Our Personal Internal Medicine
In the world of Ayahuasca, deep in the Amazon rainforest, it is not uncommon for the shamans to refer to their own personal “Medicine”, almost as a separate, yet connected entity to “The Medicine” as we often refer to these plant spirits.
But what does that mean? Who has Medicine, how quickly and to what level does it accrue, and how does one maintain it? How is one shaman’s Medicine different from another’s? Or in comparison to a person who has had only five ceremonies?
The Energetics of Our Spirit Plus the Medicine
I remember one time I was hanging out in the village we lived in on an off-day during group session. There was some event going on, and a concert pulsating Cumbia music through the streets, this night alive with color.
Luco (the shaman), our friend Liana (a professional fire-dancer and yoga instructor) and myself were eating at an outdoor food stand in the center of town. Liana stretched her back, rolled her head around while speaking of the tightness in her upper back/shoulder area that had been present for weeks.
“Meghan, practice pulling up your Medicine,” Luco advised. “Focus on it – it lives in your heart. Once you can feel the vibration of it, begin to pull it up through your arm, out through your hand, and into the pain in her shoulder.”
I placed my hand accordingly on Liana’s upper back, and began the process. First feeling the Medicine “activate” through focused intent, then “pulling it up” through my arm, and out through my hand, into her pain.
“Whoa, I just felt it come in!” Liana exclaimed within seconds of it leaving my hand. It felt like a gas pump handle siphoning energy from the fuel tank. After a few minutes, the pain was gone, and did not return (at least during her stay with us! Don’t know about after.)
If the pain was affiliated with a Medicine-induced purge (which can be physical like that, as well as emotional, energetic, mental, actual vomiting, etc) it makes sense it would be soothed by Medicine energy.
The purge itself is the heavier junk on its way out of the body, while this little extra bit was just enough to finish the job.
There is clearly a difference between “The Medicine” in physical form (the plants brewed together into liquid, to be drank in ceremony), and “The Medicine” in spiritual form (the overarching spiritual guide of the ceremonies, well above the level of the shaman.)
Clarity of the Vehicle Counts
In regards to a person’s personal Medicine, we are talking about the potent spiritual energy from the sum-total of the big The Medicine. Compare it to waves in an ocean – each person’s Medicine is a unique wave, yet still unbreakably part of the greater network (remind you of any other aspects of spirituality?)
It also combines with our individual spirit’s medicine (sum total of our unique spiritual thumbprint, coming through more or less clearly depending on the state of our vehicle – body, mind and heart.)
So in a way, in practice it is similar to the concept of channeling, except that when a person has “built up” personal Medicine, it is being “pulled up” from inside the body, versus “tapped into” from the outside.
When Do We First Receive Our Medicine?
So when does a person first “receive” personal Medicine that they can call upon? The first time the drink Ayahuasca, and accept what the spirit plants are offering. The potency of personal Medicine will depend on a few variables, such as time in the Medicine, strength and “clarity” of the body (through good nutrition, general physical upkeep), emotional balance, ego work, etc.
The clearer a person’s body, mind, and emotional body, the clearer their Medicine (since just like anything, Ayahuasca can be used for positive or negative intents.)
Side note: Power and light level are two different arenas, so it’s important to trust the shaman or guide you are working with. They don’t need to be saints (and they are very human, so don’t expect perfection here) but you want them to be holding the right intent and holding certain boundaries.
Utilizing Just a Small Amount of Medicine Energy
So how can a person with only one ceremony utilize the small, but present amount of Medicine in their bodies? Work with it spiritually, however that works for the individual. Many people choose to include calling on the Medicine spirits during their daily meditation, or just ‘as-needed’.
Some people choose to partake in shamanic journeying, where they visit the Medicine that way. Personally, I go in and out of “spiritual practice” rituals – but most of the time I just talk to the group of spirits that encompass Ayahausca for me (that means Ayahuasca, Chakruna, Sanango, Lupuna, and the other plants I personally work with.)
Just have conversation (this is how I pray too, by the way.) Not the most eloquent of styles, but it works for me.
Some people also choose to keep it active through more physical means. Talking about the Medicine very easily brings it up inside of me, as well as reading about it, watching documentaries, etc. Ayahuasca art, if focused on, can have the same effect.
Some people like to use shamanic tools to help stimulate it as well, such as burning Palo Santo, using Tabu perfume (if their circle uses that) or Florida Water (agua de florida), using a certain stone, crystal or piece of jewelry in ceremony and imprinting it with the Medicine that way.
Apprenticeship for the Long Haul
Just remember, when you are actively intent on continuing your Medicine work, it does not, by any means stop when your ceremony is complete, or when you leave Peru.
I consider myself an Apprentice for Life. I have no clear intention of “becoming a shamana”, yet my life intention involves helping living out my life purpose (or “Love Offering” as the Medicine once corrected me).
This includes supporting others in moving towards True Self and Love Offering/Purpose as well (many through choice of Medicine work, others just through life and general spirituality.)
So basically, I have a standing agreement with the Medicine to keep my apprenticeship going, no matter where I am, or how far away from the physical Medicine I may be. So how does this work?
The spirits basically “up my game” to a stretch level above where I am currently at. Just like in ceremony (which is a really big stretch) they follow the natural order of learning for me to go to the next level, and just help “move along” the process by creating physical stimuli and triggers as growth opportunities.
So for example, if I need help releasing my “high school crush” inner teenager who is messing with my current ability to retain a solid relationship, they’ll throw me a guy whose very presence will trigger up and provoke all that inner turmoil and angst still in my body from the teenage years, laying dormant, waiting for an opportunity to purge.
And the catalyst comes in the form of, of course, a “teenage dreamboat”. How else would I be able to activate and “loosen” the energy for it to release? Just thinking about it doesn’t do it. It needs to be stimulated, move through my open willingness door, and let go.
This is not a unique process – this is what happens naturally in life, and accelerated for those who focus on moving it. There are levels of acceleration one can choose from, but each is more intense than the one below it, so choose wisely.
Accelerate Without Matrixing Out
Medicine path is highly accelerated, and while one has the ability to slow it down, speed it up, or simply ask the Medicine to support them in making the experience less intense, it’s easy to get “Matrixed out” and forget that while some craziness is going down, it’s really just the purge you set your intention to release.
Ego and Belief System Filters
The amount a person can see the process while being inside of it depends on the level of the ego and belief system filters. Generally, its good to have other people around who understand and can support you in the loving “call out” when the eyes are cloudy and can’t see straight (which happens to almost everyone while they are emotional purging, no matter how much Medicine one has. Get a buddy!)
When people are departing from Peru, I often offer that the biggest risk they run is forgetting. We lightly use the term “Matrix” to mean the collective consciousness of wherever one lives (including the macro and micro – country, city, all the way down to personal support system/family/friends, etc).
A lot of the work being done in ceremony, especially when out in the “high-frequency” clean vibration of the Amazon jungle. Basically, most of the West has a “thicker” energy in comparison – thicker meaning more complex ego systems, beliefs, etc which create a sum-total with thick, grayish energy.
While in Peru, a person may come to an epiphany in ceremony about the nature of, for example, men in relationships. It may be clear as day that the problem is not that all men are pigs, but the belief system that the individual was holding, filtering, then therefore attracting what they don’t want.
This understanding could be a life-changing turning point that may open the door to prospering relationships.
Container Wasn’t Strong Enough
But upon return home, and sharing this newfound understanding with friends and family – the doubt begins to cloud what once was a clear space. “Well, that’s nice that you’re trying to be empowered like all those other women, but most men are still pigs.”
It only takes one comment like that from a person you respect to fill up that clarity with doubt, ego, anger, etc. It fills up with “thickness” until you can’t see it anymore, therefore – forgetting. That “clear space” may hold strong in ceremony space, but as far as the collective, there’s not much of a carved out home for it.
You have to hold it up on your own, or with the support of like-minded friends. This is half the battle.
My advice, no matter how much you swear you could never forget – write things down as soon as you can. Put it on a notecard on the bathroom mirror. Help yourself hold strong and remember among a sea of fog. Let the lessons apply to life, otherwise they are just floating ideas.
Re-Activating Personal Ayahuasca Medicine Energy
Another bonus to having strong Medicine is that it can “activate” the Medicine in others who may be dormant. I’ve had about 240 ceremonies at this point, apprenticing for five years now. When an Ayahuasca person calls me up needing support, my Medicine is automatically activated. Luco also does Medicine re-activation via distance ceremony in Peru as another option.
Over the course of the conversation, I can’t tell you how many times the person reports that the answer they sought “came clear” on its, own, with only direct questions and nudges necessary from me. My Medicine activated theirs, and they “remembered” (clarity.)
Several times people have even physically purged in my presence, just from talking with Medicine energy (great – people vomit when I’m around! lol – only three times, with very close friends. Though two of them had never worked in the Medicine before!)
I “forget” in the Matrix too, even now. But luckily, my Medicine won’t let me forget for too long, since I have a standing intention to keep working with the spirits. God/Life/Medicine – someone will flow Aya back to me right when I need it!
So if you are struggling with Medicine work away from ceremony, don’t fret. Reach out to someone who has more Medicine than you do, and see if that helps. This life was meant to be lived together, and Medicine people are no different. The spirits are right there waiting for the call. Just don’t “forget” to pick up the phone!
~ 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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