9 by 12 inches
(Disclaimer: I am not advocating taking substances that are illegal or that one may be unfamiliar with.)
Ayahuaska came into my awareness around 2012. Being a mum, and in a small country far away from South and Central America, it was something that sounded interesting, but much too far and exotic (and risky) for me to experience. I was proved wrong in 2017 when I was presented with the opportunity and all the perfect conditions: In a small group, with people I trusted, in a place with which I was familiar, and the timing and price were right. Such a perfect arrangement was rare, if not divinely arranged. I was the first to say yes to the invite.
My reading on the topic up to this point had been in-depth enough (rituals, pros and cautions) that I intuitively chose my own way of preparation for the week before taking the plant medicine. Whether it was this preparation and prior reading, or my spiritual readiness after years of experience meditating, lucid dreaming and astral-walking, my experience brought both profound healing and insight. But the experience was also something I stayed very silent about, for several reasons: Much of it was personal; a lot of it was hard to convey in words; the legality and safety of the medicine was in a grey area; and I didn’t want to add to the commercialization and romanticization of this substance which had already led to the deaths and severe adverse results for several people, many of whom you wouldn’t read about because of the rah-rah Ayahuaska literature on New Age and “awakening” web sites.
I didn’t go to the experience with the mindset that I would have a notch on my belt. I went in with incredulity and gratitude for the opportunity (especially for someone with many commitments and really unable to jump onto a plane and fly to sacred sites at the same rate of her friends—sounds jelly but it’s true). In any case, I survived, and gained closure and understanding on several things. The physical/sensory effects lasted months, with continuing confirmations and signs. Yet, strangely, my art stayed much the same until June of 2018, nearly a year later, when events around the MindBodySpirit Festival in Melbourne suddenly seemed to kick my mind’s eye into high gear.
Images-to-be came in with a clarity I’d never had before in my life. I didn’t need to “fill them in” or think about them. I just needed to see. And it was as if I could keep understanding my Ayahuaska experience in new ways, but these new ways needed to be released at the right time, and I just needed to touch the memory and that point in space and time again to access its secrets. Each time, like opening a puzzle box into another layer. Another box.
This image is nothing literal. I cannot explain it, but I look at it and it provides an access point that makes sense for me.