Ayahuasca (B. caapi & P. viridis)
Citation: Quantagy. "Love Terror and Revelation: An Experience with Ayahuasca (B. caapi & P. viridis) (exp106524)". Erowid.org. Mar 4, 2017. erowid.org/exp/106524
I had done what I told myself was “ayahuasca” twice before, using Syrian Rue and Mimosa Hostilis. This would be the first time using the traditional recipe of Banisteriopsis Caapi and Psychotria Viridis. A note on the timing of this journey: Four days earlier I’d lost my brother-in-law, who’d been suffering from liver disease for almost a year while awaiting a transplant. I was with him when he passed, and this was weighing heavily on me going into the journey. On the one hand, I could be setting myself up for a hellish experience, but on the other hand, it could prove to be the perfect timing to release the trauma of that event. As usual, it proved to be a “both and” situation….
100 grams of banisteriopsis caapi (yellow vine) was shredded and combined with 100 grams fresh psychotria viridis, and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Just enough distilled water was added to cover the plant material, and cooked over low flame (just below boiling) for 3 hours. Then the mixture was poured off through a t-shirt into a second steel pot, and fresh water and vinegar was again added to the plant material for second wash, for another 3 hours. The process was then repeated a third time, leaving me in the end with about 800 milliliters of Ayahuasca. This was then reduced down over the course of two hours to 650 milliliters. This was then split into two separate doses at 325 milliliters each. The entire process from start to finish took about 15 hours. Throughout the entirety of the brewing and reducing process, I smudged the kitchen and medicine with white sage, and repeatedly whispered my intentions to the plant spirit: “to let go of my fear, my pain, my anxiety, and my anger.”
I prepared my room by lighting candles, propping up pillows on the bed, and having a lined garbage can handy for the purge. I also packed a bowl of cannabis, and kept a candle burning in the nearby bathroom. Before drinking, I performed a Kundalini yoga set for “the coordination of mind, body and soul”. I then again smudged the room with white sage, all the while chanting the shabad mantra for protection: Aad Guray Nameh.
I sat cross-legged on the bed, and whispered my intention one last time into the glass of Ayahuasca. In retrospect, 325 ml was a lot, and I probably should have reduced it further. It took me about twenty minutes to finish drinking it down, in small gulps. The taste was intensely bitter, in a rank coffee kind of way. Upon finishing the glass I set it down and began meditating on my breath. I could feel the liquid sloshing anxiously around in my gut, but continue to focus on the breath, knowing I needed to keep it down for at least twenty minutes if I wanted the full effect. A playlist of soft music filled the room.
I can’t delineate when my situation transitioned from “waiting” to “arrival”. Suddenly thoughts were disjointed. I was waiting for something….what was happening next, or before?....what song was playing?....who’s asking?....my vision was suddenly blurry, and when I turned my head it took some time for my eyes to catch up with the rest of my head. Confusion. Then nausea…
I never made the decision to vomit, I was just vomiting. I pulled the garbage pail between my legs and let it go, a deep, ragged retching, that despite its intensity only managed to bring up what seemed like a small amount of liquid. Suddenly my bowels clenched, and I watched myself fly from the bed to the bathroom, garbage pail still in hand. Now I was projectile releasing from both ends simultaneously. My head filled with the noise of my own retching and shitting. This terrible sound was suddenly familiar: I had heard it just four days earlier, made by my brother-in-law as he lay dying. An unspeakable realization dawned on me. I was not only myself here and now in the bathroom being sick, I was simultaneously my brother-in-law, dying in the hospital. What had always seemed to be two events separated in time and space and within two different people, now revealed itself to be one singular event happening to the same consciousness. There is no way to convey this kind of dread, this fear. I continued purging from both ends, and in between each heave would ask out loud if I was really my brother-in-law, and if this were really happening….Then I was shown flashbacks of every terrible thing I’d ever done, everyone I’d ever wronged
I was shown flashbacks of every terrible thing I’d ever done, everyone I’d ever wronged
, every lie I’d ever told, since I was a child, all this guilt just being churned up for me to witness before being puked out. And when it was done with me, I purged for humanity’s atrocities: murders, rapes, injustice, you name it. It was all given to me to be vomited out and released…I believed it would never end.
A Voice (I’m calling it a voice but know it was not a voice, but what I can only describe as a telepathic signal, and kind of messaging, impossible to adequately articulate—although it was certainly female) calmly suggested that I should gather myself and get back on the bed. Somehow I did.
I crawled back to the bed, and for a moment considered smoking some cannabis to take the edge off. The Voice returned, and her message was more or less: “No, you asked for me and you got me. I’m not sharing you with anyone else.” The Voice struck me as that of a jealous lover.
I laid down and closed my eyes. A million lifetimes and the talents of every great artist who ever lived would not be enough to even approximate the utterly impossible beauty that surrounded and enveloped me: blues, pinks, greens, yellows, snaking vines and embracing tentacles of galactic vegetation. Pulsing mounds of shimmering alien flesh, dripping with thick wet jungle sex and death and birth and every stage of life and being in between. A vaginal opening in the center of my vision, pouring forth a LIGHT that was the source of all creation, and from it poured a rainbow of primordial language and symbols, the very foundation of universal mathematics—the archetypes of cosmic structuring. My soul shook with orgasm as I was pulled apart and painted upon the entirety of existence in the same pattern that I beheld. All these silly words I have to use, what’s the point….simply indescribable in the end….I’ve smoked DMT before …a child’s kaleidoscope compared to this…And behind this incredible experience was the HUM, the ever-present BUZZ behind all levels of dimensionality. And also HER, the VINE, with me, massaging towards and through me with her tendrils…working her LOVE deep into my astral bodies….
I can’t recall when or why it took a hard turn, but it did. Suddenly I was pulled out of this cosmic botanical paradise and instead flipped into a world not unlike the repetitive, flipbook-like quality of a Salvia experience. I kept seeing myself, and others, caught in a repeating trap of trying to accomplish something, trying to achieve some kind of resolution that can never be achieved. The burden, the incredible weight we carry around in this dimension! Nothing can ever be finished…there is no end….we slouch groaning towards some make-believe ever after that is only a lie invented by a mind that has lost its mind. We are trapped. Nothing stops. Nothing concludes. We can’t let go, we just carry the weight from one repeating moment to the next…Just as I could not adequately describe the beauty of the previous stage, similarly I cannot convey anywhere near the sheer terror that now filled my being. I felt as though the entirety of my existence was the front end of giant, roaring wave that would never crash to the shore, but would just forever fall, and roar, and ache with the desire of a relief that will never arrive. I begged for death, out loud, for at least that would be an ending.
Then the vision pulled back, and I saw that I was only “myself” at this particular moment, but in reality I was all selves that have ever or would ever exist. That the notion of selves in and of itself is the trickiest of illusions. Each individual life is a split second costume thrown upon universal consciousness by this strange phenomenon called Mind. Only down here does it feel solid, real, and linear. I was pulled out of the illusion into a violent wake of realization…pulled up further more, then, into a still, silent space outside of all phenomenon. The Ever Present Stillness. This was not relief, for this was not anything and yet it was simultaneously all things…. There was no “me” to experience this, however. I was like the doll made of salt who is dropped into the ocean….
When I returned to my body it shook as though having a seizure. Incredible electric vibrations coursed through my limbs and out of my hands and feet. My head was turned, and my eyes laid upon a photograph illuminated by a candle. It was three of my closest friends, toasting a cup of wine in the gorges of Ithaca, NY. Their arms snaked like the vine itself, and love and friendship poured forth from their eyes and fell into my own. This was the first sign of a return—that I was coming back. I wept with relief. I wept with joy for my children, my wife, and for my brother-in-law.
Over the course of the next hour I slowly pulled myself back together, and from the center of my chest began the expansion of a now incomprehensible serenity. An understanding that when it all falls away, only Love remains. It is in a sense, the only thing that is truly real…
Outside it was raining. I crawled off the bed, stripped off my clothes and walked out onto my back porch. The cool rain showering down on my naked body washed away the slick sweat of the struggle, mixed with my tears, and filled me with gratitude.
This is simply the most powerful medicine I’ve ever taken. Three days later I can still feel the Vine in me, snaking through my consciousness, delivering insights, questions, and ideas. It is asking me for a real commitment to ongoing work with Her. I feel no real choice but to oblige, although I believe the course now to explore smaller doses, and perhaps even with some vine-only brews…
This experience was less a “first step” and more a complete plunge. I know I can integrate this, but I don’t believe another balls to the wall soul-fucking is what I should be seeking the next time. I’ve been shown Her power, but to truly learn and grow with this teacher I believe I need to start from the beginning with small, slow steps.
COPYRIGHTS: All reports are copyright Erowid.
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.