5 things you also need to know about ayahuasca

2년 전

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I've been an ayahuasca fanatic for almost 2 years now. I've had the honor to meet with the spirit of ayahuasca around 20 times. If somebody knows how healing this beautiful plant teacher can be, it's definitely me! But, as all things in life, ayahuasca has another side of the coin too. With all these experiences, insights and knowledge in my pocket, I can now say: ayahuasca has some dark sides that need to be taken seriously. And I did not realize this enough when I embarked on one of the most intense journeys of my life. Knowing what I know now, I wished that somebody had told me.

First of all, don't get me wrong, ayahuasca is the most beautiful (plant)teacher I've ever met. The gifts she gave me are priceless. There are many testimonials from people who are full of praise. It's a true wonder 'drug' for many. And by now, there are many studies that show that serious disorders can successfully be treated with ayahuasca, such as depression, addictions and Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD's). But there are some other things you (also) need to know about ayahuasca.

A common misconception is that ayahuasca solves all your problems. You take it, the ayahuasca does its work and you are done. I will help you out of this illusion, because, ouch, it hurts really bad when you land on planet earth again and you realize after a few days, weeks or maybe months that nothing has changed. The ayahuasca shows you, gives you a huge push in the right direction and makes it easier to change your patterns and behavior. One ceremony sometimes equals dozens of years of therapy. But after that it's up to you. If you lean back, you go straight to where you started. It's important that you take your time after a ceremony so that everything can fall into place. And also that you continue your self reflection, staying self conscious. And that you undertake action if you want change. If you keep on doing what you've always done, you will keep getting what you've always gotten, right? So how can you work for your change? That's different for everyone.
For some people this means (more) meditating. For others practical things like moving, changing careers or making other dietary choices. Another person can benefit from hiring a coach that helps integrate the insights from the ayahuasca and can help with the transformation. Ayahuasca can do a lot of healing for you, but some things you need to do them yourself. And deprogramming yourself takes time!
Besides, it can occur that the theme you want to work on with the help of ayahuasca, does not come up in your ceremony at all. Not even after 100 sessions. Then ayahusca is not the proper tool or it's not the right time. Ayahuasca doesn't mean: one size fits all.

During ayahuasca (and also with other entheogens) you open up certain doorways of your energy body that surrounds your physical body. These are energetic openings in your aura, energy, and space. That's needed to be able to receive all these beautiful healing energies and spirits. That is why ayahuasca can penetrate so deeply. On so many levels: the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. You give up some of your personal power so that ayahuasca can do her work. But when you are dis-empowered you open yourself to things of a lower nature too. You are vulnerable to attract lower vibrations or lower level beings. This also applies in daily life. When you are not in a good place you attract negative energy or even possibly negative entities. But on ayahuasca this multiplies.
It happens regularly that people pick up the thoughts, emotions or moods of their neighbor in ceremony. This is not dangerous. But it's a whole different story when other people's dark energies enter your energy field and attach themselves to you. You won't even notice. Don't forget that a lot of the participants have serious problems: an addiction, a depression, etc. And almost everyone carries one or more entities (unconsciously) during a lifetime.
Be aware that also other spirits or lower entities that are drawn to the ceremony room can pay you a visit. Most of the time you won't even see or feel them.
Now, I am not saying that if you partake in an ayahuasca ceremony, it's guaranteed a lower entity attaches to you. But your doors are wide open. They can easily access your energy field unnoticed and stay there once your aura closes itself after the ceremony. It can be so subtle. You can feel depressed or not yourself for a few months or even years after the ceremony without any tangible reason. While it's not yours. You turn to the plant to heal, to deal with your own problems, not to take over somebody else's!
Be aware of this when you participate in a ceremony. Do not think, like me, it will not happen to me. Taking enthogens requires a certain type of spiritual intelligence; a certain level of consciousness. Be aware what you are exposing yourself to. Now, don't let me disencourage you either. Again, it is a very powerful, beautiful plant teacher you can gain a lot from. But now you know: it can happen to you too.
So what can you do about it? First of all, it's important that the provider where you are going to do your ceremony knows how to handle these energies. That this person has a good educational basis or has gained experience with these energies in a different way. And also that the shaman takes sufficient measures to cleanse the room and the participants. With white sage, wrecks and palo santo for example. A prayer for protection can also be very helpful so the entities stay away. Even with all these precautions, it can still occur that these lower level entities find an opening. A good shaman notices this and knows how to get rid of them. Be very selective in your choice of your ayahuasca retreat. Ask around for other peoples experiences. Give the retreat a call and ask them about this.
In addition, you can take your own measures. Especially if you use other psychedelics or alcohol (an entities magnet). You can regularly energetically clean or smudge yourself. With white sage, palo santo or other herbs.
Take sufficient time after a ceremony so that your energy body can close. Be careful who you are close to direct after the ceremony. Many participants feel a strong connection with the other participants right afterwards, you shared a lot with each other. You might want to cuddle and kiss everybody, but try to keep your physical contact at a minimum right afterward. You don't know them nor their problems. Wait until the next day and if you still want to give them a hug, go ahead, it's a lot safer then.
Take plenty of rest the days following a ceremony, continue your diet and be aware of the people or energies you are exposing yourself to.
If you frequently drink ayahuasca, it's possible that your energy body doesn't have time enough to close properly, so you are constantly exposed to these "dangers". This can go very subtle without you realizing it.
Personally, kambo and rapé have helped me a lot to get rid of negative energies and entities. A healer can also help you with this.

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Ayahuasca can give you the most magnificent visions or messages. Like dreams, they rarely predict the future, they aren't necessarily going to happen or have happened. Most often it's better to treat these visions or messages as something that (unconsciously) live in you, a wish, an emotion, a fear the ayahuasca magnifies, so that it becomes really clear to you what feelings are inside you. If you were abducted by an alien, that doesn't have to mean that it really happened. I am not saying it's not possible. I do believe in aliens and alien abductions. But you'd rather take a closer look to your underlying feelings and emotions. You can meet your future children during ayahuasca. That's the most wonderful feeling. But unfortunately, I know a few people with a similar experience and still are painfully childless. These people became so disappointed and got mad at the ayahuasca, because she told them they would be a parent soon. A child or a birth can also have a symbolic meaning. The birth of a new project for example. A new start.
Then how do you know what the ayahuasca is telling you? Talk to the shaman. He or she can help you interpret. There are also coaches specialized in integrating psychedelic experiences. Or you can look up the symbolic meaning of things on the internet. This can be very personal and different for each and everyone of us. Ask yourself: how does it make you feel? What feelings and emotions come up? It requires some self-reflection and practice. But everyone can learn this. And besides, do you always have to know everything in detail? Just surrender, let go, go with the flow and what's meant to happen, will happen.

Ayahuasca is no ordinary medicine. Like all other medicines, ayahuasca has side effects. Sometimes desired and sometimes maybe a little less ;-) Ayahuasca is a strong catalyst in your spiritual awakening. Some of us are not ready for this and can end up having a 'bad trip'. It can be overwhelming what the ayahuasca confronts you with. Ask yourself when you are considering ayahuasca: are you prepared to welcome it all? To take a close look at the good and the 'bad' stuff? Your angels and demons? If not, maybe it's better for you to take it more slowly and undertake other spiritual practices before you take ayahuasca. Or maybe it's simply not for you and that's totally okay.
In addition, ayahuasca cleanses your third eye and can awaken (latent) spiritual abilities in you. I went through a phase where I
got more and more visions and messages in daily life. As a young child I already was somewhat clairvoyant and clairaudient, but I always denied these sides of myself. With ayahuasca these abilities were woken up again and I had some very busy days and nights receiving al these wonderful gifts. But it was a bit too much for me. Now the lines are a bit more calm, but at the time this caused me some confusion and the feeling: am I going nuts? It's all part of the process.

This is an age old discussion. First of all, everything I say, including this part, is written from my own perspective. Based on my personal experience. Feel free to form your own opinion.
Ayahuasca or the DMT, which is responsible for the psychedelic experience, is not addictive in the traditional sense of the word. You won't become dependent on it. Nor will you experience withdrawal symptoms once you stop taking it after a period of frequent use. Furthermore, with ayahuasca you turn inward, to your self, your feelings, emotions and thoughts. Sometimes there is really no escaping. Running away seems impossible. It can be a deep confrontation with yourself.
But .... ayahuasca can also let you experience deep euphoric feelings of love, of connection, with yourself, with the universe, with other like-minded souls. Some people may want to continue recreating the feelings and experiences they had when taking the substance. They use ayahuasca, like other spiritual tools as meditation, to visit higher worlds and flee from this 3-d world with all its earthly challenges. I think this is possible. Whether you always succeed, I don't think so. But we are still human beings that try to evoke those pleasant feelings and situations whenever we can. This is not necessarily bad. If you stay conscious enough and you really dare to look honestly in your inner mirror, then you will automatically find out if this is the case for you.

I hope that I have not scared you off now, that was not my intention. But these aspects are also part of it. So take this with you so you can travel more safely and you get the most out of your ayahuasca experience.

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Wow! What an eye opening account. In this realm there must be balance. White/black, hot/cold, love/fear. You have done a magnificent job describing the potential dark side of this facilitator of enlightenment. Bravo, and well done.

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Thank you so much! This plant teacher has a special spot in my heart. She did so much for me. But everything needs to be told, so she can help those souls searching for healing better.


I really enjoyed this. Your writing is beautiful. You wear your heart on your sleeve. And, I can feel the honesty come through the work. Keep at this blogging thing. I think this will take you places you can't even imagine yet.

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@call-me-howie That's so nice of you. I can use a little encouragement as a newbie. I am glad you enjoy reading my blogs. Thank you so much! 😊

This is an honest and well rounded description. I feel that this approach applies to all peak experiences with plant medicines and strong spiritual practices. You have raised a very interesting point, which is that we want to be in a state of complete freedom and openness and seek to use these tools, and commune with these spirits to 'get' there.

It's a good goal to recognize and move into, we all want to be in this bliss state - that is what the human wants. Yet it's not so simple as to just do the things that give us that feeling, because it needs to be embodied in all aspects and at all times to be a real solution.

Some people might say that suffering is just a part of life, but it's more that it exists in order to push us toward our spiritual growth. We are not meant to permanently inhabit suffering, in my opinion it's just a stepping stone. It's like the spirit shows us the potentials, and gives us the guidance to return again to our original state - as that wide open blissful being. I totally agree with you, it's our own responsibility to make the changes and do the necessary work to move into a new way of being.

I like how up front you are about how uncomfortable that process can really be - especially in the beginning. When we make it through the discomfort, the harsh lessons give us a greater perspective.


Thank you @phyllic ! Where I live, in the Netherlands, ayahuasca and other plant medicines are becoming very popular. People often mention the positive aspects and don't know ecactly where they get themselves into, so I see it as my duty to inform people. I am also the moderator of the facebook group Ayahuasca Nederland.
I totally agree with you too! We have to make it happen. Luckily we have all these beautiful tools to assist us. But we have to do the work. And no pain, no gain. 😉

My wife and I have been talking about a AYAHUASCA experience for me, to reset my brain and help with my PTSD, I have done a small amount of reading up on it but this really helps.

really a good read and some great info and I like hearing an opinion from someone that seems to really have a great perspective


Thanks @vladivostok The reason why I started going to ayahuasca ceremonies was my PTSD. Ayahuasca has helped me a lot. In a way I could never imagine. My traumas didn't appear during my ceremonies or not directly... Like all these stories you hear on internet or in documentaries. EMDR therapy has helped me a lot too. Ayahuasca has helped me a great deal with loving myself, with my anxiety, my depression and just living my fullest potential. My choices are now based on love, not on fear. So I can highly recommend it to you. My biggest advice, choose your retreat with care. Because of all the things I mentioned in the article but also because good guidance is so important. And you need to feel safe so you can totally let go to let ayahuasca help you. I wish you and your wife all the luck! I would love to hear about your experience.

Woo-hoo! Yay! We adore your work, and we've upvoted your post with some @naturalmedicine love! Your article now has a chance to get curated and featured under the round-up of our blog.

If you're a supporter of all things natural healing, you might like to read our introductory post here. We'd also love to welcome you on Discord here!!


Thank you! I am all for natural medicines!

Hello and thanks for your very interesting article. I work with yopo from Venezuela and I have to agree with you that one has to be very careful when meeting the plant teachers, where and whom are we.

Great read! Thanks so much! It had much of the same flavor as the newly published book Listening to Ayahuasca which as all kinds of clinical data about optimizing the experience and integrating the knowledge gained.
Thanks for your post!