Updated: Jan 12
It has taken me a week or so to decide if I should proceed transcribing this journal. This trip was not only a journey to a far away land, it was also an internal journey of healing and growing. I feel vulnerable just reading what I wrote, but I know that I wrote these things from the heart. Ultimately, I have decided that I do want to share this chronical of my life. Life's stories don't always provide answers, but perhaps it is questions we are looking for. Or perhaps it is something deeper--connection. However you connect with this story, my sincere gratitude for reading on.
July 3, 2017
Can it still be July 3rd? I feel like it has been the longest day. We are inside Lesley's maloka. Jason, Sophia and I were the first ones to enter. We were early. I didn't know what to expect and I didn't know what to tell the kids to expect, so we grabbed a small floor pillow near the door. We left our shoes next to the pile of pillows.
I looked around, it was a round structure, so it was difficult to tell where this ceremony would take place. Eloise picked a random spot to sit down, so we all sat around her. Soon after, Lesley came in and introduced herself. She was full of light and so kind. We all instantly loved her and I trusted her confidence in allowing Sophia and Eloise to participate. She told us that all her grandchildren have done San Pedro ceremonies since they were four or five years old.
Eventually, the whole group that was at the hostel, along with a few new faces were all present. We were all sitting in two semi circles facing Lesley. Lesley told us about the history of San Pedro:
'San Pedro also known as "Wachuma," a sacred plant, a cactus, used in the Andes for healing purposes. Most people drink this medicine to heal on an emotional level, but it is also used to cure physical illness. San Pedro reconnects us to ourselves and to Mother Earth. The plant is a master teacher, a great gift from Creator. It helps us to heal, to grow, to learn and awaken, and assists us in reaching higher states of consciousness.
The plant shows us where we hold our negativity in our bodies, where it came from, and then shows us what we SHOULD have learned from that experience. Once we see that, we release the negativity in our bodies, and we feel clean and light afterwards, and we can give thanks for the teachings we received. It teaches us that NO experience is a bad experience, IF we learn from it.
In the same way, it shows us our thought patterns, and teaches us that every illness we have, is NOT because of bad luck, but because of the way we think. It teaches us to stop and recognize HOW we think, and change our thoughts, into positive ones. This is how we clean our bodies from all illness…is by cleaning our minds. I have been very blessed to have experienced many miracles, people being cured of cancer, and all sorts of illnesses, just by drinking this sacred plant.
We also use this plant to reconnect to the earth. In this experience, we realize that there is NO separation between you, me, the earth, and the sky. We are all ONE. Its one thing to read but to actually experience this oneness is one of the most beautiful gifts we can receive. The plant also teaches us to live in this world in balance and harmony, it teaches us compassion and understanding, and shows us clearly to love, respect and honor all things.
The plant shows us too, that we are all children of the Light; we are all precious and special. It teaches us to see the divine within us, and to hold the divine light within us.'
Lesley takes a large pitcher and pours one very full glass of San Pedro and passes it to her right. Travis, the group leader takes the first drink. Lesley explains that San Pedro will guide you to how much you should drink. Travis drinks most of the glass and hands it back to Lesley. She fills the glass again and hands it to one of the new faces, a young woman, probably in her 30's. We had introduced ourselves during the ceremony, but it is sacred space in the maloka, I'll leave some details out. The second glass is drunk and as the glass is being passed back to Lesley, the young woman purges (purging is puking) into the nearby bucket. Both Sophia and Eloise look at me horrified. Eloise whispers, "Mommy, do we have to drink this?" She seems scared. I tell her to do whatever she feels like doing when it is in her hands.
The glass is passed around and us four are the last one to drink. Jason drinks the whole glass. Eloise takes a drink, Sophia a sip. I hold the glass to my lips and the liquid is thick, almost like a mucus. It kind of grosses me out, but I take a few solid drinks. I almost gag, but then I take a drink of my water and I feel just fine.
Lesley invites us to spend time in the garden. We are not supposed to leave the walls of her compound, but I don't know why I would have wanted to leave at that point. She explains that if we need to purge, it is best to give back to Mother Earth. Purge into the garden if you are outside, not into a toilet. Don't flush away the purge, recycle it into the garden. I loved how she explained it as 'recycling.' Lesley also introduced a Q'uero shaman, Louis who will join us in the garden. Louis doesn't speak English, but he smiles at all of us and welcomes us in Spanish.
As I sat in Lesley's garden, I see Eloise crying on the hammock. She looks like she is cold. I go get a blanket from the living room and bring it to her. I start trying to comfort her. Louis comes over to us and uses an Eagle feather and made a noise, "fssp, fssp, fssp" to basically shoe me away like I was a nuisance. I started crying because I wanted to help her. Lesley's son Mark or Simon, they both look identical to me at this point, come over to me with another blanket for me. He put it over my shoulders and explained that I have to let Eloise have her experience and I must have mine. It's okay to chat, but if she is crying, just let her cry. Louis is summoning the tools she needs to heal. I look over and Louis is burning santo palo (like peruvian sage) all around Eloise and using the Eagle feathers and "fssp, fsssp, fssp" all around her.
I sit with my journal and I write:
'my tears lubricate the future bond with Eloise. We sat in ceremony this morning and it was glorious and painful. The world I brought my children into is filled with turmoil. All the sadness. My tears hurt my head, I by no means feel like I am drowning though. I feel as if it is the evaporation of the brine that will lift my wings to the sky. Its the sun that gives warmth to our soul that has been sold to a sun that isn't ours. A sun that burns us. Survival. I shake in need of nourishment. We must feed ourselves, drink our tears and fly on top of the ones that are too heavy to be consumed. It's OK to rest. I rarely do. stop the shaking, the vibrations are so strong...
let go of the pain
let it fly,
This is where I purged into the garden, right into the base of a large cluster of cacti. It actually felt amazing afterwards. I laid in the grass and watched the sky. Penny came out of Tasha's hut. Jason,
Eloise, Sophia, Penny and I sat in the grass picking little white flowers while Sophia braided the flowers into little necklaces. There was a lot of magic sprinkled into this day.