Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Let's Get Real - Episode 7 preview: Losing Yourself

'Let's Get Real' podcast -  Episode 7: Losing Yourself
Its interesting listening back to the expectations had before a trip. My 7th conversation occurred a week before my 6 month jaunt around South America. It was also recorded after a particularly colorful evening that doubled as a farewell celebration. The unforgettable night reminded me of the "Elysium Intentional Community" featured in David Wain's 'Wanderlust' (2012). Naked people frolicking, outdoor bathtubs in the rain with a warehouse rave in between. "It was quite a trip".

VIDEO: 'Wanderlust' (2012)

These festivities provided a great leadup as it made experimentation less urgent for my trip. Its true that if one seeks Drug Tourism in South America, it can be found. In some places its common to see locals indulge in the lifestyle, in other places "plant medicines" are linked to the indigenous heritage. More often than not I found locals who resisted drugs of any form and lamented the shallow impression foreigners were being exposed to.
Practising phrases in Spanish Class
English: Where are you going tomorrow?
I need to relax all day for the ceremony.
In Ecuador I had an opportunity to go on a Sacred Medicine Journey with the San Pedro Cactus. Whilst waiting for the weekend ceremony I did a homestay with a Spanish Teacher. She gave me an insight into how the Economy of the neighboring town was skewed by Cocaine traffickers. My Ceremony never transpired, at first it was postponed then cancelled altogether as the shaman was worried about a "negative energy in the air". I was at peace with her decision. I'd spent time with a disproportionate amount of Conspiracy Theorists in Ecuador, I was aware of how precarious reality could be and was not going to risk it if conditions weren't right.

The Shaman educates visitors of their traditional culture and
the unique process of what he does
My only contact with Ayahuasca besides the countless conversations about it was in the Amazonas of Ecuador. We were able to ask questions of a Shaman who regularly took the plant to diagnose and assist his patients. Interestingly the motorista of our boat was the Shaman's brother, their departed father was considered one of the tribe's best shamans. They were following in his footsteps.

Our motorista and the Shaman's brother
Our motorista who began consuming Ayahuasca at the age of 14 gave up this path to be with his love, a Christian tribemate who didn't approve of the tradition. It highlighted the tussle between indigenous tradition and modernism coupled with foreign influence.

Further reading:
- The representation of Ayahuasca in Hollywood, Ayahuasca: What Jennifer Aniston May Not Know About the 'Spirit Vine'
- San Pedro Cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi) wiki
- Ayahuasca brew wiki

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