Updated: Nov 15
We sat in a hexagonal hut in the dark waiting for the ceremony to begin. I had never been to South America before and I had always wanted to visit Macchu Picchu, but we were far from the crystal city as we waited in the dark. Outside was the Amazon and not far away the silt-laden waters of the Madre de Dios flowed quietly down towards the mighty Amazon River.
The Shaman began to pray over the brew that would take us all on our first journey with the great mother. It was 2012, long before Ayahuasca had become what it is now and still relatively unknown to most people. It was regarded as somewhat obscure and not the subject of weekend brunch gossip. When I did mention it to people later, the looks said it all. What I had read back then both frightened me and excited me.
‘Come with an intention’, we were solemnly instructed. Your questions will be answered and you will always get what you need, but like any great grandmother, you will not always get what you want. Enticing!
At a retreat the previous year I had learned about a boy who had grown back his collarbone. It seemed beyond real but I looked it up and it was real - the kid had literally grown solid bone. It opened my mind to a world of possibilities about my hearing for which I had no real explanation. The recent incidents where I had lost my hearing ensured the subject remained central in my mind. This is what I would ask the great mother. There was nothing else.
As the Shaman, Edwin, started the ceremony by calling in the protector spirits, my anxious anticipation turned to fear. I drank the small cup of brew but nothing could prepare me for the taste. I knew how it was made and my sugar-addicted Western palate was offended by the taste of this dark elixir. Over the years I have come to appreciate the distinct tastes of the different types of medicine and appreciate curanderos who offer a grape to cleanse the palate. There were no grapes this night.
Edwin was strict with us, we must sit in noble silence, and so we did. I straightened my back against the timber wall and sat cross legged with a bucket in front of me... for hours...
At some point I became aware that my vision had changed and as I drifted between eyes open and closed I was transfixed by a cartoon like show where various memories were interwoven with kaleidoscopic scenes. What I saw that night escapes my memory but the feeling remains. Edwin was a Dr and knew how to work the room. Between icaros, Edwin worked his magic with whistles and mapacho (tobacco). I could feel my head become heavier and there was a rocking sensation which reminded me of the odd occasion when I smoked too much making me docile and ‘green’. The rocking continued and as Edwin chanted in front of me, I released what I thought was an enormous amount of fluid into the bucket I had been hugging. What had actually come out was a very small amount of fluid and a lot of air/energy but I wouldn‘t know or understand this until years later.
Still I sat with my question, why am I deaf? Why can’t I hear? Like a child asking his mother, I was desperate to understand and like a child I sat there feeling powerless in my asking. Around me I became aware of others whispering their question.
“Silence!!”, Edwin’s voice boomed in the room, and so we remained silent.
More medicine was served and it was after this that all hell seemed to break loose. I noticed a grey light coming from the centre of the room above us but I did not look up. As I explored the light ahead of me across the room, I sensed that we were all sitting inside a ‘cage’. The light itself shifted and appeared as a curtain of numbers - like the matrix. Was I dreaming? The following day I discovered that we all saw those numbers and the grey light was being emanated from the protector spirits that had been called in to support us.
Across the room I could hear one of our group screaming out with a blood curdling, almost murdurous quality. It sent chills down my spine initially and I could feel the concern rise in the room.
“Quiet. Leave her!”, it was Edwin again.
From another corner I heard sighs and weeping, and from yet another a call came out repeatedly for water. Edwin was losing his patience with this insistent request. After a long time I too was beginning to lose it.
I sat with my question until the answer came with a thunderous boom.
“YOU STOPPED LISTENING!” It felt as if this was shouted at me from far away and yet close and I will never forget those words. They were neither reassuring nor insightful. Listening to what? What do you mean? What does this mean? Can I start listening again?
These questions have been central to my journey ever since that night. Much more happened that night that I don’t really recall. When I finally laid down and relaxed my body, my purge finally came and I passed out. We returned to our rooms around 3am and our first encounter with the power of the great mother was over. Little did I know then that I would return to Peru and eventually buy land with my tribe in the years ahead.
That first experience cracked the shell that I had so carefully built up over the years. Through deep inner work, healing and self inquiry I would start to dismantle the armour and come to a deeper understanding of the multidimensional ways that I had stopped listening.
In the years since then, I have not yet regained my hearing but I have regained a distinct change on the left side of my head. You see, whatever I had done to myself, it included shutting down sensation on the left side, such that 8 years later I notice that I can actually feel things on the left side I never used to. If I put a cotton tip into my ear (which we are all taught not to do), I would hear nothing. I would barely even feel it. When I do that now, I can feel it and I hear the sensation of it moving. Drs would put this down to bone conduction and I would remind them that it wasn't like that before.
I used to always sit at the end of a row so my left ear faced the aisle and I would eat loud foods on that side so as not to disturb the people to my right with the sound of chewing (yes, it sounds weird when you write it out and think about it). I noticed that when I did that I couldn’t really hear the sound of chewing on that side either. If I do that now, it’s as if there is no difference left to right. So whatever had happened since that first night, it has had a tangible impact on how I experience my world.
I continue to explore the multidimensional aspects of my questions through medicine work and regression. At another time, and in another era I lived as a Roman commander at the birth of Christianity. My choice at that time was to stop listening to the divine mother who spoke to me (left is the feminine side), or be killed along with my family for heresy. I stopped listening and shut down that part of me. In 2018 in Peru I revisited this aspect of my past in a ceremony and I spoke to that Roman to help him revoke the agreement he made through all time and space. And so it was done. Whether one believes it is possible or not is irrelevant since every spark of creativity in our lives comes from our imagination; and if we can imagine, then we can create the circumstances for our own healing through intention. It is our imagination that gives us the freedom to heal our limiting beliefs about what’s possible. There are too many examples of this now to dismiss it.
Last week I found this testimonial from a reiki page where Reiki had also been used to heal people who (interestingl) had segments of bones removed and they grew back:
I am a Reiki II practitioner and about to study Shamanic Healing Level 1. Suffice to say I‘m excited to attend in a couple of weeks.
Whether my hearing comes back or not has become less important over the years as I have come to appreciate that I can hear through my gut (my intuition) and interpret signals using my eyes and my internal vision (3rd eye).
What this journey has helped me to do is to reintegrate a part of me I had disowned in one sense but used in another to perpetuate my self talk of victimese. Healing that has and will continue to reverberate throughout my life and future as I create the circumstances for my freedom.
The shell may have been cracked in 2012, but it is disintegrating around me in the most beautiful way in 2019.
Do you have a block you are working on? Has an issue confused you, kept you stuck or stopped you from living a fulfilling life? People work with me because they appreciate the depth of my own journey and my unique way of bringing the heart of issues into the light for healing.
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