The Path of Surrender &
Finding Stillness in Suffering.
It is told that the warriors of the indigenous Amazonian tribes, the Matses and the Katukina, undergo a powerful rite of passage initiation with Kambo, where three treatments of the sacred frog secretion are administered within three hours; the dosage increasing over the course of the treatment.
According to the tribes, 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 is often used by the indigenous hunters to increase their strength, stamina, and sharpen the senses before hunts.
Me though? Well, I'm not quite at the stage of going out into the wilderness to hunt and cook my 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.
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 heart beat 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 heaven.
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," (I paraphrase) coaxed Dean, my humble and loving medicine practitioner.
That's how I usually approach Kambo, I thought to myself. Not fidgety and unsettled!
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 final treatment went much smoother.
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. Being able to stay composed, calm, gentle yet solid, and 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 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 adversity 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. 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.
Much love and big thankyou to Dean Heke-Cook, for holding beautiful sacred space to work with the green light of the Kambo spirit, and for opening up this particular path of shamanic healing to me.
For those that has made it this far in reading, you will be some of the first to know that I have been accepted to undergo training with the IAKP, the International Association of Kambo Practitioners, and in just over six months time, I will be in service to carry the medicine, hold sacred space, and gift others the incredible healing power that this frog has gifted me. I am excited and humbled by this path opening up ahead of me.
Thankyou again to all who continue to support me, read what I have to share, leave comments, send virtual love, send telepathic thoughts (the good and that bad!) and to all who follow my journey on this path of learning, discovery and exploration.
(Check out my initial post on Kambo, and how it helped me discover my mystery illness.)
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