom, but about my own stories. Yet it did not free me from my old stories, but added a victimized feminist layer to them, and an angry energy of retaliation. It was not the peace I had been looking for, the peace and happy acceptance of my femininity.The Laika are based in a divine feminine relationship with not only the earth, but the connection to spirit.
Five years ago, I decided to go to graduate school to study mythology, and on the first day of class, our group became the Jaguars, or the Jags, because of a dream one of our professors had the night before. This group, which over the two years we were in school together coalesced as eleven women and one man, is now my sisters and brothers. Each of us has experienced the community of a new family, and each of us has found a source of energy for our creativity, our expression of the life force as it comes through our talents and training, through teaching, leading spirit journeys, or finding new vocation.
On my next reading, I will be working through each exercise, focusing first on the Snake energy of the first chakra, to understand more deeply the focus on the physical realm, but my goal will be to learn how to move my consciousness from one insight to the other and to know from experience which to use for what purpose. Then I will focus on getting a clearer vision from the Jaguar level, the level of relationship and creativity, to be more consciously aware of what I know subconsciously.
Reading this book tells me that I will be moving into the energy of the hummingbird, seeing with the third eye, and better able to visualize my dreams and remove my blocks to making them happen–being my own fairy godmother. Finally, I can reach to the Eagle perspective and begin to be more aware of myself in the flow of the energy of the Universe, and to recognize in an experiential way how I am related to All That IS.
It can hardly be coincidence that a friend urged me to buy this book and read it at this time when I am feeling stuck and not sure where to aim myself. Gaining the four insights will help me look into the future and find the future I want, and to clear out the blocks of the past that have so far kept me from even knowing what I want.
If you don’t know what you want, you certainly can’t wish for it. I do not want to limit myself to the survival wishes of the Snake–food, shelter, money, security. Instead, I want to complete my destiny for this lifetime, to do what I came here to do, to learn what that is, and to accomplish it. Villoldo will be one of my guides along the way.
NOTE: the link to The Four Insights is an Amazon affiliate link. I will get a kickback from Amazon if you purchase the book from them through my link.