The call of Mother Aya was still strong the following weekend so I went back for the remaining two yagé ceremonies led by Taita David. They were in a different house to last week. In fact, we weren't even inside on the Friday night, but outside in the garden surrounded by nature, the stars and a full moon. It was a beautiful setting, and I loved being able to look up at the night sky. Furthermore, lying on a yoga mat on the ground was much better than lying on a yoga mat on hard tiles. Now we just had to hope it wouldn't rain since it's currently the wet season in Panama. Thankfully Lady Luck was on our side.
My intentions tonight were "introduce me to my spirit guides" and "show me my shadow self and help me understand my subconscious fears". I had been exploring the shadow world, or Under World, during the week since it is a vital part of our spiritual journey. Even though my shadow is fairly light, I was still apprehensive about what I would see.
I took my first cup of yagé and not much happened. Some visions were trying to materialise but failing. Sometime later I went up for the second cup, which normally does the trick. However, the medicine was not sitting well with me tonight and I had to talk myself into keeping it down. It did not taste good at all, and it was not sending me to either a happy or unhappy place.
After a while, I saw some animals, who could have been my spirit guides but I wasn't sure. Nothing was clear. I wondered if I'd done something wrong leading up to the ceremony. As always, I'd followed the dieta so I didn't think that was it. I was watching Billions on the bus from Panama City, which, as entertaining as it is, is a low vibration show. Did that significantly lower my vibration to the point the medicine wouldn't work? I also felt sick during the 30-minute car ride from my friend's house to the ceremony because the road is very windy. Did this initial, unrelated nausea affect me? I honestly don't know. What I do know is I wasn't connecting with Mama Aya at all. I subsequently did the transformative breathwork they taught us at Rythmia, and then tried and failed to connect to the moon to draw in lunar energy. Nothing was working and I felt restless for a long time.
Only much later did I start getting some clearer visions. The first one was a room full of babies that I didn't have in this life. It didn't make me sad though like I'd missed out on motherhood. And I don't think that was the point. It was just showing me what is, and a path not taken. Then I saw a closet. I knew it contained things about me but couldn't get into it. I was frustrated because I didn't understand why. How was I supposed to 'fix' myself if I couldn't access my shadow?
With so many people around, there were constant purging sounds. In my mind's eye, I started seeing the energy being released during these purges and then I was staring into a toilet. All I could see was this never-ending darkness and evil being purged and I wondered if Mama Aya was going to pull me into some kind of scary Under World via the sewage system. However, once again, I couldn't go there. It was like knowing it existed was enough.
It seemed like no time had passed when the group blessing was called signalling the end of the ceremony. I was not ready for this since I felt like the medicine had only just kicked in. However, I joined the circle and Hicham—the guy who held space for me on Night 5—shared his mattress with me. I now refer to him as my yagé guardian angel since he always seems to be there when I'm feeling my worst, and right now I was not in a good place. As Taita David got closer to me, something inside me started freaking out and I really wanted to leave the circle. I didn't though, and he did his blessing on me. While I felt like I released some residual sadness that wasn't attached to anything specific, this other thing remained.
The feeling intensified again when Taita David came around the second time. However, this time I needed to purge after the blessing. I got up and went to the fence where I vomited. When I'd finished I asked Mama Aya what it was. She hadn't spoken to me all night and she didn't respond now. As such, I'm not sure what it was. I wondered if it was left over darkness from Mother's Day. I had a strong sense that part of it was from my friend Amanda, who was there tonight, and a mother, and who was with me at the Mother's Day ceremony.
I went back to my mat feeling much better. I looked up at the sky and saw Eta Aquarii shining beautifully and then noticed that the clouds were forming shapes around it. Then the trees started forming shapes. Obviously, the random trippy effects of the medicine were now in full swing. One of the large trees nearby became a giant magic mushroom that all of us who were there lived in. We'd just come down for the yagé ceremony. As you do.
Then things took a weird turn. Well, a weirder turn. It got religious. Even though my mother did her best to raise me Catholic, it never sat right with me. So since about age 13, I've considered myself an atheist and it's fair to say that for most of my life I've hated all the mainstream religions. While I can't remember what exactly what the vision was, the takeaway message was that religious beliefs bring a lot of people joy and this isn't a bad thing. I mean, who doesn't want to be happy? From this, I was able to come to a place of acceptance of religion.
This acceptance has since led me down a path of exploring what God/Source truly is. For various reasons, I'd never bought into reincarnation story until I started taking ayahuasca. Now I've come to believe we are immortal spiritual beings living temporary existences in these human bodies. When we 'die', we simply reconnect to that God/Source energy, as was shown to me on Night 2. Since we are all part of creation itself, we are all God/Source. There is no figurehead that will save us, judge us, whatever; as is taught in organised religions. This is a myth created by men—and yes, I am referring to mostly males here—to keep us in fear so we can be controlled, and to keep us in a low state of consciousness to cut us off from our divine connection to God/Source.
While I came out of tonight feeling very confused, integration of the information I received has been key to me understanding what I saw. I now know why I was given this religious vision and sent on this path of 'God discovery'; because it relates to shadow work. We come to Earth to experience duality (good/bad, light/dark, joy/sadness, etc.), which is a direct consequence of our human ego minds, and which inevitably leads to the creation of our shadow selves. However, since our shadows are a natural part of who we are, they don't have to be a bad thing, and instead can help us become more our authentic selves.
My particular Under World isn't the scary place I was expecting in the days leading up to the ceremony. For the most part, I am comfortable with my shadow and this was reflected back to me. I haven't been repressing deep, dark thoughts and feelings that need to be purged in order for my life to move forward. I don't typically judge myself, and as such, I haven't created a dark and scary place, or hell, where I need to 'face my demons'. However, other people might be different and thus experience their own hells depending on how they are judging themselves or think they are being judged. I saw this place when I stared into the toilet. Right now though, I am comfortable with accepting and integrating my shadow side so that I can continue to grow spiritually.
Footer by @ryivhnn