1. Caveat upon caveats. In the popularity of the Ayahuasca experience, the cheap, nasty Datura is put in the mix, and insanity (and death) ensues.

    I’m a huge fan of psychedelic expansion – I might not be alive today if it weren’t for the lessons learned on “set and setting” and “surfing the experience.”

    But as someone who guides others into shamanic experience, I cannot let this pass without a warning. In an ideal world, our Allies (plant helpers) would choose us, and we could forge forward into purer clearer experience. Psilocybin and MDMA experiments have shown people ways to be more true to themselves.

    But they are not for everyone, and in old times a trained healer would screen for danger, or mix the blend according to the individual. NOT – one brew, let’s all take it together.

    In the modern Ayahuasca experience, many practitioners want to make a living, and the screening is more like encouragement: “It helps everyone, if you are having problems, you are not opening to Mother Ayahuasca.” In other words, if it doesn’t work for you, it is your fault. Not the fault of the screening process, not the fault of the preparer of the brew (seriously, watch out for that datura), and not the fault of the shaman who invokes the ceremony.

    These filmmakers experienced Ayahuasca, and put a composite of their experience into a feature length film about healing trauma through Ayahuasca. The Ayahuasca sequence is here: https://youtu.be/UxtkoE-HV-k
    Warning, not for the faint of heart. If this looks like the way you want to deal with your traumas, then maybe Ayahuasca is for you.

    Additionally, there are neurotransmitters involved. And the changes can be long term, if not permanent. If you cannot integrate the experience, you can be left hanging from an Ayahuasca cliff for years to come. I have read many stories where people have asked for help from these “shamans” who just say, “take more Ayahuasca, Mother Ayahuasca will teach you,” or offer services for extravagant fees to “fix the problem.” (I have heard no stories of such post-Ayahuasca problems being “fixed.”) Or – ignore the individual, it is their problem, they must integrate on their own with no guidance from the “shaman.”

    Sound familiar, all you psychiatric survivors? Here, try this. Don’t like it? It must be your fault.

    Support MAPS, who is trying to open this field to further research. And if you want to go to South America, do lots and lots of research as to which center you are attending, and who the resident “shaman” and what the “brew” is. Lack of information should be considered dodgy.

    Report comment