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A poncho and a Secreto

Updated: Sep 5, 2020

I believe it was at a Sunrise Festival; I was wandering around aimlessly enjoying the weather when something grabbed my eye. I was walking past a row of stalls. I caught a glimpse of the most beautiful purple poncho. It was hanging at the back of the stall. I turned immediately into the stall and bought the poncho!


That poncho has been a part of me ever since.


Little did I know the synchronicity that was in motion.....


Some time later, maybe the following year, I arrived at Shambala Festival. Unfortunately, there was no work and was also sold out. However, I was told that I could wait outside, just in case. Come Friday evening, I was still parked up outside. I got restless, so decided to go and have a look around. It was quite busy, so I just walked in. I was not challenged.


The trouble was, that I really didn’t expect to just walk in and so was unprepared and reluctant to go back. Fortunately, I had some cash in my pocket, so could get a brew and a nibble. Maybe a pint, too. However, by the middle of the night, the weather was getting chilly and I was wearing only a T-shirt. I headed back.


Laughingly, it was on my way back that I was challenged for the first time. I was stopped and asked to show my wristband. I admitted that I did not have one, but am leaving anyway. The marshals that had stopped me then told me that I was not allowed in the area. I said, “OK. Well, if you can show me the way out, I will leave.” They did.


The next morning, there was a knock on my door. I answered. Outside stood a young woman who informed me that there is a reduced entry ticket available. I was told that as I had waited so patiently for so long, the organisers had offered me a reduced price ticket for the rest of the weekend. I thanked them and accepted the offer.


I love Shambala Festival. It started out in the Plymouth area. Despite moving to the East Midlands, it still retains it’s Southwest vibe.


It was at this festival that an amazing magikal moment happened; I was greatly surprised to bump into my good friends Luc and Mo. Luc is a great chef (www.lapenichefalmouth.co.uk) and one half of a great two-tone ska and gypsy swing DJ set called Skank n Stomp (www.skanknstomp.co.uk boomtownbobbies@gmail.com). Mo is an amazing bubbly personality that was dating Luc at the time. He was flabbergasted at seeing me. Mo was surprised also, but was laughing saying, “I told you so.”


I asked what on Earth was going on, to which Mo explained that she was just telling Luc that ‘if he wanted some acid, all he had to do is think of Wiz, he’ll appear.‘ At that moment, I did!


On the Shambala site there is a lovely walk along which a tall tree stump sits. It has had a seat carved out of the stump. It makes a very cozy niche, I found. There are shrubs and bushes about. With a smoke machine hidden in the bushes and thoughtful lighting, it looked great; a great place to chill for a bit.


On the first occasion I happened upon this spot one evening, a voice said, “Hello.” as I walked by. I turned and noticed the tree stump and a man peering from the seat. “I know where that was made.” he said, pointing at my poncho.


We had quite a conversation. The man was Peruvian and was from a nearby village to the village that made my poncho. He knew this due to the colour and pattern. He asked me about myself and talked about his home. After a while, he raised himself from the seat and proffered it me. We exchanged a hug. At this point, the Peruvian man whispered something indecipherable in my ear. We parted. And he was gone. I sat in that tree stump and pondered about what had been whispered into my ear.


That turned into an interesting experience. One is almost quite hidden when sat right back and relaxing/meditating in that tree stump. For particularly those who were passing this spot for the first time, seeing a man with a long beard wearing a purple poncho and holding a Hazel staff woven in Old Man’s Beard sat in a tree stump surrounded by mist and subtle lighting, I came as something of a surprise. There were a number of different reactions! I got asked a lot of stuff. Some were quite serious and genuine questions. As for those who were tripping .....


Some three years later, I was sat in my caravan in a deep and dark place (I will come to that in due course) talking to a great friend whom I love very much. He is a Wizard in denial. He was introduced to me by Hairy Rich as Dave Baxter Basics. It’s a brilliant play on words. It has stuck with me. He doesn’t particularly like it, but I like to think that I get away with it, because I love him and I only say anything when he says or does anything that even he would agree deserves it. He does not accept it when I tell him that he is a Wizard. He has the gift of inspiring laughter, even in the face of Death. He goes through (self-inflicted) bouts of ‘bad luck’ and gives joy and inspiration. He really helped me through dark days.


Somewhere along the line the conversation got onto the subject of my poncho. I don’t know how or why it was mentioned, but Dave apparently had not heard the story. I told him the story just as I have just you. When I told him about the Peruvian in the tree stump and the whisper in my ear, he became excited. “Wow!” he exclaimed, “You know what that is! It’s a Secreto!”


“A what?” I asked.


“A secreto.” Dave then told me. He explained that it was a gift of protection given rarely and only by a few South American Shamans. I told Dave that I had spent years pondering on what had been whispered into my ear. He told me that not even the Shaman knew what the words meant. He had recently watched a documentary on the subject. I had been gifted something very special.

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