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As my final opportunity to experience the tea approached, I re-evaluated my set of Intentions for it. After thinking about it, I realized I had been unconsciously self-centered in my original intentions. Instead of being completely open in my heart, I had been trying to get what I wanted while couching the request in careful language. I had been requesting, as if off a menu, to be shown the visions I desired. I wanted to see and learn what I wanted.

This time, I let go. I decided to simply open myself up and let Ayahuasca take control and lead me where, perhaps, I did not know I needed to go. She certainly did that in the first session! Having confronted Fear itself and then allowed to get my bearings in session two, I felt like I was oriented enough now to trust her and not be anxious or fearful this time. My new intention was: “Open me up. Show me Love. Let me be love.”


The Ayahuasca tea seemed slightly more viscous tonight. Once again, I felt fortunate that the drink went down rather easily and I had no problem with it. Since this was our final ceremony, don Howard and his wife Reyna placed wonderful little bead necklaces around our necks, each with a small pendant of Ayahuasca vine. Now, we waited in the darkness once again – waited for our next inexorable leap into the true unknown.



“For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror

which we are barely able to endure, and it amazes us so,

because it serenely disdains to destroy us.

Every angel is terrifying.”

– Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies


As we waited for the onset of Ayahuasca space, don Rober began his icaros. Several of the other participants were inclined to join in, and then many of the tribespeople in and outside the molloca also began to sing along, with a group energy that I found myself caught up in as well. It was a wonderful antiphonal surround-sound beginning to tonight’s ceremony and it boded well for the nature of this journey.

Once more, and to my relief, I entered Ayahuasca’s dimensions easily. As my head and extremities began to hum and vibrate with the powerful electric energy of the medicine, it grew in strength, then leveled off and remained a neon body buzz throughout the session. I saw some geometric patterns and some colors, but they were muted. Visual effects are easier to describe than other more internal effects, but now I noticed a different internal feel to this space from the previous ceremonies. The vine felt strong and it was deepening into me moment to moment. After some time, I was very deep, indeed, and I drifted on into another dimension.


Without warning or sign, I realized that something was coming towards me. There was no sound. As it drew near, it looked like a train or subway vehicle, which now pulled up at my left side and came to a stop. This seemed like an obvious invitation to board, but the train was too small to enter it. I thought, though, that I could probably get on top of it and ride it the way they do rail cars in India, so I climbed up and onto the top of the second car from the front. In a twinkling, as I did so, the train changed its form – morphing into a gigantic snake. I knew it was common in Ayahuasca visions to encounter these huge Ayahuasca snakes or jaguars or other elemental animal forms. It is sometimes a challenging test, but this seemed straightforward enough. I was going to ride the Snake!



I sat, straddling the huge body as best I could. The snake’s head was just before me, but once I was on, he began to move without looking back at me. A brief wave of confusion passed over me, and then we were traveling rapidly. I felt no sense of dizziness, nor that I might fall off. The voyage was exhilarating as we flew down tube-like tunnels not much bigger than ourselves – a kind of cosmic subway filled with geometric lines that flashed by me in brisk patterns, all lit up in a neon blue. We were descending rapidly as the tunnels spiraled around like DNA helixes, sometimes branching off in diverse directions. Snake seemed to know exactly where we were going, though, and there was no hesitation in his path choosing. Left, then suddenly right; up a bit and then down and down. I knew we were traveling deep into Ayahuasca space.

After some time, this vision faded away and I seemed to be still once more. New lines and patterns began to appear, changing shapes and morphing into new geometries. I began to get excited that I might, at last, see some of the spectacular and incredibly beautiful light shows that I had always heard about. I knew that these effects are often the least important of the types of vision experiences one has in Ayahuasca and other entheogenic experiences, but I still wanted to see them, My entire career has been as a digital television artist, working with and creating visual special effects, so I had a particular interest in this aspect of the vision experience.

As I watched, however, the patterns remained dim and muted. They were indeed there, but it was clear to me that I was not being presented with the full show! This was the first time I began to realize that someone else was talking to me within the vision space. I had the distinct impression, then a certainty, that Ayahuasca was saying to me, “Yes, the patterns are there. There they are, but you don’t need to see them. They are not important for you.”


Once I had taken this in and understood it, the designs and dim geometric lights came slowly to a halt. Now, the space around me formed into a dome about twice the size of my headspace. The lines formed into a simple row-matrix of white dots in front of me. They remained completely still and seemed to form a veil or barrier of some kind. It was very quiet and I had the impression that everything in the world had simply stopped. Everything in my vision space was on Pause while waiting for me to do something. I was tempted to become self-consciously nervous as I realized this was Ayahuasca school and I was being presented with a test – pop quiz one! What do I do? Push one of the dots? Say something? I was at a loss for a few moments.

The pattern seemed in no hurry to change, so I asked out loud within my vision, “OK, how do I get past this?” No change. “Isn’t there a door somewhere?”

Immediately, a simple wooden door appeared right in front of me. That seemed rather too easy, but I reached out and opened the door and moved (by intention, not with my feet exactly) through the doorway. Just on the other side, someone was waiting for me. It was a very lovely young native woman with long and straight black hair, dressed in tribal clothing. She was looking at me with a very slight smile, then she motioned for me to come with her.

Intrigued and attracted, I followed her down a hallway, her black hair hanging down and her movement fluid and silent. We came to a second wooden door, which she opened. We went through it into what could have been someone’s comfortable back porch. It seemed about twenty feet or so out to some kind of sunny yard or garden, which I did not perceive very well. My focus was on the young woman here in the shadowed porch area. It felt good here. There was a relaxing of tensions and a sense of comfort in this place.


The girl still had her back to me, but she turned as she sat down in a chair and looked at me once more. As she did so, something remarkable happened. Her form and face changed as I watched. She smoothly metamorphosed from the lovely girl into the form of a very old and wizened Indian woman with an extremely wrinkled face. Her hair was mostly white now, with some dark streaks here and there. She had it pulled up behind her head in a bun. She had long chin whiskers, and some of her teeth were missing, but she was smiling a broad and wonderful smile and had a twinkle in her very expressive eyes. These eyes were amazing to me – seeming just slightly larger and deeper than a real person’s eyes would be. I could not take my sight off of them.

I suddenly realized where I was and whom I was with. I knew I was now in the actual presence of the Spirit of the Vine. This was Mother Ayahuasca herself. I was excited, happy, and terrified all at the same time.

She never spoke to me in words. Her expression was one of contained joy, waiting to share something with me. Once again, I felt myself becoming nervous, not knowing what to do or say. I was literally dumbfounded. What could or should I say to this amazing being? I stood there like a child. After a moment, she widened her expressive eyes as if in an inquiry. I felt even more at a loss, as if I had failed a test of understanding something she was trying to get me to see. I smiled and tried to show that I did not know what she was expecting from me. Her smile widened some more and then she opened her hand and showed me something lying there. It was a coin.

Of all the things I might have expected to encounter in an Ayahuasca vision, this seemed to be a real non sequitur. What in the world was this coin and why was Mother Ayahuasca showing it to me? I was at a complete loss. She seemed to understand my confusion, and she held the coin up for me to see. Like a camera close up, I instantly got a super close view of the face of the coin. It was a standard Peruvian “One Sole” coin, worth about thirty US cents. On its face, it read “Un Nuevo Sol.” Now that I had perceived this, the virtual camera switched me back to the wider shot of her holding the coin for me. Again, she widened those amazing eyes in inquiry, and now obvious merriment. I could almost hear her saying, “Do you get it yet?” I knew this was very important, and a smile played on my lips, too, but I still had no idea what to make of this small yellow coin.



continued . . .



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