Cafe Hitch-hike


There's one to sleep on

Last year, I was told that a relationship is formed with any plant medicine one decides to take, whether it's mushrooms, ceremonial cacao, or-- (drum roll), the Psychotria viridis shrub. The person who said that was not kidding. I found myself doing another series of ceremonies this past weekend except in the company of women. Those who gave the medicine and facilitated ceremonies were all females, and so were the 60 other participants

It occurred to me that the women who were present were there for the same reasons as me, and that we experienced the same hard knocks. Even if some of the women had normal formative experiences, adulthood knocked them around somehow and they wanted to heal or deal with whatever it was. Many were trying to find who they really were after their children grew up and left the nest (or after a tumultuous event), and many expressed wanting to heal their sexual and intimate realms.

I pitched a tent and slept out back. The lady in the cabin next to me was former Army and helped me set it up. She said the Army was tough, but she liked it because it helped her learn how to defend herself and possess a sense of strength; she said it was knocked out of her at age 5 along with her ability to feel vulnerable or to trust (gee, as if I can't relate to that).

I also wanted a little excuse to set up my little tent, one I bought when I was a living a different life in a different place. The tent was perfectly fine and fit my needs, heheheh. It had mold, but I spotted a bottle of bleach nearby that the facility probably used to for the same reason for their large tents.

The medicine apparently had components from plants thought of as being feminine and worked more gently. The last time I took it a year ago, I felt like I was in UFC cage match, getting my ass tossed, kicked, and punched all over the damn mat AND against the chain link fence around it. This time, I got a sense that the plant wanted us to work together and for me to trust it again.

Although I felt weak at times and in a delirium (normal effects of the plant medicine), it was like the weakness was showing me how to surrender and trust. It was like my body had to feel what it was like to be in that state before my stubborn psyche could grasp what it meant to be vulnerable. I think it felt different this time because I felt safe. There were fewer people, and I felt confidence in the female facilitators and those around me.

During one of the ceremonies, I laid under a young live oak tree that I liked. It was a shaded spot where I did yoga last year, and remembered the little root that poked under my mat. I saw a little streamer of Spanish moss hang from a branch above my head and some sparrows. It made me remember the time I climbed a tall one near the Everglades 9 years ago, heheheh.

I'm still processing the experience, but if I could list any bigger takeaways:

**I abstained from caffeine, sugar and sweetners, red meat, cannabis, and sex, among other things, for 10 days. I actually lost weight although I never felt hungry. I felt a withdraw for the first 4 days but felt all right afterward. I never fully noticed the exchange of energy that takes place between food and the body until then. I was less energetic, but had the energy I needed during the 'dieta.' I felt a bit less anxious, although it spiked during a couple mentally stressful tasks. During both medicine ceremonies last year, a message I got was that I am what I eat, and to eat a more plant-based diet.

**Although I limited my news and social media before the ceremony, holy shit! I only got visuals once, and it was a blur of TV, internet, and various forms of media trash. It included the damn political ads, news recordings, postings, and it was distorted, ugly, and caustic. One could say my mind was purging itself of those energies. At any rate, it literally seemed like pollution and almost poison to the psyche!

I got the weirdest images of our POTUS, just one blur of his image alternating with those of his humiliating speeches and other media images. I wasn't afraid, but I laughed and thought, 'what the fuck is that all about?' Well, I drove through solid Trump country on my way to the site with its billboards along the freeway and MAGA stickers on pickup trucks, and it made me think of how impressionable our minds are to these things, even when we try not to engage much. I then saw cities burning and various forms of civil calamities, but I didn't panic. Something told me these were all creations of the mind rather than visions of the future.

Whatever we absorb internally interacts with us, and affects how we feel, perceive, and think, whether it's TV, people, places, or food.

**We were given workbooks to prepare for the ceremonies, and the books pitched questions about various areas of our lives. I filled mine out, and I wrote a bit about my previous aya experience. To my surprise, it helped me process it differently. Although I did my best to process and integrate what I experienced in the ceremonies, some passing of time gives a better perspective.

**Delirium and physical weakness: (see above). It was another lesson in vulnerability. At last year's ceremony, it made me panic, but it showed me my overemphasis on being and appearing strong. This time, I could see this but was able to ease into it without fright.

**Men: The cool thing I got out of remembering men while I was under: they all saw something in me that I could not easily see in myself, and they really liked it. Some understood parts of me better than I ever did. The significant relationships were ones where the men were receptive to whatever energy I had to offer, and they liked that.

**Ask the Lady/ Mother a question (or two, or 100): In the Netherlands, the plant medicine appeared to me as the Black Madonna, and she was radiant and regally beautiful. She was a Black woman dressed in a purple/blue robe with a hood. In her presence, I felt a love and tenderness that I cannot recall ever feeling in my lifetime. Her vision reappeared and I asked her to help me learn about my inner blocks and shame. She replied, very simply, that it's because I misunderstand myself, and that it leads to self-judgment and condemnation which I often project onto others.

There's one to sleep on for tonight and many nights to come.

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