The ayahuasca ceremonies are central events in our retreats, and that's where most of the shamanic work is being done. However, the medicine stays with you and is processing for a long time after your retreat is finished (up to 1 year).
In a week you will complete 4 ayahuasca ceremonies (or 8 in two weeks), and it’s important that you see them as a sequence rather than individual sessions. During your stay you will get more information on how to prepare and tune in before the ceremony.
Our ceremonies are performed by Don Guido and/or his team who comes from a long lineage of curanderos and vegetalistas (shamans). The ayahuasca ceremony is considered sacred and the temple and its rules are to be respected.
Around 8pm before the ceremony starts, we all gather in the temple for a short meditation to calm down our minds and to tune in. It will be dark, only a few candles lit, the smell of palo santo and the sounds of nature.
You will be placed on a mattress where you can sit or lay down during the ceremony. Here you have time to think about your intention one last time before starting the ceremony.
When the shamans arrive to the temple, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions that you might have. You will also get a short brief on the ceremony rules, and get to know who is facilitating and helping in the ceremony for the night.
The shamans will then go around and check each participants pulse and energy field by putting a hand on the top of your head (crown chakra). The shaman will decide your dose based on how he felt your energies were and previous experience.
If it's your very first time with ayahuasca, you will get an introduction dose.
The introduction dose is a very small dose to observe your reaction. In the following ceremonies, the dose will usually go up gradually. The gradual increase of the dose allows you to slowly and safely step into the experience and establish a connection with the plant.
Now it's time to start the ceremony, and the shaman will prepare the bottle of medicine by singing and whistling Icaros.
Then he will start to dose each participant.
When he comes to you, it's time to think about your intention a very last time, before trying to empty your mind and let the medicine work its magic. When you are ready, say to the shaman:
and wait for him to answer back:
Que dios te bendiga!
Now, find a comfortable position and try to drop any thoughts and and surrender to mother ayahuasca and let the medicine flow in you.
When all participants has received their individual dose of medicine, the shaman will turn of the candles and wait some time before he starts to sing icaros (Healing songs).
The icaros have special connections to the plant spirits (the shamans allies) and are called into the temple to assist and help the shaman to heal a patient during the ceremony.
The songs are also guiding our journeys, and they are a very good rope to hang on to during challenging moments.
Through the icaros, the shamans are controlling the energies in the temple, and can work on each patient individually and will assist participants from their altar when running into blockages or challenges in their journeys.
During the ceremony, the shamans will alternate singing and whistling with silence and natural sounds.
They will also use the mapacho tobacco smoke during the ceremony.
Other names for ayahuasca are “la medicina” or “la purga”.
La purga means the purge, and that is a central part of how the medicine works.
The purge is part of the purification process and the most common forms of purging are vomiting, diarrhea, yawning, crying and sweating. While the purge seems physical, it's so much more than that.
The purge is energetic and many times we purge stuck negative energies and emotions that no longer serve us.
Also, the purge is, most of the time, just a tiny fraction of the whole experience, and is found to be extremely relieving and an essential part of the healing process.
Towards the end of the ceremony, each participant will receive an individual spiritual healing session from the shaman. The shamans will come and work on you individually and while its recommended to sit up, it's not mandatory. (The shamans will not touch you apart from a light touch on the top of your head) .
If you are sitting up, the shaman may put some kamalonga (protecting shamanic flower water) on the top of your head (crown chakra) and blow mapacho smoke on your aura, before starting his work. You will receive an individual song that resonates with your frequency while the shaman removes energetic blockages. You only have to relax and recieve the healing at this point.
In your last ceremony, when your spirit is purified, you will receive “arkanas”.
Arkanas are energetic or spiritual protections that the shaman will give you after your purification. The arkanas will protect you and help to keep you from absorbing negative energies after your retreat.
After the round of individual healing sessions and Arkanas the ceremony is finished.
The duration of the ceremony is about 3-5 hours.
The after glow is spent in silence.
We encourage you to stay and sleep in the temple on ceremony days, but if you are feeling good, you can check with a facilitator and leave to your bungalow if you so wish.
After the ceremony we are required to fast until 9 am the morning after, when breakfast is served. That is for the medicine to keep processing on a clean body after the ceremony is finished. After breakfast we gather in the temple again to share our experiences.