My (separated) husband and I recently embarked on a life-changing and unforgettable 17-day backpacking trip around Peru. I’ve dreamt about visiting the country for years and finally started to plan my trip when my husband sent me a text telling me that I should look into ayahuasca when I go.
I had never heard of it and decided I wouldn’t look into it, mostly just to spite him. But he continued to push for me to at least research it, adamant that it could help me. I read many articles and listened to podcasts and I truly did feel the medicine calling me.
I became desperate for it, anxiously anticipating traveling down to the beautiful country to heal myself. I felt like ayahuasca was my last chance at getting better. I read books about it and tried to educate myself as much as I possibly could. It’s interesting how when things are meant to happen they fall into place. Before we knew it, we left our kids with my parents and took off for a journey of a lifetime.
Our traveling around Peru was incredible. We spent 10 days bouncing between cities and experiencing as much as we possibly could before we arrived at the retreat for our ayahuasca experiences.
The retreat was incredibly comfortable and I immediately felt at ease. One of the first things I noticed was how calm and relaxed everyone else was, while I was very hyper and full of energy. After my very first ayahuasca ceremony I realized why they were like that — the medicine is exhausting both mentally and physically.
My first ceremony was interesting, but generally unremarkable. I learned a few valuable lessons but I wasn’t ‘slapped in the face’ by Mother Ayahuasca by any means.
My second ceremony with the medicine was the most profound thing I have ever been through. We started off just as we had the night before, each of us going to the shaman to drink the tea and then returning to our spot in the maloka to lay and wait for the effects to begin. After everyone drank and the lights turned off, I closed my eyes and waited in silence until the shamans began their icaros.
I wasn’t quite there yet but I could feel myself easing into my journey. I began to tear up, but it was very slow. I felt the water gently coming out of my tear ducts and roll across the bottom of my eyes ever so slowly. Why was I crying? I didn’t feel any sadness or pain, but the tears continued. I heard myself begin to sob, trying to catch my breath in between the silent cries.
Suddenly I was thrust into a place of darkness and despair. I felt so lonely, insignificant and small. The crying continued. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not an overly emotional woman — I very seldom cry and if I do I very quickly put an end to it. The last few years of my life have been incredibly difficult for me having gone through a tragic car accident, the end of my marriage, and battling a debilitating eating disorder to the point of contemplating suicide. Through all of this, I never cried. Whenever I felt the urge, I would tell myself I would cry later but later never came. While in that place of darkness I asked myself why I couldn’t stop crying; it was then I realized that my intention before the ceremony was healing. I asked Mother Ayahuasca to heal me, and by doing that she made me cry. She forced out all of those tears I had been harboring for so many years. Even though I was in a place of pain, I wanted to take on as much of it as possible because I wanted to rid myself of those pent up emotions.
It came time for us to receive our personal icaros from the shamans and I watched as each of my friends went up for theirs, desperately waiting for my turn. I was so desperate for the shamans to help take away the dark energy surrounding me. Finally, it was my turn. I was led to the shaman and as I sat in front of him I continued to sob. With my face cradled by my hands, I was silently screaming in them. I laid my head at his feet and cried while he sang to me, begging him to help. Once he finished his song, I was led back to my place and I had the strangest sensation. I could feel he was still very connected to me and [I realized] that he wasn’t quite done yet. Soon afterwards I burped, grabbed my handy bucket, and purged. It was a strange feeling; I wasn’t ill, my stomach wasn’t upset, but I vomited anyway. I knew it was the shaman’s doing — he had finally cleared my negative energy and I purged it.
As soon as I purged, my experienced changed drastically. I was full of love, light, and beauty. The darkness and loneliness was gone and I was in a state of complete bliss. Mother Ayahuasca began showing me visions of my husband, who I have been separated from for the last two years. I had decided while on that trip to finally file for divorce. She showed me him and I together, laughing, joking, smiling, and being absolutely in love. I don’t think I have ever felt that much love in my entire life. It was beautiful.
As I was being bombarded by visions of the two of us, I couldn’t stop whispering aloud, “I love you so much,” over and over and over. It felt so good to say, and just like the crying, I couldn’t help myself — it wouldn’t stop. I believe it was all of the “I love you’s” I would never allow myself to say over the last few years. I also kept repeating, “You are my soul-mate.” The words felt so right and so strong. The satisfaction I had as they left my tip of my tongue was indescribable.
At one point I had to be asked to be quieter as my laughter and loving was a bit distracting. I was trying to say, “I’m sorry” to my friends nearby but I couldn’t get the words out — likely because I wasn’t very sorry at all. Mother Ayahuasca showed my husband and I growing old together and watching our son and daughter grow into successful adults. She showed me the two of us a pair of birds: soul mates. When one of us died, the other did shortly after because we couldn’t be apart and our spirits lived on together in Nirvana.
It was so strange to go from a place of utter sadness, where I was trying to curl up into a ball and escape, and then blast off into a world of love and beauty. I felt as though I couldn’t smile big enough and I couldn’t open my eyes wide enough. The love I had was just oozing out of me.
The next day I struggled with what I had been shown the night before. I had spent the last two years completely convinced I no longer loved my husband and that he and I would never be happy together. And then Mother Ayahuasca turned those ideas completely upside down. Integrating that was very difficult for me, especially because I was certain I was going to divorce him literally two days prior. I knew the emotions had to have been real though because I felt them — they were as true as could be, but when I awoke I was still distant and cold.
The change happened gradually during the next few days. I was able to cuddle, to laugh, to smile, and to care for my husband again. I was amazed by how much I had changed. Before ayahuasca I wouldn’t even let him touch me; I cringed every time he put his hand on my leg. I would get physically tense and he could feel it. He was heartbroken. After that ceremony, I was able to be affectionate again and it felt right. I couldn’t believe how within only a few days everything was different. I wish I could put into words how I truly feel, but it’s so difficult to describe. I’m still in awe by how drastic the change has been.
I traveled to Peru to ask ayahuasca to help me heal and I had many intentions, none of which were to fix my marriage. But instead of showing me what I wanted to see, she showed me what I needed to see. I feel like I have shed so many layers of negativity off of my body. I feel so much lighter, more vibrant, and happier. Ayahuasca fixed my marriage and changed my life. I still have healing to do and I know that someday I will return, but for now I am so thankful for what I experienced and am in complete disbelief.