I assume, if you here on my site reading this blog entry, you are already familiar with the basics of Ayahuasca, but just to be sure…
Ayahuasca is an entheogenic plant brew that has been used for thousands of years by the cultures of the Amazon rainforest. Although other plant ingredients are often used, it is primarily the combination of two plants: the vine of Banisteriopsis Caapi, also known as ‘ayahuasca ‘; and the leaves Psychotria Viridis, or ‘chacruna’. These plants contain beta-carbolines that inhibit the body’s production of monoamine oxidase (MAOI), and the highly psychedelic alkaloid, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), respectively. The presence of the vine’s MAOIs – harmine, tetrahydroharmine, and harmaline – enable the DMT within the brew to be orally active, where it typically is not. (learn more about the pharmacology ayahuasca here.)
Ayahuasca has grown massively in popularity over the last decade and has become a worldwide phenomenon. It has expanded beyond the jungle and the cultures from which it was birthed and into growing cacophony of religious institutions, cults, psychedelic communities, and even into underground medical treatment protocols.
I have had the mixed blessing of drinking ayahuasca 12 times in my life (13 if you include an ayahuasca ‘analogue’ that contained the seeds of Syrian Rue and the Phyllodes of the Australian acacia phlebophylla). This number is much higher than many people but incredibly low in the grand scheme of potential of ayahuasca in a person’s life. That said, where my experiences with the brew itself lack, my experience of my experiences with the brew are significant as they called me into both deep distress and long-term illness as well as a profoundly positive personal transformation.
Many of you have likely heard me talk about the post-traumatic stress disorder from which I suffered for two years and how it began with an existentially crushing encounter with my own death during a medical emergency while on ayahuasca. Many more of you have likely read my story Ayahuasca and I: Not Your Typical Trip Report (or maybe even heard it told in person during one of the two performance I offered back in 2014.) Perhaps you heard about how after those two years of PTSD, depression, and anxiety attacks, I used ayahuasca at a ‘trauma healing retreat’ in order to unravel my sickness within the very context from which it emerged. Maybe you haven’t, but after this video, you will have.
This video explores where I am at in regard to my perspective and relationship to Ayahuasca now. It also explores the story of my relationship to ayahuasca over time and the major changes it has passed through since my first encounters with it in 2013. I hope within this video you find some supportive information in regards to ayahuasca, if not psychedelics in general.
[Links to content mention in the video are listed below.]
This is an essay (in four parts) that tells the story of my first encounters with ayahuasca.
This is an interview with Rachel Harris on the ATTMind podcast. She is the author of Listening To Ayahuasca and this interview is an excellent resource for people looking to better understand ayahuasca or their ayahuasca experiences.
This is the documentary I featured in the above video (and where I got the still-frame for the featured image), which I am featured in. In all honesty, I am not a huge fan of the documentary itself insofar as its (very) pro-ayahuasca message. That said, I am super stoked to have been featured in the documentary and to have some visual artefacts of that experience in Peru as it was during the filming of that documentary that I nearly died.
This is the first documentary I had ever seen on ayahuasca. It may be one of the first, if not the first major documentary made about ayahuasca. It is a great watch and includes one of Terence McKenna’s last recorded interviews before his death. The above link is to Amazon Prime, which is supportive to the director, but it can also be watched on YouTube.
(funny story that I accidentally met the director one time, long before I knew anything about the spiritual potential of psychedelics. He was selling jam at a local mark in Australia, with a small table selling documentaries too. lol)
If you are reeling from a painful encounter with ayahuasca or any other psychedelic at this time and are looking for some integration support, please reach out. I deeply trust that together we can weave some sense of our what you are going through in a positive and supportive way.
Before You Go
IF YOU ARE appreciating THIS CONTENT, PLEASE SUPPORT ME IN PRODUCING IT FOR YOU BY OFFERING WHAT YOU CAN IN A ONE-TIME PAYPAL OR BITCOIN DONATION, OR BY BECOMING MY PATRON ON PATREON.
No amount is too small; anything is something.
You can also share this post via social media or simply tell a friend about it.
It is by community support that my podcast and website continue to exist.
Thank you for helping this project continue. ♥
*Featured image is a still frame from Drinking The Jungle, copyright to Andrea Gilbert and Mandala Media