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As eager as I was to continue my adventures with Steve, to visit the absolutely breathing taking desert oasis that was his next destination… (Gahhh the picture opportunities! I wanted to go so bad! Drool)

…I had decided to continue my path of inner work and stay in Pisac.This was my last chance, time was short, and I wanted to do one more ceremony. One more opportunity to put a conclusion to this journey I started out here.

Unfortunately, when it came to the medicine, the two people I felt most comfortable with were not doing any ceremonies until AFTER I flew out. I had one last intention, one burning desire I wanted to explore more than anything. My previous intentions were rather vague now that I look back at them, rather convoluted at times, but this new one? Simple and straight forward.

I wanted to fight the worm. I wanted to meet my great enemy and face it down once and for all. This was it. This was my last chance. I wanted to give it my all; I’d be splintered and shattered, left broken and nearly destroyed if it meant that I would come out of the journey alive and without this parasite. I kept the intention to myself for the most part, but those who I did mentioned it to were supportive, though a bit hesitant. Their concerns weren’t for my intention; it was for what could, or WOULD manifest during the ceremony for such a pursuit.

I’ve now, personally, seen the Hells people, friends of mine, have gone through down here pursuing such a thing. I’ve seen the tears, heard the screams, and witnessed what happens when someone faces their demons. If that was to be my fate, then so be it. I wasn’t afraid, I WANTED it. Show me my horror. Show me my tormentors. Rip me apart if that’s what it takes. I begged and pleaded to my intention for this final chance.

But who could I find to lead a such ceremony? Who could I end this trip with?

Ah! Yes! His name had come up early on in my trip, but I hadn’t really thought about him until this moment. Turns out, there WAS someone else in the area; someone who served medicine and had a rather great reputation with my friends in the area.

After a bit of searching and assistance from my lovely neighbor across the way, I’d track him down. We spoke on the phone, set up a time to meet, and eventually I found myself in his house to discuss what I was hoping to achieve. Turns out, we had met before, briefly, but this was the first real conversation we had.

Before me sat a man of similar height, bald, and with a piercing stare that seemed to be a product of both wisdom and intrigue. He smiled only when it was genuine, otherwise he remained rather emotionless as I spoke. Just that penetrating, unbroken gaze remained…

I finished what I had to say, my intention was out in the open, and he took a moment to process what I had just said. I’ll be honest his silence was almost as intimidating as his stare.

Finally, he sat forward, still in silence and rolled up his sleeves to reveal his tattooed forearms. On either side, twin serpents of crimson and emerald snaked down his arms. With a nod, he spoke and opened the conversation between the two of us

The meeting was brief, but we made things official. I would be returning to his house the following evening for my final ceremony. He wished me well, and off I ran into the setting sun.

This was my final Friday in Peru and I wanted to spend it in the city, in Cusco, taking a most lovely young lady out to dinner. One more visit to my favorite restaurant, and one more night at my favorite hostel.

Unfortunately for me, the vans had stopped running by the time I made it to town, so I found myself, once again, on the corner trying to hail down a ride. Eventually a local bus pulled up and I jumped on, hoping it was going in the right direction. This packed full with people and a large collection of drunken males so intoxicated that the air was thick with nauseating Chicha fumes. I was quite literally standing on top of the bus driver. We were a few people short of this:

Thankful for the fresh air when the bus lurched to a halt, I took my time strolling around the city before I went to meet up with my companion.

Before long I found myself inside the familiar, and heavily decorated, walls of Fallen Angel. Expensive, but easily my favorite spot in the city. Tonight I was quite entertained to find a DJ playing some amazing house music in the angel lined courtyard. Perfect.

It wasn’t until after I was done eating that I realized I was seated in front of a large painting of Michael the Archangel pinning Satan to the ground. The same picture I had referenced in an earlier entry when discussing my ongoing battle with the worm. ( Previous Entry: Severance) I’m not one to take too much symbolism out of such a thing, but I did have to smile at the thought. The following day I was hoping to do that same exact thing depicted but, not to take anything away from the archangel, I was hoping to eliminate, not just exile.

The cold mountain air whirled around me as I stepped back into the streets. I had to smile within its frigid embrace. My final night in Cusco. Goodbye!

~~~

I pushed open the large metal gate and stepped onto the patio to find the others already waiting for me. Unlike the other ceremonies I’ve been in where the number of people ranged in number from twenties to the thirties, tonight there would only be 5, myself included. And this is one of the reasons why I decided to partake, because in these ceremonies, you get a lot of individual attention.

(And also because his temple has a glass ceiling, and I’ve been extremely curious to see it)

The group talked amongst one another before our host stepped onto the patio. “It’s time” he said softly, with a quick glimpse of what looked like a smile. Inside I marveled at the space, smaller than I was used to, but extremely welcoming, and the glass ceiling was as remarkable as I had imagined. This was going to be amazing once the stars were in full bloom. I’ve always wanted to see the stars during ceremony, but I’ve never had the legs to make it outside!

My childlike enthusiasm was quickly diverted and lessened as my scanning eyes fixed themselves on the large plastic bottle placed at the center of the temple’s altar. The medicine was inside, but instead of the light brown I was accustomed to, tonight it was an intimidating shade of onyx. Black as the night it disappeared into when the sun went down.

Within the hour, after the officials, I found myself walking through the darkness, pausing in front of the altar and the silhouette sitting behind it. A quick conversation ran through my head as my cup was being filled. “So you’re really set for this eh?” whispered the personified voice in my head. “I am” and for the first time, I wasn’t nervous as he extended the cup in my direction. Usually my hands shake, and I have a moment of “Oh shi..’ fear, but not tonight. Tonight I was confident, and wanted this more than anything.

When I finally took the cup from his hands, the first thing I noticed was the small droplet of medicine that my finger touched on the rim. The texture was different; it was literally sticking to my finger as I lifted the cup to my lips. I couldn’t see it, but I could feel the tendril of medicine hanging between the rim and my finger.

Like usual, I lifted the cup to my heart, set my intention and took my first mouthful. It wasn’t the taste that got me, although that played a large part of it, it was the thickness that sent me reeling. If I could equate the medicine of previous sessions to water, this would be similar to oil. Thick, and foul, a mouth coating liquid that I almost had to chew to get down, and that was only the first sip, I needed three more to finish it off. I thought I was going to purge right there in the middle of the floor. (I’m literally gagging right now thinking of it.)

I grabbed my bucket before I even sat down, but to my surprise the initial nausea settled down and I regained my composure. One hour. Two hours. I’ve had to wait like this before, doubting I was going to have an experience, only to have my ass handed to me when the medicine decided to prove me wrong and appear in full, overwhelming, potency.

But this was different. It was clearly affecting the rest of the room, if the screams and cries had anything to say about it, but I remained unaffected. I felt a little off, but that was about it.  A second cup was offered and brought to me. As he gave me the cup, he sat by my side for a moment, offering me some words of wisdom, and a song to help bring on the experience. Getting that second cup down was even harder since I knew what to expect. My hands trembled as I lifted the black liquid to my lips and took a sip. I wanted to stop, but I had to keep going.

I implored the separation of my mind and body, learned through the venom ceremonies (Previous Entry: Frog Venom), to help me keep going. “Don’t stop. You’re already here, just another moment of discomfort.”  As much as I dreaded the second cup, I couldn’t let myself stop.

“This is your last chance, steel yourself and get it down” my voice of reason whispered in the dark.

I placed the empty cup to the side and waited. Still nothing. And still no purge either. With two cups of black medicine swirling in my stomach, I felt physically ill, it was like being transported back to my week of being poisoned, but worse. (Previous entry: Poisoned) Though, stressed as I was, it still wasn’t enough to put me over the edge. I wanted to make myself throw up, but not yet. Not until I was sure the medicine had a chance to settle in.

I peered out through my weary eyes; the once so welcoming glass ceiling was now a looming, haunting, massive Maexxna of a spider web. The stars seemed so distant; I found no comfort in them either. The room wasn’t spinning, but its existence seemed to taunt me in my weakened condition. I closed my eyes and cut the stimulus, delving back into myself.

“Still nothing?” whispered a voice that cut through the darkness after another half hour. I opened my eyes to see his familiar silhouette against the starry night above. “Still nothing…” I replied

“Would you like a third cup?”

“Maybe, in a moment, I’m feeling rather sick”

“If you want a third cup, now is the time, the window for medicine is about to close”

“Ok”

“Ok, I’ll bring it to you”

One more time, I pressed the tar to my lips, took a swallow, and like a match to a stick of dynamite, it came up almost immediately. I thought I cracked a rib from the intensity of it, the purge was full on; sweat, panting breath, a flash of the visual aspect of the medicine. I was left shaking, feeling a little better, but in physical despair.

And then, once again, the effects of the medicine were gone. Half a cup still remained, and despite the feebleness of my current state, I took a breath, and finished it off. (Now I have a personal understanding of what the Headmaster was going through in that Horcrux cave)

Another hour and still nothing. The familiar silhouette seemed to float across the room and take a seat next to me once again.

“Still nothing?”

“Nothing”

“ It seems your journey is different than you had expected. You’ve had a lot of medicine,” he emphasized, with what sounded like a mixture of puzzlement and admiration. He put a hand on my shoulder and sunk back into the darkness.

I showed up for war, and my opponent didn’t appear. I thought for sure this would be the night, I felt my intention so strongly over three days, a feeling that continued to rise and finally peaked when I was standing in front of the altar.

I laid back and gazed through the glass ceiling, the Perseids were tonight, and I spent the rest of the night watching the sky flicker with streaks of light.

Despite it all, I wasn’t too disappointed. I’ve overcome a lot over these couple months; maybe I did what I needed to do? Maybe the medicine has taken me as far as I could go for this trip? Maybe I put a notable dent in its armored skin? Maybe I killed it months ago?

I dunno, I guess we’ll find out soon enough. The ceremony ended when we all gave our ok to close the space. With a resounding “yes” from the five of us, we concluded the evening. Some went to sleep, some went outside for a cigarette, I decided to walk to the front of the house, away from the temple and sit and watch the sky for a little longer.

That familiar silhouette from the temple appeared once again from around the house and sat down next to me. We talked briefly about the ceremony and what had happened, but we didn’t dwell on it, instead we had a normal conversation about everything and nothing. We sat in silence, in the dark, gazing at the stars fixed in place, and marveling at the ones that decided to streak across the sky.

The following morning we reconvened for a brief integration of what had happened the night before. The others had some really deep experiences, from liberating to frightening. One of the guys said, in my direction “Wow, you sound kinda disappointed”

And I replied back with “Not at all, I’m rather content actually…”

I walked back to my house alone, kicking up the dust of the road, deep in thought. My work with the medicine was done for now. Wow. It’s really over. For years I’ve been wanting to do this, to come down here and pursue this route of self improvement. And now that it had happened, I wasn’t sure how to feel. To finally experience that which you’ve been desiring. Humbling I guess.

That was the end of my ceremonies. And nearing closer, was the end to my trip entirely.

Drink with Javier

Drink three cups of Ayahuasca in a single ceremony

Drink three cups of Ayahuasca and have no effect!

Pursue a final ceremony

Watch and SEE the Perseids, finally.

 

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