Citation: osteotoban. "Medicine for Many Sins: An Experience with Tabernanthe iboga (rootbark) (exp93778)". Erowid.org. Dec 26, 2012. erowid.org/exp/93778
T 0:00 - .2 grams
T 3:00 - .5 grams
T 5:00 - 2.3 grams
T 6:30 - .5 grams
T 7:00 - .2 grams
Well turns out yesterday was the day. Today there is a new butterfly in town, larval carapace shed, and now trusting the direction of the wind to guide. Was unplanned, just happened to spontaneously realize that I had the time and house to myself to do what I've been yearning to do since the summer.
No food since supper the night before. Woke early, ate .2g before biking to yoga at 7:30am, core was very harmonized and orienting itself by defining a center (my central chain), rather than creating a boundary, something I have never experienced before. All past embodiment of core felt clumsy in comparison.
Left practice feeling uber-grounded and 'in my own skin', not having to navigate anxiety or self-second-guessing, just let it flow out, it'll be OK. No pre-filter-pre-filter-pre-filter-(ok, current revision of this statement is acceptable)-talk out loud. Which was nice, because that is how I usually live and it is exhausting.
So biked to the nearby river, sat on a bench, ate another .5g, listened to an adyashanti meditation about allowing everything to be what it is, then biked to the pottery studio and chatted with moni and met all the old ladies she hangs out with there. Again, like a shining-star socially. Then made a couple calls to see if folks wanted to hang out while I was on their end of town, which I later realized was just cold-feet: I wanted to hang-out and talk about iboga, as a means to avoid the oncoming pure potential of the trip itself.
Nobody was free, so I biked home while slowly chewing the same .5g from before. Easy and patient, but still strong. As I pedaled, I asked the iboga how much I should eat when I got home. The answer was instantaneous and very clear: 2.3g. Well, that was decisive, but it seems like so little. 'well, we'll see' I thought. As I neared the house, felt an astoundingly heavy anchor pulling my inferior c-spine down, and the anterior costal margin began to flare, and I couldn't straighten out, physically, I couldn't, I realized it was my heart pulling me, so heavy and tight.
I walked in the door and smudged the house, myself, the medicine, lit some sweetgrass incense and drew the curtains in the spare bedroom, and got my ipod to listen to a body-awareness-scan mediation I usually listen to at the beginning of trips, to take care of the awkward first hour while the medicine is soaking in.
Weighed out the 2.3g, and it was a lot, way way more than I had ever eaten. Actually this day already was the most I had eaten in one sitting. But part of me was still skeptical ('but I want the full-blown experience, not some luke-warm first time that allows me to get a feel for it, which will then allow my ego to grab the steering wheel more firmly next time I eat it'). But as I held the medicine, I asked iboga again how much I should take, I (by my own will) tried to see the number 4.2g in my head, and it did appear, but then I instantly felt my stomach and head turn churny. Then I again asked, genuinely this time, and was given a glowing contented feeling as 2.3g appeared on my mental-screen.
So I laid down, took all the medicine in my mouth and chewed until it was soaked with saliva. Probably the numbest my mouth has ever been. Every time I swallowed the juices the potent bitter-potential would zip down my throat and my whole body would shiver.
So I did the meditation, and occasionally swallowed a small wad of medicine. Before the meditation was half-way the sense of the potential being expressed was obvious. I wanted to take the headphones out and just explore, but held to the original plan and allowed my mind and body to settle in.
I still had a fair amount of medicine in my cheeks when the meditation ended. I swallowed the rest of it in the next 20 minutes or so. And then iboga itself showed up.
I had been having some mildly heightened closed-eye mental imagery, but nothing much, no geometric patterns or whatnot. But then all of a sudden a swirling started, and the swirling got denser, and a bulls-eye to the density formed, and the bulls-eye grew larger in diameter as it neared, it was hollow in fact, it was a tube. And in the tube, very languidly and at an extremely steady-pace swam a snake. The tube was striking me as more organic, like a vessel within the body, and the snake was flagellating very sperm-like. The snake never changed pace and continued swimming right into my 3rd eye, as it passed through my skull there was a high-pitched ring in my ears, like the blood was singing as it went through the arteries near my eardrums. A halo of light ringed the body and tail of the snake, while the head that was inside of me was instantly changed into something new. In about a second, the entire snake had passed into my skull, and revealed itself to now be a frog, which hopped into my fluids, and began swimming down my neck, past my chest, into my abdomen, and into the lower right quadrant of my pelvis.
While all this snake and frog business was happening, I was a bit dumbstruck, as it has been over a decade since I've had such clear visions, ones that last so long even when I scrutinize them in amazement. But the frog didn't really care if I stared or observed, it just plodded along, not too fast, not too slow, working at a consistent, maintainable pace - very much the same way I had felt biking home across town.
When the frog reached its desired area, the unravelling began. I could immediately feel that it was working on something, very physical, exactly like the acute sense of presence I myself extend into somebody else's body when merging with a tissue during osteopathic palpation. All of a sudden, the something (I don't now remember what) released, resolved its tension. And so the frog swam to a new place in my abdomen.
This went on and on and on, I was utterly fascinated and content, allowed unrestricted viewing of the work now underway. At two points I had to pee, and ambulating was clumsy but quite manageable. My footsteps on the floor had audible tracers, my hands visual ones, and in the entire periphery of my vision was a shimmering cascade of silver and black, like the pattern waves make in sand near the shoreline. These cascades would jiggle every time I took a step, changed my head position, or my heart beat, I realized it was the fluid in my eyeballs transmitting all the subtle vibrations in my body, which was always present. The iboga had simply turned off this usual perceptual-filter-editing in my vision.
I still wanted to eat more medicine, so I asked iboga if it was ok, and it was, so I ate about .5g more. And perhaps 45 minutes later ate another .2g. Then I was content.
I laid back down and the frog wasn't showing itself constantly like before, but there was always a particular area I was hyper-acutely aware of that was being focused on by the iboga presence. Every once in a while the frog would appear large and up-close on my mental screen, it was a green tropical frog, with uniformly black eyes, no intent could be read from them.
Some of the areas worked on / questions asked to the medicine along the way:
A small white orb was drawn out of the left side of heart and, once free and outside of me my entire body, it shuddered intensely. 'What was that?' I thought and the vision came immediately: a surface of nowhere-in-particular skin, skin begins to buldge, skin is taut with internal pressure, skin ruptures, and a sickly-off-white-yellow-tinged circular abscess begins to emerge while trailing superficial stark-red spider veins, and the skin continues to peel open, like an eyelid revealing a pupil-less and iris-less eyeball. 'What is that thing that just left me?' I asked, and with a deep sense of certainty I was told this was the injury to my heart caused by the messy breakup of my codependent-mutually-depressed-and-mutually-suicidal relationship with my highschool girlfriend. And then I was given a picture of her as I imagine her now, older but still young, not hard inside, but smiling and loving with her two children. And I also felt happy and relaxed towards her.
'Wow', I thought, 'I can't believe how light I feel.' And as I happily noticed, the physical sensation of my heart beating in my chest had changed: it was slower, more full (like it had more bass on the ventricular contractions) and overall felt like it had more space to beat inside of. It wasn't being pressed on as much anymore, it could express its heartness more fully now.
That was probably the biggest change cumulatively, my heart. It was much more consistently returned to by the iboga than anywhere else. It feels so strong and self-assured and unwavering today. I never realized how twitchy it previously was until having this to compare to.
But each organ was visited at least once by the iboga. My liver was also very interesting. It began to focus on it, and I became aware of how heavy and soggy it felt, it was shown to me to be like something that had rotted while floating in the water: if you pushed it with a finger it would provide no resistance and just slough-off into pieces, like wonderbread in milk. I could see that this was due to the huge amount of venous blood saturating it, no outflow, congestion and anaerobic swamp. And then the plug got pulled on the tub: like someone glug-chugging out of an upturned 2-liter pop bottle, gulg-gulg-gulg. I felt this rush of blood exit my liver and return up to my heart. My liver was shown to now be blushing red with fresh blood and vitality, a taut sense of tone to its reduced, gleaming surface.
Another time it was my bladder and penis, and as it was honed in on, I suddenly recalled the excruciating medical procedure I had to twice undergo as a young child. I had trouble with bed-wetting as a kid, and since I had a history of kidney issues, they also wanted to check if my bladder had a leak in it. So there I was in a fluorescent-lit examination room, surrounded by strangers, while one of them relentlessly drove a too-wide pipe up my urethra into my bladder to fill it with a radioactive dye so that they could x-ray it and check for integrity. I was afraid (as a child, not during the vision), and the pain was intense and long-lasting, the male urethra has coils and twists to it, which the tube did not. I felt like I was pissing glass for a week afterwards, and a few months later I had to do the same thing over again, but now this time knowing what I was in for.
So I relived this all in detail and full gut-reaction but now within the calm and safe blanket of the iboga, I knew I was only seeing/feeling it, not there again. Once it was finished fixing me up, it told me that this was a big part of why I have (had!) bladder issues to this day. Then I was overwhelmed with the urge to pee, so I got up and went to the toilet and (in my mind's eye) the urine that came out was fire-engine-red and angry. Since then I have noticed a whole new sense of support to my bladder, especially when it is full, it feels like I can relax the voluntary sphincter because the involuntary one that was forced open is now working again. Furthermore, I no longer have to push to void and it seems to take longer to pee now, because the diameter of my urethra feels smaller, ha!
But it wasn't just these spontaneous healings that the chain of visions contained. I was also able to ask all the questions I've been throbbing with. And they would be answered clearly, immediately, by little scenes or metaphorical narratives that would appear. These sometimes took a full minute to play out, they weren't flashing realizations like a bucket of cold water in the face like ayahuasca - ('quickly now! Catch a few drops while you can!'), the iboga overall moved just like the initial-representative-frog had moved, languid, all the time in the world, didn't understand? Let me make it clearer for you: some initial image would appear, then play itself out in stages, and I would sit back and watch and listen until I knew, and furthermore accepted. For example:
'Why is my digestion so weak and my small intestine in particular have trouble staying in place and absorbing?' the coil of my intestine began to vibrate with the focus the iboga now placed on it. I was shown myself as I was right then, laying on my right side in the fetal position, and then I saw something in my hand, the perspective receded so I could see more, and in my hand was the wadded up opening to a big gunny-sac which lay over my shoulder, huge, hanging past my butt, full of something heavy, like coal, or rocks. Then the sac and I disappeared, and suddenly my dad's face appeared. He was pursing his lips with tension in his jaw, just gritting through it and getting the work done that needed to be done, and more and more of him appeared, and he had something under his arm, it was a big green canvas duffle-bag, and it was weighing him down. The perspective moved further away again, and my dad was on a staircase, walking up to the left, the duffle-bag under his arm, one hand on the railing to help pull himself up to the next step, and as more and more staircase appeared I saw my grandpa, and then a whole other line of men that I knew were my male relatives on that side on the staircase below him down and to the right, and then my attention was drawn back to my dad and he gestured upwards with the duffle-bag, he was passing it to somebody at the top of the stairs, I reappeared, I was who he was passing it to, it was the same weight I had carried in the gunny-sac.
All of this with the accompanying emotion and physical sensation in my gut, and full, contented resolution (not adaptation, or modification, or dealing with it better, it was simply gone) I could feel it on all levels of my being, all dimensions.
'Why do I have so many food allergies and hyper-sensitivities?' Something in the distance, getting nearer, an orb of some kind, actually the steel-frame work of an orb, silver and gleaming, my face splits in the middle in a vertical line and begins to peel-back like a sunflower-seed husk (book-like) but also juicy and flexible like a banana-peel with no banana inside, just splitting cleanly down the very middle. Inside my skull is my brain, shimmering and purpley-pink, the framework-orb looms nearer and it grows so huge that my perspective passes through one of the gaps in the framework, my brain is inside the cage of the steel-tube orb, the sound of a jail-cell door closing is heard.
But not only the visions, I was also able to verify my interpretation with the iboga, I could sense when I understood properly, it wouldn't leave that area/issue until I had, that was actually the point of this all.
The peeling-back of my face in this last one was a motif throughout, whenever it wasn't focused on a particular physical area, or I wasn't posing a question, I would see sort of interludes, intermission-scenes, consistently with one old, raggedy, worn-out thing splitting apart and birthing a new, fresh, vital version of the same: one time it was an animated dog, drawn sketchily, mangy fur, standing there, tired, not interested in anything, then it yawned, and as it yawned its jaw continued to hinge way beyond normal limits and then tendon and ligaments and skin were tearing and snapping and ripping grotesquely, until the bottom row of teeth were in a vertical line parallel with the upper teeth, and something began to emerge from inside of the cartoon-dog, it was a photo-realistic German Shepard, and it contentedly sat there while the cartoon dog-skin slid off like a piece of too-large clothing. Then the shepard turned towards me and panted and smiled in that way that dogs can smile. It was ready to play if I was.
And no word of an exaggeration, there must have been 800 of these little-insight-resolutions or primarily-physical healings or different versions of the languid peeling back of the old to the new, this is how it went all afternoon, well into the evening, and sporadically until 1am when I contentedly fell asleep.
It was never overwhelming, never was I afraid, or have to navigate 'the fear' or 'waiting out the crest of the wave' until the intensity decreased, so strong, but SO SO gentle. Never experienced any other plant even reminiscent of it before...
Woke up at 6am this morning and still had the cascading-shimmers in the peripheral vision, my head and heart are still literally ringing with the iboga. And I can't wait to take this new self out for a walk.
Post-script: it is now a week and half since the experience, and when I wrote this. The physical and emotional healings are still very much intact and ongoing. Fantastic.
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