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Healing with ancient ancestral medicine

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Our world today is facing serious problems with chronic illnesses, depression, addiction, abuse, trauma, cancers, post-traumatic stress disorder, and many other diseases.  To put it simply; we are in desperate need of healing, but what is true healing and how is this accomplished?

Each of us have been conditioned since infancy, by family, culture, society, politics, and lifestyle habits that have shaped the constructs of our minds in a specific way. Additionally, painful and frightening experiences early in life create deep-seated traumas which are imprinted in our minds, spirits, and bodies at the cellular and energetic level. This causes disconnection to self and can be the catalyst for many destructive lifestyle choices. This can also manifest into a multitude of issues ranging from irritable bowel syndrome, depression, low self-esteem, addictions, and many other illnesses seen in our world today.


It is no doubt that western medicine and the technological advances of society today are of significant importance. If we need a heart transplant or have a physical ailment that needs addressing, the doctors and nurses are hard at work to assist us. But even if a physical malady has been addressed does not mean that the person as a whole is well.  We need to also consider both the spirit and the mind when taking account of somebody's state of health. Western medicine fails to recognize the connection between the spirit, the mind, and the body, and without addressing all 3 factors in their wholeness and connection with one another, it is impossible to truly heal a person in totality.​


In Quechua, Ayahuasca means “spirit / soul” and huasca means “rope / vine”, translating to “vine of the soul”.  The medicine is an ancient, highly intelligent master plant spirit that purifies, teaches, and shows us what is truly important, and what it is that we actually need. Ancestral plant medicine works to bring healing on three levels: physical, psychological, and spiritual. Physically, she cleans the blood and organs and purges toxins that are harming the body, psychologically, she shows the participant their mental state in that moment and the issues that need addressing, and spiritually, she brings out the energies that have been affecting us and need clearing. When administered in a proper setting with highly experienced curanderos and facilitators, the medicine bridges the gap between these 3 aspects within ourselves, taking us to the root causes of our discomforts and disharmony, purifying and aligning us, bringing us to a greater state of health. The experience itself is immersive and can be extremely deep, bringing reconnection to oneself, and awakening the consciousness. It deeply excavates and clears out the negative energies that have accumulated throughout the course of our lives from things such as bad food, broken relationships, and traumas.

She helps to activate parts of our minds that are otherwise nearly impossible to access, and as our consciousness awakens and develops, we find an understanding of our greater purpose as human beings. As this process unfolds, we come back into right relationship with ourselves, our family, our community, and the natural world.  She shows us how to think differently, so we may begin to weave threads of beauty and harmony into the tapestry of our lives.


The maestros and maestras, with their years of dieta and medicine experience, and their vision, see the issues causing disorder within a person's mind, spirit and body and purify and align the energies in ceremony through the power of icaros - sacred songs passed down through ancient ancestral lines, and learned through decades of dieting with the master plants.  With this vision, they are able to see what a patient needs in the moment and can properly diagnose the root causes of illness and prescribe the appropriate plant medicine treatments if needed.

It is important to note that the path of plant medicine is not an easy or quick "fix" for healing and personal transformation. We are conditioned today in our consumer-driven, fast-paced lifestyles to expect instant gratification, but this is not the case with plant medicine.  It takes time, discipline, hard work, and extreme courage to look within and face the things that are causing us anguish, and there is no linear time frame for this process as each person is unique and heals at their own pace. One should feel deeply called and have the utmost respect and humility for the medicine and the process that unfolds.

It is also important to be cautious in this path - as plant medicine tourism grows around the world, not all shamans and retreat centers offer the same level of expertise.  There is a wide range of experience and skill sets when it comes to the knowledge of this medicine, and it is extremely important to do your research when contemplating attending a retreat. There are many out there who promote instantaneous cures and quick fixes, or offer rapid programs to become a "shaman", but have not obtained the proper level of knowledge with the medicine, and don't have the participant's best interests at heart.

At Amazonia Moyano, we only work with maestros and maestras with over 25 years of experience following the stringent Shipibo methodology of healing with plant medicines. Our top priority is safety and the maestros, facilitators, and staff have all been chosen carefully for this purpose. 

Ayahuesca Ceremony


Surrender and let the process unfold

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In the Shipibo tradition, sacred ceremonies begin shortly after sundown. Ceremony takes place in our beautiful Maloca and lasts somewhere between 4-6 hours. Though it's possible for the effect to last longer, you will typically experience the peak of the effect, or what the Shipibos refer to as "the mareación" within those first few hours after drinking.








We recommend arriving to ceremony with your intention, and a relaxed and open mind, without expectations. Plant spirits are known to communicate in unexpected ways and your answer may not arrive in the way you might imagine.  Open yourself to a higher intelligence and allow yourself to receive the information in the way she chooses to deliver.  

We are working with very powerful medicine and it is not uncommon for her to bring up deep-seated fear within us. If you are experiencing fear before or during the ceremony, know that this is a perfectly normal response to a very powerful medicine. The best way to support yourself through this is to try to relax, soften your grip, breathe, and observe what is happening in your mind. If you find yourself in an especially intense moment it can be helpful to remember that the intensity will pass, knowing that you are in excellent care, and if you need help, our facilitators are here to support you.


When it comes to drinking the medicine, the correct dosage is very important and can vary greatly from person to person. It can also vary for the same person at different times in their life, depending on where they are at in their process, and the thoughts and energies occurring in their body and mind at the time. We always begin with a smaller dose for a participants first time to see how the medicine reacts, and adjust accordingly. 

While the experience itself will differ from person to person, the first part of the process typically involves a purge, most often through vomiting or excrement. People tend to associate the idea of vomiting or diarrhea with being ill, but in the Shipibo plant medicine tradition, this is a mechanism of deep purification, and nearly everyone reports feeling much lighter the next day, as if heavy bricks had been released from their body.  

The medicine works within the cells of the body and moves through the organs and the blood, clearing out years of bad diet, trauma, sickness, toxic substances, and parasites.  Purging can also manifest as sweating, chills, crying, shaking, and yawning.  Through this intense and difficult process, it's best to relax and allow the medicine to work through you.

The next phase dives deep into the psychological and spiritual planes and brings up the root causes of the imbalances and sicknesses within. This takes immense courage as the medicine acts like a mirror and shows the participant their fears, their shadow, wrong thinking, judgments, the root cause of their psychological and emotional problems, and the actions needed in order for change to occur which can manifest differently for each person.  Some have vivid visions, others have a more visceral experience and feel the sensations through their intuition. Rider explains it's important to remember that not everything we see in ceremony is truth, and that sometimes, information can be misinterpreted or solely a figment, affected by a person’s own consciousness and perception according to their life experiences and the state of their mind in that moment. In these cases, having a strong and experienced maestro can give clarity to, and help differentiate between the truth and illusions. 

It can be a profoundly challenging, or a profoundly easeful and beautiful experience.  The medicine always brings us the experience that we most need, with love, and if we are able to meet whatever comes with the knowledge and respect that it is for our greatest healing, we might find some ease through even the most terrifying of moments.


Click here to read more about preparation & integration.

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