Today, I did my annual Good Friday pilgrimage on Calvary Hill Arizona.  It is a 6-mile hike with an elevation difference of 1,600 feet, plus another 6-mile bike ride (see the map).

It took me 3 hours to do this bike-hike–bike round trip pilgrimage from my Scottsdale home.  The temperatures were in the upper 80s, which is normal for this time of the year.  But for some reason I felt quite tired at the end.  It must be that darn desert pollen this year and the allergies that it is causing.

Anyway, I paid my respects to Yeshua as I do on every Good Friday.

“This is my church service,” I explained later on to my son-in-law who is visiting here from Vienna, Austria, with my daughter and their four children this Easter week.

Four years ago on Good Friday, Master Sananda (Yeshua, Jesus) took me to a place in the McDowell Mountains above Scottsdale that resembled the Calvary Hill in Jerusalem on which he was crucified two millennia ago.  And he left for me to find there some very special sacraments (see my 2013 Desert Quest (PDF))

Ever since that Good Friday 2013, I have been returning to this holy place in the Arizona desert whenever I needed Yeshua’s counsel and guidance. Over time, I identified on this rough mountain trail the 14 stations of the cross. In the fall 2013, I even created the music I play while on this pilgrimage.  It is timed to coincide thematically and geographically with each Station of the Cross.


On my way down, I also stopped and prayed at this beautiful Pachamama rock that resembles a Native American shaman with a buffalo spirit inside. I discovered it originally in 2008, just under the Calvary Hill summit.

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Elizabeth and I just got back from a drive to the west side of Phoenix where we got a Cinco de Mayo cake at the Rancho Mercado, a wonderful Mexican store. (no, this is not our actual cake but it gives you an idea).

The main event, however, happened when we got back in the I-17 to drive back home. The temperature gauge on our car read 111F. Yes, I kid you not – 111F (44C) in early May!

Even for an old desert rat like myself, this is some kind of a record. I have never seen temperatures this high in the Phoenix area for Cinco de Mayo. Even back home in North Scottsdale, the temperature was 107F (42C).

By the way, Cinco De Mayo is a Mexican holiday which commemorates the Mexican Army’s surprising victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla, which took place on May 5, 1862. But here in the southwestern United States, it is yet another excuse to party, drink and sing and be merry.

So Happy Cinco de Mayo!




Today is Friday the 13th.

Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in Western superstition. It occurs at least once every year in the 2010s. In 2017 it is on January 13 and October 13.

When I did my morning meditations and incantations, I became aware of the fact that today is supposed to be such an unlucky day. So I set about to cancel this superstitious myth, first in my prayers than in deeds.

As the day unfolded, the three potentially unlucky matters turned in my favor. Like magic.



First, with help from my spirit guides, an annoying neighbor turned into a benevolent one this morning. I’ll spare you the details. Let’s just say that what this neighbor did this morning reverses a 4.5 year trend.


Then as I drove into town, I thought I’d give my “Leaf” (electric car) a wash at the only car wash I know in Kahului. It’s one of those where you sit in the car the whole time and the machines just wash the outside. Meaning, you still have to clean the interior. But after weeks of rain and the last 12 days of dry weather, I thought that maybe it was time at least to get the dirt off the outside of the car.

Alas, I was not the only one with that idea on a sunny Friday with temperatures in the mid-80s. The line of cars waiting to get into the car wash parking lot stuck out all the way to the street.

So I turned around changed my tack. I drove to my Nissan dealer and asked them to check my tire pressure. And to wash the car while they were at it.

They did a super-duper job, inside and out. I could not have washed it better myself. And then when I offered the car jockey a tip for a job well done, he refused.

“That’s okay, Sir,” he said. “You don’t need to do it.

So it ended up a FREE car wash despite my efforts to pay for it.


Next, I decided to finally cash in on a free short stack coupon the IHOP had given me at some point last summer. I have been trying to cut back or eliminate the glutens. But since my weight this morning was lower than it had been in months, I decided it was time to try my luck with that, too, on Friday 13th.

And it all worked out perfectly. I just had to pay for a glass of milk. And leave a tip for the waitress. Who did not refuse it. 😃

So that was my way of debunking the myth and canceling the unlucky Friday the 13th.

Of course, there are still a few hours left in the day. So I’d better not gloat. 😊

PS: There is one more possible reversal of fortune that I set in motion today. But I won’t know if it will turn in my favor for another day or two. Meanwhile, I am keeping my fingers crosses. Superstition? Of course. But why not? Just for tun, 😁

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But it was all about GRATITUDE

This evening sunset I did a fire ceremony to honor the full moon, the zenith of planet Venus, and the Serbian (Orthodox) New Year’s Eve. It was a ceremony of gratitude – gratitude for two weeks of badly needed dry weather, gratitude for the new friends the spirit has brought into my life this week, gratitude for turning the unlucky Friday the 13th into a lucky day. Until MECO entered the scene… 🙂


Direct Youtube link:

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Unlucky Friday the 13th did rear its ugly head in the end



Eating and working by candlelight – 21st century! Welcome to Maui Electric Company “service”

Tonight, I had my dinner by candlelight.
I know, it sounds romantic. It was not. First, because I am alone. Second, because I was forced to light a candle by a long power outage.
I had just finished a nice sunset fire ceremony honoring the full moon, the zenith of planet Venus, and the Serbian (Orthodox) New Year’s Eve. It was a ceremony of gratitude – gratitude for two weeks of badly needed dry weather, gratitude for the new friends the spirit has brought into my life this week, gratitude for turning the unlucky Friday the 13th into a lucky day,
Until it became unlucky. When I cam back up to the house, I recorded a new version of AMAZING GRACE, a tune I also played on my flute during the fire ceremony. And then I was sat down to edit the video and write the story about how AMAZING GRACE MUSIC cause a lot of blue smoke to rise from fire, the power went out.
And it is still out – over 2 hours and counting. So I am writing this also by… I was tempted to say by candlelight, but actually it is by a battery-powered flashlight.
So Friday the 13th did rear its ugly head in the end. Good thing I said in my original post about canceling the Unlucky Friday that the day is till not over and that I had better not gloat. Sure enough…
By the way, there is no wind. There is no rain. There is no high surf. Nor volcanic explosion. No earthquake, either. Just MECO! (Maui Electric – our public utility).
What makes this outage even more abominable is that our solar system produces more electricity than we consume. Unlike other utilities, like with my Arizona solar system, MECO pays me nothing! They just take my CLEAN excess electricity, mix it with their dirty (coal and diesel powered) energy, and resell it at retail rates to their other customers. And to top it off – adding insult to injury – they force me to suffer from their power failures like everybody else.
MECO have the system figured out… to suit themselves and skin their customers. This is not new news. But this long and completely unnecessary power outage reminded me of it.
PS: The power came back right now – more than 2 hours after it had gone out. Want to know what I was doing at that moment? Meditating. Lying on the floor with my eyes closed in total darkness. I remembered that way back, when I was in Peru being taught by the Apus (mountain spirits or angels if you like) during my first ordination as a shaman, that they said that’s what we should do once in a while in order to access them. Lie still in total darkness for a long time.
Wonder if MECO have some connection to the Andean mountain spirits? 🙂


About half an hour or so into a 2.5 hour power outage last night, I went back down to the gulch. By then, the fire was almost out. I piled up the remaining logs on top of each other and started blowing to rekindle the fire. It worked. A new fire emerged after a couple of minutes.
The moon had not yet risen so everything was pitch dark around me. I then spent the next 15-20 minutes in meditation and prayer sitting on the Haleakala “kulla” (big rock inside the sacred place) and facing the fire.
Later, I surmised that the spirits must have turned off the electricity for over 2 hours to make me do just that – and contemplate what life without modern technology would be like. I learned two things…
1. It was very peaceful. 2. But after 2 hours of darkness, I could not wait for the lights to come on so I can carry on my 21st century work.

Guess I still have ways to go before I reach the state of Nirvana – my New Year’s resolution.

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UPDATE JAN 14, 2017


Here’s an example of how something that most people thinks is a “bad” can become something that everybody will agree is beautiful.

This is tonight’s sunset as seen from my lanai. The close up provides a glimpse of the West Maui Mountains in the hazy background.

Beautiful, right?

Well, want to know what makes it possible?

Volcanic emissions. In other words, air pollution.

You see, we have been experiencing in the last week or so what we call here in Hawaii VOG. VOG is air pollution resulting from sulfur dioxide emitted by the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island. Kilauea emits 2,000–4,000 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) every day!

The so-called Kona winds (from the southwest) then spread the VOG across the other Hawaiian islands. Maui is the closest and the first to get it. This happens rarely, but when it does, it makes for spectacular air shows at sunset and sunrise.

Don’t worry. We are not in danger. By the time the VOG reaches other islands, the sulfur dioxide has largely dissipated, leaving behind ash, smoke, sulfates, and ammonia,

See how a BAD thing can also be BEAUTIFUL? 🙂

UPDATE JAN 15, 2017


HONORING FULL MOON, VENUS’ ZENITH AND ORTHODOX NEW YEAR’S EVE – a film by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – Jan 13, 2017 – with aerial views of the Rainbow Shower and the Anahata sacred place
Direct Youtube link:


Yeah! I have finally returned to my favorite trails in the McDowell Mountains above Scottsdale – the Calvary Hill Arizona.

This is a 6-mile hike with an elevation difference of 1,600 feet that emulates the Calvary Hill in Jerusalem, including the 14 stations of the cross. The summit is at the exact same elevation – 2,500 feet. All this was revealed to me by Master Yeshua at Easter 2013 during my 2013 Desert Quest (bob-bike-5-12-133check out my 2013 Desert Quest (PDF) and Calvary Hill Arizona-Sept 2013). Here’s also a map of my that trail.

When I reached the summit, I played two tunes on my flute for the Mountain Spirits and the Santa Tierras (land fairies): Amazing Grace and El Condor Pasa. Here are my earlier recordings of these famous tunes:

Amazing Grace by ALTZAR – Calvary Hill Arizona –

El Condor Pasa in Boynton Canyon, Sedona, Arizona –

And then I sent my love to the Santa Tierras at the Rainbow Shower who I know have been missing my music and attention.

So what took me so long to return? (I have been in Arizona over a month now).

Well, during my last days of working at the Rainbow Shower in Maui, I sustained an injury to my right knee tendons that hampered my walking. And the only thing you can do with tendon injuries is give them time to heal. So instead of hiking, during the last month I have been swimming laps every morning, gong on bike rides 2-3 times a week, and taking short walks around our neighborhood.

So today was the first serious “road test” for me knee. And knock on wood, I am still walking on it. 🙂

The temperature was in the mid 80s and the vistas beautiful. So I brought some home with me so I can share them also with you all.

On my way down, I also stopped and prayed at this beautiful Pachamama rock that resembles a Native American shaman with a buffalo spirit inside. I discovered it originally in 2008, just under the Calvary Hill summit.

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UPDATE NOV 11, 2016


How was your Veterans Day? (Remembrance Day in Europe and elsewhere – the end of World War I in 1918).


Mine started in dreamtime during the night. I had a dream in which people wearing a camouflage hat I have had for years (at least 8, maybe 10). In my dream, the hat symbolized a “peaceful warrior.” It was part of the outfit members of the new Trump Army wore. The hat features a stylized star with a diamond inset, symbolizing the sun.

You can see here at sunset this evening, along with a view of the American flags at my Eagle’s Nest home in Scottsdale.


Earlier in the day, I drove in my El Jeepo to Cave Creek to try to buy some cheap household items I need now that Elizabeth has moved all of her kitchen stuff out. The lady at the counter of the Kiwanis second hand store looked at me and asked, “are you military?” I was wearing my “peaceful warrior hat and an American flag scarf around my neck.

“No,” I replied smiling.

“Not in this lifetime,” I whispered to myself. I was pretty much finished with my warrior lifetimes by the start of 19th century. But that’s not something I would want to share at the checkout counter of a second hand store in Cave Creek, Arizona.

“Not unless you count working for 10 years as a war correspondent?” I wanted to say. But I didn’t. The items I was buying were cheap enough as it is.

“Just out of curiosity,” I said, “why did you ask me if I was military. Are you offering some special discounts to veterans on this day?”

“Yes, 50% off,” the lady replied.

“That’s great,” I said. “It’s a nice special tribute to our military.” An older man behind me was also smiling approvingly.


By the time I got back home, I already had my own special tribute planned out. I was going to hike the Pinnacle Peak for the first time since coming back to Arizona a month and a half ago. And to do that, I was going to take my El Jeepo to the trailhead for the first time.

The hike itself was easy and uneventful. I have done it a number of times before in various temperatures ranging from freezing to 110F.  Most people I had met smiled at me and said something nice. As I did to them.

Along the way, I also said my prayers. Including the pledge that I dedicate this hike to all the veterans around the world who fought in all noble causes and were willing to sacrifice their lives for them.

Here are some picture I brought back from the trail:


When I got back down to the parking lot where I had left El Jeepo before starting my hike, I saw a young man sort of hovering around it. He was snapping pictures of El Jeepo with his camera.

“Isn’t this a cool car?” he said when he noticed me watching him.

“Glad you think so,” I said. “It’s mine.”

“Would mind now taking a picture of me, too, with my Jeep?”

And so he did.


“I call it El Jeepo,” I explained.

The man cracked up. “That is so cool,” he said, laughing out loud.

It turns out he was the owner of that red motorcycle you can see in the above picture to the left of the two Saguaros.


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UPDATE NOV 19, 2016


One reason this 4,000-ft peak on the McDowell Mountains above Scottsdale is called Tom’s Thumb is – you guessed it – it sticks out like a sore thumb over this mountain skyline. 🙂 Take a look.

I don’t know why, but today I felt compelled to go back to this trail. Maybe it’s because they are calling for a rare rain here in the Arizona desert tomorrow and the next few days.

Anyway, Tom’s Thumb is the hardest of all the hikes in my North Scottsdale neighborhood. The trail itself is actually quite nice, fine gravel, almost sand in places. – by contrast to the Calvary Hill Arizona trail, for example,  which is very rough, big rocks and stones everywhere.

But is is quite steep. Which means, your heart and lungs work overtime on the way up, and your feet, thighs and joints on the way down.  Often slipping and sliding. Ergo, my baseball shoes with cleats.

My baseball shoes with cleats and bright orange socks attracted a lot of attention on the trail, “like traffic signs,” I used to joke when people would comment about them. 🙂

It was a beautiful afternoon and a great hike with wonderful panoramic views, especially to the north and to the east. Take a look…