Preparing to meet Ayahuasca
Well done for making the commitment to join this ceremony/retreat and for taking on your transformation not just for yourself but for those around you. Soon we will meet in a sacred Wake Circle ceremony, and in this space we will commune with nature’s great master teacher and healer, the brew we know as Ayahuasca.
It has already begun.
The moment you decided to embark on this journey is when your process and ceremony actually began. Subconscious bubbles immediately start to surface in your dream space and in your life, with your Higher Self knowing that you are ready to face certain patterns with Love, so that you can create new ones and shift current perceptions that may no longer be serving you.
Our purpose is to encounter divinity within, above and around us. To enable this experience, we will spend time in silence journeying to other dimensions of not only time and space, but also of our minds and our inner technologies – supported by sacred music, like-minded souls and a safe environment. The space is always held by loving and experienced facilitators, each bringing their unique qualities to the cooking pot.
Ayahuasca, the Mother of all teacher plants, speaks, inspires, enlightens and heals.
Basic items you will need for your ceremony
Warm blankets or sleeping bag and a pillow. You will essentially be making a little nest–style bed.
Comfortable Camping Mattress
Generally the fold–up or rolled foam mattresses work best. (Please do not bring big squeaky inflatable camping mattresses, they do not work in ceremony.)
A bottle of drinking water or 2
Tissues / Toilet Roll
Bring a toilet roll or some tissues.
A bucket for purging
Earplugs for Sleeping
THREE WEEKS before Ceremony (Medications)
Please be aware that certain chemical substances do not mix well with the MAOI component of Ayahuasca and should be avoided. It is vital in this period that we ascertain if there are any contradictory medications you are taking that you may need to be weaned off before the ceremony. If are you on any mood/mind/depression control medication – or any other kind of medication or medical treatment – we will need to know ASAP in order to prepare and clear you. Many mood regulating medications like anti-depressants do not mix with Ayahuasca and require at least 14 full days to completely leave your system. It is essential therefore that you fill out our participation form, (the form link is provided on your booking info) at your earliest convenience so that we can take appropriate action. We also need to know if you have a history of emotional or psychotic episodes, or suicide idealisation so that we know how to provide the appropriate support. If you do have any medical or psychological concerns around attending this ceremony it is strongly advised that you consult your own doctor or certified medical practitioner first. Your safety and the safety of the other participants is our main priority.
TWO WEEKS Before Ceremony
It is most ideal to start your cleanse process two weeks before. This is a period where we are inviting our body and mind into an introspective space and the dieta facilitates this process. Be aware that we are wanting to cleanse and prepare the body for the medicines and ceremony experience – not shock or weaken it. This is the most ideal time to start removing things from our diet that may require some adjustment. Intuitively, we want to start removing anything that causes the feeling of heaviness in our bodies such as processed foods and foods with additives. We also want to start reducing our sugar and salt intake. As a rule of thumb, a diet of fresh vegetables, fruit and lots of water is always the most optimal. It is advised to start weaning off coffee and any caffeine products as headaches are a common withdrawal side effect for regular users. You do not want to be sitting with a pounding headache during a ceremony. This is an ideal time in general to reflect on your consumption habits and ask if they are really serving you and your life.
ONE WEEK Before Ceremony
One week before the ceremony is where your dieta should begin in earnest. If you start now you are still comfortably on your way to being fully prepared for ceremony. Be sure to get plenty of sleep and drink more pure water than you usually do. When you make the commitment to meet with this sacred teacher, she begins to work with you from that moment on. Become aware of your spiritual yearnings and of your own sacred identity and connection with divinity, as well as with nature. Before you sleep each night, think about what has come up for you in the day. Sleeping and dreaming are part of the preparation.
The following food and drinks need to be removed entirely from your diet: Fried foods and red meat. Small portions of chicken and fish are permitted prior to the ceremony and gradually reducing meat intake nearing ceremony. Pork needs to be avoided for as long as possible before and after the ceremony. All fermented foods and drinks: pickles, herring, anchovies, old cheese, kombucha etc. Alcohol. Refined sugar based foods and drinks. Stimulants: Coffee, caffeine drinks, diet drinks. Protein extracts or supplements. Foods containing MSG (Monosodium glutamate). Aspartame (Nutra-sweet products), food containing Brewer’s yeast or any yeast extracts, breads. Spicy food, red pepper, chilies. Processed foods, cold meats, biltong, dairy products
MARIJUANA: Those who are frequent users of marijuana are respectfully requested to stay away from it from about week before and until the end of the ceremony. We feel Ayahuasca needs to work in a marijuana- free environment. The combination of the two can be mischievous and in extreme cases induce psychosis. Marijuana has its own potent place in the constellation of healing but will not be permitted in this ceremony. You are welcome to continue using pure CBD oils for pain and sleep purposes up until the day of the ceremony.
SEX: We ask that you abstain from sex (or masturbation) a week to at least 48 hours before and after working with the Teacher Plants. There are many reasons for this – both spiritual and practical. The main reason is simply that you do not want to deplete your ‘kundalini’ energy which you need for your journey. Sexual abstinence is a very powerful spiritual practice and it deepens your medicine experience. .
THREE DAYS to 48 Hours Before the Ceremony
This is the critical part of the dieta. If you have not started your cleanse yet or you are late in booking, you still have time but you have to start right now. The downside of starting this late is that you could experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms if you are a frequent user of substances like caffeine, alcohol, marijuana or recreational drugs. If this is the case for you, it is advised that you rather defer to a later ceremony. On the other hand, if you are someone who is healthy and eats cleanly, it is no problem to begin your cleanse 48 hours before the actual ceremony. In the last 3 days before ceremony it is encouraged that you remove salt and sugar entirely from your diet. Reducing sugar and salt will heighten the effect of the Teacher Plant.
Recreational Drugs: You may be risking your life or your sanity by consuming chemical drugs (cocaine, LSD, ecstasy, heroine etc.) 48 hours BEFORE or AFTER a ceremony. Under no circumstances take any recreational drug while still under the effect of the Teacher Plants.
Alcohol: Please abstain from alcohol at least from the 48 hours BEFORE the ceremony and AFTER.
Medications: Any antihistamines at least 48 hours prior to night of ceremony, certain painkillers, Ventolin inhalers cannot be consumed from the morning of the ceremony. Cough syrup. Steroids and muscle building formulas with creatine in them are strictly prohibited. Blood pressure medications and diet pills
If on the day of ceremony the facilitators detect that you are in any way under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or recreational drugs, you will not be permitted to attend the ceremony and you will forfeit your payment. It is vitally important that you get in touch with us if you have any concerns or questions around this. It is our priority to create an optimal and safe environment for this journey.
The Resistance Reflex – The Last-Minute Check-Out
Preparation for a ceremony holds profound significance as it serves to cleanse the body and instigate introspection about one’s life and personal journey. A Teacher Plant session represents a form of spiritual “work,” embodying a commitment and self-sacrifice dedicated to one’s spiritual growth. This journey may not always align with one’s desires or come without challenges. For some individuals, embarking on the purification process alone can be a catalyst for personal breakthroughs. At times, our apprehensions may be fueled by fear, and external voices might sow seeds of doubt regarding our decision to heed this inner calling.
It’s important to acknowledge that approximately twenty percent of first-time participants encounter what’s known as the Resistance Reflex, wherein they begin to uncover or invent reasons to withdraw from the ceremony. Many may find themselves grappling with fear-driven thoughts, and in some cases, even physical discomfort can surface. This fear, resistance, anxiety, or apprehension as we approach a Teacher Plant session is entirely normal, as the subconscious mind readies itself for profound transformation. Confronting the unknown can evoke a mix of excitement and trepidation. Along your journey to the ceremony, setbacks and obstacles may emerge, almost as if the Universe is testing your readiness to attend. In truth, these challenges herald the impending change that is destined to unfold in your life.
Within both ourselves and the wider world, there exists an innate resistance to change. Yet, there is an even more potent force that recognizes change as both essential and inevitable. In many ways, we can view these trials as the Universe’s way of gauging our commitment to transformation and assessing our readiness to accept the gifts that lie in store, waiting for us beyond this threshold.
We recommend that you simply observe your emotional reactions and inner conversions in the days preceding the session, and be curiously present to any unworkability in your life that is coming to the surface. We otherwise recommend that you read through the testimonials on our site and see how many people have walked this path and what gifts they have received. This is an initiation and a path that requires courage but most people experience much excitement above anything else. Do not hesitate to contact the facilitators if you have any questions or need any support; we have walked people through this a thousand times and we will be able to put you at ease in a short conversation. If we feel there is a genuine well-being concern, we will not let you do the ceremony. Try to spend a calm day before the session – preferably in nature. It is always helpful to relax, meditate, practice yoga etc. It is also a good idea to clarify your intentions for your session. Since these Teacher Plants expand your consciousness, they also energize your intentions. Remember that just beyond the gates of the unknown awaits a journey of wondrous possibilities.
ON THE DAY of the Ceremony
Generally, one should not eat 5 hours before a ceremony. The drinking of liquids is to stop 2 hours before ceremony. If the ceremony takes place in the morning, you can eat a light but substantial meal the night before taking the Teacher Plants, but nothing in the morning. If the ceremony takes place in the afternoon, you may have a breakfast of fruits and cereals. By this point your body should be prepared and ready to receive the medicines.
Cigarettes (commercial) generally inhibit the work of Ayahuasca. While natural tobacco is traditionally used as a smudge by curanderos, our ceremonies are held as smoke-free environments for participants. For those who would find it hard to get through the night without a cigarette, there will be a designated smoking zone and we also encourage you to bring along rolled, natural tobacco.
We try to arrive at the ceremony in a calm state. Slight fear or apprehension is normal in the days or hours approaching the experience – especially if it is your first time. There will be time to acclimatise to the new surroundings, to meet the other participants and to set up your personal nest. Once everyone has arrived and the space is prepared we will start to build our sacred container. We will do this by creating the agreements of the container and how we will be holding sacred space for each other. We will all check ourselves into the space, speaking with the sacred talking stick. The facilitator will then speak about navigating the Teacher Plant. By this point, everyone will be fully at ease and ready to journey. The ceremony begins when we gather in a circle in the ceremony space and ingest the sacrament – just as fellow spiritual travellers through the millennia have done. Before this happens, or shortly after, check that you have water and tissues nearby. It would also be good to go to the toilet so that you can be undisturbed for 3-4 hours.
The facilitator will begin the opening rituals and we will all drink into the sacrament. After receiving the sacrament, remain seated, relaxed and silent – with your eyes closed. Focus on the music, quieten your mind and surrender to the work of Mother Ayahuasca. Usually, it takes between 30 and 80 minutes to feel the full effect of the plant in the case of Ayahuasca. It is, however, completely different for each person. It is suggested that you keep your eyes closed as much as possible as you will be guided through visions and intuitions. Make allowances for everything inside and outside of yourself. Make no judgments. Dissolve any thoughts that arise, and let them float away. If you need water, drink in small sips only. Remain sitting upright for as long as it’s comfortable to do so. Within about 40 minutes, you will begin your own mystical experience – surrounded by new, communicative dimensions created by Mother Ayahuasca to address your known and unconscious circumstances and needs. You will not lose consciousness or control. You will always know where you are.
The ceremony is always performed within a deeply spiritual and ritualised context and will unfold over the next 4-6 hours. The sacred space is created by traditional chants, which direct the energies of the ceremony, ensuring an atmosphere of inspiration, safety and healing. The chants establish the frequency of the space, and generally invoke the energies of divinities, healing and cleansing etc. When the facilitator feels ready that the main waves of the medicine are complete, they will close the ceremony with a ritual and closing. There is often some delicious food waiting to ground us back into our bodies.
The Four Core Agreements of Holding Space
These are the agreements that we will create with you when we start to build our sacred container. Our maxim is "the safer the space, the deeper the work."
We Come Prepared: Make sure you bring what you need to make yourself comfortable and warm in the space so that you can journey deep. Rather bring more than what you think you will need.
We Mind Our Own Journey: In an Ayahuasca ceremony we agree to leave each other alone and focus on our own experience (as we would if we were in meditation group). We do not distract ourselves from our own journey by speaking or interacting with each other at all once the actual ceremony begins and until it closes. This applies even if we happen to step outside the ceremony space or find ourselves in the bathroom together. For any assistance we speak with the facilitators only. There will be lots of opportunities to interact once the ceremony is completed.
We Sit with Our Intentions and Experience: We came on this journey with intentions for what we needed to shift or transform in our life. For some of us the unfolding may not be what we initially expected, it does not mean the medicine is not working. We surrender our judgements and expectations of ourselves and what we think we should be experiencing. It can be a tactic of our minds to sometime make our experience, other people or even the process wrong to avoid dealing with what is really coming up for us. We are also not there to provide healing, consolation or protection for anyone else’s experience, which can be another avoidance tactic of the mind. We honour ourselves by being interested in ourselves and what is showing up for us and seeing the process through; this is where the healing lies.
HONOUR EACH OTHER
We Start Together, We End Together: We understand that we are strictly required to stay in the ceremony space or land until the end of the session. This is so that the facilitators running the session can adequately take care of each participant. This is a non-negotiable term of attending, no matter what comes up. A cool-down / alternate space will most often be provided for anyone needing some time out.
We Arrive on Time: We ensure that we put plans in place to make sure we arrive at the ceremony space at the given time or earlier. For weekend retreats we likewise commit to being on time for each session of work.
Confidentiality of Space: Whatever happens in ceremony stays in ceremony; we are more than welcome to share our own experience with anyone post–ceremony, however, anyone else’s experience or what they may share remains strictly confidential. This is a non–negotiable agreement in order to participate in the ceremony. We hold a private, safe space together in order to allow each of us to drop into the deep vulnerable spaces we need in order to do our inner healing work and exploration.
Respect the Container: We agree to respect the container no matter what comes up for us. Ayahuasca ceremonies are noisy by nature but there is clear difference between the healing activity that is common to the ceremony and behaviour that is disruptive. We likewise do not not hum, sing or chant along with the facilitators unless we are specifically invited to do so. We understand that if what we are doing is deemed as disruptive that a facilitator will either gently remind us to ‘hold space’ or will take us to the ‘cool-down’ space. We wish to create an environment that is conducive for everyone’s process not just our own.
HONOUR THE SPACE
For the period of our journey, the space and the land we use becomes our sacred temple, and we seek to treat it as such.
No Electronics: During ceremony, all electronics, cellphones, smartwatches etc. must be switched off. No recording or filming is allowed during the session. If special arrangements need to be made then speak to a facilitator.
Keep the Space Impeccable: We take responsibility for the space that we use and always ensure we leave it better than how we found it.
HONOUR THE MEDICINES & FACILITATION
Respect the Facilitation: We understand that the facilitators are highly experienced at holding the space and surrender to their guidance, agreements and healing for the period of the ceremony.
Be True to Medicine: We do not use any of our own medicines, incense, Rapè or smudge during the ceremony without clearing it with a facilitator first. During the Ayahuasca ceremony we likewise do not bring in or consume any foods or drink anything other than water.
Respect the Medicine: When we drink in sacrament we honour the spirit of medicine and it’s lineage by the ritual of first holding the sacrament cup to our hearts, to our heads and above before drinking in.
Effects during a Teacher Plant ceremony
Physical cleansing– The participant may vomit (purge), in order to clear the body of old negative energies that may be causing illness or imbalance. We welcome the purge. The Teacher Plant cleanses the body on a deep level, filling the body energetically with love, light and truth.
Emotional cleansing– Undigested emotions remain in the body, and may cause illness. Teacher Plants eliminate this “emotional garbage” in order to activate greater self-esteem, flow and love. There is often crying and even body shaking in a ceremony, which are all welcomed aspects of emotional and trauma release.
Inspiration– Teacher Plants bring insights and teachings. They may be experienced intuitively or symbolically, but generally are very clear. Spiritual inspiration often goes beyond theory or dogma – the spiritual reality reveals itself in a concrete manner, and other possibilities in your own world, or other spiritual dimensions, are seen as very real.
Difficult experiences– Teacher Plant ceremonies are usually very beautiful and insightful experiences, but may also be difficult. The participant may go through physical discomfort, or see unsavoury aspects of his or her life. The difficult experiences tend to be the most rewarding ones. Even when a session is challenging there is always a clearing of some sort and a reclamation of greater personal truth. In the weeks following a ceremony, the participant usually feels lighter, and continues to “download” insights from the experience.
Commitment – In the truly challenging moments of a session, one may ask oneself “why am I doing this?”. A ceremony should be seen as “work” leading to growth, and not as a diversion or entertainment (even though it is often very pleasurable). Teacher Plants have been effective in overcoming addictions (drugs and alcohol) and have been shown to relieve depression.
Effects on your life after a Teacher Plant Experience
In the weeks following a ceremony, the Teacher Plant continues to work on your body and soul. The participant continues to gain insights, deal with heavy emotions, and receive healings of all sorts. As a result of this ongoing process, it is important that the participant remain conscious, and not have sex, drink alcohol or eat heavy foods (especially pork and fried foods) for at least 2 days after the session.
If you have any further preparation questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Open Heart, Open Mind