Over the Labour Day long weekend I had the amazing luck of being given the opportunity to participate in a shortened version of a traditional shamanic ceremony. I have attended many spiritual rituals in the past such as sweat lodges, circle castings and the like, but shamanic rituals are very new territory for me. I was a little apprehensive during the preparations as I was uncertain of what exactly to expect, but excitement quickly replaced uncertainty as the day went on.
We started by preparing a tea from a small amount of the ayahuasca root, which the shaman said would help us to focus our attention inward. I’d heard of ayahuasca before and knew how powerful it could be, but was told that we were not doing the full ritual which requires numerous days and multiple doses of a much stronger infusion, we were just getting a small taste of what is possible. Making this tea took most of the day as we had to simmer it numerous times and reduce the remaining liquid. You must stay with your tea at all times, giving it loving attention and pouring your intentions for the ceremony into the brew. After I was done I was left with just under 1/2 a cup worth of liquid. Before drinking our tea we sat in meditation with our cups, again, pouring our intentions, desires and requests into our individual doses. We then drank the mixture as quickly as possible, I had a jar of honey nearby as the taste is nowhere near palatable for my “supertaster” taste buds (they are a blessing when it comes to being a good cook, but unpleasant tastes are doubly so for me).
After the tea was finished we decided to sit in quiet repose while listening to some chanting and music. Since we had taken a low dose, we had no idea if we were going to end up purging or not. I started to feel the effects of the tea fairly quickly, as I have a rather rapid metabolism, but my friend was the first to purge. I also ended up purging, but had prepared myself by drinking lots of water so it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had heard some people describe it. After the purge I ended up engaged in conversation with my friend, who is also a very powerful empath (and shaman in training). We’ve always been able to feel each others’ energy but now there was much more nuance and control in how we were able to tap into each other. I cleared some of his chakras and then we practiced moving different forms of energy back & forth. It was a truly beautiful experience. Our conversation and energy play drifted off after a couple hours and I decided to try turning inwards, exploring my own inner depths. I have no words to properly convey my experience, but I can say that it felt like I slipped off my mortal skin and spent a few hours as my Divine Self (who is one smart, powerful and rad lady) and she showed me that my time here is to be spent basking in the glory of playing down here on earth, in the denser physical realms. Also, I saw fractals. Lots and lots of fractals. I’m not just talking about those little designs that you see whenever you close your eyes, I mean big, bright, multicolored, moving fractals.
Overall the experience was very gentle and positive. I’ve had similar experiences without the use of any herbs or plants, but there was definitely something different about this particular ritual. I am very grateful for the glimpse into that world and I feel like I have a much greater understanding of how the more ancient spiritual ways can be used to facilitate amazing growth and change for those who need it most. I can say without a doubt that it was one of the most transformative experiences of my life and I will most certainly be participating in more rituals in the future.