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Iboga ceremonies

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This trip report serves three purposes: (1) to record my experiences to not forget them, although forgetting will be impossible considering what happened; (2) to find out whether others have seen what I saw or whether others have seen comparable apparitions/entities under similar circumstances; and (3) to describe the procedures we used so future iboga psychonauts can recreate this experience using the hypothetico-deductive method, i.e. scientific method, approach. What you will read in my post flood dose account is not something I saw with my eyes closed or while wearing an eye mask. My eyes were open. Each time I awoke from a brief sleep I was not having an out-of-body experience; I was awake, I moved my duvet, and drank from my plastic water bottle. The visions may have been entirely in my own mind—even with open eyes, however, another person who partook in the same iboga ceremony, called Jack, saw what I saw.


INTRODUCTION & FLOOD DOSE STAGE

It all started to make sense on the second night when a hushed thrusting/rubbing lovemaking sound interrupted my first chance of getting some sleep this weekend. It sounded like slowly rubbing a hand up and down one’s jeans. I think it’s a bit rude to have sex in common sleeping areas and these people, whether staff or guests, needed to stop. I noticed they continued to wear those odd costumes but that did not stop my pleading interruption: “C’mon guys, I’ve been listening to this for a while now, it has to stop. I’ve been up for nearly 30 hours and I want sleep. Either I leave or you leave, this will happen”! Jill in the next bed looked at me and said, “There is no one there”. I turned back to the bed and they were still there. They were there, not making noise, just listening and watching us. While maintaining my gaze at them, I picked up my phone, pointed the home screen towards them and turned it on and then they weren’t there! I stood and cried out, “I think I’ve lost my mind”! Jill asked if I was all right, I said no. Jack said he heard footsteps leave the room. This moment explains all the other bizarre behavior I saw throughout the night beginning at around 22:00h.


I tried other entheogens before including ayahuasca, but this was my first time working with iboga. I wasn’t too keen on eating spoonfuls of root bark, so I, like the others, opted for a flood dose of TA extract. According to our hosts, TA extract produces less nausea, pain, throwing up, and you go deeper into the altered state. The ceremony took place earlier this year at the Iboga Farm in southwest Netherlands at a cozy 2-story house. Sander, Mike, and Nathalie run the place and they do ceremonies for 6-7 people (maximum) on weekends. Our ceremony was small due to last-minute cancellations. There were three of us in total: Jack, Jill, and I (names have been changed). Everyone met at the house at 18:00h on Friday and then we got to know each other for a while.


T: 0+

By 22:30h, we participated in an intention ceremony and took a test dose to be safe, to see if anyone had allergic reactions to the substance. The test dose (dose 1) consisted of two tablets: one of root bark (500 mg) and one of TA extract (500 mg). By 00:00h, we were helped to our beds and we would wait for the next dose. I used an eye mask to guarantee that no light whatsoever would affect my eyes even though the room was pitch black. The visions were similar to what other trip reports say: memories and scenes from your past; an issue or concern that you want to deal with; I saw visions primarily in grey, red, blue and green in this order; and I could see through my mask in a Matrix film kind of way. I will not discuss most of the visions I had during the flood dose stage because the information I received is personal and the flood dose stage is not the focus of this trip report. You will understand why when you reach the section titled TRIP IS FINISHED, OR SO I THOUGHT.


T: 2+

By 02:00, we were given our second dose: two tablets of TA extract, each at 500 mg.


T: 4+

By 04:00, we were given our third dose: two tablets of TA extract, each at 500 mg.


T: 6+

By 06:00, we were given our fourth dose. Jack took the full two tablets of TA extract, each at 500 mg, Jill chose not to take any more, and I only chose one additional tablet at 500 mg. I haven’t mentioned it yet, but I want to say here that there is a lot of vomiting throughout this process. We received a new dose roughly every two hours, so the vomiting usually began an hour or so after ingesting the tablets. Also, when I needed to vomit, thus take off my eye mask and open my eyes to find my vomit bucket, the visions ceased. The visions appeared during the flood dose stage only when my eyes were closed.


T: 16+

Jill went to the common room downstairs at around 12:00h and Jack went down at around 14:00h or so. I had barely slept the whole night and my body hurt everywhere. I didn’t go downstairs until around 16:00h. Sander has found that people who move a bit and eat a small meal increase their physical recovery and feel much better on Sunday, the day we were supposed to leave. Everyone relaxed downstairs, talked and discussed their experiences. Indeed, I was convinced that iboga was a very interesting substance to work with until…


TRIP IS FINISHED, OR SO I THOUGHT


T: 21+ until 30+ (or 21:00h until 06:00h)

At around 21:00h on Saturday (now, the second night), Jack, Jill and I went to our beds to get some rest. Mike and Nathalie would look after us, but we didn’t see them the rest of the night, and for good reason: not much happens after the vomit, flood dose stage. Or so I thought. I’m a very restless sleeper anyway and wake up to the smallest noises. Combined with my physical pain, sleeping in a bed not my own, and sharing a room with strangers, I couldn’t sleep. I rolled around all night and was constantly woken up by bizarre images. The images could have occurred in my own mind, and although Jack corroborates what I saw, they may have been in his mind too since we both took the same substance. The following images are what I saw from the purview of my bed by rolling my head to see what was occurring in the room. In what follows is what I remembered to have occurred in this order more or less.


White Druids

Shortly after I entered my bed, I felt that someone was moving around the room. I lifted my head and saw two short people, about 160 cm, dressed in glowing white costumes, similar to the effect of a black light.


I wasn’t expecting much interaction with entities, as iboga is a personal, inward experience as opposed to a more outward experience with ayahuasca. Until I had that frightening realization in the Introduction at the beginning of this report, I thought most of the things I saw were done by Mike, Nathalie, and Jill. As I remember more and more from this night, some of the things I will discuss later on couldn’t have been them, but for some reason I convinced myself while in that exhausted state that those visions couldn’t have been anyone other than Mike, Nathalie or Jill. It was a bizarre feeling especially when there were more than three entities in the room.


Nathalie and Jill got along well during the weekend so I thought Nathalie snuck into our room to play with Jill. “Play” is the wrong word, but it seemed to me at the time that she woke up Jill to play on their smartphones or something. I noticed two entities: one sat on Jill’s bed (now I realize that Jill was asleep in that bed) and the other was standing, and they were looking into each other’s phones. The phones, or devices, had a fluorescent purple glow and were dimly lit. The devices were so close to their hands that it either rested on their palms or there were no devices at all and the light came from the palms of their hands. Each time I peeked up, they slowly turned their heads towards my ruffling duvet. I saw they noticed me and then I put my head back down. About 20 minutes later, I peeked up again and gave a nasty look, a look that said stop playing around, Jack and I want to sleep. I hissed a sigh for them to get the point and then eventually slept briefly. Also in the room, which I thought nothing of at the time, was a white fog, as if someone brought in a fog machine. I also saw a pitched white tent in the middle of the room with the opening towards Jill’s bed, and what seemed to be Christmas lights hovering in the air from the tip of the tent to behind the entities with a final light ending above Jill’s bed. The lights didn’t move. They were blue, green, orange and yellow, also dimly lit, yet the fog made the lights somewhat brighter. Also, the lights didn’t have any casings or bulbs; they were just oddly shaped balls of light, some big and some small. The entities wore white, druid-like hoodies accompanied by baggy white onesies. I didn’t see their faces, but I saw white vertical and horizontal stripes painted on their faces. Since iboga is from Africa, these entities could have had African faces, but the hoodies didn’t allow much light to expose their facial colour. They also had thin fluorescent white dreadlock style hair.


The Droid

I woke up again and noticed lots of stuff—furniture, moving boxes, floor lamps, chairs, etc.—in the center of the room. There was a blue-green haze in the room and the image looked almost like an hologram. A curious little robot was moving around the things, a few centimeters off the floor. It had the shape of an upside “L” (such as: ˥) when still, and the shape of the number “7” as it slowly glided around the room. Its thin head was roughly 1 cm wide, 1 cm high, and 5 cm long. Its body was roughly 20 cm long and had a vertebrae-like structure with floating joints, the joints wider at the top and very narrow at the bottom. There were 4 green circular lights on its back; they were biggest at the top and smallest at the bottom. At the front of its head was a green light projecting green circles increasing in size the farther away the circles were from the droid’s circular green “eyeball” or camera screen. It seemed to be recording or searching for something because it took its time to fully view everything that came into its line of sight. It scanned Jill’s face longer than the inanimate objects in the room and as it approached me—while I rested on my elbow observing it—it stayed fixed on my face as well. It seemed harmless and I didn’t want to scare it so I smiled at it. Then it moved on to scan Jack’s bed. I became bored of watching it snoop around so I tried to go to bed. (This little robot appeared several times during the night, each time with different stuff in the room and different quantities of stuff. Also, the little robot never appeared with other entities, always by itself.)


Mummy Entities

I woke up again to the sound of buzzing or scratching, the same sound I heard at the beginning of this report. This buzzing sound is similar to someone having a danger wank in a hostel when you hear the sound of rubbing fist on bed sheet or while rubbing your jeans with your hand. The mummy entities looked like mummies: cloth wrapped around their entire body with lots of protruding loose ends. I call them mummies, but not in the traditional Egyptian sense. They were like burial outfits, but much looser than the stereotypical mummy. They lay flat in the middle of the room with their legs slightly above the floor, arms at the side, and they were pulsating/vibrating very quickly. In retrospect, I thought Mike was shagging or heavily groping either Nathalie or Jill and they had put on some kinky outfits. At other waking moments, I experienced the mummies standing, two at the back of the room and the other at the foot of my bed, gazing in my direction. These mummies were dressed as the previous ones except their forearms were folded on their solar plexus and the mummy wrappings were covered over their arms.



Mirror Entities

I woke up again to two individuals, presumably a man and woman because of their size, and they were sitting in front of a slightly inclined mirror in between Jill’s bed and mine, in the center of the room. These individuals also wore those mummy outfits. They were painting their faces with vertical and horizontal lines of fluorescent colours, such as blue, orange, yellow, and green. The backs of their heads were covered in the same mummy cloth, but I couldn’t see their faces in the mirror; I could only see the fluorescent colours they were painting on themselves. Again, for some reason, I thought this was Mike and either Nathalie or Jill playing some weird games in the room. When I ruffled my duvet, they slowly turned their heads to look at me through the mirror. I looked at them and then went back to bed hoping they would get the point that I needed sleep.


Scaring The Entities

I woke up again to see the white druids, the mummies, and the mirror entities all in the room going about their business. I had a good look around and when I lifted my duvet in an attempt to get comfortable for my next sleep my hand almost knocked down the wall lamp above my bed. Everyone looked startled and was looking at me, and I put my hand in the air and assured them with a whisper that nothing was broken and everything was ok. (Like I said, I thought Mike and Nathalie were in the room, that’s why I apologized for almost breaking their beautiful wall lamp.) I put my head down, and tried to sleep again.


I think I had a temporary case of dissociation because more than three entities in the room meant they couldn’t have been Mike, Nathalie and Jill. In retrospect, I do remember feeling a bit scared and thought by putting my head in the sand—or in this case, under my duvet—they would go away.


Climax Moment—Everyone At Once

This was one of the weirdest moments of the night. I lifted my head and there was a lot activity in the room. I want to stress here that all of these visions were very crisp throughout the night, not fuzzy at all; they looked as real as waking life, like I could touch them. Apart from the little droid mentioned before which seemed almost holographic, all of the other entities I saw this night were not transparent like stereotypical ghosts, they were whole and intact.


Two mummies were vibrating on the floor, another mummy lay supine on the end of Jack’s bed—while Jack was in the bed—with its legs pointed straight up and its hands playing with the red window curtain, actually stroking the curtain from behind and moving it forward. Above the mummy who played with the curtain was an oval image of a 50-year-old black woman in a black dress in a coffin. Only the torso portion of the coffin was visible. The image of the black woman tilted at a 45-degree angle towards my bed. The white druids were there as well with their tent. They seemed to be working or doing research. That was the feeling I had from them. In addition to these images, a 20-year-old African tribesman in traditional garb peaked his head around my duvet and our eyes met.


Then, at the top of the stairs, I saw 5 more entities through our room’s door curtain; all were about 2 meters tall. The first seemed to be male with a big, demonic, mangled head. His head was larger that his body, tarantula-like with a thick mosquito-sucking nose/mouth combined with a case of epidermodysplasia verruciformis, that rare skin disease that makes people look like roots. His body was slim and he wore, or contained within him, a kind of bright white rectangle and it seemed like he was wearing a futuristic kind of formal suit, similar to a business suit today. Then three women came into sight. They all wore dark red robes and had haircuts similar to Queen’s Guard helmets, looking like a bearskin fur cap. Each hugged a tall woman with braided blond hair who seemed to act like a host or an old friend they hadn’t seen in a while. Each of the three women took turns to say hello by pressing their torso against the tall blond woman, placed their hands on the outer shoulders of the blond woman, and embraced each other like how French people give two kisses, one on each cheek. The three women and the host disappeared down the hallway, but this tall entity continued to stare in my direction. I was uneasy and felt uncomfortable by his staring because staring implies curiosity or a desire to confront someone as in a fight. Although he stared, he never entered the room. I believe there are two possible reasons for this: (1) he was an evil entity who respected, or couldn’t participate in or disrupt, the ongoing iboga ceremony of Jack, Jill, and I, and the other entities, or (2) he was a good entity, even though he was extremely hostile-looking and frightening, but he decided to stay put because he sensed I was scared of him. Also worth noting: the next day I discovered that the curtain to our room is not transparent at all; you can’t see anything through it. But I could see these entities through the curtain.


I’m guessing the above episode happened between 03:00-04:30h. After I went back to sleep, Jill and I were constantly awakened by the rubbing sound. We both thought it was Jack having a danger wank. When I piped up at the entities mentioned in the introduction, she was happy that I was saying something to Jack because she had had enough of it as well. When she realized I wasn’t directing my comments towards Jack, she said no one was there and I switched on my phone’s light and became scared.


REPEATABILITY

For reasons already stated, I was unable to achieve deep sleep or only achieved brief slept, but I was consistently awakened during the night. Iboga trip reports that I have read thus far only address visions during the flood dose, not after the flood dose.


I suggest a new angle of inquiry for future iboga psychonauts. After the first 12-hour phase of the iboga ceremony that ends at around 12:00h, try to take naps during the second day so you will not be tired during the second night and can hopefully be awakened/disturbed by entities. The only paranormal activity experienced by Jill was the rubbing sound later in the night. We believe she slept through the night’s activities because she took a long walk with Mike to the beach and she was exhausted when it was time for bed. Jack and I were lazy (and very tired) and took naps during the day, thus we were restless and easily disturbed by the entities during the night.


For those who wish to replicate our experience, I recommend the following:

(1) Take a flood dose of TA extract, roughly the same amount as we did.

(2) If you do an iboga ceremony on a weekend, start the intention ceremony on Friday at roughly 22:00-22:30h, and then lay in bed at around midnight.

(3) The 36-hour trip schedule is roughly divided into 3 progressions or phases.

Phase 1: from midnight until 12:00h (first half of Saturday). This phase represents the dying process.

Phase 2: from 12:00h until midnight (second half of Saturday). This phase represents the land of the elders and insights.

Phase 3: from midnight until 12:00h (first half of Sunday). This phase represents being reborn.

(4) There seems to be something special about the time period between 21:00-06:00h. Perhaps traditional Bwiti ceremonies during this time of night consisted of everyone dancing and singing or maybe the spirits like to come out at this time.

(5) Experiment with group size. From my experience above, smaller groups seem ideal. In our case, a small 3-person group seemed to generate amazing results. Group size might be an important factor. Entities were on the beds, the floor, floating around and making use of the free space in the room. I think it would be harder to get similar results with too many iboga participants or with a small, confining room. I think these beings need space to do their thing and/or feel more comfortable and welcome. The feeling I got was that they wanted to be there for us during our ceremony and to guide us if we asked them for assistance. I only watched and didn't ask for assistance from the entities because I thought Mike, Nathalie, and Jill were playing around. I wonder if these entities would have taken us to other realms if we had only asked them to be our guides.

(6) Trip sitters should not disturb. I think it helped that Mike and Nathalie didn't come up to our room very often because we were just trying to rest. We were way past the vomit, flood dose stage. Perhaps the entities would have left the room or not come at all if our trip sitters checked on us all the time. I recommend participants should use the toilet and grab what they need for the night beforehand so trip sitters don’t have to disturb the room, and trip sitters perhaps shouldn't come to the room unless participants call their names or are in danger.

(7) Intention might matter during the second night. If you try to stay up all night, the entities might sense that someone is awake and they will not show themselves. Do try to doze off, but you will be rested from your naps during the day, so in theory you will be awakened because of your restlessness. I was awakened at least 10 times during the night, and once I had a good look around, I actually tried to get some sleep again. I didn’t fall asleep right away each time I put my head down, but the point is that I tried to sleep and couldn’t because of the amount of activity throughout the night. I want to interact with the entities more the next time I work with iboga. Instead of just looking around and then getting another kip in, the next time I want to sit up in bed and look at them for longer periods of time, make hand gestures, smile at them, perhaps show them photos on my phone, or have physical photos they can look at, or gifts for them to take away.

(Cool In order to attract and see entities, perhaps the setting must feel like a ceremony. Entities might not come if someone does iboga alone or if there is no traditional music played.


CONCLUSION

The best way I can explain what is going on here is that it is not possible to see these entities during flood dose because the first 12 hours is such a traumatic physical exercise and the visions are very intense. However, when the body has a chance to recover for a short while, I suppose a high concentrate ibogaine residue is left in the body that acts as a kind of night vision to see paranormal activities that cannot be seen with the naked eye. In addition to this, necessary prerequisites for seeing/interacting with entities might include the shuttering effect in the eyes that is produced by iboga, a slowed heart rate produced by iboga, and an exhausted physical state from lack of sleep and food. The Bwiti perhaps don’t intend to see the most meaningful visions during the iboga consumption stage, either from root bark or TA extract, but rather the most profound exchange of knowledge and interaction with spirits and guides is supposed to occur after the flood dose on the second night of recovery. The actual iboga experience is not only about the visions during flood dose; the flood dose stage, I think, is a necessary prerequisite to prime the mind and body for interacting with multiple dimensions. Graham Hancock posits that “the brain is a receiver or transceiver of consciousness; as such a transceiver, the receiver wavelength of consciousness may be adjusted and thus gains access to other levels of realities and the intelligences that inhabit those realities” (“Graham Hancock and the Sacred Vine”, London Real interview, YouTube).


I do not believe these images of entities and technologies were produced from within me. I think iboga is a tool for the mind to be able to see what is normally unseen. I urge future iboga participants to experiment with my setting suggestions because I think something is going on during these ceremonies and the influence of iboga makes one more perceptive of it. It’s no wonder the Bwiti say they communicate with spirits and guides in ethereal realms. It sounds like myth and fantasy, but under the right conditions they may have known of a way all this time to communicate with other beings and intelligences that we in the West are now able to experience. I would like to see more research done with more of a scientific method approach that can be duplicated by others. I hope similar insights and experiments are made and shared to discover and explain these phenomena.




Alan   23-9-2017      

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