Aya has a lot of fear surrounding it. Fear and reverence, neither of which really come naturally to me. The first time I made a ceremony by myself, I was a kinda triple checked everything or maybe quadruple checked. I don't know if I'd call that fear, but a bit of apprehensiveness. Tonight I was planning on making another ceremony alone. Cyan, who had been in the house and played some music for me last time I went solo, still hadn't gotten back from town yet. I wasn't particularly worried about the all alone part, but as I started to walk down the hill from The Rider's house, I started to get a little worried about Cyan - he had called The Rider to say he was leaving about two hours prior. People are always late and more so in Brazil, but I didn't really get the impression that he had the best understanding of his motorcycle and my mind abounds with catastrophic explanations for the absent. That set off a cascade of micro-fears. I'd taken some Loratatdine for allergies, and couldn't quite remember if that was on the no no list for MAOIs, which made me a little worried - it would certainly be an embarrassing way to die. More over, there was no moon, the wind whistled ominously across the hills. Matches, candles and fire starting materials all seemed in short supply. And worst of all, I was still feeling a little sick - a cold kicking around. Suddenly I remembered the words of this fear monger dude I'd spoken with briefly at the MAPS conference who claimed to hang with Terence Mckenna 'If you ever feel like it's not the right time [meaningful pause] don't do it.' The absoluteness with which he reiterated all this, staring straight at me with his clear turquoise colored eyes, had almost made me want to purge on him right then and there - the descent from reverence to religiosity is greased with lubricated with the oozings of guys like him. But you never now… Fuck it, I decided, there's always tomorrow, it had gotten kinda late, I could barely breathe through my nose, I was feeling a little worn out and, truthfully, nourishment seemed more appealing then divine enlightenment. So I decided to heat up some leftovers - with oil, a treat for a none aya night. I realized I was starving, and started to eat everything nibbliable, Suddenly, after wolfing down a frustratingly small handful of sunflower seeds, I felt revitalized. Maybe they really are good for you. Fuck it, I thought, tonight is a great night for aya. I shut off the stove and started to scrounge around for the fire stuff. The bottle of aya had been opened about a week before, which meant that the brew had oxidized, so you have to bring it a boil to cook off the nastiness before you imbibe... or else, - well I didn't know what would happen, nor really how long to cook it for, but I let it go for a few minutes, poured a moderate amount in a cup and took a drink. It tasted delicious. Seriously, I mean it kinda does have a vomity sharpness to it, but despite being told the opposite would happen, it tastes better and better every time I have a glass. As I put the glass down, I saw a golden glow on the horizon dead in front of me: the moon had just peeked over a gentle distant hill. An excellent omen. Sometimes god speaks in plain language.
I started with some Chi Gung - because my hip needed it and because I'm still experimenting with combining different substances with practices. So I face the moon, and do few repetitions of the practice, and the suddenly I get the sweeping sensation of power. Fearless indian chief (excuse the cultural insensitivity) style. I am one with the land and the wind and the sky and I am supposed to be here doing exactly this and fully in my power as a creature on this earth. It was amazing. I wasn't that high - I mean I'd just put down the cup ten minutes before - and honestly it wasn't that intense, which made it seem more real. I didn't feel like that common psychedelic 'I have the power of the universe feeling' which we all know is precious difficult to recover the next morning. It was more like some one handed my a simple type written note that I felt in my body. Complete power and the ability to manifest. I should stop to mention how much I hate it when people shit say like that. Manifest is really one of my least favorite hippy buzzwords. Like what, out of thin air… Nobody I know can create matter out of thin air. And usually the origins of things people 'manifest' are fairly easy to articulate. There is food because you cooked it. You have money because you stole it. You have a novel because you wrote it… Can't people just say make it happen and be done with the smoke and veils. But I could kinda see it. Not abracadabra, but something more like a marital artist in proper form, or well equipped kitchen, or the blocks and block of semis on hand for a blockbuster film. They can just do it. It's not effortless, but the resources are completely available and I was completely connected. I wasn't really sure what it was that I wanted to manifest at that exact instant, but anyone who know's me half way, knows there a million things I'd love to make happen. Apparently, Ms. A wanted me to know that it was possible.
Power gets a bad name a lot the time and even as I felt this awesomeness I could hear fairy dust contingent lambasting my excess and arrogance. But that's because people associate power with abuse, or think of it as something predicated on weakness. Those are very weak kinds of power. This was not that at all. It was power drawn from the earth beneath me and the heavens above. Given as a gift, perhaps even a mandate. And it wasn't power that would grow by stealing other people's power. It was actually the opposite. It was like a power you wanted to share, that you wanted everyone you know to be able to access. Because really, it was just the power to be, to be yourself, to be in tune with your surroundings, and to have clear access to that which governs the universe. And that is the kind of thing you want to give to everyone you meet.
It was weird how decidedly masculine it all seemed. Ayahuasca's great stuff, but everyone agrees that it has a very feminine and softening quality. It doesn't make you weak, but everyone talks about how open and vulnerable it can make you. That had definitely been my experience so far - turning into a sexless court jester, feeling my heart melt open in very palpable, feminine kinda way under the love of the full moon, fully becoming my partner for a bit and experiencing a whole slew of other feminine energies. But this was definitely masculine. And it was great! I thought for a little about why this was not so feminine. The best thing I could think of was the gross physical movements, arms sweeping up the sky, standing tall, especially through those most interior core abdominal muscles - sounds manly. Whatever - I decided I'd take it.
As I finished my the Chi Gung, I felt more into where it had all come from. I think it was the moon and the night, the posture, but really I think it had to do with breaking through fear. There is always strength on the other side of fear. Granted the fear that I had broken through was barely worth mentioning, but the message despite being clear was really only assertive whisper. It all makes sense. Or at least I think it might. People talk about how subtle ayahuasca can be. This was certainly subtle.
I thought about how much I wanted to share this with people, and by people I mean partner. She is always encouraging me to open to my feminine, which is cool and life changing and all that, but it's rarely reciprocated. She's so busy dogging on the oppressiveness of the patriarchal world we live in, that she's very reluctant to open herself to her own masculine energy- in my opinion much to her loss, but we go round and round on that one all the time. It was petty, but I was totally like check it - even aya is in favor of the masculine today.
I lit the fire - effortlessly this time, I'd laid it after dew had fallen, not to mention I was in masculine mode- and realized I had exactly zero stomach ache. I usually do ok, but this was perfect. As I watched the larger logs catch I thought to wonder why. I'd taken maybe two thirds as much as the time before. I don't think that was it. I had a little food in my stomach - which may have helped. And I'd been eating not just within the diet, but without seasoning, which is supposed to help with the stomach and since you're already tasting subtler flavors food wise, you're better able to get the subtler flavors meaning of life wise. I think that probably helped too. But I think the main thing was starting with movement; it really helps moving all kinds nastiness out of me.
My shoulders hurt a little, which I've noticed before - not in that scrunchy around the neck way that I associate with the end of night of acid but - a specific aya ache. I really don't know what that's about. I braver man might of stretched but I just curled up under the covers. It worked.
In the morning I made my way to the waterfall to do Chi Gung
The transformation from the austere dryness of the Cerrado where the house is to the tiny rainforest where the waterfall is never ceases to amaze me. As soon as you enter, everything seems so alive and welcoming, so fertile. Half way up the waterfall, there is a little flat place where you can stand right in the middle to Chi Gung. It's heaven sent.
The waterfall is such radiant advocate for the feminine. Sitting in her gentle spray I reflect upon the myriad virtues of the feminine, beauty, pleasure, nourishing, embracing, surrendering - and kinda think why bother with masculine. Especially when you think about all the wars and financial crisis and Deepwater Horizons that are blamed on the masculine (at least in new age circles, from those of you joining us from the rest of the universe). And of course all these crazy statistics about men going to college less and earning less. Then you think about Vice magazine and the Simpsons (both of which almost always make me happy) and you can kinda believe that even the universe has given up hope on the masculine.
Then I remember the feeling under the moon the night before, the purpose and strength, the ability to shape, to focus, to build… and all the other virtues of the masculine. Of course their is a necessity and beauty in both.
The problem is not masculinity, but the state of masculinity. The ladies had gotten such a bad shake that they've been fighting back since before our grandfathers could point their dicks at a pot - at least in the States, femininity has had a huge series of revisions in the past hundred years, - Suffragettes, Flappers, Rosy the Rivetter, Feminism, Madonna, and for those of us visiting hippielandia, now there's Goddess Worship. And probably a whole lot of other stuff I'm not thinking of. Not all of it dead on track, but all of it going forward. Although one could argue the exceptions, comparatively speaking, masculinity has pretty much stayed the same the whole time - probably for the most part, because we weren't in such desperate situation that we needed to change. There are of the course apologists, a common sort of bottom feeder often observed in new age circles who basically apologize for being men and don't want to be accused of anything as offensive as speaking in the active voice or a getting a hard-on without consensus of all present. But that's not a rethink, that's bullshit and half the time it's wrapped up in some kind of passive aggressive misogyny or fear of one's own masculinity. The only possible value for dudes like that would be if they were rendered down for their fat content.
But part of the reason for the apologists is they don't see a better answer. Our world is sorely lacking in a positive expression of the masculine and replete with the negative expression.
Here is the snapshot that tells the story perfectly for me: Entheon Village, Burning Man, 2008: as people are signing up for workshifts one of the coordinators says that every year, everyone wants to help build the temple of the sacred feminine, but no one ever signs up to build the temple of the sacred masculine. How much clearer of a metaphor do you need? The time is nigh boys. Our shit is in serious need of some rectification. We need to grab our David Dieda and our dicks and step the fuck up.