What is Mother Ayahuasca?
Are you wondering, ‘What is Mother ayahuasca?’ Ayahuasca has several definitions: a spirit, a plant, a psychedelic, a hummingbird spirit, a grandmother spirit, a jaguar spirit, and many more. Ayahuasca is not just one thing—we call her mother ayahuasca because she teaches us like a loving parent.
The ayahuasca brew has been used traditionally by indigenous peoples in the Amazon region for spiritual and medicinal purposes. It has gained popularity in recent years among people seeking to explore its effects on personal growth and healing. Most people know mother ayahuasca as a psychedelic.
Psychedelics are a class of substances that can alter our minds and consciousness. Classic psychedelics disrupt neural activity by diffusing through the brain and activating a serotonin receptor known as the 5-HT2A receptor.
Psychedelics alter our mood, perception, and consciousness in ways that can otherwise only be experienced in certain dream states or through religious practice, trance, meditation, and deep breathing. This state is not easily achieved, and its effects are transformative.
Psychedelics help awaken a connection to Source energy and let us drop the psychological baggage of the ego connected to trauma and low self-worth. Ayahuasca facilitates a connection to the spirit world and opens a portal to cosmic energy.
Psychedelics don’t cause users to become overly dependent on them. Compared to other drugs, there is almost no chance of getting addicted to them. These substances have shown promise in treating various mental conditions such as anxiety, depression, and addiction.
While research is still underway regarding these compounds, initial evidence has given much hope to people in the mental health research community.
What is Mother Ayahuasca Made of? DMT
Ayahuasca is a powerful plant medicine used for centuries by indigenous people in the Amazon basin for healing, spiritual exploration, and connection to the natural and spirit world. It is generally made from two plants: the ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) and the leaves of the Chacruna plant (Psychotria viridis). In some traditions, it’s mixed with other plants but always contains the psychedelic compound DMT.
DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine) is a powerful psychedelic compound found naturally in some plants, animals, and even humans. It is a tryptamine molecule that acts as a serotonin receptor agonist, which induces profound changes in perception, thought, and emotion.
DMT can also be smoked or vaporized for a shorter, more intense psychedelic experience, although this method isn’t how it is administered during ayahuasca ceremonies. These shorter DMT trips, famously discussed by Joe Rogan, are called Bufo ceremonies. The medicine is secreted by a desert frog and prepared for ingesting via a small pipe. However, this article is not about Bufo; we’ll save that for another time.
What Are The Effects of Mother Ayahuasca?
The effects of mother ayahuasca vary widely according to the amount taken by the participants, the strength of the decoction, and the effects of the other plants or substances being used. Even a person’s size, weight, and physical health might modulate the effect of ayahuasca. Additionally, some people metabolize the ayahuasca slower than others, so don’t be surprised if the effects hit the person next to you more rapidly.
The most widely accepted psychological effects of ayahuasca include:
- having stronger emotions than usual that are mostly related to your past experiences;
- Experiencing intense visions—which can be related to our own experiences or feelings or can be intensely spiritual or mystical;
- a warped sense of time and space;
- feeling your consciousness expand and getting closer to the Universal Consciousness;
- moving through or reliving childhood traumas and processing past traumatic experiences to heal.
The visions, if experienced, don’t necessarily have to be visual. Sometimes, these visions are related to the music in the background, various additional sounds we experience, or a message we are meant to hear.
It’s believed that many people lose their sense of time and space and feel they have accessed a higher dimension. It’s not uncommon to converse with the spirit of mother ayahuasca—like a teacher, she can illuminate an aspect of our journey and bring clarity to our lives. If you have challenges thinking about ayahuasca as a spirit, you can also envision that ayahuasca helps you access your higher self by temporarily removing your ego.
Ayahuasca Roots in The Amazon Forest
The origins of ayahuasca are rooted in the indigenous cultures of the Amazon rainforest region in South America, where it has been used for centuries for spiritual and medicinal purposes. At the end of last year, I traveled to the Brazilian Amazon, spent time with the Noke Kuin tribe, and witnessed the magic of the Amazon rainforest.
Western explorers first documented the use of ayahuasca in the mid-19th century, but it is believed to have been used by indigenous people for much longer.
Mother Ayahuasca Ceremony
Ayahuasca ceremonies typically involve drinking the brew under a shaman’s or experienced facilitator’s guidance, leading to intense and potentially profound experiences, including altered states of consciousness, vivid visual and auditory hallucinations, and deep emotional insights.
When discussing traditional ceremonies held in Amazonian cultures, we have too many differences to treat them all as one. Not only are the leaders or guides of these ceremonies given different names, but they also have different roles depending on where the ceremony is being held.
Research beforehand is a good idea if you visit Peru or Brazil for your ayahuasca experience. Ideally, you can speak with someone who has been to a specific retreat center or has sat in a ceremony with a particular group. First-hand experience from someone you trust is always the best form of recommendation.
Preparing Hape Before Amazon Ceremony
If you’re attending a ceremony in the West, you might have concerns regarding their legitimacy or intent. Again, find someone you trust to recommend your first experience or ask a friend to join you. A friend can offer a sounding board as you research various teachers or retreat centers.
When I returned to ayahuasca after a decade-long absence, I asked my childhood friend Clarke to join me. We researched retreat centers and selected the right teacher and location. His support and advice were crucial in making the right decisions on that initial internal voyage. If you are considering sitting with ayahuasca, you might want to invite a friend to join the experience to offer support and reflection.
Tips For Attending Ayahuasca Ceremony
If you are interested in participating in an ayahuasca ceremony, it is crucial to approach it with respect and caution. I recommend reading my Ayahuasca Beginners Guide to help you understand the implications of participating in an ayahuasca ceremony. However, let’s dive into some guidelines for preparing for an ayahuasca ceremony:
- Research the tradition and the shaman: Before participating in an ayahuasca ceremony, it is essential to research and find a reputable shaman with experience working with plant medicine. Learn about the tradition and the culture that surrounds the use of ayahuasca.
- Prepare yourself physically and mentally: Ayahuasca ceremonies can be intense and physically demanding, so it is essential to prepare yourself by eating a healthy diet, getting enough rest, and avoiding drugs and alcohol in the days leading up to the ceremony. Be prepared for the emotional and spiritual challenges during the ceremony.
- Set your intention: Before the ceremony, take some time to set your intention for the experience. What do you hope to gain from the ceremony? What issues or challenges do you want to explore? Setting a clear intention can help guide your experience and give you a sense of purpose.
- Follow the guidelines: During the ceremony, it is crucial to follow the guidelines set by the shaman and the tradition. This may include abstaining from certain foods or activities, respecting the sacred space, and following the shaman’s guidance during the ceremony.
- Embrace the experience: Ayahuasca ceremonies can be transformative, life-changing, challenging, and complex. It is vital to embrace the experience and trust the process, even if it sometimes feels uncomfortable or overwhelming. Remember that the medicine is there to help you heal and grow.
- Ayahuasca Integration: After the ceremony, take some time to integrate your experience into your life. Reflect on what you learned and how to apply it daily. It may also be helpful to seek support from a therapist or trusted friend to process your experience.
Participating in a mother ayahuasca ceremony should be approached respectfully and cautiously. It is essential to research, find a reputable shaman, and prepare yourself physically and mentally for the experience. Remember that this medicine is there to help us heal and grow, but it is up to you to embrace and integrate the experience into your life.