We support and fully embrace the traditional “shamanistic” view on Ayahuasca and plant spirit medicine, over and above the ”psychonautic” perspective which lacks (in our humble view) the discipline, solidity and depth that a proper, traditional shamanic training and initiation in the jungle – with respected elder shamans as guides – would be able to offer one. The degree of depth of this experience will always be intrinsically dependent on your own tuning with the shamans’ and the plant teachers’ world, with intent, humbleness, respect and dedication.
Neither the Ayahuasca nor the Shamanic Plant Diet retreats have anything to do with a psychedelic adventure, and less so with an escape from the “reality” of our worldly affairs. To the contrary, these experiences are meant to consciously transform and enlighten people, for them to discover their inner nature, their position in the planet, to shed off what is not anymore necessary in their lives. We take Ayahuasca with the spirit of trappers in search of our lost self. Paradoxically, to invert the proportions of what we may perceive as real today, there are some Amerindian tribes who repute the world to be truly real only when one drinks Ayahuasca. We tune-in very much with this vision. As much as we value your personal evolution, development and healing over and above the mere sensorial experience of “hallucinations”, and to a certain extent, even over and above the “visions” you may receive.
There is too much emphasis in our Western world on to the “psychedelic aspect” of the Ayahuasca experience, with little or virtually no attention to the healing itself, or else – to the visions and/or revelations, which are often in tune with the mysterious realms of prophecy and divination that may be accessed when taking the Ayahuasca medicine. These may all happen simultaneously or else, as separate, distinct events. Traditionally, the most important thing in an Ayahuasca session is mainly for the shaman to have revelatory visions on the status of the participant in need of healing, whilst the mere “psychedelic” experience itself is confined to a realm of absolute non-importance for the subject receiving healing.
We distinguish between visions and hallucinations. The first belonging to an orderly – however inexplicable – realm of knowledge one can receive teachings from, the second – conversely – being a disordered, confused, chaotic visual and/or perceptual experience of little to no intrinsic value to the one who experience it. With “visions” – we reiterate – we mean structured, meaningful, mysterious, organic – even though at times unphantomable – fully cogent, clear, revelatory (but not necessarily only visual) experiences (which could have a value of their own, or else, be combined with other subtle perceptive means), versus a disordered, potentially meaningless and purely recreational witnessing of colours, spatial forms, and/or free-floating geometric patterns more in tune with anarchic “states of hallucinations”.
Most people, but not everybody, may receive visions as such – especially (but not exclusively) the first times one is taking Ayahuasca. Some people are naturally more tuned with the unknown and more sensitive than others – especially women – and may be exposed more rapidly to the Ayahuasca “visionary mysteries”. Others will need a longer period, or even many different cycles of encounters with the “Vine of the Soul”, before anything at all can be experienced/revealed. Healing – medicine willing, in one form or another – will come to all, regardless of visions, when we approach the plant teachers, and their guardians, the shamans, with humility and respect.