Shamanism is not a religion, but a spiritual practice that involves reaching altered states of consciousness through the use of sacred rituals, dance, song, and plant medicine. From Australia to Peru, Shamanism is one of the oldest Spiritual practices known to human kind. It has been practiced all over the world, for over 80 000 years.
Modern society moves fast, and leaves little space for connection with our natural state of being.There is a reawakening happening in old traditions. Shamanism is reimerging in modern society. The west wants to reconnect, and the tribes are given an opportunity to express and maintain their traditional rituals.
One of the greatest challenges of the fast growing movement of Ayahuasca culture, is how to transfer such an ancient shamanic practice to a culture that is alienated from nature, with integrity, respect and safety for all.We feel it is very important to understand and honor traditional practices that indigenous healers have developed over thousands of years. As much as we strive to provide the best set and setting for you to come and experience shamanic healing, we also feel it is important to support the community here. This community not only involves the female shamans we hire,who are often given less rights and chances to work. It also involves our taxi drivers, chefs, Peruvian hotel owners, and local community.
An Ayahuasca shaman is not a Guru; but a guide that keeps you safe and helps you open up energetically through the use of tools like Ayahuasca. They share what they see in their language of energy, they are not your spiritual leader.
Shamans don’t always understand first world problems. The cultural differences are big. An Ayahuasca retreat is not an antropological workfield, we are here to connect on a human level. Considering that, culture-clash is sometimes inevitable.
The Shamanic world is not one of rainbow and unicorns, and we don’t want to pretend it is. On one hand, we are trying to provide a safe space for you to come and drink Ayahuasca, and other the other hand we are providing women with jobs so they don’t need to depend on their often abusive husband.
We don’t want to influence anyone’s belief system, we respect and follow the shipibo tradition in ceremonial context but keep our feet on the ground in regards to any belief that could influence someone’s healing process while in a vulnerable state.
Spirit plant journeys retreats only holds traditional ayahuasca ceremonies led by higly trained Amazonian shamanic healers. We honor and respect the tradition and medicine deeeply. They carry thousands of years of wisdom and ancestral connection to the plants. We believe this ancestral medicine must be protected and only held by traditionally trained shamans.
Ayahuasca, mystery brew.
There are about 80 000 registered leafy plant species, from which 2500 are vines. Ayahuasca is a combination of only two plants, psychoactive Chakruna leaf (Psychotria viridis). Chakruna by itself contains DMT (dimethyletryptamine) but if you do not combine it with the Ayahuasca Vine, it will be metabolized by a stomach enzyme (monoamine oxidase = MAO), before it reaches the blood stream.
The second plant is the Vine (Banisteriopsis caapi), which contains MAO inhibitors. These will inhibit your gut enzymes from working, and allow DMT to travel through the blood and cross the blood brain barier. And off you go to your iner universe.
Amazonian Shamans recognize every plant and vine with the naked eye, and somehow figured out how to combine and how to make a psychoactive brew out of 2 particular species of leaf and vine. It is important to know that the traditional shipibo shamans do not add any plants to their ayahuasca brew. Mestizos, vegetalistas or other shamanic lineages may add additive plants to their brew.
Traditional use of Ayahuasca.
For the past 35 years, foreigners and Amazonian tribes have worked in Ayahuasca ceremonies in order to heal physical and emotional conditions. Traditionally, during ceremony ,only Shamans would drink Ayahuasca. Not the patient. The Shaman would first use it in order to diagnose their patient and prescribe treatment.
Tribe leaders would use it to consult before making decisions, solve conflict between tribes. Today, Ayahuasca is being used by the patient as a medicine, and a tool for awakening and becoming more conscious of deep-rooted subconscious ways of being, that may cause illness and imbalances in our lives.
This is a positive evolution in the Ayahuasca community. We are stepping into a co-creative healing space. One where a relationship develops between the plants, the Shamans and the participant who becomes their own healer. A new way of working is being brought to the Amazonian tribes, whilst maintaining their tradition. Foreigners are able to uncover issues that had been hidden in their unconscious for sometimes decades.
Today a huge wave of people are called to work with Ayahuasca. As becomes more mainstream and accessible to the modern world and as tribes open up and love working with the world, sharing their knowledge and also.. making a good living.
We are concerned that ceremonies are now available all over the planet. Our shamans are concerned that their traditions are not being respected and that the ceremonies are not being held by healers who truly know how to work with Ayahuasca.
A true Ayahuasca Healer must go through deep and intensive training, isolating him or herself in the Amazon jungle for up to 30 years. They must devote their entire body, mind and spirit to the plants in order to receive their teachings and protection. Without traditional training from true healers from the Ayahuasca traditions, people who serve Ayahuasca won’t be able to deal with potential issues that may arise during ceremony.
One of the greatest challenges of the movement of ayahuasca culture, is how to transfer such an ancient shamanic to a culture that is alienated from nature, with integrity, respect and safety.
The lineage we work with.
Ayahuasca healing ceremonies have been practiced by different Indiginous tribes for thousands of years. Indiginous people have maintained a deep relationship with nature and its intelligence. There are considerable differences between every traditions.
The founder of Spirit Plant Journeyts has over 14 years of experience working with different tribes and lineages. We chose to work with the Shipibo tribe because they are one of the oldest and most respected traditions in Peru, but most importantly they have female healers. Many prefer to work with female healers. More and more women are training to become shamans and healers, in a very macho oriented jungle society.
Spirit plant journeys retreats only holds traditional ayahuasca ceremonies led by higly trained Amazonian shamanic healers. We honor and respect the tradition and medicine deeeply. They carry thousands of years of wisdom and ancestral connection to the plants.
We believe this ancestral medicine must be protected and only held by traditionally trained shamans. We feel it is very important to understand and honor traditional practices that indigenous healers have developed over thousands of years.
Read more about our Shipibo tradition below.
Drinking Ayahuasca by yourself.
Even though the use of Ayahuasca is evolving, we do not recommend you to drink Ayahuasca on your own. Without the experience of an Ayahuasca Shaman ceremonies may become chaotic. Without the protection of supportive guides around you, Ayahuasca can be dangerous.
We believe that you need the right set, setting and precautionary measures for a safe experience. One of the greatest challenges of the movement of ayahuasca culture, is how to transfer such an ancient shamanic to a culture that is alienated from nature, with integrity, respect and safety.
We feel it is very important to understand and honor traditional practices that indigenous healers have developed over thousands of years.
Unfortunately a lot of people come to Peru and do not konw how to lead a ceremony even after decades of training, let alone no training. It is difficult to discern charlatans from true Shamans without in-depth knowledge of the culture and tradition.
We respect and support the tradition, we don’t influence anyone to share the same world view as they do. We speak through the view of shipibo cosmology, but we do not require anyone to believe any of it.
The shamans say they act as a channel and conduit for the ceremonies. Connecting to the spirit world, a reality that is parallel to the physical reality. A place where they see dis-ease as disharmony on an energetic or spiritual level.
Shamans meet the plant spirit, animal and human spirit and works with the energies in your body. They see trauma, emotion through energetic grids. Claiming that the shipibo beliefs and the existance of energy is the only truth, or true at all is just another form of brainwashing.
This is about connecting with ancient tribes and learning from each other. Nobody holds the light up for anyone. We do not believing in ‘energy’ or Shipibo cosmology is necessary for your healing process.