I am a Banzi, initiated into Mabanji

Updated: Jan 4, 2019


I am a new born, rebirthed. Yet I have become aged. If there were one sentence to describe how I have changed; I am home in my body, I am here. I have eaten Eboga on many occasions, I've lost track, we hang out too often to count. It is my favourite plant teacher (if you're allowed favourites). I find the spirit of this plant to be very compassionate, patient, adaptable and self-aware. A plant that speaks English. Or on a more personal level, a plant that speaks Rachel  (**insert you name here). To briefly describe, Eboga is a full power prodigy. I won't go into the medicinal actions too much here, this is an account of the emotional and spiritual healing I am experiencing. What impresses me most is how Eboga is perceptive of my level of comprehension to what it is communicating, it knows if I'm following or if I'm confused, and tends to linger on a point until I catch up, or change its method of communication. This feels compassionate and empathetic of the plant, not just interested in showing off its visionary tricks, but teaching, and teaching in the way that you learn. Learning you. Adapting to you. It is the most advanced adaptogen I have met. I can say without doubt that this is the most profound after-glow I've ever experienced, from any plant medicine. It's been 12 days since the Initiation ended, and I'm only just now beginning to feel a fragment of myself again. I'm only just now able to sit down and write about my experiences, or begin talking about them to my friends. It's taken 12 days to even be able to think about it coherently. Slowly, slowly. That helps to put into perspective how long acting, patient & persistent Eboga is. It has been working with me for 3 weeks (2 months if you include the macro-micro dosing). Carried gently home, with a friend on my shoulder (in my nervous system more accurately), whispering guidance into my sight. My mind is sharp and still. It can hold a broad awareness of depth and at any moment I can bring my attention forward and zoom, not at the expense of this breadth but encompassing it fully with presence at what is presenting. There is a silent power in holding an expansive awareness of life, from the gruelling shadowy layers to the blindly interwoven light. All of it, see all of it, feel all of it, and just hold it quietly without judgment or reaction. This is how I feel. I am embodying a profound peace. Grounded, with deep roots. The only word I have been able to associate with these past 12 days is Calm. All anxiety, restlessness, and mindless tiks have ceased to exist. Peace. So much has happened. What I went through in initiation was insane (more to come on this later). These people are crazy. It's not called a rite of passage for nothing. This is hardcore stuff. The villagers I stayed with, whom are now part of my family, and I theirs, are the strongest people I have ever met. And many of the them, being Babongo (Pygmea), don't stand taller than my shoulders. The conditions they live in, have bred staunch genetics. I can hardly describe these conditions, needless to say it has been a necessary state change for my perspective on things. The process itself involved a 5 day ceremony of rituals. It brought up fears I knew I had, and forced me to confront them in the way that most rites of passages do, without any option of distraction, ever, taking me to a place of bending, breaking and now blending. The specific rituals utilised in the ceremony were foreign and strange to me, without understanding more about the culture, the language, the customs, and the spiritual beliefs it was challenging to bring personal meaning to aspects of the ceremony. The collective energy of the whole village, however, who are all heavily involved in the Initiation, guided me, and thanks to the Eboga I was able to communicate and perceive by means of other senses.

There is still so much for me to ground in and integrate. Thankfully, I am in a really good place to do just that. Reflections are fresh and I feel shiny and new. My eyes are clear blue, I haven't seen them this pristinely for many, many years. After most entheogenic medicine experiences, the eyes take on a clarity, reflective of the inner world, but I've found it fades within the week.


Nothing lasts, nothing is lost, no-thing stays the same. I spent at least 1 month solidly preparing for Initiation, and was focused on it for 6 months prior. The more you put in the more you get out. I believe this to be mathematically sound. Living in an exponential reality where life expands or contracts (you get to chose) at a multiplying rate. Where energy goes, energy goes there even more. And due to the nature of duality, life is expanding exponentially in multiple directions, simultanesouly, seeking constant balance. Waking the fuck up and surfing the cosmos requires mad skillz. I find yoga helps keep equilibrium. So does meditation. Preparation has been my focus all year, and in my moments of struggle I was able to utilse the meditation techniques I have been training in this year. Now, my focus is integration, probably for the rest of the year. I was taken to the edge of my edge and allowed myself to completely surrender into a state of fear, pain and harrowing discomfort, merging with infinity. In timelessness I accepted myself completely, not because I wanted to, I didn't, I never have quite been able to, it was just the only way, and life always finds a way.

Blessing up from rock bottom.

But first, becoming rock bottom. Rather than finding the light to call me forward, I found myself as a broken, hopeless (literally without hope - this was key), destroyed human being, a fragment of consciousness trapped in an illusion of distraction and motion. Living in a state of constant agitation. Eyes on the horizon. Never here. Living in a world with so few people actually here.

So here I became, and here I stand.

Time ceased to exist, and I was suspended here for ever-more. The ritual itself felt like a form of torture and madness, so here was a horrible place to be, inside and out. What caused the most pain however was my own resistance. Looking for the end. Projecting forward. Hoping. Wishing for a different ending. Nowhere to go, nothing to do. The feet feel the feet, by feeling the ground. I got to know the ground really well, living in the dirt, now I know what I stand on, now I know what I am. By accepting myself completely in the dirt, in the jungle, learning to not expect or desire anything, albeit covered in my pain and suffering, I experienced myself transcend pain into peace. I have experienced fleeting moments of this during silent meditation retreats, but this was different; I arrived. Once I REALLY allowed myself to go there, to just die already, give up, there was not a moment that I continued to experience suffering. Pain yes, but pain without suffering. Peace. It wasn't quite what I would call ego death, it was more like total ego integration. I thought I needed things to be gentle, I thought my healing looked different; insert images of loving sisters and mothers tending to my wounds. I know so little, a grasshopper padwan. Over and over this quote came to mind: "I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong. To measure yourself at least once. To find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions. Facing the blind death stone alone, with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head." I am handing myself over to trust. Fears not here I kicked out doubt, so I have no excuse to hide or run. Everything is perfectly on track, in its place. Utter genius. The matrix is hackable. Life is unwritten. Manifesting the unmanifest.

<3 Mbiambié.

#iboga #mabanji #Gabon #initiation #plantmedicine #riteofpassage #entheogen #banzi #eboga

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