The room was quiet, although full. Nothing had yet taken place, but people were silently keeping to themselves in anticipation for what was soon to come. For about half in the room it was their first time, and the other half had drank ayahuasca anywhere from once before to 200 times before. We were advised to wear comfortable clothes and bring plenty of blankets. For the next 10 hours we would be mostly self-reliant in our respective personal spaces. Two shamans, a man and a woman, greeted us to the circle and as we got comfortable they asked each of us about our personal experience with psychedelics. It was more to understand how much of the medicine they should administer, because from everything that I had read, people had told me, and the shamans just then explained, we were in for a hell of a night. We were to meet La Abuelita, the grandmother. Ayahuasca medicine.
The days leading up to the ceremony were very calm and reflective. A strict diet must be adhered to so as not to interfere with the Ayahuasca medicine. We were also advised to avoid any stressful situations or anything that might disrupt our psyche. Not even sex.
Leading Up To The Ceremony
The afternoon before the ceremony I had spent some time in the middle of the lake on a canoe, allowing myself to fully understand my intentions of what I was looking to heal from the medicine. After about an hour of deep meditation an overwhelming bass frequency slowly crept up to the forefront of my consciousness. I had felt it before – it was theShumann resonance – a frequency naturally emitted within the earth’s own electromagnetic discharge. It always exists, but our daily distractions cloud our perception to where we are oblivious. But alas, in the middle of a perfectly still lake, the water acting as a conduit for electromagnetic frequencies, not only did I perceive it but the wave consumed my consciousness, and for that moment, I communicated with the earth.
At this point I might have lost some of you, and that is OK, I don’t expect everyone to believe me, just as I don’t believe every single person’s own story. This is my account that I share and hope that it is read with an open mind. But I should make my belief clear, because if you disagree with me and don’t have an open mind to at least consider what I am proposing, you might be wasting your time reading any further, eventually rolling your eyes thinking I’m completely out to lunch. And that belief is this: Earth is a living entity. A very old entity in which we and all other life forms among us act as cells on her body, contributing to the constant life cycle that is our world.
My experience on the lake came back to me during the ceremony, and I believe that by allowing myself to be in that meditative state I set the course for that experience. And therein lies thedifference between Ayahuasca and other psychedelic journeys – with the sacred medicine you co-create your experience. The medicine is not only a healer but a teacher, and if you ask for insight in a particular area theodds are that a light will be shone there.
To those who believe I am being facetious by referring to the sacred brew Ayahuasca as medicine, I do not blame you. To be honest I had initally thought that by referring to it as medicine, people were simply a rationalizing that this whole ceremony event wasn’t in fact some drug party. In our day and age people consume “drugs” to force themind to experience something different than their current state. Whether it is to alleviate pain, to distract themselves, to numb the senses, to excite, to depress, or just to escape, drugs are used for many reasons, but hardly with the intention to heal. This is also true for the drugs which people call ‘medicine’ nowadays. But medicine heals, and “modern medicine” dampens. It was never the intention of “modern” medicine to fully eradicate the woes that our culture experiences day in and day out. It’s simply not as profitable as numbing the pain juuust enough to make life worth getting out of bed. And getting your ass to work. Or school. Or church. Or whatever it is that we seek to fulfill our life’s purpose with, knowing deep down that there is an uneasiness that we feel, something that needs to be dealt with, something that is disappearing behind all the noise of our busy lives, our sadness, our stresses, and broken relationships.
Ayahuasca gets down to the roots of your soul, unearthing whatever hides down there and feeds the pain-body that limits your true self from shining it’s light to full essence. If words like “light” and “essence” trigger a judgement of this story being just a bunch of Hippie bullshit, then I encourage you to ask yourself what those concepts really mean to yourself. I’m not here to provide definitions, only to encourage you to reflect on what reactions come to mind if those words invoke thought patterns of judgment or regress.
But I’m getting off tangent. The medicine. Ayahuasca. A brew that combines two plants which, on their own, have no effect on our system. But when the vine and leaf are mixed, boiled down, and consumed, has effects that are truly magical. It has been called the “spirit medicine” because of it’s innate ability to tap into realms that go far beyond our perception. It’s like taking a proverbial cotton ball of rubbing alcohol to heal a cut within thespirit. But just like rubbing alcohol, in order to clean a wound, you gotta get rid of some dirt. This can be painful. But if you do nothing, the wound gets infected, eventually spilling into the rest of your system and causing your entire body to suffer. The same happens with our spiritual wounds – this medicine unearths things that we have chosen not to deal with and over time has infected our entire personality, our life purpose, our higher calling.
The Ceremony Begins
Once everyone in the circle was comfortable the shamans asked for our silence and attention. The medicine man explained that the journey would at times be difficult, but will never last forever. If we were to repeat a mantra in the head, it is that this, too, shall pass. He advised us of certain postures – sitting upright or laying down were ideal. Fetal position and on your knees with your head in the ground were not conducive to good energy flow. Oh, and the bucket. We needed the bucket within arm’s reach, because the odds are we would need it for when the purge came.