An amazing account of the Shamanic Practice called La Dieta.
In 2011 I returned to Peru for 3 months of study and travel, spending a month in the Sacred Valley and then travelling back to the Northern Jungle for 2 months.
The Dieta that I had planned for this trip was a maximum of 3 weeks and completed over the Christmas/ New Year period of 2011/12. Below is a short account of these 3 amazing weeks.
It took about 2 weeks of labor to ensure the Tambo was adequate for sleeping and rain.We built it very simple with all from materials from the jungle and a trusty machete. I then traveled into the forest to Dieta for 3 weeks with the plant of my choice ( the plant that chose me). I gained permission to enter further into the jungle where I had previously visited (about a 50 minute walk from the local community) and build a small Tambo (Traditional dieting hut) and small space to practice within.
During my previous trip in early 2011, I had gone into the jungle with my teacher and been shown many medicinal trees and plants. One of the tree’s that caught my eye was The Lupuna Blanca Tree. These Trees are huge and are currently under serious threat of disappearing from illegal logging. I was instantly in awe of this beautiful Tree and began receiving intuition that I needed to return and work with it. During retreat a few months later I was visited by a huge spirit with a pipe who communicated to me it would like to teach me and that it was the Lupuna Blanca Tree.
When I planned to return to Peru I put my intention into working with this Tree. This Tree is one of the last remaining of its kind in this specific area of the jungle where I visit. From the camp we had set up the Tree was a further hour or so walk through dense jungle. With the help of my teacher, gumboots and sharp machetes we wandered in at a very fast pace to beat the setting sun (In the afternoon the sun sets very early it gets black very quickly and then it becomes dangerous as some species of aggressive poisonous snakes emerge for hunting). We seemed to enter into a time warp ,usually you can make the walk in and out in 2 hours; on this day we seemed to be there and back within 40 minutes.
Once we finally arrived at the Tree I was in wonder of this being and grateful to be given the opportunity to work with it’s medicine.I gave a blessing to receive it’s medicine with sacred Tobacco, we then took a small piece of its bark which I used to prepare the drink I would have in the preceding days. The first night of taking the Tree into my body, I received visions of giant beings walking around in the forest similar to the Ent’s from Lord of The Rings. As I began to descend into the domain of this plant I also encountered many other spirits. I was dreaming and receiving visions of The Lapuna surrounded by circles of different spirits, who all revered it as a sacred place.I had to enter into constant conversation and interrogations with many spirits who worshiped and protected this Tree and who questioned my intention to work with The Lupuna and be in this sacred place in their jungle.
There are two species of this Tree the first the Lapuna Blanc (white) and the second Puca Lupuna (red) , being associated with witch craft (brujeria) and very dense magical practices which are considered extremely dangerous.
I had full trust in my choice to work with the white version of this Tree as it had been coming to me in visions and dreams and I trusted its integrity and strength and how it communicated for me to prepare it’s medicine. My main aim for studying with this being was to get to the heart of Curanderismo and healing, while also building a strong energetic/protective ally which would prepare me for more future interaction and journeying in other dimensional spaces. I spent most of my days laying within my mosquito net in my Tambo, as it was rainy season the mosquitoes were horrendous.
When I did venture outdoors I would wash myself with baths of various plants to keep my energy up and give myself energetic strength. I would attempt to assist in catching small vegetarian fish which dwelled in the lagoon next to where I had established camp and eat them twice a day with grilled Platano or a little rice or farina. I felt this was the next step for me in my studies to completely immerse myself within the jungle’s field.Various animals and birds would drop in and it was so beautiful to sit ,listen and watch them.
At night when we held retreat the whole jungle would come to life with the sound of crickets, frogs and night birds.Sometimes I would sing, then sit in silence and a call would come back, the whole environment becoming part of my learning and experience.
I had visions of the Lapuna’s strong trunk: receiving celestial light thought it and grounding it back into the earth. This grande Tree appeared to be creating a energy synergy with the jungle; Similar to ancient Gothic cathedrals throughout Europe which ground holy energy into the building in which sacred gatherings and communions are held.
I took allot from this emergence within the jungle and feel as if my whole energetic system was rewired.Since completing this Dieta I have found out that most Maestros who work with this Tree actually diet for a year or two to fully understand its energy.I hope for further future work with this Tree and I am constantly learning more history of its mythological importance to indigenous culture throughout Central and South America.