Living life and making the right decision day in and daily is difficult for all of us. It can be even harder for those of us who let the difficulties of life impact us so much that we ended up developing destructive personalities, addictive tendencies, severe anxiety, or an inability to cope with past traumatic experiences. Any of these life altering conditions can make it very hard to deal with the struggles of daily life. The worst part is that, in some cases, the traditional psychological healing approach does not work and we end up stuck without a way out.
This is where Ayahuasca comes in. Many who have been seeking spiritual healing for their own reasons have ended up coming across this amazing drink mixture that can alter your total outlook on life if used properly. However, ayahuasca is not to be taken lightly. It is a powerful brew that needs to be approached with utmost respect and caution.
We have gathered some information for those interested in finding out more about ayahuasca and what it can do for you. We hope that the knowledge we collected for you here is enough for you to make the right decision.
What is Ayahuasca?
The direct translation of the word “ayahuasca” from Quechua, an indigenous language family spoken by the Quechua people primarily in the Andes of South America, is ‘vine of the soul’ or ‘vine with a soul.’
It has been used by the indigenous people of the Amazon, primarily as medicine and as a shamanistic means of communications. The brew itself is made from a mixture of different plants which are capable if inducing altered states of consciousness that can last up to 8 hours after consumption.
Banisteriopsiscaapi is a vine which is used as the main ingredient of this ayahuasca brew. Chacruna (Psychotriaviridis) or chagropanga (Diplopteryscabrerana) is also added to the mixture, both of which contain high amounts of Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which is a powerful hallucinogen.
At the moment, there is no information regarding how long ago ayahuasca started to be used. Although, there is some evidence that DMT was used in a smoking pipe around 2130BC. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the brew was made around the same time, though. It could have been many years later when the mixture became widely used by the indigenous people in South America. The first recorded contact with ayahuasca was by an English ethnobotanist named Richard Spruce in 1851.
Who usually takes Ayahuasca?
Ayahuasca produces a visionary psychedelic state of mind; this can be used by many people for many different reasons. It has been known to be used by many shamans and medicine men to communicate with the spirits of nature and also to seek guidance regarding the illnesses of their patients. There have also been some religious groups around Brazil which have been known to center around gatherings where ayahuasca is taken by all participants.
Recently, ayahuasca has gained a lot of ground in Western society. Many people have started using it to face their inner fears and alter their lives accordingly. Those who have been through a traumatic experience in their life and are haunted by it can be found amongst people who are looking to benefit from ayahuasca consumption. Many who are suffering from drug or alcohol addictions have also been known to seek help through the use of this spiritual brew. Anxiety and stress have also been one of the reasons some people choose to take ayahuasca.
In addition to psychological healing, some people choose to take ayahuasca in order to go on a spiritual journey in an attempt to connect with nature. These people are known as psychonauts and are seeking to experience the mind enlightening experience that this brew has to offer.
What type of experience should I expect from taking Ayahuasca?
This is one of the most asked questions about ayahuasca. You have to understand that your ayahuasca experience will vary depending on your mind and your experiences in life. It is even completely possible that it won’t have any effect on you and you won’t gain anything from taking ayahuasca, although this is rare.
You shouldn’t go onto this spiritual journey expecting a specific level of effectiveness from ayahuasca. Instead, think of it more as a gateway to where you need to go mentally in order to experience what your mind needs to see to help resolve the issues in your life. The last thing you want to do is force anything.
Let ayahuasca take you to the spiritual world or let it face you in front of your fears. You are not meant to be in full control of this experience. Your life and your mind have a great impact on where ayahuasca will take you, but you have to understand that you are a passenger, not the driver.
Another thing that will influence your experience is the shaman that you choose. Each shaman has their own ceremony which is usually unique to them. Some are more intense and others are more relaxed and mellow. When choosing your shaman, make sure that you express what you want clearly. Do you want to be relaxed in a secluded hut or would you rather be in a more remote and natural setting? Choose what is comfortable for you and what you agree with most. This is extremely important because your mindset and how you feel will reflect in your ayahuasca experience.
Why is Ayahuasca so unique?
Ayahuasca is unique in the sheer number of all the different reports about how successful it is in helping people with their psychological issues. Depression, anxiety, and addiction have all been claimed to have been cured by people who underwent an ayahuasca experience.
By no means does this make ayahuasca a miracle cure for all your issues, but in a certain way it is a miracle brew. It can help you see dormant and unconscious processes which can be brought to the surface and give you the opportunity to work with them while you are under the effect of ayahuasca.
Another reason why ayahuasca is so unique is because of the combinations of plants used in its mixture. The effect which is derived from ayahuasca is only achievable with the combinations of plants that only Banisteriopsiscaapi and chacruna can produce. It is amazing that this combination was discovered in the first place and even more amazing that it was done in the past by Native South Americans at a time which to this day can’t be dated. If you dive a bit deeper into the history of many South American tribes and shamans, you will learn of myths and stories about how exactly this brew was discovered.
Lastly, there is the somewhat mysterious neurotransmitter dimethyltryptamine. The reason why it can be considered mysterious is because our brains already have a small quantity of DMT in them. It’s even present in our lungs, blood, and other parts of the body. But the function of the neurotransmitter is vastly unknown.
There are speculations that DMT has a larger role in all types of unique and astonishing conditions of cognizance, such as dreams and out of body experiences. Furthermore, there is strong evidence that links the productions of DMT to our pineal gland, known by some as the third eye. This is interesting because DMT can be found not just in humans but in all mammals and in a variety of plants.
What should I do to prepare for Ayahuasca use?
Ayahuasca can do amazing things for you, and many have testified to its wonderful capabilities. However, you must also remember that everything is entirely based on you. Your mind and the state you are in will ultimately determine what you will take away from the ayahuasca experience.
If you choose to undertake this spiritual journey, then you must be one hundred percent sure that this is what you want. Do research and read about other peoples’ experiences with ayahuasca. They can be enlightening and give even more knowledge that you should be aware of before making a decision.
Remember, ayahuasca rituals need to be respected and thought of as part of the indigenous peoples’ culture. They are sharing this experience with you and you need to take this into account.
At the same time, you also must be vigilant and careful with what you do. Even though most shamans are good people and are always willing to help those in need, there are some bad apples in the bunch which can make the whole basket look bad. It is suggested that you always travel with someone else, especially if you are a female.
There have been cases of sexual harassment against women from some shamans, which is why it absolutely vital that you do proper research when choosing the right shaman to do your ayahuasca ceremony.
You must also keep in mind that ayahuasca is not legal everywhere, so make sure that you go to the correct place when you decide to experience ayahuasca. The Peruvian rainforests are the most popular location.
Lastly, be prepared. Make sure you are ready to pay for the ceremony. The average price can range from $1,500 up to $2,500 for a week-long ceremony. Have the right gear. You are going into a rainforest with bugs, humidity, harsh terrain, and moisture everywhere. Natural bug repellent is an absolute must.
Otherwise, bring an open mind and get ready for an experience of a lifetime.