Interview with Anthar Kharanna
Anthar is our youngest Wisdom Keeper, but he started at an early age. For the past few years he has spent more than half the year away from his native Colombia sharing his wisdom tradition all over the world. He has played a leading role in an ongoing initiative to integrate the medicine traditions of North and South America.
WK: Very good to see you Anthar. Would you mind telling us a bit about your background and how you first connected with your indigenous tradition.
A: So, all my family, from all my lineage, come from a small village in the north of Columbia called Ocaña, but we left Ocaña when I was very young, because it is very close to Venezuela, and there is a port called Maicao, which is the perfect scenario to get lots of contraband entering the country. Then other things started to be imported, and that’s one of the places where the big conflict began, like the first paramilitary groups, so the place became a bit dangerous and we left for the city where my aunt was living, which was the only place that we could go to. I’d never seen a traffic light, I’d never seen a bridge, never seen a big building. I’d never seen things flying in the sky so high. I’d never seen so many things; I remember very well that day. And then we adapted to it, and gladly I come from a very musical family, a very connected family and very united, and this spiritual process was very smooth for me, and I ended up meeting with the elders when I was fourteen. I was introduced to the plant kingdom and on that day everything else I had been reading or exploring completely cracked and faded and I knew I didn’t need any more these Western spiritual practices. And ever since I continued cultivating my spirituality alongside of a revolutionary side of myself. As a teenager I was very revolutionary and organising different demonstrations against many different practises there, such as bull fighting and animals in the circus and all sorts of different social distress that was happening at that time over there. And so I was very involved with lots of revolutionary parties as well, and I still carry it, but I’m doing it now in a different way. I found my path through that, and I don’t need to be screaming it out there. I just wanna bring the change by sharing it in this way and preaching, bringing more consciousness to people, so it’s in their own hands to change. Just like the elders told us one day: “Our task has been done. Our task was to protect the knowledge from all the wars, from all the conquerors, from all this illusion of modern. We kept it, we did it, now it’s yours; see what you’re gonna do with it. So, I had the message to share the wisdom with others.
WK: So, how’s it been since you’ve been travelling the world sharing your tradition?
A: Yeah really good. It’s been a long time of cultivating around different lands, and I think some harvesting has been coming out of all that, and I think harvesting is always a sign that you need to continue cultivating and not get too excited, just excited enough to continue cultivating.
I think that the good thing is that this new opportunity, this possibility to see you are not necessarily going to be killed for practising your tradition, as it used to be a few years ago, brings not only the freedom to share it, but the easiness to travel the world, the easiness to visualise that. I don’t think we could, like twenty years ago, have envisioned things so quick, so easy, so smooth, I mean we are in a world now that if I want to go to, say, New Zealand right now, I just go to my phone, buy my ticket, go to Airbnb, book a nice place, get to the airport and book an Uber to take me straight to this place, and I put Google Translate if I don’t know the language. So basically it’s so fast and so advanced that it feels like technology these days is trying to catch up with our deep spirituality, and it’s like in a race where technology takes over, and then spirituality makes that move and then technology gets back in and, you know, it makes everybody feel like, oh God what’s happening, right? So we have the story that when the eagle and condor meet, when the traditions of the north and the south of the Americas will unite, when the new time has arrived, the stories also speak about consciousness and science being one. The prophecy tells how in the beginning science and consciousness were one, they were not separated. It was one being, but it was a particular being made of two, but it was one. And in Spanish the words for ‘science and ‘consciousness’ are very similar: sciencia and consciencia. Well, one day the Creator decided to split them and he said: “Consciousness, you go east and Science you go west”. So they were going around and they were meant to meet and then they didn’t, they forgot. Science stayed in the West; Consciousness stayed in the East. So the elders were saying: “Do you see, Creator look what you did. We told you they were going to forget, they had to meet, and look what are we gonna do now, this is only Science? And on the other side they were saying this is only Consciousness. So the Creator said: “Don’t worry, because the day when the eagle and condor will meet in the sky, they’ll realise that the new time has come, and they’ll remember, and then they’ll start coming back. And then the eagle and condor met and they’ve been walking towards each other, Science and Consciousness. But it’s a meeting that is tricky, because they are meant to be one, but they have divided into a pair that is complimentary, but opposite, like yin and yang, like man and woman, so there can be problems getting together! So that meeting is gonna bring lots of issues, because we are in this race; so Consciousness goes in one direction, Science goes for the other one. So I feel that the prophecy is pretty much happening now; we get lots of scientists much more interested in spirituality and realising some of the old ways are true. Like, now they say: “Amazing, we finally can say that plants and herbs can cure you”. Even plants they were saying are evil, the baddest thing of all, actually it can save us. And then everyone goes like: “Oh wow!” And it’s like really? Man!
WK: I know, that’s the whole story with cannabis. But the wisdom is finally coming through. Tell us, Anthar, what does it mean to you to be a wisdom keeper and how did you start on that journey?
A: Okay … wisdom keeper is more than anything a responsibility, but it’s a responsibility that we all as humans inherit by becoming a human. We are all wisdom keepers; we all guard our own wisdom, not the wisdom out there, but our own wisdom. The more connected that we are to our wisdom, the more we become the wisdom. So, your actions, your words, your projects, your jobs, your family, your way of living, your way of eating, everything will be an exaltation of your own wisdom. So that means you are a wisdom keeper. You are being the best for your own wisdom to be in its best. Acknowledging our shadow as part of our wisdom, that’s a big feature in fact. Our own shadow is the one that teach us the most, because in the light we see everything, but down in the earth, where the roots grow, we don’t see, and sometimes we are scared to see what is down there. And yes, certainly, some of us have been working a strong spiritual path, and we have done some sort of training to learn as much from our past as we can, but we are still human, and we’re still in a big process of learning. I’m forty-one now; it started drastically when I was fourteen, when I first managed to sit with an elder and I received the plant tinctures for the first time, but before that, as a child, I was already on a process of seeking different beliefs of spirituality. But it was more modern spiritualism. I say modern, but that comes from very old times too, like for example the Gnostics and all the Hermetic currents. They were part of it, because Columbia was highly impacted by the Conquest five hundred years ago, so it has distracted quite a big amount of people to forget where they come from only five hundred years ago. They still feel so proud to just look like Europeans, and that’s what they want to be and how they want to look. So, there is all this confusion in all these things, but when I got finally into traditional medicine everything else that I had in my mind and in my heart just faded. When you find your own roots, then we end up dropping all these other things you don’t even really truly know. You might sing a mantra, but you don’t even know what the words say. So it’s like when we truly find the roots of the place where we were born, then will we understand the reason we were born right in that spot, just like any native plant or animal. So the way we were born, and the roots that we carry from that area mean that we embody everything of that territory, and wherever we go, whether we be mountain people, river people, sea people, desert people, plains people, all these things, lake people, wind people of the high Andes. We will carry that medicine, that is the fruit we are gonna give.
But sometimes, when we first start out on our journey, it’s like the story we say about the tomato that was sad, because he was just a tomato and he wanted to be more like exotic fruit, like a papaya or mango, not just a tomato. So he invested all his life trying to taste like a mango, and when people were tasting him it was like, “This tomato tastes weird. It tastes like a mango. I’m not sure I like that”. So he was making his best effort, until one day the Creator finally showed him in a dream, and he saw himself in a mirror, and he remembered: “Ah, my God! I am a tomato, and I’m fully grown and I’m shining. I’m actually beautiful!” So he realised that from that day onwards he was just gonna become the best tomato in the world, and from that day there were queues of people all around the country coming to get this incredible tomato, most unique tomato. So, returning to the point of wisdom keeping, when we have the responsibility to actually lead some things or to share, then it’s a different business, because as a child you cultivate your spirit, cultivate your life; you need to understand that there are some things that are not quite like everybody thinks they are. So, we start with us doing all the work on ourselves first, for understanding, without even wanting to do anything with it, just because you feel you need to cultivate yourself. But it comes a time when then you are invited to share that, and that becomes a bigger responsibility now with humanity, because if people haven’t done that work themselves first it’s difficult to, you know, our grandmothers say: “How can we arrive if we don’t start?” To arrive we need to begin. You have to start from the beginning, from being a seed, understanding what this seed is about, what this seed brings to this world, and then begin to root; in other words, begin to crawl. So eventually we can stand like we all do and wobble a little bit until we manage, and eventually one day we will be able to run like we do, to hopefully eventually get to the point where we can open wings and fly. But it’s a process, everything is a process, and I suppose this is when the wisdom keeping comes in, because being a good wisdom keeper means keep your mirror clean, because the more you clean it the more you’re gonna be able to reflect the light of the person in front of you. So the clearer your mirror, the clearer the others are gonna see themselves through you. And that is a big thing, because sometimes they will have their mirror very clean too, and they are gonna show you what you are not. And this is how we all are wisdom keepers.
WK: How would you explain to somebody who has a very modern mind-set, who has been raised in a very secular way, what is the sacred?
A: In the origins there was once a spiral that was going anticlockwise, and that spiral straightened and created a clockwise spiral. Those two spirals are the spirals of Creation, the origin of this spiral is called Chiminigagua, the son of the great Creator and he’s the origin, and it’s that anticlockwise first spiral which is the law of origin, the world of origin, where we all come from. It’s like people deny their parents. I understand that some stories are not very easy, but without the father, without the mother we wouldn’t even have the possibility to exist. So the origins are sacred and from those origins of the sacredness the other spiral comes, the clockwise spiral, which is the modern day. So we have the origins of the ancient world and then we have the modern world. The stories say that this thread that was uniting them both was cut, and they were disconnected, just like Science and Consciousness were. All these processes were happening as part of this time of the human. So the modern day disconnected from the roots, from the sacred, and then the sacred disconnected from the Mother. They don’t know how to meet, how to interact, they don’t understand what it all comes from. And if we only could understand, that it’s like the child that is denying his father, believing that that the modern world is so powerful that he really don’t need any of the sacred. And the question is: Tell me where you think the metal of your car comes from? From the Mother. Tell me where the materials of your mobile phone come from? In one way or another from the Mother. Where are all these bits and pieces coming from? The Mother. So the Mother is the one that supplies all the materials for everything that exists. Where are the bricks of your house coming from? From the earth of the Mother.
WK: The words matter and material are related to mother, ‘mater’ in Latin, of course.
A: Exactly. So how can we say, being so modern and so techy, I just don’t need any of the other? As if it just appears out of nowhere and is just showing itself? No mate, I’m sorry, it comes from the Mother. You have to accept it I’m afraid. So how can a person connect with the sacredness? By recognising that everything they have, and everything they are is a result of origins. When we go back to the origins, we can acknowledge the wisdom of the people who used to live without all the things that we know right now, all this technology, all these things. The only people who still understand why it’s important to take care of a forest; why it’s important to grow things alongside the Mother, not destroying the Mother; why it’s so good to build your own house, not by destroying the mountain, but by adjusting yourself to it and coexist. These principles of life are there in the other world pretty much, but this union of the two spirals, it’s happening. They’re bonding, beginning to bond. The sacredness is starting to filter a bit to the modern world, and the modern world is entering the sacred. And what unites them both, it’s a bridge where they can meet. So this word of the bridge is the biggest secret that has been offered to us for these times. So, everything that we are doing, including the first question you asked about the wisdom keeper, is becoming a good bridge. We are the last generation of the human corn and therefore we are the first generation of the human honey. We are, in other words, the last generation of the analogue and the first generation of the digital. We are not only on the analogue we are not only on the modern, we are riding between, we are the bridge between the two worlds. So we are reaching anything that we can from the past with the hope that this generation, if there are some strong foundations, these foundations are gonna support the growth of it for the future. But now we are the last generation of bridges; we need to do the best we can to transmit and pass all these ancient teachings to the future people, the people who are seeking. Because after us, there is not gonna be that world anymore, it’s gonna be only the modern world, it’s not gonna be any more cables, any more analogue, it’s gonna be completely everything digital, you don’t even need to touch a screen, now you can just think about it. You want a pizza, just think about it, blink your left eye eight times and it will be done and you’ve got pizza at your door. So, it’s gonna be like that. We are the last ones. The story speaks about the 5200 years of transformation for humanity It’s like pretty much the time It takes for the solar system to go around, like the same as the Moon is going around, the Sun is going around, I know obviously we are going around, but let’s say the Earth is also moving around the Sun, the Sun and the solar system also move around and things like this. So, in that time of that solar system, humanity is born, grows, develops, shrinks and returns basically, and then a new one begins. So, around December 2012, that 5200 years ended or, as we think, human corn, where we come from, do you see? We are the last corn generation of humans and the first generation of the honey.
WK: Tell us more about the corn people and the honey people.
A: So, the corn people; some of them sprouted, some of them dry, some of them rotten, some of them just became alive immediately, you know it was like that. The honey people, the honey human generation, is the one that melts, all melted, and we all became like the fingers of one hand, all different but one. And that is the story, these are all the stories that are contemporary. I’ve been talking about four or five stories, but they’re all together. And then these honey people, they are the ones that will embody the seeds of the gardens who come and rescue the Mother. That generation of honey are the ones that are gonna come to soothe the Mother and help her. For a mother, a human mother, an animal mother, any mother, to show to their sons or daughters that she needs help, is very tough, a mother won’t do that very easy. But if a mother one day asks for help to her kids, that means she is really in trouble. Now this is what is happening with our Mother, our Mother is crying, saying: “Please, I need your help”. And so we, as her sons and daughters, know that we need to make a big impact right now. So, that’s what I think not connecting to the sacred is: forgetting where you come from, and believing that you are self-created and self-replenished. And if that’s your plan, fine, but you know it would be worth it to have a little exploration of the other one. You might be surprised.
WK: All these ideas have connections to ancient stories, ancient origins, and we live in this world of extraordinary complexity, and yet your message is one of absolute simplicity. It’s all about getting back to your origins, honouring where you come from, understanding where you’re coming from, holding where you’re coming from, sharing where you’re coming from; with an understanding of how important it is to acknowledge these things in order to do what needs to be done, which is all agree is to help the Mother.
A: Simplicity, yes. Because it as a result of complexity things disconnect. You see, it’s a protocol of understanding. That simplicity is: honour what you are, honour what you are surrounded by, honour the faraway lands and everything that the Creator will grant you to discover. But acknowledge first yourself and everything that’s around you, beginning from your family, your blood family, that’s what works. If you don’t start from your blood family, but you think that reality is all out there, thinking you can change the world. What about your mother? “No, I can’t have her bothering me, and I don’t care. My brother and my sister we haven’t even seen each other for five years.” Then stop; go and do the best you can in your own family, and that’s where the true university is gonna come. That’s where you can sort everything out; that’s where you save the world. So yeah complexity for me is that, and simplicity therefore is very simple. Honour your home. And even if you come from the city, that’s still the Mother, even if she is half dressed in concrete. And if you feel stuck in the city, then just make the effort to go to the country at the weekends. There are so many beautiful places in the UK, and it’s much cheaper to travel than in Colombia. When I’m in London I go to Hampstead Heath, I love Hampstead Heath, and Richmond Park. You can find a bit of wild nature there, and then you’re going to be in touch with native trees, native plants, native waters, animals, birds. You know, it’s about recognising; recognising them is recognising your own origin, and they might recognise you too.
WK: Thank you so much Anthar. See you down the line.