I have yet to post a trip-report to Mycotopia.
My most current line of exploration with Mushrooms is still under construction. More research needed before reporting back on that front;
But, I'm sitting here in a coffeeshop, it's raining outside, and, I figured why not share.
Years ago, I'm guessing eight (having bounced around the world for the majority of my twenties, it's impossible for me to pin down exact dates for pretty much anything prior to the past two years, unless I backtrack the zigzag path I've created across the globe.) I felt a strong call to travel to the amazon and experience Ayahuasca; in large part due to the stories told by a friend who had developed a strong connection with a local Colombian family of Taita's the year before.
As a child, i had many 'mystic' type experiences:pre-discovery of any psychotropic substances; though at the time of course, I didn't realize there was anything special about these experiences. I preface the following report with this, to illustrate that I'm naturally a sensitive... and this has translated on many occasions to psychedelic experiences far stronger than what I should have expected based on the dosage consumed. I've speculated much about the reason for this; Possibly a function of my 'wilingness-to-go-there' or my lack of a strongly-defined ego (I use the word 'strong ego' here, as opposed to weak-ego, as in a strong sense of self vs a weak sense of self- not the same as Big ego vs no ego)... Or my brain was chemically changed by the acne medication I took in highschool; or my inability to accept the status-quo reality as "R"eality...
My calling was to Peru...not certain why, but that's where I was headed. My friend had arrived to Colombia before me, after a season of trimming weed, and invited me to spend a week with the family he was apprenticing with.
I arrived in Southern Colombia, about six hours north of the border with Ecuador. First stop to the mercado to get some real rainboots, and then a taxi to the place...
The family lived on top of a small mountain, more of a hill really, but surrounded by jungle; The father, Taita Guillermo, his wife, also a Taita, a bit unconventional for the Ayahausca culture in their region, along with their two sons, Taita's in training, ages 17 and 20.
Chickens roaming around; There was a walless, palmtree roofed stucture, maybe twenty feet on a side square, enough room for maybe eight or ten tents; This was where we travellers slept. The family was decently well known, on the medicine-traveller's circuit, as well as in traditional Colombian culture... Regularly new travellers arriving from central america mostly, but also as far away as hungary. Ceremony was every Friday, or Saturday evening, with occasionally other's throughout the week.
My first few experiences were so opening, that, my originally intended one week morphed into four and a half months there.
I became close with the family; as close as possible with the plunky spanish speaking ability that I had at the time. I've since resolved to master my Spanish before returning to any teacher; it's too painful to not beable to ask the type of questions I had in my mind. I made the mistake of leaning hard on my friend as translator. A mistake I won't make again.
Instead of the traditional arrangement; "pay for a ceremony" My friend and I helped them build a new house; carrying potato bags of bricks from the nearest road, down a mountain, across a stream, and up to the new flat; which we cleared half a hill for- Built the house from the ground up. Amazing to witness the physical strength and work ethic of the local Colombians; One of the family friends was 74 years old, and beefy: Carrying easily a hundred pounds of bricks on his back without breaking a sweat.
But, in addition to building their house, we also helped the taitas gather medicine, and make the Ayahausca; From the harvesting to the stripping of the vine; the entire process, including the boiling down of the foul liquid over an open flame; a process that took over 24 hours, which required remaining awake for the majority of the time.
Ceremonies would take place out back of their wooden house. Imagine an L shape room, open on two sides to the elements; Benches were set up on along one wall, and the open side facing it; an altar with candals and statues of the virgin mary, as well as other christ related religious icons.
My very first experience, I was told that having an intention for the trip would be beneficial; so my intention going in was "Blow me wide open Mama" or something to that effect. Which is of course hysterical looking back. And so, I had a very mellow trip.
Meanwhile,Issac is having the most intense experience of his life; so much so in fact that we had to tie him up with ropes because he was thrashing around so strongly. It was a clear message to me "Humble yourself, you know not what you ask for; careful, because you could get what you wish for." Having a better understanding of what I was getting myself into, I ventured into the next journey more cautious.
In the four months that I stayed was in Colombia, I participated in fourteen? ceremonies. Given the nature of the psychedelic experience, and the passing of eight? years, it's nigh impossible for me to separate out my experiences into individually numbered trips- with the exception of a few moments that stand out.
Before I continue, I want to give a little more color to the nature of ceremonies with this family. I can't speak to any comparison between their method of holding ceremonial space vs other's of their same tradition, as I spent my entire time with this family, and haven't experienced other Taita's in the same bio-region. However, from hearing other's experiences with Ayahuasca rituals, it sounds like the openness/freedom we were allowed during ceremony is a fairly uncommon thing. Whether this is due to intention from the family, or a rather lackadaiscal attitude towards the whole thing, I cannot say.
We we're encourage to play music during ceremony; as well as help other's who were purging, or otherwise having a difficult trip. Issac and I would walk around with Waita's sometimes, or tobacco, or sage or palosanto- whatever the moment demanded really- when we were lucid enough to do so. From what I've gathered- this type of allowance/encouragement is not a normal thing; and I'm grateful for it, for it's allowed me to develop an understanding of how to hold real space during deep psychedelic ritual.
We were told at one point, from one of the other travellers, that given his experience with other taita's ceremonies, he didn't feel like this family could effectively protect the space; which turned out to be a rather astute observation given later events: It might have been this that was the catalyst for Issac and I taking a more hands on part of the ceremony. I'm speculating at this point.
It was probably one of my middle ceremonies; I was having a terrible time purging. Up to that point, it was normal for me to purge after about an hour; but this time It was maybe four hours in; my stomach is in knots, and I'm in intense discomfort. It seemed to me that whatever was in me, was intent to stay in me; though I didn't have any certain knowledge of what that 'thing' was at the time. After a time of waiting, I was fed up with it, and decided I was going to take matters into my own hands and initiate the purge no matter what it took. I grabbed a cigar, and puffed and puffed, hoping to induce nausea and vomitting; nothing. I became aware of an anger- a rage; as if an emotion could be sentient; It became to take a form; and a location; in my belly, and red hot- I was able to make some progress in getting it to move up in my chest, and as soon as I would, It would claw it's way back down into my belly.
Finally, something broke; and came over me.
Without ever having heard, or learned, I began chanting a song, using vowel syllabels; Loud; while dancing aggressively up and down on one foot: After a very short time of this, almost immediately, the sentience that was occupying my belly released it's grip, and I began purging. Wow. It was like it said "Fine! anything but the singing and the dancing, I'll leave!" Incredible how much can actually come out; from a purely physiological perspective (A western one that is); We fast for the day of the ceremony; so I had no undigested food in me. Nothing but water; and still, streams and streams of .... ectoplasm?
The Taita's say that Ayahuasca allows the body to calcify negative energies/spirits; to solidify them so that the body can then release them. This was the first real experience I had with the purge process; and the cornerstone experience that has built my present understanding of the bodies physico-spiritual anatomy. As well as influenced the storyline of my most recent explorations with the mushroom.
Ceremony Four found me writhing around in shadow for the majority of the night; non-lucid for most of it. I recall spending a good portion of the nine hours in a hammock; and not much else.
Normally, come dawn, ceremony is over, and retreat to tent for conk-out is the game; to be followed by a real breakfast.
But for some reason; maybe given the deep-internal work that I was doing during the night; I was compelled to see the sunrise.
So I shuffled over and grabbed a lawn chair and my journal and guitar and moved a ways away from the main compound.
And the sun rose; and my world was filled with light.
And, the ayahuasca mindstate that should have been dissappating, given it's normal time of effect on the body, spiraled out into another full blown trip.
There were chickens running around; and, in a moment, I found my consciousness localized in the brainstem; I was looking through the awareness that the chicken had; that our ancestors had, that the lizards have; Eyes very movement focused, all thoughts focused on fear-fight-fuck-eat... After a time I grew bored of this non-intelligent mode of being, and restored my 'human' mind. And promptly purged again.
This became the new ritual for me; I would participate in the evening ceremony with whoever was present; and then, when everyone else would head to their tents, I would stay up for the sunrise; each time becoming progressively more and more deep; more and more intense.
Leading to the last experience I had.. During the evening, I drank three cups. Spaced out a couple of hours; because, I still had'nt purged, which, was just non-normal. Come sunrise, I still hadn't vommited. Going strong. I was led out into the jungle, where I was in a direct communication with the Earth; who I experienced as a consciousness akin to an compassionate, imaginative, patient (sexy) kindergarten teacher; who led me along, step by step, hand in hand, explaining things to me. Incredibly profound, simple truths. Myself in awe and wonder, as as child the whole time.
After reaching the jungle hut, and retreating to a hammock; I began feeling what I can only describe as my genome being recoded. I had a vision come to me, (that years later I realized as precognitive)-
Then, eighteen hours after beginning the journey, I battled some entity within me, and cast it out; which opened some portal to some beings of light who... began doing something to me... my mind immediately began trying to comprehend the experience; to which I received a very clear response, though not verbally, though understood by me verbally as "Do not attempt to understand what you are experiencing/You do not need to understand what you are experiencing in order to be that experience/Trying to fit this experience into one of your conceptual boxes will cut it off from occurring/trust and let go.
Sometime after this, after regaining lucidity; Mama showed up again, and told me that she'd taken me as far as she could, and now it was up to me to go master the body; by either learning Yoga or Kung Fu.... only with that foundation could she walk me furthur along the path.
Edited by Severian, 13 October 2020 - 02:57 PM.