Citation: Eskie. "Fear And Loathing In Amazonia: An Experience with Ayahuasca (exp80510)". Erowid.org. Aug 21, 2009. erowid.org/exp/80510
I had a trip to Amazonia, with the intention to spend some time living in the jungle, keeping to traditional ayahuasquero's dieta and drinking Ayahuasca. I had some issues I wanted to resolve - anxiety being number one, and was hoping that connecting to the spirit of Ayahuasca would help me to heal myself and to find the answers I was desperately looking for.
I took part in several ceremonies, with varying degree of intensity, but will describe here only one, as it would take too much time for all of them and would be boring. And also, as much as it's always a very strong and seemingly 'unforgettable' experience there's definitely a tendency to forget after a while what was going on if you don't write it down immediately or soon after, otherwise eventually you're just left with 'Oh man I can't tell you it was so powerful!' kind of thing.
So we all drank one little cup of Ayahuasca each and this time it was very thick and particularly difficult to drink. But that wasn't anything new. About 15 people in the circle, we sat quietly, listening to beautiful sounds of the jungle and waiting for IT to arrive. It was getting dark. I was trying to still my mind, and be free from much thinking. On previous trips I was always concentrating on my intentions, remembering why am I doing this, what is my purpose. But this time - the last ceremony - I decided to try to forget completely about me, myself and my worries, to transcend through my ego, and connect to the higher conscious; forget any questions and be open to receive and accept whatever Ayahuasca will choose to show me or do to me. Previously I had some very difficult and even frightening moments so it wasn't easy but I thought: whatever happens I'm not gonna die, I know that. And was quite determined to even drink a second cup - to go all the way.
Which wasn't necessary as it came on unusually quickly and very strong. Violent fast moving visions filled my mind. They were not vivid, but more like grayed out shapes with soft edges, and somewhat digital and low rez - I saw a man being violent, a woman, screaming - and somehow the angle from which I saw this was as if I was a child looking up - that was very uneasy as suddenly I thought what if this is my father and mother... and sent this vision away. Visions were going like that for a little while and then suddenly I became almost completely straight and normal. The trip subsided quite sharply.
Normally our shaman offered a second drink after about an hour and whoever felt like would come up and take it. But now I missed that moment, in the first rush of my trip. And was quite upset about it thinking, aah, the night has just begun and for me - it's all over! Ayahuasca can be funny like that, its quite unpredictable in its effect. I worried about it for a good while and then decided to just relax and listen to the music, which was beautiful, and prepared for an uneventful night. There were very good musicians in the group and the music never stopped. Our shaman had several weird and wonderful music instruments making strange and haunting noises which seemed to resonate in all my body - at times my body would become the music... It was great.
I was enjoying this for a while but mainly was completely clear and even getting sleepy.
And then suddenly, maybe 3-4 hours since the beginning of ceremony, the Ayahuasca finally arrived and came up big time, properly. There was no questions, no hesitation about that, no maybe. I thanked god I didn't drink a second cup or I honestly don't know how this would end. It was a wave of sheer energy taking over and making me weak like a baby. I was shaking and got very hot and sweating; shaking more and more, and I couldn't control it my body was almost convulsing. And yet strangely the thinking remained quite clear and I suddenly realized - that it's good for me - to shake! That this violent shaking was what I needed right then. It was a revelation. Sitting there and shaking like a madman I was getting something out from my system, vibrating, resonating to the sounds of music; it was incredible. I felt every and each one of my muscles.
Then I saw lots of trees - many beautiful, powerful trees, with their roots going deep into the ground and thought that I would like to become like a tree. Strong. And I became a tree...
As crazy as it sounds, I just became a tree.
I stretched my arms and fingers and they were curling in organic fashion in most incredible ways like branches and leaves of the tree. And I felt connected to the earth and nature and to everything at once. So I was shaking and feeling very sick and was a 'tree' and It was beautiful and terrible at the same time.
Visions of four different elements filled my mind - air, water, earth, fire.... and I had a clear understanding of how they're combined in every person, creating their energy. I saw that my main element is the air, my strength and weakness, and its beautiful but unstable. And that I have no earth at all in my system, no roots. And it's true generally, something I always knew on some level as I never really had a family when I grew up etc etc. And then I learned to grow the roots. It was one of the most beautiful gifts from Ayahuasca. Drinking water and energy from the earth. I pressed my hands against the ground and felt its energy filling me up and I cried with love and gratitude. I'm using this knowledge ever since.
So it went on and on, and I was very sick and throwing up very hard. Someone was singing a beautiful song and I couldn't stop throwing up and felt very desperate and lonely. Very alone in the dark shaking, throwing up and crying into my bucket. There were moments when it was getting truly unbearable and I kept saying to myself: 'This is for healing, this is for healing, I'm getting stronger, I'm a warrior of light...' again and again. I just wanted to survive that night and not become insane.
I sang my own song, in the middle of that madness too - spoke to our shaman about it before. So at some point of the ceremony he asked me to sing. I couldn't refuse it saying, sorry I don't feel very well right now, as if it was a challenge of my whole life. It felt as if it would be a complete and final defeat. And yet it was the hardest thing I think I've done in my entire life - singing my song when tripping like that, lost in space and so emotional, sick, crying and trying to do my best... It was the most heart felt performance of my life up to now. I felt very good for it afterwards.
Then, seemingly after eternity, the lights came on - just a candle, but even that seemed like too much light. Things didn't look right, a lot of hallucinations. People were quietly talking, hugging each other, but their voices sounded strange, with hissing noises like a broken radio, or sometimes suddenly talking too quickly and high pitched. The ceremony was coming to an end - but definitely not for me. My trip was still going strong. I couldn't focus my vision for the life of it; when I wanted to have a sip of water, I found my bottle - and it took a while to figure out where is my mouth and how to put them together. It was kind of funny and disturbing at the same time. I wanted to come out, to end this, go to sleep, it was exhausting. Sense of real panic and utter loneliness would come up from time to time.
At the same time I was aware of getting help from someone in our group - breathing along, slowing down with me, calming me down - and was very grateful for it. I couldn't really communicate - the words wouldn't come out, I forgot how to talk! All I wanted was to be in the darkness ideally hugging my boyfriend who was thousands of miles away on many levels.
Eventually things calmed down enough to make it possible to walk; we all went slowly wobbling quite a bit back to our little huts alone the river. I sat with the candle light for a long time just trying to relax and not to think too much and after a while felt peaceful and calm.
It was the last of the series of ceremonies.
Now, some time has passed and I regret to say, I haven't received the answers I was looking for; it all was there still to deal with when I came back home. But I felt a bit stronger and calmer, and able to deal with things better. And the experience of the jungle and its magic is unforgettable.
I still have fascination and a huge respect with this amazing plant; and consider a great privilege to drink it; I believe that drinking it, we get in touch with our higher selves - and through this - connect to the universal knowledge. The big challenge is to integrate that knowledge that we get glimpses of into our everyday life when all goes back to normal. I will definitely drink it again when the time is right and the right opportunity comes.
But it's not an easy, fun recreational drug, and not a magic cure either; and I personally would not advise it to anybody who doesn't feel strong, stable in their head. I think perhaps it amplifies everything that we are already - if you're happy it'll make you happier, if you're open, it will open you up even more, if you're confused it'll make you more confused...
I'd say - Enjoy, but approach it like a warrior.
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