The Screaming Man

During the second Ayahuasca ceremony, I sat next to a man who screamed, cried, and whined hysterically during the session. Many people came to me afterward and asked me if I had been disturbed by the experience.

I related this story individually to several people, and I also spoke about it in the sharing session the next day. Still, to be complete, I needed to write about what I witnessed after some reflection.

It became clear to me that what was most significant for me about the experience was the interaction between the shaman and the screaming/crying man. As don Augustin approached the man, I began to see energy passing between them. Don Augustin was playing his harmonica, and the sound carried the energy visually emanating from him. I learned later that Icaros, the shaman’s songs, are integral to the shaman’s work in the Ayahuasca ceremony and the healing process.

The man and the shaman were executing a kind of energy tango (or dueling banjos) where don Augustin would answer each one of his cries with more intense sounds. With my eyes closed, I saw don Augustin as what I interpreted at the time as a figure having the head of a Chinese dragon who was sitting at a large organ and was animated like the Phantom of the Opera.

Later after returning to Lima in a museum, I saw a piece of pottery that more accurately depicted the image of what I had seen. It was a depiction of a leopard.

I had witnessed don Augustin playing with the negative energy pulling it from the screaming man and then dispersing it into infinity.

He brought it to a crescendo as he edged closer and closer to the man pulling the pain and suffering out of him. Finally, when he reached the man, standing right in front of me, he leaned down a whispered “Ok” into the man’s ear, and the man calmed down like a baby being comforted.

I am very grateful to have witnessed this, and I will never forget it.

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