Personal Story: Ayahuasca Gave Me A Fresh Start

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by Lizz Whalen

on August 11, 2014

The ayahuasca ceremony is over. It was terrifying. I crumbled in the face of eternity, or was it the Universe, or both? I don’t know. But in my mind, I was screaming to her (Mother Aya) that I was wrong, that I wasn’t ready, and for the visions to stop because I felt I was losing my mind — I was afraid I would return insane. But it was too late. The journey had begun and the only way out was to go through it.

When the ceremony began, I drank a small cup, as is always given to those who are new to this medicine. It was not as horrible tasting as I had been told, thankfully. I hadn’t eaten all day, I was on a juice fast, so the drink sat hard in my empty stomach. And then I waited while the shaman began to sing. I waited for what seemed like an hour, but I cannot be sure, as there is no way to keep time in the pitch blackness we sat in.

I began to fantasize about what I might see. Shadows of visions began to form, but they were no more than what I see normally in meditation and my dream space. And I realized I did not need ayahuasca to be open to the universe, I already was… But then the purging began. I threw up violently for an unknown amount of time. At this point, I began to regret my decision to participate. In my mind I was saying over and over, “Bad idea! Why didn’t anyone stop me? I’ve changed my mind!”

The songs the shaman sang were dark and scary, as he channeled through old witches and teachers. The voice of the old Bruha mocked us in our misery and suffering. I was desperate for this to end. But I knew somehow that I had better laugh with the old witch rather than show her my terror or she would continue to torment me.

Then a warmth came over the top of my head. Like a spiral cap beginning to slowly wrap around my skull. I did not know this at the time, but it was my crown chakra being opened up to the universe. And then enormous spaces began to open up. Spaces filled with geometric objects, whirling and spinning so fast. There was no point of reference, no direction, I was lost in space! Or was I lost in myself? I’m not sure which. So much fear that I could not relax and go with the experience.

Then I felt a gentle, loving touch on my arm, and it was the shaman. But he was no where near me in the physical, he was up at the altar singing, yet he was also right beside me guiding me, telling me to “follow the music.” All of a sudden I was no longer afraid. I began to enjoy the experience as the music formed a road of pink flowers to follow. “Follow the music, stay on the path and you won’t get lost.” Then he was gone. The fear returned as he left me alone again. I called after him but he was no longer there. I tried to keep to the road but it disappeared and I became lost again.

Many visions came and went, a tour through my abdomen, the tissues, cells and conduits for energy. My daughter taking on and holding so much for me. A disintegrating skeleton. I needed to find silence, sanctuary from all that was passing relentlessly before me. I didn’t want to see anymore. I understood at that moment why we are shielded from seeing and being aware of all this on Earth, because we cannot possibly fathom or comprehend it. I felt what it would be like to be insane.

So I looked away from all that I thought was outside and turned my attention inside, to my energy, my chakras. I could see my third chakra was lit up, and burning so hot and bright. It was doing all the work for my body. It was trying to power through my existence.

Then I noticed that I had no heart chakra. It was missing. Only a hollow chest like the tin man — complete silence with only a few sparks of dust/debris floating through that air. Shocked, I heard myself say, “What happened here?” No answer, then I remembered a past life where there had been a horrible betrayal, my closest friend stabbed me in the back and shattered my heart chakra. I still carry the wound in my physical body. My spine bends at the point of impact, right behind my heart chakra.

I realized that I have been trying to heal it since childhood.

My favorite color was green, the color of the heart chakra. Then a huge green dragon appeared before me. Massive in size, it sat face-to-face with me, staring at me with a giant green eye. Other reptiles appeared. A green croc observed me. Then one final location/place/space — I don’t know which — was revealed to me: The Milky Way. And when I saw it, I crumbled. “I was wrong!” I yelled. “I’m not ready. I’m not the one. I’m sorry!”

And at that moment I saw her. Mother Ayahuasca showed herself to me. In a long flowing robe of peacock feathers, she looked over her left shoulder at me, gave me a knowing glance that said, “Be careful what you ask for. Now you know not to ask for so much.”

She had put me in my place. And I was humbled. As she took her leave, I called after her, “What do I do now?” She showed me a vision of a woman with her hair up like a Gibson Girl, and on her left ear was the most remarkable and impossibly shaped dangling crystal blue earring with stars inside. And to this day, I still have no idea what that image means (but I found something similar in aqua aura quartz earrings).

The visions began to fade. I wanted sleep. I laid down, sick from the smell of the tobacco that the shaman was blowing to close us down. But that was not the last lesson I would get that night…

The shaman made his way around the room, one by one, blowing smoke on the top of our heads to close our crowns down, and on our spines and hands also. I was so grateful for this because I didn’t have to see anymore. I laid my head down hugging my knees, but no sleep came all night as the medicine began to kick in again.

Morning came. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I felt so small and insignificant. And everything that I have been working for, for the past five years, had been burned to the ground. I was feeling sorry for myself and licking my wounds. But then others began to show me what a blessing it had been. I had seen more than most do, and was shown bigger realities than most had been shown.

And then I remembered I had also seen the hand of God. An immense golden hand of energy reaching out for me. And I had no fear of it. God was aware of my presence and held his hand out to me. To me! A minuscule, tiny, lowly being. Why? But now I know I had been stripped to my essence before God. And in that way, I was worthy of seeing him.

So now I have a fresh start. A chance to start over, again.