Ayahuasca is an ancient infusion of medicinal plants originating in the Amazon, specifically in Peru. The thick brown tea is made from Caapi, a vine that only grows in the jungle, and plant leaves that contain hallucinogenic properties.
Unlike any other sacred medicinal plant, Ayahuasca consists of two separate plants: the chacruna leaf (Psychotriaviridis) and the Ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsiscaapi). However, none of these plants have medicinal or entheogenic properties. But when combined, they work together and become a very powerful and sacred medicine.
Both plants are found in the Amazon rainforest of South America. Surprisingly, there are more than 80,000 cataloged species of leafy plants in this particular rainforest. Yet somehow, Amazonian shamanic healers knew exactly which two unsuspecting plant species combined would create such a magical, psychoactive drug.
The history of Ayahuasca use goes back so far that anthropologists and researchers have not yet been able to trace its origins; However, shamans claim that the plants said so themselves during a shamanic journey in the Middle World.
The plants are taken from the jungle and brewed into sacred tea. When the tea is drunk ceremonially, the gates of the spiritual realm are opened and mystical and unusual worlds are revealed that are imperceptible in ordinary consciousness.
In shamanic culture, these plants, although entheogenic, are not considered medicine; rather they are considered sacred and highly revered medicines. Shamans believe that these medicinal plants are deeply connected to Spirit or Source, and can easily take us to other worlds where great knowledge can be gained, growth accelerated, and true healing can take place.
The Ayahuasca mother, as the spirit of the plant is often called (because of her feminine and maternal qualities), will always teach the participant exactly what they most need to learn in order to fully and truly heal.
Ayahuasca as a drug is still a fringe psychological drug, but it is slowly making its way into the mainstream. Until recently you had to travel to South America if you wanted to experiment with the plant, but now ayahuasca ceremonies are appearing in the United States, Europe and also in Central America.
Scientific evidence on Ayahuasca is limited, but it is known to activate repressed memories in a way that allows people to come to a new understanding of their past. In some cases, it helps people process memories of traumatic events, which is why neuroscientists are beginning to study Ayahuasca as a treatment for depression and PTSD.
Ayahyasca is the most powerful drug to dissolve the ego
Buddhists, cognitive scientists, and philosophers have made convincing arguments that there is no “me,” no such thing as a “fixed self,” no thinker behind our thoughts, no doer behind our actions. There is only awareness and immediate experience; everything else is the result of the mind, or of the Ego that projects the past or the future for us.
But this concept is very difficult to understand in everyday life. Because you are aware, it is very easy to believe that there is a wall between your mind and the world. When you experience something, there must be a “you” experiencing it. But the “you” in this case is just an abstraction; it’s in your head, not in the world.
There are many ways to experience that there is no “me” and to reach the truth of no-me. Think of it like the top of a mountain, with meditators and certain spiritual traditions going in different directions. Psychedelic drugs provide a kind of shortcut; you can glimpse this higher truth without all those years of serious and disciplined practice as meditation.
The general feeling is that at some point you have lost yourself, that your soul as a child was pure, open and untainted by culture. When you enter society, you lose that childish love for the world. You start judging yourself by external standards. You compare yourself to friends, neighbors, and peers. You develop an ego, an identity, and your well-being is associated with these constructs.
It is during these ceremonies that participants are able to face the root causes of their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual illnesses and dive deep into the healing process by allowing the spirit of Ayahuasca to take them on a journey into this non-ordinary awareness. Within this realm, deep-seated problems are revealed to those that have long been hidden in the subconscious mind.
Preparing for an Ayahuasca ceremony
An Ayahuasca ceremony involves drinking the hallucinatory tea/plant mixture accompanied by a respected shaman or trained ceremony supervisor, during which those involved spend a long night in deep connection with one’s true self. A typical Ayahuasca ceremony is a full night; the trip can take up to five hours.
Preparation – Ayahuasca Diet
Ayahuasca is a total cleansing of mind, spirit and body; A special diet for it is strongly recommended.There is usually a fair amount of purging during the first half of a ceremony, which may involve vomiting or diarrhea. This is because Ayahuasca cleanses the physical body of toxins before moving on to cleanse the mental, emotional and spiritual body.
A great way to avoid the purification process altogether is to start the purification process the week before the ceremony. Specific diets vary, but generally require abstention from drugs, alcohol, and processed foods.
If you don’t follow the recommended diet for the ceremony, the plants will help rid your body of chemicals: salt, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, etc.If the diet is followed correctly, you will certainly benefit from it soon after drinking the tea.
The ceremony packed into one night
Each shaman or ceremonial assistant has their own personal way of organizing the ceremonial space. However, the ceremonies are usually held just after sunset in a safe, relaxing and comfortable environment, especially within the energetic confines of the Amazon rainforest.
There are usually around 7 participants and a shaman or ceremony attendant present at a ceremony, all of whom receive the brew. Shamans create a very open and safe space by lighting incense and candles, setting up altars, and playing soothing music.
Next, the shaman suggests that each person set an intention for their journey, either to discover past hurts or to learn to love themselves. The group then prays together and thanks Mother Ayahuasca.
Finally, each participant drinks the concoction one by one and embarks on the journey. As soon as the medicine starts, the shaman will start singing shaman songs, which help to intensify the medicine and further protect the energy of the room.Ayahuasca usually takes about 5 hours. As everyone in the ceremony begins to return to conscious and awake reality.
What it is like to do Ayahuasca and what to expect during a ceremony
If you are considering taking part in such a journey, be prepared to encounter the divine, the infinite, the mystery, whatever you call it, that which is beyond the limited perspective of your mind. You must also be willing to accept that the divine / infinite / mystery cannot be experienced in a way that makes sense to your brain. Infinity is infinite, while your brain is still finite.
The songs, sung by the ceremony director, are an integral part of the ceremony. It is through these songs that the visionary effects of Ayahuasca are enhanced. Beware that you may not necessarily like the information that the divine/infinite/mystery chooses to share with you.
Ayahuasca has always been called feminine because users have said that the voice of higher intelligence that they will hear during the ceremony is feminine. She (referring to the plant) speaks directly to you and tells you what to work on in your life.
The experience will be indescribable and probably impossible for you to put into words once the ceremony is over. “Ten years of therapy unloaded in one night” seems to be a fairly universal analogy to convey the possible conclusion of a ceremony. Another possible result of an Ayahuasca ceremony is that you realize that everything you perceive through your five senses and assimilate into your mind is made up or wrong.
Returning ceremony participants should also be aware that each time they experience the divine/infinite/mystery it will be different. Each experience is like a small drop in the ocean.
Herbal medicine may temporarily allow the subjective self to decay and merge with the infinite “other.” After a ceremonial night of purification, you may find yourself gaining a new perspective on what was once a seemingly mundane reality.
What to pay attention to when choosing a ceremony
You must be quite sure that the assistant of the ceremony is in good faith, since you trust him with your psychological and emotional well-being. Be prepared to experience firsthand how your mind deconstructs and then rebuilds itself. Once your mind has “opened wide,” you may experience what feels like schizophrenia, which can be frightening.There are also physical and psychological risks associated with its use: it can interfere with medication and worsen existing psychiatric conditions.