By which I mean it was made apparent that participation would be likely, though I wouldn’t be in control.
This, is my exploration of my San Pedro journey 2015. I did three ceremonies in total, two at a retreat and what I write now is the prologue and the middle course – with vaguely related interludes – whilst I’m still living in the entirety of their epilogue.
As part of my integration process the plant asked me write:
Write about your experiences – for in explaining to another, you will find the truth for ourselves.
To that end, I’m not really going to write about the facts and science of San Pedro – Huachuma – echinopsis pachanoi –because there is so much out there already. Google if you need to. Else, head on over to straightwoo.com – where Lee, a Shamanic Practitioner, has pretty comprehensive reports and explanations on entheogens and her entheogenic experiences also:- What is plant medicine?
This is more a conversation with myself, so although some of it is linear, most of it is going to be non-sequential, as, with most things for my life, straight lines tend to curve into a round.
If all you wanted to know is what the ‘trip’ was like, then safely google yourself on elsewhere – kicks and giggles are cool – and are in here, but so are the shits, the soaring and the swear down.
Back to me.
4 Years before…
It’s a cold winter-spring night in central London and I’m standing on a street corner with about 20 people, most of whom are buzzing after attending a talk by ‘Supernatural’ author Graham Hancock. Over 100 willing minds had packed into a cramped (beautiful but tall, rather than wide) Baptist church to hear the ‘controversial’ consciousness explorer expound upon his pet theorems. Though the book was at the time on my ‘to read’ list, the talk firmly crosses it off. I’m not buzzing. It was ok – interesting even, but I thought he sounded like a hippy stoner and typically what I expect from middle-aged white men who stand up on a stage and talk about spirituality – it’s all a bit “look at how cool and controverrrrrsial I am” – as if they are 12-year-old boys who’ve just discovered porn or The Prodigy, though I can’t fault his enthusiasm for all things off the mainstream #slightbore.
With everyone chattering about wanting to do ayahuasca, having done ayahuasca (purge-boasting and vision-topping), the energy is a bit wild. If Graham set out to convert and conquer, then the Baptist church was the best tower to preach from, for an awakening of sorts has started.
As I stand on the edge of my group, chilling in the night energy without wanting to be a part of the hype. waiting to hear where we’re going for a drink, contemplating sneaking off to get the No.14 home, and smoking my rollie because this topic is not popping for me, my friend is in an intense discussion: Project Aya.
“Do you want to do ayahuasca?” My friend asks and then half introduces me to the woman that she’s been talking to – an Ayhuascera who runs ceremonies in London. The immediacy of everyone’s desire to experience the experience means that nobody seems to want to have to take a plane.
“Nah, I’m cool.” I say. I don’t care who does and who doesn’t. No judgement. “Ok.” They resume their animated ceremony organisation discussion and that’s essentially that.
I stand there again by myself and then vaguely enter into conversation with someone else I know who wants to Aya-up, and again I’m asked if I want to – and say no. It feels like if I say yes I’ll get caught up in the crank energy floating around in the night – scheming, planning and contemplating how to. I’m just saying no to these opportunities because: – “Not for you?” “Not for me.” At this point looking back I wonder if there’s a denial of Jesus thing going on. But at that point looking forward, whilst still standing on my own with this big crowd of people, I’m suffering with slight irritation at the Universe – “Did you not hear me say no the first time???”
Why is that?
My inner crank replies: I’m really not up for drinking some alleged divine brew in a 5th (or whatever) floor flat in central London, when I’ve been fairly fully assured that I’m gonna puke my guts out and shit my bum out with like 10 other people and likely one toilet, lying on a shitty mattress with only one way out the place and one way in. Even if there’s a balcony that’s not enough space. Besides which, to take such a thing and be floating (above ground level) in London????? That seems like it would be the height of stupidity. I really do not agree with taking such things out of their natural environment, so if I’m going to do something like that then it’s going to have to be in the open, in the jungle, in Peru – but definitely in the open/on the ground, and not because it’s a cool gang thing to do but because it’s a necessary thing. So No. #End of slight rant.
I look at my inner self in surprise – I didn’t realise I felt so strongly about it. I do end up going to the pub, but as far as I’m concerned, until I’m standing in the jungle – the matter is closed. I’m thankful when the high-scheming becomes a bit more low priority. And on the bus home, I give thanks again that the matter is closed. Nothing to see here, keep it moving.
Looking at this now, I believe that it set the stage for what was to come – i.e. I put out there how I would and wouldn’t do ceremony.
Once, in the midst of feeling suicidal to the extreme – years prior, I made myself a promise. I deep promise that I wouldn’t do it nor contemplate of it, until I’d tried everything in my power – every source of help that was out there. Hence my personal hashtag: #I’mnotdoneyet or #INDY. Or dead yet. Somewhere, somehow, that translated into standing in the jungle, being my end point. If all else fails, just go there. Yoda logic.
I don’t think I knew I was referencing Aya because I didn’t know about it at the time, it stemmed of last resort – but for some reason, my failsafe tactic was to just go sit in the jungle. Besides, since there is so much avenue of self-help opportunity out there, I figured I’d have a good long enough time trying it all out when the dark nights hit the fan, and I’m cycling on the dark side of the moon, to the extent that it was an unbreakable promise. I.e., I wouldn’t have to find myself in such a state, but if I did – well, hope don’t fail me now.