The Ritual of Yagé

Sun 2nd Feb 2014
Living to Be Happy 

Ayahuasca is a completely natural drink mixed by a medicine man (shaman) called a Taita in Colombia.

The Taita mixes the stem of the ayahuasca vine with other plants to create a spiritual medicine. The medicine is called ayahuasca in present-day Perú and Ecuador, but in Colombia it is called yagé.

The ritual use of ayahuasca links the spirituality of almost all the indigenous peoples of the Upper Amazon — Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia.

The ayahuasca drink is a healing and teaching medicine - it is a hallucinogen, emetic, purgative, and vermifuge.

This means that first you cleanse the body from the inside by causing violent vomiting and diarrhea.

As the Taita Florentino Agreda (Taita Floro) gave me my medicine, he joked about my height and gave me two cups of yagé. As a result, I felt sick quite soon afterwards and went outside the hut into the field and joined  the others already about to vomit. The vomiting only seemed to bring back up the drink, but later when I went to the toilet twice with my toilet roll in hand, I definitely emptied absolutely everything!

I then went back in the hut and crawled into my sleeping bag which I had placed in the outer circle of the 70+ participants. Then the music began!

Taitas use whistling, blowing, and rattling for both healing and magic, but there were other people with various musical instruments like drums and a harp and the music filled up the cold hut all through the night – never with a break.

The experience is not the same for everyone but unlike the Mexican drink peyote which is supposed to alter the reality around you (perhaps a little like LSD does), yagé is said to take you to another reality.

After drinking yagé, you feel mostly a bit drunk and slow and heavy with your eyes open, but everything around you is still very real – but when you close your eyes, the other reality takes over.

At first I saw dancing images and beautiful colours and wonderful electric sparkles. I soon realised that I can no longer keep my eyes open, and I have no choice but to enter this new place. I think this is where some people could get scared because you really have no choice but to go with it. However, I was totally relaxed and just let the journey continue.

I was told before the ceremony that this medicine is magic and that the plant actually teaches you lessons so it is very important to have an intention before drinking. The intention might be to find 'the purpose of living' or 'the real meaning of love' and the plant should guide you to the answers you seek.

Well, the fortune teller in Mexico told me (without me saying a word) that I have no future to be read right now because I am at a spiritual crossroads. She said that I am trying to open the door to a higher level but it is already open to me and I just need to walk through. I can choose to stay where I am now and be generally content but not progress, or I can step through the door and go to a higher level of consciousness.

So I decided that my intention during the experience would be to walk through the door. I focused on walking through the door to the next level of consciousness.

As people and colours and images danced inside my eyelids, I thought at first that I must be seeing what is beyond the real world, but then I started to notice the word ‘sherlock’ appear in all the colours and images. This is the only programme I have watched since I left for Latin America, and that word woke me up to what was actually going on.

Of course this is only my opinion because everyone’s experience is unique, but it seemed to me that this psychoactive plant was helping me access that creative imaginative inner part of me that spirtuality calls the Self. I was tapping into an unused ability we obviously have to visualise sounds and hear colours – but it was not taking me to another world.

It was all coming from within me.

Once I realised that I would not be travelling to any vision of an actual nirvana or heaven, I sunk nice and cozy into my sleeping bag and enjoyed the amplified intense beauty of the music all around me and the images that kept accompanying it.

I can say that the medicine did serve its purpose though, because it did teach me!; namely it taught me (or reminded me) that reaching nirvana (complete happiness) through enlightenment (becoming fully awakened to the reality of things) will not take us to some ‘other place’.

In other words – there is no heaven somewhere else out there in the sky. Heaven is only to be found inside us.

I also enjoyed a kind of sexual experience whilst listening to the music. Before you start getting excited, it was nothing dirty or pornographic! I did not get sexually excited or anything like that, but I experienced a kind of sexual dance as the music went along. With soft groans coming from here and there (there wasn’t actually anything going on in the real world).

I think this was perhaps on my mind because some spiritual teachers say that sex should be controlled or even avoided as it hinders the path to enlightenment, but for me this was a reminder that sexual energy is the source of all energy – without it nothing would grow and nothing would exist.

The problem is that modern society twists the focus in modern media so that it has all become about bonking. Tantric sex teaches us that the process should be beautiful, spiritual and sacred; for it is an energy that should be rejoiced and not ignored or restricted.

The next morning, we all went outside to listen to Taita Floro give his blessing to mother nature. This is when you really get to see his jovial, happy and down-to-earth nature. I met a guy from Poland and one from Norway who have followed his ceremonies around the world, and Taita Floro and his assistants talk to them kindly by name. They also asked me my name and where I was from and how the experience was. The guy from Norway was even offered a place to crash at Taita Floro’s place in Bogotá tonight instead of having to stay in a hostel.

With a table full of fruits and grains in the middle of a field, Taita Flora gave out medicine to all of us that we rub into our skin for good health. Then, between Taita’s jokes and stories, people took turns giving blessings to mother nature before the grain was poured into the ground and covered, and we all helped ourselves to fruit from the table for breakfast.

Now I am back at the Explora Hostel in Bogotá updating my blog for you guys after a week without any internet, and preparing for my next spiritual adventure starting tomorrow.   

Be inspired ♥


  1. Sounds like an incredible experience. However, any spiritual journey that requires regurgitation on my part is not a journey I will be taking... BTW, I wasn't intentionally trying to be anonymous, I just can't figure out how to easily comment any other way. Kai xo

    1. Finally I get round to answering my blog comments. The experience was amazing! I am not sure you would have liked it, not just because of the vomiting, but also because you literally have no more control what is gonna come your way with regards to visions and 'lessons'. It is said that whatever you have lurking inside that needs to come out to teach you a thing or two will make an appearance, and all you can do is go with the flow. In Kai's subconscious, anything is possible! :p

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