While we actually know quite a fair bit regarding the Ayahuasca brew and its hallucinogenic properties, it is interesting to note that the application works in the form of ceremonies in certain parts of the world. For those who aren’t well versed with the process, this ceremony is expected to treat the conscience and spirit of the individuals, almost substantially. However, before delving deeper into the concept of Ayahuasca ceremony, it is important to understand more about the process, its inception, existing methods, and how the process is eventually concluded.
Any ceremony usually takes place at night and therefore the participants are expected to arrive to the healing center, preferably by morning. The act of coming before time is more like a way to pay respects to the concerned curanderos or rather the healers in general. When it comes to ascertaining the preparatory measures— space cleaning, brew preparation, and arrangement of ceremonial tools usually come to the fore.
An Ayahuasca ceremony doesn’t start abruptly but in initiated in a step-pronged manner. Firstly, an ambience of extreme silence is manifested in order to convey certain facts. Apart from that, a cup of the sage is presented to each one of the participants by the concerned shamans. However, before implementing the process, the intention of the participant is asked, just as he or she consumes the brew, directly from the cup. Even the healer starts drinking and once everyone involved in the process has taken in Ayahuasca, the lights are completely extinguished’ thereby allowing the medicine to work its magic. The process of singing and other aspects follow later into the process.
While a cup of this psychedelic brew holds a lot of importance, healing songs also play a major role in the overall healing process. An Ayahuasca ceremony is therefore incomplete without songs as the curanderos summon spirits and ask for their assistance with healing. The songs are sung loud, in the open and according to the process, the participants are then expected to navigate through their life experiences for the medicine to take effect. The tonality of songs and music is raised depending on the intensity of the subject’s experience.
The initial experience i.e. once the brew starts taking control of the mind, can be slightly unsettling with certain side-effects showing up at different points in time. Some of the more basic ones include purging as a part of the cleansing process or vomiting, in some of the more extreme situations. However, it all depends on the subject and how the body is reacting to the medication.
In some cases, healers even initiate personalized healing processes, followed by different healing styles and methodologies. Patient specific icaros are sung, in order to relieve him or her of afflictions and pain. Another aspect of an Ayahuasca ceremony is the extended usage of scented liquid which is applied, in order to remove the negativity associated with a subject. Apart from this, some of the other tools that are used include hands, breath, aqua florida, and even an extended flow of energies.
The Use of ‘Mapacho’
A person who is interested in learning a bit more about Ayahuasca ceremony must be ready to know about Mapacho, a special kind of tobacco that’s used by the healers to amplify the Ayahuasca experience. Put simply, this is used to cleanse the body and even the spirit of the concerned patient besides even cleansing the space where the ceremony is conducted. Every tool that is supposed to be used in the ceremony needs to be touched upon by the Mapacho smoke. In simpler words, Mapacho smoke is an amplifier that helps improve the existing effects of an Ayahuasca ceremony.
Concluding the Ayahuasca Ceremony
An Ayahuasca ceremony usually concludes when the healers put an end to the existing healing circle. However, the process doesn’t need to end abruptly as well. Before closing the circle, the concerned healer clearly understands the extent of spiritual vulnerability pertaining to a patient and protects him or her in one way or the other. The lights are often kept off during the entire process before allowing the patients to go off to slumber. The near death experience is something that one can associate to an Ayahuasca ceremony. While actual death is far from reality, the experience is something that renders mental clarity to the patient, allowing him or her to clear all the existing doubts. Therefore, throughout the process it is the ego that dies and the person ends up taking a new form altogether. In case of an Ayahuasca ceremony, the mind can barely follow the path which the conscience is taking. Therefore, it becomes important to let go of the prejudices before embarking on the journey. Moreover, the process of closing the healing cycle takes place only when the patient reaches a place where the divine, eternal, and egoless combine as one.
Is Fire Necessary?
While the Ayahuasca ceremonial fire is predominantly used in certain parts of the world, a majority of the existing ceremonies only rely on darkness to initiate the healing process. However, it all depends on the consensus and how the patients react to light and its application. That said, what’s important to note that for Ayahuasca to be successful, total darkness isn’t a mandatory setup. Even the illuminated aura of fire can help patients paint exciting, real-life pictures in their heads. In case the fire is initially used, it needs to be dimmed down once the patients have embraced the psychedelic world upon drinking the brew. Fire, as a tool, is more of an ancient Ayahuasca tradition that’s used by individuals who are in the awe of the process and there are chances that the inner demons might just crop up from behind.
It is important to understand that in terms of inner healing, Ayahuasca is a highly developed technology which is slowly but steadily getting accepted, worldwide. Ayahuasca ceremony explores the strength of the human mind and allows it cross the boundaries for helping an individual realize his or her true potential.