I recently had the opportunity to partake in a 4-day shamanic ceremony in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. This article is Part 3 of the larger story, if you would like to read the full version that includes taking Kambo and Discovering my spirit animal, you can do so here.
To set some context, that night we would be taking a combination of Ayahuasca and Sao Pedro. This was to be my 5th time taking Ayahuasca, and I have never taken Sao Pedro before.
If you’re not familiar with Ayahuasca, it’s a liquid form of DMT, usually in the form of a thick earthy tobasco tasting tea. When drank it will produce effects for about 3–8 hours depending on how much you take of it.
Typical effects include intense visualizations, distortion of sounds, increased sensitivity to feelings, potential nausea and vomiting, thought distortions and new insights/realizations.
If I’m honest though I don’t really know how to describe Ayahuasca, because every time I have taken it has been a completely different experience. I wrote about one of those experiences here.
It’s in a class of it’s own. In the world of psychedelics, this is the grandmother of them all. I would say it’s the most powerful, most intense, and most rewarding as well.
If you’re curious about Ayahuasca and DMT you can read more here.
Sao Pedro was the next plant medicine up on the list. I didn’t know much about it beforehand. In my head I compared it to mescaline or peyote, both of which I had never previously tried. They all come from the same family, more or less.
Sao Pedro was described to me as a more mellowing and soothing experience. It helped to balance out the intensity of Ayahuasca, keep you grounded and keep you at ease.
In times like these I like to believe that the Shaman is a chef of sorts, and he has a specific recipe. His recipe and formula has Ayahuasca and Sao Pedro, and in order to experience the full flavor of the dish, one must properly eat the meal without excluding any ingredients.
Apolo seemed like a world class chef, and I wanted to try his recipe.
I was ready to get in the kitchen and get cooking.
Some important themes and intentions were with me when starting that day.
- My primary intention was to cast out my shadow self. To confront my fears and discomforts head on. To watch them rise to the surface and out of my system.
- The power vs the effects — Don’t be concerned with the psychedelic aspects of ayahuasca a la visions, stay focused on the intention to heal and get shit out of your system.
- It was a “curing moon” which meant that today was a good day for healing. I also focused a lot of my thinking around healing the parts of me I don’t know are broken or damaged. The sides of myself that have been left neglected or unappreciated.
During the day leading up to the ceremony I like to try and clear my mind and get into a meditative state. Given the recent breakup I felt like I needed to let out some energy, so I spent the afternoon on the beach slacklining and meditating.
By the time I came back I ate a quick tapioca, showered, packed, and was on my way to the ceremony.
I arrived around 830pm and there were already a handful of people there. It was a very serious mood. Everyone looked ready to go to work.
To set the scene, the ceremony took place in the middle of a forest campgrounds that lies near Barra de Tijuca in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. It was in a buddhist cave/house that I can only describe as a house for hobbits.
It was a dome carved out of a mountain with low ceilings and a narrow walkway where you had enough room to lie down. It was a cramped space for around 25 people or so, but enough for everyone to have their own place to sit or lie down.
Try to imagine a congregation style setup, where the Shaman and his posse are up in the front of the room, with everyone then grouped together with enough space to lie down moving back throughout the rest of the room, while keeping a common pathway for everyone to walk down the middle.
I walked into the cave and immediately noticed that the same spot I sat in last year was still open 🙂 I walked towards the back right corner of the cave and took my seat next to a small fountain tucked into the rockface.
I laid down my pillows and blankets and got myself organized. Once I was settled in I began to meditate, practicing anapana and following my breath. I felt calm. Ready. Didn’t have a lot circling my mind or anything bothering me.
Slowly more and more people flowed into the cave and picked their spots. Things became gradually more cramped, but everyone had their own space neatly carved out. I was able to lie down from head to toe comfortably, but I was also touching bodies with people on my right and left, so it was a bit tight.
One friend was diagonal across from me, and another was tucked in right next to me on my right. Then his girlfriend was to the right.
Then another person came in and sat between myself and my friend on my right. Now we’re all cramped in nice and tight together. A nice warm happy family feeling.
In between my feet and the person across from me, buckets were placed in between so that if you needed to throw up, you could do it there.
(Throwing up or “limpeza” aka cleaning, is a very common part of the Ayahuasca process”)
So I have three people to my right, and three people in front of me. Then there’s a corner in the diagonal to my right that is open, and isn’t really a great place to sit to begin with.
After calmly sitting there settled in for about 15 minutes, the Shaman and his crew announced that it’s time to do some Rapé.
I’m not the biggest fan of it, but as I mentioned before, the Shaman has a recipe and a sequence designed to get you on board for the journey. If this was a part of the prescription, so it was time to do some rapé.
We walked outside and there was a fire to our left, with a small set up to do rapé to our right. I was one of the first people to jump in.
If you’re not familiar with how to do Rapé, it’s a fairly complicated process. If you do it wrong, you’re likely to throw up or not feel very good for some time after.
First, you need to try and close off the back of your throat. Like you’re using your tongue to choke yourself.
You do this so that the Rapé doesn’t get down the back of your throat, as you don’t want to inhale this stuff.
So you inhale, block off your throat, they shoot the rapé up your nose, and then you breathe out while an energetic explosion goes off in your head.
After that you don’t want to swallow for some time, so you need a clean place to spit if needed.
Then, you wait for about 5–10 minutes and breathe through your mouth while the rapé does it’s work. You don’t want to breathe through your nose at all during this time.
After a few minutes you’ll feel the need to blow your nose, and you’ll notice the effects aren’t as strong anymore as well. Then just blow out all the crap inside of there. It will take you a few tries before you’re clean and you can breathe through your nose again.
And that’s what I did!
I got a shot up each nose like a champ and then sat down on the sidewalk and meditated to the vibrations exploding throughout my body then blew my nose and sat back down ready for action.
We all settle gradually settle and take our seats, and wait for the ceremony to begin
….when one last person flows in rushed and late.
He walks all the way to the back of the cave where my group and I are seated, and takes the last open space. But instead of lying down and taking a mat like everyone else, he simply says that he’s going to sit on this raised rock in the middle of the ground.
We all ask him if he’s sure he wants to sit there, but he insists it’s ok. We try to give him a mat and a place to lie down but he rejects it. I get the vibe that he isn’t too worried, so I back off. I didn’t think much of it.
….I would soon see this manifest in the worst way possible
Now there’s about 6 of us all tucked into back of the room, but we’re comfortable. It’s time for the ceremony to begin
Imagine that all of the people made a giant snake of a U throughout the room. The door to walk in/out was all the way to the right of the cave, and then starting from there people wrapped all around the cave one by one.
To get up and out of the cave, I had to stand up, turn to my left, walk straight for about 10–15 steps and then exit the cave all the way on the right hand side (all while dodging over other people’s feet).
This U is how the Ayahuasca ceremony began. Starting with the people at the beginning of the right side of the room, looping around one by one as we took our potions for the day.
To start off with we took one dose of Ayahuasca alone. The Sao Pedro would be for later.
When it was my turn I walked up to the front of the cave and received my Ayahuasca from Apolo. I said a prayer of gratitude to Apolo and his team. Another for all of the people here with me. Another for myself for taking this medicine, and a last one for the medicine itself.
Down the hatch. It tasted like jaegermeister with tobasco tomato sauce. Like a bloody mary with jager.
It’s not that horrible but definitely wasn’t tasty.
After I took it I went back to my spot , sat down crossed legged, and began to meditate.
This time I decided to do a Vipassana body scan — in this form of meditation you try to feel each part of your body as you focus on it. So close your eyes and feel your face, and now your neck>chest>abs>hands and arms>shoulders and back>legs>feet> and then from toe to head again.
It normally takes me about 10–15 minutes to get from head to toe once. I remember that by the time I was coming back up from my toes and got to my lower back I started to have visions. So figure we’re about 20 minutes in at this point.
The hallucinations were difficult to describe. When my eyes were closed it was mostly black with visual shooting stars of rainbows. Zigzagging across each other some rigid others fluid, flowing in and out of each other.
As I continued to scan my body and meditate, by the time I got to my head I could feel it coming on faster and faster. It felt like I was being sucked down a tunnel that was gradually becoming faster and more intense.
It was becoming uncomfortable to sit so I tried to lay down. When I hit the pavement my world EXPLODED with visual intensity. Just overwhelming and immeasurable.
I felt like the roller coaster was moving a bit too fast, and I suddenly felt the urge to puke. I shot up out of the fetal position and puked into the bucket in front of me.
I wasn’t the only one who was ready to puke either. Shortly after I did, the guy next to me did as well. And then the guy in the corner who came in late starts throwing up as well.
After I get some purging out of me I lie back down and instantly blast back off into Ayahuascaland. It’s gorgeously beautiful but immeasurably intense.
I feel the urge to puke again, so I do.
As I’m sitting there puking I can feel the tension in my body. I feel tight. Shaky.
There’s some music playing, so I try to shake off some of the tension and shakiness in my body. I start swaying from side to side. Start flowing my arms. Dancing a bit.
I open my eyes and look up at the stage where Apolo and his group are playing music, and it looks like white ghosts of smoke are flowing all around them, dancing to the beat. It’s like each of them had a ghost like extension above them, flowing like smoke to the rhythm of the music.
I can feel their flow. I begin to flow to the beat. I begin to move my arms as if I’m doing the “pop n’ lock” and my arms are wavy. Then my hips get into it. Then my whole body. I’m literally sitting there just “flowing” with my body.
As I flow, my nausea dissipates, and I begin having more visual hallucinations. I think to myself “I know this dance” and I merely dance to the beat as a means of handling the intensity of the Ayahuasca.
I danced this way until the remainder of the song that they were playing. By the end I felt that I was bursting with happiness and good energy and was flowing nicely.
They begin playing the next song, and this one is more intense. More tribal. More in your face with loud drums beating quickly. The type to pump you up before you get into a fight. Like the drumming in the original Jumanji.
As this happens, the guy in the corner who came in late begins to start making some uncomfortable noises. It sounds like he’s struggling.
The song continues alongside his moans. The intensity of the song picks up.
He starts slamming his fists into the floor. Hard. To the point where sitting three people away from him you can feel the reverberations of his fists hitting the floor.
He’s not throwing up anymore, but you can see that he is struggling. Bad.
As the song continues on, he continues to get progressively worse. The moans get louder and more frequent. He continues to slam his fists on the floor.
Now he’s yelling out loud, “que e isso?!?!?” (what the hell is this?!) while moaning and slamming his fists against the floor.
When he’s not slamming his fists against the floor he’s scratching himself and sitting crouched over with his head in his lap.
At this point it’s beginning to look violent. Violent to the point where he might seriously hurt himself or the other people around us.
I pop up and feel compelled to help him. So does my friend and so does the guy next to me.
First my friend tries to tell him to stop banging his fists on the floor, as it’s disrupting the other people around him. He says that he can’t control it.
He tries to help him for a while but it doesn’t seem to have any effect. The three of us sit up together, more or less praying for this man and sending good vibes his way. I sent every ounce of energy I could his way in hoping that he could handle the demons that he was facing.
His symptoms only continued to worsen. At this point he’s nearly screaming at the top of his lungs in agony, banging on the floor, throwing up…it’s not looking pretty.
My friend gets up and goes to get the help of the Shaman and his group. He replies that he is aware of the situation and waiting to take proper action, but he needs to let things run their course.
While my friend is talking to the shaman, I grab the guy by the wrist and try to help him control himself. He reaches out to me like he’s desperate for help and clutches to my hand. Two seconds later he’s trying to bash it into the floor.
It was like I could feel two competing forces inside of him. One was reaching out to me clutching for dear life, begging me for help, while the other would rip control away from him and try to hurt himself.
I sat with him trying to wrestle these energies inside of him for about 5–10 minutes, but it was beginning to take an effect on me.
I could feel that I had the right intention to help, I tried to do my best, but if I continued I was going to get hurt. It was irresponsible to keep trying. I had to accept my limitations.
It was time for the professionals to step in. For the black-belts of shamanism to come in and do spiritual jiu jitsu with the demons possessing this man.
But before they stepped in things got worse…a lot worse.
Over the course of the next thirty minutes or so things escalated quite rapidly. He started rolling around on the floor convulsing and puking. Was screaming in languages that were neither Portuguese, English, or any other language I’ve ever heard. He was prostrated over the rock slamming his feet into the floor crying out in agony. Banging his fists into the floor and punching himself in the head. It wasn’t pretty.
30 Minutes ago I was tripping out in Ayahuascaland learning how to dance with spirits and now I’m watching what feels like a literal demonic possession in front of my eyes. It was like watching the exorcist on Ayahuasca.
When Apolo and his crew stepped in, myself and a few other people moved our spots to get ourselves into a healthier environment. It was just too distracting to be around and was sucking me into a negative energy. I felt tired and weak. Like I overexerted myself trying to help.
For now I would have to leave him behind to focus on my own journey. I’ll come back to our friend later…
I moved into a spot next to a girl and the two people who were previously next to me flowed by my side to form a small circle of us. I was now facing the band and had music blasting so I couldn’t hear the exorcism going on behind me any longer.
At this point the music was flowing, and I remembered my lessons from before, so I merely closed my eyes and began to dance. Not really dance so much as just sway. Flow.
I could see all of the people around me glowing. They all had auras all around them. Everyone’s different but equally beautiful.
Our energies were flowing in and out of one another. Some people releasing excess of one color and another person sucking in that color to replenish their deficiency.
It was like watching “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” in spiritual action. I could see the energies of the room rearranging themselves, and helping everyone to restore their individual balance. My excess helps your deficiency and vice versa.
Every person I looked at inspired me in some way. Had some quality I admired. Something I wanted to embody in my own life. I could see the ways that we all influence each other without realizing it. In the ways that we carry around “moods” with us. Our moods are our energies, and those energies are contagious. We’re all soaking in each other’s energies all of the time whether we realize it or not.
This all flowed in and around the room as I watched everyone dance and fall into and out of their individual zones.
At one point a huge dance party erupted. Everyone started to get up from their seats and dance around the room. Spin. Wave their arms. The traditional border of “keep to yourself and mind your own experience” suddenly shattered as the group dynamic erupted into one ball of collective energy.
…and I was going apeshit. I was moving my body in ways I’ve never moved before. I was jumping and stomping and fucking the air and the floor, pounding on my chest and laughing like a madman.
It was beautiful.
But all while this was going on, every now and then you could hear the exorcism going on in the background.
I would keep hearing them scream at him, “what is your name?” — and he would scream back to them “Elvis!!!!”. And this would repeat over and over.
I would hear them smacking him with giant leaves or hitting him on the back. They were being rough with him in order to try and restrain him from hurting himself.
I could hear them blowing Rapé or tobacco in his face to try and wake him up. I could hear the struggle actively going on.
It was strange, it was like you could almost hear the “Elvis” rise up from under the water every now and then. It was like someone who is drowning who gets their head out of the water for a breath and they yell out for help. He would emerge from the water, scream for help, and then whatever he was dealing with would take back over again and he would start freaking out again.
As much as I had my moments where I was in the music and feeling the connectedness of everything, the exorcism going on behind me was a constant presence. It was hard to shake.
Luckily, shortly after the enormous dance party, around 1–2 songs later, they took a pause and instructed everyone to take their places again.
They took Elvis outside and separated him from the group. They told us that round one was over, we are taking a quick pause, and we will take another dose of Ayahuasca shortly.
All of this was just round one?!?!!?
I lied down, excited to finally relax after a tumultuous first dose. I fell into a tunnel of geometry. My friend would later tell me that around this time I was laughing my head off like a childish lunatic. I have no recollection of this.
I awoke out of my trance shortly after to get ready for….
Dose # 2 + Sao Pedro 🙂
Before we started dose #2, it was time to bring Elvis back into the room.
They sat him directly next to me.
I was uncomfortable with it, I’ll be honest. He already had a huge impact on the first dose, and I felt like I needed some space.
I asked if I could change my seat, and they gave me a new one right in front by the band. I was happy.
It was a small request, but if I’ve learned anything throughout my psychedelic trips, it’s that the setting of where you are makes a big difference. And having some space felt like exactly what I needed.
And so, it was time to take the 2nd dose with the Sao Pedro.
Similar to the first time, I went up, said a small prayer to everyone involved, took it down the hatch, and then returned back to my seat.
As I sat there I could feel the nausea brewing again. I could feel my stomach turning.
I practiced deep breathing and tried to fight it as best as I could, but by the time we were halfway through the first song I was vomiting my head off.
And so was the next 1–2 hours or so. I ping ponged back and forth from a half dreamlike state filled with visions geometrical beauty and puking my brains out. It felt like every 15 minutes for about an hour and a half I would throw up.
I didn’t mind though. I put my faith into the plant. If that’s what it needed to do, I knew it was doing it’s work on me.
If throwing up and limpeza is what I need right now, than so be it. I know it’s working it’s magic on my subconscious in the background.
I put my trust in the power, and let the effects fade into the background while the medicine went to work.
This was also an important spiritual lesson about non-resistance. It didn’t matter if I fought it, I was going to throw up either way.
Resistance only makes the effects worse. Resistance just means that I’m fighting the reality of the present moment. It adds unneeded stress.
I had to surrender to the Ayahuasca. And In surrender is where I allowed it to go to work on me. I might not know what happened, but I don’t need to. I can feel the difference.
So I surrendered into the ping ponging of rebalancing my energetic hygiene and enjoyed the ride with a smile on my face, knowing that Ayahuasca had my back and was doing what it needed to.
After about 1.5–2 hours of this, I slowly began to spend more time sitting upright and feeling awake. Groggy, but awake.
I had light visuals but nothing too intense. My mind felt calm. My body felt drained.
Around this time Apolo made an announcement — it’s time for some more rapé.
I stand up and walk towards the door. As I do this, Apolo looks at me and smiles. He says “The time has come for the Rhino to wake!” and lets out a laugh.
I could feel it in my bones. I immediately felt energized. It was time to wake up and realize my full energy. There was more work to do.
I took a lap outside, took some deep breaths, and then walked back inside. As I did, I sat down in front of the man who would give me rapé.
When I sat down I asked him to only give me a little, because I was still out of it. I didn’t look, but when he gave it to me I could tell he didn’t listen. Thank god he didn’t listen.
The Rapé instantly blasted me back off into Ayahuascaland. I felt energized. Reinvigorated. Alive!!!
I could feel electricity flowing through my body. I picked up my things from my spot where I had been throwing up, and I moved back to my original seat.
I felt good again, and it was time to go back to work.
After settling back into my seat and feeling comfortable, I began to meditate once again.
At this time I started to have visions of fire. My astrological symbol is a Leo, which also has the symbol of fire. I recently did an astrology test and found out my ascendant signs are double fire and air, which makes my fire all the more potent as well.
So I thought of myself as a fire. I saw the potential for both good and bad that lies within a fire of that size.
I thought about the dual nature of fire. How it can be both good and bad yet it remains the same fire nonetheless.
I thought about (and had visualizations of) how a fire can be used to light an unlimited number of candles. How it has the ability to multiply. Ignite. Inspire. Energize. Warm.
But I also saw how a fire can be dangerous. How it can burn, destroy. How it can become out of control.
It all depends on how it’s used. It all depends on its application. Playing with fire is dangerous, and I have a responsibility to deliberately do what is in my power to keep that fire under my control.
Then I started having visions of water. I thought about how my ex-girlfriend is a Pisces, which is the symbol of water.
Is that why we were good together? Does her water balance out my fire? Does she need double water if I’m double fire? Was she a double fire? Did I fuck up by letting her go?!
Only time will tell, don’t resist the present moment, relax…..
And I took deep breaths as I fell into a world of visions of fire and water dancing together. Fire represented by a strong masculine energy and water playing a dance of femininity. In perfect harmony. In perfect balance.
I sat there for a while like this just enjoying the visuals. Eventually I opened my eyes and noticed that in the middle there were a variety of people gathered. It looked like the ceremony of the fire (how ironic) was about to begin.
In this ceremony people brought food items with them that would be added into the fire outside as a sacrifice of sorts, a releasing of energy.
All of this food was gathered in the middle of the floor, while everyone else was spread out in a circle either sitting or standing and moving to the music.
This was my favorite part of the ceremony.
For the next hour I stood in the middle of the floor and slowly moved into a deep trance of dancing. I moved my body like I have never moved before.
Similar to before, I was moving my body as if I am liquid. I am flowy. Wavy. Loose. Fluid.
As I move my body, I can feel energy knots or kinks throughout my body, as I dance through them I can feel them release and flow out of me.
I begin searching my body for kinks of energy. I’m rubbing and touching and dancing with myself sensually as I search for energetic knots in my body.
As I “move” through each kink, I can feel myself release emotions attached to them. Ill find a kink in my shoulder and start crying, or a kink in my hips and start laughing, or a knot in my feet and feel angry — all of these disconnected to any actual thought.
It was as if every kink had a random emotion or reaction to it. I took myself through a dance routine of an emotional rollercoaster, oscillating between crying that turns into laughter that turns into rage that turns into laughter all over again.
It felt like I was releasing emotion from my body every time. Like I was unloading years of stored up emotional energy.
And again — the most fascinating part about all of this was that for a span of what felt like an hour, I didn’t have any conscious thoughts going through my head. I was experiencing emotions completely detached from any thought or particular memory.
I was immersed into my body wholly. I lived in my energy. My feelings were all that existed. It was like an inner-body experience, where I could feel every part of my body individually and as a whole at the same time.
I danced around like this and let energy pour out of me in every form imaginable kink by kink, moment by moment. It was one of the most therapéutic experiences of my life. Like I took a giant dump of energy. I felt relieved like I couldn’t believe.
Eventually it was time to go outside by the fire and begin the ceremony. We all slowly filed out of the cave and took our spots around the fire, and watched as the music began.
At this point I felt a little bit tired. Weak. Cold and shaky. I was behind some people and didn’t have direct access to the fire, so I needed to get my energy up a bit.
I began to do deep breathing to wake and warm myself up. I did a few rounds and before I knew it, the first song was over.
The next song was immediately more upbeat. It got me going a bit. More tribal. More intense. I started to sway from side to side and feel my head nod back and forth.
As I did this I thought of the fire again. I thought that the fire inside of me has been nearly extinguished. I let out so much in the previous few hours, I cleaned the energetic pipes so to speak.
…but now it was time to rebuild the energy inside of me.
It was time to rebuild my fire. To feel my own power.
I began to breathe harder. I put my hands in the air. Started to stomp. And gradually I got faster and faster as I got more into the music. I began grunting and making noises to the music.
The next few songs all blended into each other into another flow filled dance trance, where I gradually pumped myself up to the point that I was sweating.
I just remember stomping and banging on my chest and pretending my arms were banging on drums and throwing my sweatshirt off and hip thrusting and gyrating and jumping up and down.
I remember feeling the heat inside of me gradually build. Like I could feel the energy being built up. Feeling my ability to generate my own energy. The power that I hold inside of me even when I’m empty.
Energy started at my head and shoulders, fingers, toes/feet, and hips, and gradually filled my body with heat until I felt like my body was a cup of hot liquid.
(by the way while all of this was going on my eyes are closed and I’m experiencing intense visualizations and kaleidescopic tunnels taking me through a visual representation of the music playing)
Pretty mind-blowing stuff to be honest. It was like my emotions, feelings, visual and audio were all synced into one unified experience flowing into and out of me while I felt it all pass by.
At one point they began to play a slower song, and it was in Hebrew! I recognized it as a Jewish prayer.
Knowing that my buddy was jewish, I looked around the fire for him. Our eyes met. We shared a moment of jewish happiness as two american jews at an ayahuasca ceremony in Brazil. Beautiful moment.
I remember that the next song after that the music slowed down again. Everyone was gathered closely by the fire.
I closed my eyes and I had enough room to sway from side to side before touching anyone. As the song continued, I could feel vibrations flowing up through my body. Like a cold electricity.
Shortly after this I began to cry. Hard. Bawling. I kept my eyes closed and said fuck it. I don’t care if I cry my eyes out in front of everyone here, I’m going for it. Let that shit flow and let it out.
And so I did. I cried my heart out. I had rivers of tears flowing through my eyes. Difficulty breathing. Shuddering. There might have been a few wails of agony in there too.
Eventually the song comes to a gradual close, and I’m feeling a bit more leveled out. I open my eyes and notice that EVERY SINGLE PERSON AROUND THE FIRE WAS CRYING ALSO.
Face to face, each and every person with swollen eyes and streaks of tears down their faces.
Somehow, everyone at the fire all just had a shared crying experience together where we all let it out. Orchestrated through the music and the power of Ayahuasca operating at once? You decide.
All I know is that it was a beautiful shared moment with other humans where you realize we all have our shit that we’re going through, and that’s actually what bonds us together.
These feelings we have. We’re all human. We all feel. We all laugh and cry and dance and sing. We all are the same and we’re connected to and influencing each other at all times.
In that moment I felt very spiritually connected to humanity. Like I could see myself in everyone else and everyone else in me.
Everyone began to flow inside after this song. It was time for the next part of the ceremony.
For some additional context, before the ceremony we were encouraged to bring a personal item of ours that we wanted to throw into the fire. It had to be something that was special to you. Something that is a one of a kind that you can’t get another of.
My item was a keychain that I bought for my ex-girlfriend that she gave back to me when I broke up with her. It had a picture of a cute cat and my name carved in the back of it.
I brought it for myself as a symbol of moving on. Of letting go of our relationship. Of putting my faith in that decision and not second guessing myself.
It was also a symbol of all the other relationships I’ve been through as well. It was a symbol of letting go of my previous way of recklessly diving into relationships. A vow to myself not to hurt someone again like I have the other women in my life. To operate with deeper values from here and hold true to my integrity.
From here on, a new Troy. A more mature Troy. One who is ready for a real relationship. Who is willing to wait for the right person to enter into my life, no matter how long it takes.
I threw the keychain into the fire and walked back into the cave. Let the journey begin.
I went back in and took my seat. At this point it was almost morning and I was feeling drowsy.
I lied down with thoughts and visions swirling through my mind, reflecting on what I had just been through.
For the next hour or so I lied on the floor drifting in and out of lucid dreamlike states resting and relaxing. The major effects were over, and I was feeling the slow return back to reality.
I laid there with a smile. Reflecting and appreciating. Feeling good about my past and excited to rebuild for the future. I had gotten exactly what I needed out of the experience.
For the rest of the story and the experience from here, feel free to read the full version!
Also published on Medium.