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Mother Ayahuasca’s eyes closed a bit and her smile mellowed now as she reached out her hand, still holding the coin, and pressed it to my chest – onto my heart.

Sometimes there comes a moment in great visions and symbolic myth when a complex puzzle is resolved in one blinding instant once one crucial insight is applied. When the coin touched my heart, my jaw dropped as I suddenly understood. In that instant, there was a monumental transfer of energy and I was truly changed. Mother Ayahuasca had given me a great gift, but in the symbol nature of the vision space, the gift was contained and concealed within a symbol. In order to be able to help us, the Spirit of the vine has the ability to perceive our souls better than we can ourselves. She knew that mine was basically a happy and playful one, and she delivered her gift in a manner I could appreciate – a bi-lingual play on words – a pun.

“Un Nuevo Sol” can also read as: “ONE NEW SOUL.”
 

The Mother of Plants is a Spirit being – one of the true Elementals. My spirit was the plant she had just lovingly tended to. Even though I did not realize I needed this particular tending (and that, of course, was part of the problem), she had just renewed my soul. Part of me had been missing for a very long time and I did not even know. I had allowed myself to stagnate in a too-long career job, too afraid to change anything and too tired to try. I had just been through divorce and some tough financial times that took their toll as well. I did not analyze all of this at that moment, of course, but I did feel the impact of the change that had been delivered into me – a re-integration of love and of caring into the very fabric of my being and of my soul.

As the emotional impact of this began to sink in, I looked back at Mother Ayahuasca. Her ancient face lit up even more than before with laughter and joy. Her amazing eyes seemed to grow until that was all I could see. I felt more truly uplifted and supported in that moment than I had ever been since infancy, held in the loving arms of my own mother. . . and the vision faded away . . . and was gone.

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I was lost for a while in a comfortable limbo, contemplating what had happened and feeling my new energy and strong emotions. It seems strange as I remember this now, some time after the vision, that at that moment within the Ayahuasca space, it took a while to realize with my higher brain functions that I had just experienced a profound and momentous vision. For a moment, I was thinking, “I should really try to remember this one!” Then it really began to sink in and a new, sharper sense of it filled me as I became more aware of my body and where I was in the ceremony. I began to notice the room and don Rober’s powerful singing. I began to feel the presence of all the others around me, working in their own fields of soul in this sacred space. I was very happy and comfortably excited. I could hardly believe my great fortune and I simply held the image of Mother Ayahuasca’s wonderful face in my mind.

Ayahuasca can and does enhance and energize the emotions, regardless of the contents of visions. My marvelous encounter and gift compounded this effect and truly opened me up. I found myself in tears, holding my little Ayahuasca necklace and pressing the vine to my lips. I felt I had to use this emotional energy, this true magic of the night, to some good use. With my vision-renewed soul, I reached out to my parents, asleep back in Texas, sending them my true love and my compassion and healings for their many ailments. I spent time doing the same thing for all my extended family and friends, freely shedding tears of empathy and joy as I did so.

Eventually, tears moved to a suffused glow of happiness. I felt so good at this point that I said aloud in my vision space, “I am so happy!” Instantly, a group of pure white daisies appeared in front of me. They rapidly overlapped each other until they filled my entire view with beautiful white blossoms! Then they slowly faded away until only the darkness of the room was left. I tried saying it again, and once more the flowers appeared and filled my view! Each time I said, “I feel happy!” The blooms filled my eyes in response. It was a magnificent visual symbol directly reflecting my feelings, and this time the visual image was in full color and depth. I continued to project happiness, health, and joy to each of my companions in the ceremony.

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I had a few other mild visions throughout the remainder of our time, but none of consequence or that I can recall. Several hours later near the end of our session, I thought I was emerging from the vision space and would see no more, but one more vision surprised me with its strength and appropriateness. I saw Mother Ayahuasca once again.

This time, only the eyes of her young Indian woman manifestation appeared, very distinctly, but suspended over the black velvet of the room. Her alluring eyes drifted slowly downwards toward the floor, and then morphed into the eyes of a jaguar. As they descended, they slowly disappeared.

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Don Howard called our “intermission” at about 3 a.m. The candles were lit once again, and we prepared to go get some sleep. I was still quite dizzy from the brew and from my deep experiences. I weaved my way back to my room like a drunken sailor, much to the amusement of Howard.

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MORNING
 

“That music always round me, unceasing, unbeginning

–yet long untaught I did not hear;

But now the chorus I hear, and am elated."

– Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass – 1871-72
 

I woke up at 8 in my small bed under the mosquito netting and set out to find don Rober for my flower bath. Feeling wonderful, I teased him again, saying, “Hoy, aguas calientes, Si? (“Today, the water is hot, yes?”). He laughed and said, “Si!!,” then pointed to the hard chair next to the fragrant bucket of flower water. I grinned and sat down. The water was just as cold as before!

With our third and final ceremony over now, the strictest part of our dieta was also done and we were served some chicken and mashed potatoes with butter for lunch, along with some beans and exquisitely delicious mango, fresh from the jungle.

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After noon, a refreshing rainstorm soaked the camp and surrounding forest, and then it was time for our final talking stick circle. Everyone seemed to have had impactful visions last night, and I was very pleased to relate my vision experiences to the group. I noted that I had, indeed, received my hopeful forecast of a “triptych” of three vision experiences creating an arc of contrast from terror through normalcy and finally, to true and pure love. I felt humbled to have had the wonderful and very unexpected personal encounter with Madre Ayahuasca, and to have received such a priceless gift of the heart from her.

Our spiritual travels together had come to an end. As we said our goodbyes at the lodge and prepared to re-enter the mundane world, it was time to make my initial post-vision assessment of my dimensional experiences. Interpretations will evolve as time passes, so it is important to make one’s best initial interpretation as close to the event as possible. This gives a vital and unique point of perspective for comparison to later thoughts and ideas.

 

WHAT IS REAL?

Goethe once said, “the manifestation of a phenomenon is not detached from the observer – it is caught up and entangled in his individuality.”

I had now reached the culmination of nearly a decade of personal study and research, planning, wondering, anticipating, and finally participating and doing the work of this path of plants, the ancient Way of Ayahuasca. I had traveled this road to learn more about the nature and history of the religious impulse in mankind, and also to personally experience that oldest form of religion – shamanism. I did this to see for myself what I could make of the claims of spiritual dimensions and non-human beings, visions and tests, and gifts and healings from a universe other than the one we live in day to day. Mankind is a talented creator of things real and of things of fiction. Are all the stories of magical things, spirits and sprites, demons and angels, paradises and fearful hells, miraculous healings, aliens from other worlds, possessions and inspirations, and all the myth of our species – is all this fiction? Is there any part of this that can be said to be real?

 

continued . . .

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