Q: What does an Ayahuasca ceremony actually involve?
A: Just after nightfall we meet in the Maloka (temple) and each take our places on the mattresses. Before the ceremony starts our Curandero (Ayahuasca Shaman) and your hosts will speak, then the Curandero will cleanse and energetically protect the space inside and out, before serving everyone their medicine.
Once this is done, the lights go out and we sit in silence for some time as the medicine begins to work. As the Curandero starts singing the Icaros (medicine songs) you will likely feel the energy of the medicine responding.
At some point in the ceremony the Curandero will bring each individual up to his alter for a personal icaro, and cleansing with tobacco/flower essences. When the ceremony is complete, usually 4 or 5 hours later, the candles will be lit and sometimes everyone will be invited to speak about their experiences, and the ceremony space is officially concluded. Afterwards, all participants either return to their huts or fall asleep in the Maloka.
Q: Can I drink Ayahuasca or do a Master Plant Dieta on my Period?
A: Yes. Some Curanderos (Ayahuasca Shamans) do not allow women to drink at this time, sometimes for cultural reasons but mainly because menstruating women are very sensitive, both physically and energetically.
The concept being that drinking Ayahuasca may not always be in her or the groups best interests at this time. In our center, almost always it will be possible for you to drink Ayahuasca during your period, but please let us know when you apply so we can monitor your dosage and care for you accordingly.
Q: Can I drink Ayahuasca while pregnant or breastfeeding?
A: If you have never worked with Ayahuasca before we don’t allow you to participate in our retreats while pregnant.
If you have worked with this medicine before and are in the early stages of your pregnancy (pre third trimester), it is possible for you to drink a very small dose, but please let us know in advance.
If you are breastfeeding it is certainly possible to drink Ayahuasca but again please let us know in advance.
Q: Are children welcome at the center or in ceremonies?
A: We love children, but this needs to be discussed on a case by case basis. For example, if your children will come into the Maloka for ceremonies, you need to feel comfortable that they can attend the ceremony while honoring the noble silence.
Be aware that caring for your child during a Master Plant Dieta is not ideal for working deeply or benefiting fully from this experience, also as this is a communal environment we are mindful of other guests also.
Ideally, we suggest you find alternative care for your children during your stay with us. If this is not an option, please discuss with us in advance and we may still be able to accommodate you and your family.
Q: Can I ask for help in the ceremonies or must I be totally silent?
A: Of course, please don’t be afraid to ask for assistance, no matter what you may need. There are always helpers and staff available in the ceremony if you need help getting to the bathroom or are feeling overly distressed.
While it is good to work through purging and sit with your experience, if you are becoming overly scared or uncomfortable please ask for help.
This said, please refrain from talking or making too much noise during the ceremony. We understand sometimes things just come out, and during any cathartic (releasing) process, we welcome any sound that you need to make, but aside from this, please respect the noble silence of this sacred space and Icaros.
Q: I don’t like smoke, how is tobacco used in the ceremonies and do I have to be near it?
A: Natural organic Tobacco, called Mapacho, is a sacred medicine plant just like Ayahuasca and other Master plants. Its use during ceremony is integral to our healing work and provides incredible, protective and cleansing energy.
If you are sensitive to smoke, please just let us know and you can sit closer to the door where the smoke will be less noticeable.
Also, as you never know how your experience will be, or if you will want to or need to use Mapacho for it’s cleansing and grounding effects, we actually suggest everyone has one or two of their own Mapacho cigarettes handy during your Ayahuasca ceremony as they can be very useful for managing your own energy and those around you. You can request these from us at any point.
Q: Do I have to wear white in Ayahuasca ceremonies? Are there any clothing requirements?
A: Our Curanderos (Ayahuasca Shamans) and many of our staff choose to wear white in ceremony, because we believe white holds a cleansing, positive, healing and protective vibration.
We do not require you to wear any specific type of clothing or color during your Ayahuasca ceremonies. We do however recommend that you come to ceremony in loose, comfortable, clean clothing and be sure to have something warm as it can get cold. Having a headscarf or beanie handy can also be useful for managing your energy and warmth during the night.
If you have long hair we recommend you tie it back to avoid things getting messy when you are purging.
Q: What else do I need for Ayahuasca ceremonies?
A: We recommend the following: a water bottle, mapacho cigarettes and matches, perhaps agua florida (flower essences) if you are called, and we will give you some tissue for wiping your face as it is often necessary. Most importantly, a head torch or small LED torch is a must. Please see our How to Prepare page for more details.
Q: Do you make the Ayahuasca tea yourself? Is it made on site?
A: Our Curandero (Ayahuasca Shaman) prepares his own Ayahuasca, not always on site, but the brew is infused with his energy, which is very powerful as his connection to the medicine goes so deep. The medicine is meditated and prayed over for days as it is made, and is very potent, strong medicine that always gives people exactly what they need… and often more.
Also, the Ayahuasca served at our center does not include the plant Toé, (Datura). Some people brew their medicine by adding Toé for various reasons, but we believe this is a very advanced plant, that is not always suitable for every guest.
Q: If I don’t like the Ayahuasca Master Plant Dieta, can I leave?
A: Every human has free will and ultimately this prevails, however, this is often very emotionally confronting work and at times people do feel they want to quit mid-way and leave the center.
By coming here you are agreeing to our Guest Guidelines and Commitments and we will support you in any way we can if you feel the need to leave if things get too challenging.
However, it must be said, during this type of healing work, there are many egoic and energetic structures within you that are coming up to the surface to be released. Because this isn’t always easy, it may leave you wanting to leave if you are not fully willing to face what is within you that needs to be let go. If you leave at this point, these egoic and energetic structures that were triggered, will often have a greater hold on you, and if you leave, it’s common that things will actually be worse than before you came.
So it is important that before applying to one of our retreats, that you really check in with yourself, and ask yourself if you are fully willing to look within, to cleanup all that doesn’t serve you. Only if you are able to completely do that, and commit to staying, not to us, but to yourself, would we recommend that you apply to any of our retreats.
No refunds are available if you decide to leave at any point before the end of your retreat. If you feel you are not receiving something that we have said would be offered at the retreat, please let us know so we can try and resolve this situation.
Q: What is AyahuascaHealings.com’s relationship with The Garden of Peace, Peru?
A: AyahuascaHealings.com is founded by Trinity de Guzman, who is a co-founder of The Garden of Peace, Ayahuasca Retreat Center in Peru.
For everybody’s best interest, Trinity has given up any ownership of The Garden of Peace, as of September, 2015, to allow much more money generated from guests to go directly to the building and development of that community. To more powerfully serve future & returning guests, the volunteers, the core team on the ground, Ashley, Lara, the local Peruvian community around that center, and of course, our curanderos, Carlos & Juan.
The Garden of Peace is solely owned and operated by Ashley Avery, and AyahuascaHealings.com acts as a booking agent for The Garden of Peace.
If you have any other questions that were not listed here, please contact us and we will be happy to answer them for you.
And if you have not yet reviewed the page that fully explains our Ayahuasca and Master Plant retreats, then you can do so on this page here.
To serving you in every way we can,
Trinity de Guzman & The Garden of Peace Family