Ayahuasca #5

I woke up Thursday morning with the feeling to write more of my life, a process I’d started in October last year as a part of figuring my way through my breakdown.

It helped.

About four or five new stories developed, and at one point I started laughing quietly to myself. Digging back through the mental archives of what I was getting up to at around 18 years of age, was enough to lighten the intensity of what I’d been feeling.

I was taking a more macro view of my life, and with that came a little perspective.

What I’m moving through right now is but another chapter in the pages of quite an adventurous, diverse and exciting book.

It was a better start to a day, than I’d had in some time.

A gentle reminder to listen to the whisper of my soul, a voice becoming clearer and more present the longer I spent not sabotaging with alcohol, drugs, drama (the list goes on).

Feeling lighter, I opened up a little more to the other beautiful souls I was sharing this week at Soltara with. I dropped my resistance and conversations flowed more freely. Through sharing, listening and thinking, my intention for the evening’s ceremony became clearer and clearer.

I wanted to be able to forgive. Myself and others, for everything that had happened.

It seemed to me that forgiveness was the core of what I was needing, without being able to let go of the past, how could I ever love myself? How could I ever truly love others? How could I ever experience the peace that must come with feeling whole. The peace of knowing we’re enough.


When I was passed my cup of Ayahuasca in ceremony that evening I felt clear. Show me the path to forgiveness, I said, over the medicine as I raised it to my lips.

I returned to my mat, mapacho in hand, and settled in for the ride.

Knowing the resistance I’d experienced in my previous ceremonies, I was still afraid, however this time I wanted to dive in. I didn’t know if I could, but I wanted to. Tired of the pain, I was practically begging myself to be brave enough to surrender to the experience.

Heal me please.

During my Icaros I felt lightness in my body and the familiar sensation, of pushing energy around, I experience during meditation from time to time. I went with it.

My arms felt light and long and expansive, and I was smiling. I extended my arms and felt them grow long as they held energy between them and moved it around.

Well, this is nice. I thought. I’m not sure it’s profound, but it feels good.

I continued this movement. Sometimes with eyes wide open staring at the roof and the glow of the moonlight outside, mostly with eyes closed, basking in the feeling.

When my second Icaros finished, I crawled back to the top of my mat, pulled my Guatemalan blanket up around me and rested my head on my pillow, rose quartz in my right hand, smokey quartz in my left.

Laying on my side, Shiva (my wolf spirit animal who is almost always with me in meditation now) curled up behind me.

I felt nice. Warm. Safe.

If this is what Mother Ayahuasca is giving me, it’s very pleasant, I thought.

I closed my eyes.

Moments later I felt as though I was at the bottom of the sea, or on the ground of a dense rainforest. All I could see was moss and jelly and greens and blues.

And then there it was.

A little portal opening up to another place. Another experience.

It’s time to dive in, I heard. Mother Ayahuasca guiding me.


I guess this is it.


Argh. Ok.

And so in I went, and as I did… Dad’s here, Shiva said. I’m going to leave you to it.

All of a sudden, Shiva was gone, the Maloca faded away and I was with Dad. His energy. His very being. Not his human manifestation. Not his voice. His essence.

I wasn’t afraid, it was so nice to feel him.

Over the next I-have-no-idea-how-long (what is time anyway?) my Dad took me on a pretty incredible journey. He showed me himself as a bird, with clipped wings and unable to fly. He showed me how he was unable to free himself, and how his only escape was to depart this human life.

You’re my little bird, he said.

You have to fly free, he said. It is your nature.

I was laughing at the simplicity of it all as he took me through my life, weaving a rich tapestry of vibrant nature analogies to explain my journey.

Working with him, and in the finance industry in Australia, I was in a big aviary or a zoo. For a while it felt as though I could fly around freely, but then I discovered a wire net at the top. I couldn’t soar as high as I wanted to. I became miserable until I found my way out.

You have to fly free, he said.

My marriage was a golden cage, I was in there. I could feel it. It was the most beautiful cage a little bird could ever want, and I was taken care of so beautifully. I felt nothing but love and adoration on me in that cage. I had the perfect amount of seed and water.

But. It was a cage. And I’m a little bird.

You have to fly free, he said.

At this point I had tears of understanding streaming down my face, and was giggling, in a state bliss and knowing. I was a bird. What had I been thinking going against my nature like that? It would never work. It just all felt so simple, so clear, so easy.

There was nothing to forgive. Of me, of anyone else.

A bird is a bird. It has to fly.

Just as an alligator will eat a bunny rabbit, now matter how much he likes Little Miss Rabbit’s sparkly personality. She’s a goner.

He showed me that everyone, everything, has a true nature, and when we’re not living in our true nature, the wheels fall off of our lives.

Our nature, equals our truth, equals our freedom, equals our happiness and full potential.

Before I left my Dad and this beautiful, rich and luscious world, I asked to understand my most recent relationship. A relationship so passionate, loving, intense, wild and painful. A relationship breakdown I was hurting so deeply over, a connection that had consumed me almost from the moment our eyes met.

And so he did.

My ex-partner’s energy appeared to me as an orange light. It was the color of papaya, my favorite fruit. I understood he was a papaya tree, and the fruit was his love, the sweetest thing this little bird had ever tasted. I understood though, that he was a tree, grounded. And I was a bird, free spirited.

No matter the love, no matter the connection. It was against this little bird’s nature to sit in a tree all day long, and a tree can’t fly.


Love, acceptance, forgiveness. Except really, there’s nothing to forgive. All there is, is love.


I woke up the next day, enveloped in my Dad’s loving energy. The words, little bird fly free, on repeat in my mind.

I felt at peace, realizing I’d never before felt truly peaceful. Like mind, body and soul peaceful. United, connected, one.

Not like this, I’d never known what peace was.

I love myself.

I forgive, but even then I know there is nothing to forgive.

All there is, is love.


This note is the fifth in a six part series on my ayahuasca healing journey, where I’m taking you through my entire experience from how I got to Soltara, what the experience was like, and into my integration post-retreat.

Sarah Riegelhuth