Are Spirits Real?

Sooner or later, everyone working with ayahuasca has to come to terms with this issue. Who, or what, are those beings we’re seeing in ceremony? What do ayahuasqueros mean when they talk about spirits; the spirit of ayahuasca, for example, or los genios of the plants? What does Santo Daime mean when it speaks of…

Ayahuasca What to Know

Here are some details I might have wanted to know before my first cup of ayahuasca five years ago. (Despite the not-knowing, it’s all worked out perfectly okay.) 1. It can change your life, big time. And for the better, which is why a lot of people are turning to it. But the scale and…

Uprooting Trauma: Meeting Iboga

iboga

Iboga (Tabernanthe iboga) is a rainforest shrub of West-Central Africa. The bark of its root, consumed in powdered form, is powerfully psychoactive, triggering visions and deeply personal understandings about one’s life. Iboga is known as a formidable spiritual teacher who guides and instructs humans. In Amazonian terms, it’s a planta maestra, a teacher plant—one of…

What to Bring to Ceremony

ayahuasca ceremony what

Along with bucket, blanket, red-light flashlight, and something white to leave on your mat so you can find it when you’re coming back from the bathroom in the dark:[…]

Sulfur with a Hint of Chocolate

The first cup of ayahuasca I drank was dark brown, molasses-y and surprisingly sweet, about the viscosity of cough syrup. Bad taste? What are they talking about? I thought, a bit smugly. That was the first time. I did not yet know how each subsequent cup would become more difficult to down, tasting more and…

Medicine For These Times

Why ayahuasca is sweeping around the world

Ayahuasca is spreading around the globe with astonishing rapidity. Increasing numbers of people are turning to it as a treatment of last resort, seeking a remedy for depression, anxiety, and trauma. Even more are searching for a spiritual catalyst, an emotional reboot from the meaninglessness that marks these alienated times. Sometimes, they find it. Ayahuasca…

Dieta Diary

Personal experience on dieta

I’ve been doing a series of plant dietas under the guidance of a curandero in the Peruvian Amazon. Every few months I fly into Iquitos, catch a moto out to Enrique’s place, and commence a retreat with whatever plant he’s chosen for me this time. Dieta involves drinking an extract of a particular ‘teacher plant’…

Welcome to This Blog

This is a potent and exciting time in the transmission of ayahuasca to the West. A new paradigm is taking form, modern ceremonies in urban settings shaping new traditions. We urgently need to develop a context that respects both the sacred power of this plant medicine and the particularities, both limiting and empowering, of our…

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