I had my first encounter with ayahuasca on Saturday night; I didn´t even expect it, I thought I was just going for a solstice ritual for my birthday, at a shamanic centre outside Sao Paulo, expected some chants, some guided meditation. But they say you don’t go looking for the ayahuasca, she comes to you. And she did, when I stopped looking for her. I loved that there was nothing dogmatic or cult-ey about it: one guy said a few words about the summer solstice marking the beginning of growth and expansion and then annouced “folks, please line up to take your drink”. There was nothing at the beginning, I was feeling fine, a bit warm so I started dancing. I asked for a second round and then I took a third with all the rest. And then it started, the hell broke loose, the hell inside that is.
The lesson of the body was hard and merciless at the beginning. She (the mother ayahuasca) wanted to get rid of all the crap, bullshit and damaging things that had been accumulating inside, while electrocuting my third eye. I asked her to be more gentle, but she told me that leniency and allowing us stay in our comfort zone is just making us humans lazy and complacent, relapsing and defaulting back to our damaging patterns, so the tough love approach is necessary [after a while it became apparent that her voice is not distinct from mine]. That if I were to become a crystal being, reflecting only love and light, cleaning must be done first. So cleaning we did, and as soon as I would feel like I couldn’t take it anymore, that my stomach will literally rip open, solace and calm would immediately settle in, allowing me to catch my breath. We fought a lot in the beginning [the warrior spirit of the women in my family not always put to good use], before I begun to allow things to come out of me; not being able to have control of my body, or better put, realising how little control I/we have was terrifying.
In short, I will lovingly take you to your true self, to your dark side, to your hidden limitations. Sometimes I’ll do this with drama, power, fear, pain, but never to an extent you cannot tolerate. I will never give you experiences beyond your ability to tolerate them. Trust me, it is necessary to take you to the edge of your tolerance or resistance; only then is transformation possible. The evolution. The maturing of the cosmic cocoon. The birth into a new universe. I am medicine. Medicine for the healing of the soul and body. For those who understand, I am here to serve. – read more here.
The next step was allowing the body to die and accepting it will happen one day (maybe in a nicer way, but that’s another lesson). That our bodies are just tools, instruments, and neither truly ourselves is a scary bit, nor they are mere vessels for transporting our brains, vessels that so many of us actually despise or at least neglect. Lesson to take home: stop putting crap in my body, use it to move and reflect energy, allow it to become the sensitive tool that it naturally is. Stop numbing it with sugar, chemicals and heavy, low vibrational things, devoid of nutrients. Stop eating meat, the animals are also unique experiences of consciousness, it is not right to interrupt their existence, and especially not through the suffering that most of them go through. The only “acceptable” (and by acceptable I meant slightly less wrong) way to eat meat is by doing the killing yourself, so you know what taking a life entails, and only in a way that honours the life inside that body. Plants are closer to source consciousness, so they regenerate faster and do not need the individual experience that much [one of the side effects is that now I actually can’t eat meat, I get instantly nauseous].
She was furious, immense, powerful. Furious that we’re using our individuality in damaging ways, instead of striving to reach our fullest potential, to be amazing lovers, friends, writers, dancers and what not, but instead we’re either inflating our egos being arrogant, dismissive, unempathetic, or bathing in self-pity and self-loathing, with both attitudes maintaining the illusion of separateness. She said that sometimes she regrets that we have also individual consciousness and maybe it would be better if we were just one collective hive mind.
Another tough lesson was asking for help. I’m used to doing so much on my own, even the things that I shouldn’t be doing on my own, which eventually end up sending me spinning in depression, exhaustion and isolation. The fact that my mother never let me reach out to people and be around them out of fear of “not disturbing” them is not helping me much. The thing is, people won’t step over you to offer their help, so that’s why we need to reach out. Some will not help, too caught up in their own processes, but many will and are happy to do so (it’s part of their path). So soon I was asking, stepping over my pride (oh yes, that too), “oi, moça, posso pedir um pou´de agua?” I even managed to be amused at the same time, my grandma´s humour, bless her soul, when folks were moving around with candles or smoke making plants, my head was going “what the fuck are you doing with that useless crap, can´t you see I’m dying here? How about some water or paper?” Patience, moça, another lesson. Oh yes, you can throw your brains up and laugh your ass out at the same time, that´s enlightenment right there [or schizophrenia, or both]. Sustaining multiple perspectives at the same time, baby. Eventually, sustaining ALL perspectives at the same time (some say it´s just 6th or 7th dimension, another trip maybe).
Another lesson was the lesson of the mother, forgiving her for all the damaging paths she has passed onto me, realising that she truly did the best she knew and she´ll always have my best interest at heart, whatever I choose for myself. Forgiving her for not knowing any better. Then the lesson of sisterhood, connecting with my soul sisters, opening the channel and hope they will respond. Some will not, but many will. There´s a tremendous force in the collective power of the feminine principle (no, not yet another dualistic banter about masculine and feminine polarities, but there is Something about it which I am skeptical to dismiss as neo-pagan/spiritual bullshit). The female force of the creation, but also the rage of Kali, the destructive / transformational power of the plant were palpable.
Another lesson – about resources, to stop giving from my own limited tanks and instead use the endless supplies of the Mother, which is basically impatient to give and shower her abundance over us and through us, we just have to know to ask and receive. Allowing the plant/ the nature´s energy to work through me – what a relief, I can finally relax (only partially, I still have to do my own part). The lessons were coming one after another, at times more at the same time, the ones I was ready to receive were accompanied by a sense of calm, relief, alleviation of pain (especially stomach spasms), the ones I was struggling with (resisting), only prompted for more struggle and pain, until I let go.
R., who recognises in me the same fire as I do, who is still inspired and moved by my energy, with him there´s a renewed potential for reconnecting and doing the part of growing together that is ours to do.I am one of his connections with pure life energy. It´s something so powerful propelling me forward beyond a personal, individual agenda (of course, it can manifest in projects, plans, directions), that fire in me comes from something ahead of my time, outside myself.
The awakening of the priestess, stage one – one step closer to that aspect of myself, female force meant to be used for *The Good* – awakening of other sisters and brothers. What I gained was a sense of mature dignity which has nothing to do with the dignity of the body – we´ve slammed that to the ground and mud, but rather a sense of responsibility of the creative force and energy propelling itself forward through me.
A part of me just wants to dismiss this as self-delusional, “who are you to believe yourself such and such?”, the other voice says “we all have to wake up, you including”, the path of the bodhisattva doesn´t have to come with bells and whistles, red carpets and adoring followers. You just work on yourself and help others awaken when you can and when they ask for it. Do not forget lesson one, the humility of the body, otherwise you will be reminded of it. Not as a punishment, just as a reminder not to get distracted. I had small minor episodes of paranoia related to the losing of control over body and mind, the sensation that I was possessed by an evil spirit; I tried to recognise those as projections and continue to connect with the love and light within myself.
Sending you love and light – from Her tanks, she has aplenty 🙂