You may have seen my two posts about sacred medicine (here and here) while I was in Nepal. I promised you that I’d answer your questions. There were mostly comments more than questions, so here are my reactions and answers.
(I tried to condense your questions, I’m sorry if I distorted them.)
> Sasha : for me, the aya path can only be in Peru
I really understand this position. There’s a whole history, tradition, peoples to discover and respect. If I had real contact, real shamans, real experiences there, I’d go immediately (well, almost). At the same time, I hear so many stories of people who go there without any preparation, whithout any real contact and end up with an experience they don’t know what to do with, or even toxic experiences. I’m also really happy that the Madre can « colonize » the world, outside of her original territory. That her peoples travel and share their knowledge. In a different but respectful way.
> Simone (full com here) : I don’t know if I’m capable of letting go completely and face myself.
It’s THE big fear. While preparing myself the first time, Jerry sent me this article which really helped me. To be frank, 100% of the people around me who were interested in the first place and then gave up are referring to this fear. 100%! In a way, it’s already a big learning for them : they’re afraid to see themselves. Anyhow, for me it’s the first and maybe the principal experience : be fear-full and let go. I don’t know if you saw « the Arrival » by Villeneuve, and this scene when the heroine meets the aliens for the first time, had been such an inspiration to me! She’s terrified but go anyway. Why, because she wants to know!
> Mélo: Isn’t it dangerous to do it without a shaman to guide you ? / Did Jerry do something else before his previous Vision Quests ?
There are several ways to see things. Some brazilian tribes do ceremonies with 100 participants and few helpers. So the experience is for everyone to be responsible of him.herself. There’s also really guided experiences. The 2 ways are possible and beneficial when done with awareness, seriousness and love. One of our participants whom have assisted to many ceremonies according to this different proceedings said that the ceremony without a shaman but in small groups are really « luxourious » because you can ask for help at any moment. Including a reiki master. And I can tell you that his presence is just incredible! And that’s just during the ceremonies, afterwards there’s a therapist, a coach, etc. Beyond all those functions/abilities, I think it’s the quality of the humans surrounding you that matter above all. the love and care, they give you. in service to you and to the medicine.
About the previous Vision Quest Jerry has organized (around 25), there were no other medicines used. « Just » other rituals and works of « healing ».
The truth is that it’s not about doing 3 nights of medecine, then 4 days and 4 nights of Vision Quest, it’s ten whole days of retreat with a lot of rituals and group work. The guidance is essential.
> Sasha : the gendered aspect of the medicine
I’m not sure I understood well, we say that this medicine offers a feminine presence, but not at all, that she adapts differently for men and women (well in a certain way yes, but not like I understand it in your comment Sasha. Tell me!)
> Fabienne : I’ve done it and loved it, but it’s not always benevolent and it’s not for everyone.
Let’s say that spirits can play, test you. We also learn how to work with the medicine. I go a bit far saying that, but whatever. The experience however is never malevolent and doesn’t add to our distress/fear/sadness, etc. She doesn’t come to send you images/sensations that will reinforce your distress. If she put you in front of them, it’s to help you to release them. Here again it’s a matter of trust. Never do it just to try. I think like Fabienne said that this experience is not for everyone, or rather : not a at any moment on a life journey. It actually should be part of a journey, with precise and respectful intentions.
While I read again those questions, like when I listened again to the questions asked to Jerry at this conference, I see how important this question of fear is. In a certain way, this fear is sane and will allow you if you feel the appeal, to distinguish between what will help you be on an appropriate path, surrounded with trustworthy people, and on the contrary, what’s preventing you to go on (really, we’re gonna be afraid of seeing ourselves?! For how much longer?!). Let’s be aware of this. Knowing we’re fear-full is already a big teaching!
love and kisses