Mapacho, this one goes to you. With all my love towards the healings and teachings you brought me so far. Aho! I connected my first time to the black Amazonian Tobacco (Nicotiana Rustica), during my first retreat at dreamglade. Stacey (the owner), always had a huge bag laying around, in case somebody wants to smoke. Even though they advised against using processed tobacco and of course no marijuana. At that time I had a hard time stopping smoking. I had been abusing tobacco and marijuana for years at that time. Just to survive the story that I was living. Almost like companions that were always there for me, no questions asked. I noticed after a long time of smoking mapacho that this was not just a cigarette, but a very wise and old spirit. In the cosmology of the Amazonian tribes, plants came to earth on a canoe with the rainbow serpent. Tobacco was the first one in the boat in front of all other medicinal plants, that they call great teachers and masters, and they still do up until this day. Mapacho was a gentle guide on the nights spent in ceremony. Almost like someone was holding your hand to guide you through the cleaning that went on at that time. But this was only a brief meeting with grandfather tobacco. The second time I went to Peru, I met Ron Wheelock, maybe more on that in another blog. We met through a dream and this is how I showed up at Ron’s doorstep a couple of weeks later. More specifically, one of the ceremonies I had with Ron back then, became one of my most difficult ceremonies till now. The ceremony usually starts around sunset at Ron’s ‘El Purguero’. Before drinking, Ron always opens with prayers and his own ritual with tobacco. He prepares his pipe while praying to the tobacco and lights it up. He starts to blow the smoke 3 times over his head, his neck, his chest, hands and legs. It was fascinating to witness the way he had his connection to tobacco. After every ceremony he did the same to every individual in the space. But, the ceremony was still opening, and I heard this monotone whistle coming forth from the jungle. My curiosity couldn't let go of questioning this tone, but at the same time I didn’t feel any harm in it either. But still, what is this? Is someone whistling around here? Are there other people around the property that are not supposed to be there? Or was this all in my mind? Without taking it too seriously, I went for my full cup, as usual and a little while later Ron started to sing his Icaros, just the regular routine that he always has in ceremony. But the whistle was still there in the background. Even though the ceremony was good but not that special, besides the usual cleansing, he closes down the ceremony and he says his good night to everybody and the others go off to bed. I was always the one to put out the candles and make sure the Malako was clear to be cleaned in the morning. That night I was paralyzed in my chair, the candles burned out before my awareness came back to this body and the space in the maloka. The whistle was still around! I couldn’t concentrate and had a hard time to regain control over my mechanical system of my body and simply move my ass over to my tambo. After a while of struggling I managed to pick-up my tiny bag of mapacho and went out with my lighter. It had a tiny light in the bottom, which was very handy to avoid getting blinded by light on medicine. I needed to hold the railing of the path coming out of the maloka. I was completely disoriented and not aware of where I was exactly. Everything looked the same and I forced myself to start walking towards the kitchen to sit and have a cup of tea.
Thinking I was walking in the right direction, I constantly got lost in the darkness of the jungle around the property. After a while I found myself at the back wall of the kitchen on the outside and praised the Lord that I found my way back inside without getting lost. At that point I was fighting to stay aware of and within my own body, as if something was completely taking over my space and trying to infiltrate my energetic system. Was this brujeria or just one of those weird trickster entities from the jungle?
I managed to lock myself into the kitchen, but I wasn’t able to stop moving my legs, like they had a mind of their own and wanted to keep walking. So I walked for hours around the kitchen table. Not kidding, I managed to get in the kitchen around midnight - 2:00 AM and this fight continued till sunrise. While walking, I was giving it my all to get my hands on my bag of mapacho. To soplar my body with tobacco, so I could take my space back and find out what was playing around with me. After finally reaching out, I managed to light one up and soplar my arms and hands. I felt my clarity slowly coming back within my control. But then lost it again and kept walking. A little bit later I managed to do my head, I gained even a bit more space than before, but I was still fighting for my space. The first rays of sunlight started to come through the trees of the forest and this external energy was growing weaker with the rising light. I managed to blow on my torso and feet and dropped on the bench. Feeling like I had walked a marathon in one night on medicine! The day after, I shared this story and Ron told me I did well and that these kinds of things can happen in the jungle. There are many mysteries that none of us know about and even don’t believe through the skeptic perspective of our modern western civilization. Not to blame this perspective, but rather to acknowledge the struggle from outgrowing these patterns to discover new possibilities in life. After such an encounter, you just need to open up to understand these kinds of happenings are real. And so I discovered for the first time why mapacho is such a big teacher.
A couple of years later I ended up sick for a month, also in Iquitos. I was struggling with a lot of fears and some financial problems. Luckily I could stay at the house of a friend, where I had a private room. Sometimes I managed to go out to have some quick and light food around sunset. Close to the end of my stay I ended up having troubles with some guys from the Malacon in Iquitos, somebody shot birottés into my energetic body. A birotté is an energetic dart that other ayahuasqueros or wizards use to attack people or entities. Not always with the best intention, cause this can cause a lot of harm healthwise and even lead to deadly situations. Only back then I didn’t have to worry about this type of danger. Apparently this person wanted to teach me that I had to be careful, with whom I talked about what I practice and learn from plants. This is not supposed to be shared with the whole world. I went back to the ceremony the next night, after I had some very wicked lucid nightmares of being chased by very dark beings. I had my first cup and after an hour, no mariacion. So Walter took me apart outside and took a look at me. He told me that there were these 2 darts sitting in my neck, one left and one right and they completely disconnected me from my connection to the earth and to the sky. The medicine didn’t have any way anymore of connecting to me. So he started to soplar my shoulder, neck and head with mapacho. Then he went for my neck like he was planning to kiss me, but instead he started to suck my neck like he was trying to suck something deep out. One popped out and he immediately turned over to the garden to projectile purge it out. Then the second one, same scenario. It was crazy to see how he sucked out the energy, took it into his own body to transmute this darkness into light again and once the energy was removed he blew tobacco once more to fill the empty space with light, so there is no void left within the energy body. When this is not done then whatever feels invited can fill up that space and you’ll be dealing with new problems all over again. After that he went over to Pedro to get the bottle of camalonga. camalonga is a tree that is used to clear out dark magic and also can teach you about black magic. But that’s not what I look for. I merely want to show that this tree is a double edged sword. It’s up to your intention on what it will teach you. After which he blew a prayer into a cup of camalonga that I had to drink, and put some on my head, neck, face and belly. That night back in my room, the spirit of tobacco visited me to teach me why it is such an important part of the cleansing process. You blow 3 times, once to clean out what doesn’t belong there, a second time to fill up the space with light and a third time to seal the light off with a coat of protection. So there is no need to fear unwanted energies that can attach through working in ceremony with other people. The energies they purge have to go somewhere. If there wouldn’t be a well protected space and guide around, then these energies can just jump to another person in the space. That’s why tobacco is such a big ally, healer, companion and teacher. And in the end we did find out who did this to me, just to come to the conclusion that it actually didn’t matter. The most important thing that I learned from this is to be careful whom I share my information with, and to always try to maintain a humble attitude towards other people's ways of working. Each has his own unique and personal style with the plants that taught them. Forever grateful, aho tobacco!