“What if I have to vomit, urgently pee, or crap my pants?”
I was worried that the Peyote experience would be like the ayahuasca experience… So I was asking what I felt were really important questions.
After all, the composting toilets at the camp were about a hundred yards from the tipi where we would be having our Grandfather Medicine (peyote) ceremony.
We were told if we had to vomit, we could vomit near the fire inside the tipi or they would bring us a bucket to vomit into. If we needed to do a lower body purge, we could walk - in pairs - to the toilets.
The pep talk before ceremony was useful. But I was nervous - as I always am - before a plant medicine ceremony. You have no idea how the medicine is going to interact with your body, your emotions, and your energy.
“Vomiting is a good thing,” Scott told us. “The Native American medicine men call it ‘getting well.’”
If we found ourselves “getting well” in the ceremony, we would be encouraged to share what was going through our thoughts. To verbally purge it.
“Acknowledgement of whatever is taking up mind space helps move things out and on,” I noted.
But I already knew this. I’ve been practicing it for years.
The pep talk included more than preparation for the ceremony. Gentle Eagle dumped out a box of arrows onto the center of the tipi dirt floor. We were each to take one and write an “I Am…” intention on to it.
I wrote “I Am Exploring” on the center of my arrow. And then added to either side, “The Psychonaut’s Journey.”
Gentle Eagle explained that we would come up one at a time, he would hold the sharp tip of the arrow to the center of our throat, and we would walk towards him, pushing the arrow tip into us, causing the arrow to snap.
“Fuccccckkkkkk thhhhhaaatttt,” I said out loud, worried someone - probably me - would get hurt.
Gentle Eagle demonstrated it for us.
I was convinced the arrow wouldn’t go into my throat. But I was still worried. So I volunteered to be the first one to go.
I stepped into the arrow point. It snapped into three places.
… Perfectly around where I’d written the words.
I scooped them up and took them back to my tent when we were done.
I held them and thought about the different things I’ve done over the years to help me explore my thoughts and energy… Things that make me feel slightly to extremely uncomfortable that I lose all distractions and focus on what matters.
I’d been stepping into that discomfort and exploration voluntarily for years. I was an expert at stepping into it.
Even if I was still searching for answers to many things… Going on years later.
I decided to lie down and take a nap. The Grandfather Medicine ceremony would begin at Sunset, and would go all night to Sunrise.