Intermediate series 2
- La tradición y ceremonia del yaje
- La experiencia de alucinar
- Pensamientos acerca del yaje
And, it is also called Ayahuasca, maybe it’s better known by that name in the US, then, because it’s famous here, you can’t buy it here, but it's available in several countries, I think, in Latin America, right?
Yes, like Brazil, Ecuador, I don’t know, Peru, and Colombia, and then, taking that herb has a ceremony, but in the end it's a very, very powerful drug, right?
Yes, if you consume it without the necessary care, or the restrictions that some people know about the consumption of the yaje, it can lead to … It can cause death in some people.
Probably, there are many people who, in fact, now use yaje as a tradition, or as a way of life, it's almost a religion for some people.
The general experience is that it generates hallucinations, some people are completely drugged, they are not aware of their actions. Most have to go to the bathroom to vomit and have a poo … The effects that the yaje has for some people, is that they can hallucinate, they can lose consciousness, they should go to the bathroom, the shamans say that when you go to vomit, generally what you do is rest. Because yaje is a medicine, so what that medicine is going to do is cleanse your body, and it will try to alleviate all the bad energy that you have inside your body. And that is done through vomit or having a poo.
Good! It sounds so good. But it's interesting because you say there's a ceremony, and we're going to talk about your experiences right now, but the yaje, or the ayahuasca is considered a medicine to cure, and it’s a big change, then drugs here, which are similar, they are to have fun.
Yes, yes, actually the consumption of yaje, if you know how to do it with the right people, they will explain the importance of yaje for the indigenous community. And, that really is an act of respect and admiration towards the indigenous ancestors. For them at some point they said it was like a connection with God. It depends on how you consume it, but others, yes, it can be to have a good time
Yes, and it is … If it were a drug it would be one of the most powerful drugs, I believe. I was watching a video that … Yaje has more powerful effects than almost any other drug. So, good. You had … You had an experience with yaje, and why did you decide to take it?
Well, actually it was because of a friend, who was consuming it for a long time, and often told me, Judith, let's take yaje, I invite you to a ceremony. For him, the experience was very pleasant, he lasted … He consumed every fortnight, or once a month, and he was happy, he told me that I was going to meet God, that I was going to find the reasons for why, perhaps today, if today I suffer, I don’t know, from bad temper, or suffer from stress, or something, yaje was going to help me find the past, and I was going to see why today, today I was malignant, or today I was happy or sad.
Correct. He filled me with many expectations, according to the experience of my friend the yaje was very good, because you were going to connect with your ancestors, you were going to connect with God, and you will recognize many things about you, your childhood, that characterises how you are today.
Yes, I really had high expectations, when I went to do it, he gave me a lot of confidence, I also made my inquiries, because actually in Colombia cases have been heard of people who have died from consuming yaje. So, I was a bit scared, but when my friend talked about the seriousness of the ceremony, and the group, and the shamans who had worked
Shamans. The shamans are the leaders of the indigenous community, who prepare the remedy, that is, the yaje, and make a ceremony where they praise God first, and ask for help so that the person who consumes the yaje is healed.
Because of the inquiries, and because I saw that some people had died. And, actually, in my family, my mum did not want me to do it. But I also spoke with my friend's wife, and she also liked to consume yaje a lot. Then, in several dialogues that I had with them, they finally convinced me to go to take yaje in a ceremony.
In a ceremony. Well, tell us in great detail, because I want to know everything, what the ceremony was like. Where it was? Who else was there? How were the shamans? And, how was the environment, and everything?
Ok. That was about four years ago, in a … I do not remember the name, but it was in a town very close to Bogotá, or just outside Bogotá on a farm.
The ceremony as such, inside the house. When you consume it is inside the house. After you consume, you have space throughout the garden to go out.
Actually, my experience was not romantic … Actually, well, when we arrived, that was a Friday night, we all had the appointment at 11 at night
Exactly. And, between 11 and 12 at night, there was a group of 3 people, who were the ones who directed, and they explained to us the experience, what we could feel, what could happen, what care we should take
No, they were people who, like … Like the coordinators, they were aware of all the people who were going to take it
They didn’t take it that night. They were watching us. And, they explained to us that, during the whole night, we should do everything possible to not get close to the floor, that is to say, not to sit down or to lie down
Yes, exactly. Or, sitting in an armchair, in a chair, but never sitting on the floor. Because several people who have had the experience, when they sit down can’t get up all night
Correct. And well, they gave us several recommendations about what could happen throughout the night, they also told us that if we saw another person crying, screaming, or scared, we would leave her alone. We could not come close to interrupting your connection space
Exactly, yes. The most prudent thing was to leave him alone, because the coordinators were going to be aware, because sometimes they … They can pull us, then … Actually, it's an individual experience, so we should not get close to other people. Perhaps a greeting, or perhaps a look with the person with your friends that you are with, but not … If someone goes into a trance, you must remain distant. What else did they tell us? And they explained the methodology, I don’t know if you want me to talk about the order of the night
Ok, so we were told that the women were going to be in a room, the men in another room. If any woman was in her days of menstruation, she could not take the remedy, the yaje. It is absolutely forbidden, because the energy of the women in those days is very powerful, perhaps more powerful than the yaje. So, it is completely forbidden for a woman to consume yaje during her period. So, they asked all the women that were there, that, if any of them were in those days, please, leave and do not do it. And well, and I already knew that before, and I was calm. But it is important, because they have had several incidents with women in that situation. Well, they put us in different rooms, just at midnight the shaman, who is the leader of the yaje group, of the indigenous community, began to give [the yaje] … That's in a glass, it's half a glass of remedy, of yaje, it's a liquid, it's quite strong, it's a flavour …
Like a green tea, more or less, yes. It is between black and green, it is the colour of the remedy, it is almost a cup, or half a cup, that you are going to take. Men always start, all the men in the ceremony are the first to consume, as they consume they must go out into the garden, or into the space they want. After the men finish, the women continue
I was anxious. Because my friend had told me many things, my friend … What I told you. He had told me that I was going to meet my ancestors, that I was going to meet God, that I was going to have many hallucinations, and I was very expectant [nervous] of what could happen. However, I always maintained a lot of respect towards what the shamans did.
Yes, yes, it's actually their normal attire, to be like indigenous, dressed up … Some of them in white, and with special collars, and with lots of stones and branches, but each of these accessories has a meaning for them. I don’t know exactly what they are, but … They have, then, their tradition and ideology.
And going out, and going out. Then, well, women, I took it, it's quite bitter, it's very strong, I suggest that when you take it, even if they explain it to you there, try to consume it in one gulp, because if you start tasting it, it's not going to be nice
And, after you consume it, well, they say you must have a time for the remedy to begin to take effect in your body. Not all bodies are the same. The remedy can have an effect on a person very different from that of another person. So, that is why they also say that they must be distant from each other. Do not approach, try not to approach men with women, but sometimes you can see them. When I consumed it, and we went out to the garden, the idea was to spend the whole night waiting for the effect of the remedy on your body.
I was awake until 6 o'clock in the morning, which ended the ceremony, and everyone should be, try to be conscious until 6 o'clock in the morning, because just as you start when you consume it, it is important to close the cycle, or close the ceremony. And it was important that the shaman received you at 6 in the morning, after the yaje had an effect on your body. So, in my case, I was really calm all night, I only had two different episodes, which was to vomit, they explained to me that it was not vomiting, it was relieving the body, and it was very strong
And then, I sat next to … There was a fire, like a bonfire, and some people sat around, to feel warm because it was important to say that this place is very cold, outside of Bogotá, it is very cold
And all night, you have to be very warm, with jackets, hats, scarves, gloves, and then I was close to the fire all night , and there was a moment when … Well, my mind, all the time I wanted to know what was going to happen, what I was going to feel, what I was going to think … But nothing strange ever happened
No, only, the only strange thing is that there was a time when my arms seemed like strings, and then I saw all the people, and my arms they tried to be strings, they tried to … not tie them up, touch people, but through ropes, when you move a string, and there are many waves, then I felt that my arms were making waves, that was no more than fifteen or twenty minutes, the feeling.
Yes, well I think we were about 30 people, 15 more or less, about 12 or 15 women, and the rest men, but as the farm is so big, and it's at night, everyone looks for a space for each one, but the two people I saw with those strange things were the ones I mentioned, he who was on the floor, and the girl who started crying. But when that happens, the coordinators there come to help them.
Exactly, that's why you should be very responsible in your actions, that is, if they tell you do not go to the floor, don’t sit down, you shouldn’t do it, you should be aware of the recommendations they give you, before doing so. And, you must be careful where you do it, because in Colombia, unfortunately, or in some countries, it has sometimes become a business, and you do not have the proper care or recommendations for yaje consumption. Finally, when it dawned, the men started again … The shamans made a ceremony to each man, they formed a line. The men had to uncover, take off their clothes from their chests, they had to uncover all their backs, and the shamans each made two or three shamans around each other, prayed, prayed with herbs in their indigenous language
From the yaje. And, and they prayed and prayed to each one. Finally, we passed the women, they also made me a prayer with herbs, and I had to be wearing top with the back uncovered, additionally they applied an oil that smelled very good, a very rich fragrance, they applied it to our backs, and they prayed to us, and therefore, I was always with a good disposition to receive the beautiful energy, and what could improve my soul, or my spirit, from that rite.
Yeah, well, actually, when I went out I felt good, I felt very calm, I did not have any strange episodes, only after 8 days of consuming it, an outbreak appeared on my face, and on my neck. A red bud in many parts. I was scared, because it seemed like when you get intoxicated, and then …
Maybe, but I was really scared because I had never seen such an outbreak on my face, but I finally had water, lemon, and it happened to me, it lasted about two days.
Exactly. But for other people it is completely different. They dream, they see colorus, they have told me that I must return, in a new occasion it would be better