I spent four days with Arron and Vanessa earlier this month. This was my third retreat with Vanessa and my second with Arron. I drank the plant medicine on four nights and underwent a kambo treatment.
The retreat was provided in a clean and spacious environment located a reassuring distance from civilisation. Arron and Vanessa provided a warm and informal reception to both new and returning attendees.
Ceremonies typically commenced around 20:00, and administration of the medicine was preceded by a meditation or activity which varied night to night. We received the medicine typically after 22:00. Being an "early bird", I struggled with the late start and finish to the ceremonies.
Breakfast was served in the morning in an informal manner, after which we typically spent two or more hours in an integration session discussing our experiences and the emotions they brought. Lunch was served after integration, and an light dinner was served in the evening before the ceremony commences. Vegetarian and vegan options were provided.
Each retreat brings new experiences, and one night at Dragonfly was particularly extraordinary. A lady confronting a terminal diagnosis had a powerful reaction to the medicine. I was tremendously impressed to observe the calm professionalism displayed by both facilitators helping this lady work through a long and challenging process for which she herself was unprepared. The energy in the room that night was electric, and when I found myself undergoing a surprising and unexpected prolonged physical purge, I felt completely safe under the care of Arron and Vanessa.
Arron and Vanessa demonstrate empathy in integration, while being unafraid to challenge those who aren't quite able to see what may be holding them back. I always find integration excruciating, but at this retreat I felt safe to be completely honest about my experiences and perspectives.
While Arron had announced at the start of the retreat that he would not be offering kambo, he offered it to me based on my particular circumstances. I accepted, and was surprised to find in the subsequent hours that this medicine offered me a path to some understanding of personal long-seated demons. Critically though, this understanding was seeded by conversations I had had in previous days with other attendees. There are no random collisions, and everything that happened on this retreat was absolutely meant to be.
For the first time in the days after a retreat, I have a clear sense of the changes I must make in my life. For this, I am eternally grateful to Arron and Vanessa for providing this experience.
Number of Participants in ceremony: 9
Follow up integration