The Ayahuasca Diaries: Transformation & Change.

Lunch on the last full day at the retreat was exciting for us "dieters." It meant we were having the smoked chicken for our final lunch meal. The chicken was far better than the fish we were served, which I had no interest in eating.

Mostly because the second time we had it, Texas Ranched (a fellow "dieter") cut into his fish and found roe (fish eggs) everywhere throughout his fish. One could chalk that up to just being a coincidence. But the third time we had it, it happened to him again. Fish eggs everywhere inside.

"That is a sign," I told him. "Are you sure your wife back in Texas isn't pregnant?"

His eyes went wide. I smiled and said, "Only joking!" But I wasn't.

After the epic lunch, I ventured over to the lake house on the property.

A few people were hanging out. One person was playing a guitar and singing. We hung out and listened for a while, relaxing into the afternoon. 

I momentarily had a pull to go jump into the lake...

But the muddy river water that forms it was too intimidating to me. You can't see in it. And there are fish in it. And I am a big scaredy cat. But it makes for a lovely scene.

Walking back to the bungalow, I admired the grounds and the life that typically inhabits its.

A beautiful blue butterfly dancing past me.

It was peaceful. And I had gone almost six days without internet and digital media. I felt clear and focused. Perfect for going into the aya ceremony that night.

It was the fifth and final ayahuasca ceremony that night. And it was similar to my first ceremony.

I got to the ceremony hut a little early. I prepped my chair for the final time. I went and sat down with others. I was curious to know how much they were going to take for their final night.

"I'm going with a sixteenth," said the Australian Bloke.

"I'm asking for a light eighth," said Texas Rancher.

Most people agreed that an eighth was the way they were going for the evening.

"I think I am going to go back up to an eighth as well," I said. I wanted to end on a good note, but I felt that I could handle whatever ayahuasca needed to do to me for the evening.

"If I puke, I puke," I said to myself. "So be it!"

Darkness came. Kerosene lamps were safely lit. The Maestro and Angels arrived. The icaro was whistled. The bottle was split. People filtered up for their medicine.

"How much this evening, Heather?" Malcolm asked me.

"How about an eighth, please," I said.

I closed my eyes and listened to the notes of the icaro he whistled for me. I wondered what he thought of my quiet existence in the room that week. Others had called out to Malcolm by name during the ceremonies for extractions. Others, he said, he could sense needed extractions - and so he did them. But the Texas Rancher and I sat quietly in our "corner" of the circular room.

Did he see me as strong?

Did it seem like I was holding anything back? I had worked hard during the ceremonies to sense if I was tucking away some dark energy and not releasing something. But i couldn't find anything.

"I wonder what he sees?" I thought.

But then I realized that it didn't matter what he saw or didn't see. I had been on a long path of self-healing. I'd had the opportunity to purge quite a bit of emotional stuff prior to leaving for the trip. I was in a very good place. And I felt it through me. And if I felt it, after a week of a strict diet and no distractions, then Malcolm could sense it too.

I took my cup and gagged back the dark brew. I went back to my chair, and got into position. I rocked gently. The lamps were blown out, and there was silence.

The gentle icaros began, starting with the Maestro Shaman's quiet song. It was deep and seamless. Then Malcolm entered into with his voice, followed by the Apprentice Shaman.
I was completely "swooned" by the Apprentice Shaman's icaros. They were strong, and sometime quite funny - when sung in English.  
"Whoever ends up with him is going to be so lucky," I thought to myself, as a warmth from the aya spread throughout me. "They can just ask him to sing icaros every day!" 
I realized as soon as I thought it that the ayahuasca was absolutely kicking into gear. I closed my eyes and began to see geometric shapes popping through the black web again. 
Again pink and yellow. Then green. Then purple and blue.  
I was feeling stronger. Confident. But calm. 
"Everything is good at it's core," I heard inside my head. "Fear and external negative energy affects those not shielding themselves well. And this leads to turmoil." 
"What do I need to do?" I asked. 
"Keep releasing energy each day where you can. Exercise. Yoga. Meditation. Let thoughts come into your mind and then flow right out of your mind. Don't hold onto negative energy thoughts. Always come back to visualizing light. And focus on love. A love and happiness for everything." 
The thoughts went on... 
"Wasting energy on worry is wearing. But accepting reality every day, choosing to deal with things but still focus on happiness regardless... That should be the focus." 
"And if you have trouble releasing negative and focusing on happiness and light, listen to music. The rhythm helps connect you." 
I was once again smiling and rocking. The Angel put a blanket over me one last time.
In the shower, I could hear one of the Shamanic Guides helping someone from Sweden in the shower. She was standing outside the shower, encouraging them to think about love. 
"Think about all those you love," she said as they stood under the running water.  
(I found out the next day that the person in the shower had taken a FULL CUP on their final night. Very brave!
I saw myself as a wise old woman, sitting in the rocking chair. I wrapped my fingers around each of my wrists in turn. I felt smaller, but substantial. I was once again a part of the room's energy. I was pushing my happiness beyond my physical existence. Moisture began to seep out of the corner of my eyes, again, from smiling so big. 
The icaros started to quiet down. I could see a light in front of me, from under my eyelids. I opened my eyes. It was Malcolm. 
"Are you ready for your venteada?" he asked. 
The venteada is the "sealing" you at the end of the week. You can have venteadas done by the shamans at any time during the week by request. They are a way to also move the energy through you. But at the end of the final ceremony, everyone receives one to seal them. 
I smiled and said yes. 
I closed my eyes. And for a few minutes, Malcolm whistled an icaro and shook a schacapa (leaf rattle) over me. He then pushed the energy through me by blowing on the top of my crown, down my back, on my hands and finally my feet. 
I was sealed. 
The Shamans finished sealing every one in the room. The ceremony was over. 

I was buzzing through my fingertips. I had gotten through every ceremony gently. Not vomiting. No immediate run to the bathroom. No coughing. Just yawning and a few quiet burps here and there. No crying.

If I had put money on it before the week began, I would have put a ton on me crying. But I had nothing left to cry about for now.

I got up and walked back to my bungalow. I stayed up for a while with my headlamp, reading. I fell asleep and woke up having had the following dream...

I was in some place that was my house. Before me were many sparkly barrettes and headbands, for my hair. I was working to organize them so that I could pack them. 

That's what I was doing at the retreat. Organizing my ideas and preparing for transformation.