Ayahuasca Sacred Medicine
There are four distinct levels to human beings, the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. If we are suffering from physical, mental or emotional pain we tend to treat it externally, when what we should be doing is looking within, and discovering what it is that it causing this pain, this is where spirit comes into the picture, whatever it is that we are feeling on any one of the three above levels actually comes directly from our spirit, when our Spirit is in pain it lets us know that something is wrong by affecting us in the physical world that is our body, if we don’t look within and see for ourselves what is really going on, then regardless of how many pills we take or surgeries we have the symptoms will just keep coming back.
Maybe it is something we did that needs to be pardoned, or something that happened to us that we haven’t resolved, but as long as it is there, we’re going to keep getting sick! For example, and this is from my own personal experience, my father was an alcoholic throughout my entire childhood, as a result I grew up resentful and angry, and passed a large chunk of my life blaming him for my unhappiness which resulted in illness, depression and antisocial behaviour.
I took everything to heart and made it personal, I felt unworthy and unwanted, had no self-esteem and constantly created situations that would harm me, thus continuing the vicious circle of pain in my life. Then I was introduced to Ayahuasca and other plant medicines and things began to change.
Ayahuasca is a combination of two plants that are mixed and then cooked for anything from several hours up to four days at a time.
I’m not going to go into the scientific terms for what is contained in one plant and released by combination with the other, there is plenty of information at your fingertips for those who wish to find out more.
During the process of cooking the Shaman or one of his helpers will be there constantly, not just stirring and keeping an eye, but actively praying and singing to the plants so that those that take this medicine receive only the best healing.
Once cooked, the brew is taken in ceremony, during the ceremony the Shaman is there to protect and help you in difficult moments.
At this point it is necessary for me to point out that due to the increase in interest, Ayahuasca retreats have become big business in Peru mainly, and, as with all things these days, there are charlatans appearing that claim to be Shamans.
If you are thinking of coming to South America for this experience, research well and choose to go to only experienced and recommended retreats.
Once Ayahuasca is drunk she (and I say she as this plant is feminine and is known as Grandmother) moves rapidly through your system, the actual drinking is not necessarily the most pleasant experience but is momentary, Ayahuasca works on all levels and can be physically quite challenging, vomiting is common and actually a very good sign as when vomiting you are purging your body and releasing things that are no longer necessary and have been holding you back from happiness.
Diarrhoea is also a possibility and also a part of releasing, no embarrassment is required, also it’s not a given that these may occur. You may or may not have visions during your Ayahuasca journey, this is Ok, just because you don’t see other worlds and angels doesn’t mean that the medicine is not working within you, on the contrary – Ayahuasca gives what you ask for, when you ask with an open heart, and for this reason it is a good idea to be clear about your purpose for being in ceremony with this medicine.
These journeys that we enter into with her can be uncomfortable and extremely painful, and yes even frightening. I’ve had many moments of fear, discomfort, sadness and anger during ceremony; I recently had a spate of resentment in every single ceremony that I went to, until I had healed and removed the resentment that had been locked inside for many years.
What I want to say is that to heal ourselves we have to look at ourselves with honesty, and accept that we all have both light and darkness inside of us, to heal those dark spots it is necessary to confront them, feel them and accept that they are there.
From there work with the medicine to see them for what they are and put them firmly where they belong, in the past, so that we may begin to live in the now. However as I say, each one of us is different and there are no norms.
I have seen beauty so profound with this medicine that it can’t be put into words, I have laughed with her, cried with her and been transported to heavenly places and moments that will remain with me always.
My life these days is very different; I wake up in the morning and give thanks for the day that awaits me, the food on my table, the roof over my head, continuous water for drinking and bathing, the love that I receive throughout the day. I’ve spent time in many ceremonies praying for my relationship with my father; he died recently in October and I was unable to go and say goodbye to him before he left this world, or attend his funeral but I did go to ceremony and take Ayahuasca.
During my journeys saw him, hugged him and wished him well for the new journey that he is on, and I can honestly say that I love him unconditionally and am pleased that he was and still is a part of my life. At the end of the day the choice is ours, are we willing to take our chances on a few hours of pain, fear, sadness or anger, or are we prepared to continue carrying these feelings around inside us until we get sick and possibly even die?
When we are told that we are meant to suffer it’s a lie intended to control us, we were born to be happy, we deserve to be happy, so let’s be strong and brave and do what we have to do to encounter happiness. One more happy person in the world is one more step to a happier world.
Happy journeys and much love to you all.
Written by Mel Wartho who now lives in Ecuador. The photograph above is Mel and Ed, both British, after an Ayahuasca ceremony in South America.