Citation: PermaPoet. "Spirit Defined: An Experience with Ayahuasca (exp90305)". Erowid.org. Jan 22, 2012. erowid.org/exp/90305
I had no idea how powerful this medicine could really be. I found myself vomiting out this deep hatred for my father that I have carried for years the first night, and two days later, tears of joy erupted when I finally realized how much of a burden that was to carry, and that I didnt need to carry it anymore...
That was pretty much the purpose of the first night for me. I sat for two ceremonies this past weekend, and my intentions were for heightened perception with interpersonal relationships, physical cleansing and to see my path as a healer in this life (I have always been interested in medicine and at the time of ceremony I was one week from graduating from the Boulder College of Massage Therapy). I received all of what I asked for, and more, in beautiful and painful lessons that I will carry into every day of my life in the present and future.
The first night was my first 'cleaning.' Vomiting up hatred for my father and anger was the best feeling ever, and I felt really amazing. I can't explain how strange it is to feel so sick in your stomach you need to puke, then right as the stuff is about to come up, the unrelenting and loudest thought reverberates through my mind: 'Why do I hate my dad so much?' Then as soon as I think that thought, the vomiting begins. As it continued for another minute or so, I had deep thoughts of empathy and compassion for my father, and forgave him for his transgressions, finally realizing 'he is a human being too.' Having this emotional work being done while there is a physical purging act, symbolic of the negativity I needed to get rid of, is a powerful thing. The next week at my graduation, I saw my father, and there was no anger or hatred. Anyways, towards the end of the ceremony, I remember hearing or thinking 'your path will come to you tomorrow.' It did.
I drank for the second night's journey, and a lot of anger came up for me. The shaman was doing his best to calm me down, but these were things that needed to rise to the surface and be purged. My purging was simply phlegm, no vomit, yet in the morning I checked my bucket and it was full of red fluid. My mind's explanation is that this was a lot of anger that I purged.
But something else happened that night. My deceased uncle came to me, or rather, his spirit's shadow, and sat down in front of me and instructed me to close my eyes. He told me that I am walking the medicine path now, but to know that there will be lots of pain. I asked him why, and he told me that 'why' is not what I need to worry about, that I just need to feel this pain to walk this path. I accepted this message and thanked him, and he left me to walk my path. Some time towards the very end of the ceremony, I was seeing a lot of spirits in the room. All of a sudden I felt and saw the sky open in front of me, and the Grandfather Spirits revealed themselves. They told me that I was now going to walk this medicine path.
They asked me if I wanted to have the key to medicine, to which I readily replied 'YES!' They told me that the key to medicine is to suspend judgment. If I can do that, they told me, then I can heal others. It was that simple. They told me that I will need to be strong, and then my hands forced themselves into a position....one hand open, the palm resting on the closed fist of the other hand; I guess it might resemble a martial arts hand position. They told me that whenever I am doing my healing work, that I may call upon them, and whether or not I can see them or feel them, that they would be there for me and would help me in my task. With that, they told me one more message: to bring in a teacher that I had really had a connection with in my time at massage therapy school, and they told me that they wanted to speak with him (they mentioned him by name). Me and him had discussed my intentions to drink the medicine prior to the weekend's ceremonies, and after I relayed this message to him, he said he was in.
But the most painful and beautiful lesson came after the ceremony, when I tried to help someone who looked like he could barely stand up. When I placed my hand on his back, he leaned his head on me and then grabbed my genitals. I calmly removed his hand and told him 'no,' and laughed it off. He apologized, and I told him that it was fine, that I was practicing suspending judgment. He leaned on me, then tried to grab me again, at which point I removed his hand, then led him to a chair to sit down. After sitting down, he grabbed my arm and told me to sit down on his lap. I told him no, yet he continued pulling me down. As I felt my leverage give way, my martial arts training snapped into action, and I swiftly removed his arm from my body, secured my space, and, as you would discipline your dog, firmly told him 'NO! BOUNDARIES!' and then walked outside (I now regret such a harsh tone to someone who was obviously not thinking clearly, but oh well, I was angry).
After 15 minutes of telling this strange story, I began to shake uncontrollably. Then the tears came, and they came swift and relentlessly. The feeling of having just been raped took hold of me, and for the next hour and a half I was a mess, shaking and crying and shaking and crying...I truly knew the pain of rape then, which is the worst crime that I think a human can perpetrate upon another. I asked to speak with the shamans apprentice, and after he failed to calm me down, he took me to see the shaman...
As I approached the shaman, the tears and sobs intensified. When he saw me he said with such calm in his voice 'It's ok, it's ok, it was not your fault. You were trying to help him. It's OK.' He told me to sit down and then he placed his hands upon me and began to sing a beautiful icaro to me. After two minutes of sobbing and crying, the pain gave way to release, and I felt the shaman pull something out of me. We talked for a while afterward about the medicine path, about how this darkness is ever present, and how the light will always be there to rescue me should I ever feel sucked into it again...
To shorten the story for you, I realized later that the incident in question, had I been totally sober and not feeling the medicine at work, probably would not have been a traumatic experience. But since the medicine was there to show me the worst pain in human capacity that night, that incident turned into the feeling of being raped. The apprentice told me I was lucky to have such a hard lesson presented to me, and that not everyone who drinks the medicine has such a valuable lesson presented immediately to them. I now know that feeling that pain has enabled me to understand to what depths people can truly suffer, and this will help me in my healing work. The most healing part of all, however, was forgiving the perpetrator of the incident the next day. He felt terrible, but I told him I have so much gratitude for the lesson that he unwittingly provided, and I also let him know that we are not our 5 minute indiscretions, that he was a fine person just like all of us, and that in a moment of medicine-induced near-lunacy, he had done something he did not understand. I found out that earlier in his life he had been raped. I now understand his pain, and forgiving him was the most healing thing that happened for me that entire weekend.
I have been slowly reintegrating into society, and as I give bodywork to people now, I call upon the grandfather spirits to aid me and the person I am trying to help, and I sometimes can feel them with me. This is perhaps the most interesting part: every session I have given since then, including on people who don't usually respond to my work, has been the best I have ever given. I am much more capable of being focused and present with myself and the client, and my work has improved NOTICEABLE because of working with Ayahuasca. The most obvious improvement in my work is my own sensitivity. Feeling things I have never felt before in body tissue is a great feeling.
This medicine is the most powerful I have ever experienced, and the healing I have experienced has been so profound an experience that I would never want to take back anything about it, even all of that pain my uncle told me about...
As a last end note: I do not recommend Ayahuasca to ANYBODY. This medicine will call you when you call on her. Hear the call for yourself. This is a big commitment; after you begin the diet and drink the tea, there is no turning back, you will be much more exposed and open than you have ever been in your life during the experience, and you may have a subjectively horrible time. But, there are many ways to feel healed, and that is all Aya wants to do: heal you and teach you. This has been the most intense experience of my life, and I had waited 1.5 years after learning about Ayahuasca before I truly felt I was ready (having 3 dreams in 3 nights in a row about Ayahuasca let me know that I was ready).
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