Ayahuasca is a powerful entheogenic plant medicine that has been used for centuries by indigenous communities in the Amazon basin, primarily in Peru, Colombia and Brazil. It is renowned for its potential to induce transformative and profound experiences, offering insights, healing, and spiritual growth. It’s usually associated with the feminine energy, often called the ‘Mother’ or ‘Grandmother’. No one really knows it’s origin as the tradition has been preserved only by word of mouth, some people say it’s hundreds of years, others that it’s been used for thousands of years among the native tribes of the Amazon Rainforest. It was a real miracle that out of hundreds of thousands of jungle species the locals found the ayahuasca vine and decided to brew it together with the dmt containing plants and get the powerful visionary medicine. Now the native traditions are opening to share the medicine with the western world in order to support global healing.
Here is important information about ayahuasca:
1. Ayahuasca Brew: Ayahuasca refers to both the plant medicine and the ceremonial brew made from the combination of two primary ingredients: Banisteriopsis caapi vine and leaves from a plant typically known as Chacruna (Psychotria viridis). The vine contains harmine and other alkaloids, while the leaves contain the psychedelic compound dimethyltryptamine (DMT). The combination allows for the absorption of DMT by the body, inducing visionary experiences.
2. Traditional and Indigenous Use: Ayahuasca has long been used by indigenous peoples for medicinal, spiritual, and cultural purposes. It is an integral part of their rituals, ceremonies, and shamanic practices. Traditional ayahuasca ceremonies are conducted by experienced shamans or healers who guide participants through the process.
3. Healing and Transformation: Ayahuasca is known for its potential to facilitate emotional, psychological, and spiritual healing. It can help individuals gain insights into the root causes of mental or emotional distress, patterns of behavior, and unresolved traumas. This can lead to personal growth, increased self-awareness, and a deeper connection to oneself and the natural world. Ayahuasca has been proven to help heal Addictions, Traumas, Anxiety and Panic attacks, Depression and many physical illnesses.
4. Ceremony and Setting: Ayahuasca ceremonies are conducted in a ceremonial space, such as a maloca or a dedicated retreat center in pitch black darkness. These provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to experience the medicine without visual distractions. Ceremonies often involve prayers, chants, icaros (sacred songs), and guidance from experienced facilitators or healers. First each participant shares their intention and then for most part of the evening you stay in your private bed after receiving the medicine (with short breaks for the toilet).
5. Potential Risks and Challenges: While ayahuasca is generally considered safe when used in a ceremonial context and under the guidance of experienced facilitators, there are potential risks and challenges to be aware of. These include strong psychological and emotional effects, physical purging (such as vomiting or diarrhea), encountering challenging or distressing experiences. The best way to deal with those is to stay present and breathe deeply to calm down your nervous system. Our team will also prepare you for the experience and help you integrate and interpret the ceremonies.
6. Preparatory Guidelines: Prior to participating in an ayahuasca ceremony, it is essential to follow certain preparatory guidelines. These may include dietary restrictions, avoiding certain medications or substances, and engaging in practices that support mental and emotional well-being. Such guidelines are intended to create a receptive and safe space for the ayahuasca experience. You can read about them below.
7. Integration and Aftercare: Integration is a crucial aspect of the ayahuasca experience. It involves processing and making sense of the insights and experiences gained during the ceremony, and incorporating them into everyday life. Aftercare may involve practices such as meditation, journaling, therapy, or seeking support from trusted individuals or holistic practitioners to aid in integration. It is important to approach ayahuasca with respect, reverence, and informed consent. Consulting with our experienced facilitators, healers, or medical professionals familiar with ayahuasca is highly recommended. We can provide personalized guidance, ensure safety, and help individuals navigate the profound effects of ayahuasca.
The preparation process for an ayahuasca ceremony involves several important considerations, including dietary restrictions. Here’s a breakdown of the preparation process, the foods to avoid and consume, and potential dangers and safety measures:
1. Preparation and Intentions: Before participating in an ayahuasca ceremony, it’s advisable to set clear intentions and prepare yourself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This may involve introspection, meditation, mindfulness or engaging in activities that promote self-reflection and grounding.
2. Diet and Restrictions: Ayahuasca ceremonies often require adhering to a specific diet for at least one week prior to the ceremony. The restrictions aim to create a conducive environment for the ayahuasca experience and enhance its effects. While the specific dietary guidelines may vary depending on the traditions and recommendations of the facilitators, here are some common guidelines:
Foods to avoid:
– Foods containing tyramine: These include aged cheeses, fermented foods, cured or processed meats, and some fruits like bananas and avocados.
– Alcohol and recreational drugs: These substances can have potentially dangerous interactions with ayahuasca.
– Certain medications: It’s crucial to inform your facilitator about any medications you’re taking to ensure they don’t negatively interact with ayahuasca.
– Fried foods, Red and heavy meat (pork, beef, sheep, tuna, eel), sugars and salt, spicy foods
Foods to consume:
– Simple and easily digestible foods: Examples include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins like fish or poultry.
– Light meals: Eating smaller portions and avoiding heavy or greasy foods can support the ayahuasca experience.
3. Avoiding Certain Medications and Supplements: It’s essential to inform the facilitators about any medications or supplements you are taking, as some may have contraindications with ayahuasca. Common examples include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, anti-allergic medications, blood pressure medications, and MAOIs (Monoamine oxidase inhibitors).
4. Precautions and Safety Measures: Ayahuasca ceremonies involve the ingestion of a powerful plant medicine that can induce intense experiences. While generally considered safe when taken in a ceremonial setting under experienced guidance, there are potential risks and considerations to be aware of:
– Physical health: Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as severe cardiovascular problems, liver conditions, or a history of psychosis, should exercise caution and inform the facilitator about their condition.
– Psychological preparedness: Ayahuasca can bring forth deep emotions and challenging experiences. It’s important to approach the ceremony with a stable mental and emotional state and to inform the facilitator about any relevant psychological history of you and your family.
An ayahuasca ceremony in the Shipibo tradition is a sacred gathering that involves the consumption of ayahuasca guided by the experience and singing of the shamans. The Shipibo people have a deep cultural and spiritual connection with ayahuasca and consider it a profound tool for healing and spiritual exploration. The Shipibo ayahuasca ceremony is a deeply spiritual and communal experience, emphasizing the connection between humans and the natural world. The guidance of a skilled maestro and the group support create a safe space for individuals to undergo profound healing, self-discovery, and spiritual growth.
Here is a description of an ayahuasca ceremony in the Shipibo tradition:
1. Setting Preparation: The ceremony takes place in a designated ceremonial space, called a maloca in pitch black darkness to not distract the participants. Prior to the ceremony, the space is cleansed and prepared with the guidance of a Shipibo maestra. We meet at 7pm and the guests can choose one of the prepared beds. You will receive a pillow, sheets, blanket and a bucket for purging. You should bring comfortable ceremonial clothes, head torch with red light if possible (to not blind other participants with white light), and anything that can support your on your journey (altar, instruments, crystals etc.)
2. Invocation and Icaros: The ceremony begins with an invocation and prayers offered by the maestra, seeking blessings and protection from the plant spirits. The maestros facilitate the ceremony, guiding participants through the experience. Throughout the ceremony, the maestros sing icaros, sacred songs in Shipibo language. These icaros are used to invoke and communicate with the plant spirits, create a safe container, and guide participants through their inner journeys.
3. Ayahuasca Consumption: Participants consume the ayahuasca brew, made from the combination of Banisteriopsis caapi vine and leaves from the Chacruna plant (Psychotria viridis). The dosage is carefully determined by the maestro based on each individual’s needs and sensitivity. After drinking the brew, participants sit or lie down in their designated space, ready to embark on their ayahuasca journey. The medicine will be offered more times during the ceremony and the participants can also ask for more if they feel ready.
4. Inner Exploration and Healing: As the effects of ayahuasca begin to take hold, participants enter a deep and introspective state of consciousness. The ayahuasca experience can vary widely, often including intense visions, emotional releases, and encounters with spiritual entities or plant spirits. Different forms of purging will usually appear including vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, shaking, crying, yawning etc . Usually the time leading to the purge becomes more difficult and once the purge is finished, the process becomes easier. This transformative process is guided by the maestro’s icaros, which help navigate and harmonize the energies within the ceremony.
5. Personal Healing and Insight: Participants may encounter unresolved emotional or physical issues during the ceremony. The maestro provides individual attention and energetic healing when necessary, using traditional Shipibo techniques such as blowing sacred tobacco smoke, icaro singing, or using their hands to remove energetic blockages. The goal is to facilitate deep healing and personal transformation.
6.Treatment: During the intense healing process the participants can ask for help from the facilitators to bring water, walk them to the toilet or support them with the experience. After the intense effects of ayahuasca start to subside, the maestro guides participants back to a grounded state with a personal treatment, a personal Icaro song directed to each participant individually before the closing of the ceremony.
7. Closing of the ceremony: The ceremony concludes with closing prayers, gratitude offerings to the plant spirits, and blessings from the maestro. Participants express their gratitude for the healing received and the lessons learned during the ceremony. The space is then opened for the song or music sharing of the participants. After that everyone is welcome to sleep in the maloca or go back to their private tambo.