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The world of Amazonian shamanism and ayahuasca is expanding, but not without trouble. In the last two years, the popularity of ayahuasca ceremonies has increased five times. With the increased awareness of the practice, also come people ready to exploit the shamans, the seekers and the plant sources.
There is another, very real danger, that has come up as a result of the ayahuasca boom, and that is in an increase in physical assaults on people. Women tourists have been molested or raped by false shamans while under the influence of the ayahuasca, and other tourists have been beaten and mugged for their belongings.
Other shamans are in it for the money only. They may have gotten just enough information about the process to put together the mixture and do some basic parts of the ceremony, but they lack the correct knowledge to customize the drink to the participant properly, and they do not know how to deal with any potential issues appropriately. The wrong mix can trigger severe mental issues, with people running into the streets naked or scratching themselves until they bleed. Or the mix might interfere with medications the participant is already taking and potentially lead to death.
Others try to teach westerners the methods of the ayahuasca ceremony, but since most shamans study for years (if not decades) before becoming a “maestro”, trying to teach the process in a few weeks will only lead to problems.
Our purpose is to make you aware of the possibilities, both good and bad, of the ayahuasca ceremony so you can make an educated decision and find the right place for your ceremony, surrounded by people you can trust. We want you to have a positive experience that will be memorable and encouraging, perhaps even curative. Ayahuasca has been used for thousands of years safely as a healer and a medicine. When used properly, it can be a powerful tool.
Knowledge, Accountability and Sustainability
Many have sought the plant knowledge in true recognition of the healing properties, but without sufficient plans for protecting the very plant resources and the cultural knowledge of the shamans who have so faithfully studied, trained, and used the sacred plants.
A lot of people go to the Amazon seeking help, without even giving back to the community that is supporting them in their healing journey. We want to help change that. We encourage sustainability, we support ecologic-green projects, and we want to leave the place better than when we arrived.
We believe that, while it is admirable that western medicine and the population in general is reaching back into its plant heritage for greater understanding of their healing properties and potential, there must also be a guardianship of resources and respect for indigenous knowledge.