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.