Don Juan gave me explanations which covered all the nuances of every group of magical passes, which are the core of the long Tensegrity Series.
"Energy which is essential for handling intent," he said when he was explaining to me the energetic implications of this group, "is continuously dispelled from the vital centers located around the liver, pancreas, and kidneys, and settles down at the bottom of the luminous sphere that we are. This energy needs to be constantly stirred and rerouted. The sorcerers of my lineage were very emphatic in recommending a systematic and controlled stirring of energy with the legs and feet. For them, long walks, which were an unavoidable feature of their lives, resulted in an excessive stirring of energy which did not serve any purpose. Long walks were their nemesis for this reason, and the inflow of excessive energy had to be balanced by the execution of specific magical passes performed while they were walking."
Don Juan Matus told me that this set, which consists of fifteen magical passes whose function is to stir energy with the feet and legs, was considered by the shamans of his lineage to be the most effective way of doing what they called mashing energy. He stated that each of the steps is a magical pass which has a built-in control for the mashing Of energy, and that practitioners can repeat these magical passes hundreds of times, if they so desire, without worrying about an excessive stirring of energy. In don Juan's view, energy for intending that was stirred up excessively ended up further depleting the centers of vitality.
1. Grinding Energy with the Feet
The body pivots on the balls of the feet from left to right and right to left in unison for a moment in order to gain balance. Then the weight of the body is shifted to the heels, and the pivoting is done on them from then on, with the toes slightly off the ground while swiveling, and touching the ground when the feet reach the maximum slant.
The arms are kept bent at the elbows with the hands pointing out, palms facing each other. The arms move with an impulse from the shoulders and the shoulder blades. This movement of the arms in unison with the legs, as in walking (the right arm moves when the left leg moves, and vice versa), accounts for a total engagement of the limbs and the internal organs (figs. 20, 21).
A physical by-product of grinding energy in this fashion is an increase
in circulation in the feet, calves, and thighs up to the groin area. Shamans
throughout the centuries have also used it to restore flexibilitv to limbs
that were injured in daily use.
2. Grinding Energy with Three Slides of the Feet
The feet are swiveled on the heels, in the same manner as in the previous magical pass, three times. There is a pause that lasts an instant and then they are swiveled three times again. It is important to notice that in all the first three magical passes of this series, the key issue is the engagement of the arms, which move back and forth briskly.
Making the grinding of energy a discontinuous affair increases its effect. A physical by-product of this magical pass is a quick surge of energy for instances of running or fleeing danger, or for anything that requires a quick intervention.
3. Grinding Energy by a Sideways Slide of the Feet
Both feet, pivoting on the heels, move to the left; they pivot on the balls of the feet to the left again. Next, they pivot a third time, still to the left, but on the heels again (figs. 22, 23, 24). The sequence is reversed by pivoting on the heels to the right; next, on the balls of the feet to the right; and then on the heels again, to the right.
A physical consequence of these three magical passes is the spurring
of the circulation in the total body.
4. Mixing Energy by Striking the Floor with the Heels
This magical pass resembles walking in place. The knee moves up briskly while the tip of the foot rests on the ground. The weight of the body is carried by the other leg. The body weight shifts back and forth, resting on whichever leg stays put, while the other one performs the movement. The arms are moved in the same fashion as in the previous magical pass (fig. 25).
A physical consequence of this magical pass and the following one is very much like that of the three preceding magical passes: a sensation of well-being that permeates the pelvic region after performing the movements.
5. Mixing Energy by Striking the Ground with the Heels Three Times
This magical pass is exactly like the preceding one, with the exception that the movement of the knees Figure 25 and feet is not continuous. It is interrupted after the heels are brought to the ground three times, in an alternating fashion. The sequence is left, right, left-pause-right, left, right, and so on.
The first five magical passes of this group allow practitioners a quick surge of energy, in cases when energy is needed in the midsection or the groin, or, for instance, when they need to perform a long-distance run or a quick climbing of rocks or trees.
6. Gathering Energy with the Soles of the Feet and Moving It Up the Inner Legs
The soles of the left and the right foot move alternately up the inner part of the opposite leg, almost brushing it. It is important to arch the legs a little bit by standing with the knees bent (fig. 26).
In this magical pass, energy for intending is forced up the inner side of the legs, which shamans consider to be the storage place of kinesthetic memory. This magical pass is used as an* aid to release the memory of movements, or to facilitate retaining the memory of new ones.
7. Stirring Energy with the Knees
The knee of the left leg is bent and swung to the right as far as it
can reach, as if to give a sideways kick with the knee, while the trunk
and the arms are gently twisted as far as possible in the opposite direction
(fig, 27). The left leg is then brought back to a standing position. The
same movement is performed with the right knee, alternating then back and
8. Pushing the Energy Stirred with the Knees into the Trunk
This magical pass is the energetic continuation of the preceding one. The left knee, bent to the maximum, is pushed up as far as possible into the trunk. The trunk is bent slightly forward. At the moment the knee is pushed up, the tip of the foot points to the ground (fig. 28). The same movement is performed with the right leg, alternating then between the two legs.
Pointing the foot to the ground ensures that the tendons of the ankles are tense, in order to jolt minute centers there where energy accumulates. Shamans consider those centers to be perhaps the most important in the lower limbs, so important that they could awaken the rest of the minute energy centers in the body through the performance of this magical pass. This magical pass and the preceding one are executed together for the purpose of projecting the energy for intending gathered with the knees up into the two centers of vitality around the liver and the pancreas.
9. Kicking Energy in Front and in Back of the Body
A front kick of the left leg is followed by a hook kick to the back with the right leg (figs. 29, 30). Then the order is reversed and a front kick is made with the right leg, followed by a hook kick to the back with the left leg.
The arms are kept to the sides, because this magical pass engages only
the lower limbs, giving them flexibility. The aim is to lift the leg that
kicks to the front as high as possible, and the leg that kicks to the back
also as high as possible. When executing the back kick, the trunk should
bend slightly forward to facilitate the movement. This slight bending forward
of the trunk is used as a natural means of absorbing the energy stirred
with the limbs. This magical pass is performed to aid the body when problems
of digestion arise, due to a change in diet, or when there is a need to
travel over great distances.
10. Lifting Energy from the Soles of the Feet
The left knee is bent acutely as it is lifted toward the trunk, as far up as possible. The trunk is bent slightly forward, almost touching the knee. The arms jut down, making a vise that grabs the sole of the foot (fig. 31). The ideal would be to grab the sole of the foot in a very light fashion, releasing it immediately. The foot comes down to the ground as the arms and hands, with a powerful jolt that engages the shoulders and pectoral muscles, lift up along the sides of the legs to the level of the pancreas and spleen (fig. 32). The same movements are performed with the right foot and arm, lifting the hands from the feet to the level of the liver and gallbladder. The movements are performed alternating between the two legs.
As in the case of the previous magical pass, bending the trunk forward
allows the energy from the soles of the feet to be transferred to the two
vital centers of energy around the liver and the pancreas. This magical
pass is used to aid the attainment of flexibility, and to relieve problems
11. Pushing Down a Wall of Energy
The left foot, with the knee acutely bent, is lifted to the height of the hips; then it pushes forward with the tip of the foot arched upward, as if pushing away a solid object (fig. 33). As soon as the foot is brought down, the right foot is lifted in the same fashion and the movement is repeated, alternating the feet.
12. Stepping Over a Barrier of Energy
The left leg is nimbly lifted as if going over a hurdle which is located
edgewise in front of the body. The leg makes a circle from left to right
(fig. 34), and once the foot lands, the other leg is lifted to perform
the same movement.
13. Kicking a Lateral Gate
This is a kick-push with the soles of the feet. The left leg is lifted to midcalf and the foot pushes to the right of the body as if to hit a solid object, using the total sole of the foot as a striking surface (fig. 35). The foot is retrieved then to the left side, and the same movement is repeated with the right leg and foot.
14. Cracking a Nugget of Energy
The left foot is lifted with the tip pointing acutely to the ground. The knee protrudes straight forward, deeply bent. Then the foot descends with a controlled motion, striking toward the ground as if it were cracking a nugget (fig. 36). Once the tip of the foot strikes, the foot is returned to its original standing position and the same movement is repeated with the other leg and foot.
15. Scraping Off the Mud of Energy
The left foot is lifted a few inches above the ground; the entire leg is brought forward and then pushed backward sharply, with the foot lightly brushing the ground as if it were scraping something off the sole of the foot (fig. 37). The weight of the body is carried by the opposite leg, and the trunk leans a bit forward in order to engage the muscles of the stomach as this magical pass is executed. Once the left foot returns to its normal position, the same movement is repeated with the right foot and leg.
Shamans call the last five magical passes of this group Steps in
Nature, They are magical passes that practitioners can perform as they
walk, or conduct business, or even as they are sitting, talking to people.
Their function is gathering energy with the feet and using it with the
legs for situations in which concentration and the quick use of memory