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As of July 4th, 2023, the Companionship of the Sacred Vine has been granted a Health Canada exemption to legally serve ayahuasca in traditional shamanic ceremonies. You can see the details here.
At AyahuascaCanada our mission is to provide you with options to find ceremonies in Canada and around the world. Finding a ceremony can be a daunting task, especially for people who are new to the medicine. We’re here to help.
An Ayahuasca ceremony brings an opportunity for deep physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing. And while there are a number of approaches to understanding ayahuasca, it’s a very deep subject with a lot of very different interpretations.
We Respect Your WorldView
At AyahuascaCanada we take a practical approach and allow for people’s various world views. In other words, we’re not going to try to impose our spiritual/religious/emotional/healing viewpoints on you. We respect your understanding of yourself and your interpretation of this world.
So, for example, there are ayahuasca traditions in the Amazon jungle from an Indigenous perspective. There are also Western studies and disciplines exploring ayahuasca from a western medicinal perspective. Ayahuasca traditions also include entire churches that have sprung up around the medicine such as Santo Daime and Union of the Vegatal (UDV) which emerged in the early 1900s.
Regardless of your background or belief system, we try to assist anyone wanting to experience this healing medicine. We have contacts for ceremonies in Canada, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. These vary from high-end retreats to more basic offerings.
As is usual in life, your choices for ceremonies are typically based on your economic situation. Whether you want to travel to South America or stay in Canada, we try to provide solid advice.
So let’s talk about the medicine. Defining “what is ayahuasca” is more difficult than you think. Perhaps one of the best ways to understand it is to understand what it “isn’t.” While Ayahuasca is considered a drug by the “authorities,” it does not fit the paradigm of a “drug” as Western medicine defines it. If it were a drug each Ayahuasca journey would be predictable and within the parameters of the known effects of the “drug.”
Having said that – ayahuasca has been studied from a western perspective and one of the interesting healing effects of ayahuasca is done through a brain region known as the amygdala, which is responsible for emotional processing in the human brain. It is thought that by ayahuasca stimulating this part of the brain, it allows past emotions and traumas to be integrated by the person. And these are all great theories – but to someone experiencing ayahuasca, it’s more than a “medicinal” journey in the Western viewpoint of the world.
Each ayahuasca ceremony usually puts you in touch with a consciousness or intelligence. You may be able to directly communicate with this intelligence and it can certainly communicate with you if she chooses to. Each journey gives you what you need for your own personal healing. You can never predict what will happen to you in an Ayahuasca ceremony. There are no “known effects.”
One of the active ingredient in Ayahuasca is N,N-Dimethyltryptamine or DMT but there are many alkaloids in the medicine that have not been studied by Western Science. While humans produce DMT in the pineal gland, there are only a few times in your life when your body is naturally flooded with DMT. In the womb at around 45 days the fetus is flooded with DMT. This is thought to facilitate the new soul entering the fetus for the first time. At childbirth a woman’s body is also flooded with DMT. And at death a huge dose of DMT is released into the body which is thought to facilitate the soul’s departure from the body.
During these few pivotal events in human life and death, the world of the spirits is opened up for direct experience. However, there’s another way to directly access the spirit world for deep healing and teachings. And it doesn’t depend on you being a fetus, giving birth or dying. And that is through the Ayahuasca tea.
Ayahuasca is the bridge between the cerebral cortex – the part of the brain that makes us human – and the spiritual world. It is the human/spirit “interface.” It allows humans to enter the realm of spirits. Ayahuasca “lights up” your cerebral cortex and facilitates the journey.
If there were no receptors in the brain for DMT and if you took some Ayahuasca nothing would happen. It’s a biological fact that the human brain is hard-wired to experience the spirit world through this pathway. Ayahuasca allows people to access this world directly and experientially simply by drinking a cup of tea.
So how is Ayahuasca, a tea typically brewed from two Amazonian plants, able to intelligently direct each user’s ceremony? The Amazonian shamans who developed and used this medicine over centuries will tell you that Ayahuasca and indeed all plants have a spirit. It is this spirit, hopefully in conjunction with an experienced shaman, that directs the Ayahuasca healing journey.
And now, more than ever, Ayahuasca is bringing great spiritual healing to the people of the planet. As the rain forests are being wiped out it may be a survival tactic by the plant itself. Or it may be to save earth from the humans that are destroying their biosphere. Either way the world and humanity needs spiritual healing and Ayahuasca provides a pathway for people to accomplish this. So how do you know if this medicine is right for you?
That is the objective of this website – to give you information about Ayahuasca from people who understand the medicine so that you can make an informed decision. This is not a website from someone who decided to go to Peru and try Ayahuasca a few times and report back on his or her “visions.” This is information from Peruvian shamans who have 30+ years of experience, from our Canadian consulting shaman, from people who have had hundreds and in the case of our Peruvian shamans thousands of Ayahuasca journeys.
If an Ayahuasca journey is not in your future, that’s OK as well. But please understand that the messages of ayahuasca are relevant to everyone on earth today. Ayahuasca is attempting to help humans understand our place in the natural world so that we don’t wind up destroying ourselves. It’s an incredible story and an amazing journey.
Without a doubt Ayahuasca is strong medicine but sometimes that is exactly what’s needed. If humanity in its present form is going to survive, there needs to be a huge spiritual awakening. This medicine is one pathway to bring this healing to the world. It’s certainly not the only way but for the people who are called to the medicine it offers a direct connection for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing.