Keeping things consistent to the first evening was critical to a superstitious person like me.
On our second evening of ayahuasca ceremonies, I got to the ceremony hut just before 5pm.
This is the time those doing the Shamanic Dieta showed up to drink our special tea. The tea was distributed to each of us after the Maestro Shaman whistled an icaro into it for each of us. The first night it tasted very refreshing - like iced tea. The second night, it had taken on a "Robitussin cough medicine" flavor. This was because it was getting stronger each day since it had been brewed.
After drinking the tea, I went back to my bungalow and changed into my ceremony gear: Lululemon cropped yoga pants, a tank top, and a t-shirt. I took my contacts out and put my glasses on my face. All of this was done with the intention of making any purging or showering easier to do.
I would come back to the ceremony hut at about 6pm. I would spread my blanket out on my chair, unroll a small sleeve of the toilet paper roll next to my vomit bucket (for easy access of wiping my face if needed), and place the tin cup of water in front of the bucket. Then I would go across the room to a few people on the mats and other rocking chairs, and chat.
On the second night, there were noticeably more mat drinkers than chair drinkers. For safety reasons, the Australian Bloke had switched to a mat. But so had a few other people.
"Whatever makes them more comfortable," I said to myself.
For me though, if I needed to get up and go to the bathroom, it was going to be easier to do from a chair. And vomiting into a bucket was easier from the sitting position as well: just lean forward. Rather than having to sit up and crawl to the end of a mat to vomit into it.
Once it got dark (a little after 6:30pm), the Maetsro Shaman came in with the Angels (assistants). The same flow as the day before happened in the ceremony... The whistling of the icaro into the bottle of freshly brewed ayahuasca. The splitting of the bottle for the second Shaman to pour from to us. The lining up of the drinkers.
I had asked a few people that day how much they had drank the night before in the ceremony. Despite it being their first times, three guys (Australian Bloke, Hawaii Therapy, and Swedish Chef) all had gone back for second shots the first night. Not knowing it takes some time for the aya to kick in occasionally, they went up and asked for another 1/8 of the cup. This meant they had each taken 1/4 of the cup! And that explained why they had some amazingly different trips than me.
"You guys are bad ass!" I told them, silently thinking there was no way in hell I was ever taking more than an 1/8 of a cup.
When I sat down in front of the Shaman Malcolm, he smiled and asked, "How much would you like this evening, Heather?"
"Same as yesterday," I said. "Another 1/8 please."
He poured the muddy brown elixir into the cup and whistled the icaro. I closed my eyes...
Please let it be a gentle night again, I thought. You were very kind to me yesterday, Mother Aya. I am so grateful. But please do what needs to be done to me.
The swooshing blow into the cup. Then I drank it down. I slightly gagged, but smiled and thanked Malcolm. I walked back to my seat, shivering another gagging reflex. I swallowed and swallowed my saliva. I sat down in my chair. I began to rock.
Left foot up on the chair with me. Right foot down.
People were already getting up and walking to the bathroom as well as leaning over their buckets, before everyone had been handed their shots.
"What to expect?" I thought. "I release myself to the ayahuasca. Whatever happens, happens."
The lights went down. Complete darkness, except for a few fireflies that occasionally sparkled like stars inside the hut. The crickets and birds outside kept us company in the darkness, before the Shamans began their icaro symphony.
It started gentle, just like the night before.
I kept my eyes open, not wanting to close them so soon. The fireflies began to spark a little more, up towards the lower ceiling beams of the hut. I found it funny to look at them.
"Their butts are lighting up!" I thought. And then I laughed. And it was that same bubbling echo laugh from the night before.
I closed my eyes. And the geometric shapes began to dance in between the openings of the black web again. Deep purple and a pink-ish mauve mostly.
I yawned some very large yawns in a row. A gentle smile came over my face, I know, because I could feel the corners of my mouth turn upward. More yawns and more yawns.
Yawns that were larger than any I had ever had in my life.
I could feel moisture coming out of the corners of my eyes. Gentle tears. But not of sadness. They were from me yawning and smiling so much. I didn't bother to wipe them away.
"Let them stay," I heard inside my head.
I could hear vomit purges off in the distance of others. Some of it began to sound demonic.
The icaro symphony was taking on a very aggressive tone this evening. Kind, but aggressive. Stronger drum beats. A ringing bell tone. The Maestro Shaman, Malcolm and one of the Apprentice Shamans (whose voice I loved) were all singing. The Maestro in his ancient language. Malcolm in English. The Apprentice Shaman in a mixture of Spanish and English.
They kept the symphony going and going. And then Mother Nature decided to join in as well.
It started off with wind. Strong but gentle wind. And then, through my closed eyes, I could see lightening illuminate the sky. It made the colors I was seeing more vibrant. Then a gentle thunder.
But Mother Nature didn't want to be outdone by Shamanic folk. And the rain got stronger. And stronger. And soon it was pounding down on the leaf ceiling of the hut. But the wind wanted to help too, and it was blowing in some of the moisture being provided by the sky.
And thunder cracked into the composition, like an unexpected symbol crash.
"This is magical!" I thought to myself, smiling even harder. Tears rolling down my face from so much smiling. "How cleansing! Don't stop!"
The storm felt like it lasted about 20 minutes. But you lose any concept of time when drinking aya and listening to the icaro symphony.
When it had died down, one of the Angels came by and put a wet cloth on my face - just as they had the night before. They also put a blanket on me.
"Gracias," I said. "I don't need it, but thank you."
I could hear aggressive purging still happening, intermixed with the icaros.
"Water, please" someone called out. The Angels went over to them with a bucket, and began pouring water over the back of the person's neck. (This helps ease any ill feelings.)
Then I began to hear an odd suctioning sound from the other side of the room.
"That sound you are hearing is Malcolm doing an extraction on someone," the Apprentice Shaman halted his icaro to tell us. "Don't be alarmed."
I was in a happy place, just as the night before. Love and positive energy... I wrapped my arms across my stomach. I felt as though I had been absorbed into the chair. I was apart of the Oneness again, and I felt like there was a lot in me that I could share.
"You should be pushing the love and positive feelings you have out to the others in the room," I heard inside my head.
So I inhaled lightly, and then opened my mouth very wide... I exhaled while thinking, "I am sharing all the love and happiness I have in me. Because it is not just mine to keep. It's around us all. And it is their's too."
Every purging reflex I heard, I would do it again. And again. And again.
I heard people crying. Bawling their eyes out. I would exhale the energy again.
I was visualizing it as a red light field that would go further and further across the room each second I pushed the exhale.
I was taking long and slow breaths in and out. I kept rocking in my chair, convinced that if I stopped, the heartbeat of the room's energy would be affected. I felt responsible to play a part. And it helped me listen within...
- "Everything you want and need is in the space around you."
- "It's easy to manifest one's life."
- "Be open to what the Universe has for you."
- "If you want something now, you just open yourself up to the Universe. And it will be provided."
- "You don't need to take anymore aya. What you have taken stays with you forever. Just tap into it."
Like the night before, things came to a natural quieting. And the kerosene lamps were re lit.
- "Taking aya isn't just about you, Heather. It's about sharing what you have inside you in this space here."
Texas Rancher, who was beside me again, had an equally gentle and happy experience. I told him about the wet cloth and blanket I had been brought during the ceremony.
"Man!" he said. "Those are both things I wanted!"
I laughed, as I suspected that they were intended for him. But for some reason, I was getting them.
I sat, simply rocking, for about 20 more minutes. I was absorbing the energy in the room. There had been some very tough work done by everyone - Shamans, Staff and Guests - that night. It was an excellent cleanse.
Then I got up and walked to my bungalow. Sleep came very quickly, and long again.