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Pushing Up The Sky

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Pushing Up The Sky - crystal consciousness, Mandelbrot, fractal, resonance, ayahuasca, spiritual family, tribe, shamanism

Article by Ralph Miller

Pushing Up The SkyOur Consciousness

All of our thoughts, memories, intelligence and emotions form a nexus of awareness that we call ‘consciousness’.  In fact, consciousness encompasses many other aspects. Each and every perception that we have has a unique relationship with other diverse areas of consciousness.  Our sense of smell for example, seems to have a profound connection to long-term static memory.  We can smell something that takes us back decades.  We think, “When did I first smell that…what is that??”  We recognize the smell but not the thing the odor came from. Our sense of smell has its own unique relationship to long-term memory.

If you look at the vast relationships between differing aspects of our consciousness you quickly realize that there are a multitude of characteristics unique unto themselves. These include memory, emotions, attitudes, dreams and our unconscious self. Each have divergent relationships with the other components of our awareness.  In this way, consciousness can be likened to a crystal. It has many unique faces, and each face has unique angular relationships with other faces. Light that enters the crystal has the ability to flood all parts of the crystal, while at the same time unique reflections are created by the many faces of the crystal.

Our own individual crystals of consciousness transmit, receive, resonate and reflect energy/vibrations to and from other individuals, namely those that we harmonize with.

Pushing Up The SkyOur Tribal Consciousness

There is another crystal to define the potential in human consciousness that we are all collectively reaching towards. This is the tribal (or group) crystal. We harmonize with and align ourselves with those friends and family where a ‘like mind’ is recognized. For the individuals within the tribe, if the image is precise, accurate and strong, then the authenticity of the individual reflects powerfully to others. If the reflection lacks purity (honesty), then the image is distorted; the ‘sound’ degraded; the light is less bright.

We all have the capacity to reach out to others.  We long to connect! Like a dendrite making a connection in the human nervous system, the crystal reveals its form as synaptic connections longing to be born.

Each person’s individual consciousness is cast into the whole/collective of the tribal mind and awareness.  The tribal mind encompasses the collective and is held by those we trust and whom we are open to. The open-heart space within each of us allows us to be vulnerable with one another’s human soul when we sense reciprocity in that space of love.

Separate tribes can be seen at tribal ‘nodes’. Each node manifests its own unique strength and definition. We develop a sense of confidence and trust in the collective tribal awareness and beliefs.  There is cooperation within that consciousness. We derive our visions and inspirations from this collective and in turn, the collective consciousness takes form. It becomes crystalline only as we open our individual selves and share with our tribe.

If these feelings, beliefs, inspirations and visions were to be mapped out, patterns would begin to emerge, where one resonance harmonizes with other very similar resonances.  This harmony, when reflected back, is heard by all the individuals. The crystal is a whole, yet the wholeness of the crystal depends on the individuality and uniqueness of the facets within the crystal.

Pushing Up The Sky

Global Consciousness

Like the expanding mathematical Mandelbrot set, each fractal crystal has the capacity to fold into a larger crystal. This happens when the individual crystal held in a person’s consciousness folds into a group awareness, or a tribal crystal. The divergent characteristics within each individual consciousness result in the unique facets within our tribal crystal.  The unique aspects of the tribal crystals, in turn fold into the facets of an even larger crystal … a global consciousness!

For more than a decade, and through a few thousand individuals from fifty-five countries or so, I have had the sacred honor of witnessing the beauty of those people as they came out of the ‘unaware’ part of themselves, and into a fuller understanding and perspective of who they really are.  They understand the world in a new way. The extraordinary shamanic plant medicines have the capacity to lift a person beyond their self as defined by culturally-imposed limits, into a greater wholeness of being … an encounter with the true self!

Among these wonderfully curious and brave souls from our ayahuasca workshops, it was fairly easy for me to identify a broad variety of tribal consciousnesses that these individuals were connected to. These included their most cherished friends, relatives and associates. Each tribe had its own beautiful characteristics and unique wisdom. I held in my heart empathy and support for them and their tribe without any judgments.

I realized early on that the uniqueness of each tribe or clan is very important, as each brings unique gifts, wisdom and healing to the global crystal/mind.


People take on certain roles and characteristics that will best support their own heroic life path or soul destiny. We each sense that deep within. Some are healers. Some are teachers. All are focused on service to others. There are those that act as points of contact with other tribes, as they have an energy that attracts new opportunities. They are universally welcoming, and connect others. They sense a potential of openness within people. I see these ‘points-of-contact’ individuals as ‘connectors’. 

In the literal sense, ‘connectors’ have a human alchemy that allows them to easily recognize patterns and similarities between the individuals that they encounter.  They experience these patterns in their feelings … vibrations and sound … resonances … light. Many of us do this in small ways, like saying, “Oh … you have to meet my friend Peter!”, but some seem to have almost a ‘calling’ for this type of work. The way that they connect people to their own tribe, or in some cases one tribe to another kindred tribe … it seems almost methodical. These ‘connectors’ derive their own sense of fulfillment from this kind of activity, and certainly serve a purpose to whole groups of people … to the tribes!

Decades ago I recognized this characteristic of ‘connector’ within myself. This part of me comes from a somewhat adolescent proclivity. I simply want all of my friends to meet one another; to ‘play together’; to learn from each other. When people get really in touch with others in a profound, meaningful way, the ‘whole’ becomes much greater than the sum of the parts. When you have someone in your life that you are very close to, you tend to incorporate their life experiences with your own. This happens for others as well.  They experience your memories and your wisdom too.

There are several other individuals (connector types) who I have met over the years.  Many are close allies and lifelong friends. Each seems to be a contact point for their own unique tribe … or ‘tribal-node’. Within themselves, they carry much of the collective wisdom, memories and experiences of their tribe. 

One example of a ‘connector’ is Willem Wout de Klerk, whom I recently met in Colombia. Willem and I have both been traveling to the same part of southern Colombia for the past decade. Willem is a medicine carrier of the North American Lakota, having worked with Charles Chipps from the sacred Woptura lineage for many years on the Lakota reservation in America. He brought the Lakota traditions and sacred ceremonies to my friends in Colombia about a year before my first trip there.

My own path to Colombia was to make contact with a very pure and authentic ayahuasca tradition that was connected to the very origins of ayahuasca use through grandfather teachers who passed the wisdom generation to generation for millennia. The Colombian shaman, Warinei Wanare, is just such an individual.  In 1994 he commenced his training with Luis Florez of the Inga community of Colombia. Warinei visited Luis at his Maloca (House of the Cosmos) in the Amazonian region of the Putumayo. Luis instructed him for six years while they cooked ayahuasca together. Warinei then expanded his shamanic reach even further with Jose Antonio Kasulú, a medicine man of the Yopo tradition, another sacred healing plant. It was during his visits to the Sikuani community where Jose Antonio lived, in the eastern Orinoquía region of Colombia, that he would learn an extraordinary healing ceremony!

I think it was Warinei’s training with Willem Wout in the Lakota traditions that showed me an example of such an elegant synchronicity that I knew Warinei would be important to me in the future. I had come to rely on these special events or synchronicities as a guide to my own path. You see, my partner in the Heart of the Initiate project, Peter, and I had already used a Lakota ‘talking stick’ ceremony in our workshops in Brazil for years!  We had our own heartfelt connection to the Lakota traditions. You can imagine that I felt I had come to the right place at the right time when astonishingly, upon arriving in the south of Colombia, I encountered the same North American Lakota traditions brought there (by Willem) the year before!

Warinei and I then began a collaboration, conducting experiential workshops in Colombia and Brazil so that many people could have their own unique encounters with ayahuasca.

When Warinei and I met, there was a connection made between he and I.  Then the connection was between our tribes. We shared a common curiosity of expanding our reach into one another … and into the memories and wisdom of each other’s ‘tribe’.

This past December the same kind of connection occurred when Willem Wout and I finally met for the first time. For me, there was such a strange feeling of having known him already for many years. I saw our meeting as two distinct tribes encountering each other. There were many unique qualities each of held, but also many wisdoms, lessons and healings that we shared together. There was a harmonic resonance between us.  It is always beautiful when you meet someone who, because of his or her open heart, simply becomes a reflection back to you!

Awakening of the Global Mind

In our cultures there are enormous pressures that lead to isolation and separation. Much of the world today lives in a siege mentality, charged with fear of others; “us” vs. “them”.  Religious beliefs, political ideologies and nationalism separate us from each other. The more we buy into defensive and fear-based beliefs, the more isolated we become.

There is however an opportunity for us to reach out and connect ourselves to tribes throughout the world—if we dare! We can begin to look at our path as something completely different than what we have become conditioned to do. 

Pushing Up The SkyThe crystal of human consciousness, in whatever form it takes (individual or group), has a tendency towards curiosity, learning, discovering and connecting. By connecting whatever we experience as ‘our tribe’ to other tribes in the world, we can literally expand the carrying capacity of all humanity!

The global mind begins to awaken and become self-aware.  The ancestral memories of the tribes become the memories of the global consciousness.  We honor the unique character of each aspect or facet of the global crystal.

This is really about awakening shamanic heritage and our connection to the natural world.  This latent capacity is already part of our DNA or our cellular memory. 
I have discussed this with many of my dear friends. This dynamic certainly penetrates the hearts and minds of those who will open themselves to it. Simon, who was taken several journeys into the south of Colombia, described this ‘connecting’ energy beautifully:

“I was flying over the city and likened it to a carpet of mycelia, a twisted mass of human endeavor. The fruiting bodies were those among us who chose to burn brightly, lighting the way for others.”

In my discussions with Willem, he too very quickly saw the same vision that I was seeing around this aspect of emerging human potential. Just a few days ago Willem described this Crystal as making something indescribable happening! Willem said:

 “…that we are beginning to open up as the divine entities that we are to going to experience!”

He also described the process as connected to ancient native wisdom he called, Pushing up the sky. This seems specifically related to the legend of “pushing up the sky”. Following is a retelling of the Snohomish legend by Ella Clark (1953).

Pushing Up the Sky

The Creator and Changer first made the world in the East. Then he slowly came westward, creating as he came. With him he brought many languages, and he gave each one to each group of people he made.

When he reached Puget Sound, he liked it so well that he decided to go no further. But he had many languages left, so he scattered them all around Puget Sound and to the north. That's why there are so many different Indian languages spoken there.

These people could not talk together, but it happened that none of them were pleased with the way the Creator had made the world. The sky was so low that the tall people bumped their heads against it. Sometimes people would do what was forbidden by climbing up high in the trees and, learning their own words, enter the Sky World.

Finally the wise men of all the different tribes had a meeting to see what they could do about lifting the sky. They agreed that the people should get together and try to push it up higher.

"We can do it," a wise man of the council said, "If we all push at the same time. We will need all the people and all the animals and all the birds when we push."

"How will we know when to push?" asked another of the wise men. "Some of us live in this part of the world, some in another. We don't all talk the same language. How can we get everyone to push at the same time?"

That puzzled the men of the council, but at last one of them suggested that they use a signal. "When the time comes for us to push, when we have everything ready, let someone shout 'Ya-hoh.' That means 'Lift together!' in all our languages."

Pushing Up The SkySo the wise men of the council sent that message to all the people and animals and birds and told them on what day they were to lift the sky. Everyone made poles from the giant fir trees to use in pushing against the sky.

The day for the sky lifting came. All the people raised their poles and touched the sky with them. Then the wise men shouted, "Ya-hoh!" Everybody pushed, and the sky moved up a little.

"Ya-hoh," the wise men shouted a second time, and everybody pushed with all his strength. The sky moved a few inches more. "Ya-hoh," all shouted, and pushed as hard as they could push.

They kept on shouting "Ya-hoh" and pushing until the sky was in the place where it is now. Since then, no one has bumped his head against it, and no one has been able to climb into the Sky World.

Now, three hunters had been chasing four elks during all the meetings and did not know about the plan. Just as the people and animals and birds were ready to push the sky up, the three hunters and the four elks came to the place where the earth nearly meets the sky. The elks jumped into the Sky World, and the hunters ran after them. When the sky was lifted, elks and hunters were lifted too.

In the Sky World they were changed into stars, and at night even now you see them. The three hunters form the handle of the Big Dipper. The middle hunter has his dog with him -- now a tiny star. The four elks make the bowl of the Big Dipper.

Some other people were caught up in the sky in two canoes, three men in each of them. And a little fish also was on its way up into the Sky World when the people pushed. So all of them have had to stay there ever since. The hunters and the little dog, the elk, the little fish, and the men in the two canoes are stars, even though they once lived on earth.

We still shout "Ya-hoh!" when doing hard work together or lifting something heavy like a canoe. When we say "Hoh!" all of us use all the strength we have. Our voices have a higher pitch on that part of the word, and we make the 'o' very long -- "Ya-hooooh!"

Interesting to note that in the forgoing account is of tribes of different languages who had to coordinate their efforts to create manifestation.  This could only be achieved through their combined will.

The common threads that run through indigenous cosmologies and beliefs are remarkable.  When I shared my ‘visions’ about the crystals of human consciousness with Warinei, he remarked that the Sikuani people have a similar view.  The Sikuani believe that there are two principal crystals inside every person’s body.  These principal crystals are activated by the yopo shamans, which enable them to see infirmities during a healing ceremony.

The crystal of our consciousness is something that exists in multiple planes of reality.  There are aspects of our words, feelings and prayers that transcend the limits of temporal reality.  When we truly begin to know ourselves, we discover a part of us that extends our reach into everything and everyone. 

Change and transformation of human consciousness is not something that we are waiting for in the future; it is happening now!  It gives me great hope to see the tribes of the earth reaching out; entering into the swift flowing waters of the stream of consciousness that is everywhere!

© Ralph Miller 2012