Maloca Jahè

I wasn’t sure whether to trust Walter, he seemed too self-confident, too raw and determined. Also, he said he would ask us questions to decide if we had the right energy but only asked me about my previous experiences with Ayahuasca, or Jahè.
The moment I took my slow sips an airplane was passing above our heads making its annoying sound, for a moment I thought it might be a sign and thought of pulling back. But the medicine flushed down my throat. Walter turned the light off leaving only a dim candle that soon died; so I was unable to see the shaman with his traditional crown or Jan sitting quietly beside me. Shaking different leaves in the air, Walter started chanting his ritual song in adoration of the spirit of Jahè. I closed my eyes to SEE.
The face of an eagle right in front of me, then I found myself sitting on its wings, flying high above the Amazon forest. I realized the eagle wasn’t my totem but the shaman’s. Then a saw a tiger’s face, and soon I started to vision haunted spirits, ancient divinities of different tribes of south America. I would try and focus on the light, letting colourful mandalas fill my eyes but dark or bloody images would return… I saw St. Mary embracing me, ancient Indian gods, I sat at the Council of Constantinople and travelled with Mohamed, assisted the religious wars, I felt a religious overdose, lost among spiritual craziness and violence.

Sitting up, and holding my hands together in meditation pose, I would start to tremble. The sounds of the leaves and Walter’s vibrating voice penetrating me deeply was almost painful, nauseous. I only enjoyed the wind it made in my face as I was feeling sweaty and short-breathed, at times cold and fragile, other times heavy and sweaty. I felt like when as child, I the flu, and I would feel every sound in the empty room as something crossing me deeply. Then, I felt my pressure lower and my sight blurry in the dark… I went outside to vomit and cough pieces of food I hadn’t chewed properly that afternoon.
After that, I was much better and more relaxed. Walter didn’t allow me to drink any water but let me lie down.
I asked the divinity to show me my destiny and orient my passions to know my mission in the world. I saw a wave, myself surfing a tube… later I interpreted it as a message that I can be anything I set my heart out to.
In turn, we were called to sit to Walter’s right. I still wasn’t feeling complete trust in him as he put his fingers on my last three chakras. I feared he might want to continue to my first chakras, but instead after chanting he made a “radiography” of me, telling me I was impatient, perfectionist and intolerant.
The ritual only lasted about three hours, Walter felt our tiredness so he turned the lights on and went to get himself some food, then sat on the hammock and asked me to put into words what I had experienced during the ceremony. Jan got up from his relaxation and started to laugh hysterically as he found the medicine had affected his balanced as if he were drunk.

The next morning, we woke up in the maloca hut in the heart of the Witoto community, finding Walter’s family attending the fire to cook fish soup for breakfast. We hopped on the scooter back along the road that ends in the jungle, “los kilometros” to Juan Carlo’s lovely homestay “Casa do Xingu”, in the outskirts of the Colombian Amazonian town of Leticia. It was staying with this young and beautiful family that I found about the ceremonies in the Malocas. The next day we flew into the capital, straight into the high streets with Victorian buildings and the hyper commercialized central streets of Bogotà.


photos taken by Jan with his Canon Ae1


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