Life Authentically Lived

My First Shamanic Experience

…happened when I was 12 years old. It involved throwing some amateur dance shapes in my room (big fish, little fish, cardboard box, you know the drill) with my best mate Claire as we titted about listening to the psychedelic beats of 90’s indie-dance band “The Shamen” pumping out my Phillips Stereo, off’ve Argos.

Let’s start at the very beginning with some explanations.

Shamanism is any practice of healing and divination that involves the purposive induction of an altered state of consciousness. Visionary access to otherworldly realms and beings. Plant medicines, or entheogens, have been used in ancient traditions unique and native to the Shaman of South America for over 5,000 years. They’re regarded as embodiments of conscious intelligent beings that become visible in special states of consciousness, who can function as spiritual teachers, give you expanded perception and divination, the ability to hear more vividly, to see into other visible worlds or dimensions, and to obtain otherwise hidden knowledge.

  • Psychedelics: Mind manifesting
  • Hallucinogenic: Vision inducing

My Second Shamanic Experience — Huachuma

…happened when I was 36 years old, drinking Huachuma high in the Apus of the Sacred Valley in Peru — a perfect setting for a gentle and beautiful medicine.

My Experience…

With Huachuma there was no trip as such, no hallucination exactly, it was a very gentle and caring experience. The medicina began to work, swathing me in a warm blanket of peace & tranquillity. Surrounded by the rolling hills and distant Apus of the Andes, a landscape full of vivid colours, I felt a deeper connection with and gratitude for mother nature.

My Third Shamanic Experience — Ayahuasca

…happened when I was deep in the Amazon Rainforest of Peru, drinking thick Ayahuasca medicine by candlelight, blessed and administered by a traditional Shipibo Tribe Curandero, in a round wooden hut surrounded by nothing but darkness, the sounds of the Jungle and enchanting Icaros.

My Experience…

It begins with silence. A single candle illuminates the safe sanctuary of the Moloka. The only sound is the jungle: bats, frogs, insects, the river flowing. I receive the thick, dark molasses-like medicine from Maestro, trying not to gag whilst setting my intention and asking Mother Ayahuasca to help me. After everyone has received their medicine, the candle is extinguished and we’re plunged into darkness and stillness. I sit, alert and with concentration.



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Jess Holliday

I write about self-realisation, spirituality, consciousness, practical philosophy, life-hacks and productivity.