Inside An Ayahuasca Ceremony in Pucallpa, Peru
Experience a glimpse of what it's like inside one of our Ayahuasca ceremonies held by a traditional shipibo family
About our Ayahuasca Ceremonies
Our plant medicine journey with ayahuasca takes place every second day in complete darkness, following the traditions of Shipibos. We meet in the Maloca at 18:30, and the ceremony starts at 19:30.
Below, we will share how you prepare for the ceremony, what you can expect during the plant medicine journey, how the icaros of Shipibos assist, and what to do after an ayahuasca ceremony.
"The ayahuasca ceremonies here were unworldly. The candles go out and the sound of jungle is the only thing you can hear until the icaros begin - then the real journey inside starts.
These ceremonies gave me everything I needed and more. A truly authentic experience."
Callum Rylance - UK
Guest at the retreat
Preparing For An Ayahuasca Ceremony
Around 5 pm, the Shamans start preparing the maloca to ensure everything is in place.
There will usually be atleast 1 shaman per 2 guests, so you’re in safe hands.
Your bed for the night consists of a pillow and a blanket if the night goes cold. You will also get some mapachos, a lighter, paper towels, a light, and water.
All of this will be provided to you by the family at the retreat.
Most important, however, you will get your own purge bucket.
Meeting before Ayahuasca Ceremony
At 6:30 pm, as darkness starts to fall, guests and shamans gather in the Maloca to relax and assist one another, ensuring everyone is prepared for the evening. The Shamans will again confirm your current mental and physical state and remind you to ask for assistance if difficulties arise during the plant medicine journey with ayahuasca.
It´s important to us that you are open to what is alive in you. If you have slight back pain, we advise you to let us know rather than saying that you are ok. Even the slightest headache can be worth sharing because it might be an entering point for the shamans to assist in clearing out a past trauma or injury.
Opening of Ayahuasca Ceremony
At 7:30 pm, with only a tiny candle lighting up the darkness in the maloca, the Maestros will open up the ceremony and ask you to sit up on the front of your mat. One of the maestros will open a connection with Mother Ayahuasca and the plant spirits being dieted by the guests, asking for their assistance in the ceremony. Another Maestro will simultaneously clear out the maloca from evil spirits and energy by putting out protective layers in the maloca and directly on each participant.
You will then be asked forward as the Shamans pour your cup of the medicine. At this point, we encourage everyone to share their intention out loud one last time before drinking. If it´s something you don´t feel comfortable sharing, then speak it in your language or whisper it, as long as you can hear and understand it yourself. Now you move back to your mat, lay back, and relax. When everyone has drunk the medicine, the light is blown out, the maloca turns dark, and everyone lays down in silence. In the picture, you see Maestra Olinda just as she is about to open up the ceremony.
The Plant Medicine Journey
What happens during a plant medicine journey differs from person to person and ceremony, but we will share our general process. After about 30-40 minutes, as the medicine starts to make itself known, the maestros will start singing their Icaros, a powerful chant communicating with the medicine. The maestros will sing individually for each participant during the plant medicine journey. We ask everyone to be seated on their mattress, focusing on their intention without interacting with other participants except the shamans if they need assistance.
We always have one facilitator who doesn´t drink the medicine to assist with logistics such as providing paper, mapachos, guiding one to the toilet, making sure you don´t trip, and so forth. The length of the ceremonies varies from 3 to 6 hours, depending on what mother Ayahuasca asks.
It´s generally 1 shaman per 2 guests, so rest assured you will be cared for and supported during ceremonies.
What To Do After An Ayahuasca Ceremony?
The plant medicine journey with ayahuasca ends when it ends. There is no specific end-time; some might experience a longer journey than others. At times we have heard the icaros of the maestros echo into the early morning hours. We always ensure that each participant is okay and well before they shut their eye for sleep. After the ceremony, everyone, including all participants and shamans, sleep together in the Maloca for protection and precaution.
As the sun rises in the morning, everyone can move freely. This is generally a good time to be in silence and meditation with yourself, a perfect time to write in your diary and be with your experiences from your plant medicine journey. Remember to allow what is and don´t force anything that isn´t there. If you can´t remember anything, allow it and be with that, or if you don´t understand what you saw in your journey, allow it and be with that. Don´t stress and force the answers; allow the unknown to be.
Want to learn more?
Now you have read about how we perform our Ayahuasca ceremonies in the Amazonian Rainforest of Peru. We have shared how you prepare and what you might expect from your plant medicine journey with Ayahuasca.
Remember, the Shamans are there to assist and support; their Shipibo Icaros are strong and work with the medicine, so always reach out and ask for their assistance when in need.
If you want to learn more about the ayahuasca ceremonies at our retreat, please book a discovery call or get it touch using the contact us page.