What Happens in Ayahuasca Ceremony?
The Ayahuasca Ceremony is a truly life changing and transformative experience. Everyone is always a little nervous when they get ready to do their first Ayahuasca ceremony, but after they have done one they wonder why they were ever worried! We provide a safe environment with lots of helpers, and no one is left unattended if they have needs, be it physical, emotional or mental. Our Ayahuasca shamans are lovely and truly gifted, and you will fall in love with them immediately. Here we give you a description of what happens in an Ayahuasca Ceremony at Gaia Sagrada Ayahuasca Retreat Center in Ecuador, South America.
Ayahuasca Ceremony – Ayahuascero Shamans
When you come to the Ayahuasca ceremony, be ready for an eye opening experience. Ayahuasca takes you into the universe within you and shows you many things about yourself, your life, and the world. You can focus on your intention and purpose for the ceremony and Ayahuasca always responds. Ayahuasca is very sentient and is paying attention to what you need. Sometimes Ayahuasca has something different to show you than what you had originally intended to work on, as Ayahuasca knows what you need to focus on first in your life in order to clear the way for the other things you want to address.
Try to surrender to whatever experience Ayahuasca gives you. The medicine always knows best what you need. Sometimes people get an unexpected experience, but just know that what Ayahuasca shows you is what is necessary for your healing or enlightenment. Approach in a truly surrendered way when you enter the Ayahuasca experience, and let down ego defences and walk away from your fears, because they will block your entry into the worlds of Ayahuasca. It is important to be open to whatever is going to happen.
Don’t worry, you’re in good hands, we are taking care of you through the whole experience, and you will be fine! The Ayahuascero shamans know what they are doing!
Ayahuasca Ceremony and Ego Death
It is not unusual for people to feel like they are going to die when they are in an Ayahuasca experience. No one has ever died from Ayahuasca itself. If there are deaths around Ayahuasca, it is ALWAYS because the shaman put something else in the Ayahuasca that shouldn’t be there, or were acting irresponsibly. It wasn’t the ayahuasca that ever killed anyone. Our shamans use nothing but the vine, so this is a pure as it can get and you will ONLY be getting Ayahuasca, nothing else.
So trust the process and let it happen. This way you can get the most out of your experience. Gaia Sagrada is known to be one of the most well respected and safest ayahuasca retreat centers in the world. There is a good reason we have this reputation.
When you feel like you might be dying, it’s really the ego death you are experiencing. It doesn’t happen to everyone, as some are able to get their egos out of the way of the experience, but if you are experiencing this, there is a part of you that is trying to hold on and afraid to go into the places where you are egoless, eternal, and where the divine lives in you.
Take a deep breath, and just let go. You are fine! Where you are going the mind cannot follow, so you must let go of feeling like you need to be in control. Let Ayahuasca take you for the ride of your life and show you the wonders of the universe within you! The price for entry into your multidimensional nature is that you have to surrender and let go.
What Happens in an Ayahuasca Ceremony
First, we all settle in and instructions on how to move about the circle and how to handle things in the ceremony are giving. Then the Ayahuasca shaman starts with the opening prayer, affirming protection for the ceremony, calling in the right spirit energy for this endeavor, praying for everyone’s purpose in the ceremony. Everyone is to focus on their purpose and intention during this prayer.
Next, the medicine is given to everyone. The shaman also gives out an orange slice to suck the juice out of to help with the taste, or some other type of sweet taste to help with the flavor. This is so nice, as the taste can be a little challenging for some. For others the taste isn’t bad and they actually like it so they don’t want the orange slice, however, it is there for you if you want it! See what you think when it’s your turn. To some people Ayahuasca tastes sweet.
The ayahuasca shamans begin to sing and bring in the energy of the medicine. They carry the energy in a beautiful way with icaros (medicine songs) that sound like they are from the stars. Beautiful tranquility sets in as the Ayahuasca ceremony continues. For some people the medicine comes as quickly as 15 minutes, and others it can take an hour.
There is a point where a few people may throw up. It doesn’t happen for everyone. It is not absolutely necessary to purge, and purging can happen in many ways, not just vomiting. Sometimes purging is through tears, release of obsessive thoughts, yawning, breathing, there are many ways the body can purge “old” energy.
Our helpers come and take the bucket so there are no accidents, and give you a new one. Anyone who has to go to the bathroom is helped by the helpers who are not on medicine. Don’t wait to go to the bathroom if you think you have to go!
After the first cup of Ayahuasca has been in effect for a while, a second cup is offered to anyone who wants to take one. Not everyone wants a second cup, as most are still traveling on the first cup. It’s strong medicine! However, our shamans are very generous with the medicine and you can have as many cups as you want. Some people even take 3 cups. It’s unlimited. Some people’s bodies need more medicine than others. That is why it is unlimited. You can have as many as you want throughout the Ayahuasca Ceremony.
After things have settled down and everyone’s journey is coming to a close, the shaman begins the closing prayer for the water. Everyone is really ready for a glass of water by this time! The teachings around the water become quite evident at this point. Those of us who have clean water to drink and bathe in should really appreciate the water, as it is the most necessary ingredient for our life force (as well as air of course!) This is a prayer of gratitude for water, food and our lives.
When the Ayahuasca Ceremony is over, we all eat a hearty buffet of good food that settles everything down and drink plenty of water. We all enjoy some music and laughter. Everyone is light-hearted, excited by their journey, and feeling relieved that their first journey went well. Everyone realizes there was nothing to worry about!
Ayahuasca Ceremony and Motor Skills
You will be a bit compromised with your motor skills while you are in the Ayahuasca ceremony, but not so much that you cannot do basic things. Getting to the bathroom without any help might be a little challenging, so that’s why we have lots of helpers who are not on the medicine at the Ayahuasca ceremony to help you get to where you need to go. Let them help you even if you think you are fine because you might not find it so easy!
The lack of motor skills isn’t so bad that you can’t do whatever you need to do. It just means you will need a little help, that’s all. It’s not that bad! The effects on your motor skills will only last for 2-4 hours, so don’t worry, everything will go back to normal. Ayahuasca does not affect your ability to breathe or anything else that is a normal bodily function. Just walking!
Ayahuasca Ceremony Fire
Some traditions use no fire, only darkness in their Ayahuasca ceremonies. We have found that is a little bit too intense for some people, so we make it possible for a choice. This way, if someone gets scared and needs light, they can open their eyes and there it is, light, which helps them not go into places of fear if it’s unnecessary. If someone wants to have darkness, all they have to do is close their eyes and snuggle in their blanket a little, and darkness it is! Simple!
Ayahuasca does not have to be in total darkness. You will find that the light of the fire, even with your eyes closed, gives you absolutely stunning visuals, and can help with your experience a lot. It is a choice we provide for people so everyone is taken care of. The old pros can have the darkness by closing their eyes, wearing an eye cover or snuggling in their blanket, and the newbies can have some light to make them feel safe.
Once the Ayahuasca ceremony has progressed somewhat and everyone is comfortable, including the new people who are with their first Ayahuasca journey, we let the fire go down really low to just barely burning embers. At that point everyone is feeling safe, the fire is no longer burning brightly, and the maloka (ceremony space) is very dark, since there isn’t really any fire to throw much light. This is usually a very quiet time of the ceremony where everyone is very deep in their experience, with the icaros carrying them gently through their journey.
At the end, the fire is brought back to life for the final prayer, and provides everyone a place to sit and enjoy the food after the ceremony is over. Fire is in some of the ancient traditions, and we have found it works better for people who tend toward fear to have the option of looking at the fire and using the light to guide their way, while at the same time providing for the people who already have experience with Ayahuasca ceremonies to have the darkness if they want it in their journey.