The 8 essentials you need on your ayahuasca retreat.
This is it. you might have researched it for about 10 years. You might just have booked your retreat in an impulsive rush of excitement after a friend just landed from Peru with amazing transformational stories and mind-blowing results about their Ayahuasca retreat. You are nervous, you might even feel fear or doubt. But remember, if the people are genuine, honest, true, and work with this Sacred Medicine with integrity and in a sustainable way, you might just start thinking about packing your bags and forget about canceling.
Some of you may feel you are unsure about how to pick a Curandero, an Ayahuasquero, a Shaman or a retreat center. In this ever-growing Ayahuasca world maybe not everybody is providing medicine with the best intention, in a sustainable manner or with the proper respect for the medicine. If you fall within this category then you can follow our blog that will help you to find the right place to go to, where work is done with integrity, tradition, with respect for the medicine and sustainability towards to growth of ayahuasca in the western world.
Because yeah, to be real… Ayahuascas use and abuse today is not really a world of romantic Shaman life, roses, beady necklaces and butterflies. So let me give you some tips and tricks on what might help you during one of the potentially most intense and transformational experiences of your whole damn life
1. A Headlight or torch with a red light.
Traditional Ayahuasca ceremonies are held at night, in the dark. Some say it is to enhance the visions and focus. Others say it is that Ayahuasca is an inner journey inside one self. The outside world disappears no matter what. So if you manage to remember what a headlight actually is in this physical world, trust me you will want a red one.
Red lights are dimmed, less distracting and since all of your senses are enhanced a white light can be VERY disturbing for yourself and the other participants of the ceremony. So get a convertible one or just a tiny red light. Even the red lights found on certain key rings will do inside the ceremonial space.
2. WET WIPES FOR YOUR FACE & ASS.
Yeah, I know. I said the word ass. How non-spiritual of me! I’m pretty sure you won`t forget to bring this one now. Shit is going to gets real on Ayahuasca, Literally and figuratively so don’t forget the Baby Wipes. You’ll think about me when you`ll use them.
3. A JOURNAL …
The visionary medicine comes to us in all kinds of different ways. I believe that the medicine is a benevolent and intelligent spirit. Some will gain insight on a physical level, some will hear, some will see. Some will feel absolutely nothing during the night but shifts will happen in the course of the following weeks, months to years after drinking Ayahuasca. With time, when your physical body, emotional body and spiritual body has been cleansed a little more, it is as if it made more space for the insights,healing and blessings to come in, settle in and refine.
In any case all the ways are good, everyone is different but we tend to forget important teachings sometimes. It does not mean that the healing will not happen since healing does not happen in the mind. What is sometimes important is to realign the mind with the intention, the healing and the process. A diary can be a beautiful way of remembering, staying in tune on different levels or just for creativity to express, which might be very likely after a good night’s work.
In any case, It could be a reminder that helps with the integration. (In one of our following blog posts we will talk about how to integrate the teachings and transformations of plant medicine, as we are reintroduced to the world after an Ayahuasca Retreat)
4. A good sense of Humor!
As you have probably read online, Ayahuasca is a very powerful medicine, not to be taken lightly. It is not a recreational drug and certainly not a game. Ayahuasca can even be dangerous if you drink it under the wrong conditions. (We will also will post on how to pick a safe retreat and 5 warning
signs when wandering in the jungle for a real and authentic Shaman in our newsletter and blog).
If you have gotten this far and picked the right people to work with, the Medicine can still be very scary, very intense and at times uncontrollable. While you are in the ayahuasca retreat, it is best to not make things more difficult for yourself by resisting, doubting and struggling trough the night. You might as well just let go, give in to the medicine and accept whatever comes to you trough ceremony.
Remember this is serious work, the Shaman is supposed to clear the space, contain the space and keep the space safe in order for you to be allowed to express and feel whatever is. Now in all that seriousness of life and Ayahuasca, you must remember to laugh. Not only with the fear but also with yourself, it is not all that apocalyptic in the end. Humor helps to relax, to trust, to allow yourself to open up and create a healthy relationship towards the medicine. Humor just allows things to flow better.
5. The Willingness.
Once you make your decision, it is made, go forward only. Don’t look back. Don’t feel shame, don’t look for blame, don’t feel fear since it is an illusion, and do not doubt. Do not doubt yourself and do not doubt the medicine. Doubt is a resistance to your own process, doubt is a negative energy, and as soon as you let doubt into your mind, it is a portal that allows a world of negativity and negative thought to come in. These are the words of Gumercindo Galindo, Ayahuasquero, Palero, Curandero of Spirit Plant Journeys Retreats.
Doubt is the uncertainty and often the subconscious unwillingness to fully surrender to the process. Willingness is also trust, trust that you will be fine in your process no matter what. Find that place inside yourself that has the certainty that you are going to be okay, trust that you are taken care of. I repeat myself again; it is of such HUGE importance to drink Ayahuasca under the right conditions, with the right people and in a safe space. It is very important to be aware that Ayahuasca is NOT for everybody.
Certain medications or mental health disorders could be FATAL in combination with this medicine ( As mentioned above, subscribe to our newsletter or blog so that you don`t miss out on the future articles regarding Ayahuasca safety).
You should be in a contained space where al you have to focus on, is your own health and wellbeing.
You will need the WILLINGNESS to go trough whatever it takes. Willingness means being willing to go along with the process of healing, which is not something that can be predicted or thought through. Healing takes place. Healing can not be done analytically with the mind, otherwise Im sure we would have all been enlightened by now! lol.
6. Insect repellent.
Wherever you find yourself in Peru, insect repellent comes in handy. Especially in the jungle of course. Regarding disease, Lime, Dengue, Malaria, Yellow fever I would suggest you contact your local tropical institute. They will inform you if there is a “plague” ( LOL, Don’t worry it is not as if people are running around screaming mutating into flies while they flee the thousands of biting insects coming down for the skies, waiting for Moses to resuscitate them and open up Lake Titicaca with his magic stick).
We stopped holding retreats in the Jungle is because there are just way too many venomous insects. Not to mention diseases. I am personally totally absolutely completely, oh my god, against vaccinations. But that is my personal opinion. I am NOT a Doctor and the fact is that there are real risks of disease here in Peru. This is also why certain vaccinations are obligatory for you to even enter the country. I will post a link for you to find out which ones. The choice is up to you. I in no way want to influence it. MALARIA PILLS are not alway compatible with ayahuasca, depends on brew and not always necessary consult your doctor.
If you are heading to the jungle definitely remember to bring plenty of long sleeves and long pants made of light materials. A strong and natural mosquito repellent is also a must. Some post-bite cream will save you some sleepless nights of maniacal leg scratching!
7.Diapers or Menstrual pads.
Oh Dear… You got it babe. I know most of us passed the Freudian anal phase but Ayahuasca tempts to throw us back into our mother`s womb in order to clean up and scan trough the most traumatic events that we still carry today. This might sound hilarious or very unspiritual for some super-evolved humanoids out there with a very tight butt (literally). But as crazy as it sounds, we had a guest inspire us once time by bringing adult-sized Diapers and share them with the group. LOL. So yeah, I know I have spoken a lot about trust, but never trust a fart on ayahuasca.
8.EXTRA UNDERWEAR & FLEECE/Comfy Clothes & Comfy Slippers!
Imagine, it is 2 AM, the hardest part of the night is over, you are coming back to earth and the Shaman is still belting songs out and working on everyone. You start feeling your body, your toes, your hands – everything is FROZEN! The medicine can also leave you feeling very cold in the jungle since very often Paleros use Masterplans in their brew which help in different capacities in the Ayahuasca world/spirit world and in the other realms. But these plants also have physical effect such as cleansing properties or healing properties.
The Ayahuasca brew can scan your whole body. It will stop where you have a damaged a bone for example from an accident 10 years ago. The Brew will recognise the damaged area and stay in that part of your body. It will work to reduce the inflammation or inflammatory energy of the trauma that is still stuck in the area. This process is usually going to make your bones cold, ICE COLD. These are the moments you will find yourself very grateful that you packed some comfy clothes!