Exploaring the magic of Ayahuasca

Trip Start Dec 17, 2011
Trip End Feb 20, 2012

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Flag of Peru  , Sacred Valley,
Friday, December 23, 2011

Huge rugged mountains dot the landscape as our plane approaches the sacred city of Cuzco. We make a hairpin turn around a peak and voilą! The landing strip looks a bit small for the size of our plane, but the pilot manage to land safe and sound. Two gigantic signs dominate the airport: Coca Cola and McDonald's welcomes you to Cuzco. Ok, that is just sad. To imagine that anyone even would indulge in a Big Mac in this country of gourmet food is mind boggling to me. We manage to get trough the hoards of tour operators that offer treks, biking, bird watching and well... the list is long.

15 min later Ruben, our taxi driver, has taken us high above Cuzco. It is a beautiful road and we glance down over the city and its surroundings while gasping for air. Cuzco is located at 11.152ft (3.399m) and it is noticeable. We pass llamas and alpacas, little villages and its people working hard, carrying enormous amounts of foliage and every once in a while we see horses. It is stunning and just like that, we enter the Sacred Valley of Peru to the tunes of Madonna and other 80's hits, our driver is taping his fingers on the steering wheel. Ruben takes us to his favorite restaurant where we indulge in "Cuy" (guinea pig in English, Hamster in Swedish), a local specialty. Yes, you heard me right, that cute little fella that we keep as pets in Europe and the US is a delicacy on a Peruvians plate. I must say that it was a bit disturbing seeing the face and the little teeth on the plate. Tastes like chicken.

Paz y Luz is a beautiful space, made up by several adobe looking structures, a round yoga/meditation room built of glass and wood, several other rooms with space for workshops and healing sessions. All with a stunning view of the Sacred Valley majestic mountains and the Pisac ruins. People come from all corners of the world to Paz y Luz to find peace and attend a workshop as well as participating in a San Pedro or Ayahuasca ceremony. We were recommended to stay here by a good friend and we fell in love with it right away. Situated just 5 min walk from the little picturesque town of Pisac, Paz y Luz is the perfect location for relaxation and self-reflection.

At 33 years old, I was a novice to any kind of medicine ceremony/ hallucinogenic infusion but I had heard and did some re-search about Ayahuasca (it's Quechua for "spirit vine" or "vine of the souls") and it made me very curious. Ayahuasca has been used over 5000 years by the indigenous people of Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and Colombia. When used for its medicinal purposes, ayahuasca affects the human consciousness for less than six hours. The psychedelic effects of ayahuasca include visual and auditory stimulation, the mixing of sensory modaltities, and psychological introspection that may lead to great elation, fear, or illumination. Its purgative properties are important (known as la purga or "the purge"). The idea is to face your fears and then, let them go. Did I mention there could be some vomiting involved? Part of the cleansing process....

Liz and I met with a Shaman, Javier, and we decided to participate in one of his Ayahuasca ceremonies. I must admit that I was a bit nervous but at the same time very excited to embark on this journey. We met at 6pm at Javiers ceremonial site. A beautiful structure built in a pentagon shape with a ceiling of glass, giving us a stunning view of the mountains and later on the stars. It was Liz and I and three other men that had all done several ceremonies before. Must be a good sign right? Javier started the ceremony with chanting and went around to each and one of us taking in our energy and feeling our pulse. That is how he decides on the dosage.

I drank my portion of the thick, black-looking liquid, and it certainly wasn't Chardonnay. I sat down, leaned my head back and headed on an intense magical journey for the next 5 hours. I won't go into details as it was quite a personal experience, but my intention for the ceremony was to let go of old patterns, to let go of my controlling personality, to chill out and just become one with the Universe. And so I did.

My body became relaxed, on the verge of numb, and I closed my eyes and listened to Javier's beautiful chanting, his bells and feathers making smooth sounds. I saw images of things and situations that normally would have made me freak out, but I felt totally safe and it didn't scare me. I visited past events in my life, maybe even past lifetimes. I saw colors and fell in love with myself. I smiled, and at some point Javier is singing a song for me, swooping his feathers and bells above my stomach and head. I literally felt and saw old parts of me disappear from my body. It was the most surreal, yet so real, and also the most intense experience I have had in my life. I felt light as a feather.

And that my friends, was my first encounter with plant medicine. In the heart of the Sacred Valley of mystical Peru. And yes, I do recommend it... if and when you are ready.

Peace, Love & Magical Journeys

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Jo Kilburn on

So wonderful to share in your journey. Love to you both in this most amazing place. Peace and smiles. Jo

Lizzy Olson on

Holy smokes, Micaela! What a blog. I can't wait to hear more about this. Loving be with you on this journey. Happy holidays to both you and Josh.

Lizzy xo

Lennart on

God Jul, Micaela and Josh.

Lennart & Co.

mistytravels on

AWESOME! Saw Bruce Parry try some of that brew and I was laughing my ass off at him puking and dry-retching, didn't sound anything like your magical experience.
Falling in love with yourself again though,hmmm, I think I may have to invite you over for some hallucinogenic humble pie... ;oP
Anyways, whatever you do, stay away from any brew with Angel Trumpet (Brugmansia) as a tiiiiiny overdose may leave you with chronic hallucinations and other more bad alterations of the mind... But I am sure you wouldn't do anything without being in the know.
Wish more people wrote travel-blogs when they went "tripping"... ;o)
Stay safe and have fun xxx

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