December 2000

I am a 40 year old woman, employed as a substance abuse counselor in San Francisco. I am also a member of Santo Daime, a church which uses ayahuasca in its ceremonies, so I am familiar with the use of entheogens.

I had been interested in ibogaine for about three years, as a treatment for drug addiction and as a tool for spiritual growth. A friend of mine had been initiated by the Bwiti in a dramatic ceremony that sounded difficult but fascinating. I used to be a drug addict and an alcoholic, but stopped with the aid of 12 step programs ten years ago. I started attending Santo Daime three years ago.

I had arranged to meet H and try ibogaine over the internet. I almost didn’t come, but finally decided to. I flew from California to Holland on the 13th and arrived on the 14th of December.

I took the ferry to the island of Texel with H, he rented a house, and we took a walk, then returned to try the ibogaine.

I initially took one gram. I had it administered in an enema, to prevent stomach upset. H used to be a nurse, so he had the technique down. I experienced no effects on my stomach at all during the experience. I found the sensation of the ibogaine in my body to be pleasant and comfortable, not irritating as I had feared. In about a half hour, I felt a heaviness in my arms and legs. I felt that another quarter gram would be nice, so H administered that. I didnt want to move around. H stayed in the room with me for a while, but soon I told him he could go elsewhere if he wanted because I did not feel like I needed anyone to sit with me. I started seeing what looked like ornate furniture stuck near the ceiling or on the walls. I was seeing pillows with intricate embroidery on them, but then when I reached out to touch them, they were not there. I saw up against the wall two Roman soldiers in armour that was welded so that their backs were facing each other. They were each seated in front of a chess board, but they had no partner. This was only one of many bizarre hallucinations. I could not tell if my eyes were open or closed and I had to reach up and touch my eyes to check. I was looking down at landscapes that appeared as mirages, appearing clearly and then wavering and vanishing. I felt as though I were flying over seasides and mountainscapes, and at other times I would see a building head on, and it would waver and then disappear. I soon saw a circle of beings up above me, in a semicircle looking down at me. I asked who they were and they said we are the Masters of Light. I could not see them very well, I saw flashing pictures of eagles, but then one appeared to me, it was a white woman and she said her name was Ariel. She said she would help answer my questions. She was very nice and in what seemed like a really good mood. I had wanted to know about some sexual abuse I thought had occured when I was a child involving my father. Both my parents are now dead, but this question had come up in therapy several times, and even though I could surmise from details of my life that something difficult happened to me around sex as a child, I still felt a resistance to thinking such a thing. Suddenly I was shown myself as a three year old leaving my parents bedroom, my mother alseep in the bed and my father saying “Don’t tell mama.” I dont know if this is a memory, as I saw myself from an aerial view. But then my view would switch back to that of a child. I had very clear sense impressions of walking through the room, and I continued to other parts of the house where I noted how realistic everything seemed. All the details of my home when I was growing up were before me. During this part I became emotional, and was filled with certitude, something sexual of this nature did occur. I saw how many of my behaviors had been affected by this event. It was a profound feeling of sadness and understanding.

When that episode was over, I continued to ask questions of Ariel. Some answers she would not give me, things I wanted to know about relationships in the future and my job in the future, she explained that in these cases knowing would hinder the lessons I would get from finding out. Springtime was indicated as a hopeful time. I asked how old I would live to be, and the answer I got was 73. I questioned her about it, and she just shrugged and indicated that was her answer I could take it how I wanted. I asked about my mission in life, and I was told it was to be a healer of some kind, but I could not get more specific information. It was a very natural back and forth conversation that seemed to go on for hours. She told me that I was also an angel. At one point she left and I said thank you.

The circle of beings still hung overhead whenever I went to look for them there, all night long. Furniture continued to line the walls, and other weird images would arise for about five seconds while I studied them intently and then they would vanish. I was very restless in bed, kicking my legs and having to switch from front to side to back over and over again. Dreamlike stories which I can’t recall, some very mundane, others fantastical flowed through my mind. I was unaware if my eyes were open or closed, but occasionally images would pop up in my sight and I would have to feel my eyes to see if they were open or not. It felt as though I could see the room with my eyes closed. The next day I lay in bed all day, in a state of dreamy exhaustion, slipping in and out of such reveries. I felt extemely lethargic. On the third day I was completely wiped out, partly becasue I hadn’t eaten for a few days. I was up after that and after eating I still feel a little weak, but much better.

I had recently been smoking marijuana every day for a few weeks, and I found I had no desire to smoke so far. I think part of this is a desire to return to normal mental functioning, partly a desire to maintain the pristine feeling I got from the ibogaine. The presentation about my childhood I received has helped me enormously in my understanding. I think it took something so strong for me to break through this resistance to my own healing. The environment I took the ibogaine in was very important and the level of trust I had for H and his motives were crucial I think to the good outcome I experienced. I felt the rewards of the ibogaine were well worth the physical inconvenience, and I hope to be able to explore in this way again. I recommend bypassing oral administration in favor of the enema, as I noted I had no stomach upset at all.

By Dev