Those of you who have been following me know that I have returned safely from the Peruvian Amazon feeling full of appreciation and an open heart. I am only beginning to know the depths of all I have received while there.
I was surprised to find the Amazon river to be so vast and wide as it moved deceivingly slow. From the sky, creamy coffee-colored ribbons snaked through the lush greenery. We were told that the nine hour boat ride down the Amazon would take five hours on foot, I’m assuming that meant if we could walk in a straight line.
Whenever the boat stopped to refuel the tiny out-board engine, we got a taste of the undisturbed jungle…you could hear only the symphony of birds and bugs. The river was quite swollen from all the rains before our arrival. It was about six feet higher than normal. When you think of all the water in the Amazon basin…that is A LOT of water! Many families along the river were displaced. We saw huts with water lapping the bottom of the roof eaves. We rarely saw any shore as the jungle merged with the river.
The puffy cumulus clouds against the crystal clear blue skies were spectacular. I have not seen this particular color of clear blue at home since I was a child. It seemed extraordinarily soothing, or was that from the abundance of oxygen from all the trees, or maybe the serenity of this slow moving river? We all took a turn briefly basking in the sun on the narrow bough. With the breeze in our face and the Amazon stretched out before us…it felt like freedom. Our first day on the river taught us that the Amazon sun is intense…we all burned to one degree or another.
At any rate, the ride seemed faster than nine hours. About two hours before our destination, we all scrambled for cover under the black plastic tarp as a heavy down pour opened upon us. An hour later, it ended as quickly as it started and the sun was back.
As we reached our destination, the whole family and neighboring villagers swarmed to greet us. They spoke Shipibo and some Spanish, but warm hugs and big smiles were the universal language here.
After a walk across the school soccer field and along the long path of wooden step-stones that kept us out of the mud, we are finally shown our simple accommodations. Mine is part of a cluster of eight small rooms under one thatched roof with a hallway down the middle. The rooms are about 7′ x 7′ with a wooden table and a wood-framed bed surrounded with mosquito net tucked under the mattress. The walls of the rooms reached about 6′ high. Above that was open space to the roof. At night, this is where the bats would fly to help keep the abundant mosquito population down. I never saw the bats inside, but you could only hear their wings whisping through the air. One night, I didn’t have my net tucked tight on one corner near my head. I was startled when one landed on the bed. I jumped and swiped my arm in the dark to scare it away. I never let that happen again.
Since there was no electricity we each got a lantern that was lit each evening by one of the family. This also meant we went to bed early, about eight or nine on non-ceremony nights, and woke up with the roosters. They started about four a.m. with about an hour break and then started up again. The morning bell sounded at six each morning.
I was amazed that they had porcelain toilets in their outhouses. I didn’t know what to expect and wondered if we had to squat over a smelly hole in the ground. We flushed by using a bucket or two of water from big barrels of river water. This arrangement was very clean and never smelled since they rinsed the wooden floor daily with soap and water. It did however go into the river. Someone said it went into a hole in the ground first, but we were still right next to the river. I tried not to think about it when we took our daily morning swim since it was not near the bathroom. I also realized that nearly everything they ate came from the jungle…the fish, eggs from their chickens, bananas, yucca, plantains, honey and rice. So it seemed like it was just being recycled back into the river as it has been done for millenniums.
Although I loved the peaceful serene energy of the jungle and being able to completely unplug from the grid, there was a part of me that never completely relaxed. About the third day there while we were out harvesting some plant medicines, I put my hand on a tree and got bit by a fire ant. I couldn’t believe how instantly and intensely painful it felt! It hurt worse than a bee sting. My first thought was, “Oh my God! These people live here! This is their home!” The reality of this raw jungle hit home…I was not in Kansas or California any more. My radar turned up and I was very careful where I touched after that.
When you travel to a primitive environment like this, you can’t help but feel immense gratitude for even the most simple things…like hot running water, the flip of a switch that produces light, a comfortable bed, shoes (most did not wear shoes), and medical attention within a few miles. Their closest hospital was five hours by boat. The reality of that struck home when one of the older teens was using a machete to cut a small tree down. He missed and whacked his leg cutting very deeply into an artery. Their immediate remedy was to cut someone’s hair and place it in the wound to help stop the bleeding. He still lost a lot of blood and was unconscious by the time they got him in the boat hours later. Fortunately he survived. No doubt it was his resilient youth that saved him. This incident demonstrates why building a hospital there is a priority for them.
The most frightening and powerfully transformative incident happened one night when it was raining. Five of us swayed gently in the hammocks chatting in the dining room as the rain soothed the day away. There was a certain amount of tension in the air. One of the girls felt the need to release the agitation she felt building by letting out a healthy scream. She left us to do so. A long, forceful scream was heard a short distance away. The kind of scream that would not alarm anyone…but just needed to unleash. The rest of us continued to chat as the gentle flashes of lightning and soft rumblings could be heard off in the distance.
In retrospect, what happened next reminded me of when a tsunami pulls all the water away before it wreaks havoc. As I rocked the hammock next to me, which caused mine to sway, I started to relax and remember letting go of the hammock for a few moments as I started to drift. Just then the loudest explosion of thunder crashed as the simultaneous brightest blue-white blaze flashed. I screamed as I jumped upright. This bolt landed about five feet from the temple and about 30-40 feet from where we were sitting. We were all shocked in disbelief. About 10 seconds later, the young woman who had gone out to scream came flying through the doorway drenched while she was both laughing hysterically and sobbing. “Oh my F*@#!ng G*d!!! What the F*@K!!!!” She had been outside with her arms stretched wide with her head back opening her heart to the pouring rain when the bolt went straight over her head as she fell to the ground. She had never been so scaared in all her life! She survived her shamanic death. We all seemed to feel the need to head to the temple to get re-grounded and comforted. One person who was journaling in her room said she saw her light body separate as a result of the blast.
The next day, the Shaman told us that nothing like this had ever happened there but said it was a good sign of the powerful work we were doing. The children were very frightened by the incident so they got a big dose of healing from us.
Our facilitator described the incident this way: “Our human mantle was literally shaken from its bindings as a huge lightning bolt struck ground just five feet from our Temple door, charring a tree trunk black and dramatically charging our entire jungle camp in vibrant electric blue. Shocking our system with a force and sound so powerful like none we had ever heard, many of us felt and saw our energy bodies separating, jolted from its framework. In a split second, we all entered what seemed like an eternal moment of still point freeze.
This electromagnetic force of nature was immediately felt to be a live demonstration of the Cosmic Christ Blue Lightning Fire, and with it, a most powerful message from Elohim Hercules and Amazonia, Creator Gods focusing from the penetrating Blue Flame of Divine Will. “Shatter and Consume!” was the unmistakable tonality sounding through.
It most assuredly commanded our undivided attention and set the entire momentum for the shattering of any false structuring of reality, deeply untrenching aspects of the controlling egoic hold, and, in places we never knew existed. Our dynamic decrees fueled the continuing internal storms of transmutation which loosened the grip on core fear patterning, breaking down the illusory containers of self and carrying many of us through intense processes of shamanic death and simultaneous rebirth.
We all stepped into the fires of the unknown and are changed forever.”
About a week later, I noticed an odd thick dry patch of skin around the base of my spine. My root chakra had taken an intense blow but it seemed to be in a beneficial way. Something happened that night that is hard to describe. The incredible amount of peace and serenity I now enjoy seems bigger than just the result of visiting such a generally tranquil environment. This jolt seemed to shake loose and release something so that I no longer feel anxious or worried. I feel an inner calm no matter what is going on around me. Other effects are still being realized.
One of the biggest gifts I received there happened during one of the Ayahuasca ceremonies. Ayahausca is considered the master teacher of the plant medicines. The brew is actually made by combining specific parts of two different plant medicines in just the right amounts cooked for a specific amount of time. Recipes vary from Shaman to shaman but theirs was very potent…about 20 times stronger than some recipes. During one of my visionary journeys, a seed was planted in my core. It became clear to me that this is where all of the information I was receiving was being planted or downloaded. I was unaware of what the information was but it seemed it would be revealed over time and had to do with my healing.
Upon my return home as I was discovering things that I did not know I knew, I asked the Universe how long this would continue to evolve? I was told over the next three years. This unfolding is particularly exciting to me as my healing work is taking me into unexplored areas. More to be revealed as things continue to develop. I’m extremely thrilled about my adventure into the unknown…discovering what I did not know I knew that I know. How does it get any better than that?