People seeking alternatives to westernized therapy and anti-depressants have found the healing power of Ayahuasca.

This ancient tea attracts thousands of tourists to countries like Peru for a weekend of enlightenment that squeezes years of counseling into a 5-hour self-realization journey.

If you always wanted to participate in an Ayahuasca ceremony, then learning about the practice beforehand will make your experience more pleasant and effective.

Read on to find out how to set your intentions, embrace the rituals, and get ready for a personal transformation.

Ayahuasca Ancient Origins

You must embrace the spiritual origins to fully use this ancient medicine. So, learning the history of Ayahuasca is essential prior to the ceremony.

Mother Earth created the ingredients (including the Banisteriopsis caapi vine) of the tea used in Ayahuasca ceremonies, so it is believed to be the divine feminine and referred to as “Mother.”

However, the Ayahuasca pronunciation and root meaning is aya: soul and huasca: vine. Rightly so, it is often called “Ayahuasca: vine of the soul” connecting the divine spirit to the physical body.

Religions use medicine in rituals to cure mental and physical diseases by removing negative emotions, spirits, and thoughts surrounding our being. 

It is still used today for this purposes at Ayahuasca retreats. These practices are legal under the supervision of an experienced tribal shaman. 

Preparing for an Ayahuasca Ceremony

Ayahuasca is not considered a recreational drug, it is a sacred medicine that is used not for getting high, but for healing purposes.

This means that deciding to partake in a ceremony is a big decision; one that needs contemplation. 

First, set your intention as to why you want to experience Ayahuasca. It can be used to heal a mental trauma that has caused PTSD, a physical ailment like depression, or be a step toward a spiritual quest to learn about your inner soul.

You then meditate and be mindfully in control of your intention in order to focus and succeed in gaining what you desire during the ceremony.

To prepare your body for the experience, avoid certain substances like animal products, processed foods, and drugs like alcohol and caffeine. Many people abstain from sex as another way to remove unnecessary energy from the body.

During the ceremony, your body may cleanse even further by causing you to vomit, sweat, or have diarrhea. Proper diet and meditation can help you avoid this, but it is ok if you still experience these reactions.

A cleansed body and mind will be able to receive the visions and messages sent to you from the spirit world. You will be able to find the answers you seek with a clean slate.

Shaman and Guides

The medicine is not something that you can get from a pharmacy or illegally on the street. An experienced Shaman or guide administers Ayahuasca tea at a retreat performing certain rituals.

A shaman makes the tea from sacred plants and is responsible for leading the beginning prayer of the ceremony.

They then guide you and several others in your group through an ayahuasca daily routine. This may consist of lighting a fire, singing an icaros (medicine song) to bring positive energy to the group, and finally passing the tea around the circle.

The shaman will offer tea several times for anyone who wants more tea. 

During the experience other guides will tend to the fire, assist people who may need to purge themselves, help people walk to the restroom, and guide people emotionally when needed.

Physical and Mental Expectations

Even though you will be surrounded by professionals, you should understand how Ayahuasca effects your mind and body.

If you have never taken a psychedelic medicine, the experience is like no other. It opens up pathways in your brain that are not normally used, so be prepared to experience something unique.

You may notice that you will reflect on your own personality and identity. Losing your sense of self and ego in the process is common. In its place, you will feel a oneness between all living beings, from other people to the grass you walk on.

This will leave you with a feeling of mystery. You will become humble with the notion that you know very little about a world that normally seems to be invisible to you. 

Physically, you may see color, shapes, and faces blend together as your vision changes.

This will affect your motor skills and depth perception slightly, but not like you are drunk rather in a different dimension where space and time do not exist.

After the Ceremony

The effects of Ayahuasca last about 5 hours depending on your body type and how much tea was taken.

The fire may be revived and everyone will return to the prayer circle for an appreciation chant. 

Water and food will be given to replenish your body and restore your mind back to reality. 

The end of the ceremony is just as important as the experience itself because it is time to reflect on your intention and the emotions that have emerged. You want to bring these feelings out now while they are fresh. 

Talk to others, write in a journal, and ask questions for guidance from the shaman.

Ayahuasca Retreats

You will only find shamans and guides at a certified Ayahuasca retreat. These centres provide a safe and comfortable place for the intense experience of Ayahuasca.

You will get a chance to meet people with similar intentions. You can share your goals, experiences, and thoughts, so you are never alone.

Retreats are held within nature, usually in the forests, near mountains, and among lakes to keep your connection to nature strong. Many centres have camping, bungalows or cabins, and outdoor activities like hiking.

All-inclusive retreats may offer meals, washrooms with showers, saunas, hot tubs, and furnished rooms.

You can learn more about these ceremonies and what certificated retreat centres offer.

Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

Choosing to do an Ayahuasca ceremony can be part of a balanced lifestyle that improves the mind, body, and soul connection.

A spiritual revelation can lead to better decision-making involving your diet and fitness as you continue toward your goals. Check out more ways to generate a healthy persona by reading these tips.

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