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AQ's Solo Writing

Psychedelic Therapy 6

Ayahuasca (DMT) medicine

[Ayahuasca] The Profound Ayahuasca Motherland Ceremonies 

March 2024

Contents

Introduction

Retreat and Medicine Center

Ayahuasca Ceremony 1

Ayahuasca Ceremony 2

Ayahuasca Ceremony 3

Aftereffects

Final Thoughts

Ayahuasca experience Peru

Introduction

Ayahuasca: a word that’s capturing more hits on Google search results for people who want to learn more about the sacred plant used in ceremonial settings and healing retreats. Ayahuasca is the Banisteriopsis Caapi (yagé) plant from South America, originating in Peru. The medicine is traditionally consumed as a tea during ayahuasca rituals.

Ayahuasca holds Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a heavy-hitter compound that produces psychedelic effects. Ayahuasca (DMT) could feel like a double-edged sword. Intense encounters could unfold, such as an enhanced spiritual connection, introspection, euphoria, and love. The other experience could be anxiety, panic, feeling as if we’re going to have a bad trip (psychosis) or having one, along with possibly seeing and hearing frightening visuals. In extreme scenarios, order (I’m connecting with God) or chaos (I feel like I’m going to die) could happen all in one go. In some instances, certain folks take ayahuasca for the first time and don’t see or feel anything.

It’s hard to pinpoint what will occur during an ayahuasca experience. Ten ceremony participants will have different mental, physical, and emotional sensations, visualizations, and hallucinations. It’s not like a roller coaster ride at an amusement park where every rider travels the same path from start to finish.

What makes Peruvian ayahuasca different from other psychedelics is the purging effect. This involves harsh and abrupt vomiting from drinking the brew, regardless that the medicine doesn’t contain toxins. According to the Shipibo tribe from Peru’s Amazonian rainforest, purging signifies that we’re releasing built-up physical or emotional pain, or both, by throwing up.

 

In this ayahuasca (DMT) tale, we’ll hone in on three plant medicine ceremonies in Peru.

Retreat and Medicine Center

I felt a strong calling to embark on drinking a sacred medicinal brew for psychedelic therapy. What better place than in Peru, the motherland of ayahuasca?

 

Etnikas Integrative Medicine Center provides patients worldwide with ayahuasca retreats in the mountains and sacred valley of San Salvador, Cusco, Peru. The following Etnikas staff orchestrates the retreat and ayahuasca ceremonies:

 

  • One Inca medicine healer shaman of the Qero tribe from Peru’s Andes Mountains.

  • Two Shipibo healers (master ayahuasca ceremony shamans) of the Shipibo tribe from Peru’s Amazonian rainforest.

  • Three on-site medical staff (psychologist, nurse, and doctor) monitor the three ceremonies inside the maloca, a circular ceremonial hut-looking temple.

  • One meditation facilitator and holistic massage therapist prepare patients an hour before each ayahuasca ceremony with a Munay Inca (love) meditation.

 

Okay, we’ve made it to Etnikas Integrative Medicine Center in Peru, where three ayahuasca ceremonies await us for the next four nights.

Ayahuascha therapy Peru

Ayahuasca Ceremony 1

I’m inside the maloca, a round ceremonial temple resembling a large modern-day hut. I lay on a twin-sized mattress, with my upper back and neck against the wall. Danilo, the Inca medicine healer shaman, blesses the four other ayahuasca ceremony participants and me with liquids and dirt to rub against our hands so the medicine can give us what we need.

Luz, the psychologist, hands me a full shot of ayahuasca brew as I continue lying on the mattress. A full shot equals four ayahuasca doses. The two women Shipibo healers (master ayahuasca ceremony shamans), the four other participants, and I toast and take our first medicine dose.

The lights inside the temple are now off. In the center of the dark room is an altar with spiritual items. It contains a large lit candle surrounded with jumbo-sized healing crystals. There’s a two-foot-high gray Chakana/Inca cross stone symbolizing the Andean traditions and spirituality. The middle of the altar also has a small bouquet of red, white, and green flowers.

 

As I stare at the spiritual items on the altar, they go from clear to blurry. The large white-lit candle shoots thin flame-colored beams at my forehead. The candle now floats three feet above the altar’s spiritual items and multiplies to six white candles. They swiftly spin in 360 motion once and then disappear.

 

I’m yawning more, a sign that my body is absorbing the ayahuasca. Dizziness is increasing, while my stomach is in discomfort. The two Shipibo healers begin singing icaros in the indigenous Panoan language utilized by the Shipibo tribe of the Amazonian rainforest during ayahuasca rituals.

 

As the two master ayahuasca ceremony shamans sing, my body, especially my right leg, is shaking aggressively from their high-pitched lyrics. I put the blanket over my head to disguise my facial expressions from the other participants, despite the only light in the maloca coming from one large candle in the center of the circular room.

“Mother ayahuasca, help my parents and me heal from any unresolved problems,” I declare silently underneath my blanket.

 

My body temperature fluctuates fast between hot and cold, and I can’t sit or lie still on the twin-sized mattress. Without hesitation, I grab the bucket beside me and vomit a few times. My stomach still feels uneasy, as if there’s something round inside, despite the rough throwing up I just faced.

 

“Oh my God,” I say, overwhelmed, as I remove my eyeglasses.

I put my left hand on my forehead. My voices are sprinting fast, making it challenging to comprehend all the questions that I’m asking. Some of it is nonsense. While I remain underneath the blanket, I feel like I’m going crazy, unable to stay still and rationalize. A part of me wants to cry from the internal heartache my soul is feeling.

 

“MOTHER AYHUASCA!” I scream to myself, and I don’t know why.

 

“MOTHER AYHUASCA!” I repeat to myself, abrasively.

My right leg shakes again as if it’s having a convulsion to the powerful vocals of the Shipibo healers singing shamanic icaros. I sit with my arms around my knees, feeling helpless as unknown hurt flows through my spirit.

 

I remove the blanket that was covering my head and body to the sounds of painful synergy. The woman to my left is throwing up hard inside her bucket. The girl to my right cries as her mother quietly talks to her. Another participant on the other side of the room is struggling with stomach pains. I’m moaning from a combination of soulful pain and mental disarray.

 

As the hurting sounds of the group interaction diminish, I don’t feel pain anymore. Still, my mind is racing with two voices: my ego and spirit having a dialogue and slugging it out.

 

My ego wants to stick to rigid and dogmatic beliefs about certain things, but my soul says, “Wait, let’s stop and think about that for a moment.”

 

Frustration increases because my ego is being questioned and challenged. It wants to stay fixed in specific ways. The information overload overwhelming my brain makes it harder to concentrate on anything.

 

After a few rounds of my ego and personality duking it out, the two voices shut up, and the group dynamic mellows out. The only two voices I can hear are the two Shipibo healers singing captivating icaros. I’m thrilled by their shamanic chants in Panoan, regardless of not understanding the language.

 

I can’t stop smiling; my smile is frozen. I’m overjoyed with happiness, chuckling and giggling a few times. I turn to the right of my mattress, snuggling underneath the covers, smiling youthfully and cheerfully from this ayahuasca event.

I’m back inside my room in bed, feeling bloated with gut pain. I constantly toss and turn, fidgety and extremely cold, while many thoughts sprint through my head.

 

I go to the bathroom, not knowing what time it is, to take a poop. I return to bed with no more stomach pain. My phone clock says 7:15 a.m.; the first retreat activity starts at 8:30 a.m. I’ve been awake all night and feeling exhausted and hungry. The second ayahuasca ceremony starts in eleven hours.

Ayahuasca DMT

Ayahuasca Ceremony 2

My ayahuasca dosage tastes more bitter this time around compared to yesterday’s ceremony. The aftertaste makes me instantly nauseous. The darkness inside the maloca—other than one large lit candle on top of the altar containing spiritual items, such as the Chakana/Inca cross stone statue, a bouquet of flowers, thick crystals, and other items in the center—means it’s time for lift-off.

The bouquet of red, white, and green flowers begins to breathe, forming a plump and squishy geometric shape. A small wolf head slowly emerges on the right side of the bouquet of flowers. The three flower colors camouflage the wolf’s head.

The spiritual items on the altar in the center of the round maloca float above the ground and transform into bright ruby-style geometrics. A road forms on the ground from the altar to the edge of my twin-sized mattress. I’m in the driver’s seat, with playful rainbow-colored geometric spiritual items floating toward me. They move side to side as if dancing to a beat in this geometric land of ruby-looking spiritual items. I’m blown away by the remarkable dimension.

The dimension disappears, and I’m back inside the temple. My body temperature varies between feeling hot and cold, forcing me to remove the blankets from my body and head and then put them back on.

I have trouble breathing calmly, causing me to feel like I’m going to lose my mind.

 

I put a blanket over my head and say, “God, please help me control myself, please.”

I regain composure. Luz, the psychologist, asks if I want another dose of ayahuasca, but I decline. I’m feeling the strong effects of the medicine. I’m skeptical about whether to take a swig of water from my water bottle or hold off, hoping the nausea simmers and dissolves. I don’t want to throw up again like in the first ceremony.

I close my eyes and see a bright four-piece pie shape flashing yellow and green colors.

My eyes open, and without thinking, I grab the bucket beside me to vomit. This purge is stronger than last night’s ceremony.

After four to five rounds of continuously throwing up with a bucket sitting on my lap, I feel a sense of relief and physically lighter.

The Shipibo healers sing icaros according to the group synergy and each individual’s aura. The two women shamans also consumed a dosage of ayahuasca with the ceremony participants and me. When the master ayahuasca ceremony shamans it a few feet away in front of each person, they scan our vibrational frequency to determine which icaros to sing, based on the message they receive from Mother Ayahuasca and the universe.

There’s no vomiting, crying, or moaning happening inside the maloca at the moment. The two Shipibo healers sit on the floor on opposite sides of the round room in front of a participant, individually, and sing an icaro. Their shamanic chants in Panoan are boosting my spirit.

One of the Shipibo healers sits in front of me with her legs crossed, three feet away from the edge of my mattress. She appears to be a faceless black shadow. I lean forward toward her, sitting on my knees. I begin moving my hands as if I’m receiving messages from another dimension. I’m interacting with the master ayahuasca ceremony shaman by moving my hands and arms back and forth between my body and hers.

 

Her singing and my fluid psychedelic hand motions and arm movements intensify. I respectfully bow to her, placing my forehead in front of the end of the mattress, nonverbally telling the Shipibo healer that she’s an ayahuasca healing goddess and asking her to help me.

 

“I surrender,” I say, as my arms extend past the end of the mattress toward the Shipibo healer. I hope to feel her gentle touch radiate healing energy through my mind, body, and soul.

“I surrender,” I repeat while my ego slowly chips away into the cosmos.

 

I return to a seated position on my knees. My head, arms, and upper body move as if they are from higher planes of existence to the icaro chanting. The sharp-tone vocals from the Shipibo healers activate my body to move somewhat animalistically as I sit on my knees.

“Incredible,” I whisper in Spanish to the master ayahuasca ceremony shaman.

 

I put my hands in a prayer position on my head and bow to the Shipibo healer. Looking up at the maloca's ceiling, there’s a small oval-shaped window designed like a psychedelic eyeball.

 

“Thank you, God,” I say gracefully.

I repeat, “Thank you, God,” three more times while looking at the sky through the small eyeball-looking window in the center of the ceiling.

The second Shipibo healer sits three feet away from the edge of my mattress. I move to the front edge of my mattress, sitting on my knees again. Her charming icaro singing makes me smile and dance cheerfully. My body and head move from side to side while I sit on my knees with my eyes closed. The second master ayahuasca ceremony shaman put a magic spell on me, enabling me to move my upper body fluidly and animal-like, unable to control and stop my physical movements.

 

I whistle to connect with her sacred healing shamanic chants. My arms and hand motions move forward to her body and back to mine, telling the Shipibo healer that I’m intensely feeding off of her psyche and beautiful icaro singing.

 

The master ayahuasca ceremony shaman stops singing to me. She was with me for a long time. I show thanks by having my hands in a prayer position on my chest, bowing to her, and putting my head on the edge of my mattress.

The Shipibo healers do a few more rounds of icaros chanting. I'm smiling because I felt compelling spiritual connections with the two women as they sang icaros to me.

 

The maloca vibe is silent as if everyone is in a rest or sleep mood. I stare into the sky through the psychedelic-looking eyeball window in the middle of the ceiling.

 

The singing from the two master ayahuasca ceremony shamans wasn’t good; it was outstanding.  An audio or video recording can’t compete with the in-person quality of their vocals. The unique chanting from the Shipibo healers must be experienced firsthand to feel the spiritual vibration.

Ayahuasca therapy

Ayahuasca Ceremony 3

Tonight’s my final ayahuasca ceremony. I’m inside the maloca, a little anxious, knowing that I’ll be going deeper with the ayahuasca journey by consuming more medicine.

Luz, the psychologist, gives me an ayahuasca dosage. This time, it’s in a glass to drink scotch or whiskey on the rocks instead of a shot glass like in ceremonies one and two.

With the lights off and the round temple in discreet mode, I gaze at the altar in the center of the maloca. It has the same spiritual items, including one Chakana/Inca cross stone, one large lit white candle, a few oversized crystals, and a small bouquet of red, white, and green flowers.

My eyes widen as the altar gets blurry. The bouquet of flowers on the altar changes to a squishy-looking geometric bouquet of red, white, and green flowers. The bouquet of flowers is moving slowly to form a shape. The center converts to a mini head of a baby French-British bulldog. It has an adorable face, with black moles on its cheeks and gold marble-sized eyes.

To the right of the altar’s spiritual items is the bulky rectangular cream-colored candle. The candle's wax slightly brightens and weakens every two to three seconds.

I enter a secluded dark tunnel dimension with a candle in the center in front of me. Neon-green lines are sketching themselves on the candle. First, there are two ovals beside each other. Below the two ovals is a period in the center. Now, there’s a line-shaped smile underneath the period. It’s a childlike hand drawing of a happy frog face. The top of the cream-colored candle is sparkling with neon green, enhancing the visual of the frog’s head.

Luz asks if I want another ayahuasca dose.

“More,” I whisper politely.

I’m unaware of how much is inside the glass, but I chug it anyway. The two Shipibo healers and sisters from ceremonies one and two this week begin singing icaros in their Panoan indigenous language. The altar carrying spiritual items becomes light gray geometric shapes, floating four feet above the ground and not moving.

The psychologist brings me a third dose of ayahuasca, and I take the shot. She knows I want to expand my consciousness based on my psychological evaluation and one-on-one consultations over the past four days of the retreat.

My yawning suddenly increases, signaling that the ayahuasca is absorbing deeper. The temple is getting blurrier.

One of the Shipibo healers sits three feet away from the edge of my twin-sized mattress in front of me. She's scanning my psyche to decide which icaros to sing to me, according to a message she receives from Mother Ayahuasca and the cosmos within seconds.

I position myself sitting on my knees, motivated to get up close and personal with the master ayahuasca ceremony shaman. I make hand signals as if communicating with her in another dimension. Her high-pitched singing magnifies as my upper body moves forward and back while sitting on my knees.

My yawning expands as my upper body and eyes get heavier. The edges of the left and right sides of the mattress become red-light lines with two thin gray borders in between each red-light line. It’s directing a path to the Shipibo healer in front of me. I bow to her and place my forehead on the edge of the mattress, confirming that I want to go further into this psychedelic voyage.

I lift my head while kneeling, observing my clenched fists. The hair on my hands evaporates. My knuckles dissolve as my fists get chubbier.

I rise to my knees, looking up to the sky through the psychedelic-looking eyeball-shaped ceiling window, feeling ready to take off to another realm. I tilt my head upward with my chin facing the ceiling, raising my arms to the side with my eyes closed. The master ayahuasca ceremony shaman is passionately singing icaros to me.

Mighty electrical lightning bolts cluttered in dark green, brown, and charcoal colors, and a loud “BAM” sound penetrates my body and soul. The powerful sensation forces my upper body to lean back and arch itself while standing on my knees.

I open my eyes, looking out to the sky through the psychedelic-looking eyeball window on the ceiling, with my arms up and hands in a prayer position. I sit in a child’s pose position with my forehead on the mattress.

I sense a not-so-good feeling is about to manifest. A brown and white electrical lightning bolt jolts my body, forcing me to say, “AGH,” loudly while the Shipibo healer chants icaros to me.

I remain in a child’s pose position with my forehead on the mattress, moaning in distress as if internal pain is trying to release.

I receive another electrical shock wave, which shakes my entire body.

I rise to a seated position on my knees, woozy, queasy, and with uncomfortable physiological sensations. I immediately grab the bucket beside me and vomit hard. The moaning and gagging make me throw up more inside the bucket. Nurse Luzma grabs me another bucket, sensing that I’ll purge more.

I feel like I’m going to dehydrate. My paranoia is escalating since my water bottle is empty. I can’t walk and exit the maloca to refill my water bottle at the water station near the bathroom. I grab the bucket without looking and barf again.

"More water, please!" I say out loud in Spanish while my surroundings are blurred and dark, and my heart is beating faster.

“God, please help me stay calm,” I repeat three times, whispering worriedly.

I hit my forehead with the edge of my right palm a few times, trying to get a grip on myself, to prevent a bad trip from occurring. In the worst-case scenario, a terrible bad trip can mean entering a mental state of psychosis that could result in being admitted to a psychiatric ward.

The nurse returns to me with my refilled water bottle. I drink the water like it has been a few days since I last had any.

The intense vomiting is out of my system, and I don’t feel dehydrated or as if I’m going nuts. I lay on the mattress with the back of my head against the wall. I mumble to myself in a fast-paced discussion, questioning life. I can hear other ceremony participants quietly whispering to themselves.

My rambling stops. "I'm sorry," I quietly reiterate inside the noiseless temple to apologize to the other participants if my sounds have been unsettling during their ayahuasca encounter.

My apologies come to a halt. I whimper in pain like a little boy, feeling lost, stranded, and scared.

“Momma,” I say vulnerably two times.

The nurse kneels next to me to see if I need anything. As Luzma is about to walk away from my seated area, I grab her right arm with my left hand. Then I put my right hand on top of her hand because I need some motherly comfort and I don’t want to be alone now.

I have a strong urge to use the bathroom. Nurse Luzma wraps her right arm around my left arm and walks me to the bathroom outside of the maloca. I can’t walk by myself due to my highly altered state of mind.

After I finish using the nearby bathroom, the nurse and I walk back to my area inside the maloca. Rather than lying on the floor mattress, I hug the nurse affectionately. She lets me hold her like a little boy hugging his mom when he's feeling weak and defenseless.

I release the hug and get cozy on the mattress. The nurse puts a few warm blankets over my body, making me feel warm and fuzzy. This reminds me of when I was an innocent child, being tucked in bed by my mother.

The temple is quiet again, but I’m still high as a kite. Giggles come out of my mouth. They increase to laughter for no reason. I cover my mouth with my hands to stop my laughing from bothering the other soundless ceremony participants. I blurt out a loud-sounding laugh, echoing inside the maloca.

 

The laughing and giggling ends. I look up to the center ceiling at the oval window designed as a psychedelic eyeball. My eyes grow as the window becomes two charcoal-colored eyes, separating each other and forming a Venn diagram.

The ceiling window returns to its normal design and shape. I continue watching out the window into the sky. An intergalactic feeling surges, driving me to make futuristic humming noises while rolling my head in a circular motion. It sounds like an alien spaceship is zooming in and out of the temple from the ceiling window. I’m embracing the dorkiness of trying to connect with an unidentified flying object (UFO) by humming. Joy radiates throughout my psyche, allowing me to feel serene and clear-minded.........

Ayahuasca experience

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