Having been blessed to have had the opportunity to participate in several Ayahuasca healing ceremonies, something deep within is now asking to be shared. The prospect of attempting to put words around this incredibly transformative process is daunting. So here goes, some thoughts in no particular order.
A little background. I would very loosely describe myself as a “Toltec initiate” in that for over a decade my spiritual practice has been based around the teachings of Don Miguel Ruiz and the Toltecs. There is no dogma – but this is the location of the centre that I consistently gravitate around. An attractor and an emanation.The centre of the compass. Home base. In the early 2000’s there was a short and profound apprenticeship with one of Miguel’s original apprentices and a life changing journey to Teotihuacan in Mexico.
One of the requirements of my particular Toltec path was an agreement not to make use of mind altering substances of any kind. Period. This worked well for me for a decade as it provided the opportunity to sort out what was my shit and what belonged to other “entities” – human and otherwise. The decision to attempt an Ayahuasca ceremony was not made lightly, but fitted well with my wider and growing awareness of, and interaction with, the plant beings. My mother had been an incredible lifelong plantswoman and her genetic imprinting around the plant realm was revealing itself in my life in both subtle and overt ways.
There are now many accounts of the Ayahuasca experience available to us. These can be very helpful in that they can give us a sense of whether or not we might choose to have the experience ourselves. These people have had profound and often life changing experiences and they are giving us a great gift in their sharing – but there is little point in attempting to extrapolate what our own experience will be like from researching theirs. My entree to the subject was the book “The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge” by the molecular biologist Jeremy Narby.
She (Madre, Mother, Ayahuasca) comes to each of us, in our living organic manifestations as individual and divine spiritual beings, and she guides us to that which our own individual spirit requires. For me this was and continues to be one of the most beautiful and miraculous aspects of Her. She comes to you freely and willingly – and you are seen – just the way you are – and she proceeds to provide just what is required. We probably won’t get what we expected, which is a good thing, as what we actually do get is often beyond our wildest dreams and imaginings. Her presence and her teaching is a growing and ongoing dream, an unfolding of of a beautiful flower. A real blessing.
Ayahuasca requires the commitment and involvement of the totality of our beings – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual – it is not a spectator sport, nor is it as the saying goes, for “spiritual tourists”. Surrender is required. The more we are able to profoundly surrender, the more we are able to find ourselves being supported, nurtured, healed, in new and unexpected ways.
Mother, Madre, Ayahuasca is a very real being in her own right. She exists in a way that is fundamentally different from our normalised and rationalised experience of being, but which is also intimately connected to and entwined with human existence. She has great love for us and cares enormously for us. She knows us very intimately. I get the impression that the plant spirits have played a central and pivotal role in the development of human beings and humanness itself. For me she is a Planetary Goddess.
Ayahuasca is not a “drug”. She is a Divine and Sacred Spiritual Being. She is medicine for our bodies, our minds, our spirits, our souls. We do not “do” or “use” Ayahuasca – we do healing ceremony with Her. The medicine that we imbibe has two parts or two aspects. There is the vine that is Ayahuasca, and then there is the part that provides the psychedelic and fractal visions. This second aspect can be derived from one of a number of DMT bearing plants.
This plant will often be uniquely local to where the medicine is prepared. One of the magical properties of the Ayahuasca vine is that it inhibits the human digestive enzyme that normally breaks down the DMT molecule before it can work its psychedelic magic on us. By Her very presence She opens the doorways of perception within us. In just what way the visionary relationship between the Ayahuasca and DMT aspects of the medicine comes into form for the individual during the ceremony is a unique, mysterious and wondrous dance.