Ayahuasca Apprenticeship Pitfalls (to name a couple)
While nearing the 200 ceremony mark, it has been extremely interesting and beneficial to me to finally see others get into longer term work in the Medicine. Until now, I only had myself to compare myself to. I’m noticing more threads of Ayahuasca apprenticeship pitfalls that may be good to note.
Of course Luco is supportive, but Peruvian apprenticeship is extremely different than Western in Ayahuasca. We come from a different consciousness, a different mentality, with different stuff to purge. From each person who comes farther into the long-term path, I learn more about different ways their growth can manifest, or be stunted.
As some of you know, I basically got “sent” back early at the end of February to the States (we now joke about how I got kicked out of my own place!) This was for me, for Infinite Light, and for the apprentices who stayed and worked. It has come more clear now than ever why this occurred.
When you let go and trust, the micromanaging hands of ego are thrown up in surrender, and the natural flow of the Divine takes over. This may mean facing fears stuck under foundations (that in turn, crumble.) Once the fear-based structures collapse, what rises in it’s place is higher levels of light-strength foundations, ones that will last and continue to evolve in the process.
These move you towards manifesting the intentions that you hold. Those who are meant to be there during these ‘growing pains’ are there, hopefully recognizing why it was that they were drawn to be there in the same moment.
That’s exactly what happened over the last couple of months. Major Divine restructuring.
Many apprentices made it through to the other side, grateful and strong for the opportunities to face their own fears, judgments, and arrogances. Others got caught mid-purge, choosing to forget what they had learned so far (changing into a less-compassionate ego-perspective; where things that were once considered growth opportunities, had become drama and finding fault with others.)
There seem to be a couple of potential pitfalls to be aware of, for anyone who is considering apprenticeship (though of course, these are just the same pitfalls of life…apprenticeship is just condensed and more obvious.)
1. “I’ve Stayed Too Long for This Round Syndrome”
This is the classic case of biting off more than one can chew when buying plane tickets. I’ve done it several times, since you really can’t tell what it’s going to look like once you get in the Medicine work. Everyone’s ego says they are ready for everything, but a baby doesn’t assume they can run a marathon before they can crawl.
Past the Thrive Point
People seem to have “thrive points”…as in waves, where they go until they are maxed out. After that, they need to take a break to process and apply what they have learned, and give the body a chance to assimilate to the rapidly-changing energies.
When this “syndrome” occurs (I’m joking with the title of course), they lack the willingness to learn patience and ride their natural rhythm (usually due to ego micromanagement).
What seems to happen with this one, is simply that they run out of emotional and mental steam to be able to keep bringing the experience back to themselves, and back to what is being triggered within. This takes a tremendous amount of energy and effort, and once the well is tapped, everything looks different.
It’s like the Divine Order disappears. While there of course, may be validity to the things that bother them, and areas within the structure that need improvement, the compassion is gone, and often people stuck in this place project and turn against us (meaning Luco and I) personally (which brings up yet another ego-training opportunity for me).
Purge Blinders and Projection
I can see it clearly, and it always happens in Divine Order (so there really isn’t room to be too mad, because I always end up growing tremendously from it) but as a person, it does hurt a bit when friends I still love all of a sudden can’t “see” me anymore.
But 9 times out of 10, this settles out once they return back to society and remember their intention of working with the Medicine in the first place, and all returns back to normal. Personally, it is very difficult but amazingly strengthening for me, to be able to recognize what is happening and not take things too seriously when people are stuck in ego (lord knows I have done it to countless people over the years.)
This can be tough training on a group, since the ego provokes those same energies in others, and only the strong ones do not fall whim to it’s contagious nature. But the strong get stronger, and the weaker who learn from it also become stronger.
The weak who are never willing to see it stay put until they are ready to move, but that is also the nature of apprenticeship in Life and the Medicine. Spiritual survival of the fittest. Luckily, all that is needed to succeed is intention, willingness, and readiness.
2. Mismatched Intentions
This is another interesting one I have begun to witness. Infinite Light is pretty clear on our intentions on the web (the site is full of light, Spirituality, etc etc). So this naturally draws people in a similar families of intentions (healing, becoming their Highest Self, finding Life Purpose, etc.) While we hold no judgments on any individual’s intentions, the is a foundational aspect for us to be a supportive match or not.
Every once in awhile, people do not hold this family of intentions. Instead, they set their mind on a specific goal and focus it with all their might, whether it is in their best interest or not. These people are not interested in hearing anything that may be contrary to their goal, and have the doors slammed and on lockdown to even investigate the possibility that what they are looking at may not be true, may be fantasy, or may be detrimental to their life.
Free Will Planet
If the person has locked these doors and thrown away the key, no one, not even the Medicine, can open them up. The person is simply not willing to look deeper into it. The Medicine meets you where you are, and the co-creative process of ‘my move, your move’ continues on.
What’s really tough about this one, is the balance of non-judgment versus aiding and abetting. While no one can see into any other person’s integrity, life path, etc, there are also times where, from my experience of the situation, I perceive people spinning in their own self-created delusions.
These often involve disregard and disrespect for Luco’s lineage and traditions, including previously agreed-to safety rules and guidelines (which forces us to ask people to leave.)
Hard to Heal in a Vacuum
While we never want to turn down someone coming to us for help, there does come a point where sometimes, by allowing someone to spin long enough, we are no longer helping. We are supporting them being stuck in a rut that they are unwilling to get out of. Hence, the tough love piece of knowing that their healing lies elsewhere, and we love them enough to let them go.
People forget, the Medicine is not a magic pill, and the shaman is not a overbearing mom. The individual his or herself must do the work. The person on their own must be willing to open the doors. It’s a free-will planet, which allows us all the freedom to choose.
When they shut down, isolate, and not only don’t reach out for help, but don’t let it in, they have forced themselves to choose from the options presented within their own mind and heart, which may include things up and ready to be purged.
It’s a bit tough to watch, and while it doesn’t happen often, but it’s a part of Life and the Universe that I’ve had to come to terms with. While everyone has the potential to do this, not everyone is willing to go where they need to go. And I have to be okay with that, and love them anyway.
While these things include a very small percentage of the apprentices we see, they are real, and effect everyone involved (for the better if we can see it clearly.)
Rising to the Challenge
I have also seen over the past couple of months, people step up into strength levels they didn’t know they had. Pull together to support these people, and us, through a turbulent growth period. It became very clear who supported us through this growth, and who added to the pile.
These people gained immense benefit from these experiences. This is also reflective of Life…the choice to swim upstream, kicking and screaming, or ride the flow and learn from the twists and turns along the way. Like I mentioned before, it also gave us a chance to allow some of the fear structures to crumble, bringing up areas we needed to address to grow into where our intention lies as a community.
Apprenticeship is tricky. It can be exhausting. It can be extremely confusing, and learning when to stand strong and when to be a puddle on the floor is imperative. All of these things are learned in time, if you keep on to the intention.
But we really cannot do it alone. When resentment bubbles build in the body, they become toxic until they explode. We must communicate. We must reach out. We must be compassionate. We are all brothers and sisters in love, and anything other than that is something to be looked at.
Staying Compassionate and Connected
This will always be constant practice, maintenance and improvement, since we are all still human, after all. But the relief of choosing love, seeing who people really are rather than their issues at hand…it’s all one can do. Everybody needs and deserves love. Open up and let it flow back and forth, giving and receiving, from the taxi driver to your ex-husband.
It makes us as individuals happier, nicer, lighter people, spreading energies in the world that we want our children to feel. Breathe, and let go of the bullshit. People are always doing the best they can at a given moment. Love them through their process.
(This is me speaking to myself by the way. One of my internal pep-talks that I happen to put down on paper!)
Much love and light to everyone:) Reach out for support to me, someone, anyone, if you need anything. Smile and breathe, and enjoy whatever the day brings you.
~ Meghan Shannon Elder (@beyond_meghan)
Ayahuasca Preparation and Integration Specialist at Beyond the Ceremony
Accelerated Spiritual Development Coach at Beyond the Whirlwind
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