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I find it uninspiring to journey with the Vine Of The Dead unless it's tropical heat outside, or as close to that as we can get on these Northern shores. Hence, my yagé window is limited to 1 month per year, and last year it didn't happen at all, as I simply didn't feel up to it (had a pretty good psilocybin ride instead). This week we were gearing up towards the hottest day of the year, and with a growing psychedelic yearning in the soul, the time seemed right for a visit with the Madrecita, or Queen Of The Forest, or just plain ol' Ayahuasca.
To be technically accurate, this was to be an Anahuasca trip rather than Ayahuasca, since I had decided to replace the Caapi vine from earlier journeys with the non-Amazonian Syrian Rue (Peganum Harmala). The reason was simple--the Caapi extract tastes absolutely awful, and it requires a lot of preparatory work. With a few grams of raw Peganum Harmala seeds offering the same MAOI effect, it seemed necessary to try this hybrid shortcut, developed by Western researchers like Jonathan Ott in the 1990s. A tour on the internet gave some indications that the Harmala seeds made for a different kind of trip than the Caapi vine, but I've learned to treat these anecdotal opinions with some skepticism.
The claim that the enigmatic THH (Tetrahydroharmine -- the least present of the three harmala alkaloids) was missing entirely from the Syrian Rue and in fact offered specific catalyst action for the Amazonian brew seemed a reasonable, slightly troubling objection, not least since recent voices have pointed to THH (more than harmine or harmaline) being the alkaloid agent behind the Caapi's elusive contribution to the ayahuasca high. I could look this up in my library, but figured the issue may still remain unresolved. Instead, the best way to say for sure is the trusted auto-bioassay analysis, i e: mix it up, drink it and see what happens. So be it.
The account of the actual Ayahuasca/Anahuasca journey will follow in a separate post, as soon as I've gone over my session notes and racked my mind for any visions I forgot to take down--because this was a 'dream' (as some people call their yagé trips these days) full of quick snapshots, and not much in terms of vision sequences. Coming up shortly, meanwhile you can enjoy my home-made Ayahusca bottle labels...