After spending some beautiful weeks in el Eje Cafeterio, in small little villages such as Jardin, Jerico, Salento and Finlandia i was ready to go to the jungle. This time it supposed to be a special experience.It was a spiritual journey to the roots of myself. I was thinking a lot about if i should write and share my experience or not. Finally i decided to do it, for myself, as i still have to deal with what happened to and with me during the ayahuasca ceremony and for those who wish to experience the amazon medicin.
My travelmate Meghan was a source of inspiration and mi hermana during weeks of travel. Our journey took as to Mocoa were we spend a night at the entrance of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world: Cascadas el Fin del Mundo. After we hiked to this amazing waterfall in the morning we took a long bus ride to a town deep in Putumayo. We had no real adress, just a name of the Taita (Shaman). We were told once we arrive at the town we should ask the people, they will know….all super exciting. Arriving at our destination we took another ride (in fact a small little jeep) for about an hour till we were dropped off in front of the house of the famous Taita.
We found ourselfes in the middle of a huge kitchen surrounded by a lovely family.
Grandparents,aunts,uncles,grandchildren,friends….everybody under one roof. And us, two travellers searching for answers. We were accomondate in a small cabin by the river, in front of our terrace the jungle.
You can find many places to take Ayahuasca, retreats in fancy places for hundreds of dollars a week, but this is not what we wanted. So we were very lucky to be with the indigenous family in the middle of the jungle. This was for sure a special opportunity for us and this place was just magic.
The first days we spend our time to get to know the family and our Taita. We had a special bound to one of his grandchildren Tania, who is 8 years and to Melucha, the wifes sister, who lived across the river in a beautiful house. We spend a lot of time with her. She teached us how to make necklaces and in return we teached her some english. This days we were very peaceful. Before the ceremony i woke up a couple times in the middle of the night, i heard some singing and music coming from the jungle. This is for sure something what scared me a little bit, one night i was about to sneak into Meghans bed 🙂 I talked to the Taita about it and he explained me this are the spirits of the jungle. The family has a very special relation with the jungle and Madre Ayahuasca.
I heard many things about preparing yourself for the ceremony including a special diet, no alcohol weeks before and about having a purpose. Well nothing of that had value in the Taitas house. We ate normal, just the dinner before the ceremony consisted of outmeal, aquapanela and cookies. I wasnt asked if i had a purpose for the ceremony. The Taita believes that Madre Ayahuasca will show you what you need to see.
Before the ceremony we tried some eyedrops of Sananga, an amazone medicine, which a Kambo Healer brought from the jungle. This drops were burning in the eyes for minutes. Sananga supposed to help you to have good visions while the Ayahuasca journey.
In the first night we went all to the ceremony place. It had several hammocks, matresses, a fireplace and a toilet around the corner, surrounded by the forest. We drunk the first cup all together, a brown, thick sirup which tasted like something you do not want to drink again.
And than silence, everybody got to his place, which was a matress on the floor in my case.
I waited…nothing happened and i started to think it might not work for me. I decided to sit a the fireplace and watch the fire. Than it started. I felt a vibration deep in my stomack, it got more and more present and extended to my arms, legs, fingers, toes. I felt restless. I watched the fire and noticed i can see all the muster, patterns of the wood. When i closed my eyes i still could see them. I opened my eyes and started to see the patterns moving on the wood. In the next moment it was a snake on the wood, moving slowly. Everything else was clear, there was just the snake. I watched it fot a couple of minutes and decided to go back to my place. Walking wasnt that easy anymore. I was totally clear in my mind, just my body wasnt really controlable. I layed down and closed my eyes. I kept seeing snakes moving and turning into roots, trunks of trees. In the next moments everything was vibrating, i kept seeing colours, patterns turning into animals, butterflys, trees, leaves. By this time the Taita started to play music on a guitar and sing. He was doing it the entire night, songs of the amazon tribes. I wasnt feeling well, it felt like a hot stone in my stomach. I felt sick. The first family members were ” using” the bathroom. I was very restless and i coudnt really stay still. I was moving around from one sight to the other. When i watched around everybody else seemed to be quite and peaceful, which wasnt really helpful for me. Purging is a natural effect of Ayahuasca. People throw up or just “go to the toilet”. On my way to the bathroom i felt very dizzy, i moved so slow but it didnt feel like that. Sometimes i was surprised, it felt like i walked for minutes but i just got a few meters far. I went to vomit three times to the toilet and each time i lost more control of my body. It felt like beeing in another dimension, all looks familiar but still different. A place that looks alike the one you used to be at.I didnt vomit this night, even if i tried to. There was just a bunch of air (actually like wind, which scared me a bit) coming out. I kept seeing things around me, shades, snakes and patterns. I tried to think of people, problems i wanted to solve but i couldnt really control my thoughts. It was like a movie, i kept seeing things and i talked to myself. Sometimes when i asked myself something i had the feeling something in me answered and showed me pictures. I tried to walk around when Melucha came to me. She asked if i am ok and i sayed i feel weird. I couldnt really talk as it was an effort. She grabed my hands and said it is normal. I just thought i cant really feel my heart, i dont know if its still there,i couldnt feel it. When i looked in her face i saw colours, like she painted her face for a parade. She smiled and i went back to my place. I struggled for a few hours, trying to put together the things i saw. And than i was somewhere else. I was with my mum, we walked along a trail close to her house. We were not talking but we smiled. It seemed like its autum and we were wearing jackets. Some trees were already yellow and leaves were on the ground. I stopped at a tree. I showed her something, pointing at some leaves and she looked at me and smiled back. She had tears in her eyes.
The vibration in my body was getting less and i became clearer in my head. Moving was still weird but i felt the magic of Madre Ayahuasca leaving me. I talked to the others for a bit and listened to the music. I was thinking a lot, about the vision of my mum. And after a few hours it became all clear to me. That what i showed my mum was just a simple thing and i realized i have to show her how beautiful life is and how little things like a leaf or a flower can make you happy. My mum is having a hard time and she is also very sick. I realized i have to remind here of the small little things in life which can make you happy. I am very greatful for this vision. Madre Ayahuasca just showed me what i needed to see and not what i wanted to see. The rest of the night i spend watching the stars, talking to the family and Maghan ( Megui, as Tania used to write). I felt happy and peaceful. I decided not to drink another cup, instead i enjoyed the feeling i had. At about 4 am i left the ceremony and went to bed.
Next morning i felt great. I knew i struggled with myself for a while during the night. It was like fighting against something in me. But all the things i saw and the vision of my mum made me really happy.
I decided i want to dive deeper and drink another night.
I went for a walk with Tania, she asked me if i had beautiful visions and i said yes. I asked her if she drunk last night. She said no, but she feels that Madre Ayahuasca is calling her. Tania is 8 years and she drunk Ayahuasca before.
The second night the same ceremony. We drunk the first cup together, first the man, than the women. I layed down again. I started to feel the vibration. Slowly in my stomach, my arms, legs , the entire body. I closed my eyes and i found myself in the forest. I leaned against a giant root of a tree.i was connected to it. My hair was floating into the tree. It felt like i was laying down for hours. Surrounded by butterflies, leaves, lush mountains and gras. I felt incredible. Kind of connected to the forest, like being a part of everything around me and her. I saw her face and i felt greatful, she let me be a part of her.
But something happened, i opened my eyes. People were sitting by the fire. Whenever someone passed by it felt like a dark shade touched me. I looked over to Meghans place and she was gone.i started to worry about it, i didnt see her for a while, but i was unable to move. I looked at my phone and i was counting the hours till i might feel better again. The numbers wernt clear and i couldnt even see what time it was. I felt restless and somehow frightened by everything around me. I didnt know why. Minutes feeled like hours for me. When i closed my eyes again i was flying over a horizon far away. There were no people, just an endless sky and forest. I started to feel very very sick. My stomach was hurting, way dramatic than the night before. I tried to get up but i couldnt. No energy. Getting into my flipflops was impossible. One second i was clear in my mind, the other i was totally lost. After i somehow arrived at the bathroom i couldnt vomit. I felt terribly sick. The next 8 hours were a nightmare. They were very painful and i thought i would loose my mind. I lost completly all orientation and the sense for time. I heard voices and i couldnt tell where they came from. Everything around me was moving, i couldnt really get together where i was. When i thought i am lying down towards the fireplace i opened my eyes and i was starring at the forest. I ll spare you the details about my time in the bathroom, it was awful. Its like having a bad foodpoisining and being super drunk at the same time. Close to be unconscious. At some point i was not even in my body. I saw myself kneeing down. My face burried in my hands in the bathroom. The candle was the only light. The curtains had a flower print. I saw myself. I was outside of my body but somehow when i think about this picture now it seems to be beautiful to me, even the situation was awful and redicilous.Who else would see something nice in beeing in the bathroom, trying to throw up? It showed me how hurt i was in this moment. Alone but still there, no matter how bad i felt. Something painful but at some point beautiful. Back at the ceremony place i tried to ask the Taita for help. I couldnt really speak, i felt very sick, unable to concentrate. I looked in the people’s faces, i couldnt see them, they scared me.The all looked like monsters to me. The Taita talked to me but i couldnt really understand him. I thought again i am loosing my mind. I went to see Maghan and i layed down next to her. She put her hand in my hair and said she wished she could help me. I know it was my fight. I was suffering and struggeling to keep awake, but i wasnt able to do anything.
The Taita came, asked me to sit straight. I tried. I told him how bad i feel. He asked me to lift my shirt. I tried.
He did something to my stomach. Put earth and hearbs on it. Said some spells, moving his fingers around and in my stomach. It looked liked he took something out of it and threw it far away. People were watching me. And i wasnt even able to lift up my shirt. He gave me something to drink and said its going to be all better in about 20 minutes. I didnt believe him. I thought i am about to loose my mind and than die.
But he did something to my body this night. I started to feel better, less pain. I was getting clearer in my mind but in total i was far away of being fine. I struggled the whole night. Actually the entire day aswell. All the things i saw. I tried to put them together. I still try. In total i needed 2 days to get back to my old shape. I talked to the Taita about how i felt, he said my body was doing some serious deep work. Purging. Cleaning, or however i should call it.
We went to bed in the morning, got some sleep….and we talked about our experience. Some of the pictures made sense and some not. But we were in common that this night was a tough night for both of us. We left next day and crossed the southern border to Ecuador trough the jungle. We felt like a part of the family and it was hard to say goodbye to all of them.
They say once you drink Ayahuasca, she will be always in you. I might left a part of me in the jungle and took her instead with me.
Be aware that during the ceremony you will hear and sometimes see people vomiting horribly. You ll see people toss and turn themselves, crawling on the floor.You will sweat like hell and be cold at the same time. You will feel pain, nauseas, fear and on the other side true happiness. You will lay down in fetal position and you will think you loose control about yourself. Or maybe not. But it doesnt matter how horrible the situation appears, there is always a purpose for that.
Everybody has a different journey and she will let you experience what you need to experience. You have to give up fighting and put yourself in her arms, thats the best preparation you can do. Just let it go… .