“In this article we will talk about the spiritual experience of dying during an Ayahuasca ceremony and the deaths that has been going around in the social media about physical deaths where Ayahuasca has been “involved” .
Ayahuasca it is a plant that is sacred to many native South American indigenous and non-indigenous traditions, born in the rainforest the etymology of the word Ayahuasca rotted in the QUECHUA language means:
- AYA ( soul or death ) + HUASCA ( vine): VINE OF DEATH
- In the SHIPIBO tradition, the word use for Ayahuasca is NISHI COBIN which means ‘drink of wisdom‘ or ‘drink of the wise.’ The SHIPIBO people is an Indigenous tribe that is found in Peru where Ayahuasca is one of the most essential parts of the culture.
As we can see the word Ayahuasca involves already in its words a consciousness that is speaking with us and this is why people in the Amazon has respect to this Sacred Plant. AYAHUASCA is combined together with another plant named CHACRUNA or HUAMBISA both plants contains DMT a substance that we carry in our brains and that is released in tremendous amount at our moment of death. DMT is substance in medical research and is not the intent of this article to touch these areas in particular but we kindly invite you to take a look, there are several documentaries, scientific research, books and more about DMT and near death experiences.
At this point you may wonder how people in the Amazon knew about how to combine these two plants?
If we try to explain things like this kind of discovering through the western eyes it is not weird to think that how people without access to education or scientific tools could find the understanding to access these plants.
Personally, I believe the answer is simple, when you are used to live in the forest you learn how to difference plants, animals, rocks. You learn how to read your environment in other words. It is not a surprise that people knew how to identify plants from the beginning of times and especially before TV.
I mean people used to spend a lot of time outside their houses and even just recently when Amazon tribes had started to settle, most Amazon tribes were all the time on movement in the Jungle. If you are living in a such a connection with nature and with basically nothing that can interfere with it and you can easily access different states of awareness such astral traveling, visionary dreams and as well among us we had always had a particular group of people that have unique gifts or skills. People that can communicate with the unseen world, that people that we call shamans, healers, prophets, gurus. As long we had been on this planet every culture has had the calling to find something else, something bigger, answers for its existence was through this connection, through these people that AYAHUASCA was discovered.
Inside the Amazon tribes, there are many stories that explain the origins of Ayahuasca, and for me, all are valid and beautiful because I believe the information about it did not come just to one particular person but several and in different ways, in ways that they could understand…
There is scientific evidence that has found different ancient cultures using Ayahuasca. Cultures of more than 2000 years ago , we are talking about a very ancient tradition that has been evolving and maintaining therefore it is important to remember Ayahuasca and the knowledge about its use goes way longer before you had heard about it, long before the existence of your grandparents even and is for this kind of reasons that we must respect the ways from people from the Amazon related with the use of this Sacred medicine and that we must be aware that is not something to take lightly.
EVERYTHING IN THIS LIFE CAN BE DANGEROUS. Our own birth and every step we take is leading us in a way to DANGER. CITIES, PEOPLE, FOOD, ANIMALS, OURSELVES … but TO BE AFRAID IS OPTIONAL . If danger is something that worries us and scary, us then is better to live isolated an under refuge. LIFE IS ABOUT TAKING RISK, but between BEING STUPID AND BRAVE there is a tiny line. Therefore IT IS IMPORTANT TO BE ALWAYS RESPECTFUL of everything we can have interaction or experiences in life. It is also vital to TAKE PRECAUTIONS and to HAVE INFORMATION to HELP OURSELVES TO TAKE A GOOD DECISIONS and FOR not REGRET THE CONSEQUENCES OF IT.
“Death in a physical context is the cessation of all vital process in the body …”
As we had seen, Ayahuasca is an ancient plant that helps us to enter into a profound inner process, inner journey. A medicine that open us to get in touch with our spirit , to find answers, to understand life , to find balance, to reconnect. This experience is difficult to put in words for other people to understand it, especially when you have not experienced yet, these were the closest words I could find in my experience. This experience is also a delicate process. A very intimate one and also where you can find yourself vulnerable and open to receive and to give therefore it is vital to know what you are getting into before attending a ceremony because this medicine is for everyone but not everyone is ready for receiving it for different reasons: physical, emotional, mental.
Certain MEDICATIONS are very dangerous in combination with Ayahuasca. It is vital to check with your doctor; first, you do not have to tell your doctor that you are going to attend Ayahuasca of course but depending on the medication you are taking you need to ask your doctor questions like this: How long the medication am I taking is staying in my system? How long will take to detox it? Can stop my medicines from one day to another?.
It is essential you feel TRUST, CONFIDENCE, AND SAFETY in the place you are going to attend a ceremony, with the people that will facilitate Ayahuasca to you because you may find yourself in very open and vulnerable stay. Remember during this process you will not feel sober or rational, you will be aware, but your senses will open in a way you had never experienced before. Sounds smells, energies you will be able to feel everything, and that is WHY we have shamans trained to conduct ceremonies because they know and can create a physical and energetically space where you are SAFE from outside energies ( the surroundings) and from inside energies ( other participants). They create a safe space where you CAN SEE or FEEL.
As well to know that the facilitators and shamans can help you to understand the process you are passing through during and after the ceremony and they are able to still in touch with you a while after these experience because things can continue happens with the time.
With AYAHUASCA it is like opening the PANDORA BOX, and we need to be ready for seeing what it is in there, as well sometimes there are processes that we start, and that must continue otherwise it can create a very uncomfortable time for the person in question and bring more damage than comfort. If your SHAMAN tells you this is the problem, you need this much time or ceremonies or diets to fix it then LISTEN and overall BE HONEST with YOUR INTENTIONS. DO NOT HIDE INFORMATION from the facilitators or shamans about yourself because for sure THE TRUTH WILL BE REVEAL at THE TIME but you can SAVE EVERYBODY’S TIME IF YOU ARE HONEST from the beginning.
If you are a person that likes TO CONTROL, that LIKES TO INTELLECTUALIZE things also you may find some difficulties, but in these cases, my recommendation is TO DO NOT GIVE UP, DO NOT HAVE EXPECTATIONS AND DO NOT MAKE CONCLUSIONS ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE TO FAST. You will KNOW WHEN YOU FINALLY GOT THE MESSAGE.
FEARS can also interfere with your process, and it is important to remind yourself: what are you afraid of ? because these fears have a big chance to be manifested during your ceremony.
There are no bad ceremonies or bad journeys or bad trips just a lack of understanding of the energies. We create in our minds first what we will happen the next into our reality and in Ayahuasca this becomes more obvious.
In the context of an Ayahuasca Ceremony what could lead to the cessation of these vital processes?
There had not been cases of people dying during ceremonies officially reported as such, what I mean: there are no official cases that have confirm that AYAHUASCA has been the reasons for death.
The Media likes to speculate without having proper information first usually the cause of death is known after the autopsy has been done and if the name of AYAHUASCA has been around it will be used and involve as an AYAHUASCA DEATH even if AYAHUASCA WAS NOT THE REASON. Please research properly before believing something you read online.
- The COMBINATION OF MEDICATIONS that are not compatible with AYAHUASCA. ( http://ayahuascasafety.org/?page_id=13)
Always be honest about the medication you are taking and make sure to talk with the facilitators, shaman and most important with your doctor.
- COMBINATION OF DRUGS ( http://ayahuascasafety.org/?page_id=13) Some people because they do not know the difference between drugs and sacred plants they combine substances and energies that should not be mixed.
- MISUSE OF TOBACCO RITUALS. In PERU we have different kinds of shamans apart from the AYAHUASCA SHAMANS we have the TOBACCO SHAMANS certain deaths that haves involved AYAHUASCA has not been really happening under AYAHUASCA CEREMONIES but while TOBACCO CLEANSING OR TOBACCO PURGES were performed by a person that does not have the knowledge or permission to work with this sacred plant. Let’s not forget that tobacco in the wrong amounts can lead to a several organs injure because tobacco contains a substance that is considered a poison : NICOTINE therefore it is very important to know and to ask before receiving any TOBACCO PURGE ( Tobacco for drink) that the person knows how to work with this plant.
There is no need in a retreat for example for every participant to ingest tobacco, it is just necessary when a person has lots of blocks and is needed a more intense detox. If happens that you find yourself in a situation that is going out of control make sure to DRINK A LOT OF WARM WATER this will help you to RELEASE THE TOBACCO PROPERLY and FIND MEDICAL HELP ! The Tobacco purging process cannot last more than one hour , you need to feel completely normal after this time.
- MISUSE OF OTHER PLANTS: Apart from tobacco more plants are used, in the Amazon, and that can be combined with ayahuasca and only by a shaman with proper training to work with. Each element, energy or ingredient that is added to the ceremony will change the AYAHUASCA, the experience, and the energy therefore always ask what is in the Ayahuasca you are taking. Never buy ayahuasca online you never know what contains. There are people that for making a brew stronger mix Ayahuasca with plants that you are most probably no in energetic terms strong enough for handle it. Also for ethical reasons is not good to buy Ayahuasca online you never know if is coming from the forest of an AYAHUASCA FARM please do not contribute with forest degradation. Also when attending ceremonies ask from where the Ayahuasca is coming from, who prepares? What is in ?
- IGNORANCE AND FAKE SHAMANS: Like in all contexts and cultures there will always been someone that would like to take advantage over the people needs, please before attending ceremonies or travelling make sure you had some information beforehand about the organization, center, owners, facilitators, shamans and always ask for this information to be provide to you if it has not being provided. DO NOT TRUST PEOPLE THAT DO NOT ASK YOU QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR MEDICAL, EMOTIONAL, MENTAL CONDITION. If you have a bad feeling in general specially after speaking with the people in charge better do not attend the ceremony, always listen your intuition, Also be mindful about your fears and projections and what are the reasons that does not make you trust the person or people involved? Always check the ceremony setting, how many ceremonies? How many people? Check for testimonies. Normally bad news spread faster than the good ones 🙂
– Love and gratitude-
Naysha Silva ®2018
FOR THE NEXT POST : PART TWO “Death in a spiritual context is the transformation and rebirth of the soul …”