The second night came upon us after spending a day in reflection and walks on the beach. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it again but did a lot of soul searching that day and looked a little more into Ayahuasca. I’m very cerebral and the more I understand something the better I am able to trust.
I arrived at the ceremony with everyone in anticipatory silence and sat down on my bed with the clear intention of having a different experience. Before the medicine was handed out I asked “ Mama, Show me who I have become.” and “be gentle with me.” I calmly breathed and pictured myself in one of my favorite places - Tulum - It was night time and I could feel the warm breeze on my face and hear the ocean waves against the shore. The stars were out and there was magic in the air.
Again we were called up one by one. When it was my turn, my heart was hammering as the medicine was prayed over and then handed over to me. I bowed my head with gratitude and drank it down. That thick, sticky sickly sweet carburetor oil concoction.
I went back to my pad and we were all told to “have a beautiful evening." As the candle was blown out I closed my eyes, and sat... in silence….waiting… Having just participated the night before, I knew what was ahead of me as far as the ceremony but what lay ahead as far as the experience was the complete unknown. But I surrendered to it. I did not want a repetition of the night before so I was in a state of allowing and receptive to whatever was about to happen. Whatever that was - just be gentle. That was my mantra as I began to feel the medicine begin to work and I laid down.
It was interesting as I lay there with my eyes closed I could see everything, the shadows in the room, the fireplace I was laying by, our shamans singing. I couldn’t tell if my eyes were open or closed but when I opened them I saw the slit in the curtain and the luminescence of the night sky behind it. My eyes were closed and I could SEE. I had to keep rechecking that a few times just to make sure.
The geometric shapes appeared, like a code and a pattern of information I could not quite grasp the meaning of. The key to the universe, intelligence beyond my conscious understanding. As those changing patterns undulated behind my closed eyes I was thanking the heavens that this night was much different, actually quite pleasant then along comes the kaleidoscope and vivid animation. Swooping, swirling, oozing, morphing.
At first it was quite an entertaining display but the icaros that were sung took me deeper driving one color pattern into the next spiraling out of control. I couldn't grasp onto anything that kept me grounded long enough and began to to feel dizzyingly claustrophobic. Panic set in. Oh Shit...It's happening!
The medicine began making its way up my body to my head which felt like it was going to explode. “I need an ambulance. I’m going to die. take me to a hospital” I had to keep looking down at my body to make sure I was still there and felt constricted wanting to run away. I thought “Oh no I don’t want to do this” and a voice said “well, it's too late now.” and then a gentle whispering telling me to ”relaaaaxxx” And I did. I breathed in then slowly out, softening any resistance. I was in the room. I was safe. I had to keep reminding myself I was OK. It’s ok. I’m OK.
The freezing icy cold overtook me like antifreeze crystallizing my veins. Even though I had several blankets, a scarf and a hat (I remembered to layer up more from the previous night) I was freezing. I pulled the edge of my sweater up over my head not only to keep warm but to feel safe.
“Show me who I have become”
Memories of some distant ancient past. Flash. Flash. Flash I was shown the stars as home - pointing to the sky, Easter Island, Pyramids of Egypt, Celtic countryside, Beaches of Tulum, I was there looking up at that same star the brightest of all. Home. Then I was taken to Atlantis - Home - and shown the same star. I’m like “really?” and over and over again star Atlantis home star Atlantis home. So..... ok.... Home.
As the medicine moved from my head to my chest I thought “Wow Ayahuasca is not for the faint of heart. This shit is painful!” I experienced a lot of physical pain in my body as it had its way with me.
Then She came. Mama Aya.. to take care of me and help me through. “Mama why does it hurt so?” "To clear away and open you up” she answered so gentle and loving, cradling me and wiping my brow. "Mama show me" and she did. Flash Flash Flash like a strobe in slow motion.
My relationships one by one. Ones I have hurt and those who have hurt me. “Mama how do overcome” She kept nurturing me and comforting me. Then she showed me the last relationship and my heart felt like it was seized in a fist “Mama it's so painful” She says “ Yes love to open you up”
More memories. I was shown my mother giving birth to me then me being taken away before I could be held and placed in the nursery with the other newborns. I saw my birth mother at the glass looking down at me with love and longing, sorrowful she could not take care of me. That she never would. Flash. Me in some other life, with a baby cradled in my arms. So much love, so soft and smelling so sweet. Flash. Me giving birth again somewhere in a distant past, holding my baby in my arms the precious moments before she was taken away and I bled out.
“Queen” There I was leading the masses. I saw myself in some ancient time, I’m not even sure if it is the time in our known history on this planet, in a beautiful gold dress, open in the middle, shimmering liquid gold lame dragging behind me on the ground, scepter in my hand and thousands of people below me. Regal, royal and full of power.
“Queen mama?” “Yes Dear. Queen. Remember that. It’s who you are. It’s your destiny” At that point she told who I was and all I was to do and to trust. I would ask “Mama what about or how about…” and she would show me. It felt so good to be with her. She resonated a familiarity and warmth that I have always known but yet had somehow forgotten.
At that moment I heard “drama guy” - who was having troubles that night as well - tossing and turning and moaning and groaning - come up and ask for more. The second round had been offered earlier which of course I did not partake in. There was no way my body could have handled more let alone my stomach. The very thought, even in my altered state, made me shudder.
Our guide told him “no man, it's too late we are about to do the closing ceremony.” and in my Queen energy I thought “Oh groveler. Be gone with you. Scurry away.” Whaat? Not very peace and love and enlightenment which I thought ayahuasca was all about. But...ok...rolling with it.
As the medicine began to wear off and my connection began to fade I implored, “Mama don’t go. Don’t leave me. How will I find you?” She said “I am always here. You can ask for me anytime” and she pointed at my heart. Then she was gone yet still somehow with me, enveloping me in blissful aura of love. I can still hear her voice and feel her with me. Anytime I call upon her she is there.
The ceremony ended and the lights were gently lit and our guides began cutting up fruit and making tea. This time I did not run away from everyone and was happily content to just lay there enjoying some of the sweetest most tantalizing apples, mangos and papayas I have ever had the pleasure of eating.
I ended up sleeping on my mat in our ceremonial space amongst everyone else and only moved down to my bed in the morning for another few hours of contented sleep.
The rest of the day into the afternoon progressed with a healthy, hearty breakfast, a circle with shares, and a walk on the beach before heading back to the city. Each of us carrying something new, profoundly changed.
Reflecting on this life altering weekend, would I do it again? I am one to never say never. When the time is right and I am called, I will answer. I am grateful for the experience, lessons and insights I received. The people I chose to entrust my experience with were top notch and totally legit. They gave so much and the safe container provided not to mention beautiful ceremony I was part of would be reason enough to return . For now, I feel I have the ability to to access these higher states without the reliance of ingesting something to bring me there and am currently learning how to “Become Supernatural.”
There is an integration period after any ayahuasca experience. The medicine can stay in the body for 6 months and yet it feels like it's intrinsically woven into the very fabric of my being. My life has unfolded in a multitude of unexpected and miraculous ways. Everything is clicking into place and I can now see where the breadcrumbs I have followed lead me to where I am. I couldn’t understand it before but I do now and I am in complete awe and amazement.
The days that followed, I took comfort in listening to music that I heard during the ceremony, taking long walks in the forest and communing with nature and the trees whose life force I had within me.
Ayu is the mother of all medicines. It’s sacred and should only be treated as such with the highly trained curanderos leading and guiding you. Choose wisely and prepare yourself accordingly and be open to whatever she has to show you.
“The ego is only a bit of consciousness that floats on an ocean of dark things. The dark things are the inner things.” C J Jung