As our plane dropped just above the Amazon jungle canopy, I felt a flutter of excitement in my chest. We lit gently on the runway and taxied to a small, open-air building, the Puerto Maldonado airport.
We walked straight from the plane to the baggage claim, enveloped by jungle fauna and parrots.
Once we retrieved our bags and hopped into our small buses, we were driven through the little town and delivered straight away to the river where our “long boats” awaited our arrival. We sat in two long rows on either side of the narrow canoe-like boat, just inches from the Amazon waters. For the next two hours we chatted with our fellow travelers, breathed in this amazing scenery and watched this powerful river move in its own rhythm and time.
Our destination was a beautiful lodge nestled along the riverbanks and carved into the surrounding Amazon jungle. The next five days would prove an experience, which defies description in the modern world. We settled into our huts then wandered around the grounds to soak in the sounds of nature.
It is here along the “River of God” where we will immerse ourselves each day and evening with the rich, moist, tangled feminine energy of the jungle and sacred medicine.
To my surprise, the first evening of ceremony, I spent with a shaman I had met 10 years ago. Rather than participate in the ingestion of the sacred plant this evening, I chose to hold space for the group with don Victor’s permission. As I held the energy of the group and rattled softly, it was as if the “vine” was the conductor of an orchestra and I followed her lead, dancing with the rhythm of the rainfall, don Victor’s drumming and the night.
We were in an enclosed lodge for the ceremony, which increased the heat and humidity all around us. Just sitting in this space allowed for “release” and “discovery” in itself. Shadows played on the thatched ceiling…the sounds of the night were calling each of us, and spirit manifested beautifully for each person around the circle. One could feel the flow of energy between don Victor, the sacred plant medicine and the invisible night. The hours slipped by, yet as the ceremony came to a close it felt as though we had glimpsed what lay between the “veil” – even if for a brief moment.
Over the next several days, I experienced the beauty of the divine feminine in so many ways … journaling quietly by the riverbank; walking along a jungle path with monkeys swinging overhead; the cry of a jaguar in the dark of night; amazing hummingbirds the size of regular birds; the subtle and not-so subtle teachings of the sacred plants and on and on.
The sites and sounds and energy of the Amazon jungle will never leave you. Even as I write this post 10 years later, I can still feel the breath of the jungle air on my cheeks.
Readers, we offer two Four Winds Amazon Jungle Expeditions in 2013. Because we are exploring advanced shamanic practices, we ask that you have at least one course completed with The Four Winds before attending. Each of these life-changing expeditions is available for your registration with just a $500 deposit.
One Spirit – The Amazon with Marcela Lobos invites just 18 FWS students in an intensive journey that explores the combined jungle and western spiritual disciplines with master jungle shamans. Learn more about One Spirit
Then, in July, The Amazon with Marcela Lobos is a larger group expedition that introduces you to master shamans of the jungle as well as a community of medicine people in hikes, ceremonies and rites. Learn more about The Amazon