I had first heard about Ayahuasca roughly a year ago through Brian Rose of London Real and then researched and found my way to the many guests on the Joe Rogan Podcast that spoke about it. One of my friends told me he had done it and it was beneficial for him but I wasn’t interested in it until about a month ago. I had some time off from work so I embarked on a journey nothing could have prepared me for.
Ayahuasca is not for the faint-hearted. I repeat, it is not for the faint-hearted because of what it puts you through. Yet I would do it again because of what I got out of it.
Call me superstitious but I believe the plant calls you anyway. When I went on my Ayahuasca retreat in I really felt like I had no other choice. This is something I needed to do…
What is Ayahuasca?
Ayahuasca is a psychedelic brew used as a healing medicine by the Amazonians for thousands of years. It’s illegal in many places but legal in some parts of Europe and South America.
It is a combination of Chacruna (a plant enriched with DMT) and the Ayahuascan vine (Banisteriopsis Caapi). DMT is naturally produced by practically every plant and mammal.
The only reason we don’t trip every time we eat something is because of a stomach enzyme called monoamine oxidase which breaks down the DMT before we can absorb it. The Ayahuascan vine inhibits this enzyme allowing us to take in the DMT.
This is pretty sophisticated chemistry as modern science has only recently begun to understand the process which makes it very strange how the Shamans knew which plants to combine.
Scientists say it must have been through trial and error but there are 150,000 species of plants in the Amazon and those two plants do not grow anywhere near each other. They wouldn’t even know what to be looking for as the effect would have never been seen before. It’s pretty much like trying to guess someone’s pin at random where there are millions of combinations. A very slim chance if you ask me.
If you ask the Shamans they will tell you the plants spoke to them through the unconscious. Sounds farfetched right but many ideas are formed right from there. Many notable figures like Mozart and Plato have said when creating their work, it was not them but the unconscious working through them. Plus after experiencing Ayahuasca myself nothing really seems farfetched.
To prepare for Ayahuasca they say you would need to follow a strict diet beforehand for best results. This includes no sugar, salt, alcohol, caffeine, spices, red meat, gluten or drugs. It’s very limiting and I did some research beforehand which said it’s unnecessary.
I wanted to have as much mental strength and energy as possible so I stuck to my normal diet which is pretty clean anyway. I just didn’t eat that much beforehand to avoid the vomiting and diarrhoea that can come with drinking Ayahuasca.
There were 14 of us I believe apart from the 2 facilitators from all different backgrounds. I was the youngest with many being 40+ in age. Some of the stories of what people had gone through were horrible and they had come here for some sort of salvation. It was powerful stuff. We each shared our intentions of what we wanted from the ceremonies. Mine was to get in touch with and let go of repressed emotions from the past which I believe was holding me back from my full potential.
We also took some Shamanic Rapé Snuff medicine which is a mixture of Amazonian medicinal plants. It’s supposed to help connect you with your heart so the Ayahuasca works better for you. The facilitator blows it up your nose with a pipe, all our eyes were watering from it but it made me feel surprisingly awake and alive.
Now with all the preparation out of the way the moment to finally drink the Ayahuasca had come and at this point I was feeling anxious and excited. It was time to face the music.
Ceremony One – Visions
Each one of us stepped right up to drink from a bowl with the blessing of our facilitator. The look he gave me was as if he knew this would be an experience like none I’ve ever had before.
It tasted like highly concentrated dark chocolate and one of the others remarked that she would have licked the bowl. It wasn’t that good but it was definitely better than the foulness I had expected from reading others experiences online.
Once this was done the lights were switched off and only candles were used. We all sat in silence as the effects normally take about an hour to set in. It was all pretty ominous.
I was looking around at the others wishing that it wasn’t me that would have any effects first and for a moment I thought nothing would happen.
I started looking at the mats we were all sat on which had many different designs. Mine was a filled with smiley faced moons which started to become distorted and I started to feel no barrier with everything else as if everything was one. I knew it had begun.
I closed my eyes and the facilitators started playing some music which are called Icaros that are sacred healing songs acting through vibration often in Spanish.
The visions then began with people and situations I had wronged. A girl I had dated in the past. It showed me what could have been. This was really unexpected.
It also showed me the value of material things. I’ll be honest I had put a lot of importance on this in 2016 and it told those were not so important. Spending money on learning, others and experiences are. Going for all that glamour is superficial and should definitely not be the priority in your life. It’s just a bonus.
It then fixated on my relationship with my parents. It showed me that I needed to be grateful towards them and I felt the love of my father towards me that he doesn’t really express and all that he has done for me. It also showed me my parents deaths, not in a horrible way but to signify how much I need to appreciate them now.
I felt pretty much in control however and if I didn’t want to go somewhere I could open my eyes and snap out of it. It was hard to let go at times and face some difficult truths so I made use of this.
At some points, the music with the facilitators singing and the effects of Ayahuasca intertwined were so beautiful it was as if I was ascending to Heaven and the colours I could see were magnificent.
It had been a few hours of honest introspection when I began to feel normal again and all in all I was grateful for my first Ayahuasca ceremony.
Ceremony Two – Dance
During the day we shared our experiences with the others and the facilitators helped us understand what happened. Some people did not even have anything happen to them which I found bizarre as the effect on me was pretty intense.
We prepared a Tamazcal (Sweat lodge) which is a spiritual Native American purification ceremony with hot stones in a small earthen hut. You sit there in the heat with your intentions and gratitude to the earth. I didn’t really find it that hot or that useful to be honest although I’ve heard that a Tamazcal done properly can be very intense.
Evening came and the same process as the first ceremony began drinking Ayahuasca from the bowl.
This time as soon as the Icaros began I became one with the music. I started to dance with the rhythm of each song and I felt really hot despite how cold it was. I ended up in my vest and shorts and walked around the centre of the room with each passing song. I was the only one dancing and everything felt so natural as if something was working through me.
I was totally conscious this time, no visions and no closing my eyes. There was a tremendous surge of masculine energy within me, very powerful and I was breathing so deeply. The focus was on other people this time. I felt like the protector of the tribe watching over everyone. I would not allow anything or anyone to harm us.
People always said that no two Ayahuasca trips are the same and it is super unpredictable. I didn’t really understand how pouring the same thing into your body could have that effect. Well, I understood now.
Ceremony Three – Hell and Heaven
I asked for less this time but I believe my facilitator actually gave me the same dose or more. I think he thought I needed it. For that I am grateful.
It began with me getting in tune with the music once again and dancing. I was not alone this time and a few others began to dance beautifully. We all danced together and even the facilitators joined in.
It was the most fun I have ever had in my entire life. All inhibitions were set loose and the feeling was amazing. I learnt how important music is in our lives and the healing aspects it has on us. I felt connected to everyone.
I then felt like going back to my place and lying down. This is where it turned into a very different experience.
I wasn’t in control anymore. My mind seemed to have been taken over by this strange plant and I wanted it to stop. It was as if I was being tortured for what seemed like an eternity. I stood up as I couldn’t take it anymore and soon ended up back on the floor. I felt totally helpless.
This helplessness finally made me let go and just experience whatever was happening for what it was. I wasn’t fighting anymore and then the experience turned into absolute bliss.
I felt the utmost love for myself with the ability to manifest anything I wanted. I also felt gratitude beyond all things, the universe was telling me that everyone’s hardships including mine happened for a reason. It also made me see that it’s all part of the greater plan as the universe evolves.
I then began to release a lot of repressed emotions through my face and jaw area smiling and laughing like I’ve never done before. It was involuntary but it was a great release.
I already knew emotional trauma gets trapped physically and the facilitator later told me that area is associated with anger.
Once the effects began to fade all I could think about was what a night. I couldn’t even believe what had happened it was so surreal. I looked at the others and they seemed to be feeling the same. Many looking rejuvenated after their own ordeals.
They say ayahuasca is like 10 years of therapy and it definitely felt like it. Words do it justice at all and what I’ve written is only a bit of what happened. The only way to really get it is to experience it yourself. It was as if I had literally just experienced Hell and Heaven.
There’s a reason why they call it mother Ayahuasca. You feel soothed after it’s given you some tough love. It’s very intelligent in how its effects can be so different every time you take it but it gives you exactly the lesson you need when you need it.
Here are the main lessons I got from this experience:
I learnt to let go of control and trust the universe more.
I learnt to appreciate and love my parents more for all they have done for me.
I learnt to understand and accept the wrongdoings I have done to people.
I learnt to love others and myself freely.
I learnt that every hardship I’ve ever had was needed for me to grow.
Yes, you could read those lessons in a book but Ayahuasca gave me the direct experience and the consequences of those lessons which is so much more powerful.
These lessons have come fruition in my relationships and I have felt way more connected to others since doing it. I was always looking constantly to personal development for a fix but Mother Ayahuasca made it clear that was unnecessary and everything I needed was within me.
I hope you found some value in this post. If you did please share / leave a comment with your thoughts below!
If you want to ask me where and with who I did Ayahuasca. Drop me an email and I’ll happily give you the details. I highly recommend them. It was in Europe btw, you don’t need to travel to the Amazon to do it.