My first Kambo experience [Colombia]
Taita Pablo flicked my skin with leaves and spat liquid on my body. I’d just finished my second Ayahuasca ceremony. The hitting ‘n spitting is part of the cleansing ceremony. The leaves stung my bare skin. Like falling into a bush of stinging nettles.
After the last flick, Taita Pablo asked; Are you doing Kambo?
Si, I replied.
I don’t know why. I was tired and hungry. The bowl of pineapple and papaya next to me would have hit the spot. Instead, I had to chug 2 litres of water. 2 litres of water when I already felt nauseous.
I knew I wanted to try Kambo.
People had told about the medicine’s body cleansing properties. But the violent vomiting part had always put me off.
I picked up my half full 500ml bottle of water and downed it. Three and a half to go. I walked into the kitchen. Liz topped me up. Her mum was sitting at the kitchen table next to a glass of water. She must have been in her 70’s and was about to do Kambo after a night of Ayahuasca. I was grateful for her inspiration. What a trooper.
I paced the grass outside the Finca trying to get the water down me. Yader was preparing my vomit hole with a shovel.
Two bottles of water later…
Listo? Asked Taita Pablo. I grunted out a “si”.
I sat down with my bare back facing him. He started burning dots on my flesh running parallel to my spine. I flinched slightly, but it wasn’t painful. Then he applied the Kambo medicine. At first, nothing. Then I felt heat expand in my body. Taita Pablo told me to walk around. After 5 metres the heat rushed to my head as if someone had squeezed me like a tube of toothpaste.
This is not pleasant, I thought. I feel terrible. Like nothing I’d experienced before. For a moment I got scared I’d had a reaction and was going to die.
I stopped rationalising and felt the feeling. After about 10 minutes, the nausea began. I dropped into a deep squat. My face hovering above my vomit hole. I wanted it to end NOW. The convulsions in my stomach started. The two litres of water gushed out in less than two seconds. I wretched and heaved. I even made frog noises as I wretched out bile. The acidicness stung the back of my throat. Somehow, I could feel the energy of the frog in my body. I could taste her.
I dragged myself up.
The throbbing heat in my head had dulled and I felt myself returning to normal. About 30 minutes had passed. I sat down on the wall outside the finca. Taita Pablo came over and removed the Kambo from my back.
Yader asked how I was.
I felt good.
I told him about feeling the frog energy in my body. About the frog noises I made while throwing up. He said; did you notice how you were sitting? I remembered the deep squat position with my arms tucked in. Crazy. I was even sitting like a frog.
What a medicine. Kambo is intense, but wow.
Now, for someone new to traditional medicine and even spiritual practices, I still swing from harem pants wearing hippie to capitalising on capitalism. But after experiences with Kambo, Ayahuasca, and Psilocybin mushrooms, I believe in something other than this reality. I believe in the “woo-woo-ness” people like Aubrey Marcus share so beautifully. It just feels right to me.
In fact, I’m finding it harder to be a part of the world I once belonged to. I can’t go back to the bullshit. Not now. But how else do I live in our material world? How can I express myself authentically in all aspects of my life? Not just during ceremonies and daily spiritual practices. Aubrey seems to have sussed material success and spirituality. Yet, I feel spiritually fucked.