Ayahuasca in ancestral cultures

Ayahuasca is an ancestral brew used in the South American continent as part of the traditional medicine of the native peoples. It has been used as medicine for thousands of years by the peoples of the Amazon and in the Andean civilizations was part of the tools of medicine and development and spiritual evolution.

In the Inca culture

Ayahuasca is a word in RUNASIMI (Quechua) the literal translation of this word is: “rope of the dead “, although its connotation is spiritual in nature and could be translated as: “Channel to the other world” . Its use has always been related to an initiatory and symbolic process of death and rebirth. The mythical content of an Ayahuasca ceremony refers to a journey into the soul, through the dark world of the collective unconscious full of archetypal images. The ceremony is a near-death experience, a process of spiritual restitution of lost energy.

The history of the Inca civilization tells that after the arrival of the Spaniards and the respective process of invasion, there was a war that lasted almost 50 years. The final resistance was led by Manco Inca. At the end of the war it is believed that part of the Incas went into the jungle and since then the use of ayahuasca was limited for a long time to the Amazon world, where the potion had already been used for thousands of years by various groups ethnic groups in this region.

In the ancient Amazonian tribes

The use of ayahuasca in the rest of the world remained almost unknown for centuries until the Amazon region began to be colonized by the mestizos, especially when the time came for the search for rubber and then the search for gold and oil, it is thus that began to form settlements of settlers who had knowledge of the medicine of the native settlers.

During the twentieth century the use of ayahuasca has adopted various cultural assimilations and thus new forms of consumption.

In the mid – nineteenth century Ecuador

Western culture had its first encounter with ayahuasca in the mid-nineteenth century thanks to an Ecuadorian named Manuel villavicencio and the Englishman Richard Spruce. Only in the middle of the 20th century is it possible to isolate the main alkaloids from the potion. It is only after the 1960s that Western man begins to use ayahuasca as a tool for the exploration of consciousness. Since that time, its use has been increasing and is even being the subject of various scientific studies. Psychiatrists have experimented with ayahuasca in different treatments, for example in the therapy for rehabilitation of addicts.

The Sapan Inka Retreat Center in the 21st century has decided to use Ayahuasca medicine in a way that goes according to these times, that is to say in an intercultural way, using knowledge of the traditional medicine of the Amazonian and Andean culture and incorporating in practice Western therapeutic knowledge such as Jungian and transpersonal psychology, and oriental energy techniques such as reiki and chi kung. The goal of the process of healing and cleansing with Ayahuasca medicine is to achieve a bio-energetic release, that is, to clear possible blocks of vital energy in its travel throughout the body. The Ayahuasca ceremony is a process of psycho-spiritual healing. The purpose of therapy is to integrate different levels of being and give the possibility of an exploration of the contents of the unconscious for their respective assimilation and integration into consciousness. The Ayahuasca ceremony is considered an initiation in the process of self-awareness and psychological and spiritual development.

Also the diets are an important element in the ancient use of Ayahuasca medicine and in our use of medicine, these allow the body to prepare energetically, and prevent potential interactions that could be dangerous in a therapeutic process with master plants . Within the traditional use of Ayahuasca medicine there is a very important tool known by mestizo healers as icaros or healing songs, through which the healer doctor can enter into harmony and navigate the state of consciousness obtained by the use of medicine. The songs allow the doctor to perceive the energy condition of his patients and to make diagnoses and treatments. The icaros fulfill the function of a map in the non-ordinary state of consciousness induced by the Ayahuasca and allow to guide the people who participate in the ritual.