THE VINE OF SOULS
WE INVITE YOU TO LEARN FROM THE HEALING MOTHER OF MEDICINE PLANTS, AYAHUASCA,
IN TRADITIONAL CEREMONIES HELD IN THE AMAZON JUNGLE
Working with Mother Ayahuasca is a profound healing experience which allows us to access higher states of consciousness and gain new perspectives and insights. This powerful visionary brew offers the opportunity to work within your shadow and delve deeply into your subconscious and ego to unearth the underlying issues preventing you from leading a life of love, harmony and balance. When we truly connect with the healing energy of Ayahuasca, we are given the space and support to release what no longer serves us, bringing life back into balance.
The practices of Ayahuasca shamanism have been passed down over thousands of years to treat aliments of all kinds including mental, emotional, physical and spiritual illness. In the tradition, the spirit of Ayahuasca communicates with the Ayahuasquero to show them how to brew and heal the individual. The brew is created using a combination of two plants; the Ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) containing an MAOI inhibitor and Chacruna (Psychotria Viridis) containing DMT (Dimethyltryptamine). In different lineages, other jungle plants are added by the Ayahuasquero as informed by Ayahuasca and the teachings of their mentors. The plants work in synergy to form the sought after healing brew.
“What I went through was very physical, my whole body would shake because she was working on a very physical level; she was moving things around and I could feel the energy moving and moving. What started to also emerge were visions; she was showing me my sister, she was showing me my father, she took me again to the other side. She said you need to see everyone that you’ve lost; you need to go backwards and forwards and now you need to grieve and I opened up. As a psychotherapist, I would say I did five years of grief work in the time that I was in the jungle and as I was releasing I was being healed. The plant was helping me on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. The doors just flew open.”
Michele Costa Lukis
Under the guidance of Dr Rubén Orellana PHD, psychotherapist Michele Costa Lukis and our Ayahuascero, Don M, we will learn from Ayahuasca within traditional shamanic ceremonies with the intention of healing spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally. We do not work with the medicine in a recreational manner but in traditional, held and authentic ceremonies and ask that those who journey with us to bear this in mind.
PREPARATION & INTENTION
Prior to working with Ayahuasca, we journey into the jungle to take a guided tour of the various flaura and fauna of the Amazon and visit the sacred vine in her home. Afterwards, our Ayahuasquero, Don M holds an in depth discussion on the tradition of the healers of the jungle and the sacred plant medicine Ayahuasca within his home by the Amazon River. Don M shares the ancient and modern rituals of this sacred medicine as we prepare ourselves to receive the medicine and its teachings. Don M welcomes any questions you may have as he connects with the unique energy of the group informing him on how to brew for ceremony.
We will also discuss the power of intention in working with the medicine with Michele and Rubén on hand to help you discover, refine and communicate your intention to Mother Ayahuasca. In working with this visionary brew our intention is never to ‘trip’ as with many modern recreational drugs as this distracts from the healing benefits of the plant and takes us away from our needs.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything in private prior to ceremony, Michele and Rubén are always available. We offer the dieta (diet) appropriate in working with Ayahuasca and will explain our recommendations thoroughly to the group.
OUR AYAHUASQUERO AND THE BREW
Our Ayahuasquero, Don M will brew for the group. Don M is a sixth generation healer whose training began at age ten under the guidance of his father, a highly respected healer in addition to four other renowned healers. At age thirty he completed his training. Now in his fifties, he is the healer for his community and we are honoured to have worked together for over ten years. We know him to be a man of great integrity, care, kindness and wisdom.
Don M works on an esoteric level with the plant; as he brews, he connects to the energy of Ayahuasca within a relationship spanning many years and is shown how to brew the medicine according to the needs of the group. All elements of the brew are selected by Don M from the Amazon jungle specifically for the group. As he brews, he places his intention of healing into the medicine, in this way the plant can also learn from the healer. Don M is highly experienced at brewing for Westerners which requires great amount of skill and care and holds an unblemished record.
Ceremonies are held at night in our beautiful hand built wooden maloca. We begin with a group cleansing as we ready ourselves to receive the medicine. Each member of the group is given their own individual space in the maloca. Ceremonies are held as the light begins to fade, when you do not have cognition of time and space; this is a time for deep healing. Penumbra light allows you to truly see, to go into deep meditation, move backward and forward in time and to journey deeper into healing. Many refer to this as shadow work. In this time the veil between the visible and invisible world is thin and sometimes non-existent.
Don M works in the traditional manner using the elements of the mesa, scent and sound. During ceremony, Don M, Rubén, Michele and our additional facilitators work together to hold space, meeting individual needs and offering support where needed. The healers use ikaros (healing songs) throughout the ceremony which are communicated by the plant to the healer. Against the backdrop of the sounds of the amazon jungle, the healers use a combination of rattling, singing, changing, whistling and drumming to accompany you on your meeting with Ayahuasca.
Ayahuasca works on each individual in a very different manner depending on their needs and their intention; for some, Ayahuasca may work on a physical level, for others she may bring forth visions, for others emotional release. It is typical to purge after ingesting the brew; this is part of the process as the body cleanses itself of that which no longer serves us. When working with any plant medicine it is best to let go of expectations and to surrender to her teachings.
SET AND SETTING
Our Ayahuasca ceremonies are held within a beautiful wooden maloca surrounded by the jungle. The space is cleansed prior to use by the healers and you will be given plenty of time ahead of ceremony to make yourself comfortable in the space. As the sun sets and ceremony begins, your journey with Ayahuasca is accompanied by the sounds of the jungle at night as the healers sing, whistle, rattle and drum throughout. Scents and crystals may also be used when needed. The healers work to keep the space safe throughout the ceremony, allowing each member of the group to drop into the deeper work Ayahuasca allows us to access.
PROCESSING AND INTEGRATION
Following each ceremony, Michele and Rubén hold processing and integration circles to reflect on what Ayahuasca may have brought forth for each member of the group. Bringing their years of experience in working with the medicine and Michele’s role as a psychotherapist, they help each individual to interpret the teachings of the plant which may appear as symbols or metaphors and to integrate the experiences into their everyday lives. Michele and Rubén are always available to discuss any elements of the work in private should you wish.
“The plant medicines are like dream work as they communicate in metaphors and symbols. When people say, “Oh I saw this and this! This is the vision of what must happen’, I say let’s look at it other ways. To me it is fascinating, like dream work.”
Our primary concern is always the safety of our group members during their time with us and beyond. We are known for our unblemished record and have been holding ceremonies since 1976. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. You may wish to take a look our testimonials page.
We maintain working within small groups of no more than 14 to allow for maximal individual care and attention with Ayahuasquero Don M, Curandero Dr Rubén Orellana and psychotherapist and shamanic practitioner Michele Costa Lukis holding space for the group in addition to our other facilitators. A careful eye is kept over all members during ceremony and you will be checked on throughout, whilst respecting your intimate and personal journey with Ayahuasca. As a psychotherapist working in medicine plant aftercare, Michele Costa Lukis provides vital support in integrating and processing what Mother Ayahuasca may bring forth. Prior to ceremony, we hold an in-depth discussion on Ayahuasca to help us to prepare for the experience and answer any questions. There is a medical clinic 8 minutes by boat from our location.
Whether you journey to Peru with us or another group we encourage all who seek healing with Ayahuasca to thoroughly research the healers choose you work with. As the interest and demand increases we have seen a shift in the jungle over the last 15 years and it is more important than ever to plan your visit before you arrive in Peru. We advise looking for shamans with unblemished records, who work within small groups with enough time given to each member of the group prior, to and following ceremony.
Michele’s recent interview with Dr Aaron Balick and Nathalie Nahai for their podcast, ‘Seeking The Self’, in which she discusses her relationship with Ayahuasca and the process of working with power plants.
“If you have an interest in working with plant medicine but are perhaps a little apprehensive about taking a leap into the unknown, I really can’t recommend Michele and Rubén highly enough. You will be challenged, but you will also be held and supported in a loving, authentic environment, in a small, carefully chosen group.”
“Through Rubén and Michele's support during the use of natural plant medicines I was able to release myself from past hurts and beliefs and move forward with my life. I feel mentally and physically lighter and am now able to look to the future with more clarity than I have had in years.”
“I must say that my experience Ayahuasca was beyond what I imagined, very beautiful, life-changing... I felt bathed in love for the whole duration.”
Please note we only offer Ayahuasca ceremonies in her natural habit, her home, the jungle. Personally, we feel she is a wild plant who should not be cultivated and therefore we do not hold ceremonies outside of the Amazon. This is our personal belief and we do not condemn those who offer ceremonies in other parts of the world. We would however advise anyone seeking to work with this sacred plant to ensure the ceremony you attend is legal as in some countries Ayahuasca is considered a class A drug.