A few months ago I took a journey with our good friend Aya and her brother Pedro. It was an interesting trip, one that has since made me question many long held beliefs and assumptions. This is a brief description of the journey.
Let’s start this conversation with one or two disclaimers; I don’t profess to know anything beyond what I have personally experienced and what I discuss here are only my own observations and meanderings. Therefore your mileage may vary.
I have previously experimented with some plant medicines. These have not typically been in ceremonial settings and in these I have always had one of two experiences. The most common experience was that of not having any experience beyond violent sneezing. Not for me I thought, I don’t get the fascination..I must be allergic to this. Other times, foolishly, I mixed the medicine in question with alcohol. Predictably I would be violently ill within minutes. I’m not sure what exactly I was purging at the time…but it always felt like my insides were trying to escape the abuse I was exposing them to. So, earlier this year, when I had my first proper medicinal experience under the guidance of a trained friend it was quite a startling experience to have first hand experience of something beyond the quotidian. This experience would set a tone for all the following experiences, birdsong seems to be intrinsically linked in journeying for me.
Now, in July/August I had the opportunity to meet Mother Aya and Father Pedro first hand. From reading up and what my guide told me I knew that no two experiences are the same and that different people have vastly different interactions with them. My fellow voyagers were an amazing group of people and the energy around was amazing. So everything was set for a fantastic experience. So, imagine my surprise when on the first journey there was a short burst of whistling birdsong that went silent within what felt like seconds. “Huh”, I thought. “I wonder what silenced them now?” I could still hear our guide’s voice singing softly in the background. But the world to me was a vertical forest, a two dimensional place, a cut out picture, something to frame the massive snake that was slithering upwards behind it. I’m a paranoid person…or at least I was at the time….and in this place and time something was watching me, observing and weighing me. That’s what my senses were telling me at least…I tend to listen to them….they’re more accurate than my conscious mind. So, where would this observer be hiding? I scanned the landscape to find a small individual, short, squat and plump, with a red skin and a goatee. Two fern-like extensions grew from his forehead like feelers. He sat silently with a bemused smile on his face. The two of us spent some time observing each other in silence. I was still trying to hear birdsong again. I was missing the birds. When he started slipping around between the trees there was a brief flash of two serpentine eyes that overlaid themselves on the scene. This scene repeated itself a few times and try as I did to engage with the snake and with the imp, they refused to come closer…or so it felt. Eventually the scene vanished to be replaced entirely with auditory experiences in darkness…and for the rest of the journey I was in conversation with myself. The conversation continued the following evening. These covered topics such as spiritual paths, communication, sexuality, gender identity, future employment and self-employment…fears and expectations. For the past two or so months since the journeys I have been processing these conversations…even when not actively thinking about them.
What I have found is, that since having gone on this journey, I have found it easier to engage with other people. I am shy to a fault. I withdraw from others extremely easily and disengage from social contact easier than I do engage with such. Sexuality was a topic that left me feeling completely cold..partly because I was struggling with my gender identity for a long time. What has happened for me is that gender related issues have become more integrated and recently, as more and more integration has been happening and social contact has become easier, that I have had increasingly dreamt messages around sexuality. Get your mind out of the gutter, these aren’t wet dreams you know…:) Mother Aya and Father Pedro have made an extremely positive difference in allowing my to let go of attachments and stories that I have told myself about myself. I am now looking forward at discovering more about myself and increasingly meeting the world at large as an equal and not feeling a need to justify myself.
Thank you for reading my little missive….if you have the opportunity, gift yourself with this experience. It is one of the most loving gifts that you can give yourself.
Trisk the Raven.