Why Do I Drink Ayahuasca?
The more I take ayahuasca the more I learn about this scared union of plant medicines. Ayahuasca is revered as the grandmother of plant medicine and like a grandmother she is here to make you feel safe and to remind you of the beauty and magic of life.
Synchronistically my journey with ayahuasca and has been coexisting with my journey in motherhood. Many people have asked me, "Why do you drink ayahuasca?" My answer is simply, "Ayahuasca makes me a better person". Encapsulated into being a better person, I am a better mother and better partner. Ayahuasca gives me the empathy and the patience I need to be a great and caring mom.
Prior to visiting Peru, I had sat with ayahuasca over 15 times. I had attended my first ceremonies in Arizona and then in Mexico. In Mexico the ceremonies I went to extended to over 40 people and were filled live music and guided by young Mexican ayahausceros. The excitement in those ceremonies was palpable and I think fondly about all the friends I made attending them. There was a feeling that anything could happen and I was always intrigued when the spiritual possessions would occur and people would freak out. Attending those ceremonies I saw three spiritual possessions occur. I do not know why they occurred other than the idea that some people have very unique psyches and when a plant medicine is taken it can unlock things that seem to be affecting the psyche in a negative manner. In a way it also breathes life into the negative fear and spiritual delusion that being attacked by a demonic entity or spiritually possessed.
In December, I traveled to Peru and I had the honor of working with Mesa Meni Rodriguez privately in his home. With the exception of some of his family members and his wife joining us the ceremonies were private. Each night I was offered one large glass of ayahuasca and he drank 2-3 times the amount I took from the bottle. I thought the medicine was very relaxing and not as strong as I was used to. I learned that he exclusively worked with yellow vine and that yellow vine is for beginners. I also learned that ayahuasca is a cumulative psychedelic. That means if you drink ayahuasca each night for a few nights in a row, by your fourth or fifth ceremony you will arrive in very deep space.
The place I arrived in on my fifth ceremony was equal to the feelings of the onset of 5-MeO-DMT. My ego and everything I am as a person was slipping away. I also felt like something was trying to harm me and possess me. The infatuation with spiritual possession I held was manifesting in my experience with ayahuasca and I felt overwhelmed with anxiety. My rational brain trying to explain to myself that I had just taken the medicine and there was no way I could be feeling this effect so quickly. My ego caving into panic because I know I have taken an incredibly psychoactive substance to which I am imprisoned in for the next 4-6 hours.
At this time I guess I was moving around in a chaotic manner or possibly I vocalized outloud to myself to calm down. My shaman and guide asked me with concern "todo bien Hermana?", to which I replied "no hermano". He came over to me and sat with me and proceeded to do shamanistic things over me like blow aqua Florida on my third eye and crown chakras. His wife came over to me, put me in a bear hug and massaged different areas of my stomach. With her massages I vomited what we all recognized as a demon. A demon that had been living inside of me. I felt very scared but during these moments it is important to trust your guides and trust the medicine.
It is hard for a rational brain to accept that all of your problems stem from a demon and that at some point in life you allowed this demon to crawl inside of you. Five days of drinking ayahuasca made this idea seem plausible. The things that happen during ayahuasca do not always make sense in the world you return to after the ceremonies. I do feel better though. I am still left with major questions of what exactly did I experience and why did my logical brain come up with a projection of spiritual possession. What does that say about me as a person? And what is the relationship between my own projection and the spiritual possessions I had seen in other ayahuasca ceremonies.
I had a lot of questions for the shaman after the ceremony in which I felt I was becoming posessed. First I wanted to know what happened. He told me that I had a demon living inside of me and now it was gone. I asked why the demon took five ceremonies to come out and he told me sometimes that is the way it is. Things can hide very deeply in you and it takes a lot of medicine. I asked if he knew I had the demon in me and he confirmed he did upon meeting me. He told me that many people have demons and the devil lives in the mind. I was trying to make sense of this information and translate in terms of psychology which I feel I more easily relate to. I asked how he was able to help me so quickly and he told me he has complete control over everything that happens in a ceremony. I asked how and he simply said he could teach me but its something he learned very young.
Each ceremony the shaman invited me to follow him into the secret garden. He told me I have an open invitation from the plants and that they have welcomed me but told me I must focus to enter the garden. Although I don't dare try to explain this is words I have a vague understanding of how to get to the garden. I have not fully entered the garden but I have glimpsed it and I see it in the shaman's eyes and artwork he painted that covered his home.
Another common theme for my ayahuasca experiences is to be cleaned by my spirit animal the white owl. Many experiences I go into a trance like state and just whisper white owl over and over. After repeating the words my spirit animal arrives a begins eating things from different parts of my body. Sometimes it a grotesque worm and other times it's just decay. I recognize what is being consumed as behaviors or energies that no longer serve me. At first my spirit animal was a barn owl completely white with a long needle like beak almost looking more alien than an owl. Over time my coven of owls has grown and now includes a a family of Great Horned Owls and a skilled barn owl surgeon. I feel an incredible bond with owls and believe in the deep symbology they hold that is found in every culture. In Jungian psychology the meaning of the owl is to see what is hidden or to see in the dark. Owls are also thought to be spiritual messengers that communicate between our physical world and the spiritual world.
The ceremonies in Peru were very different from the other ceremonies I had attended. In Peru the ceremonies were held in total darkness. The only light during the ceremony came from a flicker of burning mapacho. There was no music during these ceremonies. The shaman would sing one or two icaros each night but other than that there was silence and only the noise of the night in Pucallpa. As a psychedelic guide, I understand how light and music can be somewhat of a distraction but also make the journey easier. When they are taken away the person is left with themself. From complete darkness beautiful visuals can be born.
I left Peru and returned to Mexico satisfied and with my own supply of ayahuasca. I was told to microdose and explore the medicine in my own way. I write this in March as the supply I brought with me is dwindling some lost to the inevitable fermentation of the medicine. It has been two and half months since my journey to Peru and I have drank approximately 4 liters of ayahuasca since my return. Despite my best attempts of getting my friends and husband to join me, most of the medicine has been consumed solely by me.
What have I learned during my own exploration into the medicine and microdosing ayahuasca? Here is a compilation of thoughts and tips: Do not fear the medicine. Ayahuasca is probably the most pliable of all psychedelics. What you think about is important going into the experience so try to embrace concepts of universal love. You have complete control. If you fall asleep after taking ayahuasca you will have blessed dreams. The dieta is a suggestion but do not stress about it - just stay away from fermented products, processed foods, and don't eat pork or red meat. After so many ceremonies you will rarely purge unless the dieta is neglected. Ayahuasca is very different when you are by yourself. I now see that every group ceremony that I have attended - I became vessel for stuck energy that needed to be purged by other participants. I see that I fully accepted that role and that so much of what I felt in those ceremonies was not my own energy. If things get too intense in an ayahuasca journey play authentic icaros for love, wisdom, and healing. Although some will disagree with this, I suggest trying a microdose of ayahuasca in replacement for anxiety medication like benzodiazepines. It has a wonderful way of relaxing a person and making them feel grounded and held as if your grandmother is holding you. With a microdose of ayahuasca you are connecting more with the vine versus the DMT element. The Baniststeriopsis Caapi Vine contains powerful monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) which already have a place in traditional Western pharmacology.
The shaman I stayed with in Peru does not benefit financially from ayahuasca the way that many retreat centers do. He is 100% Shipibo-Konibo from Pucallpa and one of the best and most caring human beings I know. If anyone is interested in a ceremony with him please email me at email@example.com . It is also our dream and plan to bring him to Mexico so he can share medicine with our past participants.
And if you are considering ayahuasca you should do it. (Assuming there are no medical or psychological problems preventing you from doing it). Don't fear the medicine
Wishing endless love upon everyone