Machete Woman: The Book

How far are you willing to go to achieve your dreams?

Would you be willing to endure great physical inconvenience and discomfort, perhaps even danger? What if the reality turned out to be far more amazing than your wildest dreams?

Machete Woman – My Life-Changing Journey from Aspiring Rock Star to Shaman’s Apprentice is the true story of one woman’s quest to find her life’s purpose.

From the streets of London, where she sought to fulfill her fantasy of becoming a rock star, to the jungles of the Peruvian Amazon that pushed her into a very different direction, Judy follows her inner guidance as it leads her along the path to her destiny.

“From an early age I knew there was more to the universe than what we could experience with our five physical senses, but what I wanted more than anything else in  life was to be a rock star. It was my greatest love and passion.  I thought my years of guitar and voice lessons, playing in bands, and producing my own songs in my own studio would at least gain me entry into the life I so desired. I didn’t realize until years later that I wasn’t following the path that I’d come into this life to walk, so the universe pulled the rug out from under me. I experienced my first shamanic death and found an even greater love.”

The story begins in London, where during a class in ceremonial magick, Judy meets a man who tells her about his experiences in Peru learning about plant spirit shamanism and the legendary ayahuasca brew.

“It was like he was speaking a different language to me. I didn’t know what he was talking about, but deep inside me something stirred. The feeling was like when you suddenly remember something that had long been forgotten. I could hear a little chime ting and knew that something significant had happened.”

What followed was a complete life crash: a horrible divorce that lasted for four years, through three countries and two continents, health issues, and having to return home to the United States to resume the work on unresolved issues with her parents.

“I just wanted to die. All my dreams had been smashed into the rocks and there I was back again going head to head with my mother as if I had never grown up, married and moved out. I’d lost everything that I’d spent a lifetime creating, and I felt like a complete failure.”

Sometimes you have to lose everything in order to be able to receive the greatest gifts that life has to give you.

“When my divorce settlement finally came through, I felt a huge relief. But then I heard a voice telling me that it was now my time to go to the jungle to learn about plant spirit shamanism. Without knowing anything about what I was about to get myself into, I agreed and signed up for a retreat with people that I’d met in London and trusted.”

In that retreat, Judy met her first teacher, Javier, a young indigenous shaman who invited her to return to live in the jungle with him and learn his medicine path. Machete Woman follows the adventures of Judy and Javier, along with their trusty guide and helper, Olaff, and a side cast of other colorful characters as they wander deeper and deeper into the mysteries of a practice that has been in existence for thousands of years.

“Machete Woman is a name I made up for myself because this simple blade is an essential tool in the jungle. All through my apprenticeship I enjoyed whacking things with my trusty machete, whether to fend off snakes or release frustrations.

Although I suffered greatly in that environment, I knew that I was home. I also found that my musical background helped me to quickly learn the sacred songs—the icaros—that drove the ceremonies. I even invented a word that described what I felt as I was singing in the deep trace trance state: icarocking. I was literally rocking out to the icaros as their energy surged through me. I’d found a new love.”

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