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  • Writer's pictureTara Vaughan

Ayahuasca Part 2

Updated: Jul 7, 2019

On Thursday morning Wiler gathered us in the Maloca and asked us to share our experience so far. We talked about our first two experiences of Ayahuasca and about our dreams. Three of the men shared that they had had sexually tempting dreams and Wiler explained to them the individual meaning behind each dream. Wiler spoke to each of us about our experiences and where we would go next in this evening’s ceremony. For me, he told me that he would work on getting rid of the negative spirits inside of me.

We had three Shamans and one apprentice join us for the evening. Wiler sang to the Ayahuasca as did another Shaman and then he invited us to drink our shot. I set my intention to focus on my depression, anxiety and suicidality. Once we were all settled the lights went off and we sat in silence until Wiler started singing. The others joined in and I enjoyed listening to the different Icaros being sung.

I lay there for perhaps an hour and a half drifting in and out of sleep. I dreamt about animals, which got me thinking that perhaps animas should be part of what I do with my life. When I wasn't dreaming I was thinking how I should have taken a bigger shot as Wiler had suggested that morning. There was that negative part of me creeping up asking me what I was doing here, convincing me that this doesn't work.

It was my turn for Pedro to sing to me, I sat up and as he breathed on me I felt cold, a cold energy surrounded me. I wretched a little but nothing came up and then I shed a couple of tears. The Shaman finished my Icaro and Ganz reached over to see if I was okay. He gave me a hug and told me how proud he was of me for coming out here. I climbed into his arms and sobbed and sobbed while Ganz whispered kind words to me.

I hadn't finished my cuddle but it was time for another Shaman to sing to me my personal Icaro. I moved back on to my mattress and sat there whilst he sang to me. I wretched and I wretched and a little came up. He finished and I felt exhausted, I could hardly hold myself up, my energy was depleted, I tried to sit up straight and breath in and out but even that was too difficult and so I curled up into a ball, tears still falling.

I barely had time to stay in my ball before it was time for another Icaro. This time I threw up, I'm pretty sure it was lunch but it felt like dragon skin, dragon scales, were being pulled from the depths of my stomach, up my esophagus, out of my mouth and into the bucket, occasionally there would be a one-breath break, and then, back to it. There is no resisting this force, once you have to purge, there is no stopping it, no controlling it and you cannot force it out yourself.

My fourth Icaro, I don't really remember. What I do remember is the Shaman, Samuel, to begin and end with, breathed over me, as they do sometimes, but as he did it, he sprayed me with Agua de Kananga. When a Shaman uses Agua de Kananga they are using it to cleanse the person they are healing. He sprayed it over my crown chakra and my back; it is sprayed over the back because that is where your energy surges up, so they have to protect it. Once he finished, I lay back down, exhausted from my four Icaros and that's when the visions started.

Now, I'm not sure that I'm going to do my experience any justice trying to explain it but I'm going to give it ago... bare with me.

I closed my eyes and I saw sparkly rainbows, shaping animals. This turned into Dumbo, he was a starry outline in a dark sky. Then came the ferris wheels, tents, merry-go-rounds, all visioned near or below Dumbo, all with starry outlines on a dark sky.

Next I was seeing a tree. It was as if a child had drawn it and not quiet finished it. It was cut down the middle, brown on the outside and yellow on the inside, on a sort of hinge base, one half of the tree swaying left whilst the other part swaying right and alternating directions. I could see the inside of the tree, the cogs in it and how it works.

Then, the strangest yet. Imagine standing in a wood and looking at up at the trees, the sun is shining and the tops of the trees are bright whitey green, as you get further down the tree the green leaves get darker. This is the colour that I was seeing in a square, the bright whitey green in the middle and getting darker and darker towards the edges. In the middle of the square was the outline of a vagina - now a part of me asked if this was me about to have a sexual dream – Mother Ayahuasca reassured me that it wasn't. Instead, at the opening of the vagina, looking through was a bright white light, coaxing me to step into it and out on the other side, it was as if I was being reborn.

I then got the shakes running through my body. Curled up and laying on my right side, I started twitching; soon my whole body was shaking. A part of me thought about getting up to go to the loo but the 15ft journey to the loos felt impossible. Just standing up felt like a challenge. I kept envisioning that outside the Maloca, the journey to the loo was like crossing the plains of a baron Africa, imagine The Lion King, when Scar was in charge and the plains are dry and bare, this is what I was picturing my trip to the loo would be like.

The ceremony was closed and I was still shaking. The lights came on and all I wanted was to be spooned. Ganz crawled over and asked if I needed a hug and he and Shannon lay down with me, Shannon was little spoon and Ganz was big. I still had tears running down my cheeks. Ganz swapped with Ben and then he lay on top of all three of us. I was surrounded by love. I didn't want them to leave me. I wanted to stay there forever. Ben got up and Ganz got into his place. I was still tripping slightly. I could form a sentence in my head but I couldn't quiet get it out right. I was crying and drawling on Shannon’s shoulder. They asked me about my experience and I started telling them. As I got to the bit about the green vagina in a square, I burst out laughing. I laughed like I had never laughed before. Ranging from hehehes, to hahahas, to snorting, to silence, every possible noise of laughter there is came out of me. Shannon and Ganz got the giggles too.

They lay with me for an hour before going to bed. Jim came over and lay with me for another hour. I had come round by this point and we had a great chat which left me ready for bed, it didn't seem so far away this time. Before Ganz left, he told me to put some Aqua de Florida on me before I went to sleep, to protect me from nasty dreams.

On Monday I woke up feeling quite cabin feverish. The days are all the same here. This was our fifth ceremony and we had two Shamans, Wiler and Manuel, once they had opened up a safe place and set their intentions Wiler asked if anyone had anything to share from the last two ceremonies or any problems they wanted more focus on. A couple of people shared as did I, and Wiler told me that he would set his intention to love when singing my Icaro.

We set our intentions and took our shot. The personal Icaros seemed to start fairly quickly, compared to normal. Before they did, I was laying there focusing on my intentions. When the group Icaro started, I felt something trying to escape my body. It came from deep within, not just from my solar plexus but all over, as if from inside my bones. Something was trying to escape me but it couldn't, my skin was containing it, not letting it out. I wanted to purge but I couldn't.

Manuel came over and placed something in my right hand, I wasn't sure what it was, perhaps some herbs or something, I found out later it was a necklace for protection, which I am still wearing. He gently closed my right hand into a fist and placed my left hand over it. I felt relief wash over me, thinking yes, he will sing and I will purge this pain. Manuel sprayed me with Agua de Kananga, over my crown chakra, and rubbed some into my hands. He then blow his mapcho over me, starting with my crown chakra, then over my shoulders and back, he then gently pulled at the neck of my t-shirt on my left side and blow smoke down there, then on my right side and also down my front, finally he took my hands and blew the smoke into them and then raised them and blew the smoke down my arms.

Manuel started my Icaro standing up and doing a little jiggle dance. He then came back to my level, placing his hands on the top of my head, as he sang he moved his hands over my face gently touching my checks, chin and eyelids. Manuel placed two kisses either side of my eyes. And occasionally blew more mapcho smoke over me. Tears were trickling down my checks and when Manuel touched my face he would whip them away. This Icaro was much longer than usual and it was really lovely. When Manuel finished he blew smoke over me like he did to start with.

I lay back down but not for long, as Wiler was suddenly at the end of my mattress. I felt weak. My shoulders were slumped forward and rounded, chest tucked in, head down, I felt and looked small and defeated. As Wiler started singing, a sense of empowerment came over me, there was a force pushing my shoulders apart, raising my heart center, pushing my chest out, I could see the force it was a double helix, sparkly white in colour, a black background and neon Ayahuasca droplets floating around like stars in the night sky. Manuel came over and sang a little before moving on. As Wiler sang I felt tears trickling out of the outer corner of my eyes. I had a vision of my tear ducts, a velvet pouch, navy blue in colour. Tears of recent emotions would come out of the top and pour down my face from the inner corners of my eyes, but the tears that were coming out of my eyes were from the bottom of the pouch, it was a darker navy down there, the emotion stored at the bottom of the pouch is old, stale even. The tap had been opened and these tears were from a long long time ago.

When Wiler finished Ganz reached over and pulled me into a cuddle. He then asked if I wanted to jump in between him and Shannon, I nodded yes. I climbed over and lay against Shannon, my head resting on her shoulder, Ganz's head resting on my ribs. I felt safe.

Little did I know the fun was just about to start. The lights came on at the end of ceremony and we were all lying there in a heap. I ran my right hand from my belly to me neck and then freaked out because I couldn’t feel my boobs. I thought “Where the fuck have they gone?” “What sort of black magic is this?” and then I remembered that I’m pretty much flat chested when I lie down – panic over and giggles started. We were so hungry that we thought we'd go and sit and watch the chef cooking, my only problem was when I tried to stand up, I had lost complete control of my body. Shannon pulled me to my feet and then my legs gave way. We started again. With an arm drooping around Shannon’s shoulders and her arms round my waist, she pulled me up and got me to my feet. I wobbled around, like Bambi on ice, and we headed to the kitchen. I had no control over what my legs were doing, they went off in different directions, one would jiggle and the other would limp, it was the strangest feeling. We made it to the kitchen and put me in a chair. I was empty; I had no energy inside of me, and was convinced that bread and only bread would save me. I slumped over the table and occasionally you'd here a squeak coming out of me asking if the bread was ready. Then I was told there was pasta, so of course I wanted that too. Martim brought out the first piece of bread and gave it to me, I said I love you to Martim but he laughed thinking I was talking to the bread. Oh the sweet sweet taste of bread (made with only water and flour), I couldn't be happier. Half way through my piece of bread Martim brought me a bowl of plain spaghetti. I was so over excited by this point but it was too hot to eat. I didn't care I shoveled it into my mouth anyway, occasionally coming up for air. After about six mouthfuls I was done, the energy wasn't coming back fast enough. I face planted into my bowl of spaghetti, it looked as if I was asleep but I was wide-awake I just couldn't sit up any more. Shannon fed me in that position. All I could do was chew and even that I struggled with.

We decided it was time for bed, Shannon helped me up but by the time I made it to the steps out of the kitchen I had to sit down and throw up. I was so upset; all of that bread and pasta that was going to bring me energy was escaping me. We walked back to the Maloca to collect our things and that's when the dancing happened. My legs had a complete mind of their own. I didn't want to dance but they did. I said to myself, out loud, "legs, I am in control of you, pull yourselves together and listen to me" they stood to attention for about twenty second before banging my knees together so hard, not once but twice, and then starting to dance again. The Shamans were lying there laughing at me. Shannon and I went to the loo and as I was in the cubicle every movement I made was followed by a black line, I looked like a cartoon character, when the lines don't move quite as fast as the character. Shannon had to help dress me for bed; I couldn't lift my arms by this point. We said goodnight, she turned the lights off and I fell straight to sleep.

Tuesday was our last ceremony, and I had a lovely last ceremony. Wiler closed our dietas and our ceremony was over. It was short but sweet, only three hours and very peaceful. The four of us came together on a mattress and had one last group cuddle. We headed to the kitchen; Shannon gave me a piggyback, which would've made more sense the night before when my legs weren't working. We were all so excited to eat fries with salt! Fries have never tasted so good, the chef for some reason also deep fried our bread which was interesting but we ate it all the same, just so happy to eat something that wasn't plain, even if it was only salt and oil that was added.

About half an hour after we had eaten I started tripping balls. It was the best experience of my life. Mother Ayahuasca was showing me that I can be happy. Ben slept in the spare bed in my room with me that night because he accidentally killed a cockroach and they had come back to him with a vengeance, his room was covered in about 40 of them. I was lying in bed tripping, I was seeing a circus, the tents were black and white with starry lights all over them. I was the breath of the circus, my mouth breathing life into it. I had the biggest smile on my face and parts of my smile would fall off and join the circus, it was bizarre but amazing. Just before one o'clock Ben and I started talking, he was paranoid about the cockroaches so kept turning on his head touch looking for them in his bed. I asked what the time was 1am. We laughed solidly for the next hour or two, barely coming up for air. It was the most out of control, happiest of laughs I have ever laughed. I assumed it was around two or perhaps even nearing three in the morning and when I asked Ben what the time was, he replied saying 1:03am. We were both so confused. It felt like we had been laughing for hours not minutes. I checked my phone in case his had stopped working, but he was right, it was 1:03am. I kept saying over and over again "Wow. That was the longest three minutes of my life!” I could not get over it. We talked and laughed some more and started to come down from our trip. It was around 2am now. Ben went to the loo and I started singing nursery rhymes - when my brother Jeremy had his baby at the beginning of August I was worried that I wouldn't remember any nursery rhymes to sing to his baby - mother Ayahuasca obviously clocked this and unlocked that part of my brain and they all came out of me, Mary Had A Little Lamb, Twinkle Twinkle, Ba Ba Black Sheep, I just kept singing them over and over again. Ben could hear them on the loo; Shannon and Ganz could hear them from their room. I finally quieten down but I couldn't sleep, I put on a sleep playlist but just sang along with it. I was over the moon, I wasn't crying, which I had been doing all these months before whenever I had listened to music. My sleep playlist finished 45 minutes later and I was still wide-awake. One of the intentions that I had set that evening was to have more drive and determination and my head was buzzing with ideas and I busily wrote them down. I drifted off around 3:30am only to have two hours of sleep before having to wake to get a boat to take us back to Pucallpa.

That was the end of my time in the jungle but it’s not the end of my time with Mother Ayahuasca, she will journey through my body for the rest of my life, making the biggest changes over the next three months or so.

The Maloca, the loos & shower block, and the huts to sleep in.

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