And thus, without a Wing Or service of a Keel Our Summer made her light escape Into the Beautiful

In less than two weeks, I will be lying cocooned in the sounds of the Brazilian rain forest, in a circular temple of green mosquito-netting and gravity defying wooden beams, elevated in an ayahuasca state.

Two weeks before (sometimes, two months before) these journeys, my body and mind start to be full of backward reflections. Shards of the future pre-shadowed in the now. Things slow down, I become more inward, often more infantile. It’s like I’m regressing towards that small door that I know I have to go through. The small brown door in the bottom of that dank-smelling cup.

This film will come out next year. It looks beautiful and it seems to articulate what Aya is about. I haven’t seen it — but there is a wave coming. And this looks like the shiny flashes at the crest.

As always on these adventures, I stop being able to read prose. Sounds silly, I know but in the run up and during the trip, all I can make sense of is poetry. Emily Dickinson seems to be everywhere at the moment:

Presentiment – is that long Shadow – on the Lawn –
Indicative that Suns go down –

The Notice to the startled Grass
That Darkness – is about to pass –


  1. Rick

    November 20, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    The film trailer is
    amazing, I look forward
    to seeing the movie
    next year!

  2. Brian (DocSwill)

    November 21, 2010 at 2:32 pm


    You seem to find such great comfort in this. Do you think the wonder of ayahuasca would have any benifits for a cancer patient like me?

    Peace B

  3. David

    November 21, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Ayahuasca, psychotherapy and back to ayahuasca. What are you really looking for?


  4. astral projection

    November 22, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    It would be interesting to know just what fantastic visions and feelings you will experience during your trip. Although I understant that this is probably very personal. And deeply inspiring. Hmmmm, I am so curious!
    Enjoy your ‘spice melange’ 🙂

  5. Ian

    November 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Bon voyage Alistair. I am doing my third aya ceremony this week, thanks to you! Alas nowhere as exotic as Brazil – the Dutch polders! Let’s hope the legal situation in England can be resolved as soon as possible so that normal service can be resumed.

  6. DQT

    November 25, 2010 at 12:14 am


    Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
    Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
    And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
    Must ask permission to know it and be known.
    The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
    I have made this place around you,
    If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
    No two trees are the same to Raven.
    No two branches are the same to Wren.
    If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
    You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
    Where you are. You must let it find you.

    David Wagoner

    Safe journey Alistair, safe return.

  7. lou

    November 25, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Quenches my benign voyeuristic tendencies, as well as exposing me to worlds and views I have never known!!
    – safe journey

  8. Rod

    November 25, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    WHat a wonderful experience and one I’m sure you will cherish for a long time.
    I had a simiar experience many years ago in the jungle of Papua New Guinea and it still remains clearly as if it was yesterday.
    Have a safe journey and take care.

  9. John Mc.

    August 3, 2011 at 10:29 am

    ‘Stepping Into the Fire’ is making the rounds at film and cultural festivals, and was made available to Facebook members who had followed the film’s progress. I don’t know how long it will be up for viewing on Vimeo, but if anyone wants to check it out, the password is: SITFFINAL

    After watching SITF, I went back the your film, Alistair, and ‘Man Who Drank…’ still holds a powerful message and connection for me, because of your openness and willingness to share your own fears and vulnerabilities during the process.

    One day, I hope to learn from the plant and its facilitators. Peace

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