Names are slippery things. I had a client once who tried so patiently to tell me why calling herself “Nenah Sylver” instead of “Nina Silver” would bring her more prosperity because of its numerological vibration, but her explanation just wouldn’t sink in. Maybe the concept was too complex for me. Or maybe it was because I couldn’t stop giggling.At any rate, my name is Craig R. Smith, not to be confused with the Craig Smith who is a professional basketball player, the Craig S. Smith who writes for the New York Times, or the W. Craig Smith who was the art director for Gilligan’s Island and Victor/Victoria. The R. stands for Ross, after a distant uncle, though I think the only place I’ve ever used the name in full is on my driver’s license.
However, about fifteen years ago, two Yaquis told me my “Indian name” was Maito Sewa Yoleme. (The t in Maito is pronounced with a slight lisp, so it’s “my-th-toe say-wah yo-leh-may.”) They said a close approximation in Spanish would be El Mirador de Milagros—a seer of wonders. I liked it; the name seemed to fit.
A sewa yoleme is someone who goes back and forth between everyday reality and the spirit world, and shares what he has seen and learned there. The Yaquis call the spirit world the Sewañia, or “flower realm,” because psychotropic plants are one of their chief vehicles for entering an altered state of consciousness. And maito is a term of respect, a teacher.
Professionally, I’m a writer, editor, and graphic designer, and the owner of Smithcraft Press, a small independent publishing company. Despite a rather disturbing penchant for low humor, I’ve garnered a good deal of respect as a non-fiction writer and a religion scholar.
Physically, I’m a bearded Friar Tuck, complete with matching bald spot; spiritually, an explorer of the edges of consciousness, from Taoism and Zen Buddhism to existential Christianity and Jewish mysticism to everything in between—including Native American medicine practices and various forms of aboriginal shamanism.
If you’re familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, you might be interested to know that I’m a thorough-going
INXP INXJ (see comments below)—off the scale on the “N” rating, actually, with nary an “S” percentile in the bunch.
At any rate, I really appreciate you stopping by to read these ramblings. I am not worthy.