I’m almost at the point where I can’t feel my body. There was a time when I think I had hands but I’m not entirely sure where they are anymore. And in fact I think I also had a face and just maybe I could use said hands to touch said face to see if it’s still there. But that seems like an incredible amount of work right now. The sounds of the Shaman Gume’s icaros (the ceremonial songs used to guide the journey) echo in the distance. His strident voice and the rhythmic shaking of bundled chakapa leaves intensifies and steadily becomes accompanied by the sounds of purging and confused mumbling. The real journey is just beginning.
“Sospira profundo y permita permita..” the words of the Shaman enter my mind and I remember my seemingly simple assignment: Breathe deeply and allow, allow. My third eye explodes open to a movie screen filled with an endless kaleidoscope of neon fractal images. A barrage of imagery floats past the screen like rapid iPad swiping, making it impossible to focus on the details. The novelty of this new ability wears quickly as the sounds of moaning from across the malorca (A large enclosed ceremonial tent) distract me and I realize how utterly uncomfortable I am. I’m wrapped in blankets unable to get warm as the intense need to purge rises in my body. I have come to describe the physical effects of Ayahuasca as having extreme food poisoning and being shoved in a washing machine with a pile of rocks and a blanket for four hours. As I curl tighter into my self-described ‘cocoon of doom’ I hear the gentle voice of our facilitator Neils ask in his Australian accent “Is everyone ok?”. I realize the music has come to a lull and hearing that question brings me an immediate feeling of relief. Yes, there is someone here to save me, and yes, there is the possibility that maybe the others are also in fact, NOT ok. I desperately need to call out for help to the bathroom but the synapses required for vocal production are currently out of order. I somehow gather up the ability and together with all my weight and trust in my guide, we wobble outside. Although entirely disorienting, the 20 foot journey to the toilet was the grounding I needed to get back into my body. The rest of the evening I am wallowing in a puddle of depression that threatens to drown me. I can’t wait for this to be over.
Morning comes and I’m so curious to know how the experience was for the rest of the group. As we fumble with the bread and butter at breakfast, its obvious many of us had been through a similar spin cycle. Amy was being attacked by life-size killer bees dressed in Incan warrior garb while Judy spent the whole night shaking in pitch blackness. Gary met Ayauhuasca as she is commonly seen in a serpent form and spent a majority of the night in dialog with the plant spirit in regards to his health as she went from organ to organ giving him a play of play of their functionality. When I looked at Franko and asked him how it went, he looked at me with a forced smile and a look of defeat and shook his head. Words would never be enough for some of us. The experience was so intense for some that a couple participants chose to sit out for the second ceremony. So intense for Tony, that he booked a flight home to South Carolina that day. The rest of the day is spent in reflection and preparation for the second ceremony. The thought continues to plague my mind, ‘how the HELL am I going to be able to go through that again?” Three. more. times…
At nightfall we prepare for the second ceremony and many of us decide to take half the usual dose. The brew is a thick brown sludge-like liquid that tastes like a cross between dirt juice and fermented old chocolate wine. Thirty minutes later, I get the familiar body numbness with a calmer, toned down light show in my field of vision. This is a much more mental experience and the endless questions I came here with start to rise to the service of my consciousness. Instantly, insights fall into my brain like rapid fire downloads and a stream of ideas pour forth as if some sort of gate has been opened in my crown chakra. The concept of Mystic Babe pops up and I feel a sudden flash of inspiration. Pages of this ethereal journal are being filled, compiled, and organized like a mental Google Drive and I become anxious at the thought of forgetting everything. I begin to wonder why the excitement of writing this project has overshadowed everything involving my music career recently. I wondered why the muse was deciding to speak to me through these blog posts instead of through my songwriting. Instantly I received the message “Your purpose is to express yourself through your artistic gifts, regardless of the medium, to inspire people to the light”. It all made sense. My gift is expression. My ability to communicate and inspire people with words, music, and art is my greatest happiness. I had pigeonholed myself into what I thought to be my only career passion, where there was so much more right in front of me. Looking back, it all seems so simple and so obvious, but it wasn’t before. I felt a layer of energetic weight lift off of me.
The following morning I knew I had to get some of these ideas out so I borrowed a computer to write at least one of these channeled blog posts. I felt energetically spent and my body felt weak and exhausted. As insightful as the night had been, I still felt an unexplained malaise and decided to ask Ayahuasca to uncover more layers that night. That night as I took the cup in my hand I asked for her to work on the deepest levels of my psyche and subconscious. I asked her to please assist me in untethering me from my limiting beliefs so I could move forward. The whole night I had no visuals and knew Aya was busy “behind the scenes”. This didn’t prevent me from feeling the continued emotional detoxing that was occurring and I was stuck with a dreadful gloom that lasted for over 5 hours. Luckily, as the night came to a close and people left for bed, I remained with Phil and Sara to discuss what was going on with us. We stayed in the malorca for hours chatting about our experiences and the fears of our lives. We delved into everything and I felt my ability to express myself was enhanced and effortless. I believe a profound healing took place that night, not only from the medicine, but from the intense connection of people opening up to truth and giving heart felt guidance.
I explained to our shaman Gume the following day that I was scared going in to the last ceremony and he explained, “fear is not real, it is just an imagining of the mind”. Ok, ya, i get that Doc, but I’m still facing a potential 5 more hours of insanity! And, yes, the last ceremony just happened to be the most difficult mentally. As the visuals began swirling in front of me, I felt the all-familiar dread of the emotional doom monster coming to visit. This time I couldn’t escape the fear of this memory leaving a traumatizing impact on me and I worried I might develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. As dramatic as it sounds, I felt the depression of the world descend on top of me. I understood what it must be like to be in a constant state of misery and I became filled with such empathy for those with severe mental illness. On top of the intense emotional pain I was experiencing, the endless distracting images in front of me wouldn’t cease. My mind was racing and I felt the profound understanding of what true psychosis felt like. People live like this. I couldn’t get the image of suffering of mental institution patients out of my head. It is said that the painful parts of the Ayahuascha experience is the integration of negativity from your past and your fears coming out. It was as if every moment of depression and sadness from my life had to be re-lived as it was released from my body. The pressure I have put on myself for so many years had been weighing me down more than I could have ever imagined. I heard Gume’s voice ask in Spanish how we were doing. I found myself mumbling, “really really bad”. He explained that he could psychically see and feel (it’s pitch dark so no one is able to physically see anything during the ceremonies) what I was going through and that he was sending me love and light. I felt such gratitude knowing I had a support team here and that thought alone eased some of the intensity. About an hour later I maneuvered myself out from my cocoon of doom to venture outside to use the bathroom. (I could move! I had legs again!) As I looked up, I saw a massive sky filled with the most stars I’ve ever seen in my life. It was as if I was so close to them and they were raining down on me. The immense beauty literally took my breath away and I felt a sense of relief pass over me. I knew I would be ok. I knew I was here exactly at the perfect time in my life. Something told me these four days of insanity would be completely worth it in the end.
So, here I am 20 days later in the comfort of my apartment. Trying to edit this experience down into a succinct narrative seems so limiting. So much happened that it seems I’m leaving so much out. At the end of the trip, I told myself I would never do that again. It was just too intense. But, now as I look back from the perspective of where I am now, I think I would. Without a doubt, it was 100% worth it. All of it. I feel as if the tiny anchors that weighed me down have been removed and I’ve ascended into a lighter and freer vibration. It’s as if Ayauhasca pressed a reset button and I’m starting with a clean slate. I know that the only limitations that exist are the ones we place on ourselves. The universe DOES have our back and it’s fear that keeps us from believing and experiencing that. We are always enough and nothing external will ever be the thing that completes you. We must be willing to uncover the layers that have shrouded the inherent truth that we were born with. The clarity that we seek is and has never been outside of you. We just have to remember. I’m starting to remember. I am unlimited and as powerful as I believe me to be. So, I’m deciding. I’m deciding to completely trust my joy and show the world who I really am. I’m allowing the Universe to show me what’s next by following my greatest excitement. And right now, it is this. It’s writing my truth and hoping it gives you something. I’m fearlessly putting it all out there because you need to know you can become your best self. The real you is already perfect. So, let’s do this Mystic Babes! Ready or not, here we come.
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