Everyone made themselves busy. Enrique showed up with rustling music instruments, Herlinda was holding spitting bowls. Solar was setting up a huge microphone, Alvaro had been meditating for some time by then. Only me and Frida were listening to our hearts skipping beats and observing the surroundings, concerned. At 9 o’clock, the place for the session was all set. We sat down in a circle on a mattress. Hendrique had put on a patterned cloak and decorated his head. Herlinda was grooming her thick black hair. They started to make a rhythm by blowing in empty bottles. The room was dead silent. Everybody were holding their breath, waiting. I found an ashtray in front of me, a cigar and a small bowl beside it. In case you feel like vomiting, said Herlinda in a laid back manner. The cigar makes hallucinations more intense. Herlinda stood up from the circle and started to walk in front of each person. She took a zip of an aromatic liquid, spraying it on our heads and blowing inside our hands. Another round was with a shot of brown thick drink. She asked us to concentrate for a moment, think about the plant opening up to the viewer and handed us a bitter drink. We got to drink only a half of the shot, because unlike the others, we had not done this before. For our system to adapt with the substance. After this round, everybody were sitting in silence. Some were staring at the floor, some at the ceiling. No one said a word. Soon, Herlinda switched the light off. We waited. For a long time. After a while, I heard Henrique blow into the bottle, the sound play was getting stronger and stronger, step by step until the blowing became a song. They were singing together, Herlinda with such a high-pitched voice, it hurt my ears, and Henrique with his low and smooth sounds. They were humming magical tunes for minutes, until they blew away the end of the song as if the wind had gone by. A new song started a few moments later. When nothing happened to us after the first shot, we asked for a new one, which initiated some beautiful visuals. Stripes were flashing before my eyes, forming magnificent figures. I was riding on rainbows, seeing cats on the way. People were walking across the universe, peacock feathers were touching my face. Then, a shaman asked me to go to him, and started to blow air on my body. He took my hands and blew energy through them inside me, I felt it all the way to my toes. I clutched my hands in a fist to not waste a single drop of it and felt it all boil up in my body. I felt a broad smile on my face.
When I woke up next morning, I knew I had to do this again. The first time doesn’t get you where it’s supposed to (unless devouring unreasonable amounts, like Nele). Two days later, the Hopi shaman with his friend had left, too. The ritual began in a similar way. But this time, we got a whole shot of the magic drink. Even some more, after a while. I closed my eyes and waited for the effect. I saw stars falling before my eyes, turning into red patterns. I caught the pattern and followed it. I was flowing through striped tunnels until I felt my eyes not closed, but watching a whole new world. The music went louder and louder. The patterns were forming to the beat of the songs. I started to feel numb physically. Tried to perceive the temperature, but there was none. Tried to feel my hand, but it belonged to a stranger. I looked around me with closed eyes and understood, I’m not seeing with my eyes, but mind. Rainbows were flying around, I was riding up and down on them in this amazing neon colored world. The song I had heard so well with my ears before, became visual. The tune formed a picture before my eyes and rainbows were making its way. I felt, heard and saw everything with only one sense, the picture had emerged into one. I was sitting with my legs crossed, letting the music drive me. My body was swaying left and right like a snake on its own to the lyrics of the song, I couldn’t stop it doing it. My mind was blown away. Hands felt strangely strong. I felt a light headache, which suddenly flowed out of my head, turning into a mermaid, then a green tree trunk. I felt everything spinning a bit too much. When the singing stopped, I felt calm again. When it started again, the visuals emerged again from nowhere. Suddenly, I felt in contact with the shaman. But not physically, because he stayed in the far corner of the dark room. I told him in my mind to sing slower, because the pace was too much for me. To my surprise, the shamans stopped singing and took up a prayer, instead. Everything was back to normal again, as if we hadn’t had potion at all. The magic of the music seemed to work.
When I woke up in the morning, I felt healthy. Because every vision you see during a different song is a lesson for you. When I showed Herlinda my drawings, she smiled and said, they are signs of good fortune.
(A picture found from the Internet, resembling the visuals of a person after drinking Ayahuasca)
(Patterns resembling the ones in the visuals. These have been printed on a fabric.)
If you’re interested, our shaman Herlinda sings on a CD titled „Woven Songs of the Amazon”. Plus, a movie with the same title has been made about her, it should be available on amazon.com. If you’re planning on going to Peru, we’re happy to share our phone number. Do not try to find a shaman on your own, there are a lot of simulators here!
For concerned parents who think we have lost our minds completely:
An example of one of the songs (the first one): http://www.amazon.com/Woven-Songs-Of-The-Amazon/dp/B000QKMXHM
Ayahuasca as a medicine: http://psychoactiveherbs.com/catalog/article_info.php?articles_id=4
An interesting article about the correlation between the songs and Shipibo clothes: http://126.96.36.199/search?q=cache:rkAozygCmfsJ:barrettmartin.com/essays/Society%2520of%2520Ethnomusicology%2520Paper.pdf+woven+songs+of+the+amazon+barrett&hl=es&ct=clnk&cd=5&gl=pe