Once Maestro Heberto has a proper understanding of the needs and wishes of those present, he intones special ceremonial songs to bless the sacred liquid in accordance with individual requirements, inviting each person in turn to drink. It is important to note thatthe shaman will adjust the dosage and type of Ayahuasca to suit each patient.In Yosi Ocha we work with four types of Ayahuasca, from a mild to an extra strong one, and once you have had some experience of the ceremonies, you may be offeredthe choice of a stronger dose.
After 15 minutes or so, the candles are put out and theCeremonial Malokaremains in darkness.Silence is maintained, save for the occasional hoot of an owl and the cries of other night birds, the croaking of frogs and the sporadic chorus of other nocturnal animals.It is very important during a ceremony that nobody talks.The initial period after ingesting the brewis the time for concentration and to hold in mind what you want to achieve from the experience, be it bodily healing or spiritual cleansing, specific answers or an abundance of visions. After another 15 minutes or so, most people start to yawn and to sigh heavily, which is a sign that the Ayahuasca is starting to take effect. During this time the shaman meditates while sometimes smokingmapacho, the sacred jungle tobacco, which, amongst other things, has the effect of deepening his trance.
Generally, within 30 to 45 minutes from the ceremony beginning,the shaman will start singing ícaros, the ceremonial songs,the precise timing being determined by the spirits who have presented themselves, or been invoked, by the shaman. Theicaros of the shaman play an essential role in all Ayahuasca ceremonies since these melodies enable him to ‘lighten’ his body so that he can be transported to a non-physical dimension. Many, many people have described these songs as the most beautiful music they have ever heard. The ícaros accentuate the effect of the Ayahuasca and very often a distinctive whistling or buzzing is heard, which seems to come either from a point just above the head or from within the head itself. Some studies have associated this sensation with the activation of the pineal gland, or third eye.
At Yosi Ocha, the shamans sing two types ofícaro:general onesaimed at guiding the group as a whole,and specific ones directed to each of the participantsin turn. Maestro Heberto places great emphasis on the importance of individual attention and personalised treatment, a major reason for achieving greater results. When the maestro stands in front of you and sings to you specifically, you should sit straight, open your mind and your heart to allow hisícarosto fully enter your entire being, and allow him to guide you through the different dimensions thus, your spiritual body rises with that of the shaman and together you will travel through planes of existence quite unknown to ordinary people.Read more...
Mood changes during Ayahuasca ceremonies may be dramatic.Whilst great joy and elation is the norm for many people, deep sadness, fear, and even anger may be experienced. It may be said with certainty thatno two ceremonies are alike, and no two participants will share identical experiences(although it certainly is possible to take part in communal, or shared visions). All the powerful emotions that are felt at this stage, be they joyous or unpleasant, are a sign that the Ayahuasca is beginning to work its magic. Typically, the body begins to feel weightless and there is a sensation of existing in slow motion. On raising your head, whether your eyes are open or closed, it is normal to see a kaleidoscope of brightly coloured points and lines, and the body continues to fall into a deep trance.
Some people feel an instinctive urge to resist these effects, and this must be avoided. A fearful state of mind is likely to provoke frightening experiences:it is recommended to surrender andallow yourself to be carried away by these new experiences, and at the same time ask mother Ayahuasca to show you an abundance of visions. Of course, it is natural for first-time takers of Ayahuasca to be nervous, but most people learn after one or two ceremonies that there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of, and so they can enjoy more positive experiences. Generally, in Ayahuasca visions you will see the spirits of people, animals and other beings, and scenes that may be indescribably intriguing or awesomely beautiful. It is, however, a very personal matter: at different times you may see scenes with startling clarity, or glimpse them as if through a veil; sometimes voices are heard, or teachings received through flashes of intuition.
It is frequently the case that you will vomit or purge at some point during Ayahuasca ceremonies (particularly the initial ones, when there is most cleansing to be done) and bowls are provided for everyone present. It quite often happens when the shaman is treating you individually, but there is no need to feel embarrassed! Quite the reverse, it is the maestro’s intention for you to expel negative energies as well as physical toxins, and vomiting is a sure sign that he is succeeding in his work. Vomiting may, naturally, be preceded by feelings of discomfort, these may be quite intense, in which case, the shamans have various techniques to alleviate the suffering. It is equally likely that the need to vomit is felt quite suddenly and unexpectedly, with no prior discomfort. The process of vomiting may also intensify the visions. Vomiting is only a problem if it occurs immediately after ingesting the Ayahuasca, which indicates that the patient is not properly prepared, normally as a result of eating or drinking something incompatible with the Ayahuasca diet.
The effects of Ayahuasca start to subside after about two hoursand one’s vision returns to normal. Whilst the shaman’s astonishing healings are set in train whilst the patient is in trance,Ayahuasca continues to work in the body and mind in both the short and long term.At the end of the ceremony, perhaps having discovered the root cause of some distress, or understood for the first time other powerful truths affecting their situation, people experience very special emotions. Very often, people feel full of love and positivity, an increased closeness to those around them and where before they saw problems and worries, now they see solutions and opportunities, in other words, they feel in excellent humour. Others may feel sadness and the need to spend some time alone. The spirits of Ayahuasca continue to work within the psyche, helping the individual to identify and resolve internal conflicts, become a better, more caring person and lead a far less burdensome life, filled with joy and a feeling of wonderful inner peace. We believe thatit is advisable not to discuss one´s visions and experiences immediately after the ceremony,but rather to spend some time to absorb and process the teachings of mother Ayahuasca.
Periodically, Maestro Heberto will holdprivate or group consultationto discuss any particular issues that may come up or interpret the visions. He may also have identified episodes in your past, and even the actions of others that you are unaware of, which are affecting your current situation. Likewise, he can identify possible future realities, dependent on the choices you make today. These sessions are incredibly valuable, facilitating the action of the Ayahuasca psychologically, and also terrifically affirming those who, however open-minded, are culturally ill-equipped to accept the spiritual dimension of the Ayahuasca experience, and shamanic work in general. The effects of Ayahuasca allow us to enter a cosmic, or non-physical dimension, and to journey in a world unknown to normal people. To know that your visionary experiences coincide with those of your spiritual guide is to know that what you have seen has an objective reality outside of your mind – however far removed from ‘everyday’ reality.