I first heard about Ayahuasca when I travelled by boat down the Amazon river from Belem in Brasil to Leticia in Colombia. It was one of the mystical stories of the Amazon that caught my attention mostly because it sounded so etherial, so out of this world and unlike anything else I’d experienced up and till that point. I was 27 and had never indulged in the LSD, Shroom and Ecstasy phase my peers had indulged in recreationally in the early 90s – I’d never felt I needed to, from what they’d described it was an experience that would take me into another visual world which was sometimes scary, sometimes beautiful but seemed to always be some kind of rite of passage that I never felt called to partake in. I felt happy in my mind, my life and being present in all parts of it, which is the same reason that I’ve never enjoyed drinking alcohol to excess which was also what my friends seemed to enjoy doing – it just felt to me like disconnection.
Ayahuasca had a different call. At that time in Colombia and Peru to partake in an Ayahuasca ceremony you had to hunt down a Shaman of integrity. When I started asking locals in Colombia about resident Shaman who could guide me through what sounded like an intense ritual of mind, body and soul I heard hundreds of stories of people who had had bad experiences, Ayahuasca seemed shrouded in fear and awe all at once. At no point did I ever get the idea that Ayahuasca was a plant to be taken lightly. It is NOT recreational, it is a medicine and I would have to dig deep to find Shaman who would voluntarily spend time teaching me how to experience the medicine I was curious to try.
At that time my life journey became more complicated and my quest for a Shaman and Ayahuasca was put on hold. Now 15 years later I find myself called to explore this Amazonian plant and its effects again – and what a change in dynamic I find as I begin research. Now terms like “Ayahuasca Tourism” are being bandied around, Ayahuasca experiences are available all over the world, Shaman seem almost two a penny when you begin to look into possible places, people, venues, locations etc. So what IS the secret of this sacred plant and why has it opened up so much to the world? What should we look for in an Ayahuasca Shaman or “Ayahuasquero” as they’re called traditionally in South America and what is it about this experience that is drawing in people from all over the world? They come to heal, but what they find within themselves is something else entirely.
I have a special guest joining me tonight from Spain! Anna Maria Petikova is a Ayahuasquera who trained for 6 months in Peru on the sacred art of Ayahuasca ceremonies. Together with her husband, they offer a range of other holistic healing modalities from Reiki and massage to Sound Therapy and Shamanic ceremonies as well as providing group, individual and couple Ayahuasca ceremonies for those called to experience the power of Mother Ayahuasca. I am thrilled to have her on the show and would encourage any questions you have to come through LIVE so that we have the best opportunity to be able to answer 🙂
Thanks to Don Howard Lawler at www.biopark.org and Spirit Quest, Hamilton Souther and Don Alberto Torres Davila at Blue Morpho and for sharing information and experiences.