Sunday, February 25, 2018

From trauma to transformation -
over two years of sacred plant medicine experiences
with added commentary and perspective.

From trauma to transformation. This is a very intimate account of two and a half years in the life of a reluctant psychonaut. What started with a South American vacation for one IT consultant and his wife from the States ended with lives changed and doors of potential opened. Their vacation side trip plan was simple enough. He would go along to Ayahuasca and San Pedro plant medicine ceremonies to support his wife, who was drawn to the experience. Unlike her, he had no burning intention, no mystical calling, at most only a healthy curiosity and lingering interest in the possibilities of expanded consciousness. 

What happened next thrust him on an arduous path. Along the way he couldn't shake alarming fear and doubt, growing paradoxes and dilemmas, and yet ultimately passages of self-discovery and tremendous healing were realized. All along he took personal notes, furious notes of his evolving post-ceremony ravings. Residual terror and unanswered questions from the first Ayahuasca ceremony haunted him for over a year. Frustrated to explain what had happened, he grew desperate to find peace within. To that end, synchronicities and life changes mixed with chance meetings with people in South America. He was led to a remarkable shaman, a man who listened and responded with techniques and medicines that triggered a most unlikely breakthrough. 

This is that journey, recorded as it happened with wider perspectives of hindsight added. It's a journey the author couldn't have foreseen and never guessed would become his future. It exists as another testament to the power of sacred plant medicines. That testament reinforces the power to reconnect with the strength within all of us to transform our lives. 

Integration of profound entheogenic experiences is so important and yet for many this critical step remains elusive. In a heartfelt afterword, his wife describes coming to grips with having the tables turned on who was supporting whom. While she worked through her own process with the medicines, she also discovered what it means to live with someone deeply troubled by what's possible in Ayahuasca space. Her perspective on that two year odyssey, how both of them not only got through it but blossomed as a result, is an invaluable example for anyone who has a friend or loved one in the midst of facing their personal demons as the result of plant medicine ceremonies.

The hope is that something in the telling of his ordeal and ultimate triumph may help someone else. It could be someone who hears the call to the sacred plant medicines or someone, having already heeded that call, struggles to integrate all it means to them.