Please see also M's perspective from this same trip here
Syrian Rue: the stern father who caresses you with the right hand and scolds you with the left. Mimosa Hostilis: the metamorphic mother who shows you the fullness of the planetary mind with the help of her elemental minions. The synergy: Ayahuasca, a major kick in the psychic ass.
It was Friday and I was waiting for M and S to arrive so we could start ingesting the pungent concoction, Ayahuasca, which I think tastes like the fluid that lubricates Nature's sinews (it might as well be the acid which comes from the mouth of a Basilisk). The extensive three-hour brewing process had left me tired and anxious. I thought about aborting the whole mission. I wanted to take off my snorkel and oxygen tank right before we dipped our feet in the psychedelic waters, but thankfully the anxiety finally decided to go down a favorable channel in the psyche. Whether I liked it or not, there was no turning back. M, S, and myself had decided to face the unknown, or, even better yet, the unknowable.
In front of M sat a cooking pot. In front of S sat a Folgers coffee container. I had a large popcorn bowl. We were all kind of tacitly challenging one another to take the first sip. Just as the tension was becoming humorous, my hand swooped down and picked up the bitter murk. Glug, Glug. One mighty sip. My face writhed in displeasure. I said something along the lines of, "this stuff is going to be extremely potent." M and S laughed. Then they followed my lead. Their faces writhed in displeasure. We all knew we were in for it. We just had no idea what the "it" was going to be.
Ten or so minutes later, we all managed to polish off the sacred brew with our wits still in tact. I felt the medicine moving through my body like a cool, yet cumbersome breeze. Then it settled in my large intestine. I made a droll comment to M and S about the fact that the medicine was going to come out of the wrong orifice. "Yeah, I am going to be sitting on the toilet—tripping out—and the bathroom will be devoid of toilet paper." This feeling invariably made me feel anxious, but in reality the feeling was slightly ludicrous. I realized the purgative action of Ayahuasca was veritably helpful in removing physiological and psychological parasites; if it wanted to exit through my backside, so be it. Finally, after much deliberation when it came to the unsettling force in my bowels, I went to the bathroom. It turned out just to be a yearning bubble in my bowels. After I farted, I told M and S, my fellow psychonauts, about the experience in the washroom. We all had a good laugh.
Even though I mitigated the unpleasant feeling in my bowels, I still had an unpleasant feeling in my lower abdominal region. This was the torrent that obviously wanted to go out of my mouth. Around this torturous moment, M, S, and myself decided to vomit at the same time. And so we all grabbed our goofy puking containers and went for it. My vomit came out in momentous streams of pain and ecstasy, like a kool-aid waterfall situated in an amusement park that straddles heaven and hell. The heaves were deep and cathartic. At one point during the purging I thought the popcorn bowl was going to overflow. Thankfully I stopped short of that reality.
After we all finished puking, the visions started taking hold. M said he saw the Goddess of the Vine coming out of his blanket. S looked like he was falling in and out of consciousness. I assumed he was trying to grapple with the immensity of the formidable visions. Unlike teonanacatl—magic mushrooms in western parlance—ayahuasca doesn't come on like a gradual buzz. It simply starts taking effect when the switch has gone from consensual reality to the reality of the imaginal realms. Then you cannot stop the flood of images and iridescent hallucinations. And I couldn't. I got the feeling neither M nor S could either. I saw floating Mayan pyramids, crystal animals that can't reasonably exist in three-dimensional reality, leering faces, tapestries of red, yellow, white, a modulating Islamic cursive, distractions, abstractions, and more, and more, and more. Nothing was standing still. All was flux and vibrant color. In my inebriated state, with my body vibrating like a robotic hummingbird, I got the distinct impression that these images were generated out of a conversation the planet and the cosmos were having. But then that idea seemed nonsensical and too unpalatable. And then language started playing tricks on me. Before the trip I thought I had an idea what up, down, left, right, and logicality meant to me as a rational human being. While the trip was happening, I had to admit to myself that sense and sensibility were only two bricks that held up the castle of ME. The other bricks, the other dimensions of me, were startling, dazzling, terrifying, and I wanted to explore them.
Much to my disappointment I wasn't able to fully immerse myself within the visions, and I wasn't able to go beyond the subconscious fizzle that would constantly distract me. I started to get really angry with myself, and I blamed myself for being scatterbrained and lazy all the time. I implored the ayahuasca to teach me something new, something that would unchain me from my worldview. But the ayahuasca just kept throwing intangible images at me. Frankly, I felt helpless.
Around this time in the timeless time of the yage trip (Yes, time does disappear), M emerged from what I assumed to be a roller coaster ride through his psyche. We struck up a brilliant conversation and talked in metaphors. We laughed at the absurdity of it all. M struck me as being a cosmic genius sent from the stars many aeons ago. His jolly, free-spirited nature was humbling and enlightening. He even said he was "humbled" by the Goddess of the Vine. Conversely, the stern father figure, the Syrian Rue ingredient, humbled me and I mentioned that it was trying to teach me something I wasn't even able to decipher. I think at this point we both realized we were talking about the same thing, but each of us were taking polar viewpoints. Also, I think we were both disappointed in the fact that S seemed like he was having a difficult time, even though he would periodically say that he was "feeling great".
As the sun was coming up, and as we heard the birds chirping outside with their little songs of summer, we decided to call it a night. M went off to his spacious bedroom filled with gnarly lamps and incredible videogames, and I went off to my brother's bedroom (my brother, D, was at B's place. He was rather drunk.) I closed my eyes and assumed a semi-disappointing trip was over.
When I surfaced from the dark recesses of sleep's ocean, I had no idea who I was. I was invariably possessed by something I didn't understand. I was confused and baffled by my state. It wasn't like a meditative state where everything feels peaceful. It was more like a shamanic state of madness. Information was sneaking into every synapse at the velocity of simultaneity—the velocity of everything happening at once. My rational mind was convinced that a nonlocal intelligence was trying to commune with me. I was also convinced that I wasn't even human and that I was somehow seeing through the eyes of a mantis hive mind that exists within the yage network. Something in my mind confirmed this: "Yes, we have communed with you. This is how it feels to be us. Don't resist. Don't feel too awe-struck." As the insectoid hive mind said this in the guise of my inner voice, I tried to read the letters on my brother's compact discs and books, but I couldn't even understand what I was looking at. It wasn't even English. It was almost like it was one steady stream of information situated in the cosmic reef of ahistory. Then I realized my inner voice sounded different. It was colored with a metallic texture. It must have been the voice of the mantis hive mind. Fuck…I was going insane.
The aweness of the experience soon subsided and my heart opened up like a young heliotrope at dawn. Everyone I had ever met flashed across my mind's eye and I realized that I deeply loved them all. I thought about all my mother's health problems, a couple depressed co-workers, and all beings living in the gulf of samsara. Tears exploded from my eye sockets. Then they turned to laughs. Then back to tears. Then back to laughs. I had such a clear picture of what I could do to change the world around me and inside of me. With red eyes and an aching heart, I thanked the ayahuasca and the higher beings that possessed me with grace. I got the feeling that they were trying to instruct me in the ways of true communication—the communication that happens when the subject/object duality is transcended. God, I felt so alive!
After the communion with the Other, I went downstairs to check on S. He looked like he was having the same kind of experience. His eyes looked like they were trying to jump out of his closed eye sockets. When I convinced myself that he was okay, I climbed the stairs, opened up M's bedroom door, and engaged in a conversation with him. We talked about my experience with the nonlocal intelligence (I had lots of trouble conveying this to him), the uncanny telepathic powers which we both suddenly possessed, and something about the Hanso Foundation in the hit television series, "Lost". M and I were certain that we had become, or that we already were, transdimensional gelatinous cubes that were compressed into 3-D just for a change of pace. Insane, eh?
Overall, this was one of my most peculiar trips. The presence of the syrian rue was overwhelming at times, and it certainly lasted for around eight hours. M and S were brave warriors who endured the rough waters with me, and I thank them greatly for that. Lastly, I thank ayahuasca, the great healer and medicine of the earth. I will definitely meet her again.