After my experience with the grandfather medicine hikuri I was actually quite apprehensive going into the grandmother Ayahuasca journey. Psychologically, emotionally and physically that journey was one of the hardest things I had ever had to do, and by all accounts I had heard from others and read, Ayahuasca is known as being a lot more intense than Hikuri. I wasn’t sure if I had it in me for more.
Ayahuasca is a mix of two different plants that grow in the Amazon that are crushed and boiled together to make a tea brew. It has been used for over 5000 years in ceremonies for healing and insight and translates to “Vine of the Soul”. It is also commonly referred to La Purga, due to its purgative ability to cleanse the body, mind and soul of toxins through vomiting & defecation. It is one of the most alkaline substances on the planet and the most hallucinogenic. The grandmother is quite infamous for being able to cure addictions, pain, illness and disease and also provide consciousness expansion, deep insights and wisdom.
During the day in the lead up to the ceremony I experienced a quite painful tension headache that felt very energetic in nature around my brow and crown. There were moments were it would throb so intensely I thought my head might explode, so I spent much of the day in preparation for the evening resting and napping.
I was not the only one in the group who was feeling anxious leading up into the ceremony; Alberto clearly tuned into the group’s energy and felt a few of us were out of sorts so pulled us all aside for a meeting. He gave us a firm talking to, checking in with each of us and giving us the opportunity to pull out if we weren’t feeling it was the right time. He explained how hard it is to get the medicine from the Amazon, that we were to drink exactly the amount he would give us, it wasn’t to be wasted. He also reassured us that as an experienced and intuitive medicine man, a doctor of the plants, he knew exactly how much each of us individually needed specifically to transform what we needed to heal. I instantly felt at ease after the meeting. My anxiety died down and I knew and trusted I was in a safe space, with an expert and that I would be okay.
Unlike the Hikuri ceremony, Ayahuasca is done indoors. Ideally in a very dark, warm space. So it creates a womb like environment. The building we used in Tepoztlán felt a lot warmer, safer and comforting compared to the harshness of the desert. There were toilets very close-by and I was able to make myself very comfortable on the ground with blankets and pillows.
The group sat in a sacred circle again, all in the same positions as we were in the desert. Each of us were given a bucket, or bag to use if we needed to purge. The bucket I was given was an enormous white concrete mixing tub. I joked to my sisters sitting next to me in ceremony that I hoped that the size of my bucket wasn’t relative to how much I would be vomiting.
Alberto began ceremony by laying down a few ground rules. He warned us that while on Aya our sense of hearing would become very heightened and that each sound in the room would affect our journey. Keeping that in mind we were told to be as quiet as we could, so we wouldn’t disturb others unless we were purging (in which case, make the most of that time for noise making!!). We were told to decide on our intention for the journey and then be still.
My intention going into the grandmother journey was:
“I ask for the Grandmothers support to open myself up to receive more of my divine feminine essence, power, creativity, sensuality and sexuality. I want to receive any higher guidance and wisdom that I need around who I am meant to “be” in this lifetime..”
We then watched as Alberto prepared his altar of musical instruments and tools for the journey. Part of the shaman’s role in ceremony is to play “Icarus” songs to activate the healing medicine of the plant and help hold the sacred space. Alberto had a flute, singing bowls, chimes, an ipod dock and a few other objects I didn’t recognize.
He finished preparing all his tools and then called each of individually to the center of the circle to receive our dose of the medicine. I intentionally didn’t pay attention to how much people were given before me, as I didn’t want comparison to distract my experience. Alberto poured my dose into a cup, and filled it to the brim. I then had to drink all of it in front of him. I found it easy to digest; it was like a Chinese herbal tea in taste, slightly bitter but not disgusting.
After drinking I went back to my spot, held a protective crystal firmly in my hand (It can be incredibly supportive and comforting while journeying to have an ‘anchor’ to hold onto or wear as when things get hectic you can bring your focus back to the anchor/crystal for support) and sat in a cross-legged lotus position. I closed my eyes and went into a meditative state.
The medicine came on VERY quickly for me. Within ten minutes I felt myself begin to vibrate and saw swirling patterns and fractals in my inner vision and also when I opened my eyes and looked around the room. The vibrations became stronger and as they did I started to lose the ability to discern what was my inner space, verses the outside world. They blurred & merged together.
As the medicine intensified and my consciousness warped I had a wave of panic wash over me. Recognition of holy shit, this is intense, I can’t turn this off, this is happening!! The moment that happened and before it could turn into a full blown anxiety attack I felt the presence of a woman walk up behind me and then wrap her arms around me and embrace me. Initially I was confused as I thought it was Carla, Alberto’s interpreter but then I heard a voice whisper reassuringly in my ear “I am the Grandmother. I am here. It is okay Sara. You are safe, I will look after you. You need to surrender to me. Let me work through you, do what I need to do, and show you what I need to show you.” There was something so comforting about her voice and the presence that my fear eased and I relaxed into the journey.
The Grandmother consciousness then entered my body. Unlike the Hikuri consciousness, which felt more aggressive and forceful, the grandmother consciousness felt more fluid, like millions of little spirals dancing and pulsing through my body. The spiral vibrations caused my body to shake and move in a very serpentine, feline way. I stretched, swayed and rocked. My hips and pelvis throbbed and as the energy moved it felt very orgasmic and primal in nature. Every cell of my body pulsed with life. I felt the grandmother re-wiring, re-formatting and re-charging every part of me. I couldn’t stay seated in a cross-legged position, so stretched my legs out before me. As I did so the temperature in my body rose so high I kicked off my blanket and layers of clothes.
I could feel the consciousness healing me, pushing and moving energy around within me. It seemed to magnetize all the old dense, toxic energy within me and pull it in my belly. I could feel the energy building and building in my stomach and then heard the Grandmothers voice say, “Get your bucket, its time to purge”. I really resisted vomiting, as at that point no one else in the extremely quiet room had purged, nor made a sound. I didn’t want to be the first. I heard her voice again “Don’t resist Sara, you have to be first and you have to let this pain go”.
I scrambled trying to find my bucket and when I grabbed it, it became alive itself. Bending, warping and it turned into a long dark tunnel that felt like a birth canal. I began to vomit, hard. As I purged I could feel my old darkness, fear, pain, depression, guilt, shame, patterns of self-sabotage, my nasty inner critic and my intense perfectionist drive leave my body. I surrendered my old pain to the universal mother to transform. After I cleared my own fear, I felt myself purging on behalf of my family and ancestral lineage. I felt the pain of the woman in my family who had lost children, I felt the shame and guilt of the addicts in my family, I saw my great grandfather on the beach of Gallipoli, terrified for his life, and saw further back into my Mum’s lineage, woman being burnt alive on the stake for being witches.
Because of the strict diet we had been on in preparation for the journey there was really nothing in my stomach but old lining, so it was quite painful to vomit. My tummy spasmed as I retched, but at the same time it felt so amazing to let all so much repressive, toxic energy go. The more old I let go of, the more fresh, new energy flooded into my being. After I finished purging I still held onto my bucket. It had become a lifeline, a point of focus and anchor as everything else around me just turned into pure pulsing energy. Alberto started playing music and sung chants that turned the intensity of the experience up. People around me begun to purge and you could feel this chaotic, powerful, healing energy building in the room.
As the energy around me intensified Kundalini energy shot into the base of my feet and flowed from the base of my spine and blasted up through my entire chakra system and then up and out my crown chakra. As the energy moved out into the top of my head, my awareness went with it. I felt myself letting go of my physical body and being transported as to what I can only describe as the creative source point of the entire universe.
As I entered that dimension it was seriously chaotic. My rational mind started to totally freak out and become psychotic as it tried to find something to anchor onto that made sense. Nothing “made sense” in that space as it was pure chaos, creative energy with no form or structure. My mind continued to fight and resist and then I felt the grandmothers nurturing presence again, reassuring me I was okay. She kept telling me that I needed to let go, to surrender. To stop trying to make sense of everything mentally and to just experience what was happening.
I have always had a fear of losing my mind and placed a lot of importance over the intellect and making “sense” of everything in my life, and in that moment I was forced to literally loose my mind. I watched and experienced my identity and personality be stripped away. It was unwound and thrown away from me as if it were an old, meaningless layer of skin. Every part of me fought as hard as it could to hold onto my “self”, but it became harder and harder and unbearable to fight. I don’t know how long this went on for; time and space didn’t exist in the same way. It felt like I was in that fighting loop for a very long time.
I felt the Mothers Presence. She firmly told me “Let go of the illusion, who and what you thought your life to be isn’t truth. Where you are now. This is truth. This is your true home. This is who you really are”. Exhausted, I surrendered into the space and let myself go. My identity was stripped away. My mind then tried to connect to memories of my family as an anchor. They were stripped away. My mind then tried to use the planet earth & humanity as an anchor. That was stripped away.
As “Sara and everything I knew” disappeared my consciousness expanded and merged into the feminine creative force of the universe. Pure Shakti. I felt myself as creation, as pure powerful chaos. In that instant old crippling fears that had been suffocating my soul for lifetimes blasted away. They became meaningless, laughable. Fears of losing my mind, losing myself, losing my family and humanity becoming extinct all vanished. I realized what an illusion all my fears were. The “me” as I knew it in that moment died. I experienced a total ego death. I experienced that “I” am not separate; I am much vaster than my identity. I am a multi-faceted, multi-dimensional being. “I” am everything; “I” am an expression of creation.
There is no stopping life force. Creative power just wants to create and explore itself in infinite different forms. Nature creates. Pure energy keeps moving, as it does it changes form, transforms, expands, contracts, changes forms and expresses itself once more. This will go on forever. It is only our human mind’s that judge and become addicted to the form we are in. The same energy that created Mother Teresa also created Hitler. Neither were “good” or “evil”, they were just expressions of source. Pure creative source energy explores itself by experiencing itself in infinite different ways.
I was shown behind the curtain of our reality and how much of what we experience is an illusion. Remember how in the move the Matrix when Morpheus asks Neo “You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes”? Well, I took the Red Pill. Ayasachua is the Red Pill. My experience can’t be forgotten. I am transformed and expanded in such a profound way; life can never be the same. I am not the same.
I was incredibly humbled by the power and majesty of the universe. I was given flashes and access to the infinite other dimensions that exist. I can’t and won’t even try and put words to what I saw, as its unexplainable.
Where I was felt so much more real and true than earth, I didn’t expect to come back. “I” was gone. Slowly however a sense of self started to return. In that moment the grandmother showed me how much the feminine creative force of the universe needs masculine form and structure. The two polarities must be joined to come together in wholeness. I shouldn’t want to just embody my Divine Feminine nature, as I can’t exist without its partner. I need the Divine Masculine as well.
As that knowing entered my consciousness two serpents spiraled through my body. One snake held the vibration of the pure masculine, the other holding the pure feminine. Yang and Yin. They spiraled perfectly through all my meridians, energy lines and chakras helping me integrate the new energy and wisdom. My energy body danced in delight. The orgasmic ripples of life continued to buzz through my body. I was electric. Vibrant. Charged. Turned on in every sense of the word.
The Grandmother told me that my physical body would go through a rapid transformation. I would shed the layers of weight I had been carrying for the last few years and my body would come into balance and harmony. I would learn to love my body and let myself shine with beauty, radiance and vitality. She assured me that it was now safe for me to be an attractive woman. That it was okay for me to want that. For coming back into balance and beauty wasn’t for societies expectations, it wasn’t for getting males attention, it wasn’t for family approval, it was for me. An sacred act of self-respect and self-love, to be the best expression of Divine life force I can be. In treating my body like a sacred temple I can fully embody my soul in the physical. The body IS the gateway to the soul. It was a very powerful vision.
I was shown all the fears of how over the last few years I had kept myself over weight to protect myself. To make sure I wasn’t a threat to other females, to avoid getting male attention, to play small with my business and to have an excuse to not step into my full potential.
The grandmother blasted old self-worth wounds, inherited from my mother’s lineage, out of my solar plexus and sacral. I was shown how horrible I had been to my own body and self over the years, and sobbed upon realizing the pain I had inflicted on myself. I was told these ancestral wounding’s of the feminine had to stop with me. I would not pass them down to my daughter. I was told it was time for me to stop hiding and to claim my beauty, feminine power, sexuality and magnetism. In doing that I could also help thousands of other woman do the same.
I was shown life times where I had existed as a woman and had suffered rape, torture, repression, oppression and so much pain. In my own life I was afraid of shining brightly and being seen in case things like that would happen again. I was shown how much the feminine & in particular sexuality has been repressed over the last few centuries and that now was time for that energy to rise again. Not to dominate or manipulate the masculine, but to dance in balance and harmony with that polarity. I was shown life times where people lived much more in harmony, and where Sacred Sexuality was practiced as the norm. Sex wasn’t just about a physical act of pleasure; it was a sacred gateway to access the Divine and a way to manifest creative potential on the earth.
After sitting for much of the journey the grandmother energy let me know when I could lay down and relax. Once I lay down it felt like I was just lying in the Universal Mothers lap. Like a newborn baby being cuddled by its mother I felt so much serenity, peace and bliss in that moment. I enjoyed the deliciousness of “being” alive, feeling the ripples of healing energy continue to wave through my body. I began to get downloaded with a lot of information and wisdom around my life purpose, relationships in my life, soul contracts and pathways to come.
It wasn’t like when you get inspiration or have a thought and you think, oh yes that sounds good or nice. No, as I was downloaded it was like I was being downloaded with pure truth and experiential knowing. There was no doubt or questioning, I was just told matter of fact that this was exactly who I was and the different things I was meant to be doing. I received big picture life clarity and then also very specific instructions on things I must do when I got home that would help me moving forward to claim my potential. These instructions weren’t airy fairy ideals it was specific things like, re-brand your business website with new colours, start getting personal training sessions from your brother, dance more and start singing again.
I was told I am a storyteller, a teacher, and an alchemist. I am here to help people transform, to inspire them to awaken to new possibilities and potentials. I am here to be a bridge between the physical material world, and the spiritual and energetic. I am here to help humanity evolve.
The experience of the journey has humbled me immensely. I think after being on a truth-seeking path for ten years that I naively thought I had things fairly sorted. But the journey showed me how little I actually do know, and a snippet of how much more there is too life. We really know so little.
I was shown how important music is in my life and how much more important it will become in my healing and ceremonial work. I watched and witnessed as Alberto moved around the room with his different instruments, which such love, grace and wisdom. As he played each Icarus he would provide a landscape for all of our journeys. Different songs would invoke different energies. As he used the rattle, I would feel the serpentine energy shake through me. At other times he would play a song and it would instantly make people start to purge. Or at other times he would twinkle a tuning fork and it was like my whole body would radiate with joy. Simply amazing.
Watching Alberto as a healer and facilitator work was incredible. He speaks Spanish, and only a very little English so to communicate with him over the retreat I always needed Carla, the interpreter. However in ceremony, spoken words weren’t required. The Ayahuasca connected us. He communicated with me telepathically, I could feel the deep love he had for me as a fellow human being. He spoke to me at length about my role as a healer and teacher and how to hold space, work with clients and the earth. I feel so connected to that beautiful man and know I will do many more ceremonies with him in the future.
In the morning after the ceremony was finished the group came together for a sweat lodge. The sweat process really helps to integrate the journey and also cleanse the last bits of the medicine out of the body so you can ground back into day-to-day existence. It was in the sweat lodge that each of us shared what we claimed in our journeys and it was a beautiful way to end the retreat. When you do ceremony with others, you share such an intimate, incredible experience that you bond, very quickly. I know for many of the group that I shared space with I will continue to be firm, life long friends.
If you are feeling drawn to work with plant medicines I can’t recommend them enough. Plant Medicine is one of, if not the most powerful healer on the planet today. I do believe moving forward they will be one of the keys to helping humanity evolve and to help us to gain insights on what we need to do to survive as a species through huge environmental changes that are coming up over our lifetimes.
I had such a profound healing journey where I was able to really get to the root cause of patterns in my life that have been causing disharmony my whole life. Getting home and being back in Melbourne the integration has really begun and already many of my relationships have changed in the most beautiful ways, my physical body is transforming, my confidence and skill as a healer has expanded, doorways that have been closed for many years are opening up and I have a joy for life that just wasn’t there before Mexico.
Unfortunately due to the popularity and interest in plant medicines there is a lot of profiteering going on and ceremonies being run by inexperienced people. I know I have heard about ceremonies being run in Melbourne with over 50+ people in attendance, or people using Ayahuasca recreationally in their homes and it really bothers me. Please, if you are feeling called; Do your research. It is better to wait and work with an experienced facilitator than to risk doing it with someone who doesn’t know what he or she is doing.
There are important diet restrictions to follow in preparation and if someone is on anti depressants or mood altering medication they are not allowed to take Ayahuasca, as the two do not mix well. It’s dangerous. An experienced facilitator knows this and will often want to talk to you before conducting ceremony so they can make sure that you are physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually ready.