My Journey to Ayahuasca
They say if you’re ready, Aya will call for you. She even starts working on you long before you even meet her. She could have been working on me for years- all those years I was seeking something ineffable, indescribable, something real and true to ground me through the turmoil of awakening.
I’ve struggled with my mental health since childhood. One of my earliest memories was at age 5, I was insomniatic- I couldn’t sleep because I was SURE that if I did, I would sleep in too late and miss my bus to kindergarten in the morning. Frequent episodes of anxiety and worry throughout junior high and high school. College was a chaotic mess of nervousness amplified by typical college behavior- parties, tumultuous relationships, redbull and adderall. I was (finally!) first diagnosed with something my senior year of college. I had a complete nervous breakdown. Suicidal thoughts. I went to the health center and they tossed some pills at me. Though I was raised on homeopathic and natural remedies, abstaining from most western medical interventions, I really didn’t even consider not taking them.
I was on these antidepressants for about 5 years. Until one day I decided I didn’t need them anymore. I felt…good! And I carefully weaned off of them over the course of a year. I thought I would feel freedom on the other side of pharmaceutical dependence, but instead, I was met with a serious, debilitating, crippling panic disorder. (This wasn’t ever professionally diagnosed, but I was having random panic attacks frequently, the “this is it, I’m dying” kind, and nearly became agoraphobic, so I’m pretty confident in my self assessment). It was truly a prison in my own mind.
I tried everything under the sun to find freedom. And thus birthed my journey of awakening…
First it was diet. Getting my body healthy helped my mind feel lighter. Then yoga (first as a form of exercise, then as a form of moving meditation). Then I began a regular meditation practice. I found a mentor. Got some powerful energy work done to move stale emotional traumas out of my body. I eventually stabilized enough to the point where I had enough clarity that I had to make some big life changes.
I moved to my own place and broke up with my longterm boyfriend (it sounds nonchalant- it wasn’t). It was devastating, earth-shattering, unspeakably painful… but necessary. And the anxiety (what I know now as the SCREAMING INNER CHILD), got wayyyyy worse.
I tried talk therapy. EMDR. EFT. Energy work. Every self-help book under the sun. Supplements. Radical surrender. Journaling. Inner child work. Yoga-ing. I amped up my meditation practice. Microdosed on psilocybin. It all helped, (absolutely helped), but there was still a major blockage I couldn’t overcome and I was exhausted- sick of suffering and spinning my wheels. No matter what I did, I still felt imprisoned in the tiny real estate between my ears.
Ayahuasca started calling to me. Sure, it seemed like a big step- a radical move. But I was ready. It was this or a life-sentence of anxiety, existential crisis, an incessant feeling of stuckness that made dull the shiny luster of life. I wanted to feel peace. Happiness. Love. I did all my research, I decided it was right. I was going to South America to meet Madre Aya, and that was that.
I was terrified. I didn’t have much experience with psychedelics, or inner journeying of the sort. I was an avid meditator, though, so I at least knew what it looked like in there. I was a yoga teacher and energy worker- I understood the subtle body and the energy body. I knew how to breathe. These were all amazing gifts that enabled me to survive this experience perhaps with a bit more grace, but really I was so unprepared it was laughable.
It. was. so. effing. Intense.
Read about the experience…
My Ayahuasca Experience
I will start by saying that this was the most profound experience I’ve ever had in my life. But daaaaammmmnnn it was a difficult process! They say an Ayahuasca experience is tantamount to 10 years of therapy, and I definitely agree. It’s like being blasted like a canon into the arms of the universe, a vigorous cold water wash cycle, rinse, repeat, wring dry, then fluffy cycle in the dryer, and then spritzed with a tad more effervescent internal cleaner, a squirt of unconditional love, and then voila. You’re back. Well you’re back, but…different.
It is called “the Vine of Death” not because you will die from imbibing it, but because something inside of you dies. The ego. Old patterns. Stale energies. Traumas. Wounds. Ways of being that are holding you back from your true essence. And something in me absolutely died that night. Hello darkness, my old friend, it’s time to say goodbye.
At first, it felt like I was being pulled into the Underworld. A dark and scary place, which I later realized was the vast definition-less expanse of “Is-ness”. The “Other-where”. The state of being that which is. The absence of the material dimension. But it wasn’t pleasant. I felt so alone. And cold. My ego started throwing a tantrum- NOOOOO I don’t want to be here!!! I called out to the Shaman and he assured me it would pass but that I had to face this alone. And…I had to surrender. That was the key. Once I surrendered to the experience, called in Archangel Michael and the strength of my inner child and my ancestors, I was able to relax. I literally had to force all of the muscles in my body to relax and remember to breathe. Then I was able to properly introduce myself to Aya.
She was the spirit of the Earth, of the Universe, of everything, and she possessed my body fully. She started talking to me. Guiding me. She was the essence of God, but she was also ME, or the version of me I had been striving to embody. The Divine inside of me. She assured me I was protected and safe, and that she would take care of everything- all I had to do was go along for the ride. So, I went.
I could feel her traveling through my body, like a snake (she often appears as a serpent), and she was searching…searching for that which I needed to release and heal. She found stale energy pockets in my body and the depths of my subconscious that needed to go.
I spent all night slaying demons. Big ones, little ones, ooey, gooey, wriggly insidious ones. It was a full existential, spiritual, energetic, physical purge. Most people purge by vomiting, but I was spared that discomfort at least. Instead, my purge looked like intense full-body shivers and shaking followed by an energetic release with a yawn or a moan, crying, sobbing, sometimes wailing. It was a full-body energetic exorcism.
I felt old wounds healing. I felt old traumas leaving my body. She brought me to visit many people- both my own memories, and memories of my ancestors. I felt compassion for the pain everyone, literally everyone, carries with them. I mourned the loss of my ex-partner in a real and profound way that I hadn’t let myself feel before.
She was also gracious enough to bestow me with gifts of wisdom. (Read more about this here). Most of this I already knew on some level, but I was finally able to internalize it.
The integration after the experience is a whole other story, but let’s just say, it doesn’t happen overnight. You have to take the wisdom and clarity you receive, and actually implement real changes in your life to better align with the truth Aya illuminates.
In the weeks and months following, I also started noticing small changes here and there in my thoughts, in my behaviors, and in my patterns. What once would have caused me anxiety, just didn’t’ anymore. I felt a greater overall sense of ease and peace in my body and in my place in the world. What once felt immensely painful and difficult, just felt easier, more relaxed and graceful. Things finally felt right like I was right where I was supposed to be for the first time ever. I felt inspired. More confident. More comfortable in my skin. Powerful. More purposeful. More aware of any thoughts, behaviors, relationships, situations that were discordant with my highest Self. Fear didn’t have such an ice-cold death grip on me anymore.
None of this was conscious. It was almost as if my brain was a bowl filled with nonsense, and Aya helped drill a hole in the bottom to let some of the nonsense leak out. It felt like she helped to wipe the slate clean and I could finally be authentically me, without the incessant fear and worry-thought plaguing my existence.
Are all of my problems solved? Of course not. But after this experience I feel more capable of facing them and walking my path confidently.
For me, it solidified my choice to pursue my passion, and gave me the strength to essentially change my entire life. She helped highlight that my highest purpose is to be of service helping others encounter the magic of Plant Medicine, to facilitate an experience and hold space for others to find true inner transformation.
I’ve had a few more meetings with the Mother since my first encounter, and now I feel like I’m building a relationship with her. I know how to speak to her and communicate my needs. How to form a helpful intention that grounds me during the journey. I’m not as scared of her as I once was- intimidated still, sure. But I am excited. I finally found my medicine. She’s helping me retrain my subconscious. She’s helping me explore the depths of my being so I can accept and unconditionally love all of myself- the lightness as well as the shadows. She’s helping me evolve into my truest nature- love, acceptance, compassion, forgiveness, peace, bliss, joy.
She is all knowing. She is all the love of the universe in a cup. I hope you get to meet her, and in turn meet your true self, someday.
PS. I want to stress the point here that everyone’s experience is different. This is MY personal journey, and I in no way am suggesting this is a universal experience. However, there are definitely common threads amongst those who have met The Mother, and more and more scientific research is illuminating the fact that this medicine, as well as other entheogenic plants, are highly therapeutic for those suffering from anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, addictions, etc. Read our other blog articles for more on this.
Gifts of Wisdom Mother Ayahuasca Bestowed to Me
Some of the gifts of awareness I was given from Her were:
- We are so small and insignificant compared to the vast “Is-ness” of being.
- Everything just IS. There is no judgment or value- these are labels we put on things to better understand. But God doesn’t judge. God just is and we just are. Judgement is unnecessary and makes us small.
- My body is a sacred temple that I must guard from darkness entering- especially as a woman through my root chakra.
- Trust in the messages from your body- that is intuition. Truth. Don’t think your way out, feel it.
- Mother Aya is so wise, but she is also in me, always. And I can hear her through my intuition.
- It may sometimes be a lonesome journey, but I am never alone.
- The ride of emotions may be uncomfortable, but it is life, and feeling is a gift we were given as we entered our human vessels.
- Demons (aka aspects of our shadow self) are real and they live in our bodies waiting to be shown the light of life through our breath. Breath allows them to be released.
- True, unconditional love is literally all around us and inside of us for eternity, it is what we are made of.