BALI Ayahuasca #1: The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly

The scariest part of ayahuasca, the thing that scares us the most, is that we might see ourselves.
— Gerard Armond Powell

So...plant medicine. It's something that I hold with utmost respect and complete reverence and it's something that's being exploited at a rate that makes my head spin.

I first encountered it when I was traveling throughout South America when I was 18 (in 2004!!) I was living in Tena, a small rainforest preserve in a tiny straw hut and our guide, named Gato, who had yellowish eyes and was a tree frog expert asked my friends if we wanted to participate in a religious ceremony. He mostly spoke a language called Quecha, and some Spanish, so the translation left a little to the imagination but two of my friends, knowing nothing, went and did it. When they came back, they told me about Ayahuasca, about drinking a mud like sludge that tasted like a mixture of rotten flesh and fermented manure, and the subsequent 24 hours filled my mind with total wonder and confusion.

My friend Ben, who was a light filled happy go lucky kid from Maine who always had a small guitar and a rainbow tacky sack and a smile, was never the same. He saw things, that literally rained on his entire souls parade.

For months we traveled together and he was a shell of himself. He never talked about it again...I didn't hear again about plant medicine for many many years, but it's been creeping up slowly in my community like a invasive vine. All of a sudden there's "shamans" in Bushwick giving " ceremonies in their backyards and I want to use whatever small platform I have to give people a real warning. THIS IS NOT A FUN EXPERIENCE. Plant medicine will change everything you think you know about yourself and your world. THIS IS NOT FOR EVERYONE.

They should be revered, respected and cherished. The knowledge they can bring is literally otherworldly. It is not for people who want to get high. I will be bringing you two stories. Each is beautiful, each is valid, each has a lot of information for people who are searching and looking to walk down a medicine path.

Buckle up kids, it's gonna get ugly.

Edited with love by Emily Armstrong.
Music: Icaro chanting songs

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