I was in the Colombian jungle when a plant generously handed me a small cup filled with its “sap”. The story I’m about to tell here sounds incredible, but it is quite true.
The drink had the smell, color, and taste of dark fertile soil. Slowly and confidently, I brought the cup to my lips and took a big sip.
A few minutes later, I began to feel the drink moving inside my belly. I didn’t feel good. I felt almost poisoned by something and I almost wanted to throw up. I drank some water and went to lie down to rest and… wait…
Little by little, I started to feel small tingles all along my limbs, and even in my brain cells. Something was still moving in my belly, through my stomach and intestines. It was already night. There was only the sound of a small fire and the sound of the dark forest. I closed my eyes. I was about to fall into another world.
My digestive discomfort had completely disappeared and instead, I felt light but possessed all the same by strange spirits. Something was moving inside my body and mind; and little by little, it became clear to me that this mysterious plant was manifesting itself in me. So I took a deep breath and said: “Do what you want with me”. I already had some experience with these paranormal phenomena. I always prepare for it like the death row inmate who gets up in the morning not sure that it won’t be his last day. This is a serious matter.
I could see and feel this condensed drink taking root in the middle of my body, right between my belly button and my back. The small roots were extending quietly following the same paths as my arteries. They were gradually sinking into my legs and towards my toes. And upwards, stems and branches were growing. Both my arms had become completely covered with leaves.
I could see and feel in the most microscopic detail the tingling of life in my feet that were sunken into the ground. Worms were moving the little grains of the earth around my roots. Several other insects, which I could see in detail, were bustling around me. My mind was extremely sharp and present, but I realized that I could hardly move my body. My physical world had become one of earth, air, water, and sun.
I could perfectly feel the wind on my leaves, the humidity in the air, and the ground. And then, even though it was the middle of the night, I felt my large leaves open up and orient themselves to receive the photons of a large Sun in the middle of the sky. I could see and feel the cells of my leaves being sprayed with a steady shower of light. I was vibrating in every cell of my being. I was experiencing photosynthesis; I was transforming the rays of a distant star into living energy here and now. I was not just a living plant; I possessed within me the most sublime and mystical experience of all that is living. The atoms of my body had completely connected and merged with the particles of the universe.
When I realized that I had truly become a plant, when I realized that the life of a plant is both so powerful and so fragile, I cried. I cried a lot and I said to the plant: “Quédate conmigo! Quédate conmigo!” (Stay with me!).
The same plant that I met at the very beginning of this story then appeared before me again in the forest. Its face and appearance were even more precise and its features more defined. If I could draw, I could perfectly paint her for you. Her arms were long and slender. She took her long greenish finger and placed it gently on the middle of my chest, very close to my heart. She had eyes that could see everything. My body had become transparent. Her finger pointed at a concentrate of dark green matter that appeared as a small rectangular package. She put her finger on this thing inside me and said, “You will never throw me up. You’re going to keep me inside you forever!”
Then her two hands took both my hands, and her feet joined my feet. And then her body curved back, and so did mine. Together we had become a circle. And like a wheel, we began to speed through the forest. We weaved through trees, across streams, and jumped into waterfalls. We were so happy; we were two dancing lovers.
I had never danced with a plant before. From the excess of joy, my tears flowed again.
Yagé (pronounce: yahé), more commonly known as Ayahuasca, is a traditional preparation from South America, particularly from the Amazon. For hundreds of years, perhaps even thousands of years, indigenous peoples of this continent have known about its existence and uses. The drink can only have an effect if it mixes the concentrate of two particular plants. I had the great fortune and privilege, in southern Colombia, to not only see and touch these plants with my own eyes and hands but also to witness the entire preparation of the drink, which was boiled for days and nights in a large cauldron over a wood fire in the forest.
Yagé is one of the most sacred drinks. Prayers are said during its preparation and before drinking it. Ceremonial music is played during its consumption. It is not only a hallucinogenic preparation and a powerful entheogen, Ayahuasca is a very large ocean with infinite and unfathomable boundaries. The story I have told here is only a tiny foretaste of what I have seen and experienced, a very small sample. This plant has unlimited powers. It acts in a mysterious, incomprehensible, and surprising way. For hours, it provokes waves in the person who drinks it, alternating between a form of lucidity and vivid, real and conscious dreams. These dreams or visions are always revealing very deep and valuable things. Yagé can reveal hidden spirits, connect separate minds, make us see the microscopic or astronomical world of matter, bring to light the infinite forces and possibilities of consciousness, uncover forgotten or repressed memories, solutions to problems, cures for illnesses, and so on… Above all, this plant allows us to see how limited, reduced, biased, and arbitrary our perception of reality is. Ayahuasca allows us to reconsider all the matter of the world, including life and time, under their elemental, energetic, mystical, and spiritual appearance… It is a Magical plant, a Great Spirit, a Teacher, and a Great Shaman.
A few days after I landed in Mexico City from Europe in 2021, I met a German man who told me, among other things, that he had just bought, with a friend of his, a piece of land in the jungle in Colombia. He told me that his friend was just coming to join him in Mexico City the next day. “That’s great,” I said, “I’ll probably see your friend tomorrow”. His friend was a tall Englishman, a funny character. That’s how I told these two excellent people that I would probably visit them in Colombia. And this is how I saw them again a year and a half later, just before I left Colombia for Ecuador in 2022. They came to meet me in the closest city to their home. We took a 30-minute scooter ride and then walked for 20-30 minutes through the forest until we reached a remote, almost secret place. These people welcomed me as their brother, and they shared everything with me. I want to thank them, and I would like to go back to visit them and maybe take other people with me. The cherry on the cake is about sharing the cake. Thank you ❤