Further jungle diets: 2011-2012

Intro | Shihuahuaco | Huarme Renaco | Bobinsana | Lupuna


After my period of intense work with the jungle medicine in 2005-2006, I was away from Peru for a number of years. I continued working with Ayahuasca as best I could, but it was not possible to diet. Returning to Peru in 2011 I was able to resume my studies of the plant medicine.

I came back with a renewed determination to try and break through into the universe of plant-spirits and better understand what was going on. Whilst away, I had read Plant Spirit Medicine by Eliot Cowan, and this seemed like a viable starting point. He uses drumming CDs as a means to make a connection to the plants, so I bought Michael Harner's Solo and Double Drumming and practiced with that before arriving for my first diet.

In brief, after three further diets it is clear that using journeying with drumming CDs is indeed a viable method of expanding awareness of and connection with the plant spirits. My understanding has advanced. However, there is still much more to learn. When don Marcial sings from the plant spirits, I hear the songs and I feel the effects in my body or on my state of mind, but all of the mechanism behind that is still a mystery. When he tells me what he sees, it is clear that he is working with a level of vision that is still unavailable to me.

I should also note that drumming journeys are not a traditional means of progressing with the plant spirits in the Amazon, at least not in the parts that I have visited. Others who have dieted with Marcial have progressed via more traditional paths. However, Marcial says that my approach is different but at the end of the day I will arrive at the same place.

So as not to unfairly raise expectations should you go for a diet, please note that I wouldn't have reached my awareness of the plant worlds without making an effort, and journeying isn't the only way to increase your conscious connection with the plants: People who are practiced with some types of meditation may be able to reach the visionary worlds unaided, people sensitive to the songs may experience the songs coming closer and clearer, people who are sensitive to subtle changes within themselves may experience the process from that perspective, and there are even some people who occasionally see the plant spirits in the room with them. For everybody else, it is worth remembering that even if you are not quite so aware, exactly the same underlying process is taking place with the plant. You may have only hints of what is going on, but all the same during the diet the power of the plant is establishing itself within you as an ally.

There follow accounts of my three jungle diets with don Marcial Nunta from 2011 to early 2012:

[ See also: "Don Marcial, maestro curandero", "My first 18 Ayahuasca ceremonies" and "More jungle medicine: three medicine plant diets" ]

Feb 2011: a 12-day diet with Shihuahuaco

Shihuahuaco. Dieting Hut I came with the idea of dieting Toë, but after discussing with Marcial what was going on with me he suggested a couple of other plants, and we soon settled on Shihuahuaco. Shihuahuaco is the tallest tree in the forest. The wood itself is hard and is used for parquet flooring. According to Marcial, the plant spirit of Shihuahuaco is one of the highest ones, and its plant world is one of the most highly developed. He said that its spirit is a large-dimensioned powerful man whose body shines brightly like highly polished metal.

I used drumming journeys throughout this diet, relating my experiences back to don Marcial to get feedback from him. To start with, I followed the techniques used by Michael Harner and Eliot Cowan, going down into the earth to look for the plant world, but soon Marcial suggested that instead of going down I should go up. So I started going in my drumming vision to a peak that I knew very well, for example one of the Apus around Pisaq, and then flying upwards with the strong intention of finding the plant world. This is what eventually worked best. I would go past various 'gates' in the sky, and then somehow enter a side passage and find myself in the plant world.

Incidentally, when don Marcial relates his experiences in the plant worlds, there is a lot of talk about tricks of how to escape pursuers, and also of presenting passes to be allowed through to other areas -- for example he told me that Shihuahuaco would give me a pass that would let me into other spirit worlds. The business of escaping pursuers is to do with seeing off brujos who might target a curandero out of jealousy. They would follow the curandero around through the plant worlds, trying to trap him. However, the brujo can only follow into worlds that he knows, and even if he knows the world, if the curandero knows the world better, or if he takes a little-known path between the worlds, he can give his pursuer the slip. One time Marcial said that he went into a higher world and then caused a fall of rocks close to his pursuer in a lower world, to warn him off. The more obtuse ones who cannot be warned off have to be dealt with by other means, though. This is all quite strange, but at the same time consistent.

The process of the diet itself is a gradual one of connecting the dieter and the plant. To start with the connection is weak and distant. Marcial says that in the first days of the diet the new plant must make friends with all the other plants and allies that the dieter might have. Once they all know each other, then they may start to work together to help, and the new spirit may grow in strength amongst them. Dionicio, a relative of Marcial who has dieted many plants, explained the process from a different perspective. He said that to start with the plant songs are heard very distant and very weak, but as the days pass, the songs get closer and louder, until eventually they come into the dieter's body and he is able to sing them. I have never experienced this, but I have experienced the parallel process of the plant world opening up to me more and more in my drumming journeys.

Actually in my Shihuahuaco diet, Marcial tried to teach me the song of the plant, to use as a bridge to take me up into that world. Really a Shihuahuaco diet was quite ambitious at this stage, as normally many other lower plants are dieted first. I tried and tried to learn this song, even writing it down phonetically and using all the learning techniques I knew, but whatever I did, it would not stick in my head. Others who have dieted with Marcial (such as Gabriel, Nicolas or Avi) have had some success with the songs, but so far not I. Marcial told me that if I started to sing, more of the song would come by itself. He says that if he connects to the coca leaf, he sees highland people dancing and the songs he sings come in Quechua, even though he does not speak Quechua. So I could do the same. But even writing now I still haven't managed to access the songs. Perhaps I should make a great effort one of these days to break through.

An important feature of the diet as it progresses is passing through some moments of crisis. The crisis may be different for each diet and also for each dieter. Sometimes it seems like the world around is conspiring to torment you, until eventually the crisis peaks, something changes and then you are on a new level. Things that affected me on my diets included: the music from the village, odd things that Marcial said, people who brought my food, events around the camp, and so on. Other people have mentioned being infuriated by the animals, for example the cockerel crowing or whatever. So to each their own, but the point is to see it not as an external thing, but rather as a reflection of the process. Still I have always found it helpful to have some CD or other to listen to to help mask out external sounds when it gets too much or when I want to do internal work.

Another feature are tests. Well, in retrospect they seem like probably they were tests. I don't think that they were designed by Marcial intentionally, but rather that the spirits working through him and the other people around conspired to create the conditions of a test, which you then are free to pass or fail according to your abilities and level of development.

I found the drumming journeys very powerful as a technique. As the diet progressed I started to find all kinds of interesting little scenes. On day 4 of my diet, I found myself on something like a Greek island, running around like an athlete. This was like a stepping stone, an introduction to golden colour and energy of the Shihuahuaco world itself. In my journey on day 5, I crawled for 15 minutes with great difficulty across paving slabs towards a golden-coloured castle, where on arriving I was lead by monks to a room with a source of golden healing light.

Despite what, with hindsight, appears to be clear progress in these journeys, in the early hours of day 6 I was getting frustrated. I wondered why I had not found the Shihuahuaco world yet (not realizing that all my experiences up to this point had all been reflections of it and preparations for it), and I was feeling the days ticking by. Marcial had left the bottle of Shihuahuaco tea in my room and I decided to take an extra 'unofficial' dose to get a boost to carry myself up. After suitable reflection and quiet preparation I went ahead. After some time I felt something like a vibration in my body, and 3-4 hours later I attempted a drumming journey.

Up higher and higher I went through various gates in the sky, much higher than I expected to have to go, until I reached some enormous and ornate town gates. I went inside and found a clean medieval-era style town full of strange people and large troll-like creatures in pairs. It had the feel of French circus or street theatre, or of the album art from one of Lhasa's CDs. I let the resonance of the plant inside of me lead me to where it resonated strongest, and I found a palace and I met the head person there who installed golden plates into my body. Attempting another journey a little later, I went back and he finished the job by sealing it all up in a kind of Tron suit, only golden in colour.

At last, progress, I thought! My mind was buzzing with questions. Do those people live their lives independently like we live ours? Or are they just a dream that springs into existence when we focus on it? Also, I had no idea that the plant-spirit worlds were so large! Marcial later told me that that city was just one of many cities.

Big caterpillar Looking back now, another common theme from my drumming journeys has been arriving at a place which is familiar from a previous journey, and then being drawn away from there to some other place, as if to show me that I am in the same world, and that the new location is related spacially to the old one.

This was the case on my following journey: I arrived at the same city again, but was immediately drawn back and upwards into the air until I could see a whole country below me, like a map, with a number of cities. It really was enormous. Marcial says that there are more parts than that, even. Navigating around this landscape I also found mountains and sandy valleys. Everything had a beautiful golden tinge, and the energy of the place was also delightful -- I can't think of a better word to describe it -- I was happy to just sit there in the mountains absorbing the light and the energy of that place.

Asking for my next lesson, and I was drawn to another city, finding myself hidden behind a tree outside the town gates. I was given a pass and sent inside, where I found walkways with huge vaulted stone ceilings, with people going about their business beneath, perhaps in the style of ancient Arab desert cities at the height of their success, but in a different style and on a different scale. I was lead through various corridors and rooms of a large palace to a small room with what appeared to be a very ornate altar. Eventually I realized that it was a strange apparatus that I was meant to sit inside. I seemed to be for healing, and as it operated, I felt it strengthening various parts of me. After some time the healing was complete, and the guide told me that I had to leave quickly because I wasn't supposed to be there, and indicated how I should escape.

Not all of my journeys were so clear, however, some were fragmentary, in others I seemed to slip off into unconsciousness and short normal dreams within the visionary dream, and in others I was too tired and fell completely asleep. But even from the fragmentary ones I was often able to recollect useful information.

Marcial told me that in the Shihuahuaco world they have doctors, and if I wanted to study, I could go there and they would give me a doctor's jacket and a practice room, and I would learn how to heal. Then I could copy the practice room and recreate it down here on Earth, and then whenever I would have someone visit for healing the Shihuahuaco doctors would also come to help.

At one point Marcial spoke about how it is when he sings in ceremony, concentrating on the plant worlds. He says that his spirit is completely out of his body, but that a plant spirit comes down to replace it and take care of his body. However the plant spirit can be easily frightened by light or other disturbances, and if that happens and the plant spirit suddenly leaves before he comes back, then his body falls over.

Marcial says that he does most healing with prayers, but as people generally don't believe in prayers, he gives them a little cup of a remedy and then they think that the remedy did the healing. Actually the prayers are in everything he does -- whether it is singing prayers into the Ayahuasca, into a mapacho cigarette to 'soplar' someone, into the salt that is used to finish the diet or more directly in the form of songs during a ceremony.

Sometimes Marcial talks about the old times, about his grandfather (who was a great curandero) or about others of that era. He talks about the old classes of curanderos: medicos, brujos and muralla. The 'medicos' treat illness, the 'brujos' do ill, and the 'muralla' have the ability to transport themselves. He says that when they arrived, the whole room would shake. Same when they took off. They did it with the power of the plants, smoking their pipe and making some prayers. They would arrive for the healing, one by one, and then when it was complete, they would take off again the same way. I asked why there aren't any ayahuasqueros around any more who can do those things. He says that nobody does diets for that long any more -- nobody diets for a year, for instance. People read books on healing or magic and use those techniques. Nobody does the long diets now.

I still hadn't seen the brilliant metal plant spirit that Marcial had described, the god of that world. When it came, it came unexpectedly. In one drumming journey I arrived submerged in a kind of a drainage pool in the basement of a tower of golden stone, which turned out to be part of an immense fortress. My guide led me outside and through a minor passage beside the main ceremonial entrance ramp within the main entrance halls, through several minor chambers until I reached an immense underground chamber contained within the fortress, like a cave but the size of a valley. We crossed this huge valley-like enclosed space diagonally heading for a brightly-lit side-branch. In this side-branch of the cave was a tiered palace with steps leading up. We climbed up three-quarters of the way and then took a side entrance to a reception area and then to a small ante-chamber where I was told to prepare myself for my audience. Eventually I was led through another door to the side of the final steps leading up to the throne. The king or god-being or plant-spirit himself was shining so brightly that I was unable to distinguish any features. I repeated the request for specific healing that I had prepared in the ante-chamber, and the god agreed to help me with it. I asked what I should do, and he said that things would start to happen. I gave my thanks and retreated. Back in the ante-chamber the guide indicated that I could leave now by retracing my steps along the whole route back to the deserts outside the fortress. Success!

My Ayahuasca ceremony to finish the diet was dominated by the Shihuahuaco energy. I only had to focus upwards and I would find it. It is clear that all the drumming journeys I had done had helped me to prepare a conscious connection with it. At one point I was focussing on touching the pain inside and I found lots of little copies of myself as a child hiding in various corners of my body and shaking with fear. I was calling them back to my heart with love-energy, liberating the bad energy for release. Marcial said that the spirits were happy with me because I'd made a lot of progress in a short time, and that they wanted to show me the "air world". He said that the god-being himself would guide me.

Following the diet, I continued with my drumming journeys. In one of the journeys within the diet, I was in a jungle area where I was shown a place beside and below a huge thundering waterfall and was shown how to use it to heal myself. I continued returning to this spot, and was allowed to build a house nearby which I visited for a while. These journeys culminated in a journey travelling down through the waterfall, into an underground river where I drowned. My body was washed down with the flow to where the river emerged until eventually it was washed onto a beach. My dead body then started to sprout a Shihuahuaco tree which grew and grew, fertilised by my body, until it was enormous. This was me as a Shihuahuaco tree. I had become the tree.

Another series of drumming journeys dealt with the "air worlds". I was shown how to leap from one location to another in those worlds, over huge distances. Partly this was from the Shihuahuaco world up into worlds of platforms suspended in the air. But there were also techniques for transporting myself 'behind' the world by spinning until I somehow detached from the fabric of space itself and could move to a new location and re-enter there. Goodness knows what this is all about or what application it might have.

Oct 2011: a 7-day diet with Huarme Renaco

I was visiting Marcial this time partly to get to know Gabriel and Avi who were also visiting. My baby son had been born only 2-3 months earlier, and concerned that a strong plant might 'shock' him when I returned, Marcial gave me Huarme Renaco. This is quite a light diet, with not so many restrictions as for other diets. I was permitted to wander about the village if I wished, and converse freely with other people.

Huarme Renaco. Yard Huarme Renaco itself is a vine. The extract is made from the trunk, and has a deep red colour almost like wine. In the diet itself I tried to connect to the plant world, and I saw an enormous strange horizontal white dish-like structure embedded in a mountain, with a subterranean city built underneath it. It seemed that the people of the city only reacted positively when I was also generous myself. I was unable to make much sense of all this.

Marcial says that Huarme Renaco can be used for matchmaking, i.e. you can connect the hearts of two people so that they think as one. I was dubious about this: how could it possibly work for people with radically different wishes in life? For example, if one wanted to live in the country and the other in the city. But he said that in this case they might live apart but still understand each other and work together and think as one. So there it is. Since the ceremony I have asked Huarme Renaco to help a few times, but only in cases where people were already committing to one another but weren't quite seeing eye-to-eye. I am not yet sensitive enough to know whether it really made a difference, though.

Apart from my drumming journeys, I also spent my time reading books and getting to know the other people visiting, and also doing some healing work with the family. From re-reading Being in Dreaming by Florinda Donner, I picked up the idea of using a mirror of fog for self-reflection, i.e. whenever my ego was reflecting on its own qualities, to instead look into the mirror of fog, which absorbs all thoughts and returns only mystery. This was interesting as a way to quieten down these thought streams.

I had three Ayahuasca ceremonies, quite often more involved with other people's processes than my own. There were a few challenges. A huge dragon of not very high energy tried to trick me into thinking it was a god, but I caught it and changed its personality to a new one, and later poured Huarme Renaco into it to make it a Huarme Renaco dragon. Somehow the many interactions at this time meant that the connections between one thing and another were muddled, so it is hard to say what was due to Huarme Renaco and what was due to something else.

However, after the diet had completed and I had returned home, things really started to take off with the plant. I found that Huarme Renaco was coming to me regularly to help me work on issues. Mostly it was helping with deep issues underlying my relationships with women. This continued for perhaps 3 months. After such a mild diet, I was surprised at how much help it was able to give me. Considering the whole process, I am very happy now that I dieted it. The result doesn't make for great stories of heroic struggles, but instead for simple practical progress in everyday things, and I am very grateful for that.

Jan 2012: a 7-day diet with Bobinsana, and 9-day diet with Lupuna

As in the previous diet, I let Marcial select the plants for me to diet. As I understand it, he concentrates and goes into his vision space, and a few candidate plants approach him. These are plants that feel that they have something to give me, and then he selects one of them for me to diet. In this case he selected Bobinsana to start with, and after that Lupuna.

I had dieted Bobinsana before, for 5 days in the 5-plant mix that Javier Zavala had given me, but as it had come again to Marcial, I accepted his suggestion. We agreed that I could change to another plant after a couple of days if there seemed to be no benefit. Dieting it again, however, gave me the opportunity to try to connect to its plant spirit world.

The other plant that came for me to diet was Lupuna. Lupuna is another tall jungle tree, like Shihuahuaco. The extract is from the bark of the above-ground roots of the tree. It is normally a 12 to 15 day diet, and cutting it short at 9 days as we did this time caused more than a little trouble, as you will see.

In these diets I worked with drumming journeys, with a Klaus Weise drone CD called Allah Infinity, with self-hypnosis to get into deep relaxation, and with Reiki healing. I also used Tai Chi to help smooth things energetically, and Tensegrity to find warrior spirit and to pull myself out of weakness. As I have now learnt, the plant worlds come gradually and open up bit by bit as the diet progresses, and this was the case in these diets also.

On arrival, I spent a couple of days before the diet going through all kinds of confusion and mental noise until I adapted to the jungle energy again. Starting my diet with Bobinsana also helped to stabilise me using that as a focus. It is strange how the jungle causes me quite such a destabilising reaction -- perhaps it is the higher natural energy, and there being just so much life about. It is not uncontrollable, but all the same the effect is significant -- in my case at least.

Bobinsana. Chicken So, I started my diet with Bobinsana. The initial dose gave me a subtle energetic buzzing sensation throughout my whole body which lasted the night. Initial attempts to visit the plant world only gave vague views of misty hills. Working with the drone track, I saw visions of moulds, and I remembered tracks by Aphex Twin and the feeling of inorganics in later Castaneda books. It is worth remembering that moulds are great recyclers of dead or rotten matter. Since they had come, it seemed to me to be valid to use them for a cleansing visualisation, so that is what I did -- just I made sure not to leave them hanging around in my body afterwards. I'm more accustomed to using insects for healing visualisations, allowing the swarm to energetically eat whatever diseased or dead matter it is programmed to recycle. The good parts of your energetic body regrow to fill the spaces left by the removed bad stuff.

On day 3, the plant world started to open to me. I found myself in a long rectangular room with windows, apparently within a plane, and I could see a landscape going past below. Then the floor opened like a bomb bay, and I fell down to the surface below. This was my entry point on 2-3 occasions. The landscape was lush forest and low hills. The colours were generally muted, not too strong. I went down into a valley and found at its head a dark entrance.

It seems to me that the healing with Bobinsana is via darkness. Someone was sucking energy from me, and I asked Bobinsana for help, and it fed black energy into the tubes. It is a kind of full and rich blackness, not simply a void. That person seemed to have a tendency for black magic, and I started to see that I had been influenced into thinking in black magic terms, of opposition and reaction, revenge and enslavement, the darkest levels of shamanism. I worked to clear out whatever those themes were touching in myself.

In another journey I found that the whole landscape was just a shell and beneath it was the pure rich blackness as well. I asked to be taken to the centre of power of Bobinsana. I saw a large swamp, like a lake, surrounded by low hills, fed by another cave. I asked for help with my liver and I was taken inside the cave. There in the pitch blackness was a chair and a woman to do the healing. My liver started to get quite hot. After 30 minutes I asked how much longer it would take, and she said 15 minutes. I was lead out when it was complete.

Outside the cave, looking back and above, I was aware of a large bright object that I was unable to resolve. This happens from time to time in the drumming journeys. If you are unable to make sense of a new object, it just appears indistinct. In that case, it is necessary to spend some time examining it before it begins to crystallise as something understandable. So it was in this case, and I returned in a later journey to try to understand more. It turns out that there was a long rectangular opening above the cave where white misty cloud-like material was constantly being sucked in. I guess this was the energy source for the healing. Jumping around in the misty stream, I got sucked in, and sat down for another healing session. Working on sexual demons, I found myself drifting off into sub-dreams, and then snapping back suddenly to the Bobinsana world where I was being healed. This happened several times.

In parallel with these last few drumming journeys, I had a bit of a crisis emerge with Ayahuasca. Events conspired one day that Marcial and I completely failed to connect for me to receive my Bobinsana dose: I fell asleep and didn't wake when he visited, and then woke later when he had gone, and then again was asleep when he returned to try again. This left me falling into doubts and angry with him, as if I had a big doubt-demon stuck on my head. Things cleared before the ceremony, but the ceremony itself was torture from beginning to end, an attack from all sides, with twisting tensions in my belly, doubts about Marcial's motivations attacking my brain, and my focus also being knocked away whenever I got it established. I knew that if I allowed the doubts to dominate me then all was lost. I had to trust Marcial or else the whole experience would only get worse.

I understood next day that the purpose of the ceremony was to give me a situation that I could not dominate or resolve by my normal means. I was being forced to go beyond myself. During the ceremony I asked Marcial for help, and all that I remember is that he said to stay with God. Trusting his advice, I used every bit of consciousness I could manage to focus upwards and connect. The attack and the discomfort didn't stop, but I was able to get some relief using my meditation, patchy though it was, and as the worlds above opened to me, I saw various levels of god, the friendly god you can talk to for example, and around and above that majestic god-realms, like cathedrals stretching upwards and upwards, and forests of crystalline trees. I realized that the higher I went the higher the energetic vibration, but also the less resonance it had with us humans. We needed intermediate beings to down-convert the energy to something that whilst high and pure compared to our own energy was at least compatible and digestible for us.

This is how I survived the ceremony, and it was a useful lesson. There was an impression during the ceremony that this was the final struggle, a change-point. I had never established a connection with the god-realms like that before, and I never would have either without being forced to do so like this. I had always been able to make my own light -- stuck down in the underworld there is little choice. But now my energy is rising and the higher realms are becoming more available to me, it is important that I learn how to work with them. So the lesson was a difficult one but valuable.

Towards the end of my diet with Bobinsana I was reading about the inseparability of emptiness and luminosity in a book on Tibetan Bon shamanism. The void is luminous! This is like a precursor to the quantum mechanical view of particle/anti-particle pairs constantly springing into existence, which is how black holes radiate (i.e. Hawking radiation). The void is full in quantum mechanics as well! But in quantum mechanics, it appears dualistic, whereas in Tibetan Bon teachings there exists a non-dualistic luminosity. In any case, the blackness is full, as it is in Bobinsana also. I worked for several days on feeling and visualising the luminous emptiness throughout my body. An interesting exercise.

Lupuna. Pucallpa port area Now I switched to Lupuna, a quite different plant. Marcial said only that it was for receiving teachings, and that it didn't give a mareación. Despite that, I woke in the morning semi-hallucinating. The bright morning sunlight had created a pattern of irregular triangles on the mosquito mesh, and I hallucinated that I was in a kind of doctor's surgery, the water container appearing like the back of a white padded chair. The illusion was obvious and soon dissipated, but not the impression of having been in a luminous doctor's surgery from some other planet.

It was on the second day of the Lupuna diet that I started remembering old girlfriends, mostly short relationships. The events of those relationships were returning in detail. But why? I could see no reason, but this continued throughout the diet. It became clear that Lupuna was working on clearing on a sexual level -- often cases when there had been nothing more than sexual interest on the physical level.

The drumming visions from the Lupuna world started off fragmentary, just the vision of a tall tree. Then in another session, some jungle with a river, then in another session, a river falling into a wide chasm. These weren't even moving images, they were more like photographs being shown to me.

It was around this time that my wife called to tell me that our child was ill. In fact the situation was resolved in a couple of days, but her concern caused me to ask Marcial whether it was possible to accelerate the diet. Big mistake!! We did in fact accelerate the diet, but the result was not something I wish to repeat! In any case Marcial told me that some people make their diets shorter by fasting completely for one day, even fasting from liquids, and this was very useful to know in the end.

Soon after that, the weather suddenly changed, or at least my perception of it. It felt like the wind was fresher or cleaner somehow, that things had changed and started afresh. It could have been the relief of my wife at the baby's progress I suppose, but it is hard to say. That night with Lupuna I started to get a manic feeling, but that was cleared I think when Marcial put his attention on me from the Ayahuasca ceremony that he was giving for another visitor. He also said he'd try to open the path for me to find my way to the Lupuna world.

In the morning, I did a drumming journey, and found myself in some jungle with some unresolvable roundish white shapes on the horizon. Approaching I realized that they were buildings, built in the shape of overlapping white spheres. I found a small door, and entered a reception area. Everything was gleaming white and the technology seemed advanced. They had a floating platform which took people up to higher levels. A guide was assigned to me and I was taken along long corridors to a huge hangar, also in white, where I saw a large white vehicle being constructed, something like a spacecraft perhaps, definitely bigger and wider than a plane at least. I asked about details of their technology, but it seems that their physics is different to ours so it is not directly transferrable to Earth.

In parallel with this, I was trying to work with some of the white-light god-beings I had found in the god-realms above. I was working on sexual healing, and was wondering how to make it so that the bad energy of other people didn't stick to me, for example if they focussed on me in the street. I was left with shiny new easy-to-clean insides, like a porcelain sink basin! We will see how this goes.

Now the drumming journeys really started to take off. I arrived submerged in what seemed to be a sea, and then I realized that I was approaching a waterfall. It was a very high and powerful waterfall from an enormous lake down into a sea below. I asked to be taken somewhere where I could be healed or learn something, and was told that it was here that I would learn. It seemed that I needed to improve my dreaming vision. So, I moved up and down it and examined the waterfall and the nearby cliffs from every possible angle. There was a small viewing platform that I found half-way up one of the cliffs. By the end I had practiced seeing, but wasn't really any the wiser. My eyes ached a bit, as they did after the next few journeys, but after that the discomfort passed.

The following few journeys were just as visual and interesting. A common theme seemed to be to arrive floating in water and soon after to plunge over a waterfall. In one this was in jungle, falling first to lower jungle, then later into a huge dark sink-hole cavern. I also saw more of their technology -- flying machines based on long frames with directional jets at each corner, huge machine rooms like hydroelectric power station turbine halls, and what seemed to be a waste-disposal centre with three huge arches joining at a point and dropping down a white ash on a large circular dish area below. There were also strange landscapes, a vast tunnel roughly cut through the rock, a high desolate airfield that looked like the scene of a battle, and a parchment-coloured airship. Also a trip out into space to collect 10m wide crystals to use as a power source.

Marcial suggested that I ask the plant for more help and more power. I worked with this for a while, and recognised my sexual feelings getting clearer and clearer until I was down to something very pure and direct. Somehow things were starting to connect together -- all that water in the Lupuna land and those huge falls seemed to have a sexual connection. For example in Chinese five elements, sexual energy is connected with water.

I had one day of fasting completely from food to see how I would get on with this. It was pretty strong -- I was in dreaming most of the day, especially as I wasn't expecting visitors so didn't need to get up at all. Certainly it was worthwhile. It accelerated things so much that I felt quite different the next day, like I had finished off most of the remaining process of the diet.

Marcial gave me one more dose of the medicine the following night which I hadn't expected. Again in the morning I felt the sexual energy, clean this time, and quite light. The connection between this and the plant was now becoming undeniable. In the ceremony the following night I became aware of the nature of sexual demons, seeing them as 6-inch or longer slug-like creatures in my belly, and also ugly fishes of various descriptions. I was working quite intensively to get them all out and to kill them so that they couldn't come back. On the following day I completed the diet with the prayers and salt mouthwash from Marcial, resuming normal salt levels in my food.

Everything seemed fine, until the next ceremony approached. In the afternoon the contents of my stomach had started to ferment, producing regular eruptions of gas. (It is common for shocks to the plants after a diet to show up as diarrhoea or other intestinal discomfort, for example if you eat something forbidden.) I went into the ceremony in any case, and despite the higher dose, the mareación was very low, with no visionary content. I was suffering pain, but with no spiritual help to overcome it. I went to Marcial for a higher dose, but instead he started to sing. After about 6 songs I felt the normal mareación come. After maybe 4 more I was able to return to my place, although still in significant discomfort.

It became clear to me that I had angered the plant spirits somehow. They had caused the fermentation and had taken away my Ayahuasca mareación and had abandoned me. All I could do was suffer the punishment, but it went on and on until eventually I had to try to get them in line. Looking for a solution, I offered to do another one-day fast as payment for whatever errors I may have made. Marcial said that I had dirtied my diet somehow, but later it emerged that the Lupuna diet is normally longer and this is probably what upset them more. I got agreement from both Bobinsana and Lupuna that a one-day fast was suitable payment, and whilst the pain and discomfort continued for the remainder of the ceremony, at least there was a solution in place. In the early morning, I went to the bathroom and the contents of my intestines emptied as diarrhoea, resolving the fermentation that had troubled me all night.

The next day I worked intensively, first with Bobinsana who gave me about 90 minutes of healing in the darkness, and then with Lupuna. Lupuna was initially unwilling to work with me, but I reminded her (I say her because she seems more feminine than masculine) of our agreement from the night before, and she relented. I did a drumming journey, arriving again in the water of a river about to fall over the edge, and then I felt I was being drawn back. It seemed that I was being pulled back up through films with hexagonal patterns. Then, looking up I saw the sun above me through many layers of hexagonal-patterned films as I moved through them towards it. I saw from within the earth many plants erupting from the earth and blooming. I realized that I was a plant, and I grew up and up until I became a Lupuna tree. This made me happy, because to me this indicated the final acceptance by the plant, similar to how I grew into a Shihuahuaco tree after my diet a year earlier.

Marcial mentioned that he had had this experience of abandonment many times. The higher the plant, the more fussy they are and the easier it is to upset them during the diet. One little thing, and off they go, abandoning you. Many times he said he was left chasing after them to recover his diet. He says that the bad plants, the ones used for harm, are nothing like as fussy! You can do as much wrong as you like, and they will still stick around. So now I know first hand! I will be much more careful in future to respect the form of diet that these higher plants prefer.

Since the diet, I have continued to work with Lupuna. It seems that Lupuna has given me an awareness of the unhealthy energetic creatures which direct the sexual impulses of very many people, the oversized slugs and the ugly fishes that I described previously. I am over-sensitive in many ways, not least in picking up other people's problems. Cleaning myself is a constant task. Now I can clean out all this sexual rubbish as well, slopping out all the slugs and fishes onto the floor and watching them die -- in feeling it is a bit like flopping my intestines out onto the carpet -- and other people's sexual issues are now less of a distraction. This is a significant advance, and I will continue to work with this. Thankyou Lupuna!!

[ Further reading: "Don Marcial, maestro curandero", "My first 18 Ayahuasca ceremonies" and "More jungle medicine: three medicine plant diets" ]

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