"That spicy and earthy plant!"
That's how I described Sananago to a friend who had done the plant with me a few years ago. On my last trip to Iquitos. She'd described it as "dirty and spicy."
Which it is.
But I choose to say "Earthy" because I'm getting myself prepared for the rooting-in of the plant medicine.
Sanango is a subtle (usually) but major shifting plant. It isn't like ayahuasca or mushrooms (I'm told, as I've never done mushrooms) in that you won't have hallucinations. There are no psychedelic properties to it.
You drink it in the middle of the night (about 3am). You go back to bed. Wake up a few hours later, and it's side effects start to set into you. It can shut down parts of your body - making you numb or useless in parts, and it goes to work cleaning up your different systems. A few hours later, you're back to normal. Or at least better-functioning.
But the plant is still working.
It continues to work long after you take it.
It's been about 21 months since I took it, and I know it's still working in me.
And I can look back across the past 21 months and see exactly how it worked.
- It pushed to end a relationship that was not functional for me.
- It's the reason I went back to Boston - realizing I needed to sunset that energy, as well as the lingering echoes of nostalgia related to living there in my marriage.
- It turned over other energies that were in my life, and made them less prominent.
- It amped up my awareness, becoming more articulate and direct about what I see in everyday life.
- It also watered-down my need to focus on little things.
It's done much more. And at times I wondered, "Should I also be sunsetting X, Y, and Z?"
But when I analyzed things, I would see that no... Not everything needed to be turned over in my life.
In fact, rooting in for some things became stronger. Even as I was trying to resist them.
So why go back and do Sanango again?
True. I said I'd never do it again. That was mostly said from a place of the exhaustion of the dieta while at camp. And the power of the ayahuasca we drink as we wrap up the last two nights of the retreat. I had two powerful ceremonies - one where I didn't even drink aya.
I'm going back to celebrate my birthday, and the marking of heading into a Year 9 in numerological terms.
That's what I think when I hear myself explain why I'm going back to the space.
But this is the final year of this current 9-year cycle. In the past two 9-years, I made major moves physically (New York and Toronto). It's typically a year of ending things and starting things that will be important theme-wise in your next 9 years.
And given that Sanango is a plant that changes you - particularly over time after you've taken it - I feel like it's a good time to go and do it again.
To help in that changing process.
At least, that's what I thought when I saw that the retreat fell over my birthday this week.
So here I am... With my backpack ready... And willing to sacrifice bacon for the next six months.
Let's see what insights or thoughts come to me this week.