Monday, October 24, 2016

San Pedro Ceremony #2 in Vilcabamba in September/October 2016

During our Vilcabamba trip, over a 5 day period in September/October 2016, I participated in three Kambô ceremonies and two 2 San Pedro ceremonies.

The 1st San Pedro ceremony blogpost can be seen here.

My San Pedro Ceremony #2 in Vilcabamba - October 1, 2016

We started the San Pedro ceremony on the second day with Steve offering a prayer. We drank the San Pedro, and I collected a mat and went down to the river to be quiet in nature and listen. Squiggles, Steve's dog joined me and periodically jumped over me, and frolicked all around - what a joy!

I had reviewed my intentions, and rewrote several of my requests in my notebook. Today my focus was on really listening and hearing Grandfather San Pedro today. I knew that I had received powerful messages yesterday, yet still questioned if I was truly listening to San Pedro or simply my wise self. In some ways it felt like I was negating the gifts of yesterday, but after hearing the others’ stirring renditions of their experiences, I questioned the validity and profoundness of my own experience. In my search for truth, will I be able to recognize truth when I finally hear it? In reviewing now, I do recognize the value of my first day’s experiences.

I also noticed recently, well after these ceremonies, that I have a fierce protective nature, or ego that wants to protect me, and it asserts itself as I’m getting “dangerously” close to a huge breakthrough. With Kambô, I received the same number of points on the 2nd and 3rd days, rather than increasing it more. With the San Pedro, I elected to drink the same amount as the day before, even though more was offered. I’ll make a note in the future to not do this behavior, but rather to trust in the unfolding as being exactly what is needed.

I knew that it was key to quiet my mind, and be open to the messages, especially while in the medicine. Apparently, according to our facilitator Steve, I could be almost asleep and still benefit hugely from the medicine, because I wouldn’t really be asleep, just in a very receptive state. And that would be a very good state to be in.

I lay down on my mat and took Steve’s direction to be very still, very quiet, and allow the San Pedro medicine to work without me thinking it through, without me analyzing and questioning, and simply allowing the feelings to flow freely, and to allow the medicine to work as it knew best to do.

Once again, within about 30-40 minutes, the medicine kicked in. I stayed quiet, mostly with my eyes closed, listening, but even more than that, being very still and allowing.

“Let go of everything you think you know. Because you don’t need it any more.” How true! It felt like all my past learnings had prepared me for this new time when I would move into a completely new arena of teaching and ideas.

“None of it is true – lies, lies, you’ve been fed a pack of lies.” This was a constant refrain yesterday, and looked to be so today. So many lies, diversions, untruths on many levels.

“You are NO THING.” Not “nothing”, but “NO THING.” Emphatically pronounced, not in a mean way, but in an attempt to show me what I truly was. “No thing.” Perhaps this message meant that I was not to be defined by any of my “roles” as daughter, sister, friend, wife, sales professional, and more, that that was all “no thing” and “no value” in terms of my true identity. Or perhaps it was that my ego was “no thing.” Either way, I tried not to puzzle over it too much, but allowed the message to flow into and through me. Later on, I realized that my childhood pattern had been to help out, to do do do, and that unless I did that I was “no thing”, not valued, not appreciated, and not worthy of love. Periodically I would open my eyes, survey the trees and sky, but then close my eyes again, and recommit to quiet and allowing the medicine to direct the healing.

“Your reality is all that matters.” Not the reality of the so-called world all around me, but my reality based on my thoughts, my creative energy, what I give attention to. And why give attention to past ailments and past emotional hurts? I can create a new reality in the present moment, by focusing my attention on what I am spontaneously being drawn to.

“Give it up.” Again, the direction to let go of all that I’ve known, as I’ve been fed a pack of lies, none of it is true. Let go. Give up preconceptions, old teachings, outdated ideas.

After awhile, probably about 2 hours or more, I sat up and looked around. I wasn’t experiencing the deep emotions of the previous day. I could tell that the medicine had kicked in some time ago, and I was sensing something with the previous messages, but nothing profound, nothing I could definitely identify as San Pedro, without question, at least not just yet.

I decided to review my list of questions and intentions with San Pedro. Even though much had been answered the previous day, in some esoteric form, I decided to persist and go through them one at a time, in hopes of getting more definitive answers.

First, I said, “Thank you for continuing to help me heal.” “You’re welcome. Buzzzzz.” Referring to my buzzing legs and arms that had been shaking uncontrollably yesterday, but weren’t today. Such a sense of humor – “Buzzzzz.”

Then I went through each of my health issues and asked, “What about…” and the response each time was, “Done!” To give you a sense of what that felt like and the energy around San Pedro’s answers to me, here’s some examples:

“What about this cough?” “Done! All piddly stuff! Done! You have bigger fish to fry!”

“What about loving myself – can you help me to remove any blocks so I can do this better?” “Done!”

“Do I need to forgive more?” “Done!”

“Do I need to reach out to some of the people I’ve been forgiving?” “Done! Don’t reach out! They’re fine! Done!”

“What do Michael and I do in our new lives in retirement mode, in Cuenca?” “Just love yourself and each other. That’s good. Done!”

“What about my energy levels? My new purpose in life?” “To love myself fully and live in the present! Done!”

“Today, my intention is to listen. Really hear you, San Pedro. Did I hear you yesterday?” “Yes, of course! You asked so you received. Done!”

“You’ve got bigger fish to fry! Focus on that! Be DONE with all the piddly stuff! It’s done! Taken care of!”

There was a sense of impatience as he answered each of my questions. I got the distinct sense that my life was more than mulling and stewing over various health issues and opening up old emotional scars. “Piddly stuff.” That I was to move on, love myself, and love Michael, and live in the present, rather than bringing past problems and reliving them, thus making them be my present experience. And that he was simply not going to address the various issues that I WANTED to discuss. Were these health concerns really healed and "done" - I really wanted answers to that, but I wasn't getting a sense that it was "done", more like he was "done" with talking with me about these issues for now.

I closed my eyes again and tried to get really still. And continued to listen. I felt reprimanded for having asked all those questions because of the curt replies, and really wanted to allow San Pedro to communicate with me in a newer, deeper way. And allow the healing he was providing for me, rather than orchestrate and force what I wanted.

“Let’s go within. You bend and fold it. Go within, deep, deep.” The invitation was to go on a journey, deep inside of me. I’ll call the process “fractaling” because it felt like we were going deeper and deeper within the same space, in a fractal space, where I started to move into an infinitesimally smaller and smaller space. Or perhaps you could say, “tesseracting” because it definitely felt like space and time were folding and bending over and over again. At the beginning, my vision with closed eyes saw a bright red field, in a paisley red-on-red pattern. Then, we were speeding along going deep within me, and at one point, San Pedro paused slightly as we were passing my heart to the left of me, and he put his hand around my heart very casually, and crushed it into fine gray dust. We moved on without a pause, with no time provided to absorb what had just happened, as he exclaimed emphatically, “You ARE heart!” in response to my developing shock at having my heart ever so casually crushed and my unspoken perennial questions on how to open my heart, how to heal my heart, and how to “have” a warmer more expansive heart. What a correction he had provided with his statement: “You ARE heart!” and he said this calmly in passing, emphatically, knowingly, and without room to question. “This is truth; now let’s move on” was the assumed attitude. Onward!

We kept “fractaling”, going deeper and deeper within me and were rapidly approaching a tiny pinpoint dot of bright light. As we drew even closer to the pinpoint of light, we were sucked through to the other side into an explosive starburst of brilliant light. I was surrounded by stars and it was beautiful being in velvety black skies with vibrant white clusters of stars all around, just like the inspiring and complex beauty of the Hubble telescope photos. I felt myself soaring, and frolicking in the space, darting to and fro, having a marvelous time. 

“You are a STAR.” What? But you said that I was “no thing.” I’m a star? Do you mean like a performing star, in front of audiences? Or a star in the skies? What do you mean by “star?” I asked for clarity. San Pedro’s response was emphatic once again.

“Literally! You ARE a STAR! This you must remember! You are not hu-mon (like human but pronounced differently), you are a star! You are not a star that has temporarily come into human form. YOU ARE A STAR! Literally. ”

“Remember the fairy child? That’s you. And you are in the stars, and you are a star, an estrella! (he sang that last word) Playful, joyful, dancing in the heavens, being a delight.” San Pedro was referencing a past life regression where I was a fairy child who lived in a world where everyone lived in the moment; there was no acknowledgement of the past, nor planning for the future, only living in the present. And the present moment was beautifully coordinated as everyone moved in perfect unison from one moment in time and space to the next. It was a freeing, beautiful example of how to flow with the present, not planning, not remembering, simply being always happy and joyful in each moment.

Wondering if I might locate me as a star, in the heavens, (OK, I was curious if as a star, whether I was somewhere that could be located in our universe.) I asked if I had a name. With some impatience and rather to the point, San Pedro bellowed,

“You are a STAR! Your name is JOY! Remember you are a STAR named JOY! You are JOY! Start living up to your name and BE joy!”

“You are a STAR! This you MUST remember!”

“You are not ‘hu-mon’, you are not here as a star in temporary ‘hu-mon’ form. You ARE a STAR! You are not ‘hu-mon.’”

“You are a STAR! This you must remember!”

“Every single day, be Joy! Salud! Cheers! Relish your 10 delights with joy! Spend time in nature, with the sun and clouds. Connect with Love! Joyfully!”

“You are a STAR! This you must remember!”

I was really getting the importance of remembering that I was a star!?! Literally that I was a star, out there, sparkling light, being joyful and playful in my darting in and out among other stars in the brilliant velvety black and sparkling light of the heavens. And that I was not human, “hu-mon.” There was something incredibly important in remembering my true nature, that I was a STAR!

Yet, I was not a “star” like the stars in our universe in this dimension. I was not a static set of nuclear star material that was set in the far reaches to simply shine in one place. Oh no, not that at all. Instead, I was a playful, joyful “star”, full of bright light, darting in and out, zooming around having fun, all around the other stars and bright lights. Oh boy, this is going to be one to meditate on!
The messages continued, and somehow I was getting direction on how to be while I returned to what I knew as my “human” condition even though I was not “hu-mon.”

“Be spontaneous! What is right, do it NOW. Only NOW is important!”

“You create your reality in every moment. That is ALL and is ALL.” Again, this was referencing the importance of my creating my reality, and that reality was my whole world, and not being concerned with the messed up so-called reality “out there.”

“Remember you are a STAR! Your name is JOY! Let it unfold every moment!”

I was ready to come up out of the sun and came up to the patio and talked briefly with Steve, as he was fixing our fruit salad for lunch. I was puzzled by the messages I was receiving about being a star, and being “no thing” and not being “hu-mon”? How could San Pedro mean that I was a star, literally? San Pedro was emphatic that I was not “hu-mon”, but wasn’t I here in human form? Didn’t I have a role to play while in this human form? Yet San Pedro was extremely emphatic that I only identify myself literally as a STAR, and NOT identify as “hu-mon.” So much for application to the human condition!

Steve offered to do some guided meditation with me, but I didn’t understand until later that evening what that would have entailed. All in good time, so trying to not have any regrets. During my next San Pedro ceremony with him, I will take him up on that offer!

I posted a query on Facebook shortly after returning home, and several people had some helpful insights.

From Brandon: “Twas a Jamaican sayin' you're not a "hue", mon! But radder den won cola, u de whole rainbow mon! Yah dig? Lol”

From Chris: “Probably impossible to translate experience from one star to another, so maybe best to not take it literally but just let it meld into the background?”

From Richard: “Lots of things happen during a ceremony. Some are real, some are brain farts. Problems occur, and religions are formed, when brain farts are taken as being real. Really, nothing other than pure and perfect love is real. All else is metaphorical or nonsense.”

From Ariel: “I had a really profound experience of being shown the inner workings of stars, it was also communicated to me that I was a star... interesting to hear it from someone else.”

From Xenia: “I heard this from a wise elder today, thought quite curious and insightful, maybe it might be off interest: These ROOT-WORDS are HUM & HUMAN which come from the Latin humus, meaning EARTH & GROUND and the Latin humanus which means MAN. It is interesting to follow the changes of idea here. It begins with HUMus, earth, then becomes HUMble, lowly; finally to HUMAN, Man. But we must never forget the origin of man; “Dust thou art and to dust thou must return."”

From Kathy: “We are ultimately all made of star that is pretty accurate. But we are classified as homo sapiens as a species (I believe). Good luck and keep us posted. Maybe check out some stuff on ancient aliens or Portal to Ascension.”

From Grant (his feedback was very in-depth): "You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself."—Alan Watts. And included this link and a longer version

“Hi Deborah, perhaps the message is that the 'real' you is *not only* human (or any other label you like), but the deep-down 'you' behind your human identity *is* the very power that set the universe in motion.”

“I had a similar-sounding ceremony involving "being a star" that I'll share on the hope it might be helpful to hear. In the trance stage of that ceremony, I played a game of hide-and-seek with a nebulous cloud of golden-white stars that had an awareness or intelligence to it. This star-cloud seemed to be an entity whose form appeared like the way a photograph of a starry nebula looks—a dense cluster of thousands of stars and beautiful gas clouds. I knew instantly this form was a *poetic* manifestation of the idea our species calls "God." The golden-white cloud of cosmic starlight informed me: "I am the essence behind all existence, but do not take my present form to be an absolutely true representation of who I am. I am beyond all form. I do not know what I am. I am everything."

“In my trance we played hide and seek in a labyrinth of mirrored pillars, the star-cloud hiding from me while I went looking for it up and down rows upon rows of gigantic mirrored columns, kind of like a fun-house but on the scale of an Egyptian temple! Whenever I would catch sight of the beautiful cosmos-cloud hiding behind a mirrored pillar, I rushed forward like a joyous child, as if to say "Haha! I found you!" And every time I found the star-cloud, a brilliant beam of light would shoot directly from it into my heart. The light filled me with an almost orgasmic ecstasy of oneness with that force. Next, I discovered that when I passed by the mirrored pillars and stopped to catch my own reflection, I would see that I was also a nebulous starry-cloud and God-like. When I realize this, the game was over and the pillars dissolved away. The God-like star-cloud said to me: "You understand now. I am you and you are me. It's a game of hide and seek We play. We forget that we are God-stuff, and then We wake up to it."

“This ceremony puzzled me for two months and I was afraid to speak of it, for the surest way to sound insane is to tell someone you think everyone might be God in disguise! ;) Then one day I Googled the terms, "universe game of hide and seek" and discovered the Zen philosopher, Alan Watts, and I was overjoyed to learn I was far from alone in having had this sudden realization, called Satori in Zen. I hope this provides another perspective to consider. Maybe you are the stars and everything in-between. Not only human, but something much grander and beyond description. That is the insight I was blessed to experience (feel) several times with Ayahuasca. It isn't something one can "know" intellectually but a mystical experience one *feels.*”

I SO appreciated all their feedback, and will continue to meditate on my true “STAR” identity, being “no thing” and “hu-mon.”

***** ***** ***** ***** *****
Note: Some months later, I'd been listening to David Wilcock - and came across something that really resonated with me regarding my identity as a "star."
Start at just before the 8 minute mark up until around the 13 minute mark.
This excerpt helped to explain the progression of my experience to me. I got triggered when he talking about informing unconditional love by adding wisdom, then guardian, then star. Previously, I'd had a San Pedro experience, where I had shared the importance of "just say no" and how important it was to reject what was wrong for you, even if you couldn't muster up the unconditional love in which to deliver the emphatic message. It makes sense that simply love without wisdom was not the path to take - combine the two! I'd also had a dream (was it a dream) decades ago where I found myself above the earth viewing the energetic gridwork, and being told that I was a "guardian." And of course, this "star" experience. 

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

A vibrant thunderstorm with bolts of lightening and magnificent thunder was developing. I stretched out quietly on the bed, next to Michael, having checked with him that doing so would not interfere with his process. I continued to be very quiet, to listen, to allow. And the thunderstorm roared on, with vivid aliveness and energy and vigor. I could feel the aliveness of San Pedro, as well as the tree spirits, the mountain spirits, and more flowing with the thunderstorm. What a beautiful meditation to witness the enhanced vibrancy of nature while in the medicine. I loved the communion, felt the love deeply and fully, and felt so alive and vibrant myself.

At one point, it felt like San Pedro was saying:

“Now ask me a question so I can answer.”

Seizing the opportunity, I asked, “How do we save the world?”

“You are your world. Save you. Imagine your ideal world. Love. That is all.”

And my follow-up question was, “What about others?”

“Teach them to love themselves gently, tenderly, compassionately and show them how it is done by example only. That’s how you do it.” Such simple, yet profound answers!

I continued during the next several hours, listening, witnessing the dynamics in nature and simply “being.” There were three trees that were swaying in the breeze that seemed to be talking to me, saying hello. The flowers, grass, and plants were imbued with such life! And the towering mountain slope was majestic and awe-inspiring. We live in such glorious beauty! How wonderful that the four of us had created this magnificent experience where we were taking the time to gently and fully appreciate such gorgeousness and the opportunity to commune with Grandfather San Pedro for two whole days! How smart, how right, how sublime and natural! How I wish the same experience for so many others who are searching for answers, for direction, for peace!

There was a point later in the afternoon when I felt the effects of the medicine were lifting, and while I was still trying to be still, listen, I was getting fidgety with wanting to move around and not stay still.

San Pedro communicated to me how important it was that I take the time to truly love myself, to drink and breathe in the Love, and to appreciate the beauty all around me everyday. These had been directives in my previous Ayahuasca and San Pedro ceremonies too, and since then I had found it very challenging to simply sit, enjoy the beauty of nature, and quietly accept and allow myself to be nurtured by the Love all around.

To be “lazy” if you can call it that, to really fill myself with the luxury and necessity of the love and life of the sun, the sky, the trees, the rushing water in the nature, the beauty all around. To be quiet and appreciate it and simply drink it in.

To get softened up!

When you think of it, what’s so difficult about that? Yet, I had found it remarkably challenging to shift my old habits and rarely indulged in this natural love feast to the fullest. Apparently San Pedro feels it is essential and he told me:

“This is so important. You do your part. We do ours. No more ceremonies until you have completed 30 days of love. Don’t pass GO. No jail.”

(NOTE: A month later, I'm revising this as now I feel that this was NOT San Pedro talking but rather my ego talking, as the message wasn't delivered in the same way as other messages. There was a sternness and punishing quality to it. And I was coming off the medicine at this point, and after two days of ceremony, I was rather spent, and done my best. While it is good to have a consistent practice of meditation / appreciation, this is probably not the best message to further my ongoing progress. My protective self could tell that I was getting close breaking through, and the best way to avoid that would be to stop doing ceremonies. Even though this directive was said with a sense of humor, and it was important to take more time each day, the best thing to do would be to check in and see when I felt "called" to the next ceremony. See my next San Pedro ceremony post regarding my ongoing process.)

Once again, as our group gathered in the early evening, we were each “glitterfied” with shiny white glitter, and sparkled brightly, in more ways than one.

We enjoyed our dinner of delicious vegetarian soup. The four of us shared our experiences of the day and did the angel card readings again. Tonight I chose three cards.

My first card: Peace: “Peace comes from remembering that only love is real.” This is the same card as last night. Obviously, an important message. See the previous info on this.

My second card: Courage: “Be courageous, and stand up for your beliefs. In this situation, you need to act upon your convictions, even if others disagree. I’m protecting you from harm, and guiding you to be a loving warrior of light. As you stand up for your beliefs, you’re a role model for others. This is an important form of spiritual teaching, in which your example gives others courage to also stand up for their own principles.”

“Working with Archangel Ariel: Ariel’s name means ‘Lioness of God,’ and she reflects these qualities, including bravery, courage, focus, and elegant movements. If you notice images of lions or lionesses, this signals that Ariel is with you. Call upon her to boost your confidence and courage.”

My third card: Chakra Cleansing: “Call upon me to clear and open your chakras, using sacred geometric shapes.”

“Working with Archangel Metatron: Metatron uses sacred geometry shapes to clear and align the chakra energy centers in our bodies. Mentally ask Metatron to open your chakras, and he’ll gently send his “Metatron cube” (the shape pictured in the card illustration) through the crown chakra at the top of your head. The cube rotates downward, cleaning psychic toxins from your body and chakras. When your chakras are clear, you’ll feel more energized and have increased intuition.”

“Metatron’s aura is beautiful violet and sea foam-green stripes. The crystal aligned with Metatron’s energy is watermelon tourmaline.”

In reviewing this second night’s 3-card reading, it made a lot of sense. The first card, “Peace” was chosen the night before. Above all else, to live with myself in peace, “remembering that only love is real” is worthy to repeat. It’s a lovely reminder to love myself, and be at peace with my world, with love. The second card, “Courage” showed me that it was important to be public with my beliefs. I have been very selective in sharing Ayahuasca and San Pedro, even Kambô with others in the past, and will continue to be selective, AND will share more often how important I feel about my convictions. This will allow me to be a great example to help others to also stand in their truth, in their power, and to share more freely with others. This is essential if I wish to get more people to experience the powerful healings that come through Ayahuasca and San Pedro and other South American medicines. And I love the picture of the warrior woman! The third and last card, “Chakra Cleansing” encourages me to continue to cleanse physically, mentally and spiritually so I can be even more aligned with my purpose and goals with plenty of energy and enhance my ability to hear my intuition. I’m considering looking for a practitioner who does this. Spot on!

Here are my three cards for this night’s reading.

Steve closed the second-day ceremony, and we chatted more among ourselves, then retired for the evening. We left very early the next morning by taxi to Izhcayluma hosteria, where we enjoyed a lovely breakfast of granola, fruit salad, yogurt, and juice.

Our van ride back to Cuenca was very pleasant but bumpy! My Pacer app logged 11,442 steps for the day and we weren’t walking much! Some of us, including me, were experiencing a slight let-down after spending two days in blissful communion, and it was discomfiting at times when I realized that I was seeing the world through non-San-Pedro influenced eyes. While nature still looked beautiful, there was a special sparkle that had dimmed ever so slightly. Ah, to return to the “real” world! I get to remember that I AM a star. And to drink in that magnificent Love.

The fruit salad tasted so magnificent during our two-days of San Pedro ceremonies that we have enjoyed delicious concoctions of fresh Cuenca fruit many times at home since returning from Vilcabamba. We’ve discovered a no-sugar-added coconut-yogurt that is a delicious accompaniment. We’re not drinking coffee like we used to – perhaps only one cup in the morning on one or two days in the week.

And when we’ve cooked up dinner using standard ingredients that we’ve used many times over the years, sometimes we notice that the food doesn’t sit well with us. Our tastes are changing – it’s like San Pedro is saying to us, “Hey, that particular food is not right for you any more! Can you feel that? So don’t eat it any more, right?” Or is this a reminder from the Kambô frog?

I’m very grateful to have completed the three Kambô sessions, two San Pedro all-day ceremonies, and to have my loving husband who participated wholeheartedly with me, and benefited hugely himself, be open to sharing our ongoing insights and supporting each other in our transition back to our newly developing “retirement” life in Cuenca.

The two other friends who joined us for the San Pedro ceremonies continue to be in touch, and life is unfolding beautifully for them as well. I received much inspiration from our group sharing their experiences with San Pedro, and witnessing the beautiful and ongoing healing for each of them. For all of us, there is an increased sense of peace and contentment as life roars quietly or not so quietly around us. Since we all drew the “Clairvoyance” card on that first night, it will be fascinating to see how that plays out in the weeks and months to come.

I’m continuing to notice how my intuition speaks, and how the guidance and messages are all around me, even more so than ever before. I’m even taking time to drink and breathe in that precious Love, and am enjoying noticing and appreciating many delights daily with childlike joy and glee. One day, I was inspired to read a secret message from my angel, typically fluffy fun, and that day it was also quite spot-on. And my guardian angel also had a profound reminder for me.

I’ve moved away from the daily “creative” attention to the previous health issues, to the best of my ability, and keep refocusing my attention on loving myself, and the bigger picture. Especially I’m grateful that my persistent cough for the last four months has disappeared. I’m willing to be even more spontaneous, and find life unfolding daily in beautiful ways. I do realize much more than before exactly how I create my universe, my world, with the thoughts I entertain and give attention to.

I have noticed that I breathe even deeper now. What a lovely thing to appreciate when all of the sudden, shortly after we returned from Vilcabamba, one day I took a breath and noticed that my intake of breath went way past the level of previous fullness. Terrific! However, I discovered something about creating my reality when I woke up a few nights ago, and was being very grateful for being able to breathe normally in this high altitude climate, and even more fully and deeply than ever before. Within seconds, my breathing became labored! What had just happened? What had I done? It became obvious to me that I was holding in my creative thought the “problem” of the lack of breath as well as the “solution” of freely breathing while being grateful. So I manifested the problem once again, since that was where my primary focus was. I was being SO grateful for the solution of the “problem” that I was focusing and visualizing the problem again, and thus creating it. What a great insight! And the answer was to drop it! Drop the noticing of the past problem, drop the noticing of the solution, and simply move on. Even the gratitude was a trap into noticing and creating the past problem. Now, I’m not saying to NOT be grateful; I’m saying that I noticed how tricky it can be to be grateful and not recreate a sense of the previous issue. As San Pedro said, “You have bigger fish to fry.” I fell asleep very quickly, by refocusing my gratitude and simply letting the old issue stay in the past. What a great realization and clarification about how to create your reality! This is going to be FUN!

I’m looking forward to participating in more San Pedro ceremonies, to further my communication and understanding. Apparently San Pedro (also known as Huachuma), like St. Peter, holds the keys to heaven. I definitely tasted the sweet nectar of heaven, and the unconditional love and gentle yet firm guidance of San Pedro. And will enjoy spending additional full days in the future communing with my Grandfather San Pedro.

Here are the links to the other ceremonies during this Vilcabamba trip:
Kambô Ceremonies  #1, #2, #3
San Pedro Ceremony #1 in Vilcabamba

San Pedro Ceremony #1 in Vilcabamba in September/October 2016

As I have mentioned previously, in the past I have generally been a very private person, and haven't shared personal intimate details with just anyone, and sometimes not even with good friends. Why risk being judged or even condemned and ostracized?

Yet, so many have shared their South American plant medicine experiences on YouTube, on Facebook, and even personally with me, and I am deeply grateful for how they bared their souls, shared their process, and trusted that their sharing would touch just the right people in the right way.

The profound and meaningful nature of my Ayahuasca, San Pedro and Kambô experiences over the last year have changed my mind - if my experiences can inspire and help even one person along their healing path, that is much more important than keeping it all private. 

During our Vilcabamba trip, over a 5 day period, I participated in three Kambô ceremonies and two 2 San Pedro ceremonies. This blogpost is for the 1st San Pedro ceremony. The 2nd San Pedro ceremony blogpost can be seen here.

My San Pedro Ceremony #1 in Vilcabamba – September 30, 2016

We completed three Kambô sessions in three days, and now we are off to our two San Pedro sessions over the next two days in the San Pedro barrio of Vilcabamba. We checked out of Izhcaluma hosteria and took a taxi to Steve Eagle Sewell’s place, the Eagle Nest. Our friends were joining us, and had arrived the night before.

Both my husband, Michael and I were looking forward to spending two full days with Grandfather San Pedro. Last year we attended a retreat where I participated in two Ayahuasca ceremonies, two San Pedro ceremonies and one sweat lodge ceremony which included a combination of Ayahuasca and San Pedro, and enjoyed both the (tough yet beautiful) mother love of Ayahuasca and the gentle wisdom of the Grandfather San Pedro medicine. Spending two full days, back to back, communing with and listening to Grandfather San Pedro was going to be a wonderful treat.

The interaction and heartfelt communion that I had with our San Pedro group was so awe-inspiring, yet I have chosen to not share most of our interactions out of respect for confidentiality. That said, there’s nothing like the “medicine” to create and enhance amazingly tight bonds of friendship and love. So please be aware that there are many more layers of sharing that I have not included here that supported me and them in many ways, both in the giving and receiving.

Especially, I am thrilled that my husband Michael and I have allowed our true and complete selves to be hugely exposed as we explored our tender and deep vulnerabilities in front of each other, with each other. Not only had we just finished 3 Kambô ceremonies, purging exhaustively and with no modesty or pretense at decorum, just yards from each other, and supporting each other whenever so lovingly needed, but we were about to commune with San Pedro for 2 days in a most personal and revealing way. Our deepest secrets, fears, insecurities, fragilities - all were being unveiled. That said, I have chosen not to share most of our communications and support with each other. I am so grateful that our South American medicine journeys have enabled us to trust and love each other all the more. We are bonded together more than ever.

I noticed the number 5 is repeating often throughout this trip. In the beginning, Michael’s meal came to $5.55. I noticed license plate numbers and addresses with 55 or 555 repeating, and also noticed the time at 5:55 in the morning or evening often throughout our 5 days doing our three Kambô and two San Pedro sessions. The WiFi password at Steve’s place had five 5’s repeating in the password (I won’t give away the exact password though.)

Doreen Virtue shares that 555 means: “Huge changes are rumbling throughout your entire life! To keep these changes on the highest possible course, be sure to keep your thoughts positive, and stay centered in prayer and affirmations.”

My intentions for the San Pedro ceremonies were very similar to my intentions for the Kambô ceremonies. Along with the various health concerns previously mentioned, I wanted to look into having more energy and desire and real purpose regarding what to do in my life, now that I was “officially” retired from the corporate arena. As well, it was important to complete, if necessary, any remaining forgiveness; to heal my past and give up old ingrained habits and thought patterns that no longer served me; to be able to love myself more; to be able to let go of the need to control and to let go and allow the “flow” to happen; and to eliminate the need for approval. Especially, I put out my intention to allow Grandfather San Pedro to guide and provide healing wherever and however I needed it, and to be willing to accept and integrate his messages into my life.

Quite a tall order!

San Pedro Ceremony #1

After greeting everyone, settling in, and receiving some explanations of how the day(s) would go, we started the first San Pedro ceremony. Steve Eagle Sewell is an experienced counselor and San Pedro facilitator. His website is . He offers several treatment modalities along with San Pedro. We would start at 9am, enjoy some fruit salad in the early afternoon, some vegetarian soup for dinner in the evening. Steve would watch over us all throughout the day, and be available to talk or listen or whatever we might need as we were with Grandfather San Pedro during the day.

First, each of us received a white sage cleansing / clearing.

Then Steve opened our San Pedro ceremony with a beautiful prayer and provided the San Pedro to us. It was easy to drink, not bad tasting at all, although the hard candy provided did help with the aftertaste, which was very minimal. I could have done without the candy. So no one need worry about the taste, seriously. Steve puts a lot of love and caring into his San Pedro brew – later in the day, I saw him in the preparation of the cactus, and he took great care – it was like his loving meditation as he went through the various steps.

We were able to choose to stay in the open deck area, which included a variety of regular seating options, a hammock, some beds, or we could sit outside by the house, or down by the river. I chose to go down by the river, and spread out a mat and settled in. It took about 20-40 minutes for the San Pedro to “kick in.”
I had been meditating and appreciating the beautiful nature all around, but all of the sudden I realized that I was in “the medicine” and experiencing many deep emotions. Some old dregs of anger at my mother, for some of the abuse inflicted on me as a small child especially, came roaring to the surface. I didn’t want to forgive; I just wanted to hurt her and hate her and be so angry. This was old stuff – I had done much forgiving of her and others in a variety of ways, and my first Ayahuasca ceremony had been focused for 5-6 hours on thoroughly forgiving many, many people, understanding the depths of what it took to forgive, and blessing them all. So I was surprised to see the emotions come up again, so raw and intense. Steve came over and we talked some about it. I appreciated his presence and yet I was puzzled by the impulse to go into yet another round of processing forgiveness. I don’t recall much of what he said, or what happened next. I do know that later I received several messages from Grandfather San Pedro.

Throughout the two days, I carried my notebook and pen with me, and was able to write down many of San Pedro’s messages, either right then or a bit later. I was grateful to be able to have these written messages, as I could accurately go back and review the day.

“Your thought is creating your reality right now.” Which implied to me that revisiting these old wounds was bringing the past into the present, and did I wish to have a present reality that included that? No, I did not, and I had the power and the choice to choose my thoughts and to focus my intention elsewhere. I don’t recall his exact words, but there was an intense focus on the “fact” that the past, present and future were all the same. If I continued to revisit and refocus on the past, the past would be my present.

“Lies, all lies – it was only meant to keep you down.” This was a message repeated several times during the day. I have continued to meditate on this, and at the time, it felt like it meant that many things that I was led to believe about our world, and about myself, were all lies, and the intention was to keep me locked down, and out of my power. Also, many so-called truths and theories about our world are lies as well, whether they came from my mother, my father, my other relatives, friends, work associates, church, school, and more.

At times, I questioned whether I was really listening and hearing San Pedro, or was I simply experiencing a figment of my imagination. So I communicated with San Pedro, “I really do want to hear you.” And his response was, “Love yourself. OK! It’s that simple. No fault, no blame, no should-haves, no gotcha.”

As I continued to talk with him, he got more curt and direct. “You choose your reality. If you choose to suffer, OK, then suffer. If you choose to ‘process’, OK, then you will process.” It felt like he was encouraging me to step up and claim my sovereign right to choose my thoughts, choose my reality right now, and understand that I was creating my reality, so choose carefully. I could choose to process “forgiving” or being angry, or whatever, and that would become my reality. His emphasis seemed to be on the present moment, and creating MY reality in MY present moment. What would it be? What would I choose? There was an emphasis that the past, present and future were all the same, and that it was best to choose right now what I would love to have and how to live in the present because that was all there really was/is. The thought occurred to me that perhaps I had “forgiven” previously, but I was used to revisiting the hurt feelings, so I could exercise my right to choose my reality now and create new thought patterns and habits.

At times, I felt like I was fighting with San Pedro – questioning him and fighting to understand. And I was so used to fighting in life too, for this cause or that issue, or against another personal or world problem, for advancement in my career, for healing relationships, and more. And the fighting had been hard, with many victories won but many defeats as well, and it had been wearing me down, and was quite discouraging at times. Yet what should I be fighting for?

His response was, “You don’t have to fight. We’re always talking to you. Just listen. You are SO loved.” He continued communicating with me, and there was such an emphasis on simply giving up the fight, not fighting at all, and stopping the participation in all the causes, whether it be for or against, whether they seemed worthy or not. That the fighting was not productive, and actually counter-productive in that it implied that in fighting that I was perpetuating a belief that I needed something to happen, outside of myself, for me to be able to be content and have peace of mind and satisfaction. So my interpretation is that I am not to fight any more, to give up attitudes that encourage the fighting and working for/against various causes, that the fight is not important and don’t fight any more. Instead, focus on being in the present, allowing and appreciating what I’m finding, and to simply release my contentious and combative, even “superior” attitude of rising to the occasion and responding to the urgent needs. Interesting…

Still I questioned how we could live in a world, so fraught with problems, with the food, air, water and even our minds all poisoned, with the problems with GMOs, fluoride, chemtrails/geo-engineering, Big Pharma medical mal-practicing including mandatory vaccinations and suppression of natural cures, media manipulation, work and home stresses, and on and on. What is the most effective way to join in the “fights” for many good causes? What if I don’t fight – wouldn’t that be detrimental to my (and other people’s) well-being and hurt our suffering world even more?

His response was, “You bring YOU with you. You don’t need anything outside of you because you are you, and ALL. There is no need for anything…you have it all within YOU.” It was as though I was hearing that my world was contained completely within me, within what I bring to the party, so there is NO fighting outside of me; simply monitoring and choosing my thoughts within myself – when that is done well, that would be creating my and THE best reality.

When I continued to ask about needing to connect with nature to feel better and be more empowered, his response was, “Even nature. Especially nature. You have it ALL within you.” I found this very inspiring, and will continue to meditate more and keep these messages close, as I go about my day-to-day life. And I will continue to enjoy nature, but with the realization that it’s all within me. This inspires such refocusing of my energies, in so many ways, as to how I will be creating my new life, here in Cuenca Ecuador.

Throughout the day, I was concerned, even worried that I might not be able to hear him, or that I was only listening to myself. His response was, “You ARE listening. You ARE able to hear the beautiful message. Just love YOU.”

I was happy that I could write down the messages as I was sensing / hearing them. And then review them later, and reflect further. While the messages were very distinctive, there was a common theme, even an unfolding of a complete message set, from one segment to the next, throughout the day, and even through the next day.

Accept Love. This is not your time to give it. Accept, accept, feel, feel, feel the love all around.” This is very similar to the messages I have received from Mother Ayahuasca and Grandfather San Pedro in past ceremonies. It seems that my focus seems to be on practicing how to receive love, how to feel the love that’s all around me. My focus is NOT on how to give love, but rather how to receive love for MYSELF. It feels as though it is essential for us to be able to love and respect ourselves, and that developing mastery in self-love is essential to any next step in contributing to other people, and the world. I’m very curious why this is so, but can see it easily in other people, when it seems quite obvious that it is essential for them to embrace self-appreciation and this nourishing, nurturing self-love as they interact with others in their lives. I guess it’s true for me too.

There were times, as I lay on my mat down at the river, listening, and in conversation with Grandfather San Pedro, that various doubts surfaced. I wondered about previous life experiences and whether the love I’d felt and expressed back then had been insufficient because of how things had worked out, in many cases quite badly. Self-doubt, self-condemnation and self-recriminations that I hadn’t been good enough back then, and probably wouldn’t be good enough in the present and future to handle challenges. I worried about bringing enough love, enough understanding, enough wisdom to current and future situations and was entertaining sinking doubts, and sobering feelings of defeat and despair. I was entertaining the premise that I simply wasn’t good enough, that I wasn’t enough and didn’t and wouldn’t have what it would take.

I was quite taken back when San Pedro responded rather loudly, “DO NOT NEGATE YOUR LOVE, YOUR POWER!” I hadn’t realized that my thoughts had been flowing in that direction until I was interrupted with this loud message! Wow, talk about a wake-up call! Instead of luxuriating in condemnation, I realized that I had brought the best of me to past situations and would continue to do my best, and would be open to learning if necessary. And instead of getting down on myself for not being able to do all I thought I should have done, that it would be more beneficial to appreciate what I had done, what I had learned, and be grateful for even the partial victories, or the failures because they were all teaching me what to do and what NOT to do.

Throughout the day, as I moved from my mat at the river, to sitting and talking with the facilitator or other participants, or lying on a bed on the open air patio, I noticed that my body was shaking vigorously, especially my legs and hands. I knew that often this means that past traumas are being released from the body, and allowed the shaking to go on, without trying to control or stop it. Actually, I couldn’t have stopped it if I tried, especially while under the medicine. The shaking was intense, and after awhile, I chose to be by myself, to unobtrusively allow the shaking to continue at its pace.

I continued to receive messages. Some were plays on words and phrases. Instead of telling me to be “selfish”, San Pedro told me, “Now is YOUR time for YOU to be self-FULL.” What a difference in interpretation. We perceive selfishness to be well, selfish and that would not be a good thing. Instead I was being told to indulge myself, to get “full” of myself, to thoroughly love and understand myself, unapologetically and indulgently.

So, how was I to do that? San Pedro followed up, with excellent inspiration from my surroundings in nature. “Indulge / Get dirty / Squish your toes in the mud. Relish in all that delights you and no, no, no to anything that does not delight you.” What fun! We were experiencing a delightful thunderstorm mid-day, and I was having a delightful child-like squish in the grass and mud that was SO much fun!

“Be happy / joyful / and more and more. No apologies.” So often, I have felt guilty when being so happy, because others weren’t, and so therefore how could I be? Ah, that’s right – “Lies, lies! They’re only meant to bring you down!” Of course I could be joyful, without bringing everyone else along with me. I get to remember whose voice is speaking, and make sure it’s MINE!
I stretched out on the bed, and allowed the big 6’x6” scarf at the head of the bed to blow over me, caressing me, playing with me, as the winds saw fit. I zoned out and listened, while staying totally conscious, even though my body was very relaxed, and relishing in the scarf caresses. “Not time yet for you to give to the world. Now is your self-full time. Indulge / Play / Play / Do only what feels magnificent!”

“Do say ‘No, No…’ and do say ‘Yes, Yes! More Yes, Yes, please!!’”

“You love you, and find out all the ways to love you.”

San Pedro got rather specific with how I was to meditate, as I typically have found it hard to simply meditate in the regular way. He instructed me, “Notice 10 new ways to delight you every day. This is YOUR meditation – how to be DELIGHTED.” Now THAT is fun – to notice all the delights around me, and relish and embrace them. Be truly delighted, as a child would be joyously enveloped with delight after delight, relishing in the sensual wonders! Hey, I can do that! What fun!

Have you ever had a conversation with someone else, in your head? That started happening with me, and I started saying to who knows who, in a gently rebellious way, “Not ‘YOUR’ way, but ‘MY’ way. You can trust it.” I believe this was San Pedro speaking through me, through my voice, and addressing my desire to speak out to those trying to influence me. Instead trust my intuition and do not be swayed by others’ opinions. I’ve been influenced in the past by others, and often followed their suggestions, even though it went against what I felt was right. He was encouraging me to listen, trust my intuition, and FOLLOW my intuition. And to not be dissuaded by others’ influences; my intuition IS right on.

Continuing along the lines of how to listen and then follow my intuition, I continued to be instructed. “Naturally happens. No force. No plan. Just is. Flow, baby.” So often, I think I need to have a strong intuitive message that is unavoidably stating the path to follow, and that simply is not how it’s happened in the past, nor how it will necessarily happen in the future. So the encouraging reminder is to allow the intuition to naturally flow, without force, without trying to map every step of the intuitive unfoldment, to simply flow with the intuitive energy as the answer(s) unfold. What a beautiful reminder!

Many times, I have been challenged on my decisions and even doubted that it was the right thing to do. San Pedro continued his teaching to continue to follow my intuition, and if challenged, to respond. He said, “You don’t have to be mean about it. Just live your choice. If asked, answer simply.” Ah, the freedom from having to justify myself!
The ceremony was coming to an end, and our group gathered together, enjoying some light conversation and sharing our day’s experiences with San Pedro. We enjoyed our vegetarian soup which was thoroughly delicious, as had been the amazing fruit salad in the middle of the day.

And one of our group had brought the infamous glitter, and glitterfied each of us. We sparkled from head to toe!

We did some angel card readings using Doreen Virtue’s Archangel Oracle deck. The images and quotes below are from this deck. I was compelled to choose 5 cards. I found it challenging to pick them – sometimes more than one card was “saying” to me, “Pick me! Pick me!” On the fifth card, I noticed that my intuitive sense was operating like it often does, where I would pick the opposite card that was the “right” card, and as soon as I did, I would realize the other card was the right one. So I’m including both the first 5th card, and the “right” 5th card.

My first card is: Brilliant Idea! "Yes, your idea is Divinely guided ... please take action to bring your idea to fruition."

"Your idea is an answered prayer. Even though it may push you past your comfort zone, know that God doesn't give you anything you can't handle. Ask for, and be willing to receive, all of the support that you need to bring the idea to fruition. Know that I'll be there all along the way, and you can ask me for help at any time. I'm especially glad to give you ideas and creative insights to support your life's purpose."

Working with Archangel Uriel: Uriel's energy is pale yellow, like a candle's glow. Whenever you need ideas or intellectual guidance, contact Uriel. His energy is aligned with the amber crystal.”

My second card is: Indigo and Crystal Children: “You have a bond with children. In particular, you can help children who are sensitive.”

“Your life purpose involves helping and teaching children. You’re here to help these children retain and amplify their psychic and spiritual gifts. Educate adults about natural and chemical free ways to feed and raise these special children. The very young Crystal Children and the slightly older Indigo Children are important to the future of this planet. You can help ensure their bright future, and I will help you.”

“Working with Archangel Metatron: Metatron is one of two archangels who once walked upon Earth as human men. (The other one is Sandalphon.) If you feel drawn to help children (your own, or children in general), ask Metatron for an assignment that mirrors your natural talents and interests.”

“Metatron works closely with psychic and sensitive kids, and he loves to help adults help these children. If you need more time, money, ideas, contacts, or other support for this mission, call upon Metatron. He’ll help you manifest your needs so your focus can be directed toward his beloved Crystal and Indigo Children. Metatron’s aura is beautiful violet and seafoam-green stripes. The crystal aligned with Metatron’s energy is watermelon tourmaline.”

My third card is: Peace: “Peace comes from remembering that only love is real.”

“As ‘he who sees God,’ Chamuel has omniscient vision, and he sees the connection between everyone and everything.”

“When to call on Archangel Chamuel: His holy mission includes the manifestation of universal peace through helping individuals attain inner peace, even during turbulent times. Chamuel uses his vision to ensure that you and others are at peace by helping you find what you’re looking for. From his lofty vantage point, Chamuel can see the location of every missing item and the solutions to every problem. Even though he’s stationed at an extremely high level, Chamuel is very down-to-earth and accessible, like a great man who has remained entirely humble.”

Archangel Chamuel's color: Pale green. Archangel Chamuel fulfills a role similar to Saint Anthony in Catholicism, who also helps reunite us with missing items. Both are amaz­ingly swift at bringing back beloved heirloom items such as wedding rings. Chamuel can help you find your life’s purpose; a better job or home; your right relationship; and anything, esoteric or tangible, that you request, as long as it’s in alignment with your higher self’s path. He knows God’s will for you, so ask for help and Chamuel will sort the rest out. Crystal or Gemstone: Fluorite”

My fourth card is: Compassion: “Soften your heart with respect to this situation, and all the people involved, including yourself.”

“I can help you forgive yourself and others or to compassionately see everyone’s point of view. You needn’t change your stance or behavior. It simply means approaching the situation with a loving heart, which empowers you and allows creative situations to pour forth.”

“Working with Archangel Zadkiel: Zadkiel’s name means ‘Righteousness of God,’ and he helps us release unforgiveness toward ourselves and others. Ask him to come into your dreams and act like a chimney sweep, clearing away any emotional toxins from your heart. He’ll ensure that everyone’s needs are met, and that emotional healings occur in miraculous ways.”

“Zadkiel’s aura is deep indigo blue. When you wear the mineral Lapis Lazuli you may feel a closer connection to Zadkiel, Angel of Inner Strength. Lapis is associated with truthfulness, openness, inner power, love, purification, intuition, a sense of wonder and mystery, self-confidence, virility, manifestation, and tranquility. Lapis is thought to bring the gift of strength, self-assurance and increase sensitivity to your higher power. Ancient Egyptians used Lapis as a symbol of Truth.”

My fifth card is: Clear Your Space. I picked up the card and immediately before even seeing the card, I knew the other card that had been beckoning needed to be chosen. However, here is the information on “Clear Your Space.”

“Get rid of clutter, clear the energy around you, and use feng shui. Your home and work environments affect you on many levels. Clutter can erode your energy, creativity, and prosperity. I’ll help you find the time and motivation to clear interferences from your physical environment. Together, we’ll release anything that’s not serving you. We’ll donate, recycle, or discard unused items. We’ll open the windows to circulate fresh air in the rooms. And I’ll escort lower energies away. You’ll notice huge improvements in all areas of your life as a result of this endeavor.”

”Working with Archangel Jophiel: Jophiel’s aura is deep rose pink, signifying her beautiful, loving, and caring nature. Dark pink crystals, such as pink rubellite, are associated with Jophiel’s energy. Anytime you’re involved with redecorating or spring cleaning, call upon Jophiel to help you. It’s like having your own spiritual interior decorator and feng shui consultant!”

And the card that really wanted to be chosen at the last is: Clairvoyance: “I’m helping your spiritual sight to awaken fully so you can clearly see Heavenly love. Your clairvoyance may come in different forms: as fleeting mental images in your mind’s eye; as dreams; as recurring sights in the physical world; as auras and energy; or as apparition experiences. All of the facets of clairvoyance are beautiful and varied. Enjoy and trust them. Hold the intention of seeing only love, and that is what you’ll see.”

“Working with Archangel Raziel: Raziel’s aura holds all the colors of the rainbow, like a beautiful prism of light. Working with clear quartz crystals magnifies clairvoyance and helps you feel closer to Raziel.”

All four of us drew the Clairvoyance card. Unprecedented and unusual. Steve said that he’d never seen that happen before. Very cool!

So how accurate was the reading, and what additional insights were there? The first card, “Brilliant Idea!” with an exclamation point said to me that my plans to offer integration support to those people working with South American plant medicines such as Ayahuasca and San Pedro is a brilliant idea, and to move forward with it. The second card, “Crystal and Indigo Children” was puzzling until I realized that my first choice is to work with woman rather than children, and that encouraging those women to be childlike and playful and draw upon their intuitive and even crystal- and indigo-children-like qualities and shine brightly in our world. It also coincides with offering integration support after plant medicine ceremonies to support birthing their contributions to the world. The third card, “Peace” is a beautiful reminder that only love is real, and to focus on gifting myself with opportunities to drink and breathe in that Love. The fourth card, “Compassion” is a lovely reminder to have compassion for others and myself, especially be willing to approach situations with a soft, forgiving heart. For the “Clear Your Clutter” card, I had just finished decluttering my life in preparation for our move to Ecuador. The fifth card, “Clairvoyance” confirmed with yet more assurance that my intuition is right on, and I can trust it. So, all in all, a very good reading.

Here are my five cards.

Steve closed our 1st day San Pedro ceremony. We chatted some more, and retired for the night, sleeping out in the open air patio. San Pedro Ceremony #2 is tomorrow.

See my San Pedro #2 ceremony in Vilcabamba

Kambô Ceremonies #1, #2, #3 in September 2016

In the past I have generally been a very private person, and haven't shared personal intimate details with just anyone, and sometimes not even with good friends. Why risk being judged or even condemned and ostracized?

Yet, so many have shared their South American plant medicine experiences on YouTube, on Facebook, and even personally with me, and I am deeply grateful for how they bared their souls, shared their process, and trusted that their sharing would touch just the right people in the right way.

The profound and meaningful nature of my Ayahuasca, San Pedro and Kambô experiences over the last year have changed my mind - if my experiences can inspire and help even one person along their healing path, that is much more important than keeping it all private.

My Three (3) Kambô Experiences – September 27, September 28, September 29, 2016

One of our newer and very dear friends had recently done Kambô, and highly recommended it. I was especially attracted by the claims that it would strengthen the immune system, and help purge toxins both in a physical and emotional way.

From Kambô Spirit of the Shaman:

“But to the native, the main cause for taking Kambô is to fight ‘panema’. ‘panema’ means sadness, lack of luck, irritation: ‘bad aura’ – as someone once well translated. The person is with “panema” when nothing goes right and nothing is good.”

“And that, however difficult it is to the Western thought to accept, is the main purpose of Kambô: it establishes a spiritual ‘management chock’ in the life of people, a ‘chakra realignment’, a mark for organic and psychological reorganization, from which the person changes attitude and change their future patterns of health.”

From Kambô Scientific Research:

“During a treatment, kambô immediately scans a person’s energy field and starts to work exactly where it is needed. The process is different for everyone and the course of treatment should be planned accordingly. I have witnessed some people getting healed in one treatment, especially those with eye or ear problems. For people with addictions, results can also happen fast. Complicated cases may take longer. We may call this frog secretion a medicine, but it doesn’t actually work as a typical medicine nor as a drug. It simply wakes up the body’s organs, endocrine system and defense systems to their natural functions.”

I felt immediately “called” to Kambô. Unequivocally, without hesitation, with total clarity, I knew Kambô would be right for me. Also I was thrilled, during the same trip, to have the opportunity to experience San Pedro again, in a different ceremony style. My husband, Michael also wanted to experience Kambô and San Pedro, so we booked our ceremonies and arranged our lodging and travel. Each Kambô ceremony was $30 per person.

We currently live in Cuenca, Ecuador, so getting to Vilcabamba would be relatively easy. We took the van from a Cuenca hosteria to the Vilcabamba Izhcayluma hosteria. Before leaving, Michael enjoyed a bite to eat – the bill came to $5.55. It’s an auspicious sign that your guardian angels are communicating with you when you see repeating number. These were numbers that would repeat through our week-long trip of Kambô and San Pedro.

After getting back home, I looked up the meaning of 555 repeating numbers, and it signifies change, a time of preparation, and a new wave of energy.

Spiritual Meaning of 555
The energy of 555 sweeps and flows like the tides of the universe. It is the ever constant change that prepares us for the next new thing. You are seeing the repeating number 555 as a way to remember what you were put on this earth to do. You are all healers of one type or another. You are needed to usher in the new wave of energies. Seeing 555 is point of remembrance of this change.
When you are vibrationally aligned with this change, you will see 555.”

It was a beautiful 4 hour and 44 minute drive, (there’s the repeating numbers again: 4:44) through gorgeous mountain scenery, passing through Loja, and many rainbows. And the beautiful birds! Especially I appreciated the “icaro” sounds from one bird – so that’s where the shamans get their icaros or ceremonial songs from!

We both decided to do three Kambô treatments, on three consecutive days. It’s highly recommended that you complete your Kambô sessions within one lunar cycle. We arrived each day about 7am and completed the formal ceremony on most days by about 10am or 10:30am. Preparation required fasting for the previous 12 hours. We brought 6 liters of water with us, but it turned out that we needed 6 liters EACH (for both Michael and myself), so the very clean and healthy river water was provided as well by the shaman.

I had written out my intentions, which included a desire to heal from various medical conditions – balancing and healing my thyroid, healing a persistent cough that I’d had for the last 3 months, clearing up a skin condition, and dissolving the remaining “panema” and emotional distresses from my past so that I could seize life with even more joy and purpose.

Please note that these are MY experiences and everyone will have their own unique experience. Michael had a very different experience (see his blog post here), and our experiences were exactly what we needed and were tailor-made to each of us, as it will be for every person.

We chose a shaman who provides both Kambô and Ayahuasca ceremonies. He’d just completed an Ayahuasca ceremony on the first day we arrived, and we met the participants and got to chat with them briefly. Immediately I was comfortable with the shaman – he expressed so much love, compassion and kindness! And calm competence and confidence! Michael talked with him about his previous Ayahuasca experiences which had been rather traumatic and puzzling and received many answers, for which he (and I) were enormously grateful. (You can read about his Ayahuasca (4 posts), Kambô (1 post) and San Pedro (TBD) experiences on his blog.)

Two other women were also going to participate in that first Kambô ceremony. We walked over to the teepee area where the ceremony would be taking place. Inside the teepee, the shaman shared information about Kambô and explained the process, and we began drinking water – we were to have finished at least 1 liter before he applied the Kambô medicine.

Michael went first. I went second. I wore my sports bra and an easy-to-remove top. I decided to have the Kambô applied on the top of my left arm, so I pulled my arm out of the sleeve. He cleaned the area. For my first session, he recommended 4 “dots” or “points” (I chose the large versus small point size). The shaman took an incense-like stick, put it in a candle flame, blew it out and blew until a hot ember formed. As I took a breath, he burned a spot on my arm. This was repeated until 4 points were burned in. He cleaned the area again, and then applied the sticky, waxy-looking Kambô from a stick.

Immediately I could feel a burning sensation. I took a mat and my water outside, and prepared for the upcoming purge. And continued to drink, drink, drink the water provided. I noticed myself getting a bit warm, but not very much. I positioned myself on my hands and knees. Almost without warning I purged, similar to projectile vomiting, a huge volume of liquid into the grassy area in front of me. Again, and again, huge volumes of liquid were expelled. I kept drinking and for the next 40-60 minutes or more, it’s hard to tell just how long it was, there were repeated sessions of purging. Mostly it was clear water at first, but as things progressed, I could see a light green tinge to the liquid, then a distinctly yellow tinge. I believe this means that toxins are being released from the liver and gall bladder. Also, I had uncontrolled urges to go to the bathroom and experienced massive diarrhea during each of the purges.

The purging action was much easier than what I experienced with Ayahuasca. It comes on quickly, and is very automatic and reflexive in nature, without as much emotional content. With Ayahuasca, it felt like “emotional” toxins were being expelled and I could feel the emotion being felt within, sometimes struggled with and then purged out; with Kambô, it felt like “physical” toxins were pouring out. At least, that’s how it felt to me in this first ceremony.

The shaman supported our ceremony by singing a Kambô song, and coming to each of us, and brushing bunches of leaves over us. He also watched over us, and kept filling up our water containers and encouraging us to drink.

I kept drinking, and there were more sets of purges. Finally the process stopped, and the shaman came back, cleaned off my arm and applied the “sangré de drago” or “dragon’s blood” to the points to prevent any infection and speed healing. We gathered again in the teepee. At this time, the shaman offered either liquid tobacco or Rapé. Michael took the liquid tobacco, and I declined. When he closed the ceremony, we rested some, and then walked back to his house and chatted more about our experiences.

We walked to Izhcayluma hosteria along the river walk, picking our way carefully along the dry and wet river stones. What fun! It took about 10-15 minutes, about the same amount of time that a taxi ride would take. And went to eat something light, very light – fruit juice mostly. And then promptly fell asleep for about 2 ½ hours. We ate a light vegetarian dinner that evening, and went to bed early, still processing and recovering.
On the second day, it was just the two of us doing the Kambô. And for both of us, we received 6 points (large size) on the same arm. From the start, I was finding it difficult to drink that second day, although I tried drinking as much as possible. I think my throat may have been slightly swollen, and I’d noticed it was slightly sore.

After the Kambô was applied, I took my mat outside, and kept drinking, although I was finding it increasingly harder and harder to do so. I also felt enormously weak, and could barely lift the container of water. All I wanted was to lie down and do nothing. I felt like I was indulging this weakness and I didn’t want to indulge in it, but at the same time I was feeling an insistent and relentless urge to give in and give up.

In this second ceremony, there seemed to be an additional emotional content to finding it hard to drink. I resented being told what to do, perhaps even being told to drink more water than I was comfortable with. I found myself getting angry at the shaman, even jealous of and angry with Michael, who was drinking twice the water required, and being a real trouper about it. The shaman even said Michael was a “great example.” All of which simply grated on me. I felt very infantile and childish, and terribly weak. And very annoyed and angry.

On some level, I knew this was the medicine working in a good way and bringing up “stuff” to be released, but it was very challenging to realize that in the moment when I was overwhelmed with the weakness, lethargy, and overwhelm. It felt like I was having a negative reaction to the medicine, that it was too much for me, that I was reacting badly to it, rather than it working on my behalf. It’s like when a drowning person is being rescued and they fight the rescue; you should know that you are being helped and allow that help however on a primal level, all you know is that you are drowning and you fight frantically rather than recognize and accept the assistance. It was also like being drugged or hypnotized and being told to ‘sleep, sleep, nothing to see here now, sleep.’

I tried encouraging myself by cheering myself on. I spoke aloud to myself, but it came out in a very negative, condemning way. “Come on, Deb. Don’t be a baby. You can do this. Just do it! Drink, come on, drink!” And other words like that – I wasn’t very nice to me, and tried to rally myself but I just sounded mean. And I was so angry at myself too – I didn’t want to waste the opportunity, yet I was so weak. I tried picking up the water container, but often just had to put it down as it was too heavy for me. I tried drinking, but it was hard to gulp and swallow the water, as I felt like I was drowning in the water with each swallow. My fists were clenched and at times I was almost hitting or slapping myself in frustration. My hands were also shaking quite a lot – I knew that meant energy was being released, so at least I was able to allow and welcome that.

Imagine the worst flu or sickness ever, where you can’t lift and finger or even lift your head to sip water, and you are simply exhausted with no will to rally to take care of yourself in even the simplest ways. In that state, if there’d been a fire in the house, you literally couldn’t have responded to save yourself. That was a shadow of how I was feeling now.

I so resented when the shaman reminded me to continue drinking, and he filled my container AGAIN and then AGAIN with water, and then asked me if I wanted to feel better, and to drink so I could purge and feel better. I was in such a lethargic state that I really didn’t want to feel better, I wanted to give up, and it took every ounce of my strength to pick up the water, then to force myself to drink more and continue the process. I continued to feel that I was drowning with every sip and gulp. Oh, was I feeling it fully! What a battle I was having with myself.

The shaman was being as supportive as he could, with my situation. I was resisting his offered assistance, at every point. Perhaps, it is better explained that I was unable to accept and integrate his directions into my experience. At one time, the shaman said that the word, “laziness” had come to him, regarding me. That made me even angrier, as I am not a lazy person. Not one person in the world would say that I am lazy – oh, shaman you are so wrong! How am I being lazy, when I’m so weak, so sick, and so unable to rise to the occasion in drinking that needed water. Is that “lazy” – no! I’m not lazy, can’t you simply help me when I need it and can’t help myself? Why are you asking me to do all this drinking when I can’t, why can’t you help me through when I’m so tapped out, so destitute of energy, so powerless? Other people get help when they are weak and can’t help themselves. But not me – this is so like when I was a child that was rewarded for her over-the-top competence and giving, but made to feel so guilty and abandoned when she was sick or couldn’t rise to yet another occasion. So unfair! Others get help, why not me, me, ME?

Lazy? Me? Really? That just made me angrier, upset that I was being asked to do more than I felt I was capable of, and felt trapped because it was vital that I drink enough to purge the toxins rather than keep them inside and suffer the horrendous discomfort building up. I tried lying down but barely started reclining on my side and realized that it was making it 10 times worse. So I couldn’t just rest. I had to rally, but I couldn’t. I was really pissed as I realized that I was in the experience for the duration and needed to help myself through it somehow. I was being very childish, even throwing a tantrum, and finding it hard to summon the will and strength to continue the process. How do you ask that of a 2-year old?

So I kept on; not happy about it; struggling the whole way (that water container was VERY heavy), and drinking as much as I could manage. And as soon as I emptied the container, the shaman refilled it again, and AGAIN! How did he know I’d just taken the last sip! Grrrr… I believe that I did drink quite a bit, perhaps as much if not more than the previous day. And I experienced several powerful sets of purges, including the diarrhea every single time. Perhaps even more than the day before – I lost count at some point but I know there were as many sets of purges as previously, and they were quite intense.

I felt so bad that I wasn’t able to follow the shaman’s directions cheerfully and felt so angry at him, even though I knew it wasn’t really him with whom I was angry. I felt guilty too, as I felt he shouldn’t have to take the brunt of my frustrations with my inabilities to manage myself and my immature reactions. Even those emotions were similar to when I got sick as a child, and needed my mother’s help, but her response was, “Not you too…”, and that loving care was not forthcoming, as she was overwhelmed with taking care of the other children. So I felt abandoned then, at times even guilty for getting sick (if I’d been a ‘good girl’, I wouldn’t have gotten sick), yet I didn’t want to add to my mother’s burdens by adding myself to her load of responsibility. So I often masked how sick I was, how much I needed someone to help me and attempted to take care of myself in the best way I knew. All I needed from her was to write that note to the school excusing my absence, because I couldn’t do that.

It’s interesting how the healing of this emotional pain comes in stages. Many years ago, literally days after getting married to Michael, I got sick with the worst flu ever in my life. I couldn’t get out of bed, needed help to lift my head to drink water. Physically and figuratively, I couldn’t even lift a finger to help myself. Michael was there for me, taking care of me when I desperately needed it, not being repulsed, not providing perfunctory care but truly loving, gentle and sweet care. It was the first time I’d been cared for that way, and I felt myself letting go and allowing him to take care of me, without second-guessing how he was helping me, without micro-managing it, and without attempting to rally to help myself (even though I would have probably failed at the attempt.) I felt cocooned in the sweetest unconditional love.

The shaman was truly trying to help but I found it difficult to accept his help. At one point he asked me, “Would you like me to drink the water, and purge for you?” Which caused me to laugh. That was good. He also took my hands, and pulled on each one of the fingers, which I figured was helping the energy to release.

Finally we reached the end of this grueling Kambô session. I decided to do the Rapé as did Michael. This is a powdered substance that is blown into each of your two nostrils.

From “What is Rapé”

“The intense blow immediately focuses the mind, stops the chattering, and opens the entire freed mindspace for your intentions. Furthermore, Rapé helps releasing emotional, physical, and spiritual illnesses and eases negativity and confusion, enabling a thorough grounding of your mind. Likewise, shamans use Rapé to re-align with their energy channels and with their higher self, and to intensify their connection with the world and the universe. In addition, Rapé paves the way for detoxifying the body and cleans out all excess mucus, toxins, and bacteria, thereby, assisting in fighting colds and snuffles. Moreover, Rapé stimulates the mind with its nicotinic content that in turn releases a.o. epinephrine, acetylcholine, and dopamine (Wolk et al. 2005, Cryer 1976), supporting an increased focus, presence, and intuition. Interestingly, their are many rumours that Rapé could decalcify the pineal gland (1), which is involved in melatonin secretion, circadian time perception, and drug metabolism. Furthermore, calcification of the pineal gland has been associated with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, and fluoride exposure (Luke 1997; Luke 2001), which further stresses the importance of a healthy pineal gland.”

The shaman used double-ended bamboo-like tube bent at 90 degree angle in the middle. He put the Rapé in one end, and then would blow it out the other end into my nose. He counseled me to take a breath, hold it, and when he blew the Rapé in through one nostril, to breathe out through my nose. There was an immediate stinging sensation that felt like tiny brilliant star-points exploding in my head. I regained my composure quickly, and we repeated the application on the other side. Then the shaman brushed his hands down over my head and shoulders, and snapped his fingers several times.

Holy shiz! The Rapé came on very strong, and knowing Michael’s experience from the other day, I went back outside to my mat, in case I felt the urge to purge. Very quickly, I experienced a huge purge of copious quantities of water, even though I couldn’t believe there was that much water still left in me. I became very dizzy and weak again. Really out of it. Initially this was very disconcerting to me, after what I’d just experienced with the Kambô but I knew the Rapé was doing its work well, and I concentrated on breathing and resting and simply allowing. At least I didn’t have to drink more water.

After awhile, I went back into the teepee, and tried to rest more, but I realized that I wasn’t recovering quickly and I wanted to simply go back to the hosteria and rest there without interruption. We decided to take the taxi to Izhcayluma as I knew I could barely walk much less navigate the river rocks. Michael was a great help in steadying me as we made it back. Even the taxi driver seemed a bit concerned and asked if I was OK. I must have looked really out of it, and quite wiped out. The Izhcayluma kitchen wasn’t open, so we couldn’t eat as recommended, and I really didn’t want to eat. We decided to not wait another 30 minutes for it to open. I needed sleep NOW – we both did. We went to bed for another 2 ½ to 3 hours.

My sleep was very unusual. I was aware of everything going on around me, yet it felt like my body was asleep. I could hear the birds with their precious “icaro” songs, hear the breezes, hear Michael get up, hear neighboring guests talk and open/close doors, and even hear myself breathing and snoring. I believe this was an effect of the Rapé where my awareness was completely conscious, but my body was resting and asleep. After this long rest, I did feel amazingly refreshed and myself again.

That evening, I wrote out my intentions for the next Kambô ceremony, as I was quite concerned that I wouldn’t be able to manage it well. I was tempted to cancel my ceremony, and simply accompany Michael, but inside I always knew that I would do that last ceremony. So I wrote out:

“I love and cherish myself. I respect our shaman as leader and teacher and shaman – he knows Kambô well and knows how to direct me well. I will follow his directions. I have the inner strength to do so. My little child is scared and even angry at being told what to do but I choose to step into me as adult and the adult is the one running the show. I will love her and cuddle her in my heart and even let her sleep during the session, however I will drink lots of water with ease and I will have effective purges and healing. This is what I came for – to cleanse, revitalize and heal liver, kidney, gall bladder, thyroid, cough, menopause issues, tiredness and to get my vim and verve to move forward. I have great love and support back of me and I easily and gratefully accept their guidance and help.”

We had a nice vegetarian dinner again, and enjoyed viewing the brilliant stars down at the pool before retiring again, rather early. Sleep was SO restorative, and so necessary. We knew the Kambô was still working within us, so we took care of ourselves by drinking and staying hydrated, eating well, resting and sleeping as much as we could. The hammock was a lovely treat!
On the third day, as per the shaman’s recommendation, I took the same amount of Kambô which was 6 points and Michael moved up to 8 points. I was tempted to feel “less than” at this decision, but recognized it as old undesirable self-talk, and trusted his recommendation. He didn’t want me to overdo it, and wanted me to be safe.

One of the women from the first day came back, and she brought her 14-year old son with her. I was impressed that he’d done both Ayahuasca and Kambô before, with his mother’s support and encouragement for this physical and emotional health and well-being. He seemed remarkably mature and self-aware and willing to do the “work” involved. Working with the South American plant medicines and other medicines seemed to be a normal and accepted process for them, yet it still takes a commitment and willingness.

I was still concerned how to work with the Kambô effectively, and talked with the shaman about it. He explained more about what he meant about “laziness.” It wasn’t that I was lazy in taking care of others; in fact I would do anything and everything for others. I was “lazy” when it came to taking care of myself. Ah, that rang a bell. I’ve had such challenges in being able to simply take time for myself, treat myself kindly, and even care for myself in a loving, compassionate way. Instead I would drive myself hard, overextend myself, burn myself out, and even refuse to take much needed rest, even when both Mother Ayahuasca and Grandfather San Pedro had previously insisted that I take time every day to simply breathe and drink in the love.

The shaman and I talked further, and he encouraged me to take my power back, to pull on my inner strength to do this upcoming Kambô session, because this was truly doing something magnificent and wonderful and essential for myself. Do this for me – don’t be lazy when it comes to caring for me. Doing Kambô is healing me. So don’t shirk from the opportunity to truly care for myself.

I asked if he would simply cheer me on today, but he declined! The shaman took a tough love stance and said he would not remind me to drink water today; he would not be cheering me on; he would simply fill my bucket and I would pull on my inner strength which was there, and I would CHOOSE to drink or not. Well, OK then! Onward!

This third ceremony was initially hard but I did it. My self-talk changed. When I found it difficult to take big gulps of water, I sipped slowly, and if I had to I used the two straws I brought. (The shaman was rather amused that I had brought the straws. I had tried to figure out how to get the water in me no matter what, and had thought that might be a good strategy.) And after sipping some, I would go back to drinking more quickly, coaching myself to do so but respecting when I couldn’t and encouraging myself to rise to the occasion to get all that water down in good time. I felt extremely weak again, but I managed it differently. I simply told myself that this was essential for me and that of course I could summon the strength to care for myself. I was worth it. I was doing something wonderful for myself, and I had the will and inner strength to complete it in good order. In my mind’s eye, I did put my little girl to bed, and told her that I would be handling this and for her to simply sleep through it.

At the start, I did ask for assistance in getting to the jungle toilet as I felt very unsteady on my feet and the diarrhea was coming on again. But I made my way back to my mat on my own. I noticed that this third ceremony only, I got extremely hot, and my arms and hands turned bright red. I experienced many sets of purges, and felt victorious. This last session wasn’t as intense physically or emotionally even though I was definitely purging as much as before, and I knew that more toxins were being purged from me both physically and emotionally. I probably could have pushed the experience even more and drank even beyond my newly and massively expanded comfort level, but it felt right to encourage myself to the level that I did, and not overdo and push myself to unreasonable levels which would have been more hurtful than helpful. I hope that makes sense – I experienced a wonderful breakthrough, but also didn’t milk that breakthrough to pie-in-the-sky levels just to match what Michael was doing, or to assuage any remaining guilt that I wasn’t doing it good enough.

After awhile, probably 30-40 perhaps 60 minutes (again it’s hard to tell exactly how long as time is very fluid and hard to measure while experiencing this medicine), I felt really good, amazingly good. It was as though I’d come through the vicious storm and out the other side to peace, joy and quiet. This was a first with my Kambô ceremonies, to experience this release and sense of peaceful completeness. I asked the shaman if I needed to drink more or was I done. He said I’d done really good work on the other two days as well as today, and if it felt like nothing more needed to be released, then it was OK to stop. I checked within, and confirmed that I was complete with my last Kambô session, and dang was I feeling good! And so grateful!

I chose to do the Rapé again. This second experience was not as blindingly intense, and there was only a small purge. It was as though instead of expelling as much, that instead I was receiving and anchoring in the good feelings and taking in the beauty, the stillness and dynamics of the precious nature all around me, and oh so much love.

At the end, as we were leaving, the 14-year old boy said to us in Spanish and English that he respected us very much for doing what we had done. So sweet! We returned his sincere compliment with great appreciation for his process. I so love the Ecuadorian culture that respects and allows the South American plant and other indigenous medicines to be used by all people. What a good mother he has that has encouraged this healing modality for both him and her. And his maturity and presence of mind for taking on the Kambô experience. There were heartfelt and loving hugs all around as we said good-bye.

I felt good enough to walk in town with Michael, rather than take the taxi back to Izhcayluma. We both were feeling pretty good and energized. We’d done excellent work!

We explored the Vilcabamba town center some, and enjoyed a light lunch of green salad and veggies, and coconut water right out of the coconut. They gave us the coconut meat afterwards. One of the coconuts was very young and had a very soft coconut jelly; the other coconut was firmer and they cut it up and gave us the coconut meat to take with us. Such a treat!

We took a taxi back to Izhcayluma and enjoyed our afternoon and evening. It felt great to eat a little bit more, and our dinners tasted great!
Then to bed, and off to San Pedro in the morning.