When I was a young silly kid, I remember having a strong, vivid dreamworld. During the time growing older this became less and less. I guess that this is equal for most of us. While growing up in a logical society, where dreams and creativity were diminished to a childish thing to practice. These were the building stones for a path that led away from connecting to my pure essence and knowing myself. But nevertheless it brought a lot of life lessons along the road to integrate while finding the way back to myself. I noticed that this is necessary to find the right amount of motivation and reason to continue the search.
How would one be able to find his faith in the things he believes in and the steps he is making towards this dream, to determine the will to create this dream into reality to be lived. To find the sacred decision that will lead to your own true personal power of remembering who we are supposed to be and willing to become.
We all have a free choice in this, that’s the point where I realized how much power I had over my life to give it any direction I desire but also had the potential to destroy it out of all the darkness that is presented in the current reality. So many people find themselves lost and disconnected thinking that all of this rather seemed to be a fairytale story instead of a possibility. Expectations from the outside world built while growing up towards a perspective that it is normal to lose your fantasy, you need to have a serious career, go and buy a house, get happily married with kids and the whole shabang… But no!
While journeying back from my first visit in the Amazon rainforest, something triggered me. To revisit my decisions and perspectives on life and where my actions were taking me with all the lack of dreaming and handling my own creation. The small amount of time I had in the jungle was beautiful, but I never could have imagined that it would tear down the world I once knew. Many loved ones were not connecting anymore like before. Work was a hell of a routine, not my style and far from the future I desired to create for myself and future family. So I decided to keep going as often as possible within the range of a year on and off to Peru up till 2021, when the first opportunity arrived to cross from Belgium to Peru, since the pandemic came into our existence.
I got rid of everything from material belongings and papers that were holding me within the Belgian system and left for Peru to disappear for a couple of years into the jungle, or that was the intention at least. In this way I would manage to live life cheap, be close to my plants to follow my heart and less bulls*t from the government, bills, taxes and obligations of work, then I’m still not mentioning the taboo around plant medicines and spirituality in Belgium within my social circles. Finally I could live among people where this is more than a usual way of dealing with things in life. But it was a very rough school for the first years. The older we are, to start working with plants on this level, the more we have to empty and cleanse our spirit, mental and physical body, before one can learn. This takes time, only nobody told me what I was about to open for myself.
In 2018 I decided to start my first dieta as an apprentice and not anymore only for healing reasons, within Ron Wheelock’s line of work. He works mainly with trees, ayahuasca and has a very strong connection with tobacco. I went into my first dieta after coming from a crazy 6 months of running between jobs and nightlife, working behind the bar on events, cafes and parties. All at the same time. Then I went straight on to a wedding in Detroit from a lovely family I met in Peru. To continue, straight after the wedding, into the jungle for my first ceremony of the year and start the dieta very early the day after. During the ceremony, ayahuasca came up very strong, with bright flashes of light which made it almost impossible to use a small light for the bathroom or the kitchen space for preparing tea. When we closed down the space and the ceremony, me and Ron walked back to the kitchen space to show me everything to prepare, how to open my dieta and how to prepare my cup for the morning and how to handle my first week. After tonight, no more talking, no way to wash myself, using anything outside of yourself for entertainment, plain food (just rice, potatoes and oat), mapacho and every 2 days ayahuasca ceremonie.
By the end of the week I was terrified by going through pure darkness and sitting with the nasty things that were being cleansed out of me. I practically ran off after that experience back to town in panic of facing this huge amount of darkness, that was too much to comprehend at that time. Luckily I had Freddie’s ‘Casa Chacruna’ in Iquitos to return to as a safe haven and talk about everything that came over me during this dieta. When you work with Ron's line of work, it’s just you and the plants. Nobody guiding you, only before this experience I never knew how deep and serious he was. By that time Ron was off to Costa Rica for a retreat he had to attend to and he gave me my second dieta before he left. Which I decided to do in town at freddie’s hostel without any worries in a safe space. Same plain food and other typical restrictions but on my own terms and only out at night for a cup of tea.
After some time in dieta, one night I woke up to witness a beautiful white moth sitting on my nightstand, Being convinced that there was no possible way of accessing the room from the outside in. It felt like my ancestors were asking me to go out and have my usual walk. I really didn’t feel like going out and felt heavy, mentally and physically. When the decision was made to follow the lead, the moth disappeared out of nowhere. Once out of the house I encountered friends that wanted to take me along to another healer in town, working less with tourists and more like a local doctor from his block in town. Pedro Panduro Navarro, he comes from Llamas in the area of Tarapoto and lives with his family a little further away from the center of the city, Iquitos. So we decided to hit the road and along the way around the corner from our meeting point, the same moth was sitting on the side of the building, right after the moment we all agreed to go to Pedro and went on our way to his house.. Mysterious experience!
So arriving at Pedro, his family house, we went to the back to see his space and sat with him to meet and talk. The experience of only walking through his door was bringing rest and a warm loving energy. His family was very welcoming and curious and showed us the way to the back. Walking through a hallway for 5 meters and arriving into an open patio in the back with a kitchen and 2 bathrooms. The whole family lives in the house, various generations combined and supporting each other in life. Only Walter, one of his sons, was living right across the street with his own family. As strange as it sounds, it all felt familiar and rather coming back home than discovering a new place and the people that lived there.
On the left side of the patio outside he had his classroom/healing space, that he likes to refer to as ‘Pedro’s University’. He is such a humble and joyful person and shines bright in every handling and step he takes. This is an attitude that the whole family carries and is already healing to be in a presence of such an energy. So we went to his classroom to talk and see if we connected and could have a ceremony with him. Which we did that night and came to an agreement to join him in the ceremony, the next evening. Before we took off, I enlightened him on the part of being in a dieta and not knowing if things were ok the way they were going. So he sang for me and gave me an Arcana (protection) for the rest of the dieta.
Going back to the plaza and wishing everybody a good night, I returned to my room with an unknown feeling of peace. Lots of worries dropped out and tranquility came over me. It didn’t take a long time before I fell asleep and took off into my dreamspace. There really is something magically about being close to the rainforest. The way you dream in such a place, which I can imagine would be the same in other places around the world where mother nature is still thriving wildly instead of being dominated by man’s creations and urban legends. When being in Europe I notice that my dreams are not as vivid as when I am in Peru, even more so when I’m up in the mountains or the jungle. That is a whole new level of lucid dreaming to me. Also combined with the plants that I work this was multiplied even more. The essence of depriving ourselves from certain senses during a dieta is to become more aware of the subtle things around us. At that time it was for me the first time that I got myself to a position where I was in such a state and ready to head into my next ceremony, only this time with Pedro. His way of working is very different from Ron’s. Not to measure the value between them but only to observe the difference in approach and both holding their own space in completely different ways. In Pedro’s house, it was Mestizo style and at Ron’s center it was from a raw neutrale point and connection to mother nature within the line of a brujo family. So to put it maybe a bit more clear it’s like in Pedro his space there are these very high frequency beings, like Arch Angel and the Christ consciousness from a past of Essenes ancient wisdoms. While being in dreamspace with Ron it felt like going to battle into the spectacle and dance with the forces of nature and the stars in our universe. A strong Pagan energy. And this is just different, nothing about good and bad for me!
That night I was in for a celebration, without my knowing. The tree spirits and other plants were waiting for me to dance with me. I witnessed Pedro’s office in the dreamspace while his higher self entered the room through the door while Pedro that I recently met was sitting next to me singing his Icaros and flying through his prayers. During my limpieza, he asked me if I noticed his higher self walking into the space during the ceremony and invited me to join them within their family line. Which at that time I was grateful for and one of my first pure gifts by the spirits. They heard my prayers and answered them by showing me the way to where I needed to be exactly.
Soon after that I realized it was time for me to return to Belgium once again to continue closing down my life towards my true goals, which I still wasn’t aware of by then. But the feeling has always been there in my heart. Only now I could start to unfold the story of remembering who I really am and what I’m doing here in this life. And to close this with some wise insights, despite the fact that things were absurdly difficult with the work that I did at Ron’s place and the way it continued in a completely different style in Pedro’s house, is that both of them were necessary to get me to where I am on this day. And I am forever grateful deep in my heart for everything both of them showed me and helped me to heal. True friends and teachers that I will carry in my own work and prayers forever.