Updated: Feb 15
On the third night, I decided to go “full throttle.” I wanted to experience what some of the other people had the previous night. The second night of Ayahuasca is supposed to be the wild night. Some had been dancing and singing in trance, others had argued with their demons, yet others had been crying out to loved ones who had hurt them. I longed for a profound experience, too. This meant I entered the session ready to go the whole way, come what may. Hardcore.
We began, as usual, with rapé. This night, we also received Sananga, a sacred eyedrop that stings like hell, and is meant to open your third eye, improve your vision, and often digs deep into emotions and brings about profound feelings of sadness or anger.
My intention for the session (and for the whole retreat) was to remove any blockages and clean my channels so that I can be clearer when I give readings and healing.
As I lay down after my first cup of Ayahuasca, waiting for the plant medicine to kick in, I asked Mama Ayahuasca to guide me. She taught me to open my heart when giving readings, to focus on serving others, and to ask if I may hug my clients before giving a reading or a reiki session. Like the night before, I made sure I stayed present, stopped any talk tracks, and kept myself from criticizing, judging, and comparing.
On and off, I felt queasy, but Mama Ayahuasca told me it wasn’t time to purge yet. Contrary to what I had believed earlier, it isn’t the bad taste of Ayahuasca that makes you vomit.
Purging is a process for cleaning out any stagnant energies and blockages that keep you from living your fullest, most successful, and happy life.
I knew I had a lot of purging to do, and I was ready for it.
After the second cup, Mama Ayahuasca kept teaching me things that I can no longer remember. At one point I saw a lot of spirit animals: horses and eagles and others. I kept asking her if it was time to purge, and she said no, not yet. I asked again and again, knowing I would have to vomit before taking a third cup because I was already quite nauseated. Finally, she said yes, now it’s time, and I released the blockages like a waterfall. After I had emptied out all the liquids in my stomach, I vomited energy in dry heaves. But it wasn’t a disgusting experience, it was actually quite freeing.
I wanted to go for my third cup, “full throttle” as I had promised myself, but I was feeling quite weak and a little queasy.
Mama Ayahuasca suggested I lie on my stomach and rest for a while, and when I finally felt a little better, I heard her say, ‘It’s time.”
I staggered up to the shaman, Ness, and said, “Necesito una más.” I need one more cup. While I waited for the shamans to bless the plant medicine, I looked around, amazed at the strobes of rainbow-colored lights dancing around the room. I thought, “Wow, they brought a disco ball!” But of course, they hadn’t; the strobe lights were hallucination‑—and those beautiful lights were everywhere.
It was difficult to get the liquid down because I was feeling queasy, but I knew I had to do it. Small sips. Tiny sips. Mama Ayahuasca kept saying, “I know you can do it.” And thus I chugged down the last drops.
By now, I was so weak, I could barely walk. I staggered back to my mattress and lay down.
Soon enough, a memory from my birth emerged.
I came out of my mother’s womb, and the midwife held me up and said, “It’s a girl!” For a millisecond, both my parents were disappointed. You see, I’m the youngest of three girls. In those days you didn’t know the gender until the baby was born. Of course, my parents wanted a boy! As soon as the midwife placed me in my mother’s arms, she loved me. My father always loved me.
I never ever felt unloved, but my soul remembered that millisecond of my parents' disappointment.
No wonder I never felt quite at home in my body. My voice was always low and hoarse for a girl. I played with cars and bikes and scraped my knees and was always covered in mud. I never liked having breasts, and for a long time, I didn’t even dress feminine. I didn’t feel like a boy, and I never wanted to be a man, but I also didn’t really want to be a girl.
I cried while reliving this memory of a millisecond of being a disappointment. And then I cried because my sister, who was at this moment sleeping on a mattress by my side, had always loved me. Never in my life have I needed to doubt her love. She was always there for me. I cried into my pillow, trying to stay quiet because I didn’t want my sister to hear and become worried.
And then I filled with love.
I was overcome with love for my sister. Love for Mama Ayahuasca. Love for the shaman Ness, and the shaman Daniel, and the other helpers. I was overcome with love for all the other people in the room, for every human being in the entire world, and for all the wonderful things and people and animals. And I was filled with immense gratitude.
When I felt compelled to purge again, I released even more blockages and the pain I had carried inside me my whole life.
I dry-heaved all that depressed energy I had unconsciously stored inside me for so long.
I felt done now. Awake. Overwhelmed with infinite love. And I knew that while I hadn’t gone into trance, this was what my journey was meant to be: life lessons and caring for my sister. I felt incredibly grateful for the experience and just lay there, listening to the music, letting it fill me up.
Before long, the shamans called for us to join them in a finishing, healing circle. All eighteen of us participants sat in a circle while the shamans and helpers administered healing energy. I was so tired by now, I just wanted to sleep. I could barely keep my eyes open, but when I did look up, I still saw the strobes of multi-colored lights.
The healing circle went on forever, and when it finally ended, I just wanted to eat a half slice of bread and go to sleep. Nothing more. Even though we had fasted since the early afternoon, almost 16 hours.
But I couldn’t get up. My sister helped me to my feet and gathered my things. I leaned on her as she supported me on the walk toward the door. She helped me put my sandals on, but as I was trying (unsuccessfully) to open the door, the shaman Daniel came and said that I hadn’t finished processing the Ayahuasca yet, and I should go back and lie down for a little longer.
I didn’t want to go back, I was still pushing the door, but Daniel insisted, “You really should go back.”
Right then, I knew I had to purge again. I barely made it back to my mattress and my bucket, but I did, and I released even more blockages and pain.
I rested for a long time, listening to the music. And all the while, Mama Ayahuasca guided me. She told me to rest, to stay. And then, after likely an hour or two, she said, “eleven more minutes”, “four more minutes”, etc. That night, I didn’t get to bed until 6:45 AM.
I felt done. I had connected with the plant medicine; I had become one with unconditional love.
I didn’t get what I wanted from Ayahuasca. I never got one of those out-of-body, facing-your-inner-demons kind of experiences. But I did get what I needed. Mama Ayahuasca helped me see my wounds and the defensive walls I’ve built up. She showed me what I need to work on and how to align my chakras so I can become one with all.
In the end, it’s true what everyone says, Ayahuasca will change your life, in one way or another. It certainly has changed mine.