I could feel the energy once I hit Highway 199 and the rolling hills appeared. Something inside me was getting ready. Then I saw them and they excited me. The massive wind turbines sprinkled across the land like metal stems with their whirling metal petals. I had only seen these up close in Ireland. Again, a sign from my spirit guides. The road to my friend’s land was basically gravel and it was a three mile drive, closer to the turbines, closer to the energy that was waiting for me.
I entered the gates and saw my friend Joe (names are changed to protect their identities). Joe and his friend Marcus were working on the yurt. Marcus was there with his wife Angela, who helped me set up my tent. And Joe gave me the tour. Last fall he and some friends cleared out this space in the middle of his family’s 120,000 acres of pretty much virgin land. The clearing was circular next to a pond, an old camper that is used as a shed, a newly built outhouse, and, of course, the beginnings of a yurt. In the middle is a fire pit surrounded by chairs for the ceremony.
At about 8pm we walked around to watch the sun set. And you have never seen anything in your life like a Texas sunset. The colors switching from pink to red contrast the blue sky is surreal. Once the sun set, we went back to the ceremonial ground and Joe started the preparations for our spiritual journey. He sat in a chair by a table cluttered with flowers, herbs, cups and other things I could not identify. On his left sat Angela and I was next to her. Marcus was next to me on the end. I smoked a little herb to calm my nerves and then we were each given a torch. We took turns verbally submitting our affirmations and gratitude. Joe said a prayer. With our torches lit, we got up and followed him to the edge of the pond. I think it was sage. But we followed him around the camp perimeters. I was told this was to protect us from bad spirits or anything else ‘out there’ that could potentially harm us. I noticed the wind picking up, excited to be included in the ceremony. The frogs crocked at each other, the crickets chirped their mating songs and then we heard the occasional call of the whip-poor-will. The woods were alive!
We sat back down and Joe prepared the Ayahuasca tea in a kettle on the fire. He went over what I might experience, but not giving away too much as to potentially influence my journey. I might throw up. I might experience some weird shit. Or I might not. And he said that some people don’t and are disappointed. So I expected nothing but opened myself up to the possibilities.
It was my turn. I was told to throw some herbs in the fire. Lavender as a sacrifice to the spirits. He poured a liquid on my hands and I rubbed it on my face and neck. I sniffed a bottle of I don’t know what. And then the moment of truth. With a lime in one hand, I was told to take it like a tequila shot. So I said ‘yes’ and it wasn’t that bad. I sucked on my lime and sat back down. Waiting for my moment.
Joe plugged his phone into a speaker and the voice of an indigenous man tickled my ears. I closed my eyes and heard Joe walking around, beating a drum. And then some maracas. And then finally the symbols. I don’t know how long I sat there feeling nothing. But it wasn’t unpleasant. I uncrossed my arms and made my palms face up…opening to the universe. And then….the storm.