How we Introduce First-Timers to Ayahuasca

Ayahuasca is a plant medicine which is usually made from two plants: The leaves from a bush, commonly known as chacruna (Psychotria viridis) and the stem of a vine called jagube, mariri, yagé or caapi (Banisteriopsis caapi). This plant mixture has been known for centuries, possibly millennia to the indigenous tribes of the Amazon basin. Therefore we can find today a variety of ancestral lineages that have developed quite distinct settings or ceremonial designs. The Shipibo from Peru are known to hold ceremonies in complete darkness, usually with the shaman and one or a handful of patients. Whereas the indigenous tribes of the Brazilian part of the Amazon drink together with the whole tribe. In Colombia ceremonies usually are held until sunrise. Common to all traditions is the use of medicinal songs, also known as icaros that help move the energy and call in support from the spirits. But ayahuasca culture is not residing in the past, so it continues to re-invent and remix itself. In the Brazilian Santo Daime church, that was created in the 1930s, for example, you find the ayahuasca merged with christian symbolism, and while drinking the entheogenic brew, songs to Jesus and Mary are sung. The latest transcultural addition to the ayahuasca universe is still in the making. Nowadays we find new kinds of shamans, plant healers or facilitators that serve ayahuasca to the ever-growing global tribe of ayahuasca drinkers. Thereby remixing traditions, combining best practices and creating new ways. I don’t know if this is good or bad the fact is it is happening. Important in my opinion is the keeping sacred of the medicine and respecting the ritual that it is embedded in. I have participated in living-room ceremonies with no knowleagable shaman present and have seen the medicine and its ceremony painfully desacralized. But luckily there are also positive examples of new approaches.

Nicola Mina is of Italian origin and has 15 years of experience drinking the medicine and 9 years in serving it to others. His ceremonial design is not specific to any culture, but he does include common indigenous notions that he passes on to the people that drink with him. He first of all remembers the people that come to him about that which is “sacred”. An understanding that we sadly have lost in the west. He helps the people to get over a pharmacological understanding of medicine, as a pill that you passively take, and reminds them of the necessity of the personal involvement in the healing. He is also a musician and recognizes the medicine in music.

By | 2017-07-05T23:07:37+00:00 July 5th, 2017|Categories: VIDEO|Tags: , , , , |

About the Author:

Six years ago I, I had just turned 27, I received my master’s degree in Anthropology. At that moment I was supposed to transition into a working life mode. My passion was with documentary film making, which had been a substantial part of my education. I imagined how a job in that field would be like: I saw myself taking the metro everyday to work, sitting in an office and realising other peoples’ ideas. My heart cramped up at this outlook on life. It just seemed wrong, I didn’t want to be stuck in a treadmill, executing other people’s ideas, I wanted to realise my own. So instead of looking for a job, I separated from my boyfriend, moved back in with my parents and began looking for myself. I spent 9 months exploring shamanism, meditation, systemic therapies, past-life therapies and meditation. I participated in a vision-quest and spend 4 days alone without food in a forest and encountered my deepest fear - the fear of death. I participated in camps that practiced community life and taught the way of the circle, the ancestral way of sharing oneself in a talking circle. I felt the power and the beauty of the shamanic approach and by the end of that year I finally encountered with the amazonian plant teacher ayahuasca. She showed me the perfect harmony of the universe and then she brought me all the way from Germany into the savanna of central Brazil, where I am based now. For the last 5 years I have been drinking a lot of Ayahuasca in various lineages, intensely exploring my Self. I passed through various crises and got stronger along the way. Since the plant medicines and healing modalities that I have encountered have helped me greatly on my path of deconditioning myself of everything alien to me and of becoming more and more who I am meant to be, I feel the call to share this information and my experiences with healing and medicine with more people. I wish for all of us to be conscious and openhearted human beings so we can co-create a new reality on this beautiful earth. Mapping Medicine is a project straight from my heart to yours. I hope it inspires you on your healing journey!