Diana Negrín, Ph.D
There is a scene in Oliver Stone’s 1991 film, The Doors, where the rock quartet and their female company travel to a desert and ingest peyote. The characters experience emotional instability, feel “fucked up,” and vomit. Yet, Jim Morrison (played by Val Kilmer) is the mediating force that re-focuses his peers’ psychedelic experience while the slow musical progression of “The End” plays in the background. As the song builds, Jim Morrison appears to connect to spirit animals: the eagle, the mountain lion, the snake, and the lizard. He also connects to a stoic Indian man who leads him out of the dunes and into a cave where he encounters a lizard and is sent back to a childhood memory when an indigenous man was killed in an accident off of a desert road he and his parents were driving on. Morrison believed that this man’s spirit was transferred to his during this fleeting moment that would be resurrected through the ingestion of peyote. Such was the birth of the “Lizard King,” Morrison’s shamanic alter ego, anchored to his nahual spirit animal: the lizard… continue reading.