The ayahuasca vine comes from the Amazon and is a plant medicine used alongside a shamanic ceremony to help people see past and let go of their issues. It can be deeply powerful and purgative and if it’s something you’re open to, it can show you life in a whole different way. Enabling an individual to feel a part of the whole, and less dependent on the programming and ‘shoulds’ of other people, which often get in the way of realising your true self.
Have you ever had the feeling you don’t belong where you are but you don’t know why? Or feeling that everyone around you is mad, but you can’t put your finger on it? For me, ‘The mother’, i.e. Mother Ayahuasca which is the term used to describe the presence (however she is felt) helped me to see past the labels and bad feeling I accumulated whilst I was growing up. She helped me to feel into my own greatness, get a little closer to understanding my main intention in life, and to feel more OK about being me.
I’ve met the ‘mother’ on 4 occasions, and each time I’ve not gone into it with any great expectations, but the simple intention of learning to let go of what hurts me (as I felt letting go of painful things was my biggest issue); and I’ve greatly appreciated each journey. That’s not to say it’s for everyone, I’ve been around others who have been disappointed, but then I don’t know what they went in expecting from it. Expect no great epiphany but have in mind what you want to work with, and I’m quite sure that’s enough. That along with the detox prior to and following the ceremony (mainly just a chemical and animal products detox which was luckily in line for my lifestyle already); this is to make sure that the medicine has optimal effects, and also to minimise the need for physical purging during ceremony.
Many purge (vomit, cry or need the loo quickly) but not everyone, it really is a personal journey; my first nights purge was mainly laughter, which was a nice surprise after hearing many others around me retching into their buckets. Having more fun in life is one thing I’ve been working with since. I was rolling around on my bed, stretching into my body and feeling a freedom I’d never quite realised before. I feel it’s really helped me to be more confident in my body and my expression of it, in public or private spaces. But then again, being physical and getting into the body is something really inherent to me, thus this experience isn’t the same for most other people I spoke to; all of my nights have been different. The second night was about universal energy for me, and the availability of it at our finger tips; I think this, combined with a Reiki healing during the ceremony, is what showed me my path to this amazing and inspiring ancient tradition.
The other 2 nights were more about realisations on my placing in the world, how I could be of service to others, and what I could do more or less of to make my own integration smoother. A vow of silence is what I realised in my last session; which I considered to be impossible but profound; as if one keeps getting misunderstood (as I felt), then maybe saying nothing is better?. This later transpired during my Reiki and Seichem training to be silent and to listen, really listening deep to myself and to others; not trying to change things but allowing them to be. Wow – how often do people allow us just to be with our words without trying to project their own opinions? Thank you to the mother and to my teacher for showing me this powerful gift towards being a better listener.
Before I went to each ceremony I was in a pretty depressed and disparaged state. After each ceremony I felt uplifted by what I saw and felt, from both the medicine and the people who were with me, but that only lasted until I got home. The REAL work from this kind of medicine always happens after ceremony. The medicine shows you where to go, but you need to put this into practice in your life. It’s not a quick fix you can* use every week or month to reset a little; remember, it is a medicine; not for continual use. Moderation 😉
Thus, you may get it, you may not. If you’re curious to hear more there are lots of videos on YouTube with some other great insights and perspectives. This kind of plant medicine is for those who are stuck and desire change, but those who aren’t afraid to face their daemons. I saw a couple of guys have a really hard time during their journey, but both came out of it grateful for the release. IF you do decide to seek it out and give it a try, then I’m sure the path to a shaman will open up for you. Remember, don’t push, flow into it, and use the following points of advice to ensure your own safety, as this potentially leaves you VERY vulnerable for a few hours. Thus, you need to be in a honest and caring space, with a lot of trust and love.
- Know your shaman, move through a personal recommendation (especially if going to the Amazon as being from Europe it may be a culture, spiritual and psychological head f*** otherwise)
- Do the detox, it’s there for a reason
- Feel comfortable in the space you join for the ceremony, it’s always OK to change your mind
- Ensure it is as a part of a shamanistic ceremony, not just recreational (I know someone who did and it put them off for life)
- Set an intention and drop expectations
- The real journey starts AFTER the ceremony
To finish, here’s a journalist and writer who made a TED talk about it (not sure if it’s still banned but the link was working when I made this blog), another point of view.
*well clearly you can use it more often but my personal experience is give it time. Trust in yourself and your abilities to move forwards.