CBS Interview/News Segment
Featuring Alexcis, Demi and ceremony participants
Air Date - February 11th, 2020
What is Ayahuasca?
Ayahuasca is a psychedelic drink that has been used in sacred ceremony in the Amazon region for thousands of years for healing purposes. Today it has made it's way to the modern world and burgeoned into the medical and psychological fields. it's deep and transformative healing abilities are recognized as an effective path to finding your way out of suffering, pain, addictions, fear, depression, chronic anxiety, PTSD. A way out of the unfulfilling career, working too much, not following your dreams and a way to understand how to make your personal relationships more fulfilling. A way to recognize that you can change and re-direct any undesirable behavior, Reconnect with your heart, discover your purpose, be happy, love deeply and know yourself fully.
We work with the Amazonian Ayahuasca brew using only the Ayahuasca vine and Chacruna leaves. Nothing else is ever added. We offer to you the highest of intentions, integrity, and ethical practices in an attentive, supportive (but not intrusive) safe and loving environment.
Ceremony leader has been working with this medicine for 12 years. She studied in the Shipibo-Conibo Tradition in the Peruvian Amazon with the well known and highly Respected Shaman, Don Enrique Lopez at the Ayahuasca Foundation - Iquitos, Peru.
When you participate in ceremonies you have the opportunity to see the truth behind the pain and suffering; that you don’t need to live that life any more and you don’t need to keep doing the things that make you unhappy.
remember, however, Ayahuasca isn’t for everybody. this is deeply transformative work that allows you to align with who you truly are, not who you think you should be or what society, family and friends tell you who you should be, but who you really are.
Our Ceremonies are held in a semi-traditional format which include live singing of Icaros (sacred healing songs of the amazon) Chacapas, Drums, rattles and other instruments. Ceremonies are NOT parties, raves or social gatherings. They are places of respectful communion and self-empowering healing.
Ceremony Leader has also received the Peruvian Munay-Ki rites of Initiation:
The Munay-Ki are a series of nine Empowerment rites based on the initiatory practices of the Q'ero shamans of Peru, as taught by psycologist Alberto Villoldo. "Munay" in Quechua means "love and will", together with "ki", from the Chinese word for energy, combine to give the meaning: energy of love.
The Rites of the Munay-Ki transform and upgrade your luminous energy field. They are energetic transmissions that heal the wounds of the past – your karmic and genetic inheritance.
The nine rites of the Munay-Ki are:
The Seers Rite, The Harmony Rite, The Bands of Power, The Healers Rite, The Daykeepers Rite, The Wisdomkeepers Rite, The Earthkeepers Rite, The Starkeepers Rite, and The Creator Rite.
Articles on Psychedelic Therapies:
Psychedelic drugs are poised to be the next major breakthrough in mental health care.
—Scientific American, August 2014
We are in the midst of what many are calling a psychedelic renaissance. After decades of prohibition, both MDMA- and psilocybin-assisted therapies have been granted Breakthrough Therapy designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are expected to become medicinally available in just a few years. Psychedelics show great promise in treating conditions like depression, anxiety, addiction, PTSD, and more. As psychedelic medicine rapidly enters the mainstream, education on safety, cultural perspectives, and spiritual significance of these substances become increasingly important.
Scientists, doctors, therapists, artists, and indigenous healers from around the world will come together to share current research, potential therapeutic benefits, and traditional use of psychedelics and cannabis.
Come together with the brightest minds and the boldest voices of this movement to share their knowledge, insights, and dreams for the future.
Choose from three workshops, four-panel discussions, and attend presentations from over thirty speakers.
Expand your networking, and connect with open and like-minded people. This is a unique opportunity for people from diverse walks of life to gather together in a common space to learn about and support the current psychedelic renaissance taking place on this planet.
Psychedelic therapies include Ayahuasca, Ibogaine, San Pedro and Peyote among others.
The Ayahuasca Phenomenon
Jungle Pilgrims: North Americans Participating in Amazon Ayahuasca Ceremonies
What is ayahuasca? What happens during an ayahuasca ceremony? What types of people from North America participate in ayahuasca ceremonies? Why do they do it, and what do they get out of it?
It almost sounds hokey, but there I was in the Peruvian Amazon jungle. It was very dark, except for the faint glow of the shamans smoking their mapachos. I had been vomiting and dry heaving for over two hours, and had several bouts of projectile diarrhea. Lying down so the nausea was not as incapacitating, I could hear the chanting of the shaman’s singing their icaros along with various jungle sounds interrupted only by the other peoples’ occasional coughs and gurgling sounds as they threw up. Three hours ago I had swallowed a small cupful of a hideously repugnant tasting drink called ayahuasca (“eye – a – waska”), and for the last three hours I felt disoriented, dehydrated, and near death. Yet I was strangely alert and focused on the shaman’s chanting, and the visions in my head.
I wondered if I had been poisoned and would not survive the night. Fear mixed with anger and amazement as I tried to cope with the repeated bouts of nausea and fantastic visions. “Why did I do this?” I asked myself. Why did I pay over $3000.00 to go to the Peruvian Amazon and participate in this ayahuasca ceremony (and two more ceremonies after that one)? Why would anyone want to do this? And what type of person would do it? What do they get out of it?
In this paper, I will explain ayahuasca and the ayahuasca ceremony, and will attempt to describe the ineffable ayahuasca experience. Then, I will present data from a survey I conducted on a sampling of North American people who have traveled to the Amazon region of South America and participated in ayahuasca ceremonies. Finally, I will suggest answers to the above questions.
Ayahuasca: The brew
What is ayahuasca?
Ayahuasca refers to a psychotropic brew made by indigenous Indians of the Amazon jungle from a woody vine (Banisteriopsis caapi, B. inebrians, or B. quitensis) and the leaves of the chakruna plant (Psychotria viridis). Although the name ayahuasca is often used to describe the B. caapi vine, it also refers to the mixture of these two very different plants (DeKorne, 1994). Local medicine men, or shamans, prepare the mixture, sometimes substituting plants for chakruna (also known as sami ruca and amirucapanga), and adding different plants to the mixture depending on the nature of the ceremony (Ott, 1993). Ayahuasca is used by shamans to induce an altered state during which the shaman can look into the future, travel in spirit form, induce healing, remove spells, and cast spells on others.
The word ayahuasca comes from the Quechuan Indian words aya (“spirit,” “ancestor,” or “dead person”) and huasca (“vine”). Together these words refer to the “vine of the soul” or “vine of the dead,” a vine that reportedly can free the soul or spirit (McKenna, 1992). Different Amazonian Indian tribes call the plant by names such as yage’ (pronounced “yah – hey”), yaje’, caapi, natem, pinde, karampi, dapa, mihi, kahi, and many other local names (Shultes & Hoffman, 1992).
Historical use of ayahuasca
Evidence from pre-Columbian rock drawings suggests hundreds of years of ayahuasca use in the Amazon, although Western scientists and explorers have only been exposed to the brew over the last 150 years. In 1851 British plant explorer, Richard Spruce, discovered the Tukanoan Indians in the upper Rio Negro region of the Brazilian Amazon using a liana (vine) known as caapi to induce a state of intoxication. Ecuadorian geographer Villavicencio first mentioned ayahuasca in 1858 while he was exploring the jungles of Ecuador. He described how the source of the drink was a vine used to foresee the future battle plans of enemies, diagnose illness, determine which spells were used and which to use, welcome foreign travelers, and insure the love of their womenfolk (Shultes, 1961). Villavicencio took the drink himself and described the experience of “flying” to marvelous places.
How ayahuasca works (cut and paste link for full article)
The Drug of Choice for the Age of Kale
How ayahuasca, an ancient Amazonian hallucinogenic brew, became the latest trend in Brooklyn and Silicon Valley.
By Ariel Levy
September 5, 2016
Ayahuasca, used for centuries in South American jungles, is booming in the U.S.
Illustration by Bjørn Lie
The day after Apollo 14 landed on the moon, Dennis and Terence McKenna began a trek through the Amazon with four friends who considered themselves, as Terence wrote in his book “True Hallucinations,” “refugees from a society that we thought was poisoned by its own self-hatred and inner contradictions.” They had come to South America, the land of yagé, also known as ayahuasca: an intensely hallucinogenic potion made from boiling woody Banisteriopsis caapi vines with the glossy leaves of the chacruna bush. The brothers, then in their early twenties, were grieving the recent death of their mother, and they were hungry for answers about the mysteries of the cosmos: “We had sorted through the ideological options, and we had decided to put all of our chips on the psychedelic experience.”
They started hiking near the border of Peru. As Dennis wrote, in his memoir “The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss,” they arrived four days later in La Chorrera, Colombia, “in our long hair, beards, bells, and beads,” accompanied by a “menagerie of sickly dogs, cats, monkeys, and birds” accumulated along the way. (The local Witoto people were cautiously amused.) There, on the banks of the Igara Paraná River, the travellers found themselves in a psychedelic paradise. There were cattle pastures dotted with Psilocybe cubensis—magic mushrooms—sprouting on dung piles; there were hammocks to lounge in while you tripped; there were Banisteriopsis caapi vines growing in the jungle. Taken together, the drugs produced hallucinations that the brothers called “vegetable television.” When they watched it, they felt they were receiving important information directly from the plants of the Amazon.
The McKennas were sure they were on to something revelatory, something that would change the course of human history. “I and my companions have been selected to understand and trigger the gestalt wave of understanding that will be the hyperspacial zeitgeist,” Dennis wrote in his journal. Their work was not always easy. During one session, the brothers experienced a flash of mutual telepathy, but then Dennis hurled his glasses and all his clothes into the jungle and, for several days, lost touch with “consensus reality.” It was a small price to pay. The “plant teachers” seemed to have given them “access to a vast database,” Dennis wrote, “the mystical library of all human and cosmic knowledge.”
If these sound like the joys and hazards of a bygone era, then you don’t know any ayahuasca users—yet. In the decades since the McKennas’ odyssey, the drug—or “medicine,” as many devotees insist that it be called—has become increasingly popular in the United States, to the point where it’s a “trendy thing right now,” as Marc Maron said recently to Susan Sarandon, on his “WTF” podcast, before they discussed what she’d learned from her latest ayahuasca experience. (“I kind of got, You should just keep your heart open all the time,” she said. “Because the whole point is to be open to the divine in every person in the world.”)
The self-help guru Tim Ferriss told me that the drug is everywhere in San Francisco, where he lives. “Ayahuasca is like having a cup of coffee here,” he said. “I have to avoid people at parties because I don’t want to listen to their latest three-hour saga of kaleidoscopic colors.”
Leanna Standish, a researcher at the University of Washington School of Medicine, estimated that “on any given night in Manhattan, there are a hundred ayahuasca ‘circles’ going on.” The main psychoactive substance in ayahuasca has been illegal since it was listed in the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, but Standish, who is the medical director of the Bastyr Integrative Oncology Research Center, recently applied for permission from the F.D.A. to do a Phase I clinical trial of the drug—which she believes could be used in treatments for cancer and Parkinson’s disease. “I am very interested in bringing this ancient medicine from the Amazon Basin into the light of science,” Standish said. She is convinced that “it’s going to change the face of Western medicine.” For now, though, she describes ayahuasca use as a “vast, unregulated global experiment.”
Most people who take ayahuasca in the United States do so in small “ceremonies,” led by an individual who may call himself a shaman, an ayahuasquero, a curandero, a vegetalista, or just a healer. This person may have come from generations of Shipibo or Quechua shamans in Peru, or he may just be someone with access to ayahuasca. (Under-qualified shamans are referred to as “yogahuascas.”) Ayahuasca was used for centuries by indigenous Amazonians, who believed that it enabled their holy men to treat physical and mental ailments and to receive messages from ancestors and gods. Jesse Jarnow, the author of “Heads: A Biography of Psychedelic America,” told me, “It’s a bit less of a to-do in many of its traditional uses—more about healing specific maladies and illnesses than about addressing spiritual crises.” Now, though, ayahuasca is used as a sacrament in syncretic churches like the Santo Daime and the União do Vegetal (“union of the plant”), both of which have developed a presence in the United States. The entire flock partakes, and the group trip is a kind of congregational service.
We offer year round ceremonies and retreats. Please contact us for upcoming dates.
Active Member of SOLA and Two Birds Church
Serving their communities with the highest integrity