Ayahuasca is made from the ayahuasca vine and the leaf of the Chacruna plant. This powerful plant combination is the key which unlocks the door into another world – the innerworld of your unconscious mind. Ayahuasca ceremony, which are conducted by shamans, have been an integral part of life in the upper Amazon for centuries, dating back at least 2,500 years.
Spirituality is at the core of the Ayahuasca experience. Purification and cleansing of body, mind, and spirit in a shamanic ceremony can be the springboard to a profound personal and spiritual transformation, aka a soul retrieval.
Ayahuasca Cleansing Journey
Ayahuasca is a name derived from two Quechua words: aya means spirit or ancestor and huasca means vine or rope. Ergo, ayahuasca is known as vine of the soul or vine of the spirit. It’s also called many other names including yaje, caapi, natema, pinde, daime, mihi and dapa, depending on the tribe and its location.
The plants are collected in a sacred way (what shamans call a “walk of attention”) and it’s said that a shaman can find plentiful sources of the vine by listening for the ‘drumbeat’ that emanates from them. The mixture is prepared by cutting the vines and pounding them into a pulp and mixing them with the cleaned Chacruna leaves.
Depending on the shamanic prescription for the ceremony, up to 100 other plants may also be used in the mixture. This organic brew is a psychotropic drug which contains DMT (Dimethyltriptamine). DMT is illegal in the U.S. but is legal in the Amazon region. Without specific intent, vision, scrupulous preparation and shaman guidance, it is a drug and not a healing medicine. These shaman-guided Ayahuasca cleansing sessions are potentially an extraordinarily powerful healing experience.
Ayahuasca Ceremony and Experience
Purging (vomiting and more rarely diarrhea) is a common initial effect of ayahuasca, beginning within the first hour. Although unpleasant, this is considered by many to be a necessary step to begin experiencing the healing power of ayahuasca. Don’t fight the purge, and allow it to bring you to the next phase of the experience.
Within an hour or two, you should begin to experience the psychedelic effects of the brew. You may find yourself leaving your body, losing your sense of self, visiting incredible parallel realities, and fighting your own internal struggles. It will probably not be pleasant, but there may be aspects of beauty and joy that will be highlights of the experience.
Although the experience may be traumatic, being able to see life in a new perspective almost always has a healing effect, whether it’s on your own personal vices, or on the way you see yourself. It’s important to anticipate an unpleasant journey, but this is part of the reason why ayahuasca is so powerful and therapeutic.
Ayahuasca will have psychedelic effects for several hours after ingestion, lasting usually no more than 8-10 hours in total. You may feel permanent changes from the experience, so don’t be surprised if you need some time to integrate yourself, especially if you took a large dose. It’s recommended to take a day after the experience to reflect on your journey.