Ayahuasca Ceremony with Sound of Light

Ayahuasca Ceremony


I arrived at Florestral with some apprehension about what was to come. Over the past year, I had sat with “lady” ayahuasca numerous times in a dark yurt, surrounded by other participants who were reclined and often cocooned entirely in their sleeping bags. The shaman and his family sang icaros that would guide us into the dawn. Sprawled on my back, heart open to the heavens, I would gaze up at the circular window in the ceiling and feel as though I was being re-grown, nourished in a mother’s scarlet, pulsating womb. As a newcomer and introvert, I appreciated this process of relative solitude, knowing that if I were to vomit, weep, convulse, or laugh uncontrollably, at least I would be only heard and not seen. Little did I know that la medicina was in the process of gaining my trust, building a safe base from which I was going to be asked to fly into the light, exposed and open.

The hours before my first ayahuasca experience in Costa Rica, I pulled out my journal and asked questions. Would I recognize this entity I had come to identify as a nurturer, a creator, a mother? Now that I was even closer to her source, in the verdant jungle thrumming with birdsong and river rush, would she feel different?

My fellow ayahuasca journeyers circled around the altar, bathed in white dress, beautiful faces youthful and enlightened by the candle-glow. Before bringing the cup of tea to our lips, we sang sacred ayahuasca hymns in Portuguese and synchronized our choreographed dance steps. Once the medicine took hold, the work began. Her sweet presence was with us, and yet this time I was more of a co-creator in the process. I found I could gently harness the visions and vibe through the movements of my body, through the steady presence of the drumbeat. When the waves of emotion became almost overwhelming, I could open my eyes and take strength in the visage of other brave souls across the altar.

Ceremonies in Florestral allowed me to peel back more layers of ayahuasca and my self. My experiences in the long, dark nights of gestation had led me to a rebirth, a place in which to be seen and heard, still cradled and yet with more confidence to fly into this expanded vision of existence.