In this four-part blog series, I will be sharing my calling to work with sacred plant medicines, the intricate details of the ceremonies I sat in, and how life has been after working with Mother Ayahuasca. If you are new to this subject matter and want to learn more about Ayahuasca—this is not the blog for you. Instead, I would recommend researching the topic with an open mind and an open heart before diving in here.
Ayahuasca has been on my radar for many years. I can't pinpoint the moment (or even the year—maybe 2013?), but I imagine it was brought up within my friend group or through Joe Rogan's podcast. I was very interested in sacred plant medicines but was terrified to try them myself. Instead, I chose to arm myself with as much knowledge as possible and apply the profound lessons that others have learned in altered states to my own life. Years passed, as did big life challenges. Then one day last year, my husband, AJ, and I both said we felt the calling to Ayahuasca. I never expected it to hit us at the same time, but I'm so glad it did.
We all feel drawn to Ayahuasca for different reasons. For me, I had spent the bulk of 2018 on a spiritual quest to tear down old walls and self-heal past traumas. This quest included many practices, one of those being a daily journaling ritual. Through journaling, I have been able to face my demons head on, see through all of my own bullshit, and begin to rewire my brain to heal and love myself (and others) unconditionally.
Through this process, I kept hitting a wall—I kept arriving at a place where I felt that I had some type of suppressed sexual trauma from my childhood. I'm going to spare the details here, but all signs pointed to something happening to me at the age of four. Have you ever had a word or a name on the tip of your tongue and you just couldn't locate it in your brain and spit it out? That's how this felt to me and it was driving me mad. I had read that Ayahuasca could help people remember and heal from suppressed traumas and I so deeply wanted to remember and heal from mine—or at least understand the feelings that kept bringing me to feel that I had suppressed memories.
In addition to healing from this trauma, I wanted some clarity and healing around my infertility. AJ and I have been trying to conceive for over three years, and again, I have read some miraculous stories of couples experiencing infertility magically being healed after working with the Mother. Regardless if my body could heal from sitting in ceremony, I felt that I would at least have some additional clarity on the topic.
Between those two issues and a handful of other general life questions, I could feel Mother Ayahuasca's vines reaching out to pull me to her. It was time for my spiritual tune-up.
THE RETREAT CENTER
AJ did some research and came across a company called Ayahuasca Healings located in the Sacred Valley in Peru that resonated with him. He sent the website to me and I devoured every bit of information they provided online. It felt perfect on every level so we reached out and scheduled our interviews with them to apply. This retreat center offers four ceremonies—three Ayahuasca ceremonies and one San Pedro ceremony. Each center varies on how many ceremonies they offer. If you're looking to do this type of soul work, I recommend doing your research and going with what feels in alignment with you.
I'm not going to dive into the nuances of different centers or the work and planning it took to get us to Peru, but I'd be glad to talk to you privately if you have any questions about the process of finding a center and booking your trip. Instagram DMs are the easiest and quickest way to communicate.
THE TOBACCO PURGE
The Ayahuasca ceremonies took place at night. During the day before our first ceremony, we all partook in what's called a Tobacco Purge. This involved drinking a glass of what is essentially a tea made from tobacco followed by five liters of water (chugged immediately) to help us purge. The goal of this purge was to physically and emotionally release toxins from our bodies and prepare us for the first ceremony that evening.
We all sat outside in two circles. There were 16 people in our retreat group plus most of the support staff joined us. We were each armed with a bucket, an empty glass, and two 2.5L bottles of water. You could feel everyone's nerves and anxiety as our glasses were filled one-by-one. On our Shaman's cue, we all drank. As soon as I drank my glass, I became very clear about how much fear I carried in my solar plexus (stomach area, above the belly button). This fear was massive and the tobacco broke it up and shook it loose. Generally, my biggest fear is fear itself—of being afraid (ironic, eh?), so I chose to not be afraid in this moment. Instead, I recognized the fear and loved and supported its release through purging. Have you ever sat in a circle with grown adults crying and puking? It's intense (and it instantly bonds you)! For about 15-20 minutes we were all cry-puking and slowly everything settled down. When everyone was finished, we were instructed to give our purge back to the Earth.
I was very weak and energetically depleted. I took a moment to be full of gratitude for the opportunity to be in Peru, with like-minded souls, and to discover the fear I had been carrying within me. I took my purge to a nice setting in the trees. I thanked the Earth for holding me and for holding space for me to do this work.
As soon as I poured my purge into the soil, Mother Earth sucked it in. It did not run, it sunk directly into the ground. I felt an instant lightness. As if, even though the purge and fear had left my body, that I was still carrying it, and that the act of releasing it into the Earth fully released the fear (and heaviness) from me—both physically and emotionally.
After the ceremony, I chatted with a few other people about their experience. It was deeply profound for many of us. I honestly wasn't expecting anything from the Tobacco Purge other than a lot of, well, purging, but there I was already making big progress for the first Ayahuasca ceremony that was quickly approaching. I ate a light lunch, went back to my room to journal about the experience (essentially what you read above), and took a nap to preserve my energy.
Continue reading and hop over to Adventures with Mother Ayahuasca Part 2 here.
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In an attempt to not make these blog posts run too long, I will be sharing my experience during ceremonies 1 in "Adventures with Mother Ayahuasca Part 2" in the coming weeks.
Again, if you'd like to chat or have any questions about what I've shared so far, Instagram is the easiest and quickest way to communicate. If you'd like to stay anonymous, DM me!
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are my opinions. I'm not a doctor or your mama. I am not endorsing or condoning the use of any plant medicines by sharing my story. I spent years learning about and studying various plant medicines, months researching an Ayahuasca retreat center, and did only what I thought was best for myself. Do you need to partake in these types of ceremonies to heal past traumas and grow spiritually? Of course not. If anyone says you do they've been misled and are misleading you. I chose to do this work because I felt the calling. If you feel the calling as well, please be responsible and do your homework. My experience was just that—my experience and is not a guarantee that you will experience anything like it.