Ayahuasca is extremely intriguing and whereas only a few people had even heard of it five or ten years ago, now many people are catching on and want to take it themselves. Some might say ayahuasca has gone ‘mainstream’, with it being referenced to in Hollywood movies like Jennifer Aniston ‘rom-coms’ in recent years. Lindsey Lohan has even claimed to have done it after all. On one hand I think this is wonderful. As some one who has participated in 27 ayahuasca ceremonies myself for the huge betterment of my life, I truly want everyone to know about this amazing medicine. But on the other hand, ayahuasca is controversial.
Unfortunately we easily misunderstand the power and sacredness of mother Ayahuasca, it is only by experiencing for yourself what an authentic ayahuasca experience is can you comprehend the true spirit that resides in the brew. This is a leap of faith for people hearing about it on the grapevine, naturally. In an effort to understand it we try to fit it into a box, a category for explanation, and so we regard it as a drug. We may hear it gives you hallucinations and so we relate it to LSD, but I’ve had many ceremonies where there were no visuals. It is impossible to understand something you have not yet comprehended for yourself, but I believe and all others who have taken it several times know, there is sacred intelligence behind this concoction, which cannot be found in any recreational drug.
A Brevity On Ayahuasca’s Effectiveness
Ayahuasca is a sacred spirit that knows you better than you know yourself. Ayahuasca can change your life for the better and deserves the deepest reverence and respect. But because of the growing mainstream popularity and misunderstanding about its true nature, unfortunately people are finding ways to profit off Westerners desire to use ayashuasca and their ignorance of its true nature by giving them phony plant brews which gives people what they think ayahuasca must be like. Because these other faux ayahuascas give people extreme visual ‘trips’, purging and challenges/strong emotions they assume this must be ayashuasca, though often these brews are made with plants that can induce psychosis. During the time I spent out in the jungle in Peru where I experienced my ceremonies I saw several young people, duped and gone semi permanently mad. It was very sad, and I know of others including people in the UK running sham ceremonies. This is very unfortunate but something important to be aware of if you’re looking into trying it.
A genuine ayahuasca ceremony should always have an element of divine connection, of sacredness and connection to the bigger whole. That’s not to say all experiences with the medicine are easy and blissful, far from it. But authentic ayahuasca ceremonies are to be celebrated and encouraged in my opinion. They bring us closer to knowing ourselves and our true nature, individually but also we are healed through the recognition and felt connection between all living things, the knowing that is felt in ones heart and soul, that we are divine creatures and all brothers and sisters alike.
What You Should Know Before Taking Ayahuasca
A genuine Ayahuasca ceremony aside from having actual ayahuasca for people to drink should include certain things:
- The shaman and any assistants should always drink the brew themselves.
- The shaman should sing Icaros, sacred songs that hold, contain and guide the medicine.
- You should receive Shamanic healing during the ceremony on top of the taking the brew.
- You should only ever be offered one cup to start and then wait for about 1-2 hours before having the next one if you don’t feel it working.
Ayahuasca is not a drug. Ayahuasca is not something you do for fun, or lightheartedly. The spirit of ayahuasca knows your intentions and whether you respect her or not, and if you don’t respect her, prepare for a difficult time, because if you go into a ceremony from the space of your ego, in order to help you heal, she needs to ‘disable’ your ego and that can be extremely painful. Surrender and trust is key. Do not underestimate the power of this medicine. This is like no experience you’ve ever had before, don’t’ try to comprehend it, if you’re drawn to it and you’re at an authentic place to do it, just trust and go with your intuition. Each ceremony is completely different and like no one else’s, so there’s no point comparing. Each experience is uniquely designed to be exactly what you need in that given moment, and don’t expect for a second you know what that really is.
Ayahuasca Is Not A ‘Fix All’ Medicine
Yes, ayahuasca is life changing. I feel like it’s been the equivalent of ten years of psychotherapy in one night, but it’s also not something you give your power away to ‘to fix you’. You have to still put in effort, sorry!
Do Not Take Chemical Substances
The diet is integral to your experience. Nobody taking any kind of anti-depressants, or recreational drugs especially MDMA should come anywhere near ayahuasca. All chemical substances need to be stopped ideally 2-3 months before hand. Also following the rules for everything else not allowed I cannot recommend enough, you will be so grateful to have come to the ceremony even though it can be a bit of a struggle.
How Should We Adequately Integrate Ayahuasca
Since 2012, she has worked her way into every aspect of my life and been one of the most important and positive things I have ever done in my life. No matter what you do post or in-between ceremonies, Ayahuasca will work her way into your life and adjust and change things based on your needs and desires. However, the experiences on the medicine can be abstract and overwhelming and hard to understand at the time. Taking time to fully integrate your experiences afterwards is deeply helpful for getting the most out of the experiences and really putting into action the things and ways you want to change in order to better yourself, assuming that’s why you took ayahuasca in the first place. Journal, talk about, get healing, learn how to get the power back over your life by becoming your own healer.