This is part 4 of my Ayahuasca journey at Rythmia in Costa Rica. If you missed Night 1: My miracle, Night 2: Love and death and Night 3: Kundalini and Mother Nature, you might want to read them first as this is a continuation of the story.
Thursday night brings with it the final ceremony at Rythmia. It's Colombian night, meaning the brew is yagé. Yagé is made from the same Banisteriopsis caapi vine but the Colombians prepare it differently. Most people agree that it tastes much worse. It's gritty, like you're drinking coffee grinds or something. So unlike the other nights, rinsing with water is required after swallowing this tea.
Mitra—a Western shaman from Israel who'd trained in Colombia—led tonight's ceremony. He told us that yagé is like a house cleaner but for your body. What he meant was, compared to the previous three nights, we would probably vomit and shit a lot more. Good times ahead.
Thursday night ceremonies at Rythmia start two hours later. The ayahuasca ceremonies begin at 17:30 and end around 01:00. The yagé ceremony starts at 19:30 and runs until 09:00 or so. Elders say ayahuasca healing occurs 22:00–00:00, which is the time of the Earth's primal energies and earth spirits, while yagé healing occurs 03:00–sunrise, when the celestial spirits descend.
Image by @carlgnash, with permission
My intention tonight was "show me what I need to see" since I did not have any specific questions and my previous nights were so amazing. I took my first cup of yagé. It was awful. Even though it was less than the previous nights, I could definitely feel it by the time second cup was offered. I took a second cup anyway, although it was only half the size of the first one.
In my usual fashion, I then went outside. I sat on the grass facing the beautiful tree that I noticed last night. The full moon was glowing overhead. She had a ring around her tonight as well. Placing my hands on the grass, I focused on tapping into the tree's energy while connecting my Third eye chakra to the Lunar chakra. I had no desire to tap into that powerful source energy deep within the Earth tonight. This now makes sense to me, knowing that ayahuasca ceremonies, not yagé ceremonies, are associated with the Earth and earth spirits.
Image by @choogirl
I was curious to what else I could pull energy from. I moved to the open fire and began pulling energy from it. Then I moved to the Easter Island head statue in the garden. Touching it gave me lots of energy and good vibes. But it was not long after that I started feeling sick. I went back to my mattress and grabbed my bucket before returning to my original spot on the grass. I then vomited for the one and only time this week.
They say when you purge you should ask Mama Aya what it is. She told me it was selfishness. I know I can be selfish in real life at times so I have to be mindful of that. However, this felt more like a lesson. First, I was taking energy from various sources without giving anything in return, and second, I took that extra cup of yagé—which comes from her—without needing it. To remedy the situation I placed my hands on the ground and gave energy back to the Earth. Almost instantly I felt better. However, while I was doing this, she told me that she's sad that people are always taking from her. This explained the vision of her sadness I received on Tuesday night, which didn't make sense at the time. We are selfish. We disconnect from Mother Nature and instead, see everything she provides as something to exploit and profit from, rather than cherish and nurture. I cried for her and apologised for my own selfishness and on behalf of humanity.
When the crying purge had passed, I returned to my mattress. Tonight I was totally present in the room. I didn't use the eye mask for the first time this week, so I could see what was happening around me. I didn't have any visions, and I don't recall any more conversations with Mama Aya.
Image by @carlgnash, with permission
Tonight I felt very centred and not at all distracted. My connection to the moon was strong, and the vibe of the energy I was receiving was peace and tranquillity. I was in a relaxed, meditative state for most of the night. I didn't even have to think about pulling in lunar energy and releasing it back out again to the room. It was happening automatically.
The highlight of Thursday's ceremony is the group healing. Since the adult human is about 60% water the shamans can shift the body's frequencies using various tools. They can release dark energies and raise vibrations. How it happens at Rythmia is you form a same-sex semi-circle. Tonight at least three shamans including Mitra, Brad and Sarah worked on us, as well as a couple of assistants/other shamans. They either worked together (e.g., one in front of you and one behind) or they did their blessings one after the other. I think I was outside when they called the first women's group, so I ended up being in the final group. This meant I got to watch the other healings first. It was pretty cool to see and hear. You definitely want to be part of it.
Since it was close to dawn by the time I was called, I took another cup of yagé—with Mama Aya's permission this time—so I could go deeper into my healing. As I sat on my pillow in the semi-circle I began meditating again. The shamans performed their healings on me as I inhaled lunar energy through my third eye and released what no longer served me on the exhalations. The healings intensified as the ceremony progressed with live music raising the vibration further. I pulled this energy up through my Root chakra while still pulling down lunar energy. As the shamans continued their work, I could feel each chakra opening up, allowing the energy to flow freely through me, converging in my heart chakra. I felt so alive at this moment. I wonder if this was another Kundalini experience, but this time with much better control and without the visions.
Despite being awake all night and having very little sleep all week, I felt energised going to breakfast once the ceremony closed. That said, four ceremonies in a row were enough.
Image by @choogirl
I think we were all ready for transformational breathwork on the Friday and Saturday nights. This in itself is pretty amazing. The human body naturally produces DMT, the chemical found in psychedelics such as ayahuasca. However, certain breathing techniques are powerful enough to induce psychedelic states without the need for external substances. On my last night at Rythmia I was able to tap into the energy of deceased loved ones. It was the same feelings that I got on Tuesday night. I had tears running down my face during this beautiful experience. However, I was not the only one crying. Breathwork is powerful.
You cannot spend a week at Rythmia and leave the same person as when you arrived. The transformations are incredible. Seven days later, you can feel that your vibration has shifted, as well as the vibrations of those who spent the week with you. Anyone who thinks ayahuasca is a recreational drug is mistaken. There are far better substances to take if getting high is your goal. Ayahuasca is called plant medicine for a reason. It is work. Soul work. Mama Aya will reach deep inside you and find those emotions, traumas and fears you've stuffed way down and make you deal with them. You will purge in one way or another. But as a reward for facing your darkness, she will show you the light. I saw incredible beauty and love, and I left Rythmia with a sense of inner peace like I've never had before. I am lighter. Happier. Whole.
So would I do ayahuasca again? Yes. We are like onions. There are always more layers to peel back and things to work on. Self-development is an ongoing process. Would I go back to Rythmia? In a heartbeat, assuming my bank account could take the hit.
I have shared my whole story in Rythmia's Facebook Live video below. Note, it is long so Night 4 is discussed between 1h02m37s and 1h32m20s. I timestamped the relevant sections in my previouis posts.
Footer by @ryivhnn