Kambo 3X3 Rite of Passage: The Warriors Initiation
FINDING STILLNESS IN SUFFERING.
It is told by the IAKP that there is a powerful rite of passage with Kambo, where three treatments of the frog secretion are administered within a three hour time period; the dosage increasing over the course of the treatment. The warriors initiation.
Kambo helps to remove 'panema', or what we might call dark or negative energy, bad luck, or difficulties and disease. It's ability to cleanse the body and promote renewed vitality is highly regarded, and it’s often used by the indigenous hunters to increase their strength, stamina, and sharpen the senses before hunts. Me though? Well at this stage, I'm not quite ready to go out into the wilderness to hunt and cook my own dinner, so why did I decide to put myself through this particular process?
My intentions were to let this medicine clear out as many toxins as possible; aiding me on my path of healing and cleansing out the mercury poisoning and other heavy metals I have stored in my body, and also for the spirit of the frog to help clear out any blockages and fears that I have; stopping me from pursuing and achieving my goals and dreams.
The burn points were to be placed on my chest, directly across the heart line. The singe of the hot stick caressing my skin does more than tickle the senses, and it takes some deep breathing to try and relax my body throughout the flinches. 13 burn marks in total. I was to receive 9 points, 11 points, and finally 13 points of medicine as the treatments progressed, with three other brave initiates undergoing the same rite of passage.
As I’d already built up a decent relationship with Kambo by the time of this rite of passage, we jumped straight into things.
The stings on my chest as the hot incense stick pierced the top layer of skin made me flinch, and my body started having shivers again, like I’d been sitting on the floor of a refrigerator cool room. The discomfort before the medicine was applied was a sign of things to come, as my initial treatment was incredibly unpleasant.
Usually my awareness is brought deep into my body. It's as if I can feel each and every heartbeat thud against my chest, my temperature rising as the blood flutters and quickens throughout my vessels, all the while aware of the deep respiration of my breath, in and out through my nose.
This time though, I was in a haze of delirium. Nausea settled in as I leaned over and purged in discomfort. I could feel the acidity of the bile scorn my throat. As my lips tingled and became numb, I saw my reflection in the bucket of expulsion... my face had blown up and swelled beautifully! My cheeks were bloated, eyes puffed almost shut, and my lips the envy of botox enthusiasts world wide.
It took several attempts for me to try and crawl to the bathroom. In between hunching over my bucket like a restless five year old, and breathing through my mouth like a raspy old man, I finally made it outside and collapsed in the shade, allowing the slight breeze to cool me down until I was well enough to collect myself and return to the ceremonial space.
Exactly one hour after my first treatment, the second dosage was applied.
"Try and sit strong with the medicine this time, really feel it working within you," coaxed my humble and loving medicine practitioner.
Although I felt totally wiped out, I'd regained enough composure to sit up still and strong, focusing on my breath. I could feel the magic of the medicine sweeping through my body with a bit more finesse this time, but eventually succumb to expelling the liquid sitting in my stomach.
2 litres, 1.5 litres, and 1 litre. This was the amount of water we had to drink before each round, no more than 15 minutes prior to treatment.
The thought of water intoxication had crossed my mind prior to ceremony, and I couldn't help but do a little research on how much water consumption it takes to cause death.
According to one source, 6 litres all at once is the LD50 (lethal dose to kill half of all test subjects). Consuming 4.5 litres of water in approximately two hours is a large amount, and downing excessive amounts of water in a short time span is a hard enough feat in itself, but the purgative nature of Kambo eliminates a lot of that water from the system, and provided the correct methods of applying and receiving the medicine are adhered to, the water intake levels are safe.
The third and final treatment went much smoother.
Well, as smooth as things could reasonably go at this stage anyway. I suspect the peptides had already flooded my system, and with a total of 33 points (my largest dosage before this initiation being 11 points in total), I was left to bask in both the euphoria and exhaustion of the medicine doing a final sweep of my body.
Although I was in a lot of discomfort, I had reached the place I had known so well in many of my medicine journeys; the place of finding stillness in suffering. A place of calm, gentle energy; attentive to breath throughout all the uncomfortable arising sensations. With a couple of final purges to expel any remaining water sitting in my belly, I was done.
My stomach was nauseous, my head hurt, my face was swollen, and my chest radiated with an irritating sting. But I was done. The warriors rite of passage initiation. A kind of sadistic ritual, in a sense. Who in their right mind would willingly go through a process like that? Well, probably a lot of us. Something to do with seeking advantage within adversity. Something about pushing ourselves to the limits in a multitude of capacities, to see what we’re capable of. Something about knowing that within the immense discomfort that an experience like this can offer, lays the potential for profound shifts and growth on the other side.
A sense of pride and humility washed over me. I was relieved to be finished, but felt satisfied and complete in that moment, knowing I had put myself through another great challenge and made it through the ordeal. I noticed the ever slight stirring of an electrical charge flowing through my body, and over the next hour, felt my energy level rise and come back from the dead.
Two days later as I write this, I can still feel the presence of Kambo in my system.
The subtle vibrational current, the sweating during the night and early morning; clear signs to my intuition that toxins are still being cleared out as my renewed energy continues to lift during the day. I have further clarity into my projects and ventures, and although there is still fear in pushing past certain boundaries and comfort zones, I feel as though I can dance with this fear, and move beyond it into discovery and growth.
I can hear sweet ribbit of the frog calling me back... Come human, come and learn me on a deeper level. Trust in my healing potential and surrender to the path ahead. Lullabies and croaky choruses can be heard in the far distance, luring me in a particular direction, seducing me even, to explore what’s on the next horizon.
(2018 edit: and that horizon, was to be in service to the spirit of the great frog. I wouldn’t have dreamt in a thousand years that I’d be answering to a frog, as if it were my boss. More info on Kambo can be found on our sister site, kambopath.net)