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Observations placeholder

Dobkin de Rios, Dr Marlene - Ayahuasca experience 1



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Psychedelic Journey of Marlene Dobkin de Rios - Marlene Dobkin De Rios

The purge, as it is so well amed is very hard on the body.  I was told to eat lightly and avoid certain foods before ingesting ayahuasca.  Basically I had the dry heaves during the entire session, along with severe diarrhoea.  I touched the arm of Yando, who was with me at the beginning of the session and saw a cornucopia of visions, whilst that night Yando did not have any visions of his own.

Apparently it is a no-no to touch another person or else one gets a double dose.  Since Yando was the son of a healer, he had already had many ayahuasca experiences, but due to my faux pas, not on the night we took it together!

The balsa on which we were seated was tied to a small cliff overlooking the water and I remember wanting to jump in the river because of the effects of the purge.

The visions were very personal and I never saw the mother spirit of the plant – the boa – because I hadn’t ever really seen a boa up close in my lifetime.

Rather, I saw trick or treat green and orange flags waving at me, a childhood memory of that joyful Halloween holiday and the candy that goes with it.

However I did see a woman sneering at me, which my informants in Belen later told me was an envious woman who probably wanted to bewitch me.

As the healer made percussive sounds in the air with his schacapa, a bunch of wild grasses held together by a vine, he kept telling me that the music would evoke more calming visions in the moments to come.

This cued me to the important role of the whistling incantations, icaros, and the role of drumming to influence a person’s visions.

I remember at the end of the session waiting for a taxi to take us back to the house in Iquitos, with pain in my eyeballs from the city lamp near the bench on which we rested.


The source of the experience

Dobkin de Rios, Dr Marlene

Concepts, symbols and science items




Science Items

Activities and commonsteps