I drop in with my tribal family Kyle Kingsbury and Caitlyn Howe to talk about our epic Huachuma Mesada medicine journey with Don Howard Lawler in Peru. Huachuma is the original form of psychedelic tea brewed from the San Pedro cactus. It was a challenging trip, concluded by partaking in a DMT snuff that is referred to simply as 'the sacred'. Anyone interested in plant medicine or spiritual transformation, this podcast is a gem.
AUBREY: What's up everybody? Here I am with my closest family. Actually, legitimately, ceremonially, my closest acknowledged family. Kyle Kingsbury, who you've we've met before on this podcast and he also runs the Onnit podcast. And Caitlyn Howe, my former fiancée. We had a six-year whirlwind tour together. Lived together for at least five of those years and had an amazing time. She's now one of my best friends in the world and recently acknowledged as tribe between us, which is something we might get a chance to talk about. It's probably four books down the road, so don't get too excited everybody, looking about information on this. But it's a way to reimagine tribal living in a modern context and Kyle was the first acknowledged member of that. So that's why when I say my closest family, this is what I'm talking about. But the reason we're gathered here now is to discuss a recent trip down to South America. Down to see the old wizard himself, Don Howard Lawler and visit the medicine of Chavin, an ancient culture that thrived in Peru several thousand years ago and the way that they practiced balancing masculine and feminine energies utilizing and harnessing the Huachuma cactus, which is a mescaline derived psychedelic. You might have heard me talk about it on the podcast with Don Howard. And going through three mesas leading up to an experience with Vilca, which is, how would you describe it, Kyle?KYLE: Ayahuasca on steroids. AUBREY: Ayahuasca on steroids. It is the strongest, visually-inclusive DMT experience available. KYLE: And long. AUBREY: And long. KYLE: It's so long. AUBREY: Yeah. KYLE: For DMT window-- CAITLYN: I think for you, it was longer than for most people. KYLE: 90 minutes of DMT is... AUBREY: It was a long time. KYLE: It's a long time. AUBREY: Ayahuasca can have more than 90 minutes of DMT but it's not at this intensity. KYLE: NO. AUBREY: It's not at this like overwhelming... Like for people who've smoked DMT, there's that initial rush that can be pretty overwhelming. But imagine in that being the starting point and then having it ramp up over the next like 45 minutes. A wild experience. They called Vilca, which is the crushed seed pod of a tree that grows in arid climates in Central and South America, they called it the sacred. That's what Vilca literally translates to, the sacred. They would do it out in the catacombs out in silence, in the crypts of Chavin and-- CAITLYN: In the crypts of Chavin. AUBREY: In the crypts. I know, right? CAITLYN: And we do snort it up a human finger bone. That's available to you if you want. AUBREY: We snort it up a human finger bone too. It's snuffed. This powdered seed is snuffed and Don Howard gives you two choices when you go up there. He warns you that, asks you if you're ready to die, first of all. And then once you say yes, he gives you two choices. Like this one is a seal bone and it's carved with the condor, and it's all pretty and nice. And then he goes, this one is a human finger bone. And I was doing Vilca with Caitlyn and Caitlyn goes, I'll go with the finger bone. Like a gangster. CAITLYN: I mean, you can't not. If you're going to do it-- KYLE: You have to. CAITLYN: Do it all the way. AUBREY: Yeah. Do it all the way. You've done Huachuma before? So let's get Kyle's opinion as a first-timer and then for you as it evolves. And then we'll go around to me to discuss kind of our learnings from this plan and just the interactions and understandings. KYLE: I tried to leave expectations off the table and obviously, it's still hard any time you've heard trip reports. People liken it to a thousand hits of Molly or like this... And it really it is-- AUBREY: Yeah, that sets expectations kind of high, right? KYLE: Yeah, that sets it high. And I'm like, well, it's not even a hundred hits of Molly but it's its own thing. And it is like plant-based Molly in many ways. The first day, I didn't feel the medicine come on strong and I was a little disappointed with that. But then I kept getting this redirect and it was a theme that happened to me all week on all three mesas with Huachuma. Was at any time that I'd set an intention, I'd wrote different questions I was working on, things that were important in my life, anytime I would think about those, it would just redirect me like, no, be here. And it would show me whatever we were doing was more important. Like in the present moment, right now. So that first day, we went out and met up with a tribe and there was a ton of kids there. And I was really missing our son, Bear. And I was there with my wife who also had a very light, almost non-feeling day one. But in that moment it was like just play, which has been such a... It's been a reoccurring theme in many ceremonies that I've done with ayahuasca and psilocybin mushrooms, to not take things so serious and to just play. And as I did that, then I really felt like I was experiencing the love and what people talk about. 'Cause it was such a blast to chase kids around, and play soccer-- AUBREY: I can't wait to release some of the hilarity of these videos because I liken him to Odin walking out of the jungle. To these kids, seeing Kyle come out, and just hypothesizing the amount of protein that's required to sustain an animal of that size. It was a really special moment. But I think the key lesson here that'll come up with Huachuma is, it'll give you a choice. You have the choice to either be in your head about, man, I wish I was feeling more. I wish I was home with Bear. I wish all of these other things that would have taken you out of that moment. Or you make the correct choice, which is what you did, and say, ah well, I do miss Bear. It would have been cooler to have a stronger dose but here I am now. So what's the maximum I can do at this moment to enjoy this experience? And you made that choice and then medicine ended up being transformative, not just for you. But that was a powerful moment for multiple people in the group, other people with parents, other people who were able to see you interact in that level and laugh that hard. And it became a rippling transformative experience based on a choice that you made. Because Huachuma was just like hey, what do you want to do, bud? You want to think about your dosing and think about your kid at home? Or you want to play and have fun? And you get rewarded always in Huachuma for making that positive choice. KYLE: Yeah. Yeah. It was baked right in. The feeling was baked in. As I did the thing, as I played with the kids, and played soccer, and chased them around and wrestled with them, it just expanded that field of like pure love and contentment and really just feeling like a lot of the takeaways that I would get post ayahuasca, I was getting in the moment with Huachuma. That lingering sense of well-being, it was right now. AUBREY: Yeah. It's a more instant feedback because there's more choice. Ayahuasca is kind of like surrender and learn. And Huachuma is like learn now. Practice and learn now. KYLE: Yeah. Yeah. And what do you want to do? What do you want to do from here? CAITLYN: Yeah, if you want to practice, here's your opportunity. AUBREY: Yeah. CAITLYN: Definitely. KYLE: Exactly. AUBREY: What'd you feel the first mesa? CAITLYN: Well, I think there's a little bit of... There can be a disadvantage when you've already experienced it because you come in with expectations or you know a sense of like this sophomoric attitude of like, I've already done this. It can go either direction. You might be a bit disappointed or you can just not even access the medicine because you're just in your head about I've already done this, I know what I'm doing. I didn't have a super strong-- it wasn't my strongest day. It was, for me, very maternal. Thank you. It was very maternal energy and we called in mother medicine that day. And I think that that kind of speaks to the unified energy of our group. Kyle was having some of those longings, familial longings, and I had a lot of stepping into my power as a woman and harnessing maternal energy and like really feeling called to birth my creative children, to birth my actual future potential children, hopefully. But it was really like really smooth and connected and I felt a real ancestral energetic element, relating to my own feelings of maternal love and then also like just this sense of generations before, the ancestral power of the land, and everything that was around us, being in the tribes. For me, it was calling in everything that had come before us and really kind of dancing with that. So that was my experience. AUBREY: I think that's the beauty of the tradition, of the ceremony that Don Howard provides. This is, I wouldn't say an unbroken line because it seems like it was lost for a little while and Don Howard kind of reignited it, but it's a tradition that has been flourishing for thousands of years and it's not something that we just invented. Like, ooh, wouldn't this be cool? There's a lineage that goes on in connecting with the bigger spirits, the greater spirits. What we're asking for in these mesas is to connect with large, macro elements like water, earth, air, mother, father, like these deeper connections, these deeper teachers, the master teachers that are all around us. And I think that's the invitation that we have. For me, this was my eighth, ninth, and tenth Huachuma ceremonies. I've gone both. I've had the absolute hilarity and enjoyment and the absolute just bone-crushing challenge of the medicine. 'Cause for me, it brings everything that's present for me, it brings it all to the surface. So any kind of social discord that might be in the group, and there is ample social discord in the group. And we can talk a little bit about that. Particularly for me because I'm with a lot of people that I'm romantically involved in and that's going to bring up you know any latent issues because that's what Huachuma does. It brings up that which has been subterranean, that which has been unconscious and subconscious, and brings that to the surface and says, hey, what do you want to do with this now? How do you want to deal with this? And sometimes it comes visually. I remember in the maloca before our absolute hilarity with the kids, I just laid down on the dirt for 45 minutes and was watching as the insects and these things moved through my vision, and that's generally, a visual representation of me purging some energy when I see the insects coming. But it was a real challenge then, my challenge was to see all of it as one, to see it all as the unicity and to just not have a preference for, I'd rather see blue mofos in my vision rather than cockroaches and spiders. That's a preference. But ultimately, a preference which isn't grounded in anything other than what I've decided is better because each serves its purpose equally, valuably on the planet. We need all of the whole ecosystem and all the whole ecosystem as one. So I was just kind of sitting with that. But ultimately, that first mesa was probably the most pleasant of all of them. Some visions, and some fun, and some hilarity. And then for me, I successively got my ass kicked more and more throughout the trip. CAITLYN: I will say, I remember on the airplane ride there, really feeling we were in a utopia of sorts as a group. Like just all smiles and you were like the sun, radiant. You're always like the sun but I mean your radiance was really getting battled with towards the end of our trip. And I saw that the battle you were going through and the journey that you were going through really take some challenging turns. So it was evident, evident to the power of the medicine. AUBREY: Yeah, the power of the medicine. That's where you learn from stress. And I think you don't do these things to be comfortable. You do these things to get outside of your comfort zone. I think that's one of the reasons why the jungle is the best place to do these medicines, not only because of the tradition but because it's a challenging environment. It's scary to do ayahuasca in the middle of the night in the jungle. CAITLYN: Fuck yeah, it is. AUBREY: That brings things up a notch. It's challenging to do Huachuma when you're surrounded by you know insects, and people, and cities and all the things that we were doing it and that's part of the magic. CAITLYN: A lot of people, obviously when we return, everyone's like, how was it? Just ready for this like beautiful account of what we experienced. And I'm like, it was amazing, and valuable, and tremendous but would I call it fun? Or like eh, maybe not. It's work. It really is work. Stephanie and I, my roommate there, were encountering a cockroach crawl across my neck in the night. We didn't have hot water most of the time. It's not like an easy environment but I wouldn't have it any other way because that's where you get to square up with the things outside of your comfort zone and the things that you don't want to look at and really understand yourself in it, in a challenging environment and that's how we grow. And the first time I went there was actually by myself in 2014 for ayahuasca journey and it was terrifying. You never know what you might get bit by or sick with or whatever and you're just out in a tree house in the jungle in the Amazon essentially and the bugs, they never quiet down. And all of the challenges come to the surface at one point or another and it really heightens the capacity for you to grow in that environment, for sure. AUBREY: Yeah. Or if it's too much, you can break a little bit. And I think there's certainly points to this trip where I was pushing the boundary between a stressor that helps you adapt and grow stronger and just something that just breaks you. That's always the balance. And that's I think the caveat with any plant medicine. You want to push yourself to the point where it's resistance and you adapt. Not push yourself to the point where you break. KYLE: Over-training is not good in any aspect. AUBREY: Over-training isn't good in any aspect. But you were ready for more on the second mesa? KYLE: Yeah. AUBREY: And something unprecedented happened. One shaman, two cups. The story of Kyle Kingsbury. CAITLYN: Never before. AUBREY: Never before in history has Don Howard given a second cup of Huachuma until he met Odin, father of stars. So you got a second cup for the second mesa and I can only imagine what that must have been feeling like. It must've been fun. CAITLYN: How did you feel about that medicine, like back to back cups? 'Cause one cup gives me the shutters for sure. KYLE: Aubrey explained it best. Look, it is an ayahuasca but your first time you're going to be like, oh, this tastes great. I don't see what the fuss is about. And then like each successive ceremony day, you'll be like, alright, it's not exactly easy to take down. And I kind of felt that way but I was so excited to get two cups. My wife and I, Tash, we both went and talked to Don Howard and we were like, hey, she didn't really have a blast off experience and was hoping to get a little bit more in the next round. And he was like, well, how did you feel? And I was like, it's kind of light for me. It's very gentle but very light. And he's like, okay. And I didn't really have an opinion about it. And then when I saw him at the mesa for day two, he gave me that look and he's like, I'm going to have you stand up here when you finish your first cup and just stay here with me. And I was like, okay. I finished the first cup, poured out the second one. And the first one was to the brim, and the second cup, he was like, I'll just give you a little bit more. That was a full cup. It was like not to the brim but it was as much as I'd had day one. So even though it was not easy to palate, I was just pumped. I was like, yeah, let's do it. AUBREY: You didn't have any hesitation in you. KYLE: No, not at all. It was go time. And I noticed, so in between the days, I was getting more downloads on the actual stuff that I had written out intention-wise. And there was quite a bit more as I got to the Amazon than I had really thought about prior to being there. Like as I started writing, I was like, oh, I'm concerned about this shit or I want to work on this, or I want to think about this. And so in between the days, in between day one and day two, I was beginning to write about my experience and it just came through like this super deep knowing that everything I seek, I already have. And that's the only thing I wrote down. It was like, that's all I have to fucking write. And it's all that mattered at that point because anything that I could, fill in the blank, work-related, starting the thing with you for on the day, having a second child, all these things that are important and necessary, you already have it. You're just not thinking of it in terms of, the kingdom is already here. And to know that within, even off medicine, it was like, oh fuck. So when I had the second cup on day two, it was like, there's no worry, or fear, or thought about what's going to happen or what will I gain from this, or will I be able to iron out this stuff. It was just like trust, faith, belief. It's all happening right now. AUBREY: What you're talking about is, for people who aren't familiar with that teaching of the kingdom is here, this is from, anybody who's read "The 49th Mystic," is one of my favorite books, recommend. Does an excellent job presenting this ancient mystical teaching that's been around for a long time. And it really is one step beyond faith. Faith is a belief in a future event that's going to happen, roughly. But this is actually taking it even further. It's a belief in a future event that's so strong that you actually see that future event as already having happened. And you already accept and acknowledge that in your physical mental psychic presences, oh, that's already happened. And when you read something like Joe Dispenza's "You are the Placebo," it's that kind of belief that and that kind of knowing that actually facilitates the healing of something like the placebo effect. Like you take a sugar pill that you think is going to heal, you think that you're already being healed. It's not like, I think in the future, maybe I'll be healed. That doesn't do it. But if you do something and you believe that it's already happened, that's when it actually takes effect. And that's when you're actually able to live in that state. So part of it is adjusting your current mentality to the most positive place possible. But part of it is also actually helping to manifest that reality in the most positive way that you can. So it's faith but beyond faith. It's actually seeing it as if it is already so. CAITLYN: I think that that's something that Huachuma facilitates, is it actually erodes that barrier between what you think and your divine knowledge. And like Paul Selig says, "The divine self knows, the small self thinks." And in Huachuma it becomes almost effortless. You have choice, but as soon as you say yes, you're in it, you're in the knowledge that is beyond faith. And you can kind of really feel it immediately. AUBREY: Yeah. So Ted calls that, and it's not his word, he calls it metanoia, that ability to actually see things in a different way. Like see someone arguing with you and see the scared, hurt kid behind that argument and not actually receive what Paul Selig would call the small self's aggravation or the ego's aggravation or that actual energy that's being put out, but see the source behind it. See the sun behind the clouds. So like you look up at a cloudy day, metanoia, you'll see the sun shining as brightly as ever and just clouds are in the way, but you'll never lose sight of the sun. CAITLYN: It takes a vision takes. AUBREY: It takes a vision. That is the third eye, eagle's eye kind of vision that everybody's talking about. But that vision really comes from both the brain and the heart and I think putting that forward. And I think that's one of the things that Don Howard does a great job at. He'll literally, like with Godsey right at the start of that, Godsey's looking at him and Don Howard points at his head and then shakes his finger and then points at his heart. And it's like, you come from here with the medicine. And I think that's where we're able to really always see the truth from. It's to shift our perspective to that center of our body. CAITLYN: And then unify all the centers to one heart, which is what happens-- AUBREY: Yeah, exactly. And you realize that when you do that, and that is the perspective shift, that perspective shift is recognizing that we're all made of that heart stuff. Whatever that heart thing is, we're all a part of that and that creates that kind of universal unicity. But anyways, you take the two cups, what's peak feeling for you like on two cups of Huachuma? CAITLYN: Tell us. AUBREY: What is this peak doing? CAITLYN: We don't know. KYLE: Like I was saying, the comparison to Molly was out the window. I could no longer compare it to Molly, it was its own thing. There were some similarities. It's very heart-opening, very warm, but still easier. Like if you've ever had too much Molly, you feel like there's a part of you that knows, fuck, I took too much. My jaw won't stop clinking. I'm sweating a lot. Whatever. It was like Molly without side effects, is a way I'd put it. AUBREY: We were sweating a lot. CAITLYN: And my jaw was little bit intense. KYLE: But it wasn't like, pop a Molly, I'm sweating, wooh. It wasn't like that at all. I was just sweating because we're at the equator. AUBREY: We are In the jungle, yeah, for sure. KYLE: On day two, it was water day and... No, it was, yeah, earth day, Pachamama day. And so I had like... And Tash was really feeling it too. That coupled with the fact that everything I seek I already have, was this like beautiful gratitude for... There was beautiful gratitude in knowing we're going to have another child. It was like, fuck yeah, like we're going to have another kid together and her family will grow. It was just so powerful because it's like, fuck yeah. It was just gratitude. It wasn't like, when? When's it going to happen? And what's the best way to practice and plant the seed? And all that bullshit. All that was out the window. It was just immense gratitude for the fact like, yeah, we are going to have another kid and she's already here, our daughter's coming. And to sit with that and to feel the presence of mother earth and to go into the womb of mother earth in the Amazon, and to be in the sacred waters, one of the arms of the Amazon that we got to play in and rub clay all over our bodies. And the level of presence that I had there was just like, it was still in that play mentality, but really in appreciation for things. And it shifted more from just play to play and appreciate, play and have gratitude for what is. And then I came over to you, Aubrey, and gave you the rub down with the clay and we started doing the "Predator" quotes. CAITLYN: You guys should see these men rub clay on each other in the enchanted stream. It is really beautiful. AUBREY: It was amazing though. Some people may call it something else but we'll take really beautiful and we'll run with that, everybody. We're going to run with that. KYLE: Yeah, we'll give you there. It was like in all areas, just like wow. Just magnified presence, magnified love, magnified gratitude in a really amazing way because it had shifted from curiosity and needing to know about my intentions and whatever problems or issues that I was having to like this certainty. And really with that, the ability to relax into the medicine and just be like, I don't have to worry about that shit. That stuff's gone. And I noticed, coming back to the mesa that night, we go back each night and we put our hands on the mesa and tap in, I didn't notice a big connection to the mesa on day one but by day two, when I went to the front and was looking at this incredible tapestry of a jaguar, the thought that I had right then was what's standing in my way of accomplishing everything that I want to accomplish? And it was fear. And right then when you look at that fucking jaguar, I felt zero fear, like that shit vanished. There was just this knowing. And I felt the presence... I've done 22 ayahuasca ceremonies and many other plant journeys and I've never really had an experience with the jaguar until that moment. And it was, I know what that medicine is, I know what the jaguar represents in that moment. AUBREY: Yeah, it's fearlessness. KYLE: Yeah. And to embody that, that was like the icing on the cake for an amazing second day. AUBREY: Yeah. Talking about the mesa real quick, Huachuma is probably the most magical, I would say, and magical in the traditional magic sense, like in the wizardly sense of the plant medicines that I've taken. Because I know that you had a similar phenomenon. When we would put our two index and middle finger on the mesa, things felt about normal. But then when we put our other fingers on, it was literally like our ring finger and our pinky finger were on a shelf like two inches above the mesa. Like you could push into the, and it's just hardwood, flat hardwood. You'd like push in with your fingers and then your other fingers like wouldn't push in. And Don Howard always recommends just putting those two fingers on. And I talked to him about it the next day, he's like, yeah, well, why do you think I recommend putting the two fingers on. But it was this crazy phenomenon. I was like, as many times as I did it, I felt the same thing. It was like my other fingers were on a shelf-- KYLE: I remember sliding my hands back and forth with all four fingers. Like, there's no bump but my fingers are going over. AUBREY: Exactly. KYLE: Yeah. AUBREY: That kind of weird sensory distortion, where you're actually energetically feeling something that's somatically happening, that's unusual for me, really unusual. I have visions but never hallucinations. And this is in that kind of like hallucination, somatic hallucination kind of category where I'm looking down on my hands, they're all flat, there's no shelf, I'm running them back and forth, and there's two fingers that feel like they're resting on a block and two that feel like they're depressed deeply into the hardwood and actually underneath the wood, connected all the way to the earth below the wood, as my heart is like tethered to the fucking sky and it's like a really weird sensation that is probably the most magical of all the psychedelics. CAITLYN: Yeah. The mesa, for anyone who's listening and doesn't know what we're talking about exactly, it's an altar essentially. It's got human skulls on it. AUBREY: Yeah, the skulls of three female shamans from Chavin, three male shamans from Chavin, some jaguars, a stone-carved [inaudible 00:28:27], some shells from the seacoast, and rocks from the mountains, and whistling vessels from El Brujo, one of the coastal cities, and weird ornaments, the giant dick-shaped snuff trays, conquistador swords. It's the balance, it's pola-- CAITLYN: I love that. AUBREY: It's polarity symbolized in the altar. It's in the shape of an old, not Christian cross, but like the old original cross where it's just two lines kind of crossed forth. Masculine side on the right side, feminine side on the left side. And it's like an altar on steroids. CAITLYN: Yeah. Everything's on steroids out there. John Ngomali. AUBREY: Bird's on steroids, Molly on steroids, altar on steroids, DMT on steroids. CAITLYN: Like for me in my life, I don't think I've ever felt is as powerful, strong and in my center as I do when I've tapped in with my fingers on that mesa, looking in the jaguar's eyes. It reminds you of yourself. For me, that was a big theme in my journey. Particularly an arrival that I came to on my second mesa was a homecoming of sorts. But it was really just not so much being in the jungle. Second time I went to the jungle, I just immediately wept because I was so happy to be back. And I realized how much it had done for me in the two years spanning since that point. Now it's been four years since my first time to the jungle. And for me, I bawled my eyes out being there but really, it was more of a homecoming of myself, finally, at long last. Having a real sense of completion and strength within me that I was reminded of there, and able to acknowledge in a very true way. So, yeah, it was powerful. AUBREY: Yeah. And then I think for me on that day, and I would like at some point to read some of my notes that I put out in the newsletter and just talk about those. But I think for me, that day was also the day where I started to kind of recognize like this overwhelming theme that the mother will provide. And by the mother, I meant earth itself. And then I think I get I was getting focused on which aspect of the mother was going to provide, which human manifestation of the mother, which could be male, or female, or whoever was going to provide the nourishment for my body, and my soul, my psyche. And what I really found was that, anytime I needed something, kind of like what happens at Burning Man, like it was said the playa will provide, it was like anytime I needed something, it would be there for me. If I needed a banana, well, somebody, wouldn't have to even be one of our close friends there, somebody would come up with a banana. Or if my hand hurt and I was rubbing my hand, then Lauren, who's one of the other people there, she just started rubbing my hand. And I was feeling kind of lonely, and Olga came up to me and started rubbing my head. And I was like, wow. And you came and rubbed clay on my shoulders when I was like my shoulders were stressed. And it's this overwhelming feeling of just trusting that you may not know how it's going to get done or what way it's going to work but ultimately, the earth, like manifestation, physical dimension polarity will ultimately provide if you're open to it. And you open yourself up to that energy and you send out that here, I'm ready to receive and get out of that blocking posture that we get in. Blocking for fear; fear of rejection, fear of all of these things that blocks all of this incoming love that's available. If you just shed that and open yourself to it, there'll be sources that are coming in all over the place. CAITLYN: That's exactly what happens at Burning Man. You go into a container where you give yourself permission to have that supreme faith that everything is going to be taken care of and in that permission, that you, by your own free will allow, it happens. AUBREY: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. CAITLYN: We have that available to us at all times really. We just don't, I mean-- AUBREY: And the more people are tapped into that, the more people who you're around who are conscious, it works better at Burning Man and it works better in the jungle because people are paying attention. People are open to receiving your signal. CAITLYN: You're in agreement with them. AUBREY: We have a fundamental sense of oneness and self with each other, and a sense of what they call einie which is the Quechua word for reciprocity. Like this idea of the give-and-take and the mutual support of each other. But I think we can be in denial of that in our own delusion, lost and unable to receive those signals from other people and then also unable to send those signals or unwilling to send those signals our self. But the more open we get and the more open the people around us, the easier that all works. So in a conscious environment like the playa or like the jungle, shit works. Shit works. You don't have to ask for stuff. It'll happen for you. Which is fucking rad. CAITLYN: It's absence of fear too that's really the separating factor, at least a great diminishing of fear. I wouldn't say fear was totally absent from our experience. But that's really what's constantly creating that separation at all times. I think especially for women too in the regular world, the mitote, we have a guard up just instinctively because we have to be kind of aware. And places like Burning Man-- AUBREY: The mitote that Caitlyn is referencing is a word that Don Miguel Ruiz uses in the Toltec tradition. It literally translates as marketplace. And that is the public opinion of everybody shouting their own projections on you. Oh, you're not pretty. You need to look this way. You should do this. Go to an Ivy League school if you're going to be successful. Artists never makes money. Whatever these stories that people are shouting at you all the time, and by shouting, it could be just their unspoken opinion or the way they look at you or the way they think or all of that, that can start to form and shape our dream. And the idea in the Toltec tradition is to become nagual or an artist who can paint your own masterpiece outside of the paint that's trying to be thrown on you by a million different people in a marketplace who are trapped in their own game. So, yeah, freedom from the mitote which comes with fearlessness allows you to be the artist of your own life. CAITLYN: And that's really what a big part of the week for me was, again, recognizing, remembering, and kind of reallowing myself to reimagine who I truly am and shedding all of that. I think when you take away makeup and showers and you have like a tiny little square mirror and your focus is just in love, and in growth and you're connected with your environment so much, all of those stories get to fall away and it's just a really beautiful space to be in. Like for me, the medicine isn't by any means as vision-oriented as a lot of other medicine we've done together. I've done the iboga journey with Aubrey actually and ayahuasca journeys, and this, I couldn't describe it as anything comparable to those because for me, it doesn't have the visual elements but it has this oneness about it, this sort of unification that happens with you that sheds all of the identity that destroys your perception. AUBREY: Yeah. It really cuts to the truth of things to a great degree, but will bring up all of the delusion along the way and I think-- CAITLYN: To go through it. AUBREY: Yeah. Anything that's there, you have to pass through the clouds to get back to the sun. It's not like it disperses them for you. And I honestly think that's the difference between MDMA and Huachuma. I feel like MDMA kind of is like, these clouds are fucking gone. Here's the sun. I can't avoid it, I wouldn't avoid it-- CAITLYN: Or you just love the clouds. You're like, oh my god, the clouds are beautiful. AUBREY: Yeah. This one is like, you have to like really keep choosing to sort through the cloud. Like it won't force you. It won't force you to universal love. And that's good and bad. I think for some people, it's better if you choose it because then it's your choice and then you've owned it. But for some people who would be, like if someone was suffering from PTSD like a really gnarly, MDMA for sure before Huachuma. Don't make them have to do the extra work yet. Maybe have them do Huachuma after their three rounds of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy where they can choose to get back to that state of mind. But why not take the Mr. Toad's wild ride to love as your first option? I would say there's value in both. But the ability to choose that, to look at an environment, 'cause like look at day three. Day three, we were supposed to go to a secluded beach and it was like my motherfucking Ibiza out there. KYLE: It was Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale. AUBREY: What was a secluded beach all to our self two years ago was goddamn Cancun when we arrived. Blasted on Huachuma and we're out there. CAITLYN: We had all been kind of hyping it and we were like, oh, the last day, guys. Like the people who hadn't been yet. KYLE: Secluded beach. CAITLYN: Secluded beach. The first time we were all just laying on our backs watching the clouds breathe and just totally tapped in, it was a day I'll never forget. I won't forget this day either but for different reasons. We come cruising up and it is definitely a Peruvian holiday out there and people are having Coronas. KYLE: Yeah, it was like Peruvian Independence Day. CAITLYN: There were some guys kind of lurking on the girls in bikinis. AUBREY: There was fucking Cardi B playing at one point. CAITLYN: Truly. Truly. I was just in a really good place this whole week actually. But I was able to feel connected to everything anyway. But a lot of people were not feeling it. Like a couple of our group had to go out to the absolute farthest stretch of sand and kind of like cover their ears so they could try to stay in their space. And you do have to kind of make that choice. I remember like in that particular day, I just really chose to be with it and find the God in other things. Find the connection in other ways, like the little... Even the decaying, to speak to your unification and the divinity that you saw and everything that you've touched on so far, all the decaying plants. I was peeing in them right at the moment and I was just like, this is me too. Like this just brush on the side of the... and the in the mitote over there that has crept into our sacred space, so to speak. And even Natasha was rubbing my back and I could feel her, like I felt like her arms were, I wrote in my journal, that her fingers and hands were an extension of her lioness heart. And I could feel that energy. But I had to make that choice and because I've had the advantage of being in that space before, navigating it and saying, okay, I know where I've pulled back and where I've been apprehensive to allow. This time, I'm going to allow and this time, I'm going to welcome it in. And it makes a big difference but you have to choose. AUBREY: Yeah and I think that's the beauty of Don Howard. Like Don Howard could've turned the boats around but that old wizard knows better than that. The old wizard's like, oh, so this is the challenge for the people now? How are you going to deal with Cancun secluded beach versus secluded beach. He made a comment like, look what happened to our beach. But we disembarked, and he found his place in the woods, and he just let us sort it out. He didn't tell us which way to go, 'cause it's life. Do we want to engage with that kind of energy? What insight does it give us to that beach party energy that we might take back and look at the next beach party like, whoa? CAITLYN: And can we give it love? AUBREY: And can we give it love? Or are we going to be hiding from it every time we hear it, get annoyed by it. That's another choice too. Like, oh my god, I can't believe there's people here. What is this person thinking. You could for sure engage that thought and certainly, people in the group were engaging those thoughts. Did they have a better time or did the people who were like, oh, wow look, it's beach party. Not what I expected but here we are. Oh, Cardi B, wow, that's funny to listen to Cardi B blasted on mescaline right now. That's interesting. CAITLYN: And poor Erick Godsey was not only-- AUBREY: He was sick. CAITLYN: He was super sick. Maybe if you guys ever talk about it again, you got to get his account. And I was like super concerned about him which is another interesting experience, because I was able to be in my own experience for the most of the week. And then as soon as someone I loved was like in peril, it started to pull at my attention and I had to, again, make a choice. I really saw that. I'm like, okay, fear is coming in and my attention is being drawn away to something that I really can't fix right now. And I think a lot of time in our day-to-day, fear hooks us and then we get stuck on that thing that we can't do anything about anyway, either because it's imaginary or it's out of our control. So I just stayed in that awareness and allowed myself to energetically approach it, instead of mentally dwelling on it and trying to work with my heart energy. And like we work with visual energy and kind of help heal him to the best of my psychic abilities, which may be zero. But it was the first time I allowed myself to explore that fear space with awareness. I think that was a really good exercise, kind of bringing that back and saying, okay, I'm feeling something's really like capturing my attention and pulling me out of my paradise. And what can I do energetically to just own that and try to heal it instead of harping on it or you know? AUBREY: Yeah. It's not a matter of ignoring it because you can't ever ignore it. You got to deal with it. And I think that's the lesson. You got to reconcile it. You got to integrate whatever you're feeling and come to terms with it in a way. I think we have this idea, just put it out of your mind. Well, where does it go, do you think? You think when it goes out of your conscious mind? It just goes into your subconscious unless you like actually deal with that shit. And so you couldn't just like lalala. Like maybe in a normal life, you could put on some different music, do a different thing and move away from Erick Godsey and then it would get out of your mind. But you'd still have those feelings. CAITLYN: Well, that's the thing. In the medicine, it was almost like I had this radius of awareness that I could feel. And then there was this thing yanking on it. And it's Erick sitting over there, shivering in his towel with a fever. And then there's my fear going, did he get bit by a spider? Is he going to die tonight? Don't tell him that. Me and Natasha are just trying to mother him and then I'm like, okay, this isn't really like going to help anything. So I really could see how much I do that in my life. I allow something, be it financial or future and I just allow it to pull my attention out of heaven and into hell, and just working with that. AUBREY: And it's something we do constant. I did that. So the same day, I had that similar thing happen. So two days before we were in the enchanted stream, I got some water in my ear and I was trying to like shake it out on the mesa that night 'cause I noticed it, but I never really got it out and then I just kind of went to sleep. Well, the air mesa, the third, the last day, my ear felt like pressure in it. And I was like, oh no, here it comes. I got some kind of parasite in my ear. It's going into my brain for sure. It's going to be fucking... And I'm like trying to shake it out and then I like try to get some alcohol in it from the fucking, I was using this singato alcohol. Yeah. We'll talk about that before the Vilca. But then the last day, it was just kind of constantly bothering me. My attention kept being drawn to this physical stimulus. And that's a pattern that shows up for me in life a lot. Like I'll get a tickle in my nose, I'll be like oh god, here comes the sinus infection, or here's this thing, or whatever is going on, I exacerbate the actual feeling and layer on all kinds of suffering on top. Like maybe I have the crust of pain, but I've baked a big-ass apple pie of suffering on top of that crust of pain. KYLE: Seven-layered tiramisu. AUBREY: Pouring whipped cream on. CAITLYN: Dessert time. AUBREY: Put more. I got crust here, pain? Great, let's layer it in. Let's pack it in. Let's serve it to me daily till I'm fucking sick. And eventually, I had to make like, alright, there's nothing I can do about this. I don't have any ear treatment. CAITLYN: There's nothing you can do. AUBREY: And some part of me probably knows, probably, you hypochondriacal motherfucker, nothing's wrong at all. It's just a little pressure in your ear. So I had Gunther, who was next to me on my left, I was like, hey man, just blow some mapacho in my ear. And I knew it wouldn't physically do anything but I was like, this is what I told myself, as soon as he blows some mapacho in my ear, I'm going trust that I've done the best that I can and I'm going to let it be. And I was able to pretty much do that but I had to make that conscious choice of like, here's a symbolic gesture of doing what I can do, which is pretty much nothing. KYLE: Acceptance. CAITLYN: That's hilarious. That's exactly what I did with Godsey. I ultimately had to sit on the boat ride home and just imagine, visualize myself going into his bloodstream and cleaning out blood white blood cells. That's what I was doing. I was shoveling them out. KYLE: "Magic School Bus." CAITLYN: I was magic-school-busing 'cause he goes, the magic school bus and it's like a little school bus that goes down into the body and cleans it up. So I went in my magic school bus, 'cause what else you going to do out in the middle of the jungle with no fucking tools. And that was like one of my favorite takeaways was like, oh wow, I can just go on a magic school bus ride every time I get afraid of something in my life when I get home. AUBREY: And why not? And just do that and know that you've done what you can and then let it be. CAITLYN: Exactly. AUBREY: You may not have the ability to change all of these things instantly, but do something, whatever that might be, energetically, physically and then know that you've done your shit. CAITLYN: Or the fun playgrounds. AUBREY: It's practice for life. Much like sport is practice for life too. I think we, particularly probably me and Kyle played more sports than you but so many lessons about life you learn in training, and you learn in competition and you learn in situations that put you into uncomfortable spots that are really highlighted where multiple people are looking at you. Are you going to be terrified of your performance because your self-worth is wrapped up in how many points you score? Well, here's a good way to practice that. External validation versus internal validation, have your whole school watch you play basketball. I think you'll have to grapple with some of that shit. How are you going to respond? CAITLYN: I think a lot of us even who don't play sports intentionally put ourselves in these positions of challenge. We do it more than we give ourselves credit for. I think we forget that we call in a lot of challenging experiences, be it on like a spiritual level or just a subconscious level. You know we might be getting hit with hardship over and over again and it's like, it's that opportunity to step in and grow and learn about yourself. And we all are constantly feeling victimized and really not taking into account like the great divine knowledge that is behind our existence and how it might be working through these challenging experiences, to cultivate those kinds of growth opportunities. I haven't been playing sports but I've had a lot of shit that I've had to battle through. AUBREY: We're all finding our way. We have to find it in our way or we'll call it in. CAITLYN: You create it. Yeah, you call it in. And even the calling it in, I think, is a bit of a blessing sometimes. It's just being mindful that, it's taking ownership of it-- AUBREY: It's all a blessing. It's the metanoia for the event as it's happening. So as something unfortunate happens, you don't look at it like... For me, again, last night, dealing with the same thing. I ripped my fucking fingernail off in a freak sliding glass door accident. Random. And then I like hurt my meniscus on my knee and so I'm like hobbling around. One hand is-- CAITLYN: Guy's been getting his ass kicked. AUBREY: I been getting my ass kicked. But there's an opportunity to then not look at these as injuries, but look at these as opportunities. And if I do that, then it starts to shift. Well, this is an opportunity to slow down, to like be more mindful of what I'm doing, to focus my priority on less physical things and more emotional psychic things. And what is this invitation? And if I look at it like that-- CAITLYN: Every tiny choice like that just has a exponential benefit in your life. AUBREY: All right. Let's go to Vilca. And we're going to let Kyle lead off this one right here. Me and Caitlyn shared the Vilca ritual as part of our lead up to the beat exchange ceremony which we might not get to in this podcast but we'll talk about that at some point. But for you, as one would hope and expect, you went deep. Talk to us about your Vilca experience. KYLE: Yeah. It's funny because I didn't really have, I didn't know what it was. I mean, I'm familiar with 5-MeO-DMT, and N-DMT, and ayahuasca, but I'd never done Vilca. And so I try to leave expectation off. And at the point that I was at from the downloads I was receiving from Huachuma and everything that had happened already, there wasn't necessarily this deep yearning for knowledge or a need to know or experience anything specific. I would say like it really was just about, let's see what happens. And it's not often that I have that as an intention, especially with something new. Tash went first, and then I went. And I just kind of stayed up there and looked at Don Howard and he gave me the head nod and I went some more. And then it finally felt like railroad spikes up the nose and I was like, alright, we're there. AUBREY: Did you go finger bone or seal bone? KYLE: Finger bone. I don't think anybody went-- CAITLYN: It is a finger bone [inaudible 00:51:51] wall. KYLE: It is used. It's a used bone. It's been used before. It's 3,000 years old. It was great. CAITLYN: King of understatements. KYLE: We were walking back and it's all red wood on this long bridge you get back to the room. And all of a sudden as I'm walking with her, Tash is already super deep. She's half expecting to see people laid out across the bridge like, uh, see you later. Have a good journey. Like stepping over bodies. Like they couldn't make it to the room because that's how fast it hits you. And I saw all the red posts turn bright lime green with arrows pointing forward. Like it was incorrect. Here you go, this is the way. And I was like, oh shit and so I actually started walking quicker with her, holding her hand. And we make it back to the room. And as it started for me, I was confused about what to do because it was coming on so quick. Like do we leave the light on? I was like, no, turn the light off. And then I kind of fumbled around and I end up grabbing the bucket and put it on my groin and laid down. And like, all right, I'm ready. CAITLYN: Groin bucket, huh? KYLE: So I just have it laying there on my lap. And I laid back and not long after, I started to puke. And so Tash hears me but she... I mean, I'm floored, like I can't even sit up. I don't feel my body anymore. So right away, I just feel this ball come up through my bellybutton into my throat and I'm like (croaking). And my wife was five feet from me is like, Kyle, Kyle. And she looks over, she realizes I'm not sitting up, I'm just laying there choking on my own puke. And then in my left ear I hear... She jumps out of bed and starts shaking me, Kyle, Kyle, are you okay? In my left ear, this whisper comes in, swallow. And I swallow my own puke. AUBREY: This story just gets nastier. KYLE: It's nastier. That's not the grossest. I'm like, fuck. So I swallow it and then I'm like, I'm okay pal, I'm okay. And so she's like, okay and goes and sits back down. She's like, fuck this. I don't want to do this anymore. Her fight-or-flight kicked in. She thought I was going to die, literally not figuratively. That kind of robbed her of her experience but mine just went deeper and deeper. I sat up after having swallowed the puke and then really let it out because I was like, that's fucking gross. And just let it all out. And as I was letting it out, this only happened once before, Aubrey was there where I had smoked DMT on a very large amount of other psychedelics. And I have this very long, loud, audible exhales. I would take a deep breath... and keep going. AUBREY: And it is so quiet. It's Spear Quest at this point. It is like dead silent-- CAITLYN: They're like, whatever you do, do not speak to each other. AUBREY: Almost the insects had stopped just out of reverence for the sacred. I was there. And then we just hear this. And I think the only person that wasn't actually concerned about that sound was me 'cause I was like, oh, I know what's happening. That's just Kyle 'cause I watch you do it on the-- CAITLYN: I thought it was a lawnmower, which made no sense. I was like, there's a lawnmower somewhere. AUBREY: I was like, oh yeah, Kyle's going off. Okay, that's cool. KYLE: I felt like a fucking sock puppet. You know like when you when you have to puke, it's not a choice. Sometimes in ayahuasca, you're like, alright, I think I should puke and you try and you can or you can't. But a lot of times for me, it's like this knee-jerk reaction, like the doctor hits you in the kneecap and your leg kicks. So as I would take a deep breath, it would just come through me and I would listen to myself doing this and I'm like, this is fucking weird. And I kind of became self-conscious a bit. Like fuck, there goes the novel silence. I'm fucking up everybody's experience right now. And as I thought that, I could feel everyone at the same time. So as I would get louder, it was like tentacles reaching out into the cosmos and touching everything and everyone at the same time. And I even say that like after... everyone... And Tash starts cracking up because I felt everyone and everyone's hands came into me at Spear Quest and touched me and they're like, it's okay, Kyle. Get it. Go for it. Reminded me of you when you're like, get it brother. And right then when I had that encouragement, I thought of the name Kyle and I was like, and again, I had this kind of self-deprecating thought like, that's not a special name. And right then, I saw a family tree go up two lines, two circles with my mom and my dad, then two more from each of them to all my grandparents. And all those circles were blank except for my father's father, which is grandad. And right when I saw granddad's name in the circle, I felt granddad with me right there. And that's the first ceremony I've ever felt the presence of a dead relative or anybody that I've been in contact with. And it was cool because he was abusive and a dick and like nobody... My dad is the oldest of five and it was very hard for my dad and my upbringing from my dad's upbringing, you know what I'm saying? Like that lineage, to feel that but then to know like, here's my granddad out-of-body in full support of what's going on here. It was fucking cool. And then in an instant, it went like straight back through every culture that had used plant medicines to the first pyramid cultures. And I could see like these ancient pyramids in Peru. And I felt that lineage of the Chavin. I felt the lineage of the plant medicine people that had worked with all this, the discovery of this technology from day one, and immediately started saying, teach, teach, teach, teach, teach! Teach! CAITLYN: Out loud. You were saying this out loud. KYLE: And it's this knee-jerk reaction. And Tasha at this point is just fucking losing it. She's laughing, she's enjoying it. And I'm just listening to myself, teach! And right then, I could see all the ways we teach this path, this medicine path, to work with the plants. And I saw you Aubrey, and Joe Rogan, Tim Ferriss, myself all on the podcast, communicating our experiences and talking about what's capable. What are the possibilities with these technologies? And then Michael Pollan with the book, and you with the book coming up, and Jim Fadiman. I saw that but then what cemented in me was, because I've been called at different times, as we've spoken about, to become a medicine man, to learn this. Whether that's a shaman or not, that's up for grabs, but really to have a deeper understanding and level of knowledge to work with these plants. And over time, my focus has shifted. Like I really don't care about providing space and things like that in a way that I did just less than a year ago. But in that moment, I felt like the torch was being handed to me and I realized every all these cultures pass this down through apprenticeship. So it was like, all right, I will be an apprentice, I will learn this. It may take 30 or 40 years, but this is what's going to happen. And then I will give that down, I will hand that to my son or to somebody for the next generation to pass that on in a way that you can't read about. And that was the calling. It was fucking-- AUBREY: That's the only way you pass this down. KYLE: Definitive. AUBREY: Through experience. And I think it's an interesting timing for that 'cause Don Howard's last retreat on the books is coming up here this August. And the lineage that he has resurrected and brought may be carried out by his daughter, Selva, who's young and has a lot of potential, I think we saw that there, but is still only 16. So there's a question of what happens next and where this goes. But I think all of us, and myself especially, had a sense of comfort knowing that enough of the Chavin way and enough of that ceremony is now in our hearts that we can be ambassadors along with everybody else who's been touched there and helped to provide that. CAITLYN: There's a moment on day one of ceremony that Don Howard came up to me, put his hand on me and I put my hand back on his heart and he said, I'm always with you. And for me, that was a call. It's a call to service, to be in that space and to be able to carry this forward for all of us, I think. And for everybody even listening, I think the medicine works for a long time and it works in lots of beautiful ways that aren't just by consuming the cup. And there was a sense of purpose and duty in that ceremony space for sure, being one of the last times that he may ever, ever hold the mesa. AUBREY: I remember, he was sitting in front of me on the boat. It was the second day and I was on a boat separate from all you guys and I started to get a little emotional, thinking about Don Howard passing from this life. And his consciousness just came to me and goes, well, where do you think I'm going to go, brother? I was like, oh yeah. Oh yeah. And we just kind of laughed together in our own mind's eye and just understanding that his presence and his teachings will live on through all of us. CAITLYN: And that's happened so many generations before us. It gives me chills thinking of it. I mean that's why we're sitting here having this conversation because all of the great teachers and masters that came before Don Howard and he was able to hold on to that. But what a beautiful human epic, know human story we were part of and we get to perpetuate and hopefully hold this thing together together. It's pretty amazing. AUBREY: So I'm officially going to call this as part one of this podcast because we have to talk about our Vilca experience. I want to talk about tribe, I want to talk about kind of what our learnings were in the social dynamic. Because I think ultimately, the challenges that kind of came up in the social dynamic led to solutions that I think are universally applicable, understandings about communication and truths that I think for any social group, are going to be really valuable. And I say, we keep this conversation going. KYLE: Oh yeah. CAITLYN: I'm in. AUBREY: All right, sounds good. Well, part one is concluded. I love you, fam. Stay tuned for part two. Peace!