Life: The Most Beautiful Ceremony w/ Huaira | AMP 413

By Aubrey Marcus May 17, 2023

Life: The Most Beautiful Ceremony w/ Huaira | AMP 413

Huaira is a musician, a medicine woman, and a chosen sister of mine in this life and any other.

While I could try to describe her, why not let her explain her story in her own words:

I have been part of the Itzachilatlan Sacred Fire for the past 9 years. This is where I was first introduced to the red path traditions and the Toltec civilization. I did my vision quests in Ecuador in the temple of Urcupacha under the guide of my Taita Arturo Chiriboga. After finishing my 4 vision quests I did my first sundance in the same land. I’m part of the collective Mujeres De Luna, (songs, knowledge and origins) women who have changed my life by the way of being guided by the beating of a drum singing all together in gratitude!

I’m a mestiza woman who is finding her roots in the relationship to life. I’m a mama of 2 teeangers. Beyond my skin color or the family I was born in. I recognize myself as an indigenous woman. Daughter of this sun and this earth! Related to all! Alive because of everything that sustains my life! Completely in reverence to the sacred spirits that give me life!

All these rites of passage have taken me deeper into knowing myself a little more, so that I may really be in service of the greater purpose. I carry close to my heart the memory of the warriors that have been here before us– we all carry them in our blood! I surrender with great respect to all the carriers and keepers of the traditional ways. I also consider myself a translator, bridging the ideas of the old world, with the new emerging world we are building together. All I can talk about is what I have experienced–and through my flesh and breath things are shifting . I know that the mystery is holding space for all our relations.


HUAIRA: Self-love is the best activism that we can plant. How can I generate this space of truthiness? And how can I liberate my myself from the judgment? And how can we get in tune with the cycles, the natural cycles, the places where we can all be ourselves, where we can all express ourselves in our truthiness. And the moment we are really tapping into that space of our gift, of what we've really come here to share, and express this in this lifetime experience as this human body that we have, I see that as like the greatest ceremony of them all.

AUBREY: Huaira is a musician, a medicine woman, and more important than all of that, she is my sister. I have a deep love for Huaira and the way that she walks on her path. And in this podcast, we get to tell stories of her own journey on the medicine path. But instead of me telling you about Huaira, I'm going to let Huaira tell you about herself in Huaira's words. I have been part of the Itzachilatlan Sacred Fire for the past 9 years. This is where I was first introduced to the red path traditions and the Toltec civilization. I did my vision quests in Ecuador in the temple of Urcupacha under the guide of my Taita, Arturo Chiriboga. After finishing my 4 vision quests, I did my first sundance in the same land. I am part of the collective, Mujeres De Luna, (songs, knowledge and origins) women who have changed my life by the way of relating our beings, guided by the beating of a drum, singing all together in gratitude. I’m a mestiza woman from Ecuador who is finding her roots in the relationship to life. I’m a mama of 2 teenagers. Beyond my skin color or the family I was born in, I recognize myself as an indigenous woman. Daughter of this sun and this earth, related to all. Alive because of everything that sustains my life. Completely dependent on the sacred spirits that give me life. All these rites of passage have taken me deeper into knowing myself a little bit more. If I want to really be in service of the greater purpose of my life. The memory of the warriors that have been here before us is in our blood. I surrender with great respect to all the carriers and keepers of tradition. I also consider myself a translator in many ways. Because all I can talk about is what I have experienced through my flesh and breath as things are continually shifting. And I know that the mystery is holding space for us all. So without further ado, podcast with my sister, Huaira. Often I like to lead into these podcasts, just to set the frequency, with a song. So that the song sets a frequency and the intention of letting these words be medicine for whoever hears them. So, if you're up to share any song that comes from your heart, then we'll start with that.

HUAIRA: It's a beautiful drum.

AUBREY: Yeah, ready?

HUAIRA: Mm-hmm.

AUBREY: Right before you started singing that, I heard that song in my head. I didn't know what song you were going to sing. And I could hear that song in my head. Now, of course, it is one of my favorite songs of yours. So maybe you could say, of course it was that song. But maybe you could say that actually we were tuned into the frequency, and that was the song that was needed for that very moment. It was the puzzle piece that fit right into the puzzle of this conversation, and setting the intention for this podcast Both.

HUAIRA: Yeah, both.

AUBREY: Yeah. Speaking of that, so I was familiar with your music, really drawn to it from the first time and it was probably Spotify recommendations, honestly. That's how it came in. Maybe, I don't know, I got turned on to Rodrigo Gallardo. And I think I had a playlist working with him. And then some of your music came on. I was like, "Oh, wow, I love this." And then I explored down your whole artist profile. Then a very serendipitous thing happened. We're in Greece, traveling around the Greek islands, my friends. And we pull up to Scorpios in Mykonos. And then I see a woman and a man get up on stage. And then I hear this song, and I'm like, oh. I've been listening to Huaira for a long time, and I get to my phone, and I was like, yeah, yeah. And what I really appreciated about that, Scorpios is a party environment. I mean, bottles of alcohol and whatever other substances are going on there. But what you were offering was not just what a DJ would offer, you were kind of the shaman of the frequency of the music that was playing there. And even though everybody was partying, you were just laying in this tone of, yeah, have fun, but here's the medicine. And the medicine allows all the joy, all the laughter, all the love, all the sexiness. All of it is all contained in it, but I'm going to put out this frequency that everybody can enjoy. It's like when the when the ocean puts out that calm water with little bitty waves that everybody can play in, not like the crashing ones that are going to destroy people and put them on [inaudible 09:16], but just frequency. And at that moment, I was like, man, I've got to find a way to get to know Huaira, and get to experience what she has to offer. And as that's happened, of course, I've uncovered more and more layers of why I was attracted to your songs, and your music and the energy that you're putting out. So ,it's been a beautiful journey to get us to right here.

HUAIRA: Yeah, I feel very grateful. And as you said in serendipity and what we were talking also yesterday and the magical ways that things unravel, whether we want to say that it was a magical event that we were all actually the protagonists, and then the makers, just as when we say we're the dreamers, and we're also the ones that have been living this dream, no? Definitely, I can tap into what you're saying. We perform in many different places. And obviously, a lot of those venues are party scenes. It's a place where a lot of things are happening all at once. And I've definitely felt the power of what we're bringing. Because of also where it came. Like when I'm singing these songs, most of them have come during medicine ceremonies. Like this one specifically that I just sang, "Ochiemay" that you like so much, I also love it a lot. It also came while I was drinking medicine, and I feel that it's a way of bringing that possibility, and that vibration, and that frequency through a very common language, which is sound, and dance, and celebration. So, it is an opportunity to share that, because a lot of people don't get the possibility maybe to sit in the ceremony. But in a way, I feel that, especially when the container is very clear, I've seen the ship far in the sky, like as we did a few days ago. And everybody's very in tune to what we're doing together. So, yeah, thank you for your words. I really appreciate it.

AUBREY: Yeah, for sure. For sure. I think the ability to take something, that you were able to allow this music to move through your own body and your own unique mind through the medicine work that you did, which medicine were you working with when this song came to you?

HUAIRA: Well, this was a night in [inaudible 11:58] house and my sister. Amalia. We drank ayahuasca during the night, and we had a lot of San Pedro that we needed to peel for another ceremony. So, they all went to bed and Karenina and I stayed awake, and Karenina was like, "Should we start peeling the medicine?" So we drank more ayahuasca and we start peeling the San Pedro.

AUBREY: Drinking ayahuasca and peeling San Pedro, peeling Huachuma, that is a powerful process.

HUAIRA: And this song came in that moment. I was seeing all these crystals in my hand.

AUBREY: Let's pause. That's the coolest origin story for a song. "Yeah, so we drank some more ayahuasca and went to work peeling the huachuma, and then this song came to me." Just thank you.

HUAIRA: I mean, yeah, it can sound extraordinary in that sense. But also when your life is guided in this way where the medicines are available in our daily basis, because for a long period of my life, it was very close to me. Now, I've been away from my career for a while, and it's not something as it was before, that it was very, as I just mentioned, it was... So that was a very intimate ceremony for us. And then we had to continue the work. So, it's actually a song that is inspired in Ikaro by Maestro Olivia from Peru, Shipibo-konibo. And that melody kind of stayed with me with like... It's different. But in that moment, I was so present with the ayahuasca and--

AUBREY: A thousand people just went into an ayahuasca vision, just from hearing you do that for five seconds. They're like, "Oh, God, here we go again."

HUAIRA: Yes, well, that is the power of the music.

AUBREY: Yes, it is.

HUAIRA: Because it's something that is imprinted in our waters. And that vibration that has moved us in certain ways, can take us back to any memory. And that's why it's so medicinal too, because we get to experience that vibration in ourselves. So, yeah, I feel very honored that I have had very beautiful possibilities to sit with the medicine and family where I've felt so comfortable and open that I was a very clear channel to receive too.

AUBREY: Yeah, one of the things that... I've really been feeling this, and I even wrote a long time ago a blog, back when I was writing blog posts, and I didn't have a podcast yet. And it was called Party With Your Third Eye Open. And it was basically the idea that we have this distinction of, "Oh, I'm going to go party," which means I'm going to close everything down, I'm going to inebriate myself in a way where I see less and less of the world. My inhibitions are gone, everything is there. It's just the immediate thing in front of me. So it's a closing of your consciousness. And that's one way to do it, and there's certain applications for it. Alcohol is certainly helpful in that regard in some ways, but it doesn't have to be used in that regard. It can actually open if you want, it's a lot about intention. But the idea that people who are actually, oh, you're at Scorpios, you're partying can't have a medicine ceremony in the party. I mean, this is what Burning Man collapses as well, right? It's like this idea of what is medicine, what is party, what is celebration? And ultimately, it's an invitation to celebrating life. And that's the way that I like to party, every time I party. If I'm partying, you're going to probably find the best version of Aubrey that you've ever found. If you catch me partying, I'm going to be the clearest and the most heart forward, and the most present actually. Because that's what's fun is being alive--

HUAIRA: Celebration.

AUBREY: Not being less than, being more, being more open, open to the sounds, open to the people around you. So that's when I want to get in. And I think when you go to one of those other type of clubs, which I've been in many clubs, and I like clubs. Just heavy music, and people are all drunk, and there's a lot of other energies, maybe you do want to close your energy field down a little bit, and you want to kind of protect yourself a little bit. So, the intoxicants protect yourself a little bit, and you kind of create a protected layer. And that's fine. No judgment for that path. I've done that many times myself. But the real celebration that tapping into a frequency like your music provides of just here we are with life, there's this medicine music going, and it's hitting my body, and I'm dancing, and I'm laughing, it's a natural expression that you have. It's one of the things I really love about you in totality as a human, is the joy, is life. It's like you were like an embodiment of Life. Life is living through you.

HUAIRA: That's cool. Gracias.

AUBREY: Yeah. When you allow your body and your waters to return to Mama, returned to Earth, Mama will know this one, this child, this daughter, she lived. She lived, she was alive. She was alive. And in that, in your memory as your soul, as you remember this life, and you have Huaira as your costume, as your identity for this life, and the soul's long journey through many lives, you say, "Ah, that Huaira, she lived. She lived in a beautiful way."

HUAIRA: Yes, I have a beautiful life. I do. All I can really express every day from, like yeah, I feel so much gratitude. And I feel that's also why I've been given so many gifts by the Spirit too, because I am allowing myself to be in that space of gratitude. Where I can't deny the magic that I can witness everyday, I can't. It's just impossible. I laugh at myself. I'm like, "I am seeing this. Are we all seeing this?" Yes, we are. Thank you. And it's just like that. I feel that we are somehow, with all the information and all this input that we're having all the time, so much information that is coming, and propaganda, and everywhere we go, there's images in our phones and social media. We've forgotten in a way to be present with these cycles of nature, where the ultimate abundance and the ultimate freedom and all the magic is supported by itself because it's just wanting to be life. And yeah, I feel definitely that is something with, as a personal purpose with my art and my music that I want to go deep in. I feel that in this moment, I am going to go on a deep journey. I'm asking for it. I want to have like a retreat moment for myself to receive too, because... And not that I'm not when I'm giving, but it's because there's that continuous [inaudible 19:34] as we call it, which is this--

AUBREY: Reciprocity.

HUAIRA: Reciprocity as our breath, we inhale and exhale.

AUBREY: That's a Quechua word [inaudible 19:41]. Quechua word for reciprocity. It's a very important word, it's a very important concept.


AUBREY: It's actually one of the original principles, I think, of the cosmos.

HUAIRA: Yes, it's what it's based on. And when I think about it, I feel it's like our breathing. It's like the constant flow of this energy of receiving and giving. And while I'm giving, I'm receiving it all.

AUBREY: Yeah, balance.

HUAIRA: So, I'm reaching this moment right now where I also want to like say it and be the one that is told kind of like what to do, and now you're going... Let's do this and let's try this, in real estate, in the student chair for a little bit also, and having--

AUBREY: You never... Every master, every master I know still is a student.

HUAIRA: Yes, continuous.

AUBREY: That's what distinguishes, I actually think, one of the stale masters from like one of the really alive mystics. A master can study, study, study, experience, experience, know something, but the moment they think they know everything, they've gotten almost like calcified, fossilized, and the life is not moving through them anymore. So the student is the regeneration, it's the spring water that comes in and softens all the hard parts and then evolves, allows new things to grow. Maybe there's a whole new horn that grows out of your concept that you... "Wow, how did that even happen?" Well, because life got in there and made a unicorn horn in your idea, and now you have to deal with this concept. So yeah, that's obviously, that is the path. It's learning, finding your own mastery, but allowing it to, again, life to flow through you. And death, death as a part of life.

HUAIRA: Yes, it has to happen, so that we can shed our skin and we can shift in however we want to now experience ourselves, because the more we get to... I'm very reflective with myself. I'm the whole time questioning a lot of things and not with judgment. That's why I get to also shake it and be like, okay, well, that just happened. It's okay. But I love this space where I get to really question and observe myself from different places. I will do exercises where I will literally see myself from this side. And then I see myself from behind, while I'm doing a certain action. And I'm like, okay, kind of like detach from this right now. Like feel it from somewhere else as if you are observing yourself. And, yeah, and fill in... Yeah.

AUBREY: Well, you do that as a tool. So, it's important to consciously do that as a tool to be able to be the witness of yourself and say, oh, look, the Aubrey is worried about this. The Aubrey is going through this process, the Aubrey is doing this. So, it's a very important practice. However, the magic comes when you collapse that observer, because oftentimes, we have a very toxic version of that observer, that's looking and saying, you're not pretty enough, you're not good enough, you're not doing enough, this is wrong. It's a judgment voice. So we have that witness perspective, or even super ego, as Freud would call it. Like the witness perspective over the ego of ourselves, looking and judging and poking and picking. But really, when the real magic, when you're singing of course, and when you're in presence, all of that collapses. And you are just expressing everything. All of the observer comes right into the present moment. In the present moment that transmission becomes magic.

HUAIRA: Yes, and it's so healing for me. When I'm singing, it's when I feel the most present I can say, because I cannot put anything in between. Because I see it as not even... The voice that is coming through me, yes, it's a voice that is manifesting through this vessel. But somehow it's not even mine, it's just coming through me. And that's why it just goes with the breath. It's gone. And yeah, I find it very nurturing to be like in that state of the witnessing. But you know, what we were reflecting on also yesterday, when I was saying, we are the ones that are seeing it all the time. We are the ultimate witness, because through us, all the manifestation of whatever we are creating within our own world is happening in front of us. We cannot deny it. There is no way that I can close my eyes and not see. It's beyond our understanding. So yeah, this is why I love encouraging people to sing. And that's why I love sharing those workshops, too, because I feel that we are so afraid of expressing ourselves beyond singing, because it's not about if I'm singing in tune or not. It's expression. And we are afraid to express, yet we're talking all the time. But then when we really have to express something that comes from our heart, there is this like, kind of oh, I'd rather--

AUBREY: The judge.

HUAIRA: Closing, and maybe what I'm going to say it's not that interesting. Or if I'm going to say this, and then maybe I said this, and it wasn't that bueno, all these things. And I feel that a lot of our blockages are very like imprinted, yeah, of course in our body, and that's why we don't get to open up and...

AUBREY: Yeah, let yourself sing. Let your whole expression, let the emanation of your entire energy, sing the song. One of my friends and teachers, he has a channel named Paul Selig. He channels from the guides, and the guides say, we will sing your song for you until you remember the words. What are they saying? They're saying, it's the vibration of life, just allowing that to sing. And what blocks that? What's the block to that is that judgmental piece. And that's one of the things that I appreciate about you as a medicine woman as well. Even though we haven't sat in ceremony you poured water for us yesterday at a very beautiful lodge, that's a part of your tradition. And I want to talk about that as well. How you receive the [inaudible 26:24] and the whole process of pouring sweat. But one of the things that I really appreciated, and I continue to appreciate about you is this feeling of non-judgment, where you're not holding anything in judgment. And I was laughing at the sweat lodge yesterday that you poured, which was a combination of your Temazcal tradition and the Inípi EP tradition. We had some Sun dance, and Eagle dancer and some people here supporting. It was a beautiful blend. It was like condor eagle prophecy happening live on our land. It was really beautiful. But you said, you talked about some of your initiations, and people were asking if they could bring water into the lodge. And he said, no, no water in the lodge but if you need to go out, you can drink water. And you just gently reminded, he said, in my tradition, we go to the mountain for four days without any water. And then after the fourth day, we are served medicine, which is still no water. But if you want medicine, you can drink the medicine, which is Huachuma I think, at that point. And that's for another three days. But if you need water in this next hour and a half, go for it. But it was such a cool way to say I won't judge you at all. And you say it with such love. I won't judge you at all, if you need water in this next three hours. Just let it be known that for seven days, I go up on the mountain and I don't drink any water. And everybody's like, man, all right. Well, I guess if she could do it for seven days, I can probably do it for a few hours. I couldn't by the way. I had to get out after door too and drink some water. Because I was so thirsty. And I definitely want to talk about that more. So, I really just want to first open up the concept of non-judgement. And then I want to talk more about the process of the lodge. But let's just talk about this attitude, this feeling of not being in judgment. Judgment as a poison in a way. Discretion important. I should do this, maybe not this. This is helpful, this is not helpful. Discretion, always discretion. The sword of discretion needs to be gleaming and sharp, sword of discretion, but not judgment. We don't need judgment.

HUAIRA: Yeah. Well, while you're talking about this, it reminded me of the words of Carmen Vicente, another beautiful medicine woman from Ecuador. And I heard her once saying that she's always inspired, because she's inspired by what she doesn't want to repeat. And she's also inspired by what she does want to repeat. And she said, with those eyes, everywhere you look and everyone you see is inspiration. I mean, yes, it's like, I feel judgment comes... I mean, obviously it comes from this space of thinking that things could be done in the way we want, first to begin. Because why would I even question what this other person is doing, or what is already happening. But I have this perspective, from my own personal experience, in my own eyes that are witnessing this situation that this could be done differently. And we get entangled in that place where we're actually just having a reflection of ourselves, because if there's something that is triggering you and you're able to judge it, it's because something in that is resonating very deeply in you that you can even see it. Because the eyes of the ones that it is in completely in love with existence is not coming with that, that eye is questioning the expression of another being. Because, actually I celebrate when people get to talk, get to sing, get to do something. I'm like, "Yes, that is beautiful." And how beautiful that you get to be inspired also by maybe my many words. I love talking, I am a storyteller. I am a simultaneous translator too. So, I'm always very aware of the words that have been said, and I'm very present with what it's been said. And then I feel that a lot of the times people come to me, and then they're also very open to express themselves, and not feel that inner judge from within. And the times where I am feeling that judgment, I do go inside of myself, and I question, what is happening here? What is really happening within myself that I get to see this?

AUBREY: And that's the important process, right? It's take the judgment, and then bring it inside as an introspective process.


AUBREY: What is this judgment illuminating about myself? Because one of the big problems is that we have this externalized idea of the judge, and what is good and what is bad. And some of this comes from this Christian theology, in many ways. So, it's like a judgmental god, who's, this is right, this is wrong, this is right, this is wrong. And this is not just Christian. It's in many different religions and many different traditions. Even First Nations traditions have some judgment. We were laughing outside about some judgments about a woman being on her moon.


AUBREY: It's no different than the Yahweh, Judeo Christian God that's judging. There's these ideas that can come from an external source. And maybe there is some general wisdom behind it, maybe not. Maybe it was manipulation for power. A lot of things can come. So there's these ideas that can either come from a tradition, or it can come from a religion about a god, or it could come from culture. And so this external judge, again, external judge being religion, being a tradition, or just being this invisible god of culture, which says, this is beautiful, see how many likes this person has, see them on the cover of the magazine, see them doing this? This is our god, this is what's important. And God says that this thing, the way that you look right here, that's not beautiful. The breasts that are this size? Nope, that's not... All of these things. Subconsciously, there's an external judge, that is preventing us from expressing our true song of our own beauty, of our own life.


AUBREY: And so, it's like getting back to the inside. No, no, no, you are participating in the divine force. If you're doing it, if you really tap in, god is seeing through your eyes. God is whispering through your mouth. That moment where you feel that it's participation with life, participation with the divine. And then holding gently all of these religions and traditions and testing them to see, does this resonate in my own body? Is this really true? Where is this coming from? Is this from me? Or is this from an external god, the invisible god of culture, or the god of tradition, or religion, and being able to distinguish the two. So important.

HUAIRA: It is important, it is. I mean, especially because we are living as a collective in this human experience. I am very clear that the best work we can do is to go very deep in ourselves. That's the best way we can support the wholeness. I repeat this often because I've found that really, self-love is the best activism that we can plant. How can I generate this this space of truthiness? And how can I liberate myself from the judgment? And how can we get in tune with the cycles, the natural cycles, the places where we can all be ourselves, where we can all express ourselves in our trueness? And the moment we are really tapping into that space of our gift, of what we've really come here to share, and express this in this lifetime experience as this human body that we have, I see that as like the greatest ceremony of them all. I've been in many ceremonies where I'm like, "What should I do?" Paulina would say, "The best thing is to be there, what you're doing right now." Why are you searching what else to do somewhere else? Sit and pray, or sing. Just be present. That's the best help you can do. So, yeah, I feel that it's very important to ask questions, and to find other places where we can reach for these other information. Maybe if something is not resonating, and is even hurting us in a way, given by yeah, culture or something that has been imprinted, or because of our parents and what they were taught, and then with so much love, they also give it to us, because it came with love, too. And that's why we trust them, we receive it. But it's important to have that personal space with ourselves so that we can get to ask the important questions that will lead us to a bigger spectrum.

AUBREY: So I referenced it. And I've done my own processes of being in isolation, but not without food or water. I've never done a long vision quest type of practice. But I spent six days in the darkness. Absolute silence, isolation, blackness. Not dark, blackness. No light. And you really get to know yourself in those experiences. But in your tradition, back home in Ecuador, you have a four, seven, nine, and 13-day vision quest process. In that process, I'm sure you really get to know yourself well. So tell us about that process, what it is, what you guys do, and then how that helps you illuminate those parts of yourself that you can actually see when everything else in the world kind of goes out of focus, and all there is you and the mountain. And you.

HUAIRA: Well, we say that we go to the mountain to rest. I didn't really understand that the first year I went.

AUBREY: And the mountain is, for everybody who knows, the mountain is the place where you do the vision quest.

HUAIRA: Yes, well, I did it in Ecuador. The north of Ecuador in a Imbabura province, in Urcupacha it's called, the land where we do it. That's where our ceremonial land and where the Sun dance is happening, and the Spirit dance too, and the vision quest. So, I drink ayahuasca in March for my birthday that year, and on that August, I was already in the mountain. Because I met this beautiful woman, and I say, I just want to do this, like I want to do this, I want to be with them, and I want to understand what this is about. So, you go to the mountain for four nights, four days, the first year. You have to prepare your bundles of tobacco, your prayers. And you're planted in in a place in the mountain. Many vision questers are in the mountain, but we each have our own space. And they put this, bundles of tobacco around you, like a [inaudible 38:30]. I don't know how to say it... A corral. So you cannot leave that space. It's not that you're wandering in the mountain, you're inside a specific place with your blanket. And we did bring mosquito nets because there's a lot of mosquitoes there. I felt that year I was going to die. I did feel that very deeply, profoundly. I was really thirsty.

AUBREY: No. You have the feeling that you are going to die spiritually? Not physically, right?

HUAIRA: No, physically. The first year? Yes.

AUBREY: You were like, This is it, I'm out of here. Huaira checks out.

HUAIRA: No, yes, I felt it was very strong. I did feel it was like that. And then when I talk about it, I was like, "Oh, I was very dramatic that year." I was suffering, I was not just like being present with the pain, but like really holding on to it. And creating stories also with it, you know? But before going to the mountain, Mama [inaudible 39:39], a beautiful woman, she shared something with me. And she said, remember Huaira, it takes a little bit of breath to survive, but it takes a lot to leave. And I found myself on that floor just like gasping.

AUBREY: So, were you suicidal? Were you thinking of taking your life?


AUBREY: You just thought that maybe this is the end.

HUAIRA: No, how would I... Life was being taken from me. That's what you go to do there, is to realize how fragile you are. We talk all the time about we're independent... What is this word? So, it's the art of sustainability, we say that. But yet we are dependent on water, air, fire and soil. We are not, we are here because of that. Because of this four masters, spirits that help life, that make it possible. So, you go there to realize that fragility, and how if you don't have that around, you will die. And in the times we're living, it's such a good reminder, because we take things for granted. We open the tap, the water's there just dripping.

AUBREY: That's something you said yesterday when you were pouring sweat, you said, "Most people don't actually know the sensation of being thirsty." Not in our culture and the culture of people listening this podcast right now. Now across the world, there's many places where thirst is a big deal. And clean water, maybe you can quench your thirst but that water is not clean. The water carries disease, the water is... And this is one of the great inequities and tragedies of our world now is that there's a whole group of people who, we can get all the water we want. We never have to be thirsty. But we don't get the lessons that comes from being thirsty, and we don't get the appreciation for water. That element that actually is necessary for all life. When we look for life on another planet, we look if is there water.

HUAIRA: Is there water?

AUBREY: We're like, "Well, there's water there, so there's life." Like when we discovered there was ice on Mars, I think we discovered that at least. It was like, oh man, there may be life there. There's obviously life I think in many places, but the water and that discrepancy and to just remind ourselves that for a lot of us, unless we've done a vision quest, a dry fast, we may not really know what it's like to even be thirsty, or even be hungry. Like really hungry?

HUAIRA: No, yeah, we haven't experienced--

AUBREY: Because we'll experience, like, "Oh, yeah, I'm hungry."

HUAIRA: "I'm starving."

AUBREY: "I'm starving." People say... How offensive? "I'm starving." No, you're not. You can fast for 40 fucking days if you want. Many people have done that.

HUAIRA: But also, because of our culture, we've generated this situation where you have to eat three times a day, and like all these things. I fast on my daily basis a lot. I eat once a day many times, or two, and I feel really good. I eat when the day comes that, okay, right now I want to eat, and I cook. And we eat. We cook a lot in our house, we cook all the time, we always eat what we cook. And so, I feel that also having these opportunities where you really get to surrender and realize that all you require... Actually, all you require, is that, because that is the biggest lesson I've received in the mount, how much drama and stories we put around things that really, they don't have even meaning sometimes. We go in this games in our head, when we're really tapping into just this possibility of drinking our water and doing our things, and being present with the sunrise and the sunset as it was back then. People used to be, that was their cycle in the day. People would wake up for sunrise, do their things and go to sleep when the sun was up. And it was simple. And, I feel problems in relationships for sure were solved easily, much easier than now. Because there was a simplicity and there was an understanding of what was holding the space for our life, and the appreciation that we should have for everything that we have around. So I mean, yes, every time I encounter a vision quester or a Sun dancer or someone that I know has given themselves that opportunity of that fasting, it's a little one, it's not that much from... A lot of people even they're like, "I don't think I can do that. 13 days without being in my work?" We've become this, "Oh, let me check on my schedule--"

AUBREY: Slaves. Slaves to time.

HUAIRA: Yes, yes.

AUBREY: Where really time is our master. "Yes, Master. Yes, Master time."

HUAIRA: Wrapped around our wrist.

AUBREY: Yeah, exactly. Bound completely. Like a submissive little slave to time. And we'll use our language to actually reify, and make that even more real. "I have to," "I can't." I have to, I can't, I have to, I can't. Really? Well, who's the master? And sometimes, yes, I understand you have a job, and you need the salary because the salary pays for the house, and it gets the groceries. I understand that there's sometimes things that you have to do. But we use that way too much, just like we use the word starving. We say, "I have to go to this party," or "I have to go to this wedding." No, you don't. "I have to go," "I have to..." No, you don't. You get to. You get to. And even if it's something that you actually do have to do, because sometimes it's something, you have to file your taxes, you have to... There's things you have to do, I understand. But there's another way to even talk about it, which is, I get to. And it's a reclamation of your own sovereignty, and saying, no, no, I'm the master. Time is not the master. This other thing is not the master. And yes, I accept, and I surrender and I submit to what actually must be done. That's okay. Just like life, I have to breathe.


AUBREY: I actually have to, but I get to breathe. [inaudible 46:14] respiration, it's the same word. Spirit, breath. It's all the same words. So, it's like I have to breathe. Yes, you have to breathe, but you get to breathe.

HUAIRA: It's magical.

AUBREY: That's a big difference to just change that from I have to to I get to. I get to go to work. You know how many people don't have jobs? I get to go to work. Instead of I have to go to sleep, I get to go to sleep. Imagine some operator in a war torn country, is like, "I would really love to sleep." But they can't. "I get to go to sleep." Appreciation.

HUAIRA: Yes, appreciation and gratitude. And definitely the time shows... "The time." The mountain shows you the eternity of time too.

AUBREY: The mountain is an eternity of time. It's the solid state of the eternity of time.

HUAIRA: Yeah, the trees are there all day, the spider that you see, it's there in front of you for hours, and hours and hours and hours and hours, not moving. And yet your mind has already went and gone back a million times, and she's still there. She's still there. And you go there to contemplate, to contemplate yourself and be present in that timeless experience.

AUBREY: So tell us, tell us once again, about just the structure of this vision quest initiation that you went through, the four days, the seven days. What you do, how it happens. Go into the whole thing.

HUAIRA: So, the first year you go for four nights, four days. You fast from water, food, and word. You also don't speak a word while you're there. Nothing out loud. And--

AUBREY: No food, no water, no words.

HUAIRA: Mm-hmm, you're in silence. Contemplating. And it's called a vision quest, because you go to see yourself. Because if you don't know the observer, you cannot see what you're looking at. And so the first year, the door that opens is the east direction. And it's the humble, humbleness, humility. The second year, so you go to the mountain for four nights, four days, and then they come and pick you up and bring you down. You go into the mescaline, that's where they give you back your word. And they give you your water. The second year, you go for seven nights, seven days.

AUBREY: Let's just pause on the first year, because to me, I can't... That's again the wrong language, right? It would make me very uncomfortable to not have water during the night. I wake up, I'm thirsty. I drink. I always have water by my bed. So, I've never fasted from water. Except for different periods and different sweats or things where I push myself. But that in and of itself is something for me, personally, I've done many different powerful journeys, initiation ceremonies, climbed frozen mountains, and been in the darkness and medicine ceremonies, Iboga and all of these different things. But four days without... And I've done four days without food, but four days without water. Oh man, that scares me. That scares me. I'm scared, honestly. I'm scared. So, that's just year one for you. But I want to talk about for you, was that easy? Or was that also... Were you also scared?

HUAIRA: As I said, I thought I was going to die.

AUBREY: During the experience or before?

HUAIRA: During. Before, I didn't know what I was putting myself into. I was nervous, obviously. But I didn't know what I was putting... I didn't know. You don't. And that's the magic of it. Because you do come back. And again, you open that same door in order to go to the next one.

AUBREY: So the first year... So when you made that comment that you thought you were going to die, now you think, "I was being dramatic." But the first year, because I would think I was going to die. For sure.

HUAIRA: No, no, you will. If that's what you're calling for, you die. You literally do that. It happens that you feel that it's very strong, especially because we're used to this. We drink the water and we have... So, to have that experience, it really takes you to a place also to realize how strong you also are, and how much water you already have inside. I was crying till the last day. I had so many tears pouring from my eyes. I was like, wow, I still get to pee every day, and I'm crying. Wow, this is incredible. So, yeah, you open that door. And what is also beautiful is that once you open the door, what it's been asked, and it's also been advised, like as an advise, is to commit to the four years. Once you open it, so close it. Do this, because there's a reason why they go together. And I could definitely see how when I did my second year, I could see things from the first year that I didn't see on the first year, because now I got to stay those other three days, and I could look back at what just happened.

AUBREY: Yeah. So, let's go back to this first year. You haven't experienced... At what day if you can remember, what day did you start to think, I'm going to die?

HUAIRA: The third.

AUBREY: The third day, day three. The third door is always the hardest. So, day three, "I'm going to die." And I remember for me in the darkness, that I was wrestling with, I could just leave, I could just go to the light.

HUAIRA: Us too.

AUBREY: Did you have thoughts like, "I'm going to go down the mountain." I'm going to walk down the mountain--

HUAIRA: Yes, we can do that.

AUBREY: "I'm going to drink this water. I can't do this." How much did you have to wrestle with that part of you that wanted to leave the mountain?

HUAIRA: I mean, a part of me, I was so exhausted. I was on the floor, that I was like, to think that I have to go down now, and grab all my prayers and everything, how would I even do it? It was just like, I'm going to stay here till they come. But I also committed myself. I was like, "I'm going to do this. There's no way I'm going to come down. I'm doing this. I'm committed and I'm going to fulfill my word. I'll do it". And it's also beautiful, because there's a lot of vision questers in the mountain that are doing this. We're all doing it together. And there's the family that is in the camp that are holding with so much energy and love, this. There's a fire that is on for 15 days. Day and night. Always. The first one that eats and drinks is the fire every day, at every meal. There's ceremonies happening. There is, the mezcal is happening. They sing at sunrise, and they sing at sunset, and the wind is facing your way--

AUBREY: Could you hear them from the mountain?

HUAIRA: You would hear it. You would hear the drums and the singing, and it's like, "Good morning, vision questers." Another day comes. And oh, they're eating for you, and drinking for you. So, it shows you that, well, the community work. If there's people in the mountain, there is hope, because there's a family working together. There's a family that is getting together to do a work every day, seeing each other's faces and committing to a prayer, a same purpose. And this is why we say that we go to rest. Because we go and we lay down under a tree, and everything stops for a little bit. It's interesting because even though you're in the most immense silence, our mind is always so present. So, it's beautiful to then go back and see how you can also train yourself to be in that space of uncomfortableness and yet perceive the magic. Like that third day, when I was thinking that I was going to die, I saw a fox. And I was like, wow, and I was naked. Super hot Ecuador, August, in the mountain. Hot, hot, hot. I was naked on my knees. And there was a fox, and I had my tobacco, because you bring out tobacco that is guarding your word. Once you come down, you light it and that's when you speak. And I sat with my tobacco, and I was just like... You don't light it, but I was receiving the flavor of the flowers, just like... [inaudible 55:17] the fox smells, like wow, I could see. I'm sure it was a female fox. But we were looking into each other's eyes, and it was, what a poetry. The mountain definitely brings you to that blissful, poetic existence of life. Like going back to that, the womb, as we see now the lamb in that tree. Like you go back there to rest in the mama's womb, and be held by everything, you know?

AUBREY: Yeah. Yeah. When you take something away, then you realize how precious it is. And it's unfortunate that we sometimes need that. But taking away water, and people or light, and then you start to really appreciate that thing which you've taken for granted. And that comes... So, alright, so you do this, this is the first year. Challenging, you go back to the sweat lodge at Temazcal. You light the tobacco, you get your word back, you talk to people, you eat, you celebrate. Amazing, amazing achievement and accomplishment. And for any vision questers listening, just for me personally, like mad respect to you. Mad, mad respect, so much respect. Because as I said, I'm scared. And you may think, "Oh, Aubrey, he's done so many things." Well, this is me taking off my garments, and just bowing before everybody, including you, especially you, who's done these vision quest practices. Because I recognize for me how challenging that would be. But that's just the beginning. That's year one of four years. So what happens the second year?

HUAIRA: So the second year, is the worst direction. And it's willingness when the medicine comes, because you're coming back. There's a will that is bringing you back, even though you just experienced something that was very hardcore. You're saying, I'm coming back. So again, the door of the East opens. You get to be thirsty again for four nights, four days. After the four nights and four days, they come and visit you in your tree. And where I did it in Ecuador, they bring Huachuma, San Pedro, and three pieces of fruit. So, like a banana, a piece of watermelon. And a sweet cucumber. That became my favorite fruit for a while. I couldn't even like... I was just smelling her. And I was like, I'm not going to eat it, I'm just going to smell it. And they bring a tobacco too. So they bring all of this with them. They light the tobacco, they smoke it, they bless it, they give it all to you. And then they share the tobacco with you. So if you want to speak, that is the moment to share something that you want to share.

AUBREY: Right.

HUAIRA: And if not, then you smoke and give it back. When I went for my second year, my daughter, Chloe, Amalia, and Patti came to give me my--

AUBREY: Oh, wow.

HUAIRA: Because that's also interesting. I'm in the mountain and my kids are down in the camp. And kids of a lot of vision questers, and it's the family taking care of the kids. Their mama or dada maybe is in the mountain and they're part of. So, they give you the medicine and the three fruits, and they come and pick you up after three more days. So they give you that, and then again, you're alone with your medicine and your fruits for three more nights and days. And, yeah, you haven't drank anything or eaten anything. So you drink that medicine, and it's like a sponge that just, everything in your body just receives it. And you have these two liters that has to last you for three days.

AUBREY: Two liters of Huachuma?

HUAIRA: Two liters of Huachuma, and now you have beautiful... They bring with the flowers, all detail, but you haven't drank anything. I remember my first year doing my, well, when I was doing my second year, I grabbed the button and... I was so thirsty, but it's the medicine, but it's still in a way--

AUBREY: Oh my goodness, you must have been blasted.

HUAIRA: But still it's hydrating you somehow, even though it doesn't take all the thirstiness from you, obviously. But it is pumping you. You haven't taken anything so... And then I passed out, like I just lay on the floor. And I remember waking up in the middle of the night, because then also, because you're so thirsty, you do sleep a lot but it's very... Also your nervous system is very sharp in a way. And then I received the medicine and I rested so well, I slept so much.

AUBREY: Well, and it's very hard opening medicine. So it's bringing this sense, even though you're thirsty and there's signals from your body that's saying, you need to get water, what are you doing? Like you need to get water, you need to get water, like lots of your body is just in revolt. Like, "You are crazy, go get water. I know there's some over there. Leave this fucking tree. What are you doing?"

HUAIRA: Well, you do have dreams like that.

AUBREY: I bet.

HUAIRA: You dream a lot.

AUBREY: Because your body, your cells of your body, the loyal subjects, these billions and trillions of cells are like, "What are you doing?" And you as the sovereign, king or queen of your own consciousness has to go, "It's okay, buddy."

HUAIRA: "It's okay."

AUBREY: "It's okay, we got this."

HUAIRA: "We're actually great."

AUBREY: "We're great. We're going to be even better. Just trust me." And the body's like, "I don't fucking trust you completely, but enough." Then that energy of trust, but of course opening your heart with the Huachuma, I'm sure. And then from there, the heart's open and all the cells are just bathed in that heart energy, and you're like, alright, we're going to be okay.

HUAIRA: I cried that night a lot. I woke up in the middle of the night, and the stars, this is in the middle of the mountain. I remember crying so much. I was in so much gratitude just for the possibility that I was choosing to do this. It was something I was choosing, and I was having a whole family supporting me to do it. So, obviously, yeah, Huachuma, San Pedro, it grows a lot in Ecuador everywhere. Even in the city, in the street, there's like inside a house, just blooming out of their wall. It's like a bunch of cute cactuses. And it's definitely... I mean the visions I have a lot with Huachuma, they're very aquatic somehow. It's very like...

AUBREY: Yeah, yeah. Very good description of the visions on Huachuma by the way. I remember that exactly from the first time I did it. So watery. When my vision, the first time I did Huachuma with Don Howard, I remember, it was like there was this woman, this goddess, with long fingernails, and she was voluptuous and dangerous, and she was just writhing almost like Ursula, or something, like tentacles moving around.

HUAIRA: Yes, very aquatic.

AUBREY: Very aquatic.

HUAIRA: Because well, you can see the cactus, there's so much water in it. Like if you caught a piece of San Pedro and you put it on the ground horizontally, a bunch will start growing. And you think it's drying but it's not, because it's just so juicy inside that it's just, there's life there. These crystals that are just... So yeah, you receive the medicine. And that's what I was saying. When this door opens, you get to witness that first door that you just did four times now. And there's a very interesting perspective you know when you go back to do it. So, the second year that you go, you already know you can do it. I've already been without water for four days, of course I can do it. So, attitude is different.

AUBREY: Less dramatic.

HUAIRA: Less dramatic. I mean, definitely that is something I've learned in this path to be less dramatic, and just the gifts, the gifts in nature to just witness like yeah, the clouds... Just contemplation. When vision questers, we come down from the mountain, you can see the clouds in our eyes. The eye, the light in the eyes of a vision quester is... Because we just go there to contemplate and contemplate and contemplate. There's nothing in between, as It is, with the mystery and the spirit. There's not an intermediate. We are through ourselves talking through it all, and receiving--

AUBREY: Direct experience.

HUAIRA: There's no translator needed. It's beyond--

AUBREY: You don't need a priest to tell you what God's saying. You can talk directly.

HUAIRA: No, yeah. You need to listen.

AUBREY: Yeah. All right. So then, after your second year again, down to the Temazcal, back to the sweat.

HUAIRA: So, you go again with your tobacco the second year. So down, you go to the Temazcal. And they give you your word and water. And that night, when you come down from the seven days, there's that Temazcal ceremony with ayahuasca. That's how they receive you.

AUBREY: Oh boy. Oh, wow.

HUAIRA: That's how it's done. They receive you, because you've concentrated yourself with the medicine in the mountains. So they receive you with the medicine with the family in that Temazcal.

AUBREY: When do you drink ayahuasca? Before the Temazcal, in the--

HUAIRA: In the Temazcal.

AUBREY: Whew. At what door?

HUAIRA: At the beginning. It's a medicine Temazcal. And we drink many times inside. It's a ceremony in the Temazcal.

AUBREY: All right. And then what happens if you have to purge?

HUAIRA: You purge in a bucket but then you take out--

AUBREY: So you have a bucket in the Temazcal. All right. So, how profound was that? Obviously you've done ayahuasca before, so it wasn't your first time doing ayahuasca. But how profound was that to do ayahuasca in the Temazcal, your second year, having gone through the East door for your second time, and then for the first time gone through? Or does it go to the south?

HUAIRA: It goes through the south.

AUBREY: Yeah. So you go through the south door with Huachuma.

HUAIRA: No, the second is West.

AUBREY: East, then West. Okay. So, then second door, West. You go with the Huachuma. And then you do the ayahuasca in the Temazcal. Was that incredibly profound? I mean, what was that experience like?

HUAIRA: Well, it's really funny that you're asking me this. Because what happened to Huairita, is that I came down from my seven days, and with my sisters, we were going to have a very beautiful ceremony with an incredible band of musicians that we admire a lot, that I grew up listening to them. I was a very big fan, and then we became friends. So, the day I was coming down from my seven days, that ceremony was going to happen in Quito. It's so funny that we're talking about this. And Paulina that was pregnant at the time, about to give birth, started bleeding a little bit. And she was living in another city, 12 hours by car. So she couldn't attend the ceremony. But she sent the medicine. And then my sister Amalia had to stay in the Temazcal, because the vision questers were coming down. So I was sent with Paulina's medicine, and Amalia's altar to share the medicine in the night that I arrived. So, I had to take a car and go to the city.

AUBREY: Oh, wow.

HUAIRA: And I shared this medicine... And I was just like, I was like the delivery one, you know?

AUBREY: Yeah. So that year, you didn't do it in the Temazcal, that was another time?

HUAIRA: I've been there when other visions questers come down.

AUBREY: But yours was unique, because you had to go do... Oh, my goodness. You come down from seven days and then go serve medicine.

HUAIRA: No, it was very interesting, because well, in this path, and how I have decided to walk this path, I really honor and respect the people that have done it. And the moment that now they're ready to serve medicine in a way, they want to do it, and also because they've prepared and they've done a long road in order to now share medicine.


HUAIRA: So, that was such an... It was something that was... I was even like, "Oh my God, like what is this?" Am I going to go do this? How is this going to happen, and what is going to happen? Amalia was like, "You're taking my altar. Paulina sent the medicine. All you have to do is serve." And that's what I told them. I was like, I'm coming down from my seven days, I'm drinking this medicine for myself. And since we all drink medicine, we are all going to support each other tonight. And I'm just grateful that I get to be on service of what was going to happen and somehow it couldn't. But yeah, it was a whole thing. And it was beautiful. It was very strong. It was very strong and beautiful. I asked for help in the middle of the night. I couldn't stand up. There was a moment where I was really like, "Can someone just help me? I want to go to the bathroom and just be with me for a little bit." And Tanya was there, my friend Tanya and Gina. We did it together. But I mean, as you can see, I feel that what is beautiful about, you can call it the wire path, but yet, that is something that we all have within ourselves.

AUBREY: Of course, the warrior archetype is within all of us.

HUAIRA: And then all these ceremonies and initiation rituals, bring you back to that memory as close as you can get, because you're feeling it in flesh. I'm not going to hide from this situation, I have to do it. It's like giving birth. You're giving birth, and the contractions come, and it's like, you cannot hide from giving birth, it's going to happen. So you just better embrace it and be present with what is happening through the path. So that, for me was a great teaching... I got to do that. And then I went back to the camp to support for the rest of the days, the rest of the vision questers that are still in the mountain, for the nine and 13 days.

AUBREY: Yeah, wow. Alright, so then, year three. Now we're back to the south.

HUAIRA: Year three, we're in the south, yes.

AUBREY: So again, the four days in the east, no food, no water. The three days in the West, only Huachuma and three fruits. And then there's another two-day stretch to open up the South door. So what happens then?

HUAIRA: So, the water comes.

AUBREY: The water comes! Oh, my goodness.

HUAIRA: So after four days, the medicine. After seven days, the water comes. And your purpose when you go in the mountain that year is sincerity when you receive the water. And whoa.

AUBREY: So, the first year is humility. The second, willingness. Third year is sincerity.

HUAIRA: Yeah. So again, the first door is opened again for the third time. You've already done it two times. So now you go for the third time to be four days, four nights without water. The medicine comes. You've already experienced that once. So you get to, okay, I've been here before, we get to do this again. And then after those seven nights, seven days, they come and visit you again. But this time they bring water.

AUBREY: How much water?

HUAIRA: Also two liters. Two liters of water. And, it's crazy, because somehow it becomes so abundant. You haven't drank anything, and then you see this much water, and you have two days, of course, this is so much for two days. And I also cried, I mean, I've cried a lot in my vision quests. I've cried a lot. I mean, that's what they say, you go to cry for a vision. There's so many songs that's being repeated. You're crying for a vision, you're crying, you're really... [inaudible 01:12:18] have mercy on us, you go to pray for life, existence in gratitude. And yet also, you allow this space for sadness too. You're definitely not going to get bored. That is something that won't happen. It's so many things happening all at once and all the emotions, and yet, gratitude is the one that will always be there. It will prevail and will be present in any thought that you have. You will be able to breathe and just feel gratitude.

AUBREY: I mean, again, the only thing I can relate this to is the darkness, because it's the restriction of all light. It's the restriction of... You can speak to yourself. There's no rule against that. But the idea that if you're just in the black by yourself, no music, no anything, you would think you would get bored, because we get bored all the time. Like, I'm bored. Again, again, oh, how ridiculous. I even made a joke about that in the darkness. But, I can't remember ever being bored in my time in the darkness. There was never a time where like I was... Because there's so much we're getting revealed. Like the darkness reveals actually the light that's within you. The one man that's asleep in the light, and the other that's awake in the darkness. So much is alive and comes alive for you in that. So the idea of being on a mountain for nine days, not talking to anybody, except for maybe a moment when you're smoking the tobacco that they bring, people might think, "I couldn't do it. I'd be so bored." No, you won't. There's so much. You get to read the book of yourself. And the book of yourself as a chapter and a verse in the universal cosmic book of all of life. You're reading the book of life through your character. It's like, whoa, there's so much. It's the most interesting story.

HUAIRA: Yes, and to think about how many beautiful beings have sat under a tree, and how much has come through that experience. So you really get to tap also into that possibility of the information of it all. Not even information because I mean, we can know a lot of [inaudible 01:14:44] when you get to experience it. That's when you can really be embraced, like feel it all. I was feeling very proud of myself too. I was like, wow--

AUBREY: I would expect so.

HUAIRA: I get to do this. Because there was someone that had this vision, this idea, and then a bunch of others that said, yes. And so, it is beautiful. It is a beautiful experience. It's a beautiful gift.

AUBREY: Yeah, yeah, no doubt. All right, year three, you get the water.

HUAIRA: Yes. So, two more days after the water, and they come down. Oh, so when you go through your third year, you receive a chanunpa. So, mine was given by Salvador and Paulina. They gave me my chanunpa, the one that I have. The other two years you went with the tobacco rolled in a corn leaf. The third year, you go with your chanunpa. So before going in that mountain, my [inaudible 01:15:56] in front of the fire, where we have the central fire. He gave it to me, and I felt, I was like this Jedi in "Star Wars". Like, really, really, I was like, this is so important, what is happening now, this is no joke.

AUBREY: That's your lightsaber.

HUAIRA: This is real. It's happening. I get to feel it and receive it in my hands. So, four times.

AUBREY: And the chanunpa, for everybody listening, a chanunpa is a very long pipe. There's many more things that you can describe, but it has the head of the pipe usually carved out of some kind of stone. And then some kind of wood--

HUAIRA: A pipestone.

AUBREY: Yeah, pipestone and then some kind of wood that fits into the pipe.

HUAIRA: I mean, there's many different, but like mine, it's a pipestone, the red. And it's very beautiful, super simple and beautiful. It was so beautiful that it was this gift. So, he gave it to me, and he said, Okay, "Huairita, this is your life. This represents your life."

AUBREY: And Huairita is just the affectionate way of saying Huaira.

HUAIRA: Yes. And they said, so everything you pray with this chanunpa will certainly come back to you in the seven directions of the universe. So, may this be a instrument of love and peace and prayer. May this be very clear andyou what you're receiving, it's our responsibility. Which is also interesting, because you receive it, and then that's what you take with you to the mountain. That's what is going to hold your word during those nine days. And when you come down, you can give it back even, if you feel that you don't really want to commit now, yet, or maybe you don't at all to this instrument in your life.

AUBREY: Spend nine days with the lightsaber. Let me know if you're a Jedi when you come back.

HUAIRA: Also you can, maybe after, but that's a moment... I had a friend that came down and said no, you know what, right now I'm not ready for this. So yeah, that's the third door.

AUBREY: Are there animals associated with the directions?

HUAIRA: I mean, yeah, in many, but it depends where you are.

AUBREY: But for you, for this one. Or elements, or do they associate anything?

HUAIRA: The elements, yes. So the first is the Earth, la Tierra.

AUBREY: Earth, so East is Earth.

HUAIRA: West is fire. South is the water. And North is the wind.

AUBREY: North is the wind. So then, for your fourth year, you're going into the North door, and the wind. So what happens after day nine?

HUAIRA: So, then again, all the doors open. And when the nine day comes, it's a celebration in the... So, all the other vision questers have come down already. Now, in the mountains--

AUBREY: Right, because it's the final one. It's the fourth year ones.

HUAIRA: So, the fourth year vision questers are in the mountain.

AUBREY: Fourth year Jedis. Senior year of Jedi school.

HUAIRA: All the family comes to visit. There's a lot of people in the camp. But that day, a lot of people that were not in the camp all those days will come to visit. Because that day, the whole family comes to your tree. And they all come. Like when I did my vision quest, there were 40 people come into my tree. They come to the tree with a water drum, the rattle, and the line of sacreds. So it's water, corn, meat and fruits, a little bit. But representing the lines of sacreds. And they come to your tree, they sing to you. Four songs. And they give you your support. They also light a tobacco that they also share with you. And then they leave you with that for four more days.

AUBREY: All right, so do you know any of the songs that they sing to you?

HUAIRA: Yeah, they sang songs that I did, that I wrote.

AUBREY: Really they sang your songs?

HUAIRA: Yeah, because it was Amalia, my sister Amalia. It's the family that comes. So they sang songs that I love, and they sang two songs that I wrote. They sang those songs to me in that visit.

AUBREY: All right, so we took a little break, but it's a perfect opportunity to... Let's bring in the spirit of that North door. Songs come back, music comes back, community. Family comes back, and it's a celebration. You've got meat, you have corn, family, song to power you through the last four days. So, let's get a little taste if you don't mind of some of that, some of that music that brings you back into the celebration of what you've accomplished.

HUAIRA: I mean now a song that I love, it's actually not a song that they sang that day, but it's a song that I love, that right now thinking about that moment comes to me.

AUBREY: Ah, life, celebration.

HUAIRA: Yes, yes.

AUBREY: It's beautiful. Beautiful.


AUBREY: All right. And then you say your goodbyes, lots of hugs I'm sure.

HUAIRA: No, you don't anyone.

AUBREY: You don't touch anybody?

HUAIRA: Because you are in your tree.

AUBREY: You are in your tree, but they're all around you.

HUAIRA: You're covered by the corral, with your prayers. Because every year you do your 365--

AUBREY: By the prayer bundles, yeah.

HUAIRA: Yes, the prayer bundles are there. And so, they come, they give you everything and they say okay, we'll be here in four more days, and they leave. They go to the next one. And then you can hear when they're singing to the other vision questers. And then yeah, they come down, and four more days pass till they come and pick you up.


HUAIRA: So they come and pick you up. So that fourth year, you go again with your chanunpa. Oh, I forgot to mention something. When you come down from your nine days, you don't share that chanunpa yet.

AUBREY: It's just yours.

HUAIRA: You only use smoke with her. You are creating this relationship, building this space, understanding a little bit because I believe that it's something that will take us a whole life, just like everything. We get to learn and... But then when you come down from your 13 days, that chanunpa, it's ready to be shared.


HUAIRA: So, they go and pick you up. It was super interesting because 12 nights, 12 days in the mountain. And then the 13th night comes, you know they're going to come and pick you up the next day. And I was on the floor with my blanket there, and I started feeling rain. I was like, oh wow, delicious. I've never experienced rain in the mountain. When we do it in that time, it doesn't rain. But it was actually interesting because in the afternoon, it was already very foggy, and I could hear the frogs. They were like... everywhere. And I was like well maybe... And then it started raining. And then it poured like for hours, hours and hours. Like the last night I was like near the tree sitting like this with my toes that were freezing.

AUBREY: Oh yeah, that's cold, because you have nothing to shelter you from water.

HUAIRA: Yes, and high mountain, middle of the night, 4:00 am, it's cold. And it was so much water that wouldn't... Like we got to be down in the camp, they told us that all the tents were flooded. It took them longer to go and pick us up, because they really want everything to be nice for us when we came down, but they had to be cleaning and organizing.

AUBREY: Yeah, sure.

HUAIRA: So, it poured on us on the last day, which is so beautiful, because we're praying for that, we're praying for the water, we're praying for the rain. And it came in the last night. And you want to come down all beautiful. So I had this beautiful dress that I hanged on the tree, and it was completely wet. But I was like, I'm going to put it on either way. I'm coming down. And then they come, and they open the door. It was so beautiful. When he came to give me that support on the ninth day, I could see in his face, the [inaudible 01:27:17] that we were talking about. He was feeling as good on giving me that support, as I was feeling on receiving it. Like I could see it through his eyes, the joy that he was having, and coming to witness what he just witnessed for those 13 days, and say, "Here it is." So, when you come down, the whole family's there to celebrate. They put you a crown of flowers. And since now you've opened that door, if you want, the next door that opens is the Sun dance. So, when you come to the camp, they receive you. And the first thing you do is that you enter into the circle of the tree of life with your chanunpa, and you go to the tree. And everybody's singing, and singing with guitars. And it's a big celebration because we did it. And we go in the Temazcal again, and we all bring our chanunpas inside at that moment. We smoke from them, and that's when you tell your story. Every time that you come down from the mountain in the Temazcal is where you get to speak what happened. You come and you tell the good news. So yeah, it's so poetic, so beautiful, all these designs and ways of doing it, the way we move in the circle, how it's done. And then that night, to close the vision quest, we also have a ceremony and that's how the vision quest is closed.

AUBREY: Ayahuasca?

HUAIRA: Was San Pedro.

AUBREY: San pedro, mm-hmm. If you haven't gotten enough from the West door, you get some more in that moment. So, about the chanunpa, yesterday, when you were pouring lodge for us here on this beautiful land that we have here in Lockhart, and this Gardeners of Eden nonprofit, regenerative farm, that I haven't talked too much about it. But I'll start talking more about it now that it's really coming to life. This land is coming to life, and the blessings, and the medicine, including what we did yesterday is all coming to life. But you said something about the chanunpa. You said very much like a samurai would talk about their sword. So, in the Bushido, the samurai code, they say the sword is your soul. Your sword is your life, it's your soul, it's who you are. And they were obviously a warrior culture. There was some very noble things about samurai, and you look at the history, and there was also some very savage and brutal things about that. So, I want to just acknowledge that. It's not all perfect. Not in any medicine, not in any shaman circles, not in any warrior culture. It's not all good. There's some real beauty in that, but the way you were describing your relationship with your chinunpa was like, this is an extension of you. This is not just an object, this is a part of Huaira. This is part of the bark of the tree, or maybe a limb of the whole tree of who you are. It's something very sacred to you.

HUAIRA: I mean, it is a very powerful tool. It represents our life. I mean, that's why when you go... I mean the way that it's presented, just to... Like in ideas, like you do those nine days, then you come down, you're the only one smoking that chanunpa. Once you finish the vision quest, your chanunpa is able to be on the altar of the Sun dance where you're giving your life.

AUBREY: The altar of the Sun dance, so there's another Sun dance that happens after that?

HUAIRA: Yeah, it happens but not right away. How we do it is that then the next year, if you want, you can come to the Sun dance. And there's a moment in the sentence where, well, our chanunpas are in the altar. All of our chanunpas of the Sun dance. There's a moment where the people that are supporting, everyone goes and grabs one chanunpa. I mean, we have the chanunpa and we give it to a specific person in front of us that they're going to smoke that chanunpa for you. You're not smoking, but they are. So you are giving your life. You're saying, I'm here, giving this, in this like psycho magic act of this object that I'm putting in your hands for you to pray with it. And what is so beautiful to think about is that this comes from a line. This comes from a tradition, this comes from a vision. So, every time--

AUBREY: It was the vision of Leonard Crow Dog.

HUAIRA: Yes, well, and before that. Like the White Buffalo woman as they say.

AUBREY: Yeah, yeah, the first carrier of the chanunpa goes all the way back to the White Buffalo Calf Woman.

HUAIRA: How was this even possible? As we were talking before, there were times where we would look at the stars. And not only that, but we would wrap a drum, and we would make a rattle, and we would sing. So, that chanunpa, it's also known as the peace pipe. Because in that instrument, it's the intention of the very first vision of it. So, every time we are lighting our chanunpa, all the chanunpas that have been lit before that one are being also. And the ones that will come. Like in that perfect line, when you can see the man that is praying, the fire keeper that is praying for the water, in the middle of the ceremony, you can see through him, everyone that has sat on that fire before him. And we are praying for the ones that will sit after him.

AUBREY: You said the word peace pipe. And it brought me back to a place yesterday where I got emotional when you brought the chanunpa out in the lodge. Because I thought of that. I thought how Westerners have called it a peace pipe, smoke the peace pipe. And I could feel the betrayal. Like just the feeling of betrayal for people who really prayed with this thing, this pipe that was their life, their soul. And they extend that to someone and say, "Here. Here's a piece of my life. Partake in my life. I trust you."

HUAIRA: "I trust you."

AUBREY: "I trust you." And then the betrayals that followed. Maybe sometimes there wasn't betrayal, maybe sometimes there was people who honored that that was given. I don't want to categorize everybody. And I think that's also a problem. You can't just categorize everybody, all colonizers, all bad, all... I'm sure there were many. And there's so many reports. In Sebastian Junger's book, "Tribe" he talks about so many people who once they got into the tribal culture, they wanted to stay.


AUBREY: All kinds of reports of Westerners who went into tribe could say, I never want to come back, never want to come back. And hardly ever was there someone taken out of a tribe who said, "I don't want to go back. I love this new empire way of living."


AUBREY: So, I want to honor that there was always those people, that no matter the color of your skin, to say that you're always a colonizer if you're this color, and then living this way. I think that's a dangerous way to look at it. It's to acknowledge yes, there was the deep, deep betrayal of some people, and the deep betrayal. And then the deep advantage gained from, that we all share. And I understand that we all share in the advantages gained from the betrayers and from the perpetrators. But, I also just fundamentally don't agree with placing that full guilt on this person, this new person knowing that it was a wild, and we all come from different backgrounds and lineages and lines. And also acknowledging that, yes, we have to pay respect for what was taken, the promises that were broken, the labor that was stolen. There's so much that's also there that yes, we have all benefited from, but then also to do that with a place of love and not shame, and a place of gratitude that actually compels the heart to find its own reciprocity with those First Nations peoples and with all of the oppressed peoples that have been a part of this tragic, and also in ways, beautiful history. Different ways. Both occurred, the tragic and the beautiful. Oftentimes very tragic and sometimes very beautiful. But I can really feel that in the moment, and I just feel like it's important to acknowledge how powerful this opportunity, this invitation was. And what a shame it was that people were blinded, they couldn't see, they had a different god. They had a different idea, whether it was the god of power and control and Empire and, "manifest destiny" it's our right to take everything. These other gods which are really demons, like this energy of taking, taking, taking.

HUAIRA: Yeah, fear. Yeah. It is beautiful that we get to receive this now. As a mestiza woman, it's very interesting, because I've found myself sometimes... I mean, what you just said, I resonated so much, because the moment I sat in ceremony, I felt completely part of it. I was like, this is it. No matter my whiteness, and my blue eyes, and how I look, this is where I resonate. This is what is speaking to me in the most truthful way. I've never had this opportunity of having such a clear conversation, really inner with it all, beyond the language or what was, yeah, exposed to me before. And I do recognize myself as an indigenous woman. There's this word that is very interesting, because it's [inaudible 01:38:04]. We also call it to say someone that is homeless, someone that is owning the [inaudible 01:38:12] like--

AUBREY: Indigent.

HUAIRA: Indigent. You say that in English?

AUBREY: I think that's how we would say, yeah.

HUAIRA: But [inaudible 01:38:20], also means the people of the sun. And I learned that a few years ago, and I thought it was so interesting. I do recognize myself as the daughter of this sun and this moon. And that's undeniable, just as we are all related through the water and the air and the earth and the wind. We cannot deny that.

AUBREY: It's saying, the earth is my home, the sky is my home, the sun, the waters, this is my home.

HUAIRA: Yeah, it's happening. And we are happening because of that. We are all. It doesn't rain on top of... It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, or you're fat or thin. All these concepts that we've created about ourselves, like water will pour on us, and soil will provide. So, I think what this path also represents in the union of the four colors, well, the seven colors into seven directions of the universe, in their directions, and how we do it, and to follow these steps, also, you know. To show you in your wholeness, all these possibilities and how you relate to each one of these directions. Because at the end, it's just showing you your relationship to that space. Why is that we talk so much about the North and the East and the West and the South. There was a moment where I was so lost with the compass, I couldn't even understand until I really started doing this. And all I could witness was, I was going there to see myself in how aligned I was with that direction. How aligned was I with that relationship to the water? How aligned--

AUBREY: What was the word for the North door?

HUAIRA: It's integrity.

AUBREY: Integrity, yeah.

HUAIRA: Become to... Yeah, to integrate before, in touch with yourself.

AUBREY: I've never really thought about the correlation between integrity and integration. Yeah, and integration. And integrity, it's really speaking to a wholeness, because in your wholeness, connected to life, that is where you're going to have your greatest integrity. It's in the lineage tradition of... My ancestry is the Hebrew tradition. And those were my indigenous roots, the tribes of Israel, the tribes that were led from Egypt into the promised land for Moses. My ancestry comes from those tribes. And in that lineage, there's an idea of when you're face to face with God, with the wholeness, source, with light, with the truth. All of those are synonyms in a different way. Wholeness. When you're in that you're face to face, [inaudible 01:41:23] face to face, face to face. But then you turn your face. It's called Sitra Achra, the turning of the face. So you turn the face from God. So God's here trying to look at you, but you don't want to see, no, no. That's when you're out of integrity, Sitra Achra. You turn the face, you're no longer face to face with the truth with God, you're out of integrity, because you're not willing to look at the truth. You're not really willing to look at what your actions are causing in another person. It's a subtle turning of the face. And then in the turning of the face, all kinds of ethics and moral problems and violences, and all of these things happen in the turning of the face. So integrity, integrating back into the wholeness is what allows you to be whole in your vision with you. And source, seeing yourself, seeing source move through you and looking through in this infinity loop of yourself and the divine, and whoever's in front of you as another representation of the Divine. That's integrity, and the integration of your wholeness and the looking face to face with the divine, with God. Integrity. Yeah. Once you feel real integrity, wholeness, you can forget it sometimes. You can forget. But you can't ever fully forget. There's no going back. Once you've really seen it, an really know it, you can never go back.

HUAIRA: No, you cannot. I mean, we can play. We can say that we are not looking. But as we were talking the other day, we are all the time. Even if we think, oh, nobody's watching, we are. We are looking through it all, and we are being... We're observing ourselves, we are... I mean, yeah, we cannot deny it. There cannot be this lie. But what is interesting, is that we can do all of these things. And yes, you cannot deny it. But still, you can just go back to your past habits, and continue on the lies maybe, and what you don't really want to commit to, and pretend that you don't even realize it, like you're playing the fool. Because there's no guarantee. At the end, it has to really, it requires a commitment. And as Kyle was saying that I repeated, that the integration is changing your habits. It requires for you to take that responsibility. After you've received all the gifts and all the visions and all the healing from the plant medicines and the ceremonies and the incredible elders that you've shared space with, and the beautiful words you've heard, if you don't commit, then you don't get to really open yourself for the greatest gift of it all. It's just the abundance of love, and all that it is in life. There's no hesitation. Our mind hesitates, we doubt, but yet, when I feel we're very committed to that source, then things unravel in very magical ways. And we get to just be the dancer, so that, oh yes, I get to do this right now, and I get... Like her right now.

AUBREY: Yeah. Huaira referencing the Kali statue that we have here.


AUBREY: In her fullness, in her full expression.

HUAIRA: We get to do it.

AUBREY: Yeah. So, in your own journey, this is one very powerful initiation that you went through. But there have been many initiations that you've been through and many powerful visions. What's another one of the really pivotal moments in your life? Maybe it was a medicine journey. Maybe it was not in medicine, but a moment where you really defined who you were, or had some profound change of your habits or change of your way of being that happened that was different from this particular initiation.

HUAIRA: Well, definitely becoming a mom. Giving birth, it's a very beautiful ceremony.

AUBREY: Well, it should be at the very least.

HUAIRA: I mean, it is what is happening through your body, even though now the circumstances for many women are different. Mine were very respected, and I gave birth in water to both of my kids, in a very beautiful place in Ecuador with beautiful family around. Our doctor, Diego, and his wife, Lily, they were just so supportive. So, I got to really be super present in what was happening. When I gave birth to my son, [inaudible 01:46:32], I was 20 years old. And then when I gave birth to my daughter, Chloe, I was 23. They film the birth, so then they give it to you so that you can watch what happened. And there was a moment where I was about to give birth to Chloe, and I was sitting on those balls that you bounce, but I was already ready to go in the tub and push in the water. I was telling Chloe's dad at the time that we were together... He's on camera, I'm telling him, I'm already about to give birth. I'm laughing, it was like, I could just feel like this uncomfortness around here, obviously. But I was feeling so good. And what I tell him is, this what I'm feeling right now is like a drug you've never tried in your life. I say that in camera. I'm like, this is something you've never experienced with anything you've drank in your life. Because it was just this wow, my own medicine that was like pumping through my veins, everything is so in tune to what was going to happen that I was just in complete presence. There was no pain. It was this joy and euphoria, and my daughter was going to be born. So yeah, definitely, that is a moment that changed my life. It even changed my voice. After giving birth, my voice changed. And, obviously being a mom all these years has been the biggest of the quests, for sure.

AUBREY: Yeah, I mean, obviously I'm a man, I'm never going to give birth. It's something I will never experience other than experiencing through the intimacy with my beautiful wife, Vylana, and our intention to have children, the God and Goddess of mystery willing. The knowing though of how it's going to be is, as long as there is not some emergency or something else is, we definitely want to make it a ceremony, because what more sacred moment is there than the moment when one human with another possibility of a human, then becomes two. Two separate beings, one being. Because that baby even though it's unique, it's a baby, it's still through the umbilical cord, completely, absolutely connected. Every bit of food that you have, everything, it's of you. All of it, it's shared, everything. It's completely shared. Bathing. And not only the amniotic fluid, but the entirety of your energy and your heartbeat, just as the background drumbeat that they're living their life by is this constant connection to the mother. And then in that moment, one becomes two. And always still connected though. Always connected. The cord may be cut on one dimension only. But the remembrance that even though you cut this cord in this one dimension, and one becomes two, the two are always still one. And to me, as I'm just talking out loud, that's like part of the ritual, and part of the ceremony. And to do that in a really sacred and beautiful way, where you really honor that. And whether that's in a hospital, or whether that's in a water birth, or in a home birth, or however you do it, to not forget that there's wisdom in this celebration, in this ceremony that shouldn't be lost. No matter what you're trying to do, make it for yourself. Take this moment as a very sacred moment, because there couldn't be a more sacred moment.

HUAIRA: And it goes like this.

AUBREY: And it's over.

HUAIRA: It's like this. So, that's why it's so, yeah, it's very interesting. And then they grow also very fast. So it's important to have that possibility. When my daughter Chloe came out, inside the water, her face was facing upwards, and her eyes were completely open. Like I was seeing her face between my legs, while her body was still inside. And her face there, and her eyes under the water.


HUAIRA: Looking at me. I'm like, oh my God, I'm like in this--

AUBREY: What a surreal moment. This thing that's been inside you is just coming out of your body. Then she's looking up at you with her own eyes inside the water. What a crazy moment. That is so wild.

HUAIRA: It's so imprinted in me. And then it was so beautiful how they did it. So, they came out both of them and instantly, they start breastfeeding in that moment. And you still have the umbilical cord inside you attached to the placenta, and still pumping. You can see... And they're already receiving your milk, and the placenta is still inside. It's so wild. Like animals, which also I think that is important. What I was sharing yesterday, we want also to make everything very ceremonial. But yet in the depths, the depths of the depths, it's so simple. It's simplicity.

AUBREY: It's just being present to the ceremony that's there.

HUAIRA: Like whether we light candles or not, life is coming. So it's important that also, because sometimes women, I've heard like, "Oh, I wanted to do it this way, and then I couldn't," and they feel a bit sad that they couldn't perform their ceremony as they wanted, and they had, they envisioned. But their kid was born. But that was the ceremony, it happened. It's also nice how those possibilities of encountering life and death also brings us back to the simplicity. Like yesterday, the lamb that died, the mama gave birth to--

AUBREY: So, to bring people in on this story. So during the Fit for Service summit that we were having, one of our sheep gave birth to triplets, three different lambs that came out. Two lambs were healthy. And even though their legs get a little wobbly at the start, and they're covered in placenta, they were strong, healthy baby lambs, which will soon in three days be climbing all over everything, and being really cute. But one of them was disabled, had a birth defect that didn't allow its legs to work. So the, amazing, beautiful heart-led group of tenders of this sacred land, Kyle and Eric and Fox, they put the lamb to sleep. Because it would never be able to walk. We had the blessing to be able to bury it at our sacred tree in front of the inípi Temazcal hybrid combo that we made. Temazcal is usually made of mud or brick or clay or something like that. But we couldn't build that in a day, and we don't have the materials. So we made it more North American style, inípi style with the blankets. So, we got to bury this lamb, and bring that energy of gratitude, and also the cycle of death and life, and have that be part of the ceremony that we experienced yesterday. Because in the lodge, there's always that moment where you confront, not always, but in a good strong lodge, there's a moment where you confront your death. I can't do this anymore. It's too hot. I'm not going to make it.

HUAIRA: I'm going to die.

AUBREY: I'm going to die, I'm being dramatic. I had moments of being real dramatic yesterday too, of course. And I was aware, I was aware. It's like, "You're being so dramatic. Can you just be a little tougher, please, Aubrey? How about that? How about we try this on? How about we try and just be a little tougher? Even though I know, like sitting cross legged for an hour and a half is very hard for you, you can do it. Come on, that's all right." And you just wrestle with that, and that's part of the ceremony. That's part of what it is. It allows you to come up against yourself, and understand that all of those energies are there, and they're welcome. And you pour them into your tears and your prayers for others. One thing about a sweat is when you're offering a prayer for somebody, it's no longer hot. You no longer want to get out, you're no longer worried if you're going to die. When you're saying a prayer in the lodge, everything is perfect. You're not focused on yourself anymore. And when you start focusing on just giving that love and that energy and that prayer to somebody else, the instant reciprocity is, in the process of praying, all of your prayers for yourself are answered. All of your prayers are answered in that. It's so beautiful, to get to practice that, to understand that in this moment of praying for other, everything I would want for myself is met. I'm at peace.

HUAIRA: Mm-hmm, well, that's the real service now, when we get to be present. Yeah, yesterday was very powerful, because we were all, after such hard work, all this week, and all the deaths and the rebirths that happened too. So then, we get to experience it together and sit together around the fire, and share. Share and sweat together. As I was also commenting yesterday, such a simple ceremony, we want to sweat. We want to get back in that space of the hardness of the womb, of the mama, where we might feel tight and uncomfortable, but yet we will come out. And to feel that, when you also drink the medicine and then it's very hard and you remind yourself, well, I drank something. This will pass. This also will pass, and it will come, the sun will come in the morning. And then just because those possibilities exist is that the other one can be as alive, because we know death is always dancing next to us. And if we are very committed to that possibility, we get to be very alive. We get to really give it all, because this will come many times, many times. Every day it could. If we let ourselves, that would be a very beautiful way to experience it. Like Krishna [inaudible 01:57:29], he says like every day, a fresh new start, a fresh new eye, a fresh new life. Every day that is over, it's a death. It's gone, it left.

AUBREY: It points to life as ceremony, and even having that awareness of tonight, I died to the self I was today, and tomorrow through the darkness I will be born to the self I am in the morning. There's a song that comes from the Hebrew lineage that I've been studying with Rabbi Marc Gafni. The words are [inaudible 01:58:10], and it's, to speak of your love in the morning, and then [inaudible 01:58:18] to trust you through the night. And it's about the relationship of you with source and yourself. So it's like, in the morning, it's like, you remember your love, your life, your life. And then in the night, and to trust you through the night.


AUBREY: And to trust that through the night, as you're dying, as you go into the unconscious void, into the waters of sleep, you trust that in the morning, you will wake up. It's kind of like a powerful tool to bring into your life, but we could bring that into our awareness every night. And I can just feel the beauty of just even not even making a big ritual. Or you could. You can light a candle in the morning, or light a candle at night, or create a ritual around, I die to myself today, and with all gratitude, even if it was a hard day, even if you made some mistakes, you got mad at your partner or your kids or something happened, you allow that to go to die. And then to be reborn and say, I am a new person this morning. I don't have to be shackled by the patterns and the habits and the guilt and the judgment of my past days. I can allow this rebirth to happen. The more we practice that, the better we are. Practice makes the master always.

HUAIRA: Yeah, and more detachment to from this personality that we've built with ourselves, the one that we are... And all the different characters that come. We get to really experience this again as a kid that is playing to be many different characters. Definitely I think it's something important in relationships, in a partnership to have that fresh eye every day. Okay, what happened yesterday? Okay, we got to talk about it. But today, it's a new day, and I'm feeling good. Where am I going now? Where am I putting my attention?

AUBREY: We're so burdened by everything in the past, all of the things that happened. And a lot of times, relationships crumble under the weight of those past resentments. Because the art of dying and being reborn and replenishing, renewing the lifeforce of the Eros of the intimacy between you and your partner, it's still carrying all of this weight. And eventually the weight can just collapse. The life, the joy of the partnership, to have a practice where together you can go into your own death lodge, die to what was, be reborn to what's new. How beautiful.

HUAIRA: But we're afraid of that death, because we're attached. And we believe that that death means that it's over. Because we're attached to something specifically. And somehow it is over of many things. And it could be over in that moment, for that time, in that relationship. That can also happen. But I felt that we tend to be so attached to things that we fear. We fear our death, we fear to let ourselves die, and we fear the transformation. We fear the new look. We fear this new way of seeing things, and that's the spark at the end. That's what gives us the joy of waking up. We know the day will come every day, but yeah, we have all these different opportunities to experience and share and commit to.

AUBREY: It occurs to me now in this moment that our own false story about death being the end of our life is also played out in our fear of any death of our identity structure. So, we have a story that when we die, that's the end. Not all of us have that story. But that's the conventional story, in the [inaudible 02:02:15] which the Toltecs would call the marketplace of ideas, that invisible god of scientism and materialist reductionism. And it says when you die, that's it. It's all over at that point. Well, that's just not true. You can look at the reincarnation studies from the University of Virginia, or you can just speak to the masters, or whoever you want to do. Whether you need to go through the door of science, which is the studies done by the University of Virginia, and I forget the doctor who was running it, the professor who's running it. But ultimately one way or another, it's a false story. It's a false story. Because I've experienced myself beyond being in the Aubrey life. I know that exists. I know it. I know it to be true. So I'm not going to pretend like, well, if there is incarnation. I fucking know it to be true. Sorry. And I don't expect you to necessarily know it either. But you can look at other sources, you can find it for yourself, but it's a false story. Your death includes your life. Your death is, actually as the Toltec says, Don Miguel Ruiz says, it's not that life gives way to death. It's that death gives way to life.


AUBREY: So, you're actually stepping into the full stream of your life, completely connected, inseparable from the force of life that moves through the cosmos itself. So, when you understand that, you realize that you're never going to die. You're just going to evolve, you're just going to transform. And so, this is the major arc of your whole life. It's just a transformation, it's just a transition. Like Ram Dass says, it's like taking off an old shoe, stepping into a new outfit, unconstricted, not incarcerated in the incarnation of our flesh, and free in that. And also the beauty of this container that we get to experience life through which is magnificent, and unique, and glorious, celebrating all of that. But you have that, correct that major story. Correct that major story, where your life story includes your death, and you see a different perspective. That in and of itself, so important, but then also very important to help you not be afraid of dying in this current life to your own identities.

HUAIRA: As many times.

AUBREY: As many times as needed. The myth of the phoenix. How does the phoenix get the fire bird wings? Well, she goes to ash. Goes to nothing. Returns to the soil.

HUAIRA: Yeah, and that's the loving mama, death. in many traditions and culture, she's seen as the most loving, the most loving, the lady of the death, the one that comes and cleans. You can also see that in animals, like the condor, for instance, that eats what is rotten. It comes in eats anything that is rotten. He's not looking for a fresh animal, he's looking for what is decomposing. And there's an intelligence within that animal that gets to... And I see that in our traditions, in our cultures. Like nowadays, at least, like what we are experiencing, we suffer from death. It's so much sadness and suffering, because we have an attachment and obviously, especially if a dear one dies, there's pain--

AUBREY: Grief, real grief, and the grief that needs to be grieved.

HUAIRA: Yes, it needs to happen, and it needs to... But yet, there's also a celebration in the presence of that grief. And when that appears, it appears for all, it doesn't matter. It comes and it's there, and it's that presence that is coming for all of us. And I feel that these times, we can really tap into that as a collective, the moments of where things are really [inaudible 02:06:11] transforming. If we're open at least, we get to really feel and we cannot deny it. I am definitely not afraid. I really pray so that I can be very present that moment. When it really comes, we have to be very present. And these times that I get to experience these little deaths, I'm also encouraging myself to be present and loving about it, and curious about it. Like knowing that, okay, I'm going through this because whatever is coming is going to be magical. So, I might just let this sword pass through me, I'm not going to hold on to it. I'm just going to let it... It's going to heal, and I'll return. So, yeah.

AUBREY: There's a story that again, my teacher, Marc Gafni, he talks about. He says, there's a first innocence where if you're in the level of the first innocence, when someone dies, you cry. That's tragic. Someone dies and you cry. And then there's the first level of, the tragic level. The consciousness of where your construct changes, and you've learned a lot of things, life becomes more complex. And the simplicity and innocence of that, someone dies, you cry. It's very simple. And then in the second level, it's well, actually, no one ever dies. And so, when someone is dying, there's no reason to cry because that soul is passing on. So you have all of this knowledge that could tell you, there's no reason to cry. And he tells a story about different levels of students. The first level of students, they cry when the master dies. And then the second level of students who are more advanced, they don't cry. "Oh, no, the master is still with us and no reason to cry." But the third level is the second innocence. The second innocence where they've gotten past that, and they've returned to that level of innocence where they cry once again. And they cry with the knowledge that the soul will move on, but with a deep honoring of the life that was.

HUAIRA: [inaudible 02:08:26] a human expression.

AUBREY: Exactly, and that's the journey that we're all on. We start with this innate simplicity, this first simplicity. And it's beautiful, it's what a child has, it's why a child is like the master, like the mystic. Because they understand something, even if they don't understand technically all of the things they know it, they know it intuitively. And then you learn a bunch of things and you think you're so smart, but you missed it. You missed the point that the early ones got but they couldn't explain it. And then the third level, the second innocence, the second simplicity is when you've integrated all of that, and then you go back to being like the child again.

HUAIRA: Well, the song I shared, the second one, the [inaudible 02:09:12], then it says, let the child cry. Because when the baby's crying, it's definitely in front of the presence of God. Yeah, when we are like adults and we're afraid of the baby that is crying, and people are like... They're like, no, let the baby cry. It's witnessing God right now. I cry a lot. That's something that happens to me very often on a daily basis. I might be eating something incredible that has been prepared with so much love, and I'm like, okay, you know. And so beautiful that water gets to pour from our being when our waters are moving inside. It comes all the way out, that it has to, so yeah.

AUBREY: What I think about when I think about tears is for me, my tears are cleansing away, washing away a film that was blinding me from seeing the truth. So, anytime I see the truth, the tears come to wash away the film of what I see. And that could be a truth about myself. So, even when I watch movies, so certain movies that will make me cry all the time, and it's usually a movie where the hero is willing to sacrifice himself for the good of all, for the good of his people, for the good of his tribe, for the love that he has, he's willing to give everything, I always cry. Why do I always cry? Because it's reminding me of a truth about myself. Which on one level I'm afraid. I'm afraid to go out and not drink water. I'm afraid of all of this. And then I see the hero in a story that is willing to give everything, and it reminds me of myself, and the tears wash... I have profound moments where the tears wash away, and I get to know myself again. And it can happen with all the gratitude for life, for food, for air, for light. Those tears come and then from there you can see with new clarity. Huaira, this has been such a beautiful time to spend these days with you at Fit For Service, and just to get to know you, and to know you as an ally in this life, and to share myself as an ally to you in your life, and in whatever may come.

HUAIRA: Yeah, so much gratitude and inspiration. Somehow I find we're very similar. Energetic, like when I'm talking to you and I look into your eyes, I really can see myself. And I love this mirror. I love what I can see of myself through you, and I'm very grateful and honored, and I love you.

AUBREY: I love you too.

HUAIRA: I'm happy we got to do this

AUBREY: I love you too. And I love all you guys. Let's bring it all home with a song if you're up for it.


AUBREY: And just before we finally wrap up, I just want to give a bow to your beautiful partner, Kyle [inaudible 02:14:55]. He's been here with us as well, and his energy and his presence and the way you guys weave together musically is just so beautiful too. So, mad love to your partner Kyle who's not here with us today, but just really appreciate the way that you two walk through this life, and I'm just honored to walk with you both.

HUAIRA: Thank you so much.

AUBREY: For sure.

HUAIRA: Thank you.

AUBREY: Yeah, goodbye, everybody. Thanks for tuning into this video. Make sure you hit subscribe. Follow me at @AubreyMarcus. Check out the Aubrey Marcus Podcast available everywhere. And leave a comment. Let me know if this video resonated or what else you would like to hear from me in the future. Thank you so much.