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Published: January 20th 2016
A Special Note to Readers: What you are about to read is my experience taking the medicine of Ayahuasca. At no point was I truly endangering my life. I was under medical supervision the entire time. If a reader is interested in partaking in a similar experience of self-discovery, I highly encourage that person to also be under supervision of a medical professional. I have written my experience as it came. I have put aside political correctiveness and proper jargon. These are the true, raw thoughts & feelings that came to me while I was under. Please read, do not judge, and enjoy! I hope my experience can open your mind to the possibilities of this amazing medicine.
I don’t even know where to begin, except for wow. When it was time, Sam and I entered the hut. The Shaman was there, wearing his traditional, vibrantly colored, parka. He was lounging on one side in the middle of the hut. He was smoking a traditional pipe with Amazonian pure tobacco inside. He was atop three pillows, making him physically higher than the rest of us. He resembled the caterpillar smoking the hookah
pipe atop the mushroom from the book Alice and Wonderland, same facial expression and everything.
Jamicca had set Sam and I up two heavy sleeping bags and some pillows on the same wall, different corners. Sam and I were both facing the Shaman. Jamicca sat on her own set of pillows to the right of the Shaman. Nurse Jessica (same one to distribute me the volcanic water) sits to the left of him. While the Shamen begins to bless the Ayahuasca in Quechua, Nurse Jessica opens her doctor’s bag and begins to check Sam and my vitals.
Between each prayer, Jamicca would explain to Sam and I, in english, what the Shaman was saying. First we mix two elements, Earth and Water together with our fingertips. Dirt in one silver bowl, water in the other. We rub our hands together, take a relaxing whiff and rain our hands over our heads three times and around our body. This was to represent us welcoming Pacha Mama and her elements into us. We do the same routine with two bottles of perfume, Rudi and Agua de Florida. They smell beautiful and potent. They were to protect
us, keep us safe.
Jamicca then explains to us the rules and expectations to Sam and I in a calm voice, with little winks here and there to calm us. She is so good at calming us.
“It is best to take the medicine all at once. Once you do so, please focus only on your breathing, meditate. She demonstrates, one breath in, one breath out. After about 15-20 minutes you will begin to feel dizzy. 20-30 minutes in, you will begin to purge. Simply make some noise and I will be right there with the bucket. *wink* Remember, when this happens we thank
Pacha Mama for this. We thank her for the purge, for she is ridding us of our negative energy and showing us the way.”
Once the purging begins, she will stand over you with feathers and oils that are to represent safety throughout our purge. “We may ask you to drink water in between your purges. I know sometimes it will be difficult, but you must trust us. Water will make the purging easier. Pacha Mama will give you what you need
during this journey, not what
you want. She is very intelligent, so tell her how you want to be treated. She is listening. She can take you down very dark places and very light places, but wherever she takes you do not be afraid. Say to her, ‘I surrender, Pacha Mama, I surrender.’ Go down whatever portal she decides to take you,” Jamicca takes a pause, completing her thought, “I feel very good about this group. It is only two of you. It will be easy. Both of you have very positive energy.”
I see the Shaman take a clear bottle with thick brown liquid in his hands. He raises it up high, performing a quiet chant of whistles and air blowing in an our from his lips. Jamaicca takes the two cups from the Shaman and holds them out in front of him. The Shaman lights his tobacco pipe and blows a pillow of smoke on top of each cup. Now both cups look as if they were tiny brewing witches’ cauldrons. Jamicca hands Sam and I the cups. Sam looks over to me, and with a raised glass says, “Many blessings, Jamie.” “Many blessings, Sam.” I replied.
I looked at the cup, put it close to my lips and spoke, “Please Pacha Mama, I am scared. I am nervous. I am open to you with whatever you must show me. But please, be gentle with me. I wish to be a better person. Remember, I am positively motivated, so show me the light. I trust you. I love you. Please love me too. I am ready,” and down it went.
It was better than I thought, the taste. I was preparing myself, through hearsay, how nasty the taste was. It was like a very thick and bitter cup of barbecue sauce. Keep in mind, I actually don’t like barbecue sauce. It had a very chalky dirty aftertaste (that I am still burping up today.) When Sam and I took the last gulp, we closed our eyes and listened to the sounds of the chants coming from the Shaman and our heavy breaths. I felt the first rise in purge about five minutes in. I knew that if I threw up this soon I would have to down another whole cup. That damn aftertaste will get ya! Instead I breathed louder, heavier. I did this
until the purge settled back down. A small victory! I kept my eyes closed and continued to meditate. Trying not to be distracted by Jamicca and the nurses setting up blankets in the hut. A few minutes more and ‘the dizzies’ came. t was the same feeling you get when you stand up too quickly, except I was sitting down.
The purge was like an elevator, rising warmly from my abdomen, then to my stomach, then to my chest. Before it crept to my throat, I raised my hand and made a tiny whimper to signal Jamicca. She came at once and crouched next to me. In a tiny voice I asked, “Can I purge now?” She pulled out her phone to check the time, surely it hasn’t been 20 minutes. In a maternal voice she whispers, “Try and keep it down as long as you can. Focus on your breathing.” She breathed alongside me. In and out, in and out. A couple minutes more passed and I let out another small whimper and looked at her. “If it has to come, then it has to come,” she smiled. That was all the permission I needed. Immediately
I got into the ‘purging position’ (all-fours) and, like Frozen, I let it go.
I made it right into the bucket too, a perfect shot! Jamicca came with the feathers and oils. She danced them over me and I could hear her thanking Pacha Mama for this purge. Nurse Jessica knelt down next to me,
“Are you feeing dizzy?”
“Are you seeing any hallucinations?”
“Ok, you can lie down now.”
I want to take a second to clear up any misconceptions of what a hallucination actually is. Although I would never
categorize Ayahuasca as a "recreational drug," I feel an explanation is worth nothing. For all readers who have not done any hallucinogens, it is 100%!&(MISSING)lt;em style="font-family: Helvetica;">nothing like what you see in movies. You do not see something that is simply not there. In fact, every person or object around you is the same. What a hallucination is is when you visualize a prism or tapestry-like patterns floating on the surface of the people or objects around you. Think music visualizers on a computer, it is those shape-shifting patterns that cascade lightly on top of your surroundings.
Anyway, back to the story —
As I was lying there, curled up in the fetal position, I just felt sick. The slow pain of regret started settling in. What did I get myself into?
Four hundred dollars just to feel sick. Worry and panic began to come. What followed after was another violent purge, except this time there was no
time for bucket-finding. I just did it all over the floor. It was dark, so I couldn’t see if I got it on my clothes or myself at all. Jamicca came to calm me, “That’s alright, that’s okay. Thank you, Pacha Mama. Thank you.
” She continued to pet my back and helped me into the purging position. She whispered to me, “Mama Pacha will take care of you.”
On all fours, my neck was so weak to lift my head. I rested it on the rim of the bucket. The words, “totally surrender” came to mind and I knew that’s what I needed to do to get through this. I closed my eyes, visualizing the tapestry patterns of black and purple. “Thank you, Pacha Mama,” I heard myself saying. “I surrender.”
My one last purge was aided by the nurse. These women really know what they are doing. In a distant, soothing Peruvian accent I hear, “Miss Jamie, drink some water. Please drink some water.” I felt my body listen without consulting with my mind. In one swift move, I rose up, grabbed the oversized bottle and chugged like my life depended on it. After four or five deep chugs, I was at it again — all fours. Very little was coming though. The hands of Nurse Jessica glided along my abdomen. She began to push deeply into certain pockets of my stomach, like she knew where the purge was hiding. Everywhere she pressed was an evacuation button for my nausea. It may sound gross, but it felt like magic. When I was tapped out, she fed me more water. I lied back into the fetal position and, once again, focused on my breathing.
The medicine was coming on strong now. My exhales became louder and louder. My exhales turned into these guttural moans that too grew louder and more intense. They kept coming and soon it was as if they weren’t coming from me anymore. Someone else, a group of beings, inside of me took control over these moans. I didn’t understand why it was coming like this. Uggggh. Uggggghhhhhh. UGGGHHHHHHH.
More passionately my exhales came. With each deep sigh, I was feeling stronger, better. Each exhale was a language of its own. They weren’t coming from me though, but from all the years — no, decades — no, centuries
of stress and suffering of my ancestors. My ancestors were ridding themselves of the pain and worry they have held for so long through my powerful exhales. It was beautiful. Tears formed in my eyes, it was so beautiful. I could really feel
centuries of pent-up anxiety deep inside of me vanish. After the last moan came, all of the worry was depleted.
And WHAM! Like lighting, I was struck with the with the biggest sense of euphoria I have ever felt in my life. It was every birthday, Christmas, award ceremony, celebration, every amazing warm and comforting feeling I’ve ever had wrapped up into one. I had the vision that everything was going to be okay.
Everything in my life is good.
The thing is, we can say
these affirmations to ourselves over and over and over again, but it is so powerfully different when you feel
it. It was 25 years of self-doubt, envy, negativity, worry and stress completely dissolved in three hours.
I just kept shouting, “This is amazing! Everything is amazing! Everything will be alright! Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit!” I understood everything to be the same, but felt it so drastically different than before. I was the enlightened individual philosophers like Allen Watts always talks about. I get it
now. I trick myself into worrying so much when I really shouldn’t, because nothing bad ever actually happens. All of my stress and obsession over where I am in my life and where I think I need to be — gone. Totally gone. I realized that I am a blessed person. I have had a good and positive life and I am completely unstoppable. Just because one peer is doing well in life, doesn’t mean I am not. We are all doing great things, together, and everything is truly amazing.
All I remember is lying in that fetal position with these epiphanies shooing at me like stars on a black night. I was told the next day that I was actually dancing all around the floor, I couldn’t hold still I was so happy. Staff also said that had a few good laughs at this. The next while I don’t remember much. I do remember small bird-like voices saying, “Jamie, open your mouth,” as she brushed my cheek. I followed her orders and a cold glass tube entered in and squirted sour liquid. I later found out that it was a herbal sedative because my ‘dancing’ was a tad too energized. I was flailing my limbs everywhere and could’ve hurt myself, hah!
Then the world became very cold. I just remember asking for more and more blankets. There were not enough blankets in the world to warm me. I also became very tired. Jamicca’s arm wrapped around me and she said, “come with me, we set up a nice heater in your room. Your warm bed will feel nice.” Every time I lifted my arm to move, the cold temperature felt like a thousand knives piercing my skin. Jamicca was patient, she let me lean on her for awhile while I gained my strength to get up. I felt forgetting what I was doing, I was so tired. Finally we both got up and she guided my waddling self back to my sleeping quarters. The nurse checked my vitals one last time and assessed that it was safe to let me sleep. They put two alpaca blankets on top of me and turned me on my side. I felt a motherly kiss goodnight on my forehead from Jamicca. They closed to door to let me sleep.
But I couldn’t sleep. Mother Aya still had another side to show me. I began to feel heavy, so heavy. In my head I was going through all these portals. I began to feel death. The death that I felt didn’t scare me though. It wasn’t a negative, rather a discovery.
I was discovering how it felt. I understood it. I understood death to be like a door. The more I laid still, the closer I got to knocking on that door. I realized that if I went through that door I would simply wake up as another life. It is that simple: If I were to experience death, the next experience I would have is birth.
I became very comfortable with the idea of dying. I was heavy — still. I was close to that door. I reached for it. I was about to touch the door. My eyes shot wide open and, without thinking, my hand reached for the electrolyte drink I was instructed to by and began to chug. Not today.
A deep message from Pacha Mama came to me, “Today I gave you all that you need. There is no reason for you to come back down this tunnel. You might not be able to come back the way you came.” Yes, Pacha Mama, I hear you.
Then I found my hands gliding over my abdomen. Childbirth.
Pacha Mama was connecting me to a very important role I will play in my life: mother. As if she was directing showing me why death’s door was not for me today. Then I had the thought: In Western culture, many feminine traits are looked at as weak. I have been so disconnected with my feminine side because I bought into these views. The thoughts and messages I was forming in my head were telling me of my importance as a woman. We create life.
We are Godly in that respect. I had an image of myself, delivering my child, calling upon Pacha Mama for strength during that monumental moment. She was there for me tonight like she will be there for me on that day. I then had an image of myself looking at my future infant, beaming at how perfect and how “cool”
it is to have a baby of my own. I was looking upon my child with the greatest love and warmth I’ve ever felt.
For the rest of the night, I laid in bed in deep reflection. I noticed that whenever my body needed something like water, electrolyte drink, the bathroom, without thinking my body would just do.
My body was making the decisions for me. It was really a transformative experience because I rarely do this. I realized that I overthink everything
. It was the last message Pacha Mama was giving me: listen to your body’s needs, so your mind can take a backseat and rest.
I was like a kid on Christmas. Too excited to sleep because I couldn’t wait to share all my experiences with Jamicca, Sam, the Shaman — really anyone who would listen. She was smart to begin with the positives, build me up so I had the confidence to discover the darker sides. She gave me everything I needed that night and I am beyond grateful. I feel everyone
should partake in an Ayahuasca ceremony at least once in their lifetime. You learn so much about yourself and grow so much, spiritually. That was the aspect of my life I always seemed to be missing. I’ve never been a religious or spiritual person, always a person of science. But that night, she bridged the gap between the two, science and spirituality, that just made sense to me. There really is something more than what meets the eye.
The next morning, Sam and I discussed our experiences with the Shaman. Sam said he even saw his future son! Doctor Paula was there, she also said that her first Ayahuasca experience she too saw her future son. Two years later, she gave birth to exactly who she saw in her vision. How magical?!
We all said our goodbyes and I headed back to Cusco a changed woman, an enlightened woman. I couldn’t stop smiling. I can’t stop smiling. There is something to be said about the differences of saying
everything will be alright and feeling
So there you have it, past, present, and future given to me all in one
ceremony. Mother Aya must know what a tight schedule I’m on, haha! My experience couldn’t have been more perfect. I don’t have to know 100%!m(MISSING)y next steps in life, just know that signs will come to me. That I trust myself enough to be open to seeing them. And I only have Mother Ayahuasca to thank for that.
Tot: 0.094s; Tpl: 0.022s; cc: 10; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0182s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb