Did you ever have a memory that you could not decipher from a dream, something that already happened or something that would happen in the future? A few weeks ago, during deep meditation, I had a vision of what seemed to be an ayahuasca ceremony. I could feel an immense power and vibration. I could hear moans of agony and sorrow echoing in the distance —sounds of rebirth. I was unsure of whether or not the experience was real, or a figment of my own imagination — but then again, who’s to say what’s real and what’s not? Over the course of the past year, I have participated in roughly one hundred ayahuasca ceremonies and dived deep into the realms of consciousness. Although this may seem excessive, it served its purpose in my life. Because of the fact that I have done so many ceremonies, it was hard to say whether the vision I had during my meditation was a memory that was simply lost in the midst of my psychedelic-induced journeys, or something else.
As New Year’s Eve approached, it was only natural that a group of consciousness dwellers and I decided to partake in a ceremony with the psychedelic medicines ayahuasca and yopo.
Ayahuasca is a brew consisting of the ayahuasca vine, which acts as a purgative and contains a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). This allows for the ingestion of the DMT contained in the chacruna leaf. DMT is a naturally occurring compound that is released when we dream and at the time of death. Yopo is a snuff created from the seed of the vilca tree. It contains 5-MEO-DMT and bufotenin and is inhaled through a blow-pipe. Both are sacred medicines that have been used ceremonially for thousands of years in indigenous cultures to connect man to their universal sense of divinity and Mother Nature.
We held the ceremony in an apartment somewhere in the city of Iquitos, Peru without the presence of a native shaman, although this is not recommended unless you have experience with the medicine. I wasn’t sure what to expect but had the feeling that this ceremony would bring forth a powerful shift into to the new year.
We laid our mats and lit our candles waiting for 8 PM to hit so we could begin our journey. One by one each of us were called up by the ex-pat alchemist modern shaman that concocted the night’s brew. I held up my cup up to my heart and made the intention for this ceremony: “To learn, to grow, to expand and to enjoy.” After drinking, I went back down to my mat and sat there patiently, waiting for the effects of the medicine to kick in. An hour passed… nothing. Did I ask for too much? Was Ayahuasca punishing me for having expectations?
We were asked if we wanted to drink a second cup, I was reluctant because of how bitter the taste was and how nauseous the idea of drinking again made me feel, but I decided to go ahead to make the most of my New Year’s. I held up the cup to my third eye and whispered the words “thank you.” Thank you mother Ayahuasca for allowing me to face my own darkness, for helping me triumph over my despair, for your teachings and, most importantly, your love. I went back down to my mat and once again waited patiently. Half an hour passed and again… nothing. None of us were feeling the effects. Was tonight just not going to be our night?
Suddenly, I felt the medicine telepathically communicate that, “this ceremony is not for Ayahuasca, I am preparing the space for Yopo.” As soon as these words passed through my mind I looked up and the yopo was being prepared for each of us.These medicines have an intelligence, they work synergistically with each of your intentions and create a collective experience. Before you even drink, before you even set your intention, they know exactly how the events are going to transpire. They work together to provide a sacred space for profound spiritual healing.
One by one, the snuff was blown up our nostrils and blasted through our minds. With a one, two, three and an exhaling “ha” I could feel the medicine piercing through my brain. For the first time in my life, there was no fear. I sat there and meditated with the medicine. The transition was smooth and the lines between sobriety and being ‘there’ blurred. I found myself slowly merging with the force of life that pulses through our veins. What many would call a ‘higher power.’ The medicine was giving me its greatest teachings. That all of this is a collective thought and a dream that we’ve all created. That each of us are God, looking through our lives and experiencing the wonders and anguish of being alive. We come here to learn, to be human beings; consciousness taking form in this physical realm to explore this beautiful planet we call our home.
It showed me there was nothing to be afraid of, no reason to doubt or live in insecurity because if I simply had faith, if I simply believed in the will of God, all would be possible in my life. Upon waking from what seemed to be a dream I was melodically singing the words “thank you.” Thank you God for everything that you have given me. Thank you Mother Earth for bearing me as your child. In the distance I could hear the moans of rebirth. In these cries I heard sorrow and agony but rejoice and conviction. I was experiencing the same vision I’d experienced during my deep meditation. My spirit had known and was preparing me for the sensations that I would be feeling this night.
I heard the sounds of a baby coming into life and the moans of one readying to perish into the after-life. These cries were like a melody and I sang in unison, completely connected to my companion. It was the embodiment of duality, of harmony and chaos and it was absolute perfection. As if the medicine was channeling through my body, an ‘icaro’ or ceremony song was uttered that captured the essence of God. How the moon will rise, and the sun will shine. How the world will turn and we will all be one with the universe. This beautiful life that we’ve been given. It’s all a dream, an infinite thought birthed from nothing.
The clock struck twelve and everyone began to embrace and chant “Happy New Year!”
I was in a state of utter confusion. A new year? What could that possibly mean? Had 2014 completely slipped through the cracks of my fingers in an instant?
It was beautiful how humans come together and celebrate the end of a cycle, an inspiration to leave old things behind and start anew.
The experiences that these medicines provide for us are a gift. To open us up to feeling what has always been. It makes one wonder: why are these medicines so stigmatized and looked down upon? We have been instilled with the fear that these ‘drugs’ will send you into a lifetime of delusion. Never in my life have I been so happy; never in my life have I felt that I could have anything that I desire as long as it was in tune with the infinite vibration of this universe. If you ask me, these medicines help you see more clearly than ever.
This was a night where I learned, I grew, I expanded and I saw. Thank you mother Ayahuasca and father Yopo, for being the most incredible catalyst for the evolution and rebirth of humanity. These medicines provide us with hope, infinite knowledge and wisdom that will in turn propel us to a new Earth.
This life, how beautiful, full of perfection and harmony. One day we will realize, that we are whole.