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Ayahuasca Retreats FAQ

People who haven't experienced Ayahuasca often have many questions and several concerns about the plant medicine that may be unfounded, misinformation, or wrong information. There are those also that do not know anything about Ayahuasca and come with a curiosity to know more. I offer the following information based on my experiences, and what I have studied and learned. In no way is the information provided meant to cover all possibilities with Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca is highly personal and each ceremony you have will be different, unique to you and your life. What I am offering is general guidelines, as your experience may vary.

We live mostly unconsciously from our egoic construct. Ayahuasca transcends our ego and is divine wisdom. For this reason, people often come with many questions. Know this is your ego talking. Not right or wrong, rather I bring awareness to who is asking the questions. Your ego is your small self and is designed to predict, control, and survive. If you engage in an Ayahuasca ceremony, it knows you will be doing work to heal and to transcend it. So, it sees itself as losing control and not being able to predict what may happen. Knowing this helps you know if and when an Ayahuasca ceremony is right for you. If and when it is right for you, you will know and be able to manage the fears and uncertainties of your ego. 

The History of Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca has its origins in the Amazon rain forest. Since the tribes of the Amazon do not have written history, the origins of Ayahuasca will never be known. But what we do know is that it has been used for thousands of years by the indigenous tribes. Its use has now spread around the world. 

What is Ayahuasca? Ayahuasca is a plant-based medicine based upon two plants found in the Amazon. The indigenous tribes know how to blend these two plants to create the Ayahuasca. This is done by cooking the plants together and done in a sacred way. 

How Are the Ceremonies Held? Ayahuasca ceremonies are held in a sacred environment. Whether a retreat center, a room the Shaman has that is only for the ceremonies, or a room cleared and cleaned to hold the ceremony in. You will have a cot to lay on and blankets, if the environment calls for them, for you to be comfortable. Ayahuasca is served in a small glass, about 2 ounces. The taste is unique and not necessarily a good taste. The Shaman will open the ceremony with prayers and will play music. You will drink the Ayahuasca and in 30 - 45 minutes you will begin to feel it effects. Your inner journey has begun. Now it is between you and the sacred plant medicine. Again, each journey you will ever have will be unique. My strong advice is for you to always treat Ayahuasca with the utmost respect. It is a sacred plant medicine with a divine consciousness. Never come with the mindset of it being a "trip" or a recreational drug! Invite it to be with you. Invite its divine wisdom to show you, teach you, and ask for what is in your highest and best good. I remember my last ceremony, which was the toughest thing I have experienced in my life, yet I held to my mantra: "I surrender to your divine wisdom". I can only speak for myself, and I have found no matter how tough or uncomfortable my journey was - for a while - I have always experienced a more blissful, enlightened state, and gained lasting new knowledge and insights that far outweighed any discomfort I experienced. 

Where Are the Ceremonies Held? The ceremonies can be held just about anywhere. The most important aspect about where the ceremony is held is that the environment in which it is held is set up, cleared and cleaned, to support the ceremony. You want the area / room to be as free of stuff as possible. The area should be flat with easy access to a restroom. No alcohol should be in or near the area the ceremony is held. 

Who Hosts the Ceremonies? An experienced Shaman hosts the ceremony. In group settings you want more than one Shaman, depending on the size of the group. Because Ayahuasca has become popular, which comes with an element of commercialization, you want to make sure the Shaman is authentic, experienced, and holds the ceremony with the utmost respect and sacredness. There may be other professionals accompanying or supporting the Shaman, depending on the size of the group and the location it is held.

Your Safety: Your safety is paramount in the ceremony. Your health, well-being, and safety are the first priority. If you are taking medications, check with your doctor if it is safe for you to partake in a ceremony. People with heart conditions should not partake in a ceremony. If you are experiencing emotional or mental disorders you may not want to partake in a ceremony. During the ceremony, the Shaman, and his/her staff watch over you to help you if/as necessary. This may be simply holding your hand or touching your shoulder to performing a ceremony within a ceremony to help you.

FAQ: Will I experience visions in my ceremony? Most likely. Again, each ceremony is unique. However, the visions that Ayahuasca shares with you can be absolutely extraordinary and beyond this dimension. This is a truly experiential experience with no two journeys ever being the same.

FAQ: Why don't I have any experience - an altered state of consciousness - when I take the Ayahuasca medicine? While not common, it does happen. You take the plant medicine, and nothing happens. The primary reason for this is the person is a controlling person. The need to control prevents the Ayahuasca from coming in. When you partake in an Ayahuasca ceremony, you need to be open, trust, and invite her in. Also to surrender. You are safe, despite the uncomfortable aspects of the ceremony, know it is for you highest and best good that you are surrendering. You are surrendering to detoxing old energies, beliefs, and traumas that no longer serve you. I have also learned that if a person uses marijuana, you increase your chances that you may not experience effects from the Ayahuasca.

FAQ: Will I get sick? Yes and no. You are greeted at the beginning of the ceremony with toilet paper and a bucket... this may be an indication of your future. While is it not called "getting sick", rather you are purging. And purging may also include laughing or crying, which is purging your emotions. The purging you experience with Ayahuasca is what you need based on your intentions and what is going on in your life, coupled with the divine wisdom of Ayahuasca. Know that not everyone purges in a ceremony. If you do, how you do, the frequency, all of this varies with each ceremony you have.

FAQ: How long does the ceremony last? Ceremonies are held in the evenings and are an all night long ceremony.

However, Mother Ayahuasca most intense effects last approximately 5 hours. Being an overnight ceremony, you are laying on a cot and you will comfortably fall asleep after the "work" of Ayahuasca is complete.

Scientific Aspect: Over the last several decades research has, and continues, primarily in Peru by researchers from around the world. Ayahuasca changes your thoughts, your perception. it reduces activity in certain parts of your brain while allowing or "turning on" more connections in parts of your brain that it normally does not make. Some people say that Ayahuasca makes you physiologically ready to make psychologically change. One ground-breaking study reported epigenetic changes caused by Ayahuasca... it alters your DNA! And this research is continuing.


This information is not meant to answer all of your questions or concerns. If you have specific questions or concerns, please reach out to me at

Disclaimer: I share my views and passion for Ayahuasca from having experienced it numerous times, the life-changing benefits I have received, and based on my spiritual beliefs. It is not, nor intended to be or replace, professional medical advice and you are responsible for your own research and well-being.

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