Episode 16 1 July 2021
My ayahuasca chronicles - Part 2
Principal lawyer, Geraldine Grace | Host, New Earth lawyer podcast
In this episode, I discuss more of my experience taking the South American psychedelic brew ayahuasca in Peru in 2017.
This second part covers some of the profound experiences I had under the influence of ayahuasca, including what I learned about the nature of my being - the connection of my soul to my personality and body and how they each interact. Plus, having my "soul purpose" shown to me in a completely unexpected way.
Please remember that, as a psychedelic concoction, ayahuasca is to be treated with caution and respect. It is also illegal in many places in the world.
I am an experienced corporate lawyer, using the law to build purposeful, human-centred, Earth-friendly legal enterprises & ecosystems, for happier humans and a better planet.
I am also the founder and host of the New Earth lawyer podcast.
I am based in Melbourne, Australia, and an expert in enterprise governance, purpose, business & human rights and modern slavery. I established my own law practice Geraldine Grace in 2020, focussing on enterprises seeking purpose, and actors in the impact economy.
I am a legal advisor to not-for-profits with a national reach in impact and purpose. I work with Boards to optimise performance and help enterprises embed purpose and integrate human rights into their business.
I have over 20 years' experience practising law in Australia, the UK, Hong Kong and mainland China. I have worked for large global and Australian law firms and was a partner of a top-tier Australian law firm for several years.
I sit on the peak governing body of Australia's largest university.
[0:44] I explain the schedule of the 7 ceremonies I had over 12 days.
[1:48] I go over a typical day when we would have an ayahuasca ceremony.
[3:02] I describe the physical setting where we would consume ayahuasca each evening.
[3:45] I describe what actually happened in each ayahuasca ceremony, how we would drink our dose, how the shamans would set things up and so on.
[5:22] I recount my first experience with ayahuasca which was pleasant.
[9:03] One of my worst experiences with ayahuasca came with a reminder not to take my physical body for granted and to be grateful for it.
[11:55] Ayahuasca physically healed me in a systematic way, scanning my body energetically for physical problems.
[13:40] My most significant ayahuasca ceremony was one where my soul purpose was revealed. But before that I had to answer an important question asked by ayahuasca.
[15:19] My purpose was revealed to me.
[17:48] The strangest part of the experience was who or what revealed my purpose to me.
Part 1 of My Ayahuasca Chronicles.
Part 3 of My Ayahuasca Chronicles.
The Temple of the Way of Light, in Iquitos, Peru, a place I recommend and where I experienced ayahuasca
An article from Psychedelic Times about icaros, the powerful songs of the shamans of the Amazon.
Hello, everyone and welcome to the New Earth lawyer podcast. My name is Geraldine Johns-Putra, and I am your host. I'm a lawyer based in Melbourne, Australia. This episode I'm going to continue on with my telling of my ayahuasca chronicles that is, the journey I took to Peru in 2017 yo drink the psychedelic brew, known as ayahuasca in the Amazon jungle.
Now last episode, I spoke more about the basics of ayahuasca , what it is, how it's made, and what you can expect, if you're going to take it and how you should prepare and how I prepared for my trip to Peru. Now this time, I'm going to talk about what happened during the ceremonies where I took ayahuasca in Peru. Now I had ayahuasca 7 times over 12 days. And the schedule was something like this. We took ayahuasca , the group of us who had met at the centre in Peru. We took ayahuasca two days in a row then we had a day's break. Then we had ayahuasca ceremonies three days in a row, and then another day's break. And we finished up with the final two ceremonies the last two days in a row. So that's how it went. It was fairly intense.
The typical day when we would have an ayahuasca ceremony would start with taking plant remedies in the morning. Now these are non-psychedelic plant remedies, natural herbal remedies that were made by the shamans at the centre. We had both male and female shamans, we call them maestro's and maestra's, which is Spanish for master, and the female shamans, the mastra's would make these plant remedies for us. Later in the day, we would also have group sharings in a circle, where we would talk about why we had come, what we wanted to learn and what we were experiencing during our individual ceremonies, taking ayahuasca. Sometime during the day, we would also have floral baths, which is that we'd be doused with water in which native flowers had been soaking, which was intended to cleanse and purify our bodies, as well as help prepare our energetic fields, our minds as well for the ceremonies.
And then at seven o'clock at night, we would all gather in a circular hut, a large wooden hut, called a maloka. And around the perimeter of the hut would be arranged mattresses for each of us. And next to each mattress there would be a large bowl and this bowl is, was for purging into because as I mentioned last week, one of the side effects, a common side effect of taking ayahuasca is that you will feel nauseous and you will very likely purge or vomit.
So that was the layout of the room. And what would happen is that about seven at night, we would start with some yoga and some quiet meditation time to settle ourselves and to get clear on the intentions that we had for the evening ceremony. And then, about an hour or so later, the shamans would come in with the ayahuasca, the bottle of ayahuasca that they had brewed earlier, and the maloka, the hut, would be lit with lanterns and one by one each of us would go up and take a dose of ayahuasca however much, it would be a glassful, but however much in that glass would be up to us, up to how much we felt internally guided by our intuition to take. We were allowed to or if we wanted to during the evening, after taking one dose if we felt later on we could take another dose. Now I never did. I always stuck with the one dose that I'd taken first up.
And after we'd each taken our dose, we would go back and lie down on our mattress and wait for everyone to finish taking their dose. And then when everyone had finished, the lights, the lanterns would be turned off. And we'd lie there in the darkness and listening to the sounds of the jungle, waiting for the ayahuasca to take effect.
Now, the first time I took ayahuasca, it was really just to get to know how my body reacts to it and how really what my relationship with this plant energy was going to be like. And I have to say that I had a very pleasant first experience. We were encouraged not to overdo it on the first night to just take a small dose. And I remember having a feeling of utter peace, almost a maternal feeling of being held and comforted and assured that I was fine. Everything was going to be all right. And I also could see whether my eyes were open or closed, I could see lights, pinpricks of light that we're developing into patterns, grid like patterns.
And these visuals actually became for me a common theme throughout all of my ayahuasca ceremonies, I would always see them. Now some people had more visuals, that when they talk about their experiences with ayahuasca they actually could see things. I, apart from witnessing those those grids, those grids of light that I took to be really what our energetic fields are made out of, the whole energetic field that surrounds all living beings are made out of these grids of light, other than those visuals, I didn't have visuals. So my experiences with ayahuasca were actually in two forms, I would have thoughts. So I would think of something and then instantly, I would get a thought back like a block of thought. And it was like a response to what I had previously been thinking. And in this way, I felt I was having a dialogue with the energy of ayahuasca . And the other thing that happened to me is physical sensations. So I actually would feel things like the sensation of being held or comforted, I could actually feel sort of arms around me, if you like, or an energy or warmth around me. So, those are the two ways in which I had direct interactions with with ayahuasca. So, when I talk about, you know, in some of the ceremonies that I talk about later on, when I discuss having a conversation, what I mean is that exchange of thoughts.
So, after that first ceremony in future ceremonies, I took higher doses of ayahuasca. It would last me for about three or four hours, and then after that, the ceremony would come to an end at some point, usually about midnight. And we were then free to go back to our individual huts, or we could spend the two the night sleeping in the maloka, which was quite pleasant as well. And because it was open air with mosquito netting, and so you could really enjoy the the breezes and the sounds coming in from the jungle. Or we could gather and some of us did in the dining hall and talk about what we've been through.
So I had a ceremony, where it was made very clear to me that I am in more than my physical body. I was reminded that I have an energetic part of me, which I take to be my soul, and a personality part, which is Geraldine, different from my soul. My soul is immortal, and isn't actually Geraldine. So the soul part, the personality part and the physical body.
So you may know that I try to keep myself quite fit. I like to run, I lift weights. And I take pride in being able to do these things with my body in quite proud or keeping it fit. In that ceremony, ayahuasca showed me that the pride that I had in my body was a false pride, and that what I really needed to be showing was gratitude, gratitude for the combination of my physical body being able to do these things, my personality with which I impose a certain amount of will on my body to do things, and then the soul, which gives life to the body. And what ayahuasca did in that ceremony, which was probably the worst trip that I had, during the whole time, the worst ayahuasca ceremony that I had, it showed me what it was like not to have health. So I lay there, feeling utterly fatigued, sick, unable to move and just in the loop of this feeling that I couldn't get out of, I simply couldn't will myself out of it. And I believe what I was being shown was that I shouldn't take physical health for granted. And that probably my biggest character flaw, if you like, was this false pride and taking for granted what I can do.
I should say that even though I felt sick, I never vomited myself, so in all of the ceremonies I had, I actually never vomited. I did purge in a different way, which was that I yawned a lot. And I'm told that that's another form of purging, of releasing energy. But ayahuasca also showed to me or explained to me in these thought conversations that I described, that I, that was my choice of purging, that I didn't have negative energies, if you like, collected in me that I really needed to eject out.
As it turned out later, I had another ceremony where I had quite a profound healing on my body, because one of the things that I asked for going in was to know if I had anything wrong with my physical body. And what happened was that ayahuasca performed this very detailed, systematic read of my body kind of layer by layer, scanning down my body from my head down to my toes, and it would stop wherever I had had a past physical issue, it would stop and heal it. And I felt this energy moving through me like that. And then at times, especially when a maestro or maestra came and sang at the head of the mattress, if I could get up, I would get up and face them, they would actually energetically pull things out of my body, I would feel it like a, like an energetic fishhook coming into my body and something wriggling out, that I knew that I needed to get rid of.
And six weeks after I came back from Peru, I felt great. As soon as I got back six weeks after I ran a marathon, and I was under trained, but I really ran that marathon in in just over four hours, four hours three minutes, which is my best time, I've never come close to running that time. And I really felt better than I've ever felt before health wise. So apart from learning that, you know, the gratitude for the gifts of this physical Earth, the most meaningful ceremony that I had actually took place on the fifth night of ceremonies.
So that night, I decided to take a slightly larger dose of ayahuasca and then I went and I lay down on my mattress as usual. And I saw the familiar patterns of light, and I was thinking how pretty they were. And then I began to have a conversation as I was getting used to doing with ayahuasca. And it was asking me a question. By that time, I had actually stopped consuming alcohol for about 18 months. And ayahuasca was asking me, do you plan to drink alcohol again? And I said, no, I am very happy being a teetotaler, I like how clean makes me feel physically and how healthy I am now. So I'm done with drinking alcohol. And ayahuasca was asking me this question several times, and maybe five or six times and each time I had to say, no, no, I am done. And I don't intend to drink alcohol basically ever again in my life. And finally, that was that, and I didn't get asked the question anymore. But I must have been quite drowsy, because the next thing I remember was, I was having another conversation and it seems to me in hindsight, what ayahuasca was doing with that first conversation was really establishing, as a condition before it showed me something else that I really intended to live a clean life from now on, or from then on.
Because that ceremony that I'm going to tell you about, was really the answer to my main question going to Peru, which was to find out my purpose in life. So what ayahuasca was doing was to set the ground rules to say, if you are going to find out your purpose in life, you must have made this particular commitment towards never drinking alcohol again, which was totally fine by me. So I was then later on, after having that first conversation with ayahuasca , finding myself having another conversation. And this time, in this conversation, I had the feeling that it wasn't with the energy of ayahuasca. In other words, when thoughts came to me, it didn't seem to be coming from the same places, as previously, ayahuasca I felt was, was sitting somewhere in a backseat towards the right of me. And then this other exchange that I was having was with an energy off to the left of me. And this energy was very matter of fact, and very direct. And it was basically telling me that I had agreed to come to earth as a soul in a body to carry out a mission connected with bringing light to Earth. And so I had sort of in my mind's eye, not a clear visual, but if I may describe it. a mental image, like imagination, of a dark Earth, with points of light on it, little tadpoles of light, if you like just sort of streaming upwards, from all over the Earth, or parts of the Earth. And I had the distinct feeling that I was one of those points of light. And ayahuasca also showed me who the other bulbs or points of light were in my life that I had agreed to come to Earth with, basically, to connect up and create more light here.
So as if that wasn't strange enough, this experience of being told that I had agreed to come to Earth to be some part of some sort of mission to bring more light to the planet. And even stranger thing happened when I decided to ask this energy that was in conversation with me who it was, and really when I say "it", but it was a "they". It presented or they presented as a collective. And they even spoke in my, in the thought forms that came to me, presented themselves as a "we". So I asked where they came from and the thought block that came back to my mind was that we come from the stars. And if you think that's pretty incredulous, well, let me tell you so did I, even though I was under the influence of ayahuasca. Because I had gone to Peru, and I'd been quite prepared to be shown incredible things, but I hadn't really bargained for making contact with star people even if they were just in my head, because it didn't feel like they were just in my head.
And I should say that, you know, it was it took a while for me to absorb the entire conversation, even after the effects of ayahuasca disappeared that evening, it took a long time talking about it and thinking about it.
And I really needed to know more about what had happened to me. The energy also said to me they had led me to go to Peru to do ayahuasca, so that my personality and my ego consciousness wouldn't be in the way of hearing what I needed to hear. And really, I had wanted to know what my purpose was for a reason and it had been shown to me. So I'm still in a way of absorbing, it's four years on, I'm still absorbing exactly what happened. It did lead me down some fascinating paths seeking knowledge and reading widely. I have integrated it, I think more or less successfully into my life. I still question constantly what it was I had been conversing with, whether it was part of my own subconscious or whether I had made contact with something out of this world. I can only say it felt real, but I can't, of course, prove it.
So in the final part next week, I'm going to talk about what the integration of all of my ayahuasca ceremonies was like, after I returned to to Melbourne, and to my real life, so called, my home, my job, and everything that went with it, while carrying around with me the memories of this profound dialogue that I had had. So thank you for listening, and I hope you'll tune in next week. Thank you.