Citation: tangerin dream. "A Mixed Bag: An Experience with Ayahuasca (exp95240)". Erowid.org. Aug 20, 2017. erowid.org/exp/95240
My wife had attended one or two 'tea ceremonies' led by an Argentian shaman in the UK and had had positive, if occasionally challenging experiences. When he was next in town I went to see him as I was having some mid-life questions that I was open to getting some help with. I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised when at the end of our chat he suggested I attend the next ceremony - to be held in the forest the following weekend. I was a little taken aback as I was quite fearful of Ayahuasca and would have preferred a little more time to get used to the idea (or bottle out!). Anyway I said yes and that started the journey proper.
As the days ticked down I got more and more apprehensive about the Sunday. Come the day before I was really anxious, unreasonably and irrationally so really, not able to eat, sleeping all the time, sweating buckets. I really feel this was an important time and I think part of the healing that the whole experience brought me was what happened in that build up, without drinking at all.
On the Sunday I awoke feeling much calmer and drove down the 45 mins or so to the beautiful woodland setting in a leafy village about 30 miles outside London. I was the first to arrive and then some others came, two of whom I already knew from other groups we have been involved in. Only some of people there seemed, like me, to be there for a healing, spiritual experience - others seemed to be there just for some kind of hallucinatory trip. There was alot a bit of talk about the whole Santo Daime thing which I personally found pretty offputting as from I'd read it was a bit out there and cult-y. I didn't have an especially clear intention with the medicine but I did want to be respectful of it and asked it to show me whatever I needed.
We waited for P (the shaman) to show up at the appointed time but this turned out to be imported 'Jungle Time' so he was about 45m late. We all started a slow quiet trek up a hillpath to find a good spot. After about 20 mins we arrived at circle in the trees and sat down to make ourselves comfortable. P and his friend, and others who had done this before, started singing icaros (pleasant enough).
After maybe 15 mins a large coke bottle full of a brown mixture was produced and a small beaker. P went around the circle, gazing into the eyes of each person and poured what he deemed a suitable amount into the beaker for each of us. As far as I could tell most of us, me included, got a full cup. As he looked into my eyes, I downed the brew which didn't seem as bad as I had expected (bit like a rancid Guinness!) and thanked him. More icaros were sung for about 15-20 mins. I waited to see if anything was happening but seemed like nothing had kicked in yet.
We walked on again up the hill for 10-15 minutes where we came to a steep slope overlooking some trees and lower ground. We made a circle once more and P came round with the brew and the process went as before. After this we were encouraged to find 'our' spot somewhere among the trees and let whatever was going to happen happen and at some point he would sing a song to bring us all back together.
I rather regrettably as it turned out sought out a spot that was much further away from the group than anyone else, out into a clearing where there were birch trees and bracken and a little more light. I sat down at a tree that seemed friendly and closed my eyes and waited. After a little while (maybe 5-10 mins) things started to take on a new perspective and I could tell the medicine was starting to work with me. At first I started seeing really (what I felt were typical) closed eye visuals - swirling, iridescent shapes weaving in and out (I can picture them clearly now more easily than I can describe them) in a vivid and vibrant tangerine colour. Just like 1960s album covers! They pulsated and danced and I knew they were energy. They didn't really have warmth or love - they just /were/ energy. They seemed to be dancing /for/ me and they did it more and more, showing off and wanting to be appreciated and to entertain me. I talked to them and told them how beautiful they were. I could when I wanted open my eyes and snap back into something more like reality although it all had an odd luminescence to it. When I closed my eyes the dancing tangerine things were there again and they got brighter and faster than ever and more and more intense until they were really getting pretty nauseating. After a while I told them this saying 'Yes, you're beautiful thanks but it's all getting a bit much' - they seemed to be consumed by wanting to dance for me even more.
'Yes, you're beautiful thanks but it's all getting a bit much' - they seemed to be consumed by wanting to dance for me even more.
I realised I was away from the group and had auditory distortions and hallucinations so I realised I couldn't be sure when I was being called back. I stood up and felt pretty woozy and felt the need to try to purge. I dry-heaved a few times and it helped (I hadn't actually had any of the puking that I had heard about). I remember the bracken and grey, mottled leaves and sticks I was sitting in seemed like bones and feathers and I felt I was in some kind of nest of an eagle or prehistoric bird of prey. The leaves of other trees seemed to shimmer. I managed to get up and urinate and felt this was quite an achievement. I settled back for a while and put up with the CEVs and the general feeling of disorientation. I tried to find a message and purpose but couldn't really latch onto anything. When I felt straight enough to do so I wandered over near the group again and sat down next to a tree. All I could think was 'Why on earth would I ever want to do this?' 'I don't ever want to do this again!' and thanking god that I was beginning to come down. P came over and offered another glass but I declined. After a short while the CEVs started to get pleasantly mellow - a warm fuzzy maroon and I felt quite calm and comfortable.
Maybe 20 mins later we all got together, more icaros were sung and we then walked in a line through the forest to a new spot and sat on a fallen tree. before us were two other trees - elms or something - and I remember sitting for a while and then noticing them before me - the king and the queen - it was very clear to me that one was feminine and the other masculine and it felt really nice and connected [I've since been back and revisited them]. At this point I was just nice and relaxed and beginning to think that it might all be worthwhile and something I would do again after all.
I've not done Aya since [there was a big crackdown in the UK on DMT shipments and it went deeper underground] as it didn't really call me. However I have since this time become reacquainted with cannabis as a plant ally and come to respect it hugely. I've had numerous visions and realisations while stoned using cannabis as a plant teacher with strong parallels with the aya. When people ask me about aya I tell them 'terrifying but interesting, intense' - I do tend to treat it as something of a badge of honour to have at least tried it as it deserves some hardcore respect and is definitely not something I would expect people to do recreationally and 'for fun'.
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