After six months I felt I was ready to visit ayahuasca again. My last experience had been quite unpleasant, as I spent almost the entire trip being violently ill. The experience of that trip had left me wary about venturing into that space again. Still, I felt ayahuasca had much to teach me and that the rewards were well worth the risk. I talked to my facilitator and we decided to try less harmala and more DMT this time around, since I felt the harmala alkaloids were what had made me so sick.
The day of the journey rolled around at last. I hadn't fasted before this trip, but we were starting in the morning so my stomach was empty in any case. Besides the facilitator and myself there were six other people present. We spent a few minutes talking and getting acquainted. I had met two of my fellow trippers before, the rest were new faces, but seemed friendly enough.
Just before noon we were given our MAOI, harmine and harmaline in a capsule. This stuff is bright, fluorescent yellow. My dose of harmala alkaloids was 300 mg this time. Again it was a 2:1 harmine:harmaline mixture (200 mg harmine, 100 mg harmaline). I was also taking amoxycillin at the time for a sinus infection. According to my doctor and the facilitator (not to mention every reference I could find) antibiotics weren't contraindicated for taking with MAO inhibitors.
After ingesting the harmala capsules we formed an opening circle and stated our intentions, hopes and thoughts about the upcoming journey. We then sat back and waited for the MAO inhibition to begin. After ten minutes I was feeling altered, a sort of strange body high that was familiar from previous ayahuasca trips, but more intense than either of my previous trips. I didn't consider this a great sign, but decided not to worry about it.
After a half hour we were given capsules containing DMT and beakers of mushroom tea. My capsule contained 125 mg DMT. Each of our beakers contained a tea made from 1.5 grams of mushrooms and lemon juice. I was feeling quite high already at this point. When I smelled the shroom tea, I was pretty sure I would puke immediately if I tasted it. I asked the facilitator if I could forego the tea. He indicated that wouldn't be a problem, but I should save it in case I wanted it later. I washed down my DMT capsule with water and sat back to await onset.
I was feeling queasy at this time. I was starting to be nervous, remembering my last experience. The DMT effects seemed to come on fairly quickly. My head started buzzing and my vision was swimming. When I closed my eyes I saw images, mostly of myself and people that I know. For a moment or two the onset felt much like the onset of my smoked DMT experience. Unfortunately the nausea was outpacing the DMT. I was concentrating all my will on not being sick, wanting to metabolize as much as the DMT as possible before voiding my stomach and possibly losing some or all of it.
The contents of my stomach came up and I managed to swallow them back. A second time they came up and again I forced them down. Then there was no fighting it. I leaned forward and emptied my stomach into a bucket placed in front of me. It came out easily, almost painlessly. As I mentioned in the report of my last experience, I feel like I really learned how to puke on my last ayahuasca trip. It sounds strange, but there is a definite skill to it. After puking I had time to hope that that would be it, but somehow I knew better. This was within fifteen minutes of swallowing the DMT.
After a few moments to rest I was sick again. And again. And again. I had only a few moments to regain my composure before being sick again. Between the first few times I managed to drink a little water to give me something to vomit up. After those first few I was unable to do so, since every time I went to drink I was sick. When I did manage to put water into my stomach I threw it up almost immediately. I felt like I was being torn apart. I even visualized myself being bodily dismembered by ayahuasca demons. The thought that the spirit of the Earth might feel that way about us occurred to me about that time as well.
In a repeat of last time, I soon felt the need to use the bathroom. I had my facilitator help me walk to the bathroom, throwing up twice on the way there. As I sat on the toilet puking and shitting I had to ask myself "Why the hell are you doing this?" No answer was immediately obvious.
As I sat there my mind wandered. With eyes closed there were faint but definite colored visions playing on the backs of my eyelids. While I wasn't being sick my mind would start to work on problems and issues in my life. Lately there have been plenty, as there is much I feel I need to work on currently. Unfortunately each time I would begin getting into any particular problem or thought process I would be wrenched back to my body to be ill yet again.
Of course my stomach was totally empty. I felt like it was manufacturing things to throw up. It may well have been, since at some point the color changed from a normal clear to a strange brownish color. That might have had something to do with the antibiotics I was taking. In any case it disturbed me a bit. I was completely miserable at this point. I was ready to do anything to make the sickness quit. I was literally afraid I might die. Luckily I knew I would be taken care of if I stopped breathing or something. If I had been at home alone, I would have been considerably more frightened.
After an hour or so I was ready to leave the bathroom. I needed my facilitator's help to get back to my place in the next room. After I got back I was sick again, two or three more times. Then mercifully, I was done puking. I still felt extremely queasy and in danger of vomiting still more, but I felt the worse had passed. This was approximately T+3 hours.
Unfortunately, I had lost most of the DMT in my first vomit. And what little I had metabolized had given its best effort already, while I was sick. I was left in an exhausted, wrung out state. It wasn't visionary, but I was nowhere near baseline. It was a body oriented high with only a hint of any psychedelic high. I tried to work on some psychic issues at that time, but I just didn't have the energy or focus. Mostly I just tried to lie still and quiet my stomach.
After some time people began moving around, talking, etc. I was still feeling quite sick so I declined to join in. Before long one of my fellow travelers, a very cool woman I had met on my last ayahuasca journey, asked if I was still in the room. I feebly indicated I was and she expressed sympathy for my condition. She offered to do some energy work to try and help me feel better and I assented. She did some interesting things by pressing lightly on my temples and the back of my head, my legs and feet. It did make me feel better, though I am not sure if it was a special technique or just the comforting feeling of being touched by another person.
By T+7 hours I was able to sit up and talk a bit. I got to know some of the new people that had shared my journey. They all expressed sympathy for my state. As on my last trip, I was the only one to have that degree of difficulty. We all sat around and discussed our respective trips, as well as trips on other materials, the place of visionary experience in our respective lives, etc. It was very pleasant.
This went on for an hour or two. We did a closing circle and people started to drift off to home (actually, one gentleman left before we did the closing circle). I talked to the facilitator about what might have accounted for my extreme sickness. We both thought that the antibiotics may have had a hand in it. We also agreed that there was most likely some kind of psychic component or blockage present, due to my experience of repeatedly getting ill every time I began working through any of my issues. I phoned a friend to pick me up and went to his house to chill out. I was still experiencing effects from the harmala, a sort of heavy body high that messed with my equilibrium. My stomach was still on a hair trigger and I knew I might still throw up a final time.
After we got to his house I tried to relax. My continuing nausea made it difficult. Finally, after smoking a fair amount of good marijuana my stomach calmed down a bit. I had wanted to smoke some earlier, during my trip, but hadn't been able to find the will to make it happen. I went to bed around 2:00 am and slept in until almost noon. When I awoke I felt fine, just a little tired.
During the trip I was sure that I would never do ayahuasca again. I promised myself repeatedly I would never do ayahuasca again. Of course, I will. However, it might be along time. This trip didn't accomplish much except reminding me how sick ayahuasca can make me. Before I do it again I feel like I have a lot of work to do. For one, I am going to make sure that next time I am in top shape, spiritually, mentally and physically. I think I will try smoking some marijuana before I take the ayahuasca next time, so that my stomach is sort of precalmed. And of course, I will make very sure my puke bucket is at hand. As I said, the risks may be great, but I sense the rewards are even greater.