The bus drops me off the road, in front of the Finca Inti sign. I make my way through the steep jungle with my bagpack, tropical plants and flowers surrounding me. I am sweating a lot and very excited to discover what is on top of this hill, here on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.
The first person I meet is Ryan. He lives in the first house. He has long hair and no shirt. He’s 27 years old, Scottish and very enthusiastic. He has been living here for a few months with his girlfriend, who is a yoga teacher. He’s been only feeding on coconuts and fruits, and he feels great. He’s completely fascinated by plants powers. He wants to try it all: kombo, rapé, sananga, ayahuasca … A whole world of natural medicines suddenly opens to me.
This morning, we are all watching him. He’s gonna do Kombo. It’s a jungle vaccine made from frog poison that powerfully reboosts the immune system. I look at the series of small black dots the past treatments left on his shoulder. During an hour, he vomits and purges deeply. People who have taken Kombo all describe the same: first you feel very bad, in a state close to death, and then it fades away, and you feel incredibly light and relieved.
This treatment would cure high blood pressure, gastrointestinal and heart problems. We take a look at the color of his vomit in the white bucket. (NB: This activity seems very normal at that moment..) Tristan tells us: when the vomit is yellow, we spit fear ; when it is red, we spit anger.
I don’t feel ready for such an intense experience. I am going to try the rapé instead. It’s a sacred medicine used by the Amazonian tribes. A powder made from plants, roots or bark is blown deep into your nostrils via a wooden pipe held by the shaman. This medicine is used to help focus and sharpen the mind. It cleans our energy field, but also our sinuses, detoxifying both body and mind.
Under the terrace roof, I play with Nadja, a 9 year-old multilingual cook. I help her to find ideas for her « home-made » tarot game aimed to reveal natural truths. Fireflies, wolf, dolphins and seeds all have a message for us … I watch her walking in the rain under her pink umbrella with her dress and flip-flops. She is such a tropical manga character. She hands me mysterious luminous flying insects. We are in a Miyazaki movie for good.
In the jungle community, we talk about agriculture, self-sufficiency, 3D DNA chains and reforestation projects. We also talk about silent retreats, universal post-sex scenes, women’s cycles, social empathy, and even about the chemical composition of tears and the type of emotions they wash away. It is both esoteric and eclectic, I love it!
Every night, I let myself dive into the private concertos held by frogs, birds and crickets. I can recognize the different musicians: the spitting bird, the electric frog, the wet crickets. I stare at the sun filtering through the jungle. It is 4:30PM, I sip the golden light from the bench of my terrace.
San Pedro Ceremony
We walk up towards the mirador in the afternoon. We are going to have a San Pedro ceremony up there. San Pedro is a cactus powder from the Andes, belonging to the same family as Peyote. We are 6 of us, Tristan opening the march with his shaman bag, his long hair and his machete.
We arrange the fabrics on the ground and take out the talismans: seashells, music instruments, energy stones and sage bundles to burn. We start the fire. Each of us swallow a spoon of bitter green paste.
An hour goes …
Suddenly, we all have a collective urge to play music. We begin to stroke the instruments and feel their textures. We discover their vibrations in our bodies. We celebrate the sunset with an improvised music trance. We play for several hours. I am experiencing an intense state of vibratory connection. I absorb the gritty echo of the shamanic drum, the dry waves of the percussion, the swaying wriggling of the maracas, the muffled breath of the harmonica.
The moon rises and lights the trees. Luminous insects are flying in the velvet night. We are fascinated by the Tibetan bowl, listening to the round and wavering vibrations of the universe. I sit near a golden bush and play harmonica during an hour. I explore how my breath becomes sound. Each inspiration and expiration producing a new melody.
Late in the night, we go back to the kitchen, eat a little bite and dance cheerfully before going to bed. The next morning, Tristan makes me listen to Ayahuasca ceremonial music, this one is one of my favorite.
On the subject of renewed fascination for ceremonies, tribes, rituals and all kinds of cults, I recommend you to read « The conjuration » by Philippe Vasset, an epic contemporary quest through Paris’ white zones, in search for new trajectories. ❤
« I created a cult. At the beginning, it was a pure business, until I liked it: founding a religion is the ultimate work of art. »
-Philippe Vasset, La Conjuration