Nabi Nunhue, Pasto, Colombia.
The third ayahuasca ceremony did not go as I hoped. Although the gates of the plant had opened themselves slightly in the second ceremony and I was quite hopeful not too much happened even though I took 3 cups. I was pondering if I should take a 4th cup or not. It is always a big decision because I that last cup can throw everything upside down. Actually, every cup is a gamble. It could be heaven and eternal wisdom, it could be hell and it could be apparently not much at all.
I decided not to take the 4th cup and to no be too disappointed. I just sat by the fire buzzing a bit. Then Kajuyali tapped on my shoulder. Before the 2nd ceremony I had requested a healing from him after another participant recommended me doing that. I had told her about the tinnitus (ringing of the ears) that I have since 6 years and the headaches that I have since early childhood. These things are nuisances that I learned to live with. I don’t really expect to be cured or healed from that and I didn’t know one could request a personal healing. When I asked he told me he would ask the plant. It would be during ceremony 2 or during one of the following days. To be honest: I thought he had forgotten about it and I certainly was not thinking about it myself when he appeared behind.
The shamans are often holding a leave brush that is both an instrument and a healing tool. Kajuyali starts ‘dusting off’ my energy field. The sound of the brush is very calming. To me it sounds very rainforesty. Then he starts pulling invisible things out of me. I think he is working on me for about 15 – 20 minutes and seems to take things out of my lower back, my heart, my head, my ears. All kinds of stuff. And I really start feeling different. It is hard to describe. Something changed and I don’t know what.
I start feeling lighter, more open. It feels vulnerable too. I realize how much goodness the shamans possess, who heal people like me all the time tirelessly. I start sobbing. I feel really grateful. Then I realize how much sadness I have seen the last year and how much pain and suffering I have witnessed the last couple of years. Not just inside me but in my friends and family and all the people I helped along the way, clients, participants, strangers and passer-by. I have seen war, trauma, sexual abuse, rejection, depression and loss from close-up. I cry for the whole world.
Out of nowhere the other medicine man, Chief Iktomi Sha, appears next to me. I had seen on Facebook that Gretchen said that it was exactly 6 months ago that Sam was born and it was 6 weeks ago since he passed away. I wiped my tears and asked him for a favor: would he be so kind to pray for Sam? After he said yes and ran to my room to get a picture of Sam. We should not go to far from the maloca during a ceremony but I though this was a good occasion to stretch that rule a bit.
Iktomi Sha looked at Sam and told what a beautiful boy it was. Then he started praying and offering tobacco while the other shamans were singing. I had to hold my hand on the picture and he put tobacco in my hands and told me to pray for relief for the parents. I tried to pray the grief away as good as I could. I was lying on my knees, arms stretched out into the fire pit and tobacco in my fist. Tears were rolling over my face. Now Iktomi Sha starts taking invisible things out of my back.
After some minutes I throw the tobacco in the fire, the prayers go to Great Spirit. I sit up and feel relieved. I realize that I feel better when I can be of service to someone else then when it is just about me. The fact that I could do something special for Sam and his parents with the help of a reknown Lakota Chief made me feel good about myself. I considered the ceremony successful even though I didn’t have visions. My heart was touched regardless.
The ringing in my ears was still there the next day and I even developed the good old headache again. But still, something has changed. I feel very blessed that such great people are helping me and helping me helping others. I feel humble and grateful.