Tripping on Ayahuasca – part one

Written by Kajsa IngelssonAugust 5, 2016

I’ve always been the curious type. I call myself impulsively passionate. I’ve done countless amount of drugs, searching for something but not quite sure what. I’ve been sober for quite some time now, but still in search of that something. So I decided to go on an Ayahuasca retreat for a week. Why not discover and heal myself by drinking the drink commonly known as ‘the grandmother’? Seams … trippy enough. This is my story;

When I first told my boyfriend that I wanted to run off to the mountains in Costa Rica for a week to partake in 3 ayahuasca ceremonies I was expecting him to be all other than supportive of the idea. After an hour of researching on the subject he came back totally in favor of the mission. “It’s a good idea. I think it would be really good for you babe.”. I was surprised and maybe slightly annoyed, on some level I was sort of hoping that he would disapprove of the idea and talk me out of doing it. But here we have a man not giving me any excuses not to go work intense on myself for a week. Alright then, off I go.

The use of Ayahuasca has its origins in the jungles of the Amazon and has been used by the indigenous Peruvian people for thousands of years. Consuming Ayahusaca is typically described as an extremely spiritual experience that can produce elaborate and vivid visions, usually relating to the essence of life and nature. Many users of this plant report receiving powerful and spiritual revelations.

I arrive in the mountains of Cartago on a Sunday night, and I’m greeted by the Shaman Canu and his sister, Carolina, who serves me and the rest of the soul seekers dinner. All in all there are 7 of us. Some are staying for the whole week and others for just a ceremony or two. People will come and go during the week, I will learn later on.

After dinner we gather in front of a fire outside of the temple to get to know each other and talk about the medicine and our reasons for coming to the retreat. It’s all more or less the same – looking for truth and reason within ourselves. Something deeper with more meaning than the everyday life society teaches us to live.

During the evening the shaman calls us into the temple to take some Rapé, which I learn is a sacred shamanic medicine that has been used by healers of the Amazon for thousands of years. It consist of a complex blend of pulverized plants; Nicotiana Rustica, Camphor, Cinnamon and Tonka Bean to name a few. Every tribe and shaman has it’s own secret recipe.

The blend is blown high up into the nostrils with a pipe made from bamboo or bone. The intense blow immediately focuses the mind, halts all chattering and opens the entire crown chakra. Furthermore, rapé helps releasing emotional, physical, and spiritual illnesses and eases negativity and confusion, enabling a thorough grounding of your mind.

I have to admit I was quite skeptical when I learned that it’s a powder being blown up your nose. It sounds all too familiar to a once dear past habit of mine… but I decided to give it a go regardless. I was there to explore and grow, right?

The sensation was very strong as it was blown up my nose. My tear canals and nose instantly overflowed. This is apparently normal and part of the cleaning process. Honestly, it felt liberating. I can’t remember the last time I cried before this.

I went to bed with a clear, still mind that night.  I felt completely serene and calm with an excitement about the days to come.

Ayahuasca plant growing outside of the temple 🙂