Your senses unfold and you notice a certain communion with the environment. The mountain was inside my head and I saw everything that happened inside it”. “The sounds of nature got inside me. It was a jaguar waiting for prey.” “Thousands of psychedelic colors passed before my pupils, they gushed like springs.” “I became a girl again, I saw stars…”. These are some testimonies of people who have participated in shamanic journeys or ceremonies in retreats in which you can experience ayahuasca or, as its name means in Quecmedicinal or recreational purpose
Medicinal or recreational purposes
Since the beginning of time, societies have used drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes. From the chemistry that allows sleep, more socially accepted than the rest, to the plant that relaxes, puts the mouth to sleep and numbs the senses, many human beings have dared to go one step further and travel into the unknown through the consumption of certain substances . Some artists, from Pollock to the Beatles, used them precisely because they believed it enhanced their creativity. Every weekend, thousands of people around the world consume them for recreational purposes. They are nothing new.
Consumption of a Drug
Never before in the West has the consumption of a drug involved such a picturesque ceremony
But with the consumption of ayahuasca it seems different. People who have tried it seem to agree on a level of godlike transcendence after the trip, as if only through the hallucinogen they have unraveled both themselves and the dark secret that makes up the world. Never before in the West has the consumption of a drug involved such a picturesque ceremony. Neither to religion nor to philosophy, more and more people are adept at retreats guided by shamans, in order to get to know themselves and put aside worries, traumas or day-to-day anxiety, through of a drug.
The Web is full of testimonials from these people and their experiences with ayahuasca. Generally, many of these psychedelic trips were made -and are made- in Peru, because the drink has an ancient origin among the cultures of the Amazon (not only Peru, but also Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador or Brazil), which use it in a ritual, ceremonial or curative way. In the West it is known thanks in part to ‘Ayahuasca letters’ by beat writers Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, a book of correspondence between the two in which the latter traveled to the Amazon jungle of Colombia to try the drink native and recounts his experiences in an epistolary way. William S. Burroughs traveled to the Amazon rainforest in Colombia to try ayahuasca.
Experience dare to venture
Since the 1990s and even decades before, many Western travelers seeking new experiences dare to venture into the dark and winding paths of the Amazon, in search of the sacred plant. The ceremonies are not easy: first you must fast for a certain time, or do without some foods for days, ranging from alcohol to coffee, including dairy products. You must also fast from meat, that is, you cannot have sexual relations either. The ceremony must be accompanied by a guide who will help during the trip, and it will not be pleasant. The most frequent immediate effects are nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, although the most serious danger is that it can cause a psychotic condition that, in some cases, could be irreversible.
Ceremonies are not easy. You must fast and the most frequent immediate effects after consuming it are vomiting and diarrhea
Legal problems of our society
But today it is not necessary to go to the Amazon jungle to consume ayahuasca. The plant is not officially considered a drug, so it is not subject to the legal problems of the same and in our country withdrawals are held in which it can, therefore, be consumed. To better understand what leads Westerners to leave everything for (at least) a few days to make these trips, I have spoken with Ana Haxtun Santo, founder of Shamanism for all, “with the aim of spreading the wisdom of Amazonian Shamanism, throughout its vast field of ancestral practices and teachings. We also organize spiritual retreats that have changed the lives of many people. My mission is to help others to wake up, to get out of the dream of a mediocre and comfortable society, to discover their own path and live a full existence, with authenticity and meaning, ”she explains on her own internet.