I took my first Ayahuasca journey with my teacher, Don Juanito in May 1998, and have never looked back. That moment and my subsequent apprenticeship changed my life for ever and in all ways. Seventeen years later I am both surprised and not that Ayahuasca is as popular and global as it is now!
The first strange phenomenon is that despite coming here years ago, the energy and connection with my shaman family, Ayahuasca and shamanism, has got stronger and stronger. I believe this is because Ayahuasca is a vine, that works like wine, in that to get the best out of the medicine, you have to let it mature for a few years, to really begin to see the profound changes in consciousness, and therefore, our relation to life and reality.
It seems Ayahuasca is calling people from all over the world, and all walks of life, to drink this plant medicine and in response Ayahuasca tourism is now flourishing in Iquitos and globally, and no wonder! It is the call of Nature herself because this is the essential medicine of our times, a medicine to shift consciousness, a medicine to wake us up out of our trance like state and see what we are doing to this wonderful planet and to ourselves.
My understanding is that somewhere along the way our DNA was damaged and we disconnected ourselves from Mother Earth. We have forgotten that we are a part of nature not apart from it. This schism in our connection has led to the current crisis we are now facing. Humanity is in serious trouble, as we have reduced our natural resources to financial gain without any consideration for other living things and the very elements we need to stay alive, like water, and we are leaving a trail of destruction and devastation for our future generations.
However, we are so trapped in this system it is going to take a shift in consciousness to wake us up to the terrible nightmare we are in and realise that things need to change. This is why Ayahuasca is spreading around the world so quickly. It is Ayahuasca that is waking us up and reminding us who we are, and how each one of us must take personal responsibility for what is happening.
According to the Peruvian shaman’s Ayahuasca is the medicine that gave the knowledge of plant medicine to the shaman eons ago. The banisteropsis caapi vine grows from the ground into the sky, connecting the sun with the earth and giving us the life force to shine bright. In the west we have forgotten this most important of messages, having killed off our shamans, healers, herbalist and witches with the rise of Christianity. But now it is time for change, and Westerners, like myself, are having to head into the Amazon to remember who we really are.
Ayahuasca opens our hearts and minds so that we can start loving again; loving ourselves, loving others and loving all living things. Only then can we transcend the selfish, me, me, me state that is only obsessed with personal gain, and remember we are all one, we are all connected, we are the world.
When we reach this state of consciousness we naturally change our behaviour, and when more of us do this, change can happen in an instant.