Plant medicines ‘Vine of Souls’ is a spiritual practice of wholeness and acceptance.
1. Understanding Ayahuasca:
We want to provide a brief overview of the Amazonian tea composed of Banisteriopsis caapi vine and Chacruna leaf as we understand it and practice. There are many different approaches and names to the preparation, practice of consumption, and cosmologies that revolve around these plants. We will share our view as we have learned the practice. Our understanding comes from the:
- Indigenous Peruvian Ashaninka people in Ucayali river basin
- Indigenous Brazilian Yawanawa people who inhabit deep Amazon near Acre, Brasil
- Emerging science, culture, and personal empirical study
Everything we share has been provided to us by our gracious life teachers brave enough to allow the next generation to forge our own path and practice with this powerful transformation tool. We hope to advance the greater understanding of consciousness in a deeply personal way for all those we encounter.
Many names, one medicine
The combination of the plants mentioned above is called by many names. Here are just a few that we have encourntered sometimes hear ‘’ayahuasca’ (Quecha), ‘uni’ (Yawanawa), ‘kamarampi’ (Ashaninka), ‘aya’ (American shorthand), or ‘the mother’ (American-based). We like the explanation of the Quecha word the best because of it’s reference to death.
We sit with medicine, we drink medicine, and become the medicine.
We prefer to refer to it as “the medicine”.
This sacred medicine has been revered by indigenous cultures in the Amazon basin for countless generations, offering profound insights, spiritual awakening, and deep healing.
How does it work?
A combination destined for the stars.
The harmonious blend of harmaline alkaloids found in the Ayahuasca vine function as inhibitors of your bodies ability to break down psychoactive molecules in the gut. They also induce a trance like state and physical enteroscopic awareness. It is the inhibition action of the vine’s molecules that is most remarkable for most because it unlocks your ability to properly metabolize the Dimethlytryptamine (DMT) and similar alkaloids found in the Chacruna leaf. Both together seem to unlock gateways to inner dimensions beyond our imagination, unveiling the profound beauty and wisdom of the universe, of each of us.
In many traditions, it is believed that the combination of vine and leaf to make Ayahuasca was guided by spirits, the jungle, or other plant teachers. It is often said, that tobacco, a widely practiced plant medicine and creator of altered states in the jungle through tea and smoking, showed the people how to make Ayahuasca.
As you combine your consciousness with the presence of the Ayahuasca plant medicine, you will also have access to other orders of knowledge and information that will change your life. The practice of plant medicine meditation, under the guidance of Ayashakti, becomes a portal to the realms of expanded consciousness and deep introspection. The ceremony itself is an initiation into the sacred space where intentions are set, prayers are offered, and profound healing unfolds.
2. The Spiritual and Cultural Significance:
Embodied within Ayahuasca is a profound spiritual legacy that transcends time and connects us to ancient wisdom. This is not a wisdom held by any particular group or tribe, it the truth that exists behind all things. Indigenous tribes of South and Central America have embraced Ayahuasca as a sacred teacher, a bridge between the physical and spiritual realms. They are the progenitors of these cosmologies. Their deep respect and reverence for plant medicine and consciousness without question has been influence by their consumption of Ayahuasca.
We practice the same as our teacher, Maestro Juan Flores, who is an indigenous Ashaninka man living in the Peruvian Amazon near Pucallpa, Peru. Maestro was one of the first curanderos of Peru to begin welcoming foreigners in the 1990’s to his center.
Shamans, curanderos, maestros, pajes, are all terms used to describe the wise guardians of this sacred medicine, those that have studied many years, countless hours, and sat in communion with the plants because they were chosen either by others or by life itself. Their work is to guide participants towards greater resolution of themselves through use of medicines, rituals, chants, and icaros (sacred songs). As you drink the medicine and confront some of your greatest fears, it is the work of the guide to support you letting go and becoming free of that which holds you back from courage and love.
As an indigenous woman, Aya Shakti deeply understands the value of maintaining ancient practices and infusing them with wisdom passed down through the generations. As a woman who transformed the trauma and abuse she experienced into courage and passion, she recognizes that Ayahuasca and plant medicine must travel the world to enhance the global consciousness. May we do so honoring both the past and future as we are the bridge to both places.
3. The Therapeutic Potential of Ayahuasca:
Enter a realm where healing is not merely a physical thing you see with your body but encompasses the very essence of your being. Emotional pains and wounds from birth and before being realized, felt, and soothed. Belief systems and mental prisons causing untold suffering being lifted in an instant when we see through the illusion of mind. This is why we sit with the medicine.
Ayahuasca is a key that opens doors we bolted shut long ago because the pain was too great so that we can heal ourselves through understanding and compassion. You will mend emotional wounds, ignite spiritual interest, and liberate yourself from the shackles of victimhood, trauma, and despair. The profound insights gained during an Ayahuasca journey will lead to a profound understanding of oneself, fostering self-love, acceptance, and the courage to embark on a path of authentic transformation. That is, if you are serious and willing to act and be different once you see what you truly can be.
There are dozens of studies and hundreds more to come showing what has been known for generations in the jungle - Ayahuasca effectively alleviates symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction. The plant medicine’s unique ability to dissolve barriers and provide access to suppressed emotions and memories allows participants to confront and release traumas, leading to deep healing and personal growth. A intentional Ayahuasca practice will grace every willing person with insight into how to change their life, a lot or a little.
4. The Ayahuasca Experience:
How do we prepare?
Before we embark on our sacred voyage, let us honor the importance of preparation. You begin before you begin. This means that you are going to be sincerely preparing your mind, body, and heart for this experience. This requires a few weeks beforehand and through mindful intention setting, dietary purification, refraining from certain activities, we align ourselves reverently with the medicine. We do this in respect as well as to enhance our capacity for being open to the effects of the medicine.
Drinking the Medicine
When we sit in ceremony, an alchemical transformation begins not only of body and mind but also the very space and time we inhabit. We are prepared and through some gentle conversation and practice, we enter into the realm of possibility. Brace yourself for an odyssey that may invite vibrant visions, cathartic emotional release - fear, grief, hope - and a profound sense of unity with all existence.
The Ayahuasca experience is deeply personal and unique to each individual. It can range from gentle introspection to intense visionary journeys. Visions may unfold like vivid movies or scenes, conveying symbolic messages and offering profound insights into one's life purpose, relationships, and the interconnectedness of all things. Emotional catharsis can also we accompanied by physical purging as the nervous system releases stuck energy in all ways. This is how Ayahuasca works to cleanse the body, mind, and spirit leaving you feeling renewed and hyper present to the now.
To Integrate or IntoGreat?
Our journey does not end with the ceremony. As we return from the depths of Ayahuasca's embrace, integration becomes our guiding light. Embracing the transformative lessons learned, we embark on a sacred mission to infuse the wisdom gained into our daily lives. Seek solace in journaling, seek counsel from experienced guides, and immerse yourself in nurturing practices that support the integration of newfound insights such as:
Integration involves grounding the expanded consciousness experienced during the ceremony into everyday life. It requires reflection, introspection, and a commitment to implementing the lessons and changes inspired by Ayahuasca. Engaging in practices such as meditation, yoga, therapy, and creative expression can further support the integration process, allowing the healing and transformation to unfold on a deeper level.
Yes, you probably have fear to let go on control and face the unknown. We know. I did. We did too. That is your sign, face your fear, do not wait for your mind to be ready, it will always avoid change. Now is your chance, the whole you, to walk through a door to another way of being. The medicine awaits you.
Ayahuasca is not an answer to your problems. It is a key, an access point into yourself. There, if you listen closely and are guided skillfully, you will begin to realize your possibility potential. When you understand who and what you are, then you will know the answers to your problems. Life will become a gift. A place where all fits together and your role in this infinite dance is perfect. Then anything becomes possible.