Citation: Sam. "Shamanic Healing In Peru: An Experience with Ayahuasca (exp55056)". Erowid.org. Aug 27, 2006. erowid.org/exp/55056
While on a university trip in Peru, I had the opportunity of partaking in three different Ayahuasca ceremonies with three different shamans. The first two sessions took place in villages a short boat ride from Iquitos. The third took place in Manu National Park.
Each session was very different from one another. All were bizarre and healing experiences. I was the only gringo present at the first, while at the second I was with my best friend and two other gringos.
It is the third Ayahuasca session that I wish to discuss. This was by far the most powerful experience of the three. It was just me and my best friend. I wanted to drink the brew one last time before leaving Peru and my friend felt that he had been called back by the previous session. My interest had been roused when the shaman from the second session had told me things about my spirit and a past life that were similar to things my mum had heard many years before.
The shaman was a warm and friendly guy, who went to England every so often to teach Ayahuasca shamans there. We both felt very comfortable with him. He encouraged us to go into the session with questions we wanted answers to. He conducted his ceremony slightly differently from previous times, using many objects laid out in front of him and a ceremonial cloak. Icaros were sung during the ceremony like in previous sessions, however this time no leaf rattle was used.
The ceremony took place in a large open room with me and my friend I sitting opposite the shaman. Coca leaves were chewed for a while before drinking the brew. We drank a large cup of the brew (relative to previous sessions) around 9 PM. It was very bitter, but went down fairly easily. A puff on a cigarette eliminated the bitter aftertaste.
After drinking we sat and waited, meditating and breathing deeply. In a very short space of time it was a like a switch had been turned on-me and my friend both felt this. It is hard to say but it canít have been more than 15/20 minutes. This was unusual in that effects took a lot longer to manifest in previous sessions.
Lights and colors start to move, there is some familiarity with mushroom visuals. Long distance memories begin to surge on me. I begin to be confronted with darker areas of my mind, things I must confront and see. I am pulled in to another dimension. I see a pair of feminine eyes, which will reappear throughout the entire trip. Ayahuasca, like other psychedelics, is a paradoxical substance. The dimension I enter feels alien, yet at the same time very much part of me. My thoughts were racing, yet I felt very calm and centered.
The Ayahuasca universe is very earthy and fluid. I wasnít so much aware of the dizziness this time, but a blissful, earthy high. I hadnít been aware of this feeling from the previous sessions. It was an orgasmic, electric feeling centered in my head. I could feel the Ayahuasca working away in my head and body, making subtle tweaks and changes, massaging my being.
Ayahuasca is the most spiritual substance Iíve yet encountered. Itís more like having communion with some bizarre alien entity that is perfectly compatible with my being.
The nausea was there at times, but subtle and controllable. My friend did purge once. He described, in great detail, some very profound, other worldly visions that sounded incredible.
During the blissful Ayahuasca state, I would be occasionally confronted with dark areas of my mind throughout the session. I was made to look at various parts of my life as they were now, and how they might turn out to be. Some of these appeared to be a bit ridiculous, others a lot more possible.
My friend sad he went into the session with several questions he didnít really want answering. He said the Ayahuasca knew this and answered much more important things hidden within the depths of his mind. I have to agree with this.
On this trip, my thoughts on psychedelics were high lighted. I see them as a way of realizing part of my potential as an organism. I needed to carry this lesson over into my normal life, and work a lot harder to fulfill more of my potential.
Ayahuasca also puts other drugs in perspective. It highlighted my mistrust of the more toxic, synthetic drugs, and has made me want to cut down things I use at the moment. Another drug revelation which was repeated on the trip was ďWhile LSD has some recreational effects, it is not a recreational drug.Ē This was a curious revelation for me when my use of this substance may have been slightly excessive at times.
Several hours into the session, me and my friend decided to have a little more Ayahuasca. His went down fine, as he had purged earlier. I failed to purge at all, but my stomach felt a bit unhappy. Interestingly the shaman gagged once during the session but forced the brew back down. He chewed coca leaves for much of the session. As soon as I drank the second lot my stomach voided it, but not the rest I tried to force myself to throw up a bit later, but to no avail-my body seemed to want to hang on to it.
Eventually the shaman retired for the night and me and my friend retired to our tent outside under the stars with a smoldering camp fire. There was a thunderstorm nearby and fire flies all around. The setting was so alive and earthy. The peak of the intoxication was very much over, but I was still intoxicated. Despite feeling a bit dazed still, I felt invigorated and strong. Movement of my hands left incredible trails, more impressive than Iíve ever encountered previously. I still felt outside my body and felt incredibly calm and content. The afterglow was noticeable for several days, and I may have been altered for the better.
Ayahuasca stays with me afterwards, speaking to me in dreams, and it alters some of my thought patterns, for the better. It is a very powerful medicine and deserves great respect. I t has altered my belief system-it really appears that there are forces at work out there that arenít recognized by western science. Ayahuasca takes on the form of a spirit or entity than it does a drug. It may have permanently rain bowed me out, but I believe for the better. I will never forget these experiences and think I have found a life ling ally in Ayahuasca.
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