When you work with the plant teachers the class doesn't end the next day after a good night's sleep. Often the immediate experience under the influence of the plant is a menagerie of strange visions, fear, ecstasy, and a feeling of relief as the roller coaster comes to a stop. Over the course of the next day or two you gather some insights about the experience but a large part of what took place remains mysterious. I have learned though that you will eventually find connection, or a teaching, with all the content of the class. I have dutifully recorded via pen and paper all of my forays into these realms. However that's not all. In your everyday life things start to happen that you then connect back to a ceremony and you get these epiphanies interspersed throughout your life. The plants are now with you always.
I first went to SpiritQuest in April of 2015 and worked with Ayahuasca and Huachuma. In the ceremonial maloca is this Shibipo tapestry of the head of a jaguar intertwined with a serpent.
It is so impressive and pretty iconic of the sum of my whole experiences in the Amazon jungle. You cannot help but look at it and be enchanted by the artistry and combination of these two motifs. I returned to SpiritQuest in June of 2016 and during the cycle of work with Ayahuasca had some really profound events and revelations during ceremony, all pretty much revolving around my ability to finally quiet my mind and observe. The end of the third ceremony, after a major breakthrough, was serpent charged. A large green boa slithered along the floor of the maloca and entered into my head and wrapped itself around me coming to rest on my left shoulder. Another white snake with flecks of black then entered into my mouth and made its way down to the base of my spine. When I lay on my bed later that night I felt the serpentine waves of energy throughout my whole body. Then during the fifth Ayahuasca ceremony I transformed into a jaguar, allowing me to feel the awesome power of an animal that rules his domain without fear. Just prior to this ceremony we were visited by a group of Shipibo artisans selling their crafts and I was able to purchase a replica of the serpent jaguar tapestry. I have printed out on canvas a picture of this tapestry and also use an image as a background on my personal computer. So I am constantly in contact with this image throughout my daily life.
The last month or so I have internally felt the coming together of the sacred energies within and have sat with them, thought about them, looked for connections with them in nature and mythology, and written quite a bit about this experience in this blog space recently. It's the discovery of the power archetype that combines the sacred feminine with the sacred masculine and this power is... how do I put it? Well it is it. I found the power in mythology that I experience epitomized as the Greek god Dionysos. Dionysos is an effeminate man surrounded by crazed women and horny men.
Love, community, play, nature, intoxication, and mystery cult are what he is all about. It is the sacred marriage of the two polarities of the feminine and masculine found in nature that symbolically combined present as the hermaphrodite.
The serpent jaguar motif of the Amazon is the harmonious combination of this coming together of the feminine and masculine energies. It is the sacred marriage that creates the internal union of the opposites, the intertwining of yin and yang, or the glorious hermaphrodite swan of mythology that ferries the two representatives of the sacred powers, Hansel and Gretel, to safety. I hung my tapestry in my room devoted to my spiritual explorations and I stand at the head of my mesa and look at it every night. A couple years now of looking at this magical image. Two nights ago I stood at this privileged spot and the magical bestower of the sacred epiphany visited me once again. When I stand at my mesa and look at this tapestry I am looking into a mirror.