The Ayahuasca Ceremony
The Ayahuasca ceremony is held at Santuario Huishtin at dusk and is convened in the traditional round house or maloca reserved especially for these ceremonies. The ceremony is presided over by the maestro and his apprentices and attendants. Once everyone is settled in the maloca, the lights are extinguished and the maestro begins by opening his bottle of Ayahuasca and whistling his intention into the medicine. Then he pours the medicine and distributes it one by one in a small goblet. It is important to note that the maestro also takes the medicine for the purpose of aiding his experience of “seeing” into the energy body of the participant for signs of illness and infecting energies. It’s upon this visionary knowledge that he forms his diagnosis. After which, everyone relaxes and awaits the activation of the medicine.
At some point in the ayahuasca ceremony the maestro and attendants will begin to sing the icaros, the songs of the plant spirits, that energetically guide the medicine and banish unwanted energies and spirits. You will be asked to come to sit before the maestro as he sings and blows tobacco smoke over your body, focusing his intention on your healing and cleansing. It is usual during ceremony to feel a wide ranges of feelings from tiredness, vibrations or numbness, cold or heat in the body as the medicine does its work. You may feel an intensification of emotions, from sadness, love, anger, and fear. You may feel quite ill and need to vomit or go to the toilet. There are people there to assist you should you need any assistance. This is all part of the purification. It is generally believed that the medicine will go to the part of the body that require the most attention and cleansing. Ceremonies usually last about four to five hours after this time, you will return to your lodging to rest and sleep.
After effects are as varied as the Ayahuasca experience itself. Some people may feel relieved or liberated, free and full of energy while others may feel quite irritable, hung over, or “down.” One thing is sure, this is all part of your process and your experiences will change as you continue to work with the medicine. Once Ayahuasca gets into your blood, it continues to act on you and work with you long after the initial ceremonies. There are some theories that say that Ayahuasca literally reroutes synaptic pathways in the brain, which is why it is so effective when working with people with addictions. Certainly many people report feeling more sense of purpose and direction after working with the medicine and an increased ability to focus on the important things in life—as well as a lessened desire to intoxicate their bodies with harmful substances or behaviors. Working with Ayahuasca brings a whole new dimension to the idea of “getting clean.” One thing is for sure, Ayahuasca will prompt you to make changes in your life, whether you think your ready for them or not!