“When you reunite with your soul, everything that you think changes and all of the pain goes away.”
Gerard Armond Powell
My name was called. I am sitting on the floor in that house with the thatched roof in the middle of nowhere in Colombia facing Carlos, the shaman, without knowing what was coming. I was feeling tired and nauseous from the Yopo I inhaled earlier. Carlos was a very nice guy, but I have to admit he looked kind of scary. He asked me why I was visiting and what was going on. I told him that I was newly divorced and was having a hard time adjusting. He didn’t say much and started signing some weird song I couldn’t understand, it was in a strange dialect. Because I was in the middle of the room my parents were able to see clearly what was going on. There was a fire close to where I was sitting, it was more like a bonfire, Carlos was singing and touching my head with his hands and with his mouth, my parents told me it looked like he was emulating swallowing the bad thoughts from my head, and then he was spitting that in the fire. I started feeling more relaxed and felt a sense of peace.
After about 10 minutes Carlos came back and sat across from me. This time he told me that I had a lot to be thankful for and reminded me of how many people love me and care for me. He then gave me a small bowl with some weird-looking beverage in it. He told me to drink up and get ready for the best trip of my life! I remember the taste was strange, but I was not expecting anything different. I didn’t realize what I was drinking was “Ayahuasca” also known as “Yage”. I started feeling more nauseous and lost track of time. I vomited again and then started hallucinating. I was seeing things, hearing things, it was overwhelming.
I don’t know how to describe what happened next, but literally, it felt like my soul came out of my body and I was seeing Carlos, my parents, the rest of the people and myself from above. My body was below me, but my soul was in another place. I couldn’t understand what was happening, I felt for a moment I was going crazy and felt like I was dying, but then suddenly a sense of peace came over me. Shortly after I started having visions of myself when I was 3 years old, memories of my grandparents that were dead and other family members and friends that had passed on, it was crazy, but also emotional and so peaceful in a way I can’t describe. I felt like I went through all my life having visions rush by me of all the best moments of my life with all the people that love me and care for me.
The purpose of the “trip” I guess was to remind me of all the positives I had in my life. It felt like I was floating and flying, it was fun and scary at the same time, but the whole time I had this sense of tranquility, suddenly I felt this weird force that I can’t explain, I heard many voices, laughs, weird noises. My vision went back to that thatched roof house again, it was time to come back and I did. It felt like when you are sleeping and suddenly wake up because you think you are falling out of bed, I came back abruptly but then after seeing Carlos and my parents, I felt peaceful, calm but really, really nauseous. My parents told me while I was sitting there, I was crying, laughing and even screaming at times. I know this sounds strange but that was my experience.
Some of the others in my group had a less meaningful experience, I guess it just depends, as everyone is different, my friend I mentioned going through an equally hard divorce had a hard time and for him, it was more an inconvenience. I had hallucinations for several hours (my parents reported…my sense of time was obviously altered). After the ceremony was over, I was sent home with some bottles containing some weird beverage that I was supposed to drink for 3 days. I had nothing to lose, so I drank everything and was sick to my stomach for days, I vomited so many times that I lost count. Out of a sudden, few days later, I was feeling very different, in a good way. I wanted to talk and do things, my appetite was back, the real me was returning.
I often think about that day, I don’t know what really happened, I don’t understand if in some way my mind was “reset”, the only thing that I know for sure is that what happened changed my life in a major way, call it a miracle, faith, fantasy, I don’t know, nor do I really care. If I had the opportunity to go back today and repeat this experience I don’t know if I would do it. I have been reading all these years about Ayahuasca and understand it can be very powerful, but at the same time very dangerous. I was lucky that my Shaman Carlos knew what he was doing and also that my body and my spirit took the experience in the best way possible, but not all people do. There was something magical and strange that happened to me that day, whatever it was I am forever thankful because it changed my life for the better.
Have you or anybody you know experienced Ayahuasca or a Shaman’s experience such as I had?