I am returning to my SpiritQuest home in the jungle to drink Ayahuasca in order to traverse the Shamanic planes once again like she has taught me. By altering my consciousness, in essence my vibration, I will sit in communion with my spirit guides and the Great Goddess.
Recounting my latest journey with plant medicines without an explanation of past discoveries and a tie in with my metaphysical understanding of life would strike the reader as very peculiar. Taken out of context the tale I will tell is frankly preposterous.
Why am I doing this? I was always going to return but I figured it would be a while. In November I stood at my Mesa and this feeling of divine union with the Goddess washed over me and I understood that our combination is everything and together we constitute 'god'. Not only that, but the child of our union is our expression and it is the renewer, the ever coming and indestructible life. I completely understood the symbolic visions I had with the Goddess in regards to Ayahuasca and Huachuma that involved a longing to be together, rescuing the princess, slaying the dragon, a crazy erotic vibe, union, and the serpent and the jaguar. I had a dream afterwards in December which involved sitting in an Ayahuasca ceremony and a bird hovering over me which was repeatedly flying into my head. The symbolism is that I will be drinking Ayahuasca again, the bird and the purple symbolism represents the Goddess, and the knocks on the head are indicative of SpiritQuest as I call this place "don Howard's school of hard knocks."
So I call this return the consummation. It's the coming together of the sacred feminine and sacred masculine energies. A completeness so awesome in its perfection. I am ready. Six years ago when I took the plunge I wasn't ready when she asked me to come away with her. I had much to learn and discover. I have done the work and I now know. I am ready to experience my destiny. Then 'we' become the teacher of humanity. We tear down the constricting beliefs of old and usher in a new age of inclusiveness and Love.
The Goddess. Who is she? The sacred feminine discovered within. This Goddess common to all. Coming forth into this world of appearances as a man allows that an alteration of consciousness with the sacred medicine Ayahuasca will allow me to contact the sacred feminine, in essence my obfuscated other half. There is a commonality with all seekers because of the shared traits that come forth when each of us gains access. Wisdom, love, eroticism, chaos, caring, and guidance. If I drank a masculine plant medicine such as Huachuma then for me as a man I would access my higher self in one of its many iterations, literally having a conversation with a wiser version of myself.
Furthermore, the alchemical transformation of the aspirant involves taking the base materials of man and woman, and refining them. This is the process in agriculture of cultivation or in metallurgy the compounding of alloys into a new material. This process within us is the sacred marriage, called the Hieros Gamos, that creates an inner transformation demonstrated by the union of the sacred feminine and masculine. The spiritual joining together with your soul mate forges the hermaphrodite, who is the end result of this process. The spiritual cultivation of the human being is the template for creating the divine from the human. The spiritual union of the inner divine feminine and masculine gives birth to the god.
In late 2017 when I ended up in the mountains I was gifted this message "Remember to Play" scrawled on a dirty and worn mattress left out on the equator in the Andes mountains that served as a rest point for seekers of higher knowledge. I'm a knowledge junkie and I tend to seek and seek, much to my detriment, always needing to be reminded to play.
The first two Ayahuasca ceremonies were play. Erotic play. Two lovers enjoying the chase, and she's smart enough not to be caught because then she knows the flame will eventually start to die out and the long separation will begin once again.
The third ceremony had no purpose and in retrospect it was a huge lesson. I of course knew nothing at the time except for frustration and wondering if I should continue on the plant medicine path. Why do you need a purpose? Isn't life the purpose? Love life.
The fourth ceremony was reminding me who I am. I'm indestructible, feared, and will take on all. Call me jaguar! Outside the maloca was heard the roar of this jungle cat for most of the ceremony. Talk about something sublime, a catalyst to continue on this path, and an incredible affirmation of this journey. Walk this path and become the jaguar. He's waiting for you. The message will not resonate with all and where they are on their respective journeys but rest assured destiny as the jaguar awaits the woman or man of courage willing to go forth into the alchemical fire that is calling to them.
Well let’s get to it. Here’s my journal entries for my most recent exploration of mind, body, and soul transacted through the heart.
Day 1, Thursday March 7
It’s been a year and four months since I returned from my latest adventure that encompassed my 50th birthday when I went to Cusco, Lima, the Amazon, and the Andes of Ecuador. I had said to my friend Parker in the jungles of Peru after we did the concluding Vilca ceremony of 2017 that “I am going to miss Peru.” I sort of meant it; I mean I had finished the chapter and I was going to go up the mountain in Ecuador and finish the spiritual climb that had been beckoning to me. I’ve said it before and I always go back so I knew some day I’d return however I expected it to be a couple years, and up until a few months ago that was the plan.
When Ayahuasca comes a calling then you listen. I had that dream in December where I was in an Ayahuasca ceremony and there was swirling purple energy over top of me as well as a bird that would dart down and repeatedly bonk me in the head. Over the course of the next few days I figured out the dream. The purple energy is a representation of the Great Goddess and the bird knocking me in the head represents SpiritQuest as I have dubbed it “The school of hard knocks.” Pretty clever was the message sent to me however the problem confronting me was that the maestro don Howard is very ill and SpiritQuest was temporarily on hiatus. Not too long afterwards I got the word in late December that Parker was going to facilitate the re-opening of SpiritQuest with the continuation of the Ayahuasca ceremonies starting in February. I had some time to take off of work before the end of March and so the wheels started turning. It wasn’t long before I made the decision to go back as it all cosmically just added up.
So here I am on a plane flying to Lima. I’m a veteran now of these journeys, trip #5, so I know how much flights should cost and what to avoid - avoiding the United States in transit is priority number one so I booked early enough to get an Air Canada flight direct from Montreal to Lima and then the return is Lima to Toronto, all for a good price. I’ll spend a full day in Lima at the head of the journey, do some sightseeing, and then off to the Amazon jungle on the Saturday. I’ll be swinging in a hammock by Saturday afternoon and then enjoying the smoke of my friend and ally Mapacho soon afterwards.
The dream I had was the culmination of putting everything together last November. I stood at the head of my Mesa and the feeling of oneness, of a divine union within washed over me. The serpent and the jaguar, the erotic ceremonies, and the sacred marriage ceremony all added up. I realized why the first time I ever drank Ayahuasca the Goddess said to me to come away with her. I balked at the time but I finally realized why. I am the jaguar, the sacred masculine and she the serpent, the sacred feminine. Our union creates the divine child, ‘god’ if you will. It was a feeling like none other.
I owe so much to don Howard and SpiritQuest. It’s because of him and the ritual and symbolism experienced at SpiritQuest that I clearly saw these truths. There are so many spiritual paths leading you away from this realization and due to my independent streak I never joined or embraced any of them, instead I chartered my own course and found the answer. I avoided the chorus saying “you can’t do this alone.” “You need a guru.” don Howard is my teacher. He shows me where to look and that’s all I needed. Looking back on my journey, I had the answers in the summer of 2016 but I just needed another two plus years to put it all together. And then in one magical moment I stood at the head of my Mesa and looked at the serpent jaguar tapestry and this incredible feeling of Unity washed over me and I said “My god, that’s me!” She’s as much a part of me as I am me. She’s been that wisdom, the smarts, and epiphanies that have always been with me.
Day 3, Saturday March 9
I arrived in the humid jungle today and it was great to see Parker and see he is doing so well. There’s a group of five guys including myself that will be drinking Ayahuasca this week. It will be a much more intimate group and setting then I’m used to this time around. They are all new to Ayahuasca so along with Parker I was able to share some of my experiences and hopefully allow for some of the anxiety to dissipate.
I haven’t felt any anxiety myself as of yet though I fully expect to as the first ceremony gets closer. I guess there is a bit of confidence in why I am here again and in part it is because I was called back. I got the message and came back.
I had a really interesting dream Friday night where I was locked in a passionate embrace with my Goddess and the kissing was electric. Could it be a preview of what is to come? After that I was awake and experienced a collage of images in a vision changing shapes that felt like an altered consciousness experience.
Day 4, Sunday March 10
It is just a few hours away from the first Ayahuasca ceremony. We had a Mapacho ceremony late morning/early afternoon that helped get everyone into the meditative state. Mapacho can be very calming and I had felt no anxiety until up to the point we went through the ceremony protocol and set up our space in the maloca. I came back to my room and read the reminder that I leave tacked up on the wall which says Love, Trust, and Surrender as well as telling me to Still The Mind and imploring me to Get Out of My Head. I then went and read for an hour as the sun went down and I had an important lesson on the way back to my room. I had my phone fall out of my pocket into the hammock and I’d forgotten that I had brought it with me. I got back to my room and couldn’t find my phone which set off a mini panic and then my unhinged mind started doing its thing. I calmed down and then retraced my steps, went back to the hammock, and my phone was in the folds of the fabric of the hammock. This was a pertinent and timely reminder about the mind, a most needed lesson, and one that is always needed especially when beginning a cycle of work with plant medicines. Almost like Mother Ayahuasca did not want to have to remind me in ceremony to still the mind so she gave me a preview and said “see you have to not engage the mind!”
I’m here at SpiritQuest to participate in the union of the divine sacred feminine to the divine sacred masculine and the result will be the birth of the child god. The union of these forces within will reconstitute the unity of primal forces. It will be the culmination of this journey and a long and winding road of discovery to get this far for sure. It’s the re-birth of the divine child, ergo becoming a kid again. What we all once were until life, culture, and the hypnotic allure of the world took that away from us and what a ride it has been to retrieve this knowledge and rescue my princess all the while defeating my demons and the dragon.
With that in mind, I’m reminded of distilling and offering my intention for ceremony tonight.
Mission Statement: Para el bien de todos (For the good of all.)
Offering: I will teach this method of fulfillment, divine discovery, and knowledge of self.
Intention: A sacred coupling with my Goddess.
Day 5, Monday March 11
I will be persistent and not be deterred. My intention is a sacred coupling within.
We met up in the maloca for the 9:30pm ceremony and first received a blessing from dona Eliana and then a protection arkana, replete with a Mapacho soplando, from the maestros don Rober and don Carlos. With only five people drinking that part of the ceremony concluded pretty quickly. I was the second to drink and it became my turn almost right away. I stated I am doing this for the good of all, offered my ability to teach this to others, and stated my intention of a sacred coupling. Before downing la medicina I voiced “para el bien de todos!” The taste was probably the worst I ever remembered Ayahuasca being as I downed the brew in one gulp. Maybe it was because it had been a while. A few others the next day said it didn’t taste too bad to which I replied “wait until the end of the week.” I went back to my mattress and waited for the nausea to subside before lighting up a Mapacho.
The visions started up slowly this time. Before don Rober started singing his Icaros, I had a feeling of dread and some old Ayahuasca ceremony memories and themes that have vexed me in the past were drudged up. I always forget about these memories until I drink la medicina again and then I remember why I sometimes try to leave myself notes intra ceremony to not drink again. So these thoughts were reforming in my mind, telling me I’m a prisoner of the brew and inviting me to latch on to them.
The last time I drank Ayahuasca in the summer of 2016 I transformed into a jaguar and scared off all my enemies. Prior to that I had learned how to still the mind in this state and become an impenetrable blank slate. Following this in the fall of 2017 with Huachuma I had mapped out my personal experiences with plant medicines and how they come on and how to steer your ship through the tumult. In other words I have come a long way since the days of being a newbie! I proceeded to puff out my chest, became the jaguar, and roared. My mind went completely blank and I envisioned myself navigating a ship through rough waters, avoiding the rocks that will scuttle my vessel on either side of me. About half way through this turbulent sea I smiled as I knew the worst of it I had left behind. It was very empowering knowing my Ayahuasca sailing ability was master level.
I made it out of the storm and ended up on this racetrack, an autobahn of sorts, and cruised down an electric and colourful highway at breakneck speed with no sense of a destination. At the end of the course I found myself in front a mysterious and non defined construct. The patterns started undulating serpent like and I followed the movements with my neck and head, getting lost in the rhythms. I knew it was her; I didn’t need confirmation or to think about it as it was pretty obvious. She was playing the part of the mystery, teasing me with her undulating rhythms. I sometimes picture her as a prim and proper princess when really she is nothing of the sort. Daring, seductive, wild, and dangerous were the vibes being put out, in a way telling me I couldn’t handle her. Playing and teasing was the game so I played along, taunting her with games of my own like lovers do to each other telling her about ‘earth' girls that play that part really well too. It was nothing like a courtship, of reserved getting to know each other. There was this unspoken familiarity of two equal sides playing and conversing as if we have known each other for eternity. When I look back on my first ever Ayahuasca ceremony, where I knew she was the Great Goddess but was unaware of my relationship to her, up to now where I know we are two halves of a whole it’s pretty striking and we were playing a pretty delicious and seductive game. The give and take in terms of communication was an exchange of thoughts. I recognized the wise voice in my head as her. This knowledge was something that has always eluded my grasp, that she is my guide, the smart one. She would tell me something or challenge me and I’d respond with my typical masculine charm or some dumb ass remark. She’s the inspiration that comes to me, sometimes out of the blue, sometimes so profound that I re-read things I have written and swear there is no way I could have written them.
She’s the serpent to my jaguar. Two equal halves that create a sum greater than the parts. In essence the all and this all has total freedom like a bird able to traverse the three shamanic planes of water, earth, and the heavens at will. My expectation is after this teasing and foreplay was that there would be a divine sacred coupling that would take us to bliss. Instead she started to go through my historical faults, my treatment of women in relationships, and then the side of me she doesn’t trust. I pleaded my case, my undying love for her and my pursuit of her. I told her I left my family, flew down here to be with her - isn’t that commitment? Drinking Ayahuasca is far from easy or a pleasant experience but here I am! She went through my relationships with women, especially my wife, and said look when you tire of them you just lock them away emotionally and forget about them. She said she should turn herself into a dog then at least I’d always be affectionate and love her. She was of course correct and then she said that’s what men have done with the Great Goddess for over two thousand years. She said she doesn’t want to be released from bondage and be given equal footing with men if the same result is a foregone conclusion. She’s not going to risk being locked away and forgotten about again. I offered up the eternal defence of it will be different this time. I suspect I have used that line before and she wasn’t falling for it. I said a contract won’t work as that will just set up future litigation. Ultimately I know she is referring to actions and how they speak louder than words, and I need to prove or convince her this time it is actually forever. Unconditional Love, celebrating women and the Goddess, and honouring and pedestalizing her. I know we really need to honour the feminine in western culture, like go really overboard into bringing balance back into the world. If not we are going to destroy ourselves.
After the first icaro ended I knew there would be no visionary sacred coupling tonight and that she had gone away for the night. I sat with it and my feelings for a while afterwards and I thought well there’s three more ceremonies to convince her. I had some more periphery visions and then eventually the nausea came on and I purged.
The ceremony left me with lots to ponder.
Day 7, Wednesday March 13
If nothing else I am persistent!
The brew was noticeably stronger for the second ceremony and I felt it envelop me in a more substantial manner than the first night. The taste was pretty foul once again, markedly worse. I could feel the intoxication in my limbs and after ten minutes with my eyes open I could pick out patterns of energy that were familiar to me from previous ceremonies. Another clue tonight to the strength of Ayahuasca was that I started getting visions even prior to don Rober starting to serenade us with his icaros. The whole experience was largely visionary and not much telepathic interaction with the Goddess. So here is what I can faithfully remember because so many visions occurred over the space of the first four icaros that at the time I was thinking there is no way I’ll be able to journal all of these visions.
The first vision was all brown, like dirt, and it completely enveloped my visionary field. Then a slit in the dirt formed and the earth started to separate in the manner of the folds of skin like a vagina. It was clearly a vision of Mother Earth/Pachamama. When the tunnel into the earth completely opened up I dutifully entered into it and wound my way through the canal towards an unknown destination. I reached an area that was in darkness but periodically light would shine in. I’ve had this vision previously and in that vision I could never fully reconcile the dark with the light. This time I was able to move a megaton block above me to fully reveal the light. It felt like actual exertion and I felt a tiredness in my arms from moving the block. After this a blue butterfly formed in my vision and the wings opened to reveal a vagina. It was a vagina with wings, sacred and not erotic, and this led to the next vision which was a vibe that was very showgirl, and a big stage performance was going on. There was a giant umbrella centre stage being held up by a giant golden pole. Serpents were entwined on this pole and slithered to the ground and I looked up and my lady was gyrating seductively at the top of the pole. She was wearing no clothes and her golden brown breasts glistened in the strobe lighting on this stage of this visionary strip bar. I watched as she continued to mesmerize on the cosmic stripper pole. The vision came to an end as the icaro finished.
The next icaro produced a vision of a staircase I ascended. It was a classic wooden varnished staircase but it also propelled me upwards like a supercharged escalator. Upon reaching the top I then went down, down, down on this wooden escalator, wondering what subterranean place or subconscious level it was taking me too. I reached the bottom and it was this white room full of play sized furniture. I saw the Goddess on a white couch and she changed into a fluffy white cat and then her face became a jungle cat. The Goddess began morphing between different creatures while lying reclined on the sofa. Finally she became a contorted white mannequin blending in with the white furniture with her body parts strangely out of place and her vulva pretty much front and centre. She asked me “Do you wanna fuck me now?” I was flummoxed and did not reply or move. Snakes slithered on the ground as I then found myself transported back in time to when my kids were little and I took them to the amusement park, waterslides, and the park near our house. I know as a parent you always worry whether you are doing enough for your children so I guess this visionary cut away just appeared to remind me I’m doing alright and that it is important to give opportunities for children to play. In my next vision there was an adult couple having sex and I got a close up of the action and then a head popped out of the woman’s vagina. The motif or lesson here was that the child born of this sexual union is desire. Eros and cupid in art are depicted as chubby babies because they are the child of the desire that brings the man and woman together.
The child is in essence desire personified. We all begin as desire. From there the vision was once again in this playroom and my avatar in this vision had enough teasing so I chased the Goddess until I could jump her and we started making out with unbridled passion. At this point in don Rober’s icaro the beat got heavier, imitating the thrusting of the man into the woman called in slang “giving it to her.” However before the act was complete the shaman’s song ended and the vision as well. The Goddess did not return after this.
I had sporadic visions afterwards, nothing that seemed noteworthy. It took a while to purge and then finally I laid back and just listened to the icaros for the rest of the night.
Overall the ceremony was a blast, it was so playful and I’m wondering if Ayahuasca should be like this? It’s supposed to be work or have healing properties. Instead I have spent two ceremonies in pursuit of the Great Goddess, not that I think there is anything wrong with that. The other thing is I am very confident now in my ability to work with Ayahuasca, to navigate the initial storm, and to pursue my intention. I mean this is all part of my intention - the sacred coupling. I expect the brew to keep increasing in potency and for the back to back ceremonies to be challenging. If nothing else, it is confirming my view of this existence to be essentially a sexual metaphor driven by desire. I don’t have expectations for the upcoming ceremonies but I do sense a climatic finish!
Day 8, Thursday March 14
A couple things I want to write about this morning related to ceremony two. I have mentioned previously my ability acquired through experience and trial by fire of being able to navigate the Ayahuasca experience being totally aware now of the toxicity of the mind during the initial onset of the intoxication. In layman’s terms it will fuck you up if you don’t disengage your mental faculties. I mapped out the common structure of both the Ayahuasca and Huachuma intoxication last trip in November/December of 2017. I had drunk Huachuma in the Andes mountains on the equator in Ecuador and I went through the stages of both medicines. With Ayahuasca the onset is the precarious time as a mind unleashed will fight the experience and try to turn you against it. The primary reason for this is the use of Ayahuasca will eventually reveal to you the machinations of a programmed ego mind that is a puppet controlled by others and by culture at large. The capacity for the mind to spin an elaborate tale of deception is unparalleled in my opinion. If you let it, the mind will be so convincing, it can craft the most unbelievable of stories and presentation of reality that will have you utterly convinced of its validity. The goal is to knock you off the hero’s journey so you do not discover your true nature and get you to return to your life of cultural indoctrination and servitude. If you continue on the plant medicine path the narrative of the mind will continue and be waiting for you at every turn.
Ultimately within are the answers you seek and the mind works in a way to get you to look towards the exterior for the answers which present themselves in culture and to constructs and institutions that ultimately require a belief in someone else's beliefs. There is a level of clarity acquired over time and experience that allows you to see these traps and I now see clearly how others fall for them and I want to say something but I know better. That approach never works as they have to see it for themselves however unfortunately most won’t see it but I think I can help by steering them towards other ideas and modalities of thought and experience.
So anyway I liken the onset of the Ayahuasca experience akin to sailing a ship through rough waters with a rocky shore on either side threatening to scuttle your ship. Engaging the turbulent seas, trying to out maneuver the tempest is not going to work. Lao Tzu, the Chinese sage, in his masterpiece the Tao Te Ching, essentially tells us to be water and go with the flow, just go with the current. The waters here are rough so just flow with it. The particular technique I use to follow the watercourse through the tempest I call the ‘Ten Mile Stare.' It allows me to enter a profound state of primal awareness where my mind is shutdown, my thinking processes are on jail ordered lock down and I just observe. As I successfully navigate the experience I smile as I near the calm waters. Then the magic starts to happen. It’s trial by fire and a skill that is not developed overnight. For me it started out as a survival skill as this medicine repeatedly beat me up until I realized the problem was me and specifically this ingenious part of me that puts a spin on conscious awareness. The big obstacle is of course this mind has been a friend, albeit sometimes a shitty and judgmental friend, all your life so it is tough to kick him to the curb. He knows how to play the game as well, to speak the language, so there is a certain trust. Ultimately actions unmask the motivations and intentions. Clarity will allow for understanding.
I’d also like to further discuss this vision I have recognized from a couple ceremonies now where I travel through darkness to find hints of the light. The first time it happened I remember I couldn’t quite open up the sky completely so that all the light would shine in on the darkness. This last ceremony I was able to move the megaton block of stone with great effort which enabled the light to shine in on the darkness. During the remainder of this ceremony this idea stuck with me and I recognized my unique ability to bring the light into wherever I find darkness. It was a direct calling to be of service and help others who are lost in an insurmountable abyss of darkness. I can remove the obstacles preventing them from seeing the light.
Lastly I’d like to touch on the idea of play. It stems somewhat from the vision of the playroom I had and the connection to keeping it light and Huachuma’s constant exhortation to me to remember to play. As a species we take everything so seriously. Something like the theatre is such such a great reminder of the transience of it all and the ability to play different characters to create a different story. If you are unhappy with your lot in life, your storyline, then change character, make changes in your life that rewrites your story. You control the direction your novel is heading. We get locked into a storyline and take its outcome seriously. You can alter the trajectory at anytime. Have fun with it, throw off expectations of culture and others that limit your story to being the same as every other person.
Day 9, Friday March 15
La medicina was pretty strong last night and engulfed me completely. At the end of the ceremony I was still bodily very tipsy. The ceremony was the first of the back to back drinking, so it will probably be even stronger in tonight’s ceremony. In fact I can still feel the effects on my lips, now currently the following afternoon, in the form of a tingling sensation.
It was a strange ceremony; the word melancholy comes to mind. It was visionary pretty much the whole time but the visions didn’t go anywhere, instead they were just mundane images of everyday life. It would not be of much value as of now to actually provide a laundry list of all I witnessed. I probably couldn’t remember them all anyways.
I gathered the most insights from the ceremony after I went back to my room and then the following morning. I feel very tired today and the group got an idea of why at the start of the retreat it is said that it will take some courage and perseverance to make it through all four Ayahuasca ceremonies. So I will go through my observations since a chronological break down of the night will not really do at this point.
I will mention that off the top and a bit later I experienced the fast moving through a tunnel motif that seems quite common to my experience. A train came speeding at me and I ducked under it and sped off in the opposite direction. Later on in my visions I saw a jaguar, it came towards me but then the vision just ended. It was the theme for the night in that none of the visions seemed to go anywhere or have meaning. I also got tired of the nausea which usually means I’m getting near the end of the cycle of work. A majority of the experience was going through past relationships and connections I had with women. It was interesting being able to kind of psychoanalyze the women based on their behaviour in the relationship. I had to admit the wild and crazy ones were fun though not longterm relationship material and that’s where I lacked the maturity at the time to have figured it out. It was clear I married a woman that would not cause me heartache and stress. These trips down memory lane provided insight into my relationship with the Great Goddess because manifested in Ayahuasca she is wild, crazy, exciting, and ultimately untameable. I want to possess her and put her in my castle of gold and I see now that will never happen. The deep meaning is the impetus in men to treat love and beauty like a trophy wife and not honouring and glorifying those ideals every single day. Instead I want to lock them up in my Peruvian trophy case of collectibles, displaying the love I found in the Amazon when I tell stories of my time in the jungle. It speaks to actions and the need to take responsibility for the gifts, wisdom, and knowledge I have been blessed with and step up the reciprocity game. To celebrate everyday love and beauty. There is always more we can do.
Along the same line of messaging in the chaos of Ayahuasca is my attraction to the experience which at first contains a lot of highs and a lot of lows. There’s no middle ground in the experience at first. I admit an addiction to the madness though I also wanted to tame the experience and I worked towards doing just that. I have been successful as this ceremony was demonstrating that I mastered the ceremony. It’s been my lot in life. I’m calm, patient, and everything always comes out even-steven, no surprises. In this ceremony the visions were just mundane and no surprises, just how I worked to get them to be. That is our existence as humans for the majority of the time; we observe, process, discard, and move on. There’s a need to embrace that part of life and to use love to provide meaning, joy, and hope to others. Going on a roller coaster ride is fun once a year but life can’t be lived like that. A Trevor Hall lyric I have been listening to came to me now and sums up the teaching: “Love all. Serve all. And create no sorrow.”
The Goddess did appear once in my menagerie of visions. I was sitting poolside and she came outside through a glass door where I first noticed her. Her image then refracted into the glass and divided up into many layers and this kept going until each refracted layer of her image became a point of light. She is one and she is many.
Day 10, Saturday March 16
The final ceremony held Friday night was a novel experience. The taste of the aged brew was disgusting, so much so I almost puked it out right away as I finished downing the cup. I had to turn away from the altar for fear I would throw up on it. La medicina was fuerte and it came on way before the shamans started singing their icaros. The ambience outside the maloca was not as I had ever witnessed or heard. There was a jaguar in the not too far distance roaring at a regular interval while all the while I was hearing the hooting of an owl, and the screeching of a monkey. These sounds locked me into a visionary state and I was off. I remained in focussed awareness for a really long time, my head being locked and looking ahead in one place, so much so that I developed a stiff neck from holding it so still. But it was magnificent.
The visions started off again with speed. I was racing at top speed on a racetrack much like a formula 1 circuit and I was picking up speed and weaving into and out of traffic. It was a blast as I navigated at high acceleration where eventually I reached a launch pad where I was then catapulted into orbit. I intuited that this was a futuristic way of travelling called a ‘shallow orbit.’ This took me to a city where I was able to create with my hands these designs that formed by simply touching the atmosphere around me. I then saw an enormous billboard that contained a live woman dancing in it. She was beautiful and eventually she came out of the billboard and changed into a dragonfly like insect and landed in front of me and started boring into my head. Now normally this would freak me out but instead I just let it happen until the scene changed and I was in this underground place. I saw a friend of mine taking care of her daughter and then I saw this construct where a giant artificial intelligence superman was being created by gathering up the power inherent in humans. It became clear that humans hold all the power in this world and we are quick to give it away. Corporations use wealth to perpetuate their power but it is all just transient. People need to stop giving away the power they possess. I then saw this giant AI man break free of his constraints and go on a destructive rampage. I knew I had to stop him so I became the jaguar and then through prolonged and sustained attacks at the giant robot I eventually brought him down.
I then found myself in a subterranean location once again. The experience took part in these realms for the majority of my visions this night. In the distance I spotted an owl flying around, then it spotted me and flew towards me. It settled directly in front of my face and stared into my eyes with the non blinking owl stare. It was a large black and brown owl much like the one on don Howard’s Huachuma Mesa. The significance of the owl will reveal itself to me however at the time all I could think of was my Ayahuasca journeys and seeing serpents, jaguars, butterflies, and now this owl. The owl has been a big part of my dreams and omens I witness in the forest near my home as well as the owls on don Howard’s and my own Mesa.
To now have it come to me in ceremony was unspeakable beyond belief. I recall last time at SpiritQuest being in a trance and staring at the owl on the Mesa and having it blink its eyes at me. I was amazed and grateful for all I have been given in terms of wisdom and knowledge. Life is very mysterious. I feel I have penetrated the mystery to some degree but I’m not ready to fully embrace the magic, to let go of reason, and just witness and experience the unfathomable. However deep down I now know my logic rests on a bed of magic swirling pixie dust. Compared to the mundaneness of the previous ceremony, I was energized and it gave me a sense that there is a purpose to continuing on in these plant medicine journeys. I had been thinking I was at the end but this owl was letting me know there is more.
From this scene I looked up and saw a giant wall that filled with bright light the more I looked up. The wall then started to break up and a giant figure was appearing. I noticed bunches of grapes on the body and I figured this was the eternal return of Dionysos. The vision did not complete but it was hinting at the return. I have awakened the giant, there is still more to do, but the wheels are now in motion. Once again the vision was imploring me not to stop now but to continue on the path.
In this ceremony for some reason the shamans did not start singing their icaros until well into the ceremony. For this one all I needed was the jungle ambience, in fact when the icaros started up I actually preferred the jungle noises this particular night as the visionary catalyst. This is worth exploring or at least spending some time with as it might be a sign of not needing external aids to drive visionary activity and that extends into my meditation practice at home where a new modality of opening up the visionary state could be at hand; don Howard would talk about this and Parker had mentioned using Mapacho to enter into the state as well. I know from my relationship with Mapacho that I can enter into trance, though the visionary activity is muted or not available most of the time.
At one point in ceremony something clicked in my head and I experienced complete and utter bliss capped off by a sublime feeling of contentment. Later on I compared some of the girls I have wanted to be in a long term relationship with but couldn’t have them to this whole experience this time with the Goddess. Culture and I by extension have locked her away for so long that now that I have freed her on a personal level she is not up for being tied down again. She is a wild and free spirit. It is probably time I rethink my culturally driven attitude towards marriage and possession as a peculiar masculine trait. Needless to say I have lots to think about and lots to write about.
First off is remember to play. Things that are serious are bullshit. Don't take everything so seriously. I went into the ceremonies serious about a sacred union. She wanted to play. Life is play. The universe is at play; it's a dance.
There is a definite call to be a leader and not a follower. Walk your own path. The path only you can travel is the greatest path. So many others are seeking fulfillment by getting you to follow them as a perverse way of acceptance of what they are putting out there. You don't need that anymore or their spin. Lead by example, be selling nothing, and offer only your authenticity. If that attracts people so be it but show them the light and their own path to liberation.
Rethinking attitudes towards eroticism. It is frowned upon in our culture and treated as deviant behaviour. The damage to the psyche is immeasurable. From a personal standpoint I had to do a hard reset. I bought into the shame and treated my feelings of desire as aberrant and tried to rid myself of them. I went back to square one. I was very successful at suppression. I thought I conquered desire. Altering my consciousness repeatedly revealed desire is what makes the world go round. It is the elixir of love that powers up creation. It's not going anywhere; you can't conquer it! So when I saw this clearly I returned to the dance, I understood the power, and I maintain a healthy attitude towards the erotic and our desires. I returned to Peru because of this. I was chasing the Goddess, the sacred feminine that I have awakened within.
Embrace the essential realization that existence is chiefly sexual and is filled by desire. The need to throw off the chains of culture and embrace the fundamental underpinnings of energy which is eros. To let go of inner conflict, shame, and the feeling that desire is sinful. This prevents us from waking up to the truth of who we are and the nature of our inner life and the great mystery. The mystery found in the the forgotten left hand path, of tantra, and of medieval alchemy. Bask in the esoteric hidden and exotic arts of tantra and alchemy and throw in some Dionysian revelry for good measure.
Those first two ceremonies were off the charts crazy. I was able to describe in detail what went on to those present in the sharing circle. If there were women present I would have had to ask them first if it was alright to describe fully my visions. I’m not sure I would consider any of it work but in retrospect full of insights and an amazing confirmation of my perception of what is the catalyst for creation.
Along the same lines of thought is the insight that the butterfly is the epitome of all women. The grace, beauty, and transience of this winged enchantress defines the Goddess that appears in my visions. She is playful and sensuous and my attempts to be the stereotypical bumbling male butterfly catcher in order to add her to my collection are hilariously thwarted and denied at every turn. At one point she morphed from the Queen to a butterfly, opened up and revealed herself to be a particular female body part and flew away.
I think I will end the description of my latest sojourn by being provocative. You see all my life I didn't believe in magic. In the Amazon plants taught me about intention and how to access different modalities of consciousness. I was taught about having an access to power and the ability to manipulate based upon your intentions in how you want to use this power. I was given access to knowledge that I can't explain. Still my reason and logic side didn't fully buy into it. So I think I'll just come clean with what I now know. Divination, manipulation of people and events, and access to wisdom and knowledge are possible because you are in communion with the higher aspects of self. They are the divine feminine and masculine aspects that are also of the same essence of what constitutes the all. When you realize this and can access this power then you have access to a fount that contains everything. These powers don't give away who they are though. You have to discover that honestly. That's the strange and puzzling part. You as your higher self will play along with your bumbling self, whether you believe you have accessed gods, demons, witches, sorcerers etc., or you figure it out and their ultimate identity. It's you but until you accept it is you then the 'higher' you plays along with your ignorance or refusal to acknowledge the fact you are it. It would be fair to label then your higher self a trickster of sorts but it is only a trickster as long as you want to play that game. When you wake up and declare I know who you are then the knowledge of who they are, who you are, is freely admitted to. Conversely if you access this power, are smitten with the possibilities, and then use it to enrich your so called ‘lower' mortal self then they play along in this foolish and selfish game as well. It boils down to choice and if your intentions aren't pure then you entrap yourself in the pursuit of an aggrandizement of self. It's best when you access this power to then be of service before self, give it away, and cultivate a love for all.