Want A WTF Experience? Go To An Ayahuasca Ceremony

I first found out about Ayahuasca 5 years ago from my friend Mario, the world doctor.

We were on a 3 hour drive from Sydney to Canberra and he told me about taking this drug in the jungles of South America that changed his life and made him vomit his guts out.

I’m not someone that has experimented much with drugs but I kept hearing about this miracle drug curing PTSD and giving people all kinds of relief.

I was curious.

Then one day my friend Nick told me he’s participating in an Ayahuasca ceremony.

I was excited to join in.

Apparently this particular ceremony had a long wait list and I was about to move countries next week. I asked Nick to make an intro and luckily, I was told I could participate in a ceremony.

I became instantly apprehensive when I found out I could do it.

I was at the happiest place I’d ever been in my life. My personal and professional life was going amazingly and I didn’t want to screw it up.

I also knew that if I didn’t do it now, I probably wouldn’t have the chance to do it anytime soon.

A big part of me was wondering if this was me going into my old habit patterns of self sabotage. Kind of like. “Hey, everything’s going perfect in your life right now. See if you can go f%&k it up by going on Ayahuasca”.

An email came with all the instructions of the Ayahuasca ceremony

Here is the email without specific details:

Hi Friends,

The journey has begun and as the evening of exploration nears we can start turning inwards and focusing our awareness and presence to the process of preparations and, like a yoga pose, we can gently invite in more and more presence into our being. To be fully present for the beginnings of this wondrous grand quest into the infinite realms within.

Sending you all blessings for these preparations and sending so much Love and Gratitude for showing up in so many ways.  

Please find the details for our preparations below;

DETAILS TO PROVIDE

Please provide a contact phone number or, if you don’t have a contact number a Whatsapp or Skype number to this address.

This is important so that we can contact you on the odd off-chance that there’s a traffic jam or other unplanned event and the circle is held up. It’s great to have a contact point in these situations.

PAYMENT

[$210 AUD EQUIVALENT]

3 DAYS PREPARATION DIET

It’s a great idea to abstain from certain foods and practices for 3 days prior to circle date. This is important for health reasons and also to enhance the ability of the sacred spirit’s reach. The cleaner the body is the higher the body’s vibration and the more fully and deeply the Madre can access. 

Items that absolutely must be totally eliminated for at least three days before the circle;

MAO inhibitors, any pharmaceutical medications and any fermented foods and drinks (alcohol) and narcotic substances, nose sprays like Vicks, Sinex, Prevalin or Otrivin & other MAO inhibitors

Items that should be totally eliminated for at least three days before the beginning of the ceremony;

Sugar, salt, meat, dairy products, garlic, spicy foods, coffee and black tea

cultured dairy products (buttermilk, yogurt and sour cream), aged/mature cheese (exception: cottage cheese, cream cheese and young cheese), 

dry and fermented sausage ( bologna, salami, pepperoni, corned beef and liver), unfresh meat/fish/eggs, pickled herring and salted dried fish, meat extracts, 

yeast extracts (Marmite/ brewer’s yeast, bread is allowed), sauerkraut, 

fruits (figs, bananas, pineapple, avocados, raisins,canned red plums, raspberries), 

nuts, 

broad beans and pods (lima, feva beans, lentils, snow peas and soy beans) 

soy sauce, 

LSA (Morning glory and Hawaiian Baby), MDA related herbs (sweet flag, calamus, nutmeg), 

chocolate, 

caffeine products (guarana, coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks etc.) ginseng

Fasting for six hours before the journey is required.

MEDICATION/ HEALTH ISSUES

Please let us know if you have any health issues or health concerns for the upcoming circles.

Also please let us know if you’re taking any medications 3 days prior to the circle date.

This is a cleansing retreat using herbal formula containing MAO Inhibitors.
Consult with your doctor or pharmacists if it is possible to stop your medication at least 3 days before consumption of this herbal formula containing MAO Inhibitors.
There are medications that are not compatible with consumption of this type of herbal formula and to do so is at your own risk and responsibility.

Antidepressants SSRI pharmaceutical drugs (MAO) Inhibitors are not compatible with these circles.

TIMINGS

Aim to arrive 6pm to get settled in, organize bedding, share some tea and meet other participants. 

We will finish in the early afternoon of the following day. 

The following morning after a healthy breakfast, we will have our sharing circle. 

It’s very important to attend this circle after breakfast in the morning as this is where we get to really craft the tools from our experience and ground in the wisdom to carry forwards/outwards into our worlds. 

There can be a massive amount of wisdom received as we see our own experiences reflected in others and experience an inlakesh reflection of the whole group.

VENUE

DIRECTIONS: [Hidden]

We aim to arrive before 6pm. Please arrive quietly so as not to attract too much attention. Bring your bike in through the bamboo gates and you can park on the grass inside. There’s a small carpark outside the bamboo gates for larger vehicles.

Let me know if you need to make arrangements for payment or if you no longer want to reserve your spot.

Also please check you’ve supplied a contact number. I will reserve all spots until I’ve heard from you. Also please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need to clarify anything or wish to connect before the event.

The venue has a hard marble floor on which glass easily breaks. So please don’t bring glass bottles unless they are in a protective covering.

WHAT TO BRING

Please bring a pillow, a blanket and something soft to lie on and, if you wish a meditation cushion.

As well as bringing your sleeping materials it’s a good idea to bring anything you would like to empower; crystals, symbols and tools, notebook, diary pens.

If you need for us to arrange bedding please let us know before the night and we’ll organise extra bedding for you.

WHAT TO WEAR

Please wear white comfortable clothing.

If there’s anything we can help with or you have any questions about preparations please contact us.

With grateful love and abundance to you all, may our deepening of intent, gratitude of life’s magic be fruitful and lead us beautifully back home to ourselves.

Love and light,

Organisers

 

Just a little checklist;

  1. Provide us with a contact phone number 
  2. Let us know of any medications or health issues
  3. Make payment before [date]
  4. Organise items to bring 
  5. Organise white ceremonial clothing
  6. Follow a 3 day preparation diet
  7. Await the location details to be sent and aim to arrive at the venue by 6pm.

Thanking you kindly for your mindful attention

Love and Light,

Organisers

This email was confusing and didn’t help with my apprehension at all. I’m not someone that has had many drugs and going to this ceremony on my own was kind of scary.

What if something went wrong?
What if I have physical symptoms?
What if I go into the deep dark depths of my mind and can’t come out?
What if I realise everything I’m doing in my life is wrong?

The apprehension was endless but I committed to the journey anyway.

I didn’t eat anything the whole day of the ceremony mostly because I wasn’t clear on what I could eat and planned poorly on the day. I craved food all day.

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The place for the Ayahuasca ceremony

I turned up at around 5:30pm to pay the organisers before the 6pm start.

The space was inside a large villa with one side open for mosquitoes, bats, birds, frogs and whatever else to come right in (which they did during the ceremony).

Other people had set up their yoga mats and pillows around the walls with loads of paraphernalia such as crystals, bird feathers and whatnot.

I introduced myself to the organiser who took my payment, welcomed me and asked me to set up my mat and pillows for the night.

The men are set up on one side of the room and the women are set up on another.

I learnt that most people had signed on to do the ceremony over a 3 day period. The first night had started the night before so most of the good wall spots to sleep were taken.

I found a good private spot in the corner to set up and waited for the ceremony to start.

I looked around at a lot of the people and felt a bit left out. A lot of people there saw this ceremony as a religious experience. I could tell by how they dressed, how they talked about the experience and what they bought with them – oils, crystals, feathers and whatnot – that this was important to them.

No one seemed to care about the primitive one-step-up from camping experience I was put through for the ceremony.

Me and my delicate sensibilities cared. A lot.

Frogs jumping over me. Bats flying overhead. Mosquitoes eating me.

All I could do was breathe…

Alas, I tried to relax on my mat and waited for the ceremony to begin at 6pm.

6pm came, I waited…

7pm came, I was getting impatient but I waited…

8pm came, I was looking around like wtf? No one else seemed fazed so I waited…

8:30pm came and everyone started getting into a circle. Candles started being lit around the room.

There was around 40 people all starting to sit in one giant circle.

At 9pm, the ceremony finally began by going around the room and sharing the intention for the ceremony.

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I was told that having an intention allowed the journey to be more specific. When my turn came to share my intention, I simply said ‘curiosity and journey’. I wanted to be open to whatever came.

The host (is it called a shaman?) sat in the middle of the circle as we all sat patiently watching for him mix the ayahuasca.

He had 2 bottles he was mixing together as light music was playing in the background.

He also seemed to be blowing smoke from his mouth from what I assumed to be a cigarette into the ayahuasca mix. At one stage he got up to blow smoke around one of the ladies sitting next to me, which I can only assume to have been a gesture to give her good vibes (as opposed to secondhand smoke). He finished this ‘good vibe’ smoke out by pulling her top out to blow smoke down her breasts and I used up all the willpower I had not to burst out loud laughing.

No one else thought it was funny.

Once he was done, each person came up one-by-one to the host to take a drink. The drink was served in a shot glass. Everybody drank from the same shot glass.

With 40 people, again it took longer..

Each person would sit in front of the altar:

– Some would pray before taking the drink.
– Some would bow to the ayahuasca gods.
– Some would say thanks to the host and his wisdom.

Each person would take 1-2 minutes to finish.

I was one of the last people to take the drink. I was nervous about going into the middle of the group with everyone watching me.

Was I supposed to ‘pray to the Ayahuasca gods?’ or show gratitude like all the others? It’s just not who I am and I’m certainly not about to pretend.

So I got up there and decided to do whatever felt natural. He poured me a glass, I held my glass up to cheer the host like I was taking a vodka shot and threw it back. I then sat the glass down on the table and nodded to the host like he was my bartender (he was to me).

The taste of Ayahuasca…

I would have felt more proud of myself had I not just thrown back the most disgusting drink I had ever had in my entire life. I can still dry-heave thinking about the taste of the Ayahuasca shot.

The closest beverage to describe it is the Original V8 vegetable juice. That juice is repulsive to me.

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What next?

I waited for another hour. I felt nothing.

I could see people were starting to move and dance to the music.

I waited some more and decided it probably didn’t work on me.

I thought, ‘Oh well, I might as well sleep now’.

Then off for about half an hour.

All of a sudden I woke up with my whole body vibrating.

Whoa…

It felt like energy was moving around in my body rapidly.

It didn’t feel like it was coming from me. It felt like something external was taking me on a journey.

I closed my eyes and sat back for the ride.

I went to the past…

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I saw myself holding a little girl.

It’s me holding myself as a little girl.

I’m the little girl I’m holding.

I cry with her.

I hold her and tell her, “It’s ok. Everything works out for you in the end”.

I tell her that she gets everything she ever wanted and more.

I sob for the pain she went through.

I give her the love she didn’t receive.

I give her the nurturing she desperately wanted.

I cried and cried until there were no more tears.

Until we both became at peace with the pain enough to let go fully.

I thought to myself, ‘I can relax – everything is ok’.

I then went to the present…

Next, I was taken to the present. To my life now and my relationship with my boyfriend Damien.

I felt a huge rush of appreciation for the beautiful man in my life.

He is kind, he loves me excessively and he’s so very beautiful.

I cried as I felt the love expand and get bigger.

I felt the energy get so large that for some reason I knew it to be the size of a whale.

It felt like had Damien been there, we would have ‘made a baby’ with this type of energy. It makes me cringe to even describe it in this way I’m not a baby-making kind of person –  but it’s the closest way to describe what was happening.

I felt so much appreciation for the life we have created together that this love felt like the ultimate validation of our love, our life and our partnership.

I realised there’s no need to fight any more.

I got the love of my life.

Everything turned out okay for me.

I can relax – everything is ok.

I saw my future…

I saw my future in glimpses.

I realised that in my entire life, my future has always been created my me. I have always been my own knight in shining armour. 

Whatever life I want, I will create – whether it be kids, travel, partnerships – whatever.

I felt a huge rush of validation. The happiness I feel right now isn’t temporary. It’s real.

I can travel the world and do whatever I wanted.

Everything will turn out okay for me.

I can relax – everything is ok.

I cried and cried until I vomited…

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When the journey felt complete I started to throw up. I couldn’t see what I was vomiting because the room was candle-lit but I felt like what I was throwing up was pitch black. It felt like old stuff coming up.

Then I needed to go to the bathroom and poo my guts out.

The rest of the time was mostly spent vomiting and poo-ing.

The end of the Ayahuasca ceremony

The ceremony came to an end at around 3:30am with uninspiring vegetable soup.

I spent a bit of time speaking to some people about their experience but I was mostly felt introverted and went to sleep.

Next day

The next day I woke up to everyone getting ready. A good breakfast was served at around 9am with eggs, toast, fruit and tea.

Then a whole lot of waiting around happened for a few hours until around midday when the sharing circle commenced.

People went around the circle sharing their experience of the previous night.

  1. One lady had an experience of dancing all night and being completely feminine. Other people talked about how they fell in love with watching her dance.
  2. Another lady felt like she couldn’t breathe and her throat was closing up. She had to run out into mud in order to try and feel into her body. Her comment was, “I always thought Ayahuasca would never create trauma. I was wrong”. She was visibly shaken and had the worst experience to anyone else.
  3. One man was talking about letting go of his arrogance and sobbed his way through his whole share in gratitude.
  4. My friend Nick felt like he worked through a lot of his issues instantly, sure that there’s no reason for these issues to return. He felt like Ayahuasca is the quickest way to create long term change.

When my turn came to share, I instantly started sobbing so much I could barely speak. This surprised me because I’m not someone that cries publicly but I couldn’t stop myself. I spoke about my insecurity that my ayahuasca experience was a self sabotaging move and my validating experience as a result. It was beautiful to open up in that way to a group of strangers and I’m really glad it happened.

When I came home I hugged Damien and felt completely ready to conquer the world with him.

Would I recommend people do Ayahuasca?

Yes. I give it 5 stars in terms of a life-changing experience.

Would I do Ayahuasca again? 

Probably not. I only drank the Ayahuasca shot one time whereas most people had more shots throughout the night but I still can’t get over the taste. Even as I write this I can taste it in the back of my mouth. Eww. Seriously.

Also, Ayahuasca personally felt like a poison to me. It felt like something else was taking me on a journey. I don’t know how healthy it is to be taking it regularly. When I spoke to recreational ayahuasca users at the ceremony (there was a lot of them), they just felt a bit bewildered and not concrete to me. It’s hard to explain.

Maybe because I was happy when I came into the experience or that I didn’t hallucinate at all that my transformation at the end wasn’t dramatic enough for me to run back and feel immense need to do it again. 

Regardless, if I was at a crossroads in my life and seriously looking for direction, I would definitely consider this an option.

I’m constantly interested to hear more research being done on Ayahuasca and the positive effects on many people.

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