From the Ancient to the Modern
Cultural context plays an important part in rituals and ceremonies, with or without psychotropic plants. For the indigenous people living with the historical and personal connection to these plants or shamanic processes, the experiences are interpreted and held in their cultural framework. It is difficult for people from a modern urban cultural perspective to enter the native context and profit from the rich traditions there.
Many seekers who became interested in indigenous people and their spiritual paths set out to find a shaman or master who might take them as an apprentice and “blow their minds.” They searched the deserts of Mexico and ate peyote cactus in their quest for truth. They braved the Amazon jungle seeking experiences with magic mushrooms or the powerful ayahuasca vine and its visions. Some found what they were looking for, and most were probably disappointed. As one such seeker reported, “I always came down.”
Modern teaching of the Toltec wisdom rarely includes artificially altered states of consciousness. The path to freedom demands a clear mind and focused attention. Although the knowledge from the past has been modified and revised, the essential core of the Toltec wisdom has never been lost: Personal freedom is available to the warrior who dedicates herself to breaking free from the prison of fear-based beliefs and agreements imposed by her domestication and culture — and to becoming the magnificent being she came here to be.