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Thread: Iboga Report

  1. #1
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    Iboga Report

    Iboga (or Eboga) is not Ayahuasca (see Ayahuasca Report for more on this experience), at least not when it comes to the tradition and culture that has sprung up around it, although there are peculiar similarities.


    Iboga, both raw and grounded.

    But these two sacred plants are also different as far as the psychedelic aspects is concerned, there is a difference in the vibe. Although I have only had one Iboga ceremony compared to about ten Ayahuasca ceremonies so it is hard to compare... although it seems that Iboga is not something one can do as often due to the possible heavy come down that one can experience. Mine was not as bad as others on this expedition (but I let those people speak for themselves).

    This part of the report is only my own perspective.


    Beach near-by where we stayed outside Libreville, Gabon.


    The first thing they did was that they took me out into the jungle to baptize me and present me to the forest. I was given one spoon of Iboga. It tasted just like sawdust and I was given water to rinse it down. I felt mellow and relaxed the rest of the day... it also made us all giddy later that day (everyone had a spoon). During the forest ritual they cast some nutshells. If both faced down I would have a rough ride, if both faced up an easy one. They faced down...


    Forest ritual: Pemba (a deserter from society in Belgium that has dedicated his life to Bwiti), my initiation father Mbilou and the 'ritual leader' Muruba.

    The Bwiti tradition is very different from the Shipibo. About as different as Africa is to the Amazon... yet they are also very similar... Without going into details the Bwiti did things like floral baths three times a day, smoke baths, cleaning the temple area, grinding the Iboga root, dancing ceremony and purging ritual (drinking till you vomit), eye cleaning (to see visions better) and abstaining from being touched by anyone else as well as abstinence from sex. Compare this to the Shipibo who also use floral baths, purging, abstinence from sex, steam baths.


    Purging ritual.

    The Bwiti seem to spend a lot more time on rituals than the Shipibo and there is a lengthy cleansing period before the actual ceremony. Although the Shipibo do this as well they limit ceremonial activities it to dietary restrictions that need to be kept weeks in advance and also weeks after, instead of performing rituals, dances and music.

    Yes, the music... the Shipibo have the Icaros (medicine songs) and the Bwiti a more orchestral version of the Icaros with drums, harps and a mougongos (curved piece of wood with a string that is played almost like some sort of giant mouth harp. Here are two examples of Bwiti music:



    Click to listen to some Bwiti music HERE

    During the three days of preparation I wore nothing but a white sheet around my waist, and white body paint all over with a red line drawn from navel to the top of my forehead. To be a member of the Bwiti you are called a Banzie (those of the chapel or angel), and after initiation, when reborn, you become a Nganga (a doctor, courages person dealing with demons, knowledge of hidden things). This does not mean that I am a healer just by being initiated. I am still a Banzie (a member), but also a Nganga... if that makes sense.


    Marching to one of many floral baths, my Irish initiation twin (as they call it) Harry walking behind me.

    When the ceremony took place they changed me into a red sheet, a red ribbon around my head with a feather (so the spirits will find me) and a piece of Civet skin around my waist. This dress brought on images of being a sort of sacrificial lamb at a Mayan ritual (and this Maya/Inca vibe would continue for some strange reason even though I was in West Africa).

    They initiate in pairs and they took me and my initiation twin Harry 'backstage' for a final bath around ten/eleven at night in order to dress us up in the just mentioned costume. During all rituals they sang and chanted, used rattles and all the other instruments at their disposal. The ceremony area was outside (but they also have a temple if it rains) and two mats had been laid out by a large tree (the trunk had been painted purple I might add). Candles and torches lit the area. When they marched us out the area was filled with people; musicians, Bwiti 'church' goers (a ritual is like attending church), dancers and various people as well as my co-travellers. Again as I was marched out to my mat I felt like I was being sacrificed, and I guess in a way I was.


    The male crowd.

    As I sat on my mat I was given Iboga spoon my spoon, in total I think I downed 24 of them... towards the end it tasted really bad I would have eaten more but I was afraid I would feel sick and puke before the effect took hold, and I didn't feel like doing Plan B (which is an enema). After I had consumed the Iboga I began to drum with the rattle and a bundle of grass (one in each hand), still sitting up with my legs stretched out before me. During all this the chanting and drumming had never seized and would continue through the night and well into the next day.

    As I was drumming I closed my eyes. The movement of my arms, and the beat, began to have an effect of some sort. Reality was vibrating in its edges/contours... the mat felt like it was sitting on top of a volcano that was about to erupt... or that it had a jet engine of some sort. Like I was sitting on a flying carpet with jet propulsion. I drummed faster and faster, and it felt like the music around me, as well as the chanting, was going faster and faster. A merry go round. A rocket launch, on top of a space ship at Cape Canaveral. Just like that game kids play when they clap faster and faster and faster...

    I still felt I was at the top of an Inca pyramid, surrounded by Mayans/Incas... in all their spectacular dresses, with a massive crowd/spectacle around me. Weird as it was so far from Africa... as I was drumming my vision started to be blurred... just like the image of a videocamera if someone shakes it hard when filming. Lift off... and I could not drum any longer... I laid down on my back... I felt sick... much more nasuea than the Ayahuasca... I tried to concentrate, calm my insides, as I did not want to puke yet. In retrospect it would not have mattered as I had already crossed over.



    The first thing that happened was a black man came walking out of the dark. I saw this vision from the ground, as if I was looking up through a glass floor... as his foot stepped down on my face I jumped... it felt so real... but he did not step on me out of disrespect... he was just passing over, as were many others. But I will get back to this...

    It is hard to say in what order things came, but very early on I saw an ancient landscape... flat, barren... it was an African savannah at least 10 000 years ago. Mountains covered the horizon. It felt as if there was a wind... sand blowing in the air. An old woman with a shawl wrapped around her head Muslim style (but she was not a Muslim) came walking up to an old crocked tree.


    Just like this almost, but with mountains in the distance (this is the only picture not my own).

    She used a walking staff and at the top of hung a lantern. I understood she was a leader/chief of sorts... a strict and strong woman. She turned her head and looked at me. In her hand she held some sort of metallic orb, inside this a light was shining. She extended her hand towards me, showing me this light but not giving it to me.

    A few days later I drew this imagine and explained it to Muruba. He instantly recognized the woman. It was Awani. A very wise old leader of the Bwiti people who invented all their rituals and ceremonies. She was wisdom embodied and it was from this vision I received my Bwiti name: Awani Na Koudou (koudou = turtle = wisdom).

    The turtle is in African culture a symbol of wisdom because even though it is slow it always ends up where it is supposed to go, in other words the only stress in this life is death... all else is pointless to stress about.

    I also told my vision of Awani to a German doctor who was passing through Gabon. He had himself been initiated and he told me that he had seen the exact same landscape in one of his visions. I found it strange that it was a savannah/flat land as the Bwiti lives in the jungle/forest, but I had a book about the Bwiti with me and I discovered that the Bwiti came from such a place 10 000 years ago (the very same date I had felt it was in my vision). They had fled from a flood (yes they also have a deluge myth). So it all came together nicely. As always with these things... it all just flows together... the reality of it can be questioned only by those not in the experience itself. It is as solid to me as this computer I type on...

    My vision of Awani could not come from inside me. I knew nothing about her or about Bwiti history when I had my vision. She was a person I had never seen before. But she saw me, and she gave me the light... always follow the light. The light is good... to paraphrase words often spoken during my week long ceremony.

    Anyway lets continue with the trip. After Awani had showed me the light the head of a lion came out of the darkness and then people. Lots of people, all of them black... all ancient Africans. They came walking towards me, passed me. Brothers, mothers and daughters, fathers... and they sometimes stopped and waved to me... ancestors, ghosts of the past... and they would remain around me... sitting on the benches that surrounded my mat. Above me, beneath me. Many times did I look over where I knew some of them were and they were still there. I especially saw a mother and daughter throughout the ceremony. All my own ancestors I am sure... all there to show me the passage of time... how ancient we are... how long we have moved across the surface of the Earth. How special it is to have a family, because it is the only true thing you can leave behind: another soul.

    This is somewhat new for me... I normally don't think a child/family is an option to take in this life... but both Ayahuasca and Iboga has told me otherwise. It has somehow showed me that it is not because we have to multiply, that it is our duty as an animal... but that it is a duty of the heart to love and raise a mini-me... to give some sort of companionship in this cosmos of utter loneliness and confusion.


    All painted up for the ritual: Etudia and my initiation father Mbilou.

    I remember thinking several times that I did not have a lot of visions, and that this was the main difference from the Ayahuasca. Instead I was laying there on the ground, with all the people around me dancing and playing instruments. It wasn't till I opened my eyes I understood that I was in a constant vision. Unlike Ayahuasca it was so clear and real that I did not comprehend the illusion... and this is very similar to reality I guess. So real we forget that it is not real!


    Not the best quality as it has been taped on an iPhone, but it shows my ceremony in short stages throughout the night till morning.

    I felt very ill, and when I finally puked it was a horrible experience. After puking bile (which is usually the last step) my body kept jerking wanting to puke more, but there was nothing to expel. This was a dreadful experience. The puke itself felt like black sand and I shudder thinking about the taste now...

    I had a lot of mini-visions within my experience, like seeing Stonehenge when it was freshly constructed... but one of these mini-visions is interesting. I saw a machine constructed aeons ago of gigantic size, bigger than the universe itself, situated behind a beautiful and esoterically decorated door. The machine was working by itself, it did not need a driver... and it was unknowable who had built it, but what it was doing was pumping out universes. One every second. Bump, bump, bump... out they came... and had so been doing for eternity. The size, magnitude, age and mystery of this machine was awe inspiring and made the concept of our little planet seem ridiculous. We are but a speck in a storm inside an atom of a thousand worlds within yet another atom. And so on...

    When dawn broke the harp player placed the harp on my body, my back and my pineal gland whilst playing. This was an amazing experience, and the vibrations of the harp just shattered existence and I felt like I was shooting through a wormhole.


    The harp on my third eye.

    It took me about 48 hours to become normal again. The 'coming down' is much longer than with Ayahuasca which goes away as soon as you sleep, but with Iboga sleeping does not happen. It is like some super-Red Bull... just keeps you going.


    The great harp player Bokaye.

    That is it for now, I will probably add to this thread later on... and I am sure my fellow travelers will as well. The Iboga is still present in my life... not sure what it is doing at the moment. Stuff like this takes months and years to process. But will I do Iboga again? Right now the answer is no, I've had enough for one life time... but I still recommend it to anyone considering it. But beware... it is not easy to go through!

    Last edited by Awani; 02-05-2013 at 02:41 AM.

    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.

  2. #2
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    thx 4 report

  3. #3
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    Amazing! This is the first I've heard of placing a musical instrument on someone who was 'tripping'. Very good read
    Art is Nature in the flask; Nature is a vial thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiorionis View Post
    This is the first I've heard of placing a musical instrument on someone who was 'tripping'.
    He he, the first time I heard about it was when it happened... but as soon as it did happen I understood that this is a very smart thing to do as existence and reality is all vibrational. My theory is that when a person takes DMT, or similar substance, they change their radar/vibrations so they can see other realities... to enforce this with music makes perfect sense, and to feel it (touch the vibrations/musical instrument) makes even more sense. But they, indigenous shamans, have been doing this for thousands of years... what the fuck do we gringos know? LOL!

    Btw I bought one of those harps... after the experience I have been obsessed with it... it enchanted me you could say, and gave me new visions of music I had not considered before (but nothing I can put into words).

    Last edited by Awani; 02-05-2013 at 02:12 AM.

    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dev View Post
    I bought one of those harps... after the experience I have been obsessed with it.
    In certain genres, for example in Early Music, the harp is considered a divine instrument, one of the first musical instruments created, well, vocal-cord is first. Baroque is another genre.

    Amazing experience you described here dev!

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    The harp in Bwiti culture is a symbol of the woman.


    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.

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    Beautiful report Dev.

    I will add my experience soon, but I am still trying to get my head around it myself.

    Bwekaye!

    Ghislain

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    Basse!

    (Bwiti for 'I fully agree' and used as all the time for yes, ok, hey, sure, thanks etc...)


    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Dev, I've been waiting to hear your Iboga story. Going to be planning my trip to Peru for ayahuasca in about a year from now. Hoping to travel to Africa to experience what you have some time after that. Wow. Fascinating stuff. Thank you.


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dev View Post
    The harp in Bwiti culture is a symbol of the woman.
    That's thought-provoking. Interesting.

    Any literature or story you can point towards, for me to read?

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