I can still recall the bitter taste of my sweet death like it was last night's dream...

It was my second time traveling to the small town of Tarapoto, Peru just east of the upper Amazon river. I had returned to visit my maestro Raul (shaman) and this time brought 8 other willing participants.  Madrecita Ayahuasca gave me 2 very clear messages on my prior visit a year before to La Selva. "Answer the call" and "bring the others". This set the precedence for a year of deep self-enquiry, healing and sharing. And so I stepped into my calling as a healer and a guide and found myself back to sit with grandmother.

El Maestro had a fondness for me as he said I reminded him of himself when he had began his "shamanic path". So he encouraged me to follow the teachings of the master plants. As we prepared for our ceremony he pulled me off to the side of the maloka and posed a question that stumped me and challenged all the work I had been doing on myself. "I have been watching you, you have been using my energy and doing the work and I am proud of you. So let me ask you...where is your ego now?"

I froze. I thought. I didn't know. "Ah I see...you have gotten smarter...and so the ego has too." He the uncertainty in my face. "Don't worry mijo, we will find it...you shall drink 3 cups tonight."

"gulp".

Now mind you I had only drank 1-1 1/2 cups before and that was a fucken slingshot out of the galaxy. This is the moment that you here so often about....surrender...trust...let go. "Vamos" I say. "Tonight you lose your ID. All that you have ever known or held onto. I will hold the tether...listen for my song." He replies with a smirk. Surrender....trust...let go.

And so I ingest a total of 3 cups through out the night. Each stacking upon the other. I have an amazingly beautiful 5 hour experience with the group. So I thought. We all came down, close the session and walk through the jungle back to our sleeping quarters. And this is when the first big wave begins to swell.

I lean against a wall, someone puts their hand on my chest to hold me up. As I fade in I hear, "someone go call el Maestro!" She beckons me..."come, come". It teases, it intrigues me. Yet I know this is the unknown. I pull back out, open my eyes. I'm in a hammock now wrapped in a blanket. All eyes from the group are on me, el shaman stands over me. "Lo vistes?"  "Did you see it?" He softly says. "No" I reply.... "Shiu shiu shiu shiu, vuela vuela Fabiancito" He induces me to go back in with his vocal guiding sound. Pitch black. I drop in. I travel into an abyss. No visuals, no hallucinations. Nothing. Beyond the conscious, enter the subconscious. I have arrived.

There you are. There I am. So we meet again finally. My you have grown and hidden so well. A massive coiled serpent, waiting for me. Hissing, staring me down. Writhing. And in a flash, it's fangs clamp down on the side of my torso. My whole side of my body in it's mouth. Fuck it hurts! I rip at it, I tear at it, I begin to stab it. I stab like a mad man to break its grip. Oh the fear is soo real as the pain is. We lock eyes and I see it's pain. I feel it's pain. The pain of separation. So beautiful it is. And deadly. It hisses "don't do this! Please! I love you I beg!" I feel so sorry. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. And I disconnect it, I stab and slash as it writhers and whips around and begins to seep into the darkness. It is done. "SSSSssssss....I'll be back" it says before it disappears into the abyss.

"GASP!" My eyes open to see my maestro looking down at me. "Lo vistes." "You saw it." "Si", I answer. He smirks.

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