Hello my beautiful souls!
Welcome back to the Modern Manifestation blog. Feel free to listen in to today's topic in the podcast.
In this post, I’m getting very open and vulnerable about my recent plant medicine journey—my Ayahuasca experience.
Yep. It happened.
I didn't think I would ever talk about this publicly because I figured I'd piss more than a few of you off... I also assume that I may lose some followers for sharing this story. Even so, I decided to swallow my pride and share my experience because the lessons I learned might spark something within you too.
And, this entire experience integrates well with the subjects we talk about regularly in this blog (spirituality, healing, personal development, etc.). I hope that by sharing my experience, you can find your own healing within.
While I’m still hesitant to hit “Publish”, I'm committed to being more open and transparent with you on my self-growth journey. So, consider this vulnerable post my attempt to show up as my full authentic self, discussing the things that I'm currently integrating, even when it scares me to do so. <3
Before we get into it, I want to mention that I will not share ALL of the details related to my spiritual Ayahuasca experience. There are so many details that are confidential, sacred, special, intimate, personal... and I want to keep some of the magic to myself. However, I will share the things that could be useful to you and my overall takeaways.
This post will be one of four. I'll start off by answering some FAQ's about Ayahuasca and my general experience. The following three posts will dive deeper into each night, in order.
Let's get into it.
What is Ayahuasca?
Ayahuasca ("Aya") is a natural plant medicine discovered by shamanic leaders around 900 B.C. It is a psychedelic tea that's created by muddling the vine of one plant with the leaves of a shrub found in the Amazon. Nicknamed "La Purga", Ayahuasca has intense side effects (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, shaking, etc.) and is not considered a recreational drug. For this reason, the US has granted spiritual exclusions for Ayahuasca for selected ceremony groups.
No one *really* knows how Ayahuasca was discovered, but it is believed by the tribes that shamans across the Amazon created Ayahuasca after receiving visions. While I found this hard to believe at first, its even harder to believe that out of the +/- 80,000 plants in the Amazon (one of the world's most biodiverse places), these leaders found the two plants that could work together to induce a spiritual experience... Considering the journey "Aya" took me on, I'm a believer in this "visionary" explanation.
Ayahuasca is used as a spiritual plant medicine by the indigenous people of the Amazon who believe it induces conscious healing. This plant medicine has existed for thousands of years and is very sacred to the indigenous tribes as a part of their ongoing cultural traditions.
Because Ayahuasca is so sacred to these communities, it is my belief that Ayahuasca should only be administered by experienced indigenous shamans from the Amazon, or people that have studied with the indigenous shamans in the jungle, so that the medicine is not misused or appropriated.
You will also see me refer to Ayahuasca as “her” or “she” throughout this post because it is often thought of, and this was my own experience, that the energy of Ayahuasca is feminine. “She” is often referred to as “The Mother” or “The Grandmother”, as well as Oni, Vine of the Soul, Yage, La Purga, etc. She’s also referred to as divine feminine energy, or a connection to creative source energy.
I prefer to call “her”, Mother Ayahuasca, because of how I received her in my own experience.
Fun fact: Ayahuasca's counterpart, Peyote, is the masculine expression of energy and people often refer to Peyote as “he” or “him”. Peyote has also received religious exemptions within the US for certain groups.
How did I find out about Ayahuasca and the ceremonies?
I first heard about Ayahuasca several years ago while listening to a podcast. Around the same time, one of my friends told me that she signed up for a ceremony in Peru. Several weeks later, Aya popped up again in a conversation at work. You could say that all of these synchronicities queued my slow progression from "hell no" to "I'm ready".
Admittedly, the idea of Ayahuasca scared the shit out of me at first (still does, honestly). I thought, "Go puke in the jungle for a psychedelic experience? No, thanks. I choose literally anything else".
It’s perfectly fine if you feel this way too. I get it. There are so many other tools you can utilize for spiritual connection. In fact, the only reason I changed my mind was out of spiritual curiosity: Is God real? Can you experience God with Ayahuasca? Is Ayahuasca God? If so, what would God feel like? What could she do? My ego was dying to know of her, to seek her presence, to answer my burning questions.
Regardless of how you feel about having a ceremony, or not, allow this post to entertain you. Either way, I hope my own experience and issues can shed some light things you're actively working on for yourself.
My Resistance Toward Ayahuasca
I feel like I can't talk about my first Ayahuasca experience without talking about my resistance toward this experience. As a byproduct of the 1990's D.A.R.E. program, the idea of taking any sort of plant medicine (or psychedelics) scared the shit out of me. Would it fry my brain? I'm sure it wasn't good for it, at the very least. Also, would this make me a druggy? Would it make me permanently hang up my work clothes in exchange for tie-dye and flower crowns? I was half-kidding and half-serious.
Other than alcohol and the occasional cannabis, I hadn’t dabbled in this sort of thing before. Hard stop. I feared how this experience would change me.
At the same time, I had friends that had already experienced Ayahuasca and I could see the positive change in them, so I was equally as intrigued as I was terrified.
Thankfully, I shared my shame and guilt with my therapist who, as I later found out, has many colleagues researching psychedelics as a means for healing PTSD and other traumas. When I shared my concerns with them, they were excited for me. Who fucking knew?!
I found out that plant medicines, like Ayahuasca, are powerful tools that can help us rewire our nervous systems for healthier responses. I certainly never learned that in D.A.R.E.!
I'm not giving you this information to justify my decision or because I'm encouraging you, or anyone, to go off and have this experience. I simply want to share what my experience was like in the midst of so much disinformation out there. Afterward, you can use that information to inform whether or not this is something you’re interested in for yourself.
My Ayahuasca ceremony was the best and the worst experience of my life, so I do not recommend this unless you're okay with this duality. Like I said, there are so many other methods available like journaling, therapy, meditation, hypnosis, etc.
The ceremony will challenge you mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually…. All the “allys”. It was not easy for me. It wasn’t easy for most participants in my group. Ayahuasca is a physically taxing experience that leaves you feeling battered. It is not enjoyable (for the most part). I do not think anyone consumes Ayahuasca for a fun psychedelic experience because that is NOT what you will receive from this.
Ayahuasca is specifically for those of us that are interested in changing hard wiring about ourselves, have tried a lot of other things, and feel stuck. You will go through extreme physical discomfort to inch one step closer to personal growth. It's a lot to ask in exchange for the lessons gained. Each person should make this decision after a lot of consideration.
Before the ceremony, I thought about backing out at least 1,000 times. It took many friends (and even Evan) to convince me to see it through. I was afraid of what to expect. I felt the energy of something big coming, and I wasn’t sure I was ready for it, or wanted it.
I was so eager to find an excuse to back out, that I kept asking from signs from the Universe to do so. I would use easy angel numbers like 111, 222, 333, etc. to indicate “back out” and I would use harder to come by numbers like 7324 or 6198 to indicate “stay in it”. Well, the Universe has a sense of humor. You know what I didn’t see for a while? Repeating numbers. You know what I saw a lot of? You guessed it. 7324 and 6198, etc. Hilarious.
Obviously, I ended up going through with it.
What happened after I committed to my Ayahuasca Ceremony?
I’d always heard, but didn’t fully believe, that Mother Ayahuasca starts to "work on you" the second you commit to a ceremony. In other words, as soon as you say, “yes”, and pay your deposit or book your flight, you’re off to the spiritual races.
At first, I thought this was something that people said because it sounded good. What does that even mean, "to be worked on"? But then it happened to me.
Getting "worked on" feels like the right term because you feel like someone else starts pulling the strings of your life to induce change at a much quicker pace. I felt like I went from 0 to 100 in the personal growth department in a matter of weeks.
While I've always enjoyed self-help books and personal development podcasts, the intensity in which I learned exponentially increased as soon as I said, “yes” to the experience. I think I grew more in the year leading up to the ceremony than I did the entire 10 years beforehand. Except, a lot of the lessons came TO ME via someone or something else. That's what it felt like to be "worked on".
Every WEIRD thing that could have happened to force me to grow and change, happened. At times, I felt more like Aya's social experiment than someone actively in charge of their own life.
However, the daily synchronicities made me okay with being the social experiment. They started as soon as I said "yes" to my ceremony and they continue to this day.
As an example, I’ve never had a special spiritual connection with a particular animal (in terms of a sign from the universe). Some people see owls, birds, lizards, etc., but I've always seen numbers instead.
Soon after committing to my own ceremony, I started seeing snakes everywhere. Like, actual snakes. Thankfully, I don't mind snakes (I guess that's the Texan in me). I found a live snake in my backyard, in my garage, in a tree, in the street.... snake skin was draped over our hose… In addition to actual snakes, I also saw illustrations of snakes all over the city, in graffiti, on social media, on TV, I received them as gifts in the form of jewelry....
Overnight, I felt like I was experiencing Snakes on a Plane. Except, the good version.... Is there a good version of that movie? Probably not. Bad example. I guess what I'm saying is that snakes are not a negative sign for me (despite what my Christian upbringing said). To me they're quick, beautiful, and powerful.
I decided to look up the spiritual meaning of a snake in Animal Speak, by Ted Andrews and found that they symbolize transmutation, transformation, growth, rebirth, healing, etc. This gave me a lot of comfort for the journey ahead. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in animal signs. Please note, that as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
As more snakes crossed my path, I continued my research and found that a lot of traditions use snakes to represent healing; this is why you can find them wrapped around a cross in medical settings.
In the days before my first ceremony, a snake joined my meditation.
As I sat in one of my meditation practices, I had a vision that a purple snake appeared directly in front of my face, along with two words: “Brigid" and "healing”.
Since I had no idea who Brigid was, I did some digging afterward. The answer I found is the kind of shit that still fascinates and terrifies me.
Apparently, in Irish mythology, snakes represent the healing goddess Brigid. Yep. F******** Brigid. A healer. With a snake.
When I’d committed to my ceremony, I set an intention to heal. Was this a coincidence? Maybe. But it would be one hell of a coincidence, if so. After all this, I think I'm at a point where I simply don't believe in coincidences anymore.... just synchronicities.
So all of these messages and meanings pointed to the same things: healing, transformation, rebirth, etc. and they became an important symbol for me over the year, from Aya. So much so, that you may have noticed that my new podcast imagery uses a snake skin as a backdrop! 😉
I share this with you so that you keep an open mind to how messages can show up for you, to be present and to pay attention, and to be prepared for things to start changing radically... like a snowball accumulating more mass as it rolls.
These synchronicities were exciting. They were also awe inspiring and a really beautiful way to connect with Mother Ayahuasca throughout the entire process—to be fully supported by her.
If you're interested in saying “yes” to a ceremony of your own, here are a few more things to think about:
1. Make sure you do your research about the service team you're committing to. You do not want to go to a retreat center that does not honor the medicine, the indigenous tribes it comes from, or your experience. You are energetically vulnerable during a ceremony, so you want to make sure that the ceremony team makes you feel safe to go as deep as you need to go with the medicine. They're going to be the people who are there to support you, so you want to make sure that you feel safe in their support. Ideally, there will be healers on the team ready to support you throughout your process. It's also helpful when the set and setting includes music, integration discussions, private spaces, consent discussions, etc. A big part of the growth was the medicine, but another big part of it was the people that are there supporting you, how it felt to be supported, and how it felt to experience unconditional love from complete strangers.
2. Be mindful of the indigenous tribes that have consented to the expansion of these ceremonies. As Ayahuasca grows in popularity, so does the risk we place on the land and the indigenous tribes that have protected this plant medicine for thousands of years. These indigenous tribes have been taken advantage of by many different generations of people (rubber companies, missionaries, etc.) and they do not need to be subjected to further trauma due to the mass explosion of an Ayahuasca trend. To that end, treat this as a special event in your life, and not a fad. Make sure that you're saying “yes” to a ceremony that respects the history of the plant medicine, where it came from, the tribe it comes from, and that your ceremony leader(s) respect and honor the cultures that the medicine derives from.
3. Ask about the ceremony boundaries ahead of time. The other participants in your ceremony are going to be with you in one of your most vulnerable times in life. It’s great to know how the service team will enforce boundaries on the front end. As an example, a strict rule in my group was “do not enter someone else’s mat space”. You never know who is going through what, and how you might impact their existing trauma, or how your presence could hinder their healing process. As an example, imagine that your mat mate is a young female that is overcoming sexual abuse in her ceremony, and you’re an empathetic male who wants to comfort her…. Your presence, if you enter her space, could be very triggering for that woman and ruin her experience. So, ask about the ceremony boundaries! They're really important for safety within the ceremony.
Preparing for an Ayahuasca Ceremony
My tips for anyone that is preparing for their own journey is to mentally prep, practice resilience (you're going to need it), bring a journal, bring a water bottle, eat clean foods in the weeks leading up to your ceremony, and let go of any expectations you have about how your own ceremony will go (trust me on this one).
As cliché as this sounds, prepare to expect the unexpected.
Ayahuasca is a lot and she's unpredictable. She can be a lot in a terrifying way, and she can be a lot in a really beautiful way. Whatever you’re forced to face or sit with, is what you NEED to sit with. Usually, the things we need to sit with are the things we like to avoid or escape in our everyday life. If you're afraid to address a nasty habit, memory, or relationship—THAT is likely what you will sit with in ceremony.
If you were taught to suppress and repress most of your emotions throughout your life, like I have, get ready. She will wait as you experience them all—self-hate, loathing, judgement, rejection, resentment…. but also, self-love, acceptance, unconditional support, and more.
While you can’t prepare for your own ceremony in terms of knowing what to expect, you can prepare by learning to accept what will come. Plant medicines are powerful teachers. They can be really great guides for the growth of our consciousness when we allow them to. Allow them to guide you in the direction you need to go. Accept the journey you’re meant to have. And prepare to accept prolonged discomfort.
Plant medicines are powerful. They show us our own power and also our weaknesses, without bias. They could help us heal issues and turmoil we experience in society if we let them. And, this kind of experience still should not be taken lightly.
Okay, we’ve talked about a lot in preparation. Now, let’s get into the overview of my journey.
My Experience with Ayahuasca
Overall, the entire experience was life changing. Before my ceremony, I’d read a lot of stories of people that have consumed Ayahuasca and then completely changed their trajectory in life. Some quit their careers, others divorced their toxic partners, some packed up and moved to the beach, etc. There are so many radical transformations you can read about that happened after people consumed Ayahuasca. A small part of me was worried that I would want to quit my life and move to Antarctica.
The part I dreaded the most, however, was the purging that everyone talks about—you know, vomiting, diarrhea, sweats, shakes, etc. It crossed my mind many times that I was about to spend $1,000's of dollars to shit in the woods with strangers. Kidding…. (kind of).
Everyone’s experience with purging is different. It is not a guarantee that you will have any or all of these symptoms. My symptoms seemed to change each night. And, there were several people within my ceremony who didn’t purge (I noticed with much envy).
Overall, Ayahuasca was a physically tough process for me. I wanted the purging to stop many times and considered leaving more than once.
Our ceremony leaders assured us that this discomfort is a part of the energetic exchange. According to the elders, you're experiencing a much higher state of consciousness and it’s really tough on your body. It feels like a crazy energetic jump upward, pleasant but also foreign and turbulent. It's like your body has to release the stuff that weighs it down so it can soar. There are energies in your body that are not congruent with this new level of consciousness and they will have to go in the process.
I also felt an emotional weight that was released when the purging started. While it sucked to go through this, it also felt necessary. It felt like I was releasing layers of things that no longer served me.
Of course, realistically, Ayahuasca is a poison and there is a physical reaction that your body is going to experience. However, I choose to look as this process as purging negative energy (like the "freeze" response) from my body (because that sounds better than "I drank poison for shits and giggles", literally).
Purging aside, there were also feelings of joy, love for yourself, and of being supported throughout the ceremony. You feel so connected and energetically close to Source. But, you may have to go through hell to get there.
This is why I say that you don't sign up for Ayahuasca lightly because there is a “physical transformation” that happens while you're on the plant medicine. There was a part of me that wondered why I decided to go through with this in order to grow as opposed to upping my therapy, journaling more, or sitting down to meditate for a week. Really ANYTHING else.
But the time came for my ceremony weekend and I hadn’t backed out. I was both proud and terrified of this fact. When I got on-site, I found that everyone had their own space with blankets, pillows, tissues, buckets (haha), and chairs. Overall, I’d rate it 10/10 for comfort. We were also tucked away in nature which both provided comfort and made me think “well what if we need a hospital?!”. For the record, we didn’t.
The space was calm, the service team was wonderful, the other participants were nervous, and the set and setting were appropriate. It was felt safe.
I felt like I could breathe out there, away from the city. I remember looking into the woods and laughing to myself as I thought, “see you later, I guess”. Thankfully, I didn’t end up there. 😉
The Importance of Your Ayahuasca Ceremony Circle
Another common “thing people say” about Ayahuasca, is that she intentionally designs and selects each member of the ceremony group based on shared needs. In other words, Mother Aya intentionally collects this group of people together because of a common purpose or lessons that need to be learned. To be totally honest, I thought this was another cute expression that simply sounded cool. I half expected everyone to show up with dreads and crystal crowns (hell, that would have been kind of awesome). Instead, it was a mixed bag of people. There were CEOs, accountants, tech engineers, business owners, yoga instructors, etc.
My judgements were smashed once again.
I can definitively say that each person in my group ended up teaching me something. And, I noticed specific communal lessons that we all shared. I was initially worried that I was going to be thrown into a group of people that I wouldn’t connect with. Instead, I realized what people meant when they say that Mother Aya brings the right people to each ceremony. By the end of the weekend, I understood why they had to be there because they were showing me something.
There is a special connection you will form with your ceremony group. This is a feeling that you will miss and it’s one of the most beautiful things about this experience. You get to know each person's soul in that room even if you don't know much about them. I couldn’t tell you most of their last names, what their interests were, where they lived…. But I can tell you that you felt their soul, their spirit, and how supported you were by those people in that room. This forms a deep connection that you might want to connect with again.
I think that was my favorite part about ceremony—the community that was formed and how special it felt. So, if you are someone that already has your own ceremony planned out, make sure you take all of this in while you're there. <3
You're going to miss that sense of community when you leave. That's probably the hardest thing to reconcile in the weeks following your ceremony. Those connections that were formed so deep, so quickly, are gone again. If you’re like me, you might be asking when you all can have a reunion!
So, make sure that you value your time together because it's so special.
Now, I’ll answer some of the most common questions I’ve received since my own experience:
How much is an Ayahuasca experience?
It depends. If you travel to Brazil (where Ayahuasca originates) or Costa Rica, it can cost anywhere from $10-$3,500 depending on where you go and what kind of setting you’re interested in. Resorts or retreat centers will cost the most starting at about $1,500+. These will provide accommodations and food. If you include airfare, this means that a ceremony in Brazil or Costa Rica could cost you about $5,000-$7,000.
If you attend a ceremony center, church, or other religious center in Brazil, that is not an all-inclusive retreat, you can find ceremonies that are between $10-$300 per ceremony.
There are also ceremonies available within the US and the UK. In the US, Ayahuasca ceremonies can range from $850-$3,000 with an average cost of about $1,500.
It’s also important to remember that each tradition will have a different number of servings and ceremonies, so you may want to ask for more information on this before committing! For context, mine included 3 ceremonies with 3 glasses per ceremony, for $1,450.
Are the indigenous tribes okay with Ayahuasca leaving the Amazon?
I can’t speak for the indigenous tribes. I can share what we were told by one of their elders, however. Which is: they are okay with it leaving the Amazon.
Our service team beautifully shared a lot of information about the ceremony process, integration, how the vine is made, where ours was sourced, what tribal traditions they were utilizing and why, as well as the history of the tribe our service team was connected to (their traumas, slavery, experience with medicine, etc.).
Most importantly, they shared a video of the previous shaman (now deceased) who shared his viewpoint on the expansion of Ayahuasca and what he would like to see. He talked about awareness, education, and how Ayahuasca fits into the 21st century in America. He also explained why the tribe authorized the use and expansion of Oni outside of the Amazon based on a vision he received.
To summarize the discussion, the tribe believes that the expansion of Mother Ayahuasca is a part of her evolution to heal the consciousness of earth. To that end, they permit select people each year to learn their traditions so they can offer her medicine to people outside of Brazil who need it most: people who are destroying our planet and each other.
Honestly? I couldn't think of a group of people that needed more help with consciousness than Americans. Fair point, elders...
Questions to keep in mind if you choose to have your own experience:
How can we give back to the tribes who have taught us their ways? How can we ensure they’re taken care of and not subjected to future colonialism? How do we ensure Ayahuasca doesn’t become victim to consumerism that takes over these people’s land? What can I do to support the Amazon in return for this medicine?
Would you sign-up for another Ayahuasca ceremony in the future?
There are so many other accessible ways to experience growth. And for me, the other modalities I’d tried didn't compare to Ayahuasca… probably because I’m so damn hard headed. So, while I say that I probably wouldn't do it again, I'm not definitive in that answer. So, I'll leave it at that. Open to it, but not eager.
Also know that, from what I’ve heard, Mother Ayahuasca will start to nudge you again about a year or two after your first ceremony for further healing because we are like onions. She peels off the top layer each time we visit her, revealing more things for us to heal.
I’m letting it be known right now, in writing, that I am not interested in round 2, Mother Ayahuasca! Please skip me. 😉
Does everyone purge during Ayahuasca?
No. There were plenty of people within my 20-person ceremony that did not purge. Each person’s experience is unique to them and the lessons they need to learn. There are a variety of symptoms that range from vomiting, diarrhea, shaking, and sweating; however, none of these symptoms are uncontrollable. In other words, you will NOT shit your pants before making it to the restroom (you're welcome). 😉
If you do purge, it's not that big of a deal. I got over my fear of throwing up REALLY quickly. Toward the end, it felt oddly rejuvenating... like you were releasing every negative thought that ever infested your body.
What happens after Ayahuasca?
Integration. Ayahuasca does not do the work for you. Instead, she shows you what kind of work you need to do for yourself. She shows you "the how". She is like a nurturing presence that will make you sit in your shit and understand what it is. Then she backs off as if she’s saying, “the rest is up to you”.
You can have an Ayahuasca experience and not gain anything from it. You can have your insights and then choose not to do anything with it. That is your own freewill. Hopefully you don’t, but there are plenty of people who have.
That’s why integration after an Ayahuasca ceremony is so important. Give yourself time to integrate everything that you learned and incorporate this into your life.
If you're interested in learning more about integrating effectively, I highly recommend that you check out Dr. Katherine Coder's: After the Ceremony Ends. This book was integral throughout my recovery period. Please note, that as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
If you are signed up for an Ayahuasca experience, give yourself time to do nothing afterward. You're like a new born baby that's very open--what would you expose a newborn to? If you can, take off of work, do not visit stressful family members, do not go to the grocery store at peak hours, and do not try to cancel any memberships while you're in this state (haha). Take care of yourself and rest while you are still downloading information from your experience. You will be a changed person and you will need to figure out how you're going to show up in the world afterward. The world will still be the same, but you are absolutely not. That juxtaposition of who you were, who you are now, and how the work has stayed the same will be tough to reconcile.
Give yourself space afterwards to determine how you’re going to show up differently moving forward and what kind of person you want to be. Avoid your old routines so that you don’t fall back into the old version of you. You’ve outgrown that person, so make space for someone entirely new.
Overall, I feel like a completely different person. I felt like I went through battle. I felt like I have completely transformed. I felt like I experienced an amazingly insightful experience of rebirth. I now get to show up differently in my life as a result of having had this experience.
Accept. Grow. Integrate. Change.
Will I have a bad trip on Ayahuasca?
Maybe, but it depends on how you look at it.
The negative experiences you hear about are often from people that do not appreciate and approach their ceremony from a place of acceptance, willingness, and resolve. Because even if you have a negative experience... when you’re mind is in the right place ahead of time, you will be able to see WHY that experience was necessary for your growth. If you exit the experience and choose not to review the lessons behind the experience, of course it can seem like just a “bad trip”. With Ayahuasca, everything is intentional. Everything. The people that write bad reviews about their own experiences also serve a purpose—to weed out those with the wrong intentions.
Also, if you’re only committing to a ceremony because your wife, husband, partner, friend, coworker, or boss said you should… it will not be a good experience for you. Only say "yes" if I you're willing.
I also want to talk about the elephant in the room—white people distributing this plant medicine and the impact this could have on the indigenous tribes of the Amazon Basin. I want to stress how sacred Ayahuasca is to the people who initially cultivated her. This medicine has been used for centuries for healing, spiritual connection, and growth in many tribes.
For this reason, the last thing that we want is for plant medicines like Ayahuasca to become the latest Tiktok trend where people claim that “their life has permanently changed” before they move on without integration. An experience without integration of your lessons is an abuse to the medicine.
To that end, Ayahuasca is not intended for anyone that is not willing to do the work following. This includes: taking time off to rest following a retreat, journaling about your experiences, reflecting on the lessons learned, being open to new insights in the weeks to come, meeting with a therapist or shaman to discuss your ceremony, finding ways you can change in order to integrate your new knowledge, deciding how you will show up differently moving forward, finding ways to support the indigenous tribes, etc.
Accept what Ayahuasca gives you and respect the wisdom of the indigenous tribes by integrating your experience following. Do not allow this to become an experience you post about on Instagram or box up and shove into the top of your closet labeled, “That one time I did Ayahuasca”. Appreciation, not appropriation.
Is Ayahuasca Addictive?
Absolutely not. There aren't any studies (that I could find) that show Ayahuasca is physically addictive.
More importantly, there is not one bone in my body that's ready to go through that again. I was even hesitant to accept the additional cups I was given while I was there! If you are worried about any sort of addictive properties with Ayahuasca, myself and no one else within my 20 person ceremony had issues with this. In fact, many of us were perfectly fine declining our 2nd and 3rd cups throughout the ceremony (with pleasure). Of course, you know your body best. Make the decision that best serves you.
Ayahuasca was the best and worst experience of my life. I take this ceremony and this experience very seriously. And while it was really, really tough, physically, emotionally, mentally... it was also really beautiful. The guidance and insight received was the most profound I've experienced to date.
I don't think I can compare Ayahuasca to any other experience in my life.
Even still, I wouldn’t recommend that anyone say “yes” to this experience without serious consideration and mental preparation.
In summary: My experience was beautifully messy and I'm on the fence about doing it again. I do not recommend this unless you're a "hell yes" because there are other ways to heal. Find a safe group of people to say “yes” to. Make time to integrate.
If you have specific questions following, you're welcome to DM me on Instagram @ModernManifestation. I will try my best to answer everyone. But before you DM me, read the other three posts I'm going to do about each of the night!
I hope this post has given you some insight into what Ayahuasca is, whether or not it is right for you, how to go about searching for the right group, and other things to think about.
Thank you for hanging out with me today. I will catch you in the next post!
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