Tales from the Other Side, Volume #4: Changa - the Smokeable Ayahuasca
‘How isn’t this the most popular Psychedelic on the planet??’ - my first thought, shortly after returning to this realm.
I recently sat with an incredibly powerful, little known Psychedelic called ‘Changa’. It is often referred to as ‘smokeable Ayahuasca’ because like Aya, it also contains both DMT & MAO-I’s. Unlike Ayahuasca, however, it only lasts for about 20 minutes.
This is NOT a medicine for Psychedelic neophytes. I am a pretty seasoned Psychedelic traveler, and I found the experience to be very intense. It is destabilizing - someone who has never traveled to an advanced stage of consciousness might do the one thing you shouldn’t do when taking a Psychedelic - resist. Those attempts would have been futile in the face of how powerful Changa is…likely resulting in a difficult experience.
Before I detail the actual experience - I want to share something peculiar that happened in the days leading up to the ceremony. Two nights before the journey - I dreamt of the entire experience that was about to unfold.
The dream included everything from the Shamans who were going to administer the medicine (in exquisite detail) to the ceremony itself. The dream even contained aspects of the post-journey integration.
This is relevant because in Psychedelic circles - it is commonly believed that once you set an intention around taking a certain medicine, it begins to ‘speak’ to you. This can be the case with Ayahuasca, Bufo Alvarius (5-MeO-DMT) and Psilocybin.
Was my detailed dream Changa’s way of preparing me for the journey ahead? Was the medicine speaking to me in some way? A skeptic would argue that the dream was likely a release of unconscious thoughts relating to the nerves I was experiencing (despite my frequent travels to the other side, I still get nervous before each journey).
However - let’s remember the story of Ayahuasca (which contains the same ingredients as Changa). How the Amazonian’s cultivated Ayahuasca is one of the great mysteries of human history (combing two plants, thousands of miles apart from one another, in area where there are tens of thousands of plants). The mythology has always been that the plants ‘spoke’ to the natives. My dream lends credibility to this theory - the plants were speaking to me. The message - by allowing me to live out the experience in dream reality, I was more prepared to take the medicine in waking reality. The plants were telling me to relax, that everything was going to be okay.
The ceremony started by paying respect to the Shipibo tribe of Peru, where this specific Changa came from. We embarked on a short meditation, cleansed our hands with smoke & inhaled Rapé through each nostril. Rapé clears you both physically & mentally (it can be difficult to take, but short-term discomfort leads to a heightened sense of clarity & awareness).
It is recommended to wear an eye mask and lie down right after smoking Changa. I put the mask on my head, resting it above my eyes so I could smoke the medicine, cover my eyes & lie down immediately after.
One of the two Shaman’s present signaled I was ready to take the medicine. He held the glass pipe containing the Changa in front of me and began lighting it so I could smoke the medicine. Once your lungs are completely full, you pull back from the pipe, indicating to the Shaman to start a 5 second countdown where you hold the smoke in your lungs. Once that countdown ends, you exhale and return to pull smoke from the pipe one final time. It was within seconds of my second pull that I completely left this realm.
It was the most immersive experience of my life.
I lost all motor function as I laid down on the blanket beneath me. It felt like my physical body melted into the earth - I was no longer in the ‘meat sack’. A task as simple as picking up a fork would have been impossible.
I ‘saw’ the most beautiful, perfectly designed kaleidoscope of geometric shapes & patterns. They were bright red (which happens to be my favorite color), and in the dead center of these constantly moving inverted triangles was an image of Buddha.
For those of you that have been following the blog for a while, you may have noticed the main image I use has a Buddha in it. Was my mind simply replaying that image? Can the mind create any image from scratch that it hasn’t already been exposed to? The Buddha image I use comes from a painting depicting someone’s journey on 5-MeO-DMT. So at a minimum, I am not the first person to see Siddhartha while on DMT.
Another bizarre component to my experience on Changa was the fact that it didn’t matter if I kept my eyes opened or closed under the eye mask. The visuals continued regardless. That is not the case with the visuals you experience on Psilocybin, for example. They were so powerful and overwhelming I could not escape from the constant barrage of beauty & perfection. I told the Shaman in the aftermath of the journey - ‘God herself painted what I just saw’.
Let’s double-click into the Psilocybin comparison. On Psilocybin - you ‘see’ geometric shapes. This was different. I was immersed in the visuals, almost as if I was in them. There was no decoupling - I wasn’t at Point A, witnessing shapes that exist at Point B. Point A & B were the same. Ostensibly, I became the visuals I was experiencing.
After the visuals subsided, I was embraced by profound feelings of love. I am aware of how annoyingly unoriginal this is - but it’s what happened. I recall being showered in a sensation that everything is as it should be and everything is going to be okay. That I am loved and cared for.
The importance of balance was a key tenant of my journey. Everything in nature & life operates with a balance that we just need to accept & trust. We are not in control. Anyone that says otherwise, just tell them to hold their breath - and you will both realize how we are not in charge (them more quickly than you).
There is a growing belief that Psychedelic experiences mirror what it’s like to die (this is attributed to the theory that DMT, which occurs naturally in the human body, is released when we die). If this is in fact true - then we have nothing to fear. Death is a beautiful, powerful, spectacular event with images, feelings & experiences that we cannot comprehend while in this realm.
I have three takeaways from my experience with Changa:
Psychedelics are a portal to another realm. Changa transported me to the most beautifully perfect world I have ever encountered. Perhaps I was in the ‘universal consciousness’ - where many believe we come from & return to. What I know to be true is this - whatever we experience in this realm is not the entirety of what’s out there. Not even close. Perfection lies on the other side of our reality. And Psychedelics transport us there. All that is required is courage.
There is a constant balance in nature. A Mosquitos bite can cause Malaria. The cure for Malaria comes from the Birch tree, which grows in swamps inhabited largely by…you guessed it, Mosquitos. Everything is math. All of what we experience is in a perfect harmony with one another. Just trust the universe and everything will be okay.
I challenge anyone to remain an atheist after taking Changa. I am a very skeptical person by nature, I grew up & remained an atheist for most of my adult life. But there is no explanation for what I just experienced that doesn’t involve a creator. My mind could not have simply conjured up this level of beauty & perfection. There is a God, and she left behind these medicines so we can experience her.
Keep living a life consisting of love & balance. That’s really all that matters.
Periodically, I dedicate this newsletter to sharing my experiences with Psychedelics. I am in no way promoting the use of Psychedelics. Anyone interested in trying Psychedelics should consult with their doctor or therapist first.
If you are enjoying this Newsletter, nothing goes further than sharing with others who may be interested (forward this email & they can subscribe via the button below).
Thanks for reading The Psychedelic Blog! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.