Citation: Budding Shaman. "Ecuadoran Amazon Journey: An Experience with Brugmansia (exp9101)". Erowid.org. Aug 29, 2001. erowid.org/exp/9101
Part of the reason I wanted to visit the Amazon was to be able to meet with an actual Shaman, so I could get some personal insight into their activities. It was convenient, then, when the guide who approached me in Coca, Ecuador claimed to be one. I rather doubted this at first because anybody could claim this to hook their tourist bait. Deciding it did not matter either way, I went with his tour of the Amazon. Two other passengers, Anita from Norway and Diana from Denmark had signed on to take the tour also.
Within the first hour of the boat ride up the Napo River, I openly asked the Shaman if there were any special plants that he used in his rituals. Much to my delight, his response was there was one particular hallucinogenic plant named Huanto which was used for divination. Without having to ask, he inquired as to whether or not I might like to give it a try because it was growing near his son´s house where we were going. I agreed and mentioned this to the girls. They also wanted to give it a go, neither of which had any experience with anything like this. I was nervous, however, when he said we could do it tonight at camp. ¨Would it not be better done tommorrow during the day,' I asked. The response was 'No' this was something better done at night. Still unsure as to why, I accepted the situation and we took about six or seven larger leaves and stems from an insect bitten plant with us deeper into the jungle.
That night after supper and stories, a brew was made and he presented the three of us with a cup of Huanto. We inquired as to whether or not we could add sugar to make the not particularly bad tasting brew better. He stated that it would lessen the effect, so we drank the earthy tea straight. Poco a Poco (little by little) he asked us to drink. We chatted as we drank the tea, and he asked us to think of what we wanted answers to. I wanted to know what I should do when I returned to California after my trip. About 3/4 of the way through my tea, I began to feel the drug. A lightness in my head was telling me that things were changing. I finished the tea early and he remarked 'Oh' as to indicate that I might have drank too much to quickly. Anita wanted to know what I was feeling. I mentioned that I felt sometimes I was off in the jungle and sometimes I was here. He nodded as if he understood. Diana only got about half way through her tea and she stopped. I considered drinking the rest of hers, but it was a good thing that I did not, for a strong sense of power was coming over me. A great wave of ecstasy to the point where it was too much. It was too good to the point of painful. I started to twitch my legs and jitter them uncontrollably. I remember thinking that if I have eight hours of this then I am in big trouble. My heart was palpitating rapidly and my throat was bone dry. I started to laugh hysterically for maybe a half an hour. Anita was laughing with me. Everybody was laughing. The Shaman and his son were watching over us. I did not understand why until later. I remember trying to get up and move my leg over the bench I was sitting on. I had to pick up my leg with my hands to be able to move it. I tried to emerge. I weighed a ton and fell back immediately to the bench. My mind was swirling. I was leaving this world and entering the realm of the spirits. I collapsed on my hands.
What happened after this was a mish mash of events. I continuously tried to get up and walk away. I spun around and everytime I stopped the Shaman was there directly in front of me. I could not shake him. It was as if everytime I tried to get away he was there. He sat me back down. I could not talk. I was having profound thoughts which I could not finish or tell anyone. I was slurring my speech like a drunk.
After an hour and a half, I went to the side of the deck and threw up everything I had in me. We had eaten a light meal before the tea, but I vomitted what seemed to be an unlimited amount. I fell to the floor and when the shaman found me I was emerging in a completely different world. He helped me back to the bench.
The hallucinations were like nothing I had ever experienced. In essence, I took existing objects and painted new objects on top of them. Sticks became snakes and people changed into new people. What I wanted to create was visually before my eyes for varying periods of time. I crashed to the ground a lot, and Anita and I both crawled around like babies until we both had enough strength to stand. Later I found out that the reason why we did not take this drug during the day (and it all makes sense now) is because you are supposed to sit in meditation and 'journey.' I fought the drug trying to use it differently.
For six more hours we did and saw strange things. I wandered around introducing myself to everyone over and over because I thought in my mind they were different people. People were showing up all the time as if it were a hotel. It was not. It was the middle of nowhere. This was the period where I did not realize that I was hallucinating and everything to me was completely real. I was in no pain, just dillusional. It was just like non lucid dreaming. Anita asked where the discotec was and the Shaman´s son told her that it was over there in the jungle. She believed him. She thought the nearest town was only two blocks away when it was many miles. For me, a couple showed up (who did not exist) and I remember trying to seduce the pretty girl away from her boyfriend. It was a big party, and I was continually meeting new people.
There was what I saw and felt and what everyone else saw that I could not remember. I was smoking invisible cigarettes. I was using a flash light like a machine gun. In fact, they nicknamed me Rambo the next day. I was punching the air and fighting with spirits. Anita and Diana saw me get up from the table, turn around, and say, 'Oh, there you are' as if I had been looking for them for a while. As I was coming out of it, I remember asking where my watch was. Somebody told me the Shaman´s son had it. I asked him for it and he told me it was broken from swimming and he would give it to me tomorrow. My first thought was, Ok, but why not now. Later when I saw him wearing my headlamp I thought he was a liar and a thief and I was going to get my watch back tomorrow no matter what. My watch was waterproof after all. Anita and I kept losing things in our mind, and slowly but surely someone was taking all our stuff. Some lady stole Anita´s imaginary pink shoes. I thought somebody took my beautiful imaginary tapestry. Anita kept speaking in Norwegian and I kept saying,'I don´t speak German.' She answered me in Norwegian that neither did she. Not knowing what she was saying we went over this over and over. Apparently I threw a bunch of napkins all over the floor and walked around with the plastic bag afraid of littering. Anita tried to eat a napkin like a hamburger.
As I was coming out of it, I could see Anita still tripping hard. She was wearing a rubber boot on one foot, and a hiking boot on the other. She kept trying to be sneaky and get into my bed fearing the same area Diana was in because she had a snake´s head. I was laughing my ass off in the wee hours of the morning.
I climbed into bed with a corpse, but by now knew it was a hallucination and shrugged it off. I talked all night long. I remember doing it. I kept that up all night long. I never do that.
The next day I could not focus on things up close. It is one of the side effects. My pupils stayed big for two days. The shaman told me that he had never seen anybody get off so hard as me on the normal dose.
Anita actually enjoyed her experience. She felt that she had met her 'protector,' a soldier in one of her visions. I am still not exactly sure what I got except a good laugh for the next couple of days. We were quite safe with the Shaman and his son watching over us. I think that I was just not given enough direction on how to use the drug properly and was too tired before I took it. I would do it again believe it or not.
So, how about this for someone´s first trip like poor Anita. My God!
COPYRIGHTS: All reports are copyright Erowid.
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.