Feeling the call the write about this sacred expansion I experienced last October, an experience that was so enlightening for me that it infinitely changed the depth of my being, Ayahuasca taught me about the earth, it taught me how to pray, and I believe in many ways it opened me up to embodying my own divinity.
I am writing these experiences down because I plan on going through many more experiences with this plant as this is what she has called me to do, like the voice of a grandmother who loves you deeply, I must listen.
I first heard about Ayahuasca from my friend I was working with at a castle, oddly enough, but not so oddly, working catering, when I was on the crux of my awakening. My whole life had fallen apart; I was coming out of the trauma of major addiction problems, broke up with someone who I greatly considered to be the love of my life (as far as the sheer intensity in which we loved one another), and I had no idea who I was, or what I was doing in my life. This was nothing new, as I existed in this state of existential confusion for most of my young adult life, but now it finally hit me. Here I was, in this human body, expecting to participate in a world that I mostly felt was kind of bullshit, and I had to do something with it. I knew I couldn’t exist in the world as it was, but I had to, I needed the money. But every time I did, I felt I sold my soul, or that my time would be better spent elsewhere. I had abandoned writing and any form of creation for years, my words were stuck, I was terrified to let my spirit sing because of the stories she would tell, the last 10 years of my life were, in a word: tragic.
I had gotten into a daily practice of yoga at the time, something I absolutely could not miss, as it was really the only thing that was able to help me survive in this world. Before that, I was an anxious mess. The anti-anxiety medication that they gave me to deal with this, numbed my soul, and I used the addictively. With this medication, I felt like I could exist in the world as it is – because I didn’t feel anything. It allowed me to be functional again, because of this numbness. But I found myself in a life, which, my heart and soul, could not truly feel happiness within. And this made me even MORE depressed on an existential level. Nothing in this world could satisfy me. All my nerve endings and censors were turned off. I was barely alive. With using yoga in place of this, I was able to live. Just live. It did not provide me any sort of deep insight or clarity, but it gave me pieces of my child self back again, the one who is willing to engage in the world and look at it with new eyes.
So, when I heard whispers of Ayahuasca, I knew, from the poetic word she embodied, she held many secrets… I felt so scared to come close to her, but I knew eventually one day I would feel strong and ready. I knew that she would find me.
Fast forward, a few years, a few relationships, and a few moves later. I am in Prague, working on a film for Crispin Glover, at his castle, and I was introduced to a shaman there who does ceremonies. She grew up in Detroit, and had piercing blue eyes. I saw in her strength, beauty, the clarity of mind and action that I felt I could never have in this lifetime, and looking back, I saw her embodying the plant itself. I got her facebook, and waited till it was time.
When I released my first book, a metaphysical science fiction book about reincarnation, I pretty much lost my mind. It was a huge creative purge for me, and afterwards I felt quite strongly that I could no longer stay in the city where I was living. So, I moved to a small secluded island for the summer. I spent hours in nature, in the forest, alone. Meditating, contemplating, just being. I would ride my bike through the empty rural roads, surrounded by trees, singing at the top of my lungs, finding spaces in the forest where I could stay for as long as I could. I healed that child like self that came out from my daily yoga practice. I played with her, I remembered her name. I got to know where she got lost, and I gave her the environment so she would come back. And now that child is the one who writes to you now. She is my voice of truth and innocence.
I knew that once I released my first book – I would meet Ayahuasca. So, after the summer, I planned to visit a ceremony with my shaman, at a ceremony they held in LA.
Now, I feel the collectives hesitation when I write LA, but to me, it’s not really where you do the medicine – although environment always helps, it is WHO you do it with. I trusted this women, deeply, I felt a depth of love and trust and respect for her that I don’t believe I’ve felt with many other women in my life. She was strong, powerful, and I knew she had been through some real shit and came out beautiful, alive, and with even more love. So, I knew she would take care of me – and that, I believe, is really what we should be looking for in a shaman who handles this ceremony. You are in a highly sensitive and fragile state, many peoples demon’s will often come out in their minds, so, you want someone who will essentially protect you in that realm. Ayahuasca will show you, and love you, the shaman will ground you. Yet each person’s journey will be their own.
When I arrived to the space we were doing ceremony I was terrified. I was told to wear only white and I basically felt like I was going to engage in some cult activity, (although later during kundalini yoga I would also find myself wearing all white, so I’m used to it now). I had written down very specific intentions about what I would like to learn in the session and my goals were… huge. I wanted to basically understand, Christ level love, and just to give you a quote from what I had written down “I release issues which hold me back in cycles of karma, I release patterns of betrayal, denial, judgement, separation, abandonment, and replace them with trust, truth, forgiveness, surrender, service…. So I can open myself up to eros, fondness, familial love, christ love, and rapture”
So, this was what I wanted to work on, at least this was MY plan. I brought along some rose quartz, a few other crystals, a statue of Hanuman (the Indian deity of love and devotion) and my friend let me borrow a bunch of colourful Mexican blankets which I felt would comfort and protect me, as if the energy of them would be infused into them and provide me the emotional comfort that being in the company of a good friend does.
We did a ceremony before, honouring the directions, stated our intentions collectively to one another, and then took the medicine.
Initially I could feel it opening my entire body, like I was getting some deep internal yogic cleanse, all of my nadis, chakras, meridians, were being lit up. I wanted to make noise but we were told to be respectful to the experiences of others and the energy around us, so I kept it within. I didn’t throw up at this point, although this is when people started to, but I was being told to ‘hold the energy’ by my spirit guides, so… I went far far far into the galaxies, I left my body, and I touched the most unconditional, purest and all encompassing form of love that I had ever felt. The love of my own grandmother who I loved more than anyone on this earth plane in this lifetime was only a taste of the depth of this love that I felt. Then, suddenly, I opened my eyes. And reality, what was in front of me, was a beautiful crystalline grid, sparkling, changing, rewiring itself. Later, I realized, this grid is the collective energy which we all have a part of creating – through our thoughts, intentions, actions.
Eventually I really really had to go pee, and I had no idea where it was, or how to get there – it is really weird to come back into your human body after transcending space and time, and my shaman telepathically picked up on my signals and tenderly led me by the arm to the bathroom. I am including this somewhat mundane part, so you can see the importance and role of a good shaman. It’s like, the best friend who takes care of you when you get really really drunk. But replace getting drunk with entering the fields of yours and the collective’s deep unconscious, the spirit world, and the information of all your lifetimes.
Also, when I stood up, I saw all the spirits in the room. I wanted to work with them, but a voice firmly told me it was not time yet. But just so you know – there are spirits everywhere, around us, all the time. By the way. Right now, in the space you are in, they walk around and exist around us, just as casually as humans do.
When I sat back down, I felt much more embodied. I lay on my side facing my alter, skimmed over my intentions, and fell into something other than sleep. Ayahuasca began telling me that I am truly a great artist, and made it so so obvious, as she began showing me all the signs and synchronicities that indicate this truth and all the forces that were helping me with my second book. In these moments she began to show me the intensity of my destiny, and how it’s so great that it overwhelms me and leaves me in a state of anxiety. She allowed me to experience the joy of this capacity without any of those fears. She also revealed to me how silly my insecurities were, and how me and most humans in general waste a lot of their space and time worrying and filling up their lives with these silly games, when often everything works out in the way that it is meant to anyway. But we stress, and analyze, and freak out over everything. But its all so clear in the eyes of the universe. This massive waste of time made me laugh, a lot. I couldn’t hold it in. She made me realize that everything was fine, and my insecurities were me being blind to my own destiny, which existed anyway, whether I was going to enjoy it or not.
A huge part of this style of ayahuasca ceremony was the music, so the shaman would walk around singing Icaros (which are songs specifically for ayahuasca), I noticed how she worked with the spirits in the room with these songs, she would also sing or play popular high vibe songs, or someone in the room who brought an instrument would be called to sing something. It was like a jam session with all the elements of the universe coming to play. It is hard for me to remember these songs, but I can honestly say that this was the best concert I had ever been to in my life. And I used to be a music journalist, I have been to a lot of concerts, many of them great. It’s not because of my state either, although I’m sure that gave me a certain openmindedness, but what made it good was the integrity and purity of the music coming out of these bodies. It was the plant speaking through them, mixed with the energy of the collective that night, mixed with all the spirits in the room who were playing with the energy of the space around us. Later I realized, often when a pure heart sings, it is always this light of divinity coming through us, using our bodies as channels. With the music, I learned how to pray. I held my hands together and bowed to the earth often. I understood while in prayer, in deep trance with the music, that the space that we hold within our hands in a prayer is the sacred light of divinity. The action of holding your hands in prayer is very powerful. If you’re sensitive, you can feel the sacredness of this energy when you hold your hands together in this pose. I looked at my hands at one point, which I had recently become much more in tune with from practicing reiki, and I saw what capacity for healing they had. It was infinite.
The music put me into a completely transcendent state for hours, and in this, I was able to connect with the energy flowing through me. I cried, a lot, for hours, because of the beauty of this life and all my lifetimes. I cried for all the pain I had been through, how unfair it was, and how I felt I had to keep it within me. I cried as the one who had to witness me experiencing this. But I cried the deepest, harder than I have ever cried, the hardest a human can cry, I believe, for the deep pain of the earth mother, which came through my body. It took me to my knees. And I realized, through experiencing this pain, an all knowingness, that is my job to serve her, completely, entirely, in any way I could. Her problems are my own. They come through our bodies. The anxieties of the world are because we are feeling the pain of the earth. We are not separate from her, yet we live in ways which destroy her. That is why she called me back to living in nature. She had a job for me.
At the end of the ceremony, we shared vegan food from a potluck everyone contributed to, and everyone began sharing their experiences like something you do to unpack after a group therapy session. Many people remarked how unbelievable the music was during this ceremony in particular. For me, the beauty of what I was shown, was so profound, that I could not even describe it or speak. In fact, I think that’s why I have waited so so long to actually talk about what happened. I have been carrying these experiences inside of me, living them, integrating them into my life. I have been praying, I have been loving, I have been serving the earth.
When it was dawn and it was time to leave the space, I was stopped before the door by someone from the ceremony. He told me that I appeared to him during his journey, in spirit form, in front of him, and he told me “you are actually an angel. You just don’t see it. When we connect to our heart, and trust, you will begin to see these things.” Remembering his words now, I feel it’s truth.
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