The last entry in my ‘Discovering Ayahuasca’ series, Passion in Purging, detailed my third encounter with Ayahuasca, which took place in mid-June 2014 an hour outside of Cali, Colombia. It was quite a night. Three weeks later, a friend who is doing her PHD on traditional medicine in South America, invited me to what would be my fourth encounter with this sacred plant medicine.
I took a bus from Cali, 10-hours south to Pasto, Colombia. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful. It took place in a maloka (traditional round house) and was led by a couple great taitas (shamans). I drank twice during the ceremony but felt absolutely no effects other than a terrible stomachache. I only had a single vision, which lasted less than 10 seconds. It was a horrid green/brown face, which continually morphed into multiple grotesque faces. The significance of which I am still not entirely sure of. The following day when I had come to grips with the experience, I still felt an immense gratitude for the ceremony, as it was a truly beautiful experience, particularly the setting and the icaros (songs of healing sang by the Shamans).
Ayahuasca works in many ways, and it is important to note that not every ceremony is going to bring you brilliant visions and epiphany after epiphany. She (Ayahuasca) gives you what you need, even if you don’t understand it immediately or at all. In Passion in Purging, I had felt I had made a real breakthrough and was excited to push forward and work on the personal blockages that I’d discovered. This was my first ceremony where I had no noticeable effects. To be honest I felt discouraged and a bit let down, however I quickly accepted that this was the way in which the medicine works and that I needed to be patient.
A few more weeks passed by and life continued to flourish. The advances I had made continued to stay in effect, however I knew there was more work that needed to be done. Earlier this week, a friend invited me back to the same ceremony group from Passion in Purging. She told me that two other taitas (shamans) from Bogota, Colombia, who had very great energy, would also be leading the ceremony. Everything felt right, so I decided to commit.
I met with four other friends from Cali and we drove to the ceremony, 45 minutes outside of Cali, on Friday night. We arrived, met our fellow lightworkers (participants) and settled in.
I drank a cup of Ayahuasca, but again like the previous ceremony, I felt no effect the entire night, besides a mean stomachache. The shamans closed the ceremony around the time the sun was rising. Again I felt a tinge of discouragement. Was that it? Ayahuasca was done teaching me for the time being? Maybe so. Maybe I just needed to focus on implementing the previous lessons learned, rather than returning for more work with the medicine. But this was not the message I got from Passion in Purging…
The closing of the ceremony consisted of a ritual cleansing using various herbal essences and smoke and chanting (to put it simply, but there is much more going on). After this I lay down beside my friend. I was tired, discouraged, confused and hungry! As I lay there with my eyes closed, vivid visions erupted in my eyelids. The visions were some of the most incredible I have yet to experience. One in particular which stood out to me was a violet lotus flower with a Blackwidow spider laying on its back with its legs spread out, in the center of the lotus flower. In the center of the spiders belly was a Mandela of orange and gold tones. I hope to attempt to draw, paint or create this digitally eventually. I had other incredible visions as well including octopuses and other sentient beings, vibrantly colored and incredibly stunning.
The visions were beautiful but the stomachache was molesting me from the inside out. I noted this to my friend, excited to tell her about my visions after a night of nothing. She suggested I try and make myself throw up. So I walked to the outer perimeter of the circle and did so. Immediately I felt better. I went back to my mat and lay down closing my eyes. This is when the journey kicked in to full-gear. As most of the other participants were now resting, their night’s journey more or less over, I was just beginning.
With my eyes closed I was having vivid and spectacular visions combined with beautiful thought patterns. I experienced being the 1 in a million sperm to make it to my mother’s eggs. Sidenote; the next time you are feeling down or like you are not special, think about the fact that you are a product of the one sperm that won the race against millions of other sperm swimming for your mothers egg. You are the product of a champion.
Following this, I experienced 9-months of love and safety in my mothers womb. I came to understand that we come out of love, from the act of consummation to being carried in our mother’s womb. Regardless of our post birth experiences, we all share this common denominator and it is one of the core reasons we continually hope to encounter love throughout our lives. The visuals that go along with these experiences are hard to explain, beyond pure beauty.
This is when I came to have a major epiphany. As I mentioned in Passion in Purging, I became aware that I had some major blockages in my life for sometime.
I realized that after leaving a relationship roughly seven years ago, I began to place barriers and excuses for why I didn’t deserve to receive a certain kind of love. Furthermore, due to the pain of that separation, I wanted to guard myself from the pain and hurt. For this reason, I had been blocking potential relationships from developing, I had been pushing lovers I met away, and not fully opening my heart to them.
I believe this was partly me punishing myself for how I had handled my previous relationship. I was younger then and took many things for granted in the relationship. I felt guilty for causing my lover pain and heartache, and I didn’t want to be the cause of that for another person. Additionally as I mentioned, I wanted to protect myself from experiencing the pain of another failed relationship. In doing so I only made things more difficult for myself and I missed out on some potentially beautiful relationships.
I asked her (Mother Ayahuasca), why don’t I deserve this type of love? Why do I keep pushing people away? The answer I got? _____… Complete silence. And that is when it dawned on me, that I had been creating these unhealthy and detrimental blocks, which were causing more bad than good. I realized I can move forward, sin excuses, without reasons why a relationship might not work, without worrying about the pain and hurt that could potentially follow. And with this, a tremendous weight, which I had been carrying and causing myself for the past seven years, was been lifted off my shoulders.
As I mention in my second encounter with Ayahuasca, the shaman mentioned that what happens in your Ayahuasca journey is only half of the puzzle, the second half is implementing what you learned in your journey in your life. So with that being said, I am going to do all that I can to move forward without setting these limitations on my self. On the grander scheme, the same could be applied for many aspects of life. Normally we are the only thing standing between what we want and what we have.
We solely need to realize this simple fact and consciously decide not to set limitations nor make excuses, for why we cant do something, have something, be something, etc. Silence the excuses.
As I lay there digesting this all, I overheard the shaman talking to another participant who had had a very rough journey that night and was feeling pretty bad. He said, you are free, you only need to choose to be so. And he hit the nail on the head.
In a post ceremony talk a few others and I had with the shaman, he talked about how life is like a song. Have you ever heard a breath-taking monotone song, let alone a monotone song at all? Of course not. We need variations; highs, lows, plateaus and peaks. That is what makes for an incredible song and for an incredible life.
I had a second ceremony the following night, in which I go deeper than ever before. It was by far the most challenging, both mentally and physically, night of my life. Stay tuned for the right up, soon to come.