I went on a trip for enlightenment. A weekend trip equivalent to 30 years of psyhcotherapy. It was meant to be a big step toward my inner healing. I went on a weekend retreat to Soul Quest Ayahuasca Church in Orlando, FL. For those that have no idea what I’m talking about, Ayahuasca is a mixture that comes from a special vine in the Amazon. It is illegal in the United States unless administered by a sanctioned church. You can read all about the medicine here. A teacher I am not,…I’m a storyteller.
I’d been planning on taking the medicine of Mother Aya for over a year. I’ve been asking a few friends to find time off work to go with me to Peru, but to no avail, no one was ever available. I was shocked to find there was a sanctioned church right in my backyard. Whhhaatttt??? I started planning my birthday weekend immediately! My man stepped in and decided he was going to gift it to me. He loves me so much! He’s the reason I’m able to take so much time to work on myself and heal. He’s amazing!
Let me set this up for you…Girl walks in and everyone gets their own puke bucket…
At 8:00 the first night I drank the medicine. Side effects? Cold and sleepy. I was in and out of sleep the entire time. My stomach churned a lot, but not in the upper part of my tum tum. In the bowels…and my ego wouldn’t let me get up and “purge” in the toilet. At midnight the gong started was rung, indicating the time for the second doseage. I rose to a seated position and rose my hand. I’ll keep this going for another few hours. Why in the hell not? I don’t really feel much and I just keep sleeping. Maybe I need more for it to really work. I took the second dose of medicine and went right back to f’ing sleep. A few hours later my colon won the battle and I finally went to the bathroom and emptied my bowels. I looked at my watch and realized it was after 3AM. I asked if I could go to my bed so I could get my rest for the next day. Especially since I wasn’t allowed to eat.
The next morning I talked to my tent mates, double D to find out about their experiences. She D slept and he D froze to death. No therapeutic hallucinations. Come on Mother Aya…where were ya? We were educated on purging. Not everyone pukes to purge. Pooping, yawing and shivering are all forms of purging. Those that the medicine causes to go to sleep, are said to have things in their subconscious to work on. Also, the ego can serve as an inner protection service for your deepest darkest secrets. There’s a reason people dissociate. It’s the brain’s way of protecting you from trauma. This medicine can stir up those hidden and forgotten memories if your ego can succomb to it.
My second time drinking the medicine was during the day in an alcove in the trees. After the first dose I tried to sit up and allow the medicine to take a different type of hold on me. No sleep this time dammit! It didn’t help much, the sandman kept calling. A second dose was administered and my bowels decided to perk up. I went to purge in the toilet. On the way to the facilities I had a short conversation with one of the volunteers. “Why am I not feeling anything? I think I’m fighting it. I’m not trying to fight it. What am I doing wrong?” She could tell I was really wound up. She told me to love and trust myself. Stop thinking so hard. Stop all the negative self talk. In the little time it took to walk from the trees to the building she could see I was really hard on myself. I’m so transparant. I really took it to heart. I remembered she D and I had a conversation earlier about self love. She tells herself she loves herself everyday. When I got back to my mat, I sat up in a meditation pose and started chanting “I love myself” over and over in my own head.
I broke. A sadness took me over like a thunderstorm. It hit me over the head, and delivered a breath taking blow. I started bawling. Crying so hard! Immediately I started beating myself up. “Why are you crying for yourself ya dumb bitch?” that terrible inner voice reared? For the first time a more caring voice overpowered that inner monster telling me to cry if I felt sad. You’re allowed to cry. You’re allowed to be sad. Who’s to tell me that I can’t? I was crying for all the things that had been done to me. I was crying for all the things I had put myself through. I cried for the seed of self hatred was planted in me so long ago. I haven’t known anything else but caring for it, allowing a little garden of self hatred to sprout and flourish. My tears were washing it all away.
After the ceremony a guy came up to me to share his experience under the influence of the medicine. We had never spoken before, but he said he saw me duting that ceremony. My flags immediately went up to …whackadooooo! It’s what he said next that hit me. He told me that he saw a door, and behind that door was some nasty, evil shit that’s in my past. I don’t have to keep trying to walk through the door to face it. I can instead close it and move on. He said he saw what was behind that door and I need to close it. He could see and feel my pain and sadness. A stranger I’ve never met or talked to before having empathy for me when I can’t even do it for myself. It was beautiful.
Throughout my time thus far, I had seen some of the volunteers putting this stuff up their noses then spitting everwhere. To the uneducated person..ehm me…I had no idea why or what they were doing. Enter the Rapé. Not rape people! Chris, the head honcho, got us all in a circle to tell us the story about the jungle snuff rapé and what it’s supposed to do. You can read about it here. The skinny is that it’s supposed to ground you. After you get a gunshot of powder up your nostril and your sinus cavity feels like it was filled with napalm your head fills with vibrations. The vibrations are supposed to flow through your chakras all the way down to your root chakra and ground you. Me, being ever the difficult one, couldn’t get grounded. A soft angel of a being gave me my first puff of snuff. Napalm in nose? Check! Don’t swallow! Spit! Gag! Hock! I felt the buzzing in my head, but it stopped once it got to my throat. Reoccurring theme much? Just saying…that dammed throat of mine always causing me troubles in therapy now here. Finding my voice is an issue. Check! 10 minutes later I decided it didn’t work and I wanted to try again. Go big or go home! It’s the theme of the weekend! This time I had momma bear give me the business. Holy Marky mark and the funky bunch the good vibrations were fierce. My head was buzzing. It felt like my head was an old school radio trying to tune into a station and it landed on something crystal clear. The feeling slowly started to melt into my throat chakra then that bitch ate it all up…Obvi I still have work to do. No grounding pour moi.
The next ceremony was that evening. Oh and by the way, we can’t have shit in our stomachs for any of this so I had signed up for a fasting weekend without even knowing it. Points for my eating disorder! This time I was inside the house. Why you ask? Becuase I forgot a huge part of the afternoon was spent trying to save our camp site from a crazy freak of a storm that came out of nowhere. The grounds were flooded and the winds nearly took our tent. The staff and volunteers worked aimlessly to ensure we could still accomplish all we came to do. Anyhoodles, so I was inside for this one. I told myself that if I needed to purge via bathroom or otherwise that I was going to get up and do it dammit! No pride under the medicine, let it work! I drank and went to sleep. Again! Not for long this time though. My stomach started churning and I could feel that I was actually going to need my puke bucket for the first time over the weekend. I started hurling! While doing my thing I remembered another woman earlier mentioned that when she purges, she takes time to ask Mother Aya what it is she is having her purge. For therapeutic reasons ya know? So, I gave it a shot. I thought really hard, “what am I purging Mother Aya?” Convulsions took me over and I was refilled with all the sadness from the day ceremony. I was puking and crying both without a concern for anyone around me. When it was over, the silence was beautiful. I felt like a huge burden had been lifted off of me. When they came around for the second dose I decided to skip for the evening. I think Mother Aya’s lesson this trip was all about self love. I’m seriously lacking in it. Without that foundation of love for myself I can’t expect to move forward and heal.
Just when you think the weekend is all over, the last day is reserved for kambo, or the jungle vaccine. Only a few of us brave souls dared to do a kambo ceremony. They typically last for 45 minutes and you can expect severe reactions. Read about it here. They come around with a wooden skewer and candle. Then scratch the surface of the skin of the upper arm in two circles with the searing hot skewer. Next they place toad venom on the exposed skin. The reaction is immediate. It looks like you were stung by something. While most of the people around me were turning red and needing to be faned, something else entirely was going on with me. I needed blankets. More blankets! I was shivering all over and they told me I was pale. I barely threw up and I was freezing. It didn’t last much longer than 30 minutes. Luckily since I was driving home right after. Just as they sold it, once the experience has run it’s course, it was all over. I felt renewed.
If nothing else I took away that my self love game is defintley not on point…I have a lot more work to do. I’m getting better everyday and it’s the journey that counts. I want to go back again when I have more control over the thoughts in my head. I believe the medicine still has much to show me. It wasn’t my time to see really cool shit yet…but it will be. One day. Oh yea, other take away…peeps that puke, poop and sob together are friends for life.
Go Big or Go Home!
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