It was a relief getting back to the US and out of the drama for a little while. It was difficult as people continuously complemented me on how physically and energetically lighter and more attractive I had become.
It was hard with my mixed feelings…I knew the Medicine had done it’s work, but I still wasn’t clear on the people administering it. How much does that effect the ceremonies? A shaman who has had thousands of ceremonies must be completely purged, right?
I had ignored the little things about the Elder shaman (the excessive drinking, the rumors) but I was just so confused. But something kept pushing me to keep trudging through.
Within a week home, I was enjoying my time at the beach with my family. An email came in on my phone, and my heart stopped.
It was from Luco’s ex-girlfriend (the one that was there the first time we went to the village), asking if I had been in touch with her (current) boyfriend, Luco.
She wrote about how they had been together since she left, and were planning on being together permanently after she finished school. She would be returning in June to spend another three months with him, and hadn’t heard from him in a long time. She had heard I was out in village, and thought I may have seen him. And please let him know she was trying to get in touch with him.
I couldn’t breathe. I had been punched in the gut. No, no, no this can’t be real. This can’t be. They can’t all be right. I know it, I can feel it. Something’s wrong with this picture, besides the obvious. It is not true, I know it. There’s something I can’t see.
The whirlwind of emotions and thoughts consumed me as I thought of my life savings (that I didn’t even have, it was a loan from the bank) and my entire life purpose, love relationship, and integrity was on the line.
Was I really being played this whole time? Did logic trump what my heart was telling me? NO, I cannot and will not believe this. But I’m not going to play a fucking fool either. You know what, if I have to walk away, I have to walk away. It’s only money. I’d rather live a life in debt than with shit on my conscience.
I grabbed the phone card to call Luco. There was no excuse for this. There was nothing that he could tell me that I would believe. This was over. I’d just have to chalk this one up to experience. Fuck man, all this crap about having faith, trusting your Divine intuition, blah blah.
This looming fear that it can’t save you from falling deep into a debilitating trap is there in all of us for a reason. God can’t put food on the table. God can’t save you from this shit. My faith did not steer me where I thought it was. And I can’t believe I have to crawl back to everyone with my tail between my legs, admitting I was the fool.
I was so sure about this! It felt like such a Divine pull, which is why I was willing to do so much so fast. I thought it was a leap of faith! God, after all this, how could you let this happen to me? This must be another round of karmic payback for being the other woman in my past. This must punishment for something.
I am fucked. My life is over. I’m $50,000 in debt with no real way to pull out. I’m back to square one with relationships. And now I don’t even have anywhere to continue with the Medicine. I thought I knew who I can trust. How can I trust any shaman ever again?
His cell went to voicemail. That means he’s in the village, fuck. It’s nearly impossible to get through on one of the two public phones. I tried. Phone card didn’t work. Tried again. Number wrong. Tried again. Busy. Tried. And tried. And tried. All afternoon.
Eventually I had to give up and return to society. I was fuming, but I still knew better than to share this with my mom yet, since, even though all logic defied it, I still didn’t know what was real. I took some deep breaths, a cold shower, and chose to release this until I could talk to him. I went out and attempted to enjoy dinner on the beach with my family.
By the next day, my thought process had relaxed again. I realized I couldn’t see clearly at all when I was angry and hurt, so once that subsided I could approach this whole thing a bit more rationally. Let’s just see what happens.
Finally, the call went through. “Hola?” I hear his voice. We connect. He his warm and excited to talk to me, the first time since the airport a week ago. Somehow his voice seemed to make me feel better.
“Listen, I got an email from your ex. She wants you to call her. She said you guys are still together,” I spat out bluntly, but without too much anger. I had kind of spent it all the day before, which I was quickly realizing was blessing. “What’s going on?”
“Okay, thanks for letting me know. I’ll call her. I have had to ease off of this relationship slowly because of her emotional state. Given some physically and emotionally traumatic things she had to endure after she left, I needed to give her as much time as possible to regain her strength before gradually letting go. Otherwise, it may have seriously broken her, and she may have done something crazy.
Sometimes, when the heart is not strong enough, you can’t just break it in one shot. You need to make it as least damaging as possible. So once everything started with you, we naturally didn’t talk as much, as I was prepping her for the release. It’s easier when you can feel it coming.”
Now, to my Western female mind, this sounded like an excuse. A rationalization. A way of wriggling off the hook. But there was a certain logic to it, and I’ve actually seen this happen with other relationships. It breaks the “brutal honesty is the best policy” rule, but I don’t know if I believe that’s true either.
Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. But from the way he spoke, it sounded like at least he believed he was doing the right thing for her, whether she was mad at him or not. It felt like I “shouldn’t” believe it by all logic, but somehow, it felt like he was telling the truth as he saw it.
“Okay, well, call her I guess. This is ya’lls relationship, and your discussion. So I’m not going to reply to her, just get in touch and take care of it.” I’m going to let this go, and wait and see. Not sure if it’s the right move, but when logic and intuition battle it’s very confusing.
Searching for the Truth
Over the next couple of months, I battled internally trying to see what was real. Without having her cell phone, it was hard to find the Beautiful Girl who had spent those months with me in the village. She was the only person who had an inkling as to what I was going through.
In her absence, I began sharing honestly where I was with the whole thing with the Lawyer from the original program. She had always been an amazing confidant for me. The Spunky One and the Buddhist were neutral but not exactly optimistic.
Every time I would being to trip out in my mind, after I talked to Luco I felt better. Several people had theorized that I was under some kind of a love spell, and unable to see clearly. That I was being manipulated by Luco for the work, bringing him people and therefore money.
This was one of the worst fears, as I do know the force of the Medicine, and though I didn’t know if it was possible, having that fear and doubt in the back of my mind was a scary thought. I had heard more rumors that now the Elder and the Western shaman from the original center were both warning people away from doing ceremony with Luco, that there were dark shamans in the village (implying that he was one of them.)
I knew Western shaman was full of wisdom, and his word meant a lot to me. But why would he have hired him if he was dark? The pressure against me was overwhelming, and I was getting close to the point of simply crumbling and letting it all go. But something kept me moving forward.
Something inside told me not to scare people with this stuff, just in case the reality isn’t what I am fearing. But what am I playing with here? Am I really “trafficking with the devil” like some Christians believe?
I felt the extremes of this decision weighing heavily on me: if he was bad and I was being played, and blindly pursue this work with a shaman who is not in integrity (or possibly worse) I’d be bringing people to a “false prophet” or even spiritual danger (I was hearing this, and still not knowing if I believed that was possible or not).
The other choice would be to play it safe and walk away from everything, and if he was as light as I want to believe, potentially taking away the ability for people to truly and deeply save themselves from the dark forces running their lives.
Good, trustworthy shamans are hard to come by, but can create an extremely powerful healing space, and we simply need more of them. If enough people did that, at the exponential levels the Ayahuasca works at, the ripple effect could be invaluable for humanity.
Talk about an extreme decision. I would make no moves until I was clear. I was starting to get the feeling I may need to go back to Peru for a week or so and have some clear conversations with the Elder and his family, and maybe the Western shaman too, and see what was going on from their end. After all, I had always trusted them, and I needed to gather as much information as possible to make sure I knew what was right.
I was planning a trip to Arizona for my friends’ wedding, then soon after a trip to Ireland with my family. I think I’ll squeeze a week of hardcore investigating in Peru in between.
Guidance from the Spirit World
Until then, I started getting readings from clairvoyants and other intuitive people. This was not something I could fuck around with, and I needed a second (and third and fourth) opinion from the Spirit World.
First, Paul – the shaman from the States (who I’d been working with for years and completely trusted) gave me a very positive, optimistic reading. That things were crazy right now, but that the light will prevail, and all will be well. I felt great about that, as that what my intuition was saying as well.
Next, I got another one from a reader who works with talking to your Spirit Guides. I brought her a picture of Luco and the Elder to connect with.
This reading validated every fear and doubt I had ever had.
“This guy is no good, he’s young and green. The older one is okay, but the young one is manipulating you. You are not going to be able to do what you are trying to do. He’s got too many women, is not being honest, and you’re going to be way out of integrity if you continue this. If you get out now you may be okay, but the spirits are telling me you’re going to do it all anyway.” My heart stopped again.
After the validation I had gotten from Paul, this reading fucked me up hard. Trying to find what was real and what was not, who to believe when the entire world seems to be telling me one thing while my intuition was saying another.
Is this just really strong resistance to seeing the truth? Do I want this to be real so bad I am willing to risk people’s livelihoods to be right? Or is this an instinct, a Divine hit to trust my heart and what I feel God is telling me? How do I know?
I went out to Arizona with a lot weighing on my mind. I was to be the efficient at the wedding, so marrying two dear friends of mine trumped all my mental and emotional turmoil. Maybe I would find the truth out in these sacred mountains.
After a beautiful ceremony in the oasis of Flagstaff and a two day campout reception in the woods, I had pretty much resigned myself to returning to Peru to break up with Luco and start my life over again. I appreciated the normal, American lifestyle after dealing with so much intense internal battling over the last few months. Part of me just wanted to throw in the towel, party, and chalk it up to experience. I really, really did not want to go back to Peru, maybe ever.
On the last day, I headed down to Sedona to a spiritual center I had been to once before. I wanted another reading. Something called me to this woman named Angel, who I bonded with immediately. She seemed very down to earth, real, and non-judgemental (a bit different from the previous reader). I brought her the pictures of the two shamans.
“I think this one may be bad,” I commented, pointing to Luco. She shook her head.
“No, he’s fine. The other one has a bunch of negative energy around him right now. Steer clear of him for awhile.” I was shocked. I guess I had resigned myself to expecting the opposite answer. I began to tell her a bit about the situation.
“No no, follow your heart on this one. You are the only one who has all the information. I can’t tell you the answer, but I can tell you that you are extremely supported by the Spirits, and they want to see you succeed. You know what to do.
This is the Spirit World you’re dealing with. It’s not based in logic. It’s based in intuition. Do not let the dark forces scare you. They often plug into other people’s fears and doubts, and vocalize them. Trust yourself, and trust God. You are doing great child, keep going!”
I smiled and breathed a sigh of relief to have my intuition validated. I hope she’s right! But it is sure nice to know that someone has my back. It supported the feeling that the ‘logic’ and the rumors were on a lower frequency that the truth.
Committing to Integrity on Arizona Rock
I went down to the river with a new friend I had met named Kristina. She had also been studying other forms of shamanism, and was fascinated by what we were doing. Something about her presence reminded me of the point of the Ayahuasca work, and what it has done for me (with all three of these shamans) and what it can do for others.
I sat on a rock in the water, and accidentally dropped into somewhat of a trance state, lost in thought. It was just me, the Earth, the Water, and God.
I began to hear Divine wisdom. Though it sounded like my own thoughts, the energy was clear and light, unlike the thoughts I’d been spiraling around my head over the last few months.
Do not give up. You will see the truth as it unfolds.
I thought about how I had gotten into this situation to begin with, and how Divinely everything had flowed up until the point of the storm. I thought about all the intuitive hits that had led me here, through Inner Visions as my initial training, to the shamanic program in the US, and the perfectly laid out flow landing me in Peru.
I thought about what Luco has done for me in ceremony, and what I had seen him do for other people. I thought about all the times he helped out the Elder in a jam, physically, emotionally and financially. I thought about the man I knew before.
Was he really that man, and my perception of him tainted by thoughts of fear and doubt? Were there dark forces trying to stop this important work from occurring?
I knew I couldn’t go in blindly. I must know. And I will know. I am going back, to face the truth, whatever that may be. I am equally ready to walk or take on this task. And once this is over, I will know, without a shadow of a doubt, what I have to do.
I will hold to integrity, no matter what the cost. This is my promise.
~ 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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