Hello my beautiful souls!
Welcome back to the Modern Manifestation blog. Feel free to listen in to today's topic in the podcast.
In today's post, I am jumping into my final night of my Ayahuasca ceremony. If this is the first post you're checking out, be sure to read the first few post of this series:
Ok, lets jump in.
There I was—ready for night three. To be honest, I hadn’t felt like the entire experience was worth it so far. I’d learned some great lessons, but they weren’t “life changing”. I wondered if I’d glorified this experience too much in my head.
To recap the lessons from the previous two nights: Night one was all about “realization”. Night two was all about “release”. Night three… as you’re about to find out, was about “rebirth”.
Preparing for My Third Ayahuasca Ceremony
When I situated myself on my mat (more like my nest), I got out my journal to explore what my third intention would be. As I reread the previous night’s entry, I was reminded of Mother Ayahuasca’s message: Be more specific.
Since I really wanted to uncover why I was here, I decided to take this message to heart. I felt like I’d prepared for battle coming here, but I hadn’t experienced the war.
I began to write down my intentions for the evening, and I didn’t leave ANYTHING out. It was now or never, be radically changed…. Or leave with regret.
A page and a half later, I was ready to begin the ceremony. I read over everything I’d asked for and laughed to myself… she definitely couldn’t say I wasn’t being specific. I’ll spare you the entire entry, but on the third night I went into it with a lot more intention (basically, let’s address ALL the things). And she delivered.
Before the third ceremony started, I grabbed my tarot deck to do a quick reading. I was curious what it might say. What came out of the deck was the first sign that I was about to experience the world turned inside out.
As I pulled the card, I stared in disbelief. I wasn’t in disbelief over the name of the card, which was “Fruition” (also appropriate, by the way). I was in disbelief over the quote included between the title and the description. The quote read, “I welcome the joyous fruition of all the intentions I set”. Holy shit, talk about synchronicities. Also, I just set a page and a half worth of intentions and some were pretty big undertakings…. Shit!
I leaned over to my mat mate and asked if I could show her something, she agreed. When I showed her the card, she chuckled and said, “Buckle up. You’re in for it”. I smiled back, but mostly to conceal my fear.
I took a deep breath and prepared to accept my first cup. I couldn’t imagine what I was about to get into. I continued to breath as we waited, feeling like a warrior going into a fight. I was energetically rolling up my sleeves and stretching. Then, it began.
The Final Ceremony Begins
I won’t lie to y’all. The third day was the most excruciating, if you can believe it. Out of all three days, this night took the cherry. It was really, really hard. The third day was so difficult, that I couldn't even revisit my intentions for majority of the experience once she came in (which she did quite forcefully, I might add).
All I could focus on was the physical discomfort. I really struggled to comprehend the majority of what she said and showed me. I was withering, trying to stay calm, concerned, aching, and felt the purge coming. Which, of course, it did.
After a while, all I could hear from Mother Ayahuasca was one message on repeat, “You are supported. You are supported. You are supported”. With this one phrase, she communicated a lot. She was telling me that I would be okay, that she was holding me in this pain in a safe way, that it wouldn’t last forever. She was very gentle, very nurturing with me, as I continued to sweat, shake, and “everything else”.
The third day is why I say that an experience with Mother Ayahuasca is not for the faint of heart. I don't mean this in a braggadocious kind of way. I mean it in a, “Make sure that you're prepared for what is coming, and that this is what you want to do”, kind of way.
Many people get a beautiful idea in their mind of how their experience with Ayahuasca will be,, but we can't guarantee what our experience will be like ahead of time. It could be beautiful, but it could also be messy. She is going to decide what your journey is going to be like, and it will likely be related to the thing you need to work on the most. She will prioritize your biggest issues, and bring those up first. And, they may not even be issues you’re aware that you have. To that end, you have no idea how your experience with Mother Ayahuasca is going to go. Be prepared regardless. Make sure that you're mentally prepared for what's coming.
Since my experience was so retched, I think it’s important to mention that there were others in my ceremony group that did not experience physical pain. Some ceremony members had a wonderful time and were able to sit in the joyous parts of Mother Ayahuasca throughout. Of course, my term of endearment for these people was “lucky bastards”. 😉
The physical discomfort worsened to the point where it far exceeded what it was on the first two days. While I'm cradled in the fetal position, I’m thinking, “What did I commit to? I can't believe I did this. I'm having regrets about having signed up for this. Why am I here? Am I ok? Do I need a hospital?”. Between the cramps and the vomiting, Ayahuasca answered my thoughts, “You told me to get rid of everything that doesn’t serve you. This is how the process starts. I help you get it out of your body, you do the rest”.
Considering that it FELT like something was being extracted from my body, I readily believed this response.
While this may sound crazy, I could feel different emotions come up with each physical movement. Shivers? Self-doubt. Vomiting? Self-hate. Sweating? Anger. The list goes on. It felt like I had the flu; a flu caused by emotional repression. Even though the experience sucked, I also knew that I was getting rid of a lot of old negative energy that was stored in my body: Three decades worth of emotional suppression, coming out of me in one physically uncomfortable weekend. It was time to let all of this shit go.
The entire process, while difficult, felt very cleansing. While Mother Ayahuasca doesn’t do the work for you, she will hold you as you do the work yourself (i.e., the flu-like symptoms and physical discomfort). Even though she holds space, she doesn't take that edge off. In a way, the physical discomfort is a part of the bargain. That is your end of the bargain. You physically move through this shit to help your body get rid of it. And, it’s not a joy ride to experience.
So, I sat there with the shakes, the body aches, it was coming out both ends (though, controllably, in case you’re wondering) ... I felt terrible.
In case it isn’t clear, this was one of the worst experiences I’d ever felt, physically. I was dizzy, overwhelmed, the visions were really intense, and everything was overwhelmingly informative (when I could actually focus on them). Even so, Mother Ayahuasca kept repeating, “Just a little while longer, you're doing great, you are so supported, you are supported, you are supported, you are supported”. I think I heard her say that hundreds of times throughout that ceremony.
Mother Ayahuasca stayed with me, encouraging me to keep going, to breathe through the pain, to focus on my breath, while all this heaviness was removed from my body. She showed me all the beautiful things I could look forward to as she uncovered the parts of me that were weighted down; the crap that was covering up my light. In this process, she was helping me see who I could be, the essence of who I am, without the conditioning that's held me back. I wanted that version of myself that didn’t have this baggage.
I knew this was all happening for a reason. Even so, it really, really freakin’ sucked. And yet, I could imagine how much all of this had been weighing me down. I couldn’t imagine how much better I'd feel when all of this was gone, when all of this weight had been lifted.
While I'm going through this physically excruciating time, she continues to feed me hope. She continues to remind me that I'm supported. She's showing me why this was necessary and she is coaching me through it. She was there to support my transformation. I could not have lasted through that physically intense experience without her there, guiding me.
In a lot of ways, it was like Ayahuasca was the midwife for my personal growth on that last day. And I was in labor so I could deliver a more healed version of myself. I was in physical pain for about two hours, regretting all kinds of decisions that I had made to get to this point. But I was also feeling appreciative because I knew it was all necessary.
It was extremely symbolic that this physical intensity, this inner and external battle, lasted two hours because that is how long my mom was in labor with me. Two hours. In many ways, I felt like I was re-experiencing the birth scene from the night before. Except, and I’m about to get spiritual as shit y’all… I felt like I was being reborn to myself and to Mother Ayahuasca. It felt like this was a metaphor for the work I needed to do to heal my mother's wound. Woah.
Climbing the Mountain
I continued to feel like shit. All of a sudden, this message popped in my head. She affirmed that I was almost done and that she needed me to purge one more time… While I wasn’t convinced it would be the last time, I listened. Afterward, she told me to crawl onto the mat in the center of the room.
For context, there were two healing mats in the center of the ceremony space where you could lie down and ask for support, healing, or assistance from the service team. I’d only visited the mat one other time that weekend (night one). While I laid there receiving healing work, the healer kept repeating to me, “It’s okay to let it go. It’s okay to let go. Just let go”. For whatever reason, I felt something in me bearing down on whatever “it” was. My subconscious seemed to be saying, “No! This is mine” like Smeagol in Lord of the Rings.
But on night three, I suddenly felt ready to release this “Precious”. So, I got up and I went to the mat. That's when all the physical discomfort peaked.
The pain I experienced on the mat was the worst it had been all weekend. I felt like I needed and wanted help getting through this last part, this peak. I knew I was close to getting to the other side of this feeling, to peace.
As I laid there waiting for the healer, a woman came over to support me. Her presence was very maternal. As she got to work, she put something in my hand. The item (which I’m keeping to myself) symbolized self-love and acceptance.
She helped move energy through me, she held my hand, she rubbed my back, she played with my hair, she was there to comfort me during this time. I hadn’t realized how much I needed or wanted that. As I laid there, Ayahuasca continued to whisper to me, “I am supported by others. I am supported by myself. I am supported by Mother Ayahuasca”. I was supported from all sides. For the first time, I felt fully embraced and supported in unconditional maternal love.
At the same time, my physical discomfort continues to peak. This woman is helping me breathe, encouraging me to let go, to keep going. She also tells me I'm supported. Woah. She actually repeated a lot of the things that Mother Ayahuasca said to me moments before. If I ever needed confirmation that we were all connected by Mother Ayahuasca in that ceremony, this was it. She continued to embody divine feminine energy while helping me through this really intense pain.
To keep that labor metaphor going, it's like this service woman was another midwife throughout the labor of my new self. She was guiding and supporting me through this intense pain. The entire time, Mother Ayahuasca continues to soothe me in the background, “I am supporting you, I'm supporting you, I have you, you are safe. I'm helping you do what you need to do. I'm helping release the things you need to release. You are supported”.
After a while, the healer joined us and took over. Even so, this maternal woman stayed with me, holding my hand.
As the healer got to work, I felt a flood of energy begin to leave my body in waves. This process lasted for a long time. I couldn’t tell you how long he worked on me. An hour? Two? Who knows. However long it took, it felt like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders. I began to feel lighter. After a while, I noticed that the pain had diminished significantly and I couldn’t recall my last cramp. I also felt more exposed, vulnerable, and open. My heart had taken on a new song-like quality.
It dawned on me while I laid there that I was finally asking for, and receiving, help. I was allowing myself to be nurtured. I felt like an entirely new person. I felt reborn.
I felt like I’d birthed my new self.
Reaching the Summit
When the healer was done with his work, I laid on the mat in the fetal position. I was raw and ravaged by the purging, but I also felt very loved, supported, guided, and embraced by this powerful feminine energy. I knew that I would always be transformed by this experience moving forward.
The image of the snake returned to my mind's eye. This time, the snake shed its skin. I realized it was a metaphor for my own shedding of old beliefs, into the person I would be moving forward. I smiled, knowing.
My body was no longer going through hell. I felt at peace. All of my physical discomfort was gone.
A new vision emerged. I was standing in a white space, greeted by a maternal figure covered in gold. She said, “You’ve made it. You did what you came here to do. Always remember that you are supported. Remember this feeling as you continue the work. This is your guiding setpoint.”
After resting for a few moments more, I crawled back to my nest and I rested. I was exhausted. I was also rejuvenated by this new inner strength that I could feel. I felt radically changed in a way that I knew I couldn't go back from. I knew what was possible now, and I couldn't unknow that. I knew how loved and at peace I could be. I knew I would keep working on myself until I could return to this place on my own.
Soon after, the ceremony leader came around with the second cup. Keep in mind, I’d only had one out of three at this point. As he approached my mat, he sized me up for a moment, understood, smiled, winked, and then he skipped me and went to the next person.
At the time, I didn't care enough to ask… But later on, I asked why he decided to skip me (not that I would have accepted the second cup anyway). He told me that Mother Ayahuasca told him that my work was done and he needed to let me rest. I smiled, because that is exactly what she said to me.
I left that weekend knowing that Mother Aya’s presence was real. So many service members throughout that weekend told me things that I was already hearing from Mother Ayahuasca as if she was reaching them too. Turns out, she was.
For the rest of the experience, I sang, I danced, I relaxed, and I sat with others through their pain. I got to experience the loving nature of Ayahuasca that I had heard so many people talk about. I got to enjoy her. F****** finally.
I also couldn't help but think, “Well shit, if I could have hung out here the whole time… this whole weekend would have been great!”. However, I firmly believe that she makes you work for it. Or at least, through it. I think that's why Ayahuasca is such a profound experience for people. She makes you work for your healing; she makes you want it before she shows you “the how”. Before she shows you what can be done.
Hopefully, I haven’t glorified this experience. As I’ve mentioned, it was 95% tough and 5% enjoyable. I hope that I’m accurately describing how difficult it was and that I’ve been able to balance the parts that were hard and the parts that were good, accordingly.
Even though I “got to the good part”, this doesn’t mean that I’m healed. I don’t believe you leave a plant medicine ceremony as a healed person. I believe it is what you do with the information you received after that determines your level of healing. I have my work cutout for me during integration.
Looking back, I think Mother Ayahuasca peeled back the first layer of “shit” I needed to let go… kind of like the first layer of an onion. She allowed me to use my time with her to continue my work, to transform and transmute so many of the things that I hadn't quite figured out how to release on my own. She propelled me into the next layer of the onion, and there will still be hundreds more to work through. Thankfully, I feel like she's given me a lot of tools to work with moving forward. That is the real gift in all of this.
Even though I feel like I had a profound ceremony toward the end, I still have a lot more healing to do. I’ve just begun a long and constant evolution that is my healing journey.
Hopefully, I can report back in a year and let you know what stuck and what hasn’t. My goal is that I would have integrated the things I’ve learned and I’m better for it. <3
Overall, I’m so grateful for ALL of the lessons I learned over the weekend. This was a very sacred experience and I was honored to have been a participant.
I hope my personal healing journey with Ayahuasca will provide some healing for you as well, or that my experience can help you show up more for yourself. In other words, let's make my suffering more mutually beneficial to everyone. ;)
At the very least, I hope you've learned something from these posts that you can apply to your own life.
To recap, my third day was a beautiful mess. I said “yes” to the entire experience, persisted through it, and made it to the end. I'm thankful that I did.
It was a long weekend of healing, connection with others, intimacy, being taken care of, asking for help, saying “yes”, to self-realization, reevaluation, and finally… rebirth. An energetic turnover in one weekend.
My advice to anyone with an upcoming ceremony is this: the effort you put into this experience will be the effort you get out of it. And, she will support you.
If you are someone that has a journey planned for yourself, make sure that you find ways to connect with your ceremony members afterward. That way, you have a support system to connect with when you jump back into your normal life in the weeks that follow.
Thank you for hanging out with me today. I will catch you in the next post!
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