Since I was very young, I’ve known about the existence of Ayahuasca. Not only because my mom’s side of the family is from the Peruvian Amazon, but also because people in my family, such as my aunt and her husband, have tried it. That’s why I feel like my experience with Ayahuasca has started even before trying it.
Hearing about the crazy experiences have always made me feel curious about Ayahuasca. I mean, how does the combination of different barks and leaves make you hallucinate? It really happens, and let me tell you. It’s CRAZY! I did not only see weird things like ants everywhere, where there were none. It also helped to clarify some doubts and problems I was having.
So keep reading for more details about my experience with ayahuasca and information! I also want to add that I would recommend the experience to everyone (unless you have bad health problems). It is something that everyone should go through. Right now, I wouldn’t do it again but I’m definitely open to doing it a second time if I feel like I need it.
What is Ayahuasca?
Ayahuasca is a brew used as a traditional spiritual medicine in ceremonies among the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin. The ingredients of this brew are Banisteriopsis caapi, a vine; and chacruna, a plant that contain a relatively high amount of the psychedelic substance DMT. I know, all this information sounds very complicated. But in simpler words? Just a few plants that together have a reaction in the human body.
This mixture is capable of inducing altered states of consciousness, usually lasting between 4 to 8 hours after ingestion. Ranging from mildly stimulating to extremely visionary. I must add that the shaman with whom I had my experience with Ayahuasca, told me that the effects can last for over months. But these effects are only perceptible in your dreams, you won’t hallucinate for longer than 8 hours.
Feeling the effects of Ayahuasca is like dreaming, but with full awareness of the content of the images and emotional content that stain sleep. All this allows you to have access to infinite information contained in our sub-conscious or spiritual world. How cool is that?
The Ayahuasca places the brain in an expanded states of vibration, working optimally and so, the person reaches higher states of consciousness. Ayahuasca is NOT a drug, not addictive, and it does not cause imbalance states of hallucination. There is also no loss of consciousness.
Nobody knows for sure how long this drink has been used. First recorded Western contact with the Ayahuasca was made in 1851 by Richard Spruce, the famous ethnobotanist from England. When taking into account archeological evidence of comparable native plant use, it seems likely that its use dates back to at least two millennia ago.
For more information about the components and effects of the Ayahuasca, click here.
My Experience With Ayahuasca
Now it’s time for my experience with Ayahuasca! Everything started when I arrived at my aunt’s house in Puerto Maldonado, a city bordering Brazil. It’s located in the middle of the Amazon. I was excited to be there for the first time, but do you want to know who else was exciting for our arrival? Mosquitoes! With their different variations, names, and sizes. Day one wasn’t that bad, but once they realized fresh blood was around town, they literally took us as their main dish all day long. That wasn’t fun at all.
Anyway, the next day was about talking a little bit about what we should expect during the ritual, and hearing about other people experiences. To summarize, this is what my aunt told me: “It tastes like shit, there’s going to be a lot of puke and poop; and at some point, you will see green donkeys.”
To be honest, the scariest part of the whole ritual was my reaction to the medicine. It wasn’t the hallucinations, that part was exciting. Knowing that 9/10 people either threw up or had to poop, was very concerning to me. I was more worried about not being able to control myself. What if I wasn’t fast enough to get to the bathroom? That was my main fear.
Arriving at the place
It was already dark when we arrived at the place where my experience with Ayahuasca was going to take place. It was like an open cottage (the living/dining area had no walls so you could see all the vegetation) with three bedrooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom. Yes, you read that fine. Was only one bathroom for 6 people going to be enough? That was exactly what I thought when I noticed that.
Anyway, the Shaman was already there with another woman. I was surprised at first to realize that the shaman that was going to lead the ritual was a Spanish woman in her forties, but honestly, it wasn’t that important. She has the training and she has been doing this for years. Also, she was recommended by my aunt and she trusted her, so it was all good. Something you should have in mind if you want to try Ayahuasca is the person who’s going to do it. That is key! You don’t want to be scammed, and also it can be dangerous if the shaman is not well trained (or fake).
The ritual was settled to start at 8 pm. Half an hour earlier, me and my sister said goodbye to my parents and aunt. We were a little nervous since everything was new and we didn’t know the people who were going to do it with us. The show was going to start. I wasn’t ready, but what the hell? I wasn’t going to back down.
The First Minutes of my experience with ayahuasca
Mats were placed around the living area, right next to the walls so we could sit more comfortably. It also makes the dizziness feel less bad. So they were strategically placed. Every person was sitting on their own mats, waiting for their turn to drink the Ayahuasca. The shaman started to say some words to the Pachamama (mother earth). She was thanking her for all the good things she gives us, among other things. When she had the preparation ready, she started calling our names in order. I wasn’t ready to start my experience with Ayahuasca.
The first woman who was next to me, went to the Shaman and drank from a small cup (like the size of a shot glass). I couldn’t see her face, but because of the way she moved her head, I knew it didn’t taste that well. My aunt warned me about the flavor. It was supposed to be super disgusting so I wasn’t looking forward to drinking it. When my turn arrived, I still wasn’t ready. I was telling myself over and over again to just drink. Don’t hold any of it in my mouth.
It didn’t have any smell, so I took the cup and drank the whole brew. And oh my god. Ew. It felt like I was literally drinking soil with water. It even had a little bit of bark in it. Thankfully, it wasn’t a lot. My sister said that for her, it was like drinking a really strong coffee. I’m not sure if she has ever had coffee like that to know the flavor. But oh well, I guess she was lucky.
After everyone drank the Ayahuasca, the shaman did a little bit of cleaning on each person with aromatic smoke. With that, the waiting began.
Feeling the first symptoms
While I was sitting on the mat waiting for the Ayahuasca to hit me, I was looking at other people walking to the edges of the cottage, there was a safe place to be if you wanted to throw up. I was excited and scared. Why has nothing happened to me yet? I was starting to get anxious too. Would I have to drink another cup of Ayahuasca? Side note: there are some people who need to drink more of the preparation to feel the effects, and I didn’t want to be like those people.
It felt like an hour passed before I started to feel or see anything. Then, it hit me. I felt something building in my stomach, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to throw up. So I got to the edge of the cottage, almost crawling because everything was dark, and when I arrived, I started vomiting. It was disgusting, and also kinda liberating. It’s not something you can control, you just have to let it go. There’s when I knew my experience with Ayahuasca was starting.
After throwing up everything I had in my stomach and I was sure I was ready to go back to my mat. I got up, feeling super tired suddenly. When I arrived at my mat, my body told to lay down, I curled up into a ball and close my eyes, waiting for the magic to start.
With my eyes closed, I started getting a glimpse of what the Ayahuasca was doing to my body and mind. I saw colors and funny animations. I opened my eyes several times to know if what I was seeing was just in my head. It wasn’t like that though, the funny images were there even with my eyes open.
Time was passing and memories of my life were showing. I saw my friends in a weird way and it made me remember moments I have totally forgotten. That was cool! When they say Ayahuasca makes you reach a higher state of consciousness, its totally true!
While all this was happening in my head, the shaman was singing songs, or more like mantras, that would lead you to feel certain things. After the whole process ended, the shaman told me that every song has a special part dedicated to each person. You could definitely feel that. At some point, I was like, why am I suddenly feeling sad, why is this song so sad? It was because it was meant for me to feel that way.
Many things happened during the process, while I was seeing things, I also moved a lot. At some point, I thought I was a contortionist and part of the circus. Everyone has different visions and thoughts, it will depend on your experiences in your life. Mine were funny, and it brought me lovely memories back. I loved that part about my experience with Ayahuasca.
Now, everything sounds very lovely so far, but everything changed after a certain song.
The bad part of my experience with Ayahuasca
In my head, I thought hours have passed. The truth was… it was like just one or two hours. There was a long way to go still. The rest of the experience wasn’t that pleasant. Here’s the reason why: I wasn’t finished yet throwing up all the bad energies in my body. That part really sucked.
My stomach was hurting and I wanted the dizziness to stop. I went to the bathroom to see if that could help, but it didn’t. I was seeing ants everywhere and a giant spider. That wasn’t pleasant to see either. Due to the fact that I was feeling so bad, I didn’t care about being alone in a bathroom with a huge spider.
What in my head seemed hours and hours, were actually just minutes. The bad feeling wasn’t going anywhere. Until my body said enough of that. What happened next? I throw up the rest, even though there wasn’t anything left in my stomach. My shaman told me it doesn’t have to be food, it can be the bad energies leaving your body.
After that, I felt much better. Nothing was hurting but I just wanted to go to sleep. My body was exhausted and my eyes were almost closing. My first experience with Ayahuasca was finally coming to an end.
Would I do it again? Definitely. Soon? Not really. It’s very exhausting and the next day you feel all weird while you have to eat very lightly afterward. Your stomach will be very sensitive and you will have to avoid eating foods rich in fats, drinks that are too cold or pork.
The experience is not for everyone, obviously, and it’s better to do it if you have a reason. Not just because you are curious about the effects. I wanted more clarity and feel more confident. And in a way, it helped. It’s not a miraculous medicine, but it does help you.
I also want to add, that like I said in the begging, Ayahuasca is not a drug. Far from that, is even used to treat drug addictions and traumas. It’s an ancestral medicine that can help cure many illnesses. Physical or mental.
Tips to have a better Experience With Ayahuasca
I know all places can do it a little different. But if you want the experience to be the most comfortable and enjoyable is good to take these suggestions into account.
- Bring your own bottle of water,
- a blanket,
- a comfy pillow,
- a flashlight,
- Try not to bring your phone, it will distract you and if you want to know the time like I did. It’s better to have a watch.
So what do you think? Do you find it an interesting topic? Would you try Ayahuasca? Let me know in the comments! I’m really curious to know what do you think about this experience.