Shamanic practices, exercises, and attunements are used to deepen our connection to our enlightened ancestors and the natural world, and during our ceremonies, icaros - sacred chants of the Amazonian shamans - will guide our journeys and call the spirits of healing and vision. The medicine is transported through the use of the icaros.
A ceremony can be two hours or longer. Participants wear comfortable clothes and sit in the circle on mattresses where they later can lie down. Often many participants including the maestro spend the night sleeping in the maloka.
After ingesting the brew, the maestro begins to chant. The first chants or icaros balance the energies in the Maloka freeing it of negative energies and allowing the positive ones to flow. Subsequently the maestro opens the visions, cleans the participants and closes the visions. Each ceremony is unique and needs the guidance of an experienced shaman or curandero who has been diet trained.
Medical and Ritual Precautions
When working with teacher plants such as ayahuasca, certain precautions are advisable, and it is recommended that you take the advice of your doctor if you have a medical condition or if you are taking some prescription or non-prescription medicines.
Prescription Medicines - Ideally, you should not take any medication (including antibiotics) when you work with ayahuasca and for a few days before and after, but please take advice before you stop any medication you are on.
Anti-Depressants - Ayahuasca contains MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) in the form of harmine and harmaline. Medical consultation is therefore recommended if you are taking Prozac or other antidepressants affecting serotonin levels (i.e. serotonin selective re-uptake inhibitors: SSRIs) as the combination of MAOI's and SSRIs can increase serotonin levels. Ask your doctor about the temporary use of monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
Non-Prescription Medicines - If you are using non-prescription medicines, such as antihistamines, dietary aids, amphetamines and their derivatives, or some herbal remedies (i.e. those containing ephedrine, high levels of caffeine, or other stimulants), we recommend that you also discontinue these for a few days prior to and following work with ayahuasca.
Recreational Drugs - Avoid all chemically-based recreational drugs, in particular MDMA (Ecstasy), cocaine, speed, and heroin. The use of non-chemical recreational drugs such as marijuana should also be discontinued for a few days prior to the retreat. Do not drink alcohol in the days prior to and during ceremonial work. Tobacco use is fine.