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Sunday, June 23, 2013

ayahuasca - soul journey: part 3 reconciliation

As my ayahuasca journey here in the Amazon jungle rolled into its 5th day, Friday, I was feeling better and mentally ready to participate in another ceremony tonight. The terror and impact of the second ceremony was still with me but through writing, talking, and going on a hike in the jungle with two others who had positive experiences in the second ceremony after dreadful experiences in the first ceremony, my mind was in a much better state. My paranoia had subsided and I continued to drink the cleansing tea, ajos sacha. This tea also heightens brain functions and for someone like me whose brain is always redlining maybe I should go easy on it.

At the flower bath tonight before the ceremony the shaman explained that part of the healing process is sometimes running from your fears and then allowing the medicine to do its work. In hindsight I have realized that these ceremonies are only the beginning; the work continues after you leave and you get down to processing all you have gone through and learned. The setting of the jungle heightens the effects and power of these incredible ceremonies but the comforts of home and its familiarity allow you to gradually come to terms with all that has happened. The shaman explained that the medicine will stay with you for a couple months and also he explained it is important to gradually re-integrate yourself back into your normal diet and lay off spicy food, alcohol, and pork for a while after you leave the center.

As with the first two ceremonies the third ceremony was not what I was expecting. Overall it was a positive experience though a little bizarre at times. Once again I got into a dialogue and conversed more with an entity rather than have visions. For this ceremony the shaman reduced my cup of ayahuasca back down to half a cup. With two ceremonies behind me, half a cup was all I needed tonight to enter into an altered state. The taste, texture, and ability to stomach it gets worse with each ceremony and I find it kind of disgusting now. After about twenty minutes I had connected and was hallucinating. There were two new participants from Europe for the ceremony. One of them wore a speedo to the flower bath and made grunting sounds like a bull. I was convinced he was the manifestation of an ancient Egyptian bull who personified the concept of kamutef, the son who mates with the mother goddess. My hallucinations started again with being transported into different rooms. I wonder if these are the stages of getting to a certain place in the journey. Eventually I entered into a dialog with an entity that was male. Now that I have processed the experience I know this entity was my shadow self; however at the time this entity presented itself as a creator god much like the Lord of the Bible. It was a good ruse to trick me this night however its bizarre proclamations did not hold up upon reflection once I got home and figured out what happened in this ceremony. This get together started off negative but didn’t feel sinister so I wasn’t scared. It was stressed that if I don’t follow the proper path then I will be driven crazy enough to become one of those people who walk in front of a speeding train in order to end it all and then inconvenience all the passengers on the train. So I thought to myself: Oh that’s what happens to some people. They come into contact with some entity and get driven off the edge and end it all. And everyone wonders what happened? At this point I wasn’t aware that I should really connect this dialogue to events of the second ceremony and I thought I was talking to a different entity. However it did eventually become obvious it was my dark side now using the events of the previous night to try and plant suggestions in my head in a more subdued manner. This line of negative thinking did not last long as I was told if I followed my path and didn’t stray everything would work out. I would see my children be successful and I would live to be a wise old man and get to die in my sleep. Alright, I thought to myself, I can do that.

It was at this point this entity said he was the Lord. My shadow self was taking things from my thoughts and things I’m interested in, and using them to construct a web to get me to continue doing things that were beneficial to the shadow side of me that I wished to control and harness. Behaviours that I knew I should really stop, and my intention was to stop them, I was told to continue. I was puzzled by this but did not question it. I have an interest in reading the bible, but not for the usual reasons. I have an interest in figuring out its hidden esoteric meaning so that interest was being co-opted by my dark side. Like I said I did not realize this until a few weeks after the ceremony. So I will detail some of the revelations I was given, some are bizarre and some I will leave out because they are, shall I say, uncomfortable.

He told me he loves money and is the god of money. Wealth enlarges his power and he can use this to rule the universe. All nations worship money and thus are dependent on his graces. He doesn’t like drug cartels because they keep all their money and don’t pay taxes to governments that then are dependent on him. The war on drugs is a war on people who don’t pay taxes. He told me I will be alright as long as I honoured him by giving to him what is rightfully his. As well those who go on evangelizing about Christianity do so because at a point in their lives they needed a favour from him and then once granted they were obligated to go around expressing how great he and Jesus are and they have to try to convert as many as they can over to his side. Then I was told to not eat pork. The shaman had said not to eat it for thirty days afterwards and now this entity I was conversing with was enlisting the prohibition against pork from the Old Testament. I asked why? It is because of the parasites in pig meat. There’s the one that can kill you that we have to destroy before eating or you get trichinosis. However there are many more due to the garbage pigs eat and these allow demons and other entities to enter you. If that happens then the Lord has to cleanse you and start over. And he will be angry. He showed me how he manifested in ancient Egypt as the sun god and was resident in the Pharaoh with the mother goddess as his queen. He showed me all the gold the Egyptians had and the connection to the pyramids. He explained the eye on the US dollar over the pyramid is him watching us making sure he is not cheated. The saying “In God We Trust” works one way. He does not trust us and is keeping an eye on us. I was then told to get another dog. It will be okay to form another great attachment to it because I will be good for it. It is something I have been thinking about so once again something from my subconscious was brought up to the surface. I was then told my time here at the center was up and I shouldn’t stay. I would just be a burden and there wasn’t anything more I needed to know. That was the greatest trick of all pulled off by my dark side on this night. It eventually made me angry and has contributed to myself growing much stronger mentally because of this experience.

An interesting part of this conversation was this entity trying to put the Goddess in a negative light and through this portrayal I was able to gather some interesting insights that I gleaned on my own. In order to satisfy the Goddess he said he needs wealth. This in turn allows him to curry favour with the Goddess as this Goddess is needed by all; everyone needs the Goddess to birth themselves into and out of different states and planes of existence but we all chase her beauty and the fleeting charms it entails. However this need is relentless and it makes the world go around. The political west needs to generate this wealth to keep the way of life they are accustomed to. Now at this point in my reflection on what happened during these ceremonies I know enough to discount what went on in this conversation with this entity in ceremony three. The advantage I have over my dark side is though that side of me can deceive and be a trickster of sorts they can’t pull it off in the long run. It runs mostly on instinct and desire. I’m surprised because they must of known I’d figure it out in due time. I imagine my shadow self used everything at its disposal to protect what it has. However this part of the conversation has given me pause for thought. I started thinking of how society really does operate and no one really would have more insight on that then the part of me that is especially attuned to desire. I’m talking about the idea of the goddess and how she affects mankind as a whole. The beautiful goddess that all men desire and all women aspire to is really an animating principle of our civilization. It is a dominant reason we want to acquire wealth and power and as males it then allows us to be the alpha male and mate with the goddess of our choice. This love of the beauty and charms of the goddess is fleeting and not true love. It sends us to either our destruction if we chase it or an empty fleeting accomplishment that we are then doomed to repeat over and over in successive conquests. As much as it affects the psyche of the male in our society, look at how it affects our daughters and consequently women who grow up in this environment. Women chase the idea they need to be the goddess and lose themselves in the process. They spend inordinate amounts of time and money on their physical looks trying to attract a man that exudes power and wealth. They paint their faces because the goddess does. They practice the ancient art of seduction that is the domain of the goddess. If this wasn’t important they wouldn’t do it. Women are not attracted to physical beauty like men are but are attracted to men who can control their environment. These are vices and are forms of love that are not true love. It is the Goddess teaching us a lesson using the two sides of her personality: the illusory beauty that leads to your destruction and the motherhood love, that unselfish love, the love you find in bonds of family, that is the true love to find and lead you to wisdom and understanding. All the great goddesses of mythology have these two sides and the lesson is a painful one for us all to go through. As I was processing this in my head I started thinking of other civilizations that deny the goddess. It is true we try to deny it and our main religion Christianity, with its half-assed monotheism, denies it but through our actions we reveal our dedication to the idea of transient beauty and power and then we have the obvious Catholic veneration of Mary to satisfy these inner longings and they try to acquire as many adherents as possible with the veneration of the Mother of God. However I was thinking of Muslim societies and the great lengths they go through to prevent the influence and veneration of the goddess. They veil their women and subjugate them to second class status. Is this what this religion is all about: the denial of the goddess? The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. The answer they have for avoiding the trap is to cover it and put it out of view. However if you don’t face it and come to terms with it how are you ever going to learn what is true love and what is fleeting? Perhaps they already understand and want successive generations to be free of the illusion and see women only in terms of motherhood?

The ceremony ended and I was no longer in contact with this entity. This night was a full moon and when I got up to go the washroom magical things started to happen. I sat down on the toilet and looked out back at the maloca and it turned into a gleaming, jewel encrusted pyramid that lit up. It was amazing. I felt the presence again of the Goddess and a feeling of contented bliss. I know now this is just a chapter in my awakening. Walking back to the maloca I noticed that everything on the east side of the path looked so shiny and the plants were very 3D extruded. On the west side it was dull and the regular visual mundaneness. I wonder if those are the two paths? The east that leads to your re-birth or the west that leads to the profane that I want to leave behind? I then heard the call of the Goddess that I knew instinctively. It was a short, piercing whoop sound. I had heard it before but could not place it. Later I figured out it is a sound I can make on my flute. At this point in time I was in that state of bliss and had a warm afterglow feeling. I had a lot of positive energy flowing through me. I stayed in the maloca for the night feeling safe and secure.

I decided in the night that I should leave after having been told during the ceremony by the entity I was conversing with that I had nothing more to learn. In the morning I packed up my belongings and said my goodbyes. The shaman gave us a ride back to town and it was my intention to try and change my flight and go home. By the time we arrived back in Iquitos it was too late to change my flight plans so I got a hotel room for the night and was able to change my flight to leave Sunday night. I couldn’t sleep that night in the hotel room as my fear and paranoia starting creeping back in my mind. I started hearing audio hallucinations and was afraid to go to sleep. This continued for about three more days. I would hear my name still being whispered like what happened in ceremony two. Snapping my fingers would make it stop. On Sunday I ventured out into the town and something really odd happened that accelerated my paranoia. I was sitting on a bench when this guy came into my view with a big smile on his face. He asked where I was from. Once I told him he said “nice to meet you Paul.” It took every ounce of saneness I had left to not melt into some sort of psychosis. Later at the airport I entered the washroom alone and heard again my name being whispered. It was very unnerving and I felt the need to get out of this city as it was freaking me out. As I waited for my plane I suddenly realized my sense of hearing had become very sharp and I had super hearing. I could hear conversations way far into the distance. It was remarkable. And then I realized certain frequencies were amplified, especially low bass, breathing, and body noise frequencies. I ascertained that these are the sounds you hear most during ceremonies along with the shaman’s singing, rattling, and the bell he rings. To this day, four weeks later my hearing is back to normal but I am still sensitive to those frequencies. From this I was able to rationalize what I heard were amplified frequencies and I was audibly processing them into sounds that had been imprinted on me during ceremony. So I was able to stay sane. I returned home and started re-adjusting though the rest of the week was physically a write off. I could not sleep the first night back but slept the second night despite waking up in a cold sweat. The effects of regular sleep helped immensely as I was able to calm my mind and then start processing the whole experience. Upon returning home I felt there was no way I would ever drink ayahuasca again; however after a couple weeks I had warmed up to the idea and I’m at the point now where I am no longer scared and would welcome the chance to do this experience again. It has however become apparent to me that the ceremonies are bridges to the healing and insight you will discover long after the ceremonies have ended. There is no way you can possiblly process what you have gone through in the jungle in a short time; it is a constant learning and understanding experience.

My perception of the jungle is it is the Goddess and her two sides. It is both healing and terrifying. It is the same thing with ayahuasca. It is medicine that heals and also that terrifies you. A good time recreational drug it is not. The ayahuasca experience I went through turned out to be unexpected for the most part. My intentions were met: meeting the Goddess and confronting my dark side, however the overall result left me confused at first. Maybe that is how it is supposed to be? The answers exist; I know some of the answers now. I can find more of them inside myself and I believe I was shown the way to do this soul searching. It is the beginning of the next chapter in my life.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

ayahuasca - soul journey: part 2 hell and not back

The night before the second ceremony I had a decent night sleep, probably the best sleep I was able to manage in the jungle. I woke up in the darkness for a few hours but I was able to nod off again. The jungle is all about the sounds rather than the visuals. This heightened awareness is especially true at nighttime. It is a symphony of exotic noises ever punctuated by that damn mockingbird. I don’t know what kind of bird it is but it is laughing at me.

Yesterday was a day to recover. I needed it because I couldn’t sleep after the first ceremony. I didn’t sleep during the day but just rested. I listened to some music and wrote but didn’t feel like reading. The afternoon came and I suffered through a terrible headache before I relented and took an Advil. Today I feel good and was able to read for a bit after breakfast.

Tonight I will meet the Goddess again as promised. I’m torn between having expectations for tonight or just letting it happen. For some reason I have an expectation things will be similar but I know from reading other’s accounts that this is not so. You will be presented with different visions. Maybe the first session was Ayahuasca 101. I will enter tonight’s ceremony with some trepidation and much reverence. I told the shaman I was courageous and I want to be courageous again tonight. The respite between ceremonies has emboldened me.

We just finished the flower ceremony. I spoke with the shaman earlier and asked about the difference between the two cups of Ayahuasca I was given in the first ceremony. He said the first was a small dose to see how you do with it; like an introduction. The second was the powerful brew. This makes sense as the second cup set me off on a rocket ship right away. The shaman also said to not have any expectations for tonight as you never know what ayahuasca will bring. I’m sure I will have plenty to write about regardless.

Well it has been almost 24 hours since yesterday’s ceremony began. I couldn’t bring myself to write about it all day as it was such a negative experience. To hell and not back would be a good name for it. The euphoria of the first experience was replaced by hopelessness. There is something to be said for gut instinct. During the first ceremony my mind was trying to tell me it was okay not to do this again like it had an idea that it is not always pleasant. I now have the luxury of hindsight and have processed this experience to a degree but I will try to faithfully first document what I felt right after the conclusion of the ceremony.

I received a full cup of ayahuasca to begin with and the consistency seemed different than the first ceremony. Don’t know if it was coincident or we graduated to the next level or potency of the brew. After twenty minutes or so I started hallucinating and I was seeing these green and black flys eyes pulsating and surrounding me and coming at me. Eventually they came really close to me and went through me. Other stuff was entering into me as well but I did not find it unnerving and I did not fight it. The scene then shifted to this weird room; I feel like describing it as some sort of opium den, and there was an odd drone sound in it. It didn’t feel right; it felt sinister and it stayed. To my left I then heard a male voice in a loud whisper repeating Paulo, Paulo, Paulo. This freaked me right out like I have never been frightened like that in my life. I sat up, opened my eyes, and became paranoid. I thought I had this whole game figured out at that point. You are lured into the jungle away from civilization and any kind of help and then you are drugged. You are now at the mercy of the shaman. Fuck I thought, I have to get out of here. I remembered this from somewhere. Was it a dream? A short story? I don’t know but my mind is telling me this is all too familiar. I grabbed my flashlight and water bottle and made a beeline for the exit. José followed me trying to help me. I would have none of it. I staggered into the compound and started looking for my hut and trying to figure out how I was going to leave this place. It is the dark of night, I’m in a terrible state, and I can’t leave. José and his helpers try to point me in the right direction but I’ll have none of that. I felt they were steering me wrong and were going to lock me up somewhere. I sat down on the steps of some hut. I came to the realization they had already taken my stuff, money, credit cards, and passport. If I leave the center I can’t get anywhere. A sinking feeling comes over me as I realize my predicament and I puke all over the stairs to this hut that is not mine and then I try to get into this hut. I must have been sitting there for quite a while and lost track of time because the guy staying at that hut shows up and says “whoa buddy this isn’t your place. I’ll show you yours.” I still try to get into his place and I think he is a dupe that helps you out but really leads you to where they want you to go. I’m led to another hut which I know is not mine. I sit on its steps for a while and then I go inside. I don’t know where I am but I really have to go the washroom. The bathroom door is locked. I can’t hold it any longer and I crap myself. I come to realize this is my life now. I’m going to be a servant for some puppet master here and I’m basically a worthless piece of garbage. I crawl into the bed that is there that has no blanket or pillow. The mosquito netting envelops me. I realize they give you mosquito netting so as a slave you don’t get sick with a tropical disease and can continue to live in misery. I think maybe I can cut a deal and get back home like nothing happened. My life will slowly unravel and I’ll be at the mercy of the drug. Plus they can control me as I realize I’ve been setup for this for a long time. It is all clear. My wife is in on it; my friends I confided in are all in on it. My banker knew about it and cleared everything to get me here. This is a worldwide conspiracy and they control everything - the borders, the airlines, even the turbulence you feel on the airplane. They can make your plane crash if they want. This is a huge web I can never escape. My whole world feels like it is crashing down. Things are becoming clear. My wife is a gypsy selling me out. People were encouraging me to go to the jungle and they were getting payouts when I finally made it down here. I am now doomed to live out my life in servitude in crummy sleeping quarters eating little and tasteless food. I’ll be one of those cases where he just disappeared; don’t know what happened to him. One day he was fine and then he all of a sudden went to the jungle and never returned. I’m feeling such despair. The jungle noises are unnerving. That fucking bird is laughing at me again. At 45 years of age my life is done. I realize now why people who play these games with the dark side end up running for the refuge of the church. The church is the one thing left that gives them hope. Sleep does not come and the night is long. It is the long dark night of my soul. Finally day breaks and I look around. I’m in my hut; all my stuff is here and I get up and wander to the maloca to pick up my keys, blanket, and pillow. I come back to the hut and clean myself up. I collapse back on the bed somewhat relieved but still scared and very paranoid. I really trust no one at this point.

The shaman came around later that morning to discuss what happened. I told him I got scared and was still pretty shaken. They wondered if I wanted to leave. By this time I have calmed down a little and have some sense about me back. I tell them I don’t want to leave and I need to work through this and my delusions. I have tapped into my fears. Paranoia returns and I wonder if they are drugging the tea they make us drink? The siren call of ayahuasca has fucked me over. Again I think it was all too easy right? The entrapment, the encouragement, and doors opening for me. They prey on suckers like me. At best I’ll now live out my life a lonely alcoholic doing endless menial work.

As the day wore on I started to feel better. One of the participants who had a dreadful first ceremony mentioned to me I should really write about what happened as I will gain insight because of it. I remember him just prior to the second ceremony wanting to back out of it because of the negative feelings he encountered during his first experience. The second ceremony was wonderful for him. A similar story was shared by someone else. She was hating everyone after the first ceremony but the second was so great that she wrote and wrote and wrote about how elated she was. Upon reflection I can start to make a little sense out of the experience. I think it was my dark side trying to control me and it is something I need to heal myself of. There was the destruction of self when it was revealed I was a no good fraud. The fear of living out my life miserable and alone is very unsettling. And I was feeling that many of us are in the same situation as me but are just playing the game of life as best we know trying to scratch out a living. The shaman says this is all part of the healing and I need to have the intention to get rid of this demon. I did come here to meet the Goddess and confront this dark side that plagues me. I don’t have answers yet and I am feeling confused. I have to re-enter the dragon’s den tomorrow and get closure. I can’t end this journey on this note. 


*It has been about four weeks since this experience now. I have been able to process more and more of what happened that night. In hearing about other’s experiences there is usually talk of an ego death or some kind of purging of bad mental states as well as the physical. I think in a way this was supposed to do just that. The sense of losing my identity was terrifying and I had no idea it would scare me like that. Once my dark side got control over me it pounded that thought home of how dreadful life could be made for me. Up until this point I thought of ego as a negative trait and something that is a product of a lifelong building project that masks the real you. I still do think of it that way but I have come to realize it has an important purpose. The ego is masking not only your good self, but also your shadow self. Do I really want ego death and have to face both aspects of myself? The answer is yes but there has to be preparation for this ego death. To confront it like this suddenly is horrible and scarring. The fear of losing my passport, credit cards, and money during this night is a metaphor for ego death. Losing those items that allows me to cling to my identity while lost in the jungle showed me how fleeting it all is. My secondary intention for this trip was to confront my dark side and use it in my life as a positive. I met my dark side and I ran like a coward. I still have to eventually face up to it. I wasn’t ready for the battle and I need to somehow prepare and get it done. If I stand up to my dark side I do have the strength and experience to best it and put it under my control to use as a positive. I'm convinced that is the lessons the ancient Egyptians were teaching with their myth of the Contendings of Horus and Set. The dark side Set was stronger at first and used this advantage to mess with the young re-born soul Horus. It got so bad Horus reasoned his mother Isis was plotting against him and cut off her head and then fled up the mountain where Set found him and gouged out his eyes. It was the love of the goddess Hathor that then restored Horus' sight so he could continue the battle. Eventually this battle produces wisdom, as in the great god of wisdom Thoth, that Horus uses to his advantage to eventually win this battle. With the ability now to dissect what happened in a better mental state, things are becoming more and more clear. I hope this is the wisdom I need. The Goddess has healed me and I am ready to continue to battle. I realized once my dark side got the upper hand it put the hammer down on this night and the experience. I’m actually pretty angry right now I let that happen. The full gamut of emotions hits me though as I do chuckle when I read my account of what happened and how I could so easily believe all the stuff that was going through my mind at the time. It quickly cycled out of control and I became a mess thinking everyone was out to get me. It seems so preposterous now in hindsight and this followed me into the next ceremony as I will detail.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

ayahuasca - soul journey: part 1 the introduction

Banisteriopsis caapi, the vine called ayahuasca, wraps herself lovingly around a host tree in order to reach up to the heavens. Using this relationship, the vine becomes much greater than one of the many species of plants in the Amazon rainforest. It is how this vine works in a relationship with a curandero (shaman to us) as well as in the metaphysical and subconscious sense. The shamans of the Amazon take this vine and brew it with chacruna leaves to produce a decoction: a thick tea that when ingested results in a visionary experience replete with heavy purging of your innards.


How they figured this out is one of those unsolvable mysteries. The shamans will tell you the plants told them what to do. The best explanation I have heard from a scientific basis suggests they stumbled upon it after investigating different additives to the purgative effects of the vine, as many indigenous cultures use purging as a way of maintaining good health. Chacruna leaves contain the hallucinogen dimethyltryptamine, DMT, which when ingested is rendered inactive by the acids in your stomach. The properties of banisteriopsis caapi contain a chemical called a MAOI which is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor. In this case it prevents the breakdown of DMT present in the chacruna leaves and allows it to be orally active. There are thousands of known species of plants in the Amazon rainforest so it can be deduced from the odds that this was a very fortuitous happenstance that allowed these medicine men to come across this mixture. It is interesting to point out that DMT is a naturally occurring substance within our brain. The amount in our brain determines our reality. In essence you can say our reality is controlled by the amount of DMT in our brain. It is possible to then argue what exactly then is reality? In truth all we have is consensus reality. Generous estimates suggest the use of this brew for 4,500 years while a more conservative estimate would be about 2,500 years. In any event, how strange it must have been for the Spanish conquistadors and missionaries to come across what they would consider a witches brew in a fire brewed cauldron that then caused the imbiber to enter what they would classify as a demonic state.

Now for my story. The blog I maintain here contains my somewhat unorthodox view of the ancient deities of Egypt in context with the spirituality that motivates me to discover not only my own true self but also an intense desire to discover the origins of these beliefs. We view them today with a sense that these ancients were somewhat deluded and had an amazing imagination and capacity for making up these myths and then somehow enforcing them upon their respective cultures. The next leap we need to understand would be that the priests were so successful with their storytelling that they were then able to convince the power centers and the layman, for example in ancient Egypt, to devote wealth, time, and energy to not only construct awe inspiring pyramids and majestic temples dedicated to these deities but also to buy wholeheartedly into this grand façade. Am I the only one who finds this a leap of faith on the part of the modern man in order to buy into this explanation? What if what these ancients experienced was real to them? And in conjunction with that is the idea that we have lost this ability due to to our rationalist materialistic culture. Also those of us that may feel a connection or a calling then cede this to a religious institution that then declares a monopoly on communication with the divine. It has been now a five year obsession for me to try and find the origins of beliefs on my terms with a healthy skepticism to accepted dogma.

It is the second last week of May in the year 2013. I'm in a hotel room in Peru - in the city of Iquitos which is smack dab in the Amazon rainforest. I'm here because after about three years of searching I started feeling the presence of a goddess in my life calling to me and communicating with me. From this I started to really understand. The pyramids, the sphinx, the role of the divine feminine in the celestial birth of your soul into and out of this material plane - came like revelations. If you read through this blog you will get some sense of what I discovered that I have revealed. The feminine divine is very seductive. Hathor, Isis, Astarte, Ba'alat, Asherah, Aphrodite, Venus, The Queen of Heaven and so on filled my longing for a connection with the divine. The affair starts off much like a creeping vine. Young shoots caress you and it feels good to be wanted and able to share in a feeling of being wanted and special. I continued to pursue this goddess by investigating ancient ways of coming into contact with her and reading as much as I could in the literature of long lost ancient civilizations. As well I innately knew she was with me. I would spend nights walking home seeing signs in the heavens that I couldn't explain. Manifestations of white light appearing before me, the planet Venus pulsing red and following me home, and intellectual connections affirming my suspicions that this goddess is the one that all these ancient cultures knew about. She has many names and manifestations but it is all this goddess.
I wrote this blog post about the similarities between a doctor who had been brain dead and experienced an encounter with a woman who exuded love in conjunction with the green lady who would manifest during absinthe toxicity.

This led me to multiple accounts of the female presence that would manifest upon drinking the ayahuasca brew. It was while researching and writing the blog post about this lady that it finally dawned on me that what the ancient Egyptians were doing to come into contact with the gods and goddesses were shamanic in nature. The shaking of the rattling sistrum, the chanting, the singing, the intoxication, the calling upon the goddess Hathor. It hit me like a ton of bricks. This fantastic literature of ancient Egypt, their deities, and artwork were the product of altered states which our modern scholars have classified as wishful funerary speculations on the afterlife. Well I guess death can be considered the penultimate altered state therefore the inclusion of this material in the funerary sphere but to me this was confirmation that they believed they could visit this otherworld in an altered state they would consider akin to the death of the material body. Thus began my search to enter into this altered state. My available local options were too dicey and illegal to consider. I started researching ayahuasca. I'd watched and read stories of participants violently puking and shitting themselves. Multiple accounts of how awful it tastes. Experiences of the dark side or the dark nature of reality. Many people saying there is no way you could get addicted to it due to this purging and the overwhelming sense you get from the experience. Despite this it seemed that many were pleased with the experience and talked of this mother ayahuasca. How peculiar I thought. This brought me from the fall into the winter. I still longed to contact the goddess but I thought I would have to be patient and maybe someday I'd be afforded the opportunity. I asked for a Native American flute for Christmas. I don't play any instruments but I had this desire for this flute. I felt like it was an ancient method to lead adherents to apostasy and I felt like I could do that well! I could pick out passages in the Old Testament that alluded to this, such as Genesis 9:20 and thought it was rather interesting that it is glossed over in any kind of bible study. Though I am and was in this case patient I didn't realize that the goddess can be impatient. I also realized from mythology that she has a terrifying and destructive side but I chose not to think about that. Perhaps in hindsight I should have. Anyway I was working late one night in January when I started watching accounts of those who had taken ayahuasca and were blown away by the experience. I then came across the Joe Rogan podcasts where this was talked about. I was pretty much obsessed by now and I knew I had to make it happen; the creeping vine had matured in my psyche and was leading me to her. I tentatively decided that May would be a good time to go and started investigating my options. Vacation time opened up at work easily, the finances fell in to place too easily. Eventually I consulted a travel doctor to see about precautions and vaccinations I would need to travel to the jungle. I started monitoring flights to Peru and their cost as well as trying to find the right shaman for me. After clearing all hurdles towards the end of April I was pretty much set. It was going to happen. How easy was that? I settled on an indigenous shaman with a lodge in the jungle for ten nights and five ayahuasca ceremonies. At the beginning and end of the trip I booked a tour of the river system and a three day hike through one of the reserves in the region. I wait now at my Iquitos hotel to be picked up and taken to the jungle. My first ceremony is tonight.

The shaman’s assistant, José, picked me up shortly after 10 am and after a stop to pick up another participant we headed out of Iquitos to the village of El Triunfo which seemed like a forty minute drive. We reached the town and got out of the car in order to trek now into the jungle. This hike, hauling all my belongings seemed to be over half an hour. It would be a nice hike if I wasn’t lugging my stuff around with me. The sun was reaching its zenith in the sky and the humidity was in full force. It turned into a bit of an ordeal and I was sweating profusely however I soldiered on figuring this was part of the whole process. The ground was muddy, very swamp like in places. Poorly constructed bridges with rickety planks helped you to cross rivers and streams that criss-crossed this trail.


Bridge on the trail

The trail did not feel out of the ordinary to the trails I used to hike with my dog in central and southern Ontario. The vegetation was more plentiful and larger due to the oxygen rich environment. Finally we arrived at the Dios Ayahuasca Sanaciones center and I was assigned hut #3 for my stay. It has a bed with mosquito netting, a table, hammock, and a toilet. We were provided drinking water and some candles. Being pretty much on the equator the sun rises at 6 am and sets at 6 pm. Lunch came soon after that along with some tea called ajos sacha. This tea is a cleansing herbal tea that tastes like a brothy garlic. It is recommended we drink a litre of this tea a day. Lunch was basic and consisted of vegetable soup and a plate with white rice, carrots, beets, avocado, tomato, cucumber, and a slice of lemon. I found it good and satisfying but I have done cleansing fasts before and I don’t mind playing the part of a vegetarian. I imagine others would not be as thrilled. It is my first and only meal for the day.

It took quite a while to cool down from the hike to the center but eventually I wandered out of my hut to see what was going on. I spent a few hours talking to and getting to know the other participants here. I think there will be eleven participating at tonight’s ceremony. Everyone I have met seems down to earth and clear headed. There are including myself two Canadians, a bunch from the US, three Europeans, and a couple Russians who now live in the US. Most of us are newcomers to ayahuasca. There is a positive energy that is going through the camp.

It is now almost 4 pm. The curandero meets with us and then gives us a flower bath at 5 pm to prepare for the ceremony which begins after dark. I am feeling the need to focus now.

I have just finished the flower bath ceremony. I will call it Ayahuasca Baptism. You enter the river to cleanse yourself. You then approach the shaman who blows ceremonial mapacho (tobacco) smoke onto the flowers and your body and then he pours the flower water on your head three times; each time blessing it with the mapacho smoke. The intensity of this ritual is high, especially it being the first time I have gone through it. The atmosphere feels very charged and you definitely get pumped and feel courageous. I know in ancient Egypt it was of utmost importance for the priests of the temples to purify themselves prior to coming into contact with the divine. This has the same feel. I felt during this purification ritual that the curandero was making direct eye contact with me quite a bit like he knew something was up with me. When I left he asked for my name again. The ayahuasca ceremony begins at 7 pm tonight. The curandero, Percy, met with us individually prior to the flower bath to get a feel for why we are here. I explained that the goddess called me here and that is the primary reason why I am here. Secondly I wished to confront my destructive dark side in order to get closure on that part of my life and turn it into a strength. It is the reconciliation of Horus and Set warring inside me I wish to confront and turn into a positive.

It is now about 6 pm. One hour to go. I’m very happy with the group; tons of good energy and people that seem to have a purpose. Someone mentioned no one travels this far just to take drugs.

It’s just about go time...

After the first ceremony ended I spent the night in the ceremonial hut which is called a maloca. It felt comfortable and safe.




Maloca

That was the most profound, intense experience I could ever imagine. It was overwhelming at times. It was a constant ebb and flow. In an evening of astounding happenings the fact the shaman and his saintly assistant José knew at all times what I needed and when to pull me back was uncanny. The shaman’s shaking of the chacapa and his songs, icaros, kept me grounded. If not for this I felt I would have left the material plane forever.

Chacapa

The night began by heading to the maloca for 7 pm. We took off our sandals before entering the maloca and I thought of the sandal bearer in ancient Egyptian lore who holds the Pharaoh’s sandals while he enters the realm of the spirits. One we were all present and assigned a mattress, the shaman’s assistant José got incense burning and then proceeded to cense the room and all us participants. We then waited for quite a while for the shaman to arrive. Once he arrived he prepared a fragrance I believe that is called Peruvian Agua de Florida (a cologne called Florida water). He poured this perfume into our hands and we splashed our face with the fragrance. The effect of this perfume felt full of energy and it functions as a cleaning agent. I have now been ceremonially flower bathed, censed, and perfumed. In this ritually pure state I may approach the divine. At this point Percy sat down behind his altar and prepared the dose for each participant. The first to go and drink were the ones that had been at the center for the longest and the shaman could with confidence understand the amount of ayahuasca to give to them. For most of us having never drunk this brew we would be given smaller doses. Everyone was called up one by one by the shaman’s deep voice. He presented the chalice containing the ayahuasca and most would drink it down in one gulp. I was the second last of the eleven to go up. My dose seemed to be half a cup; it is very dark as the candles had been extinguished and night was upon us. I drank it in one swallow. It tasted to me like strong black licorice with some kind of citrus mixed in with it. I did not mind the taste and was able to hold it down. Some of the participants started puking away. I did not find the sound of the vomiting encouraging me to puke. With two kids and a dog I have dealt with my fair share and it doesn’t really affect me and I am a non puking kind of person so I was confident I would not purge right away though I was prepared for its eventuality and would just let it happen when it comes. After about 10 minutes I saw some flickering lights form with my eyes open and when I closed them I saw some interesting low level visions of geometrical patterns and hieroglyphs. I had to use the washroom and I walked there with a feeling of soberness. When I returned to my mattress I felt nothing and was disappointed in the dose. I noticed one of the veteran participants was getting more of the ayahuasca and at this point I decided to be assertive and I got up and asked for more. Little did I know that José will go around the room asking if you want more so I was told to sit down and wait my turn. I had a feeling of impatience as I waited for my turn.

Percy gave me what felt like a full cup on my second go round. It is still so very dark so I couldn’t see but it felt substantial. I have not asked as of yet but this must have been the adult brand of ayahuasca. I went back to my mattress and looked up to the top of the maloca. I could see points of light and I deduced those were my soul brothers. I invited them to join me. I closed my eyes and it hit me hard. It was all green at first, very jungle like and I had a sense it was the Goddess. This scene transformed into rooms of immense beauty, almost like a slide show of how beautiful a realm I had just entered. Diamonds, gemstones, and gold adorned these rooms. I commented that this is nice but what can you do for me? I now was lying on a bed in this golden room and I was being lifted up higher and higher. At this point there was no doubt this was the Goddess. When I reached the pinnacle of my destination she showed me how she controls the rain as the rain started up the exact moment I reached the top. The rain presented itself as celestial clapping; it was a welcoming from the gods and goddesses that I had made it. It was very profound and has stuck with me as a moment I will never forget. I now started to converse with the Goddess and this was pretty much the theme for this experience. I don’t know how long exactly it lasted; I would guess two to three hours. I can recall most of what we talked about. It is interesting that my experience was more about conversation than visions. I tend not to be one who thinks in a visual sense but I always tended to form pictures with words and numbers in my thoughts. As well I have a continual running dialogue in my head with my own self, so inward conversation is nothing new to me and my preferred method of communication.

Okay so the Goddess had put me in this place of exaltation and I was feeling very special. I had fully expected this long awaited experience to begin with fear and some kind of dread as I had this feeling I needed to have my ass kicked before anything else could proceed. However it was not like that at all. I felt the Goddess’ love for me and that I could do no wrong in her eyes. I told her I loved her and this made her very happy. There was this feeling I got that even though she is divine she wanted love as well. The exchange felt at times like lovers at play. Part of her expressing her love was this outpouring of a heavenly scent that was very intoxicating. I realized that men who get a glimpse of and the scent of this Goddess then spend the rest of their days trying to recapture this experience. I was amazed that I could in this lifetime get to this point where I could come into contact with her. The veil was still there though. I was able to glimpse her beauty and smell but the mystery was still there. She flirted with me, teased me, and acted as lovers do. She told me to come away with her. I immediately had an innate sense that if I did that I wasn’t coming back to the material realm. I hesitated and said I cannot as I still have things to accomplish and a family to provide for. She implored me to come but it was at this point I realized the importance of the shaman to guide you through these realms. The shaman shook his chacapa and sang his icaros to ground me. He was in a way keeping me sober because this lady was definitely intoxicating. This part of my trip was ending and the Goddess was letting me return. As I descended back to the material realm I became nauseous and started puking. The bucket was comforting and I held it for a while. The night however was not over by a long shot.

After a brief respite the Goddess returned. She showed me that I am who I am. In other words that my normal consciousness that I keep concealed in my head is who I am. My outward projection of a polite and shy person is not really me. She was speaking to my conceit and how I tend to dismiss or denigrate others while making it appear I’m not like that. It was not a condemnation of me but a recognition of my behaviour. I take from that it is something I should strive to change. The Goddess genuinely wanted my love and she was willing to overlook my faults. Coming to terms with mistakes or wrong doing in my life was not something she seemed concerned with at this time. It was like these experiences and results were life lessons and expected. She once again pulled on my heart strings. I wanted to go with her now but the shaman kept me here; enabling me to keep one foot in the material plane.

The Goddess reminded me what a wonderful mother my wife is to my two children. She let me know that she manifested herself in my wife when I first met my wife in order to seduce me. She reminded me how fragrant and beautiful my wife was and chastised me for the way I now treat her. It brought me to tears and I promised to make amends and turn her back into a goddess I respect. The Goddess then let me know how much my son wants to connect with me. Though I am always around when I can be for my children I’m at times very distant. I got the sense from the Goddess that if I really need to be there for my wife and children I need to act like it. Then I saw my beautiful dog that had passed away almost two years ago. I could reach out and hug her and hold her and kiss her again. It was so emotional. I still tear up thinking of this. I was shown how she suffered in silence her last few years until she cried out for me in her last days. I realized how much love I had for her and how we were inseparable. Then came the big revelation: This dog was the Goddess incarnated to be with me and guide me. This made so much sense because of this amazing bond we shared. Multiple people, my wife and parents included, had commented on the incredible closeness between us. I was surprised I had never realized this before. The Goddess then chastised me for keeping the remainder of my dog’s remains in the cupboard hidden away from view. As a goddess she should be in an ornate urn prominently displayed. I promised to rectify this as soon as I got back home.

Throughout the night I drifted from contact with the Goddess to some kind of lucidity. The Goddess told me I could call on her anytime I want and told me she protects me with a cloak of invincibility. I would be protected from sickness and disease because of our relationship. She explained to me my destructive side is caused by boredom and that I have this ability to toy with life. Maybe that explains my ability to remain calm when faced with plenty of adversity?

At times I experienced some amazing visions with my eyes open. I saw the shaman’s assistant José appear with light enveloping him and he had the appearance of a saint. At points in the ceremony it felt like he was being used as a channel for the Goddess. He would be speaking quickly in a hushed religious tone much like a scene from the exorcist. It felt like a presence of the Virgin Mary. I totally see why in people who have these visions nothing can ever shake their faith. They have seen this spirit dimension and it is real. I also witnessed one of the participants devolve into an ape like creature and disappear and reappear. The freakiest thing was the shaman changing into a spirit form and entering into the stomach of the guy beside me. The shaman’s wife had given birth by caesarian section on the weekend and it seemed like he was using this guy to heal her. I saw his spirit go directly into him after José told me the shaman has to go tend to his wife now. The shaman never left completely; he knew he was needed in both places. I told him I would be strong and I could handle it from here on out. I really couldn’t so the shaman was always there when I needed him. To try and control my state and visions I would sit in the lotus position and breathe deeply. It wasn’t working too well and I felt as if I weren’t in control which made me very uncomfortable. I hoped these trips for the night would be over. Snake demons approached me at one point but I was full of confidence and dismissed them with a “Is that all you got?” I thought at this point that I really never have to do ayahuasca again; I was good and felt its power. It was my fear talking. I had already promised the Goddess I would see her again at the next ceremony on Wednesday and I know I can’t break that promise.

After a few more times entering into the spirit world and back I asked José if I was done for the night. He said no there is still healing to be done. At some point the shaman came around with the intoxicating fragrance enveloping me. I tilted my head up so her essence could wash over my face. I have never smelled anything that beautiful before.

The Goddess and I seem to have a connection for the love of the word ‘profane’. I liked describing my earthly existence as profane. Every time something reminded the Goddess of something profane she would make the woman sitting directly across from me spit or wretch. I believe this woman has suffered from depression in her life and I felt the goddess in her as the aspect that is the Mother Goddess. I could see and hear how Mother Earth is suffering and this woman symbolizes it. I tried to help heal her but I felt the suffering because the children of the Mother Goddess are destroying her. This woman I saw change into this vision of Hathor mixed with Wonder Woman. As the night wound down there was a huge blood red patch where her vulva was. I had heard this sound earlier in the night of water breaking and then rushing out onto the floor of the maloca. I wondered if there was a connection? I had this innate feeling now that the jungle was the Goddess.

As I descended back into the material realm for good this evening I felt this tingling in my extremities and an uncomfortable vibratory feeling. Earlier in the night the Goddess had shown me that navigating different planes is done through vibration. As I was re-entering the material plane for good I felt dizzy and I puked again. I realized that the soul vibrates into a frequency that allows this travelling. I was positive the shaman was a master of these vibrations and knows the frequencies needed to keep you grounded here with his chacapa and songs. I had a feeling of deep love and respect for the shaman. I saw my soul brothers in the roof of the maloca again as I laid there trying to process this experience. I was very woozy when I got up to use the washroom. I curled up on the mattress but I was too wired to sleep. At one point during one of the trips I had sweated profusely. At this point I stunk of sweat, body odour, vomit, and diarrhea. Not a good way to be in the presence of the Goddess.

This first experience feels indescribable almost. I’ve tried to convey it but it is very hard to get across the enormity of what I felt using words. I felt very much spiritually coherent though my physical self was probably in a trance like condition. I felt this condition of being very centred with all possible distractions like others purging or flashlights shining being part of the background of my world. Maybe because it was my first time I became a little disconcerted by the experience and wanted off. I think I’m okay now and we will see what the next ceremony brings. I will continue my story in part 2.