Ayahuasca Retreats ritual happening

5 of the Best-Rated Ayahuasca Retreats in America

Have you ever heard of Ayahuasca retreats? These ceremonies originated in South America, with shamans overseeing the practice of drinking Ayahuasca. It’s a long-observed religious practice for many indigenous people. 

So are there any locations in the United States? And what does the retreat entail? Let’s dive in and take a closer look!

What Is Ayahuasca? 

A plant-based psychedelic, Ayahuasca is a brown-reddish drink. It affects all the senses. From thinking to feeling, psychedelics can cause someone to see or hear things that don’t exist. Ayahuasca comes from boiling the Banisteriopsis caapi vine with the leaves of the Psychotria viridis shrub. 

Indigenous people have used the drug for centuries for religious and therapeutic purposes. Its origins come from the rainforests of South America.

What Happens at An Ayahuasca Retreat? 

An Ayahuasca ceremony involves drinking the tea blend in hopes of a deep connection to a higher being. Under the guidance of a Shaman, individuals seek an understanding of themselves. A ceremony is usually an entire night, with the hallucination lasting up to five hours.

The icaro, a magic song, is sung by the Shaman. It’s said that the person experiencing the encounter hears the voice of a divine being that tells the person how to improve their life. If you don’t follow the correct cleansing diet before the ceremony, you may have vomiting as the Ayahuasca flushes out toxins and impurities. 

After the ceremony, most people find it impossible to explain the supernatural experience.

Ayahuasca Retreats ritual happening

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5 of the Best-Rated Ayahuasca Retreats in America

If you’re looking for an Ayahuasca retreat in the United States, you’re not out of luck. Although there aren’t many, there is a handful from the west coast to the east coast. Some offer yearly retreats, while others offer them as often as weekly.

1. Origen Sagrada

Locations: California, Colorado, Oregon, Colombia, Mexico

About: Abuelo Claudino Perez, a member of the Muruy (Uitoto) tribe of the Amazonas of Colombia, is the spiritual leader of Origen Sagrada. Through the community, the leaders and helpers seek to share passions and positive energies. Plants provide clarification and help.

To attend, you must fill out the online application, and the staff will review it. A leader will call to discuss your medical history, which is a crucial phone call to ensure you and others remain safe during the ceremony. Before attending, you must not use recreational drugs the week prior, and consume no alcohol and avoid sex for 48 hours.

In addition, Origen Sagrada suggests eating light vegetarian food for three days before and after the Ayahuasca ceremony. It’s important to consume low levels of salt, sugar, and fat. Don’t eat red meat, pork, garlic, or onions. Drink water but avoid drinking too much directly before or after the ceremony.

2. Sacred Therapy

Location: Oregon Coast

About: Part of the Cosmic Valley Native Americas Church, Sacred Therapy uses Ayahuasca to heighten the senses and receive healing. Instead of following South American traditional ceremonies, Scared Therapy combines a holistic approach with yoga for a more modern experience.

Like Origen Sagrada, Sacred Therapy requires an application. Spencer, the head Shaman, reviews the application, taking note of medications, diagnoses, and medical issues. This includes whether or not you’re pregnant, are currently taking any medications, have a history of depression or addiction, and have other medical histories.

Depending on availability at the ceremony, they will contact you for more information.

3. Soul Quest Ayahuasca Church of Mother Earth

Location: Florida

About: Like all of these churches and organizations, Soul Quest Ayahuasca Church of Mother Earth welcomes everyone regardless of religion, culture, or gender. There’s no hierarchy because everyone has something to offer. The retreats last three days and two nights, although it’s possible to come for just one night. They’re held weekly in Orlando, Fla.

The activities and experiences seek to awaken consciousness and overcome limitations, thus encouraging transformation. The Soul Quest team has facilitators, therapists, and collaborators from all over the world who have spent years visiting shamans. 

At least four facilitators are present at each retreat and come from countries such as Spain, Argentina, Colombia, England, Switzerland, Italy, Venezuela, Germany, and the United States.

Ayahuasca effects

4. The Sanctuary Shamanic Healing Center

Locations: New York, Peru

About: Located in Callicoon, N.Y., The Sanctuary offers workshops, retreats, and events throughout the year. Angell Deer has committed his life to learning the Andean Cosmology and Norse Shamanism ways. 

Through The Sanctuary, he seeks to help people restore their health and well-being through alternative treatments and ancient sacred medicine. The Sanctuary has a blog, podcast, and YouTube channel.

The Sanctuary hosts annual trips to Peru for a retreat in the Andes Mountains. Here, shamanic ceremonies that include Ayahuasca will occur to awaken the soul. Other events include live Instagram sessions, an online healing retreat, a winter retreat, and monthly gatherings, although none use plant medicines.

5. Kentucky Ayahuasca

Location: Kentucky

About: Aya Quest Native Americas Church in Greenburg, Ky., practices natural healing. The leaders don’t follow the practices and ceremonies of the South American tradition but rather hold modern ceremonies like Sacred Therapy. The Ayahuasca ceremonies are three days and two nights.

The first night is simply about acclimating participants to Ayahuasca. You’re given microdoses at the beginning of the day and end with a larger dose that evening. The second night includes other elements to complement the experience. Participants can choose to also use Sananga eye drops or infrared lights to deepen the connection with the divine being.

These sacraments guide participants to reach Mother Aya, which means Mother Soul, thus enhancing life. By the end of the event, you’ll discover possibilities for your life and healing in all areas: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Ayahuasca Retreat ceremony

Who Are Ayahuasca Retreats For? 

Many churches and organizations that use Ayahuasca offer retreats and ceremonies for people who feel abandoned, lost, worthless, or confused. Some people have experienced difficult upbringings that may include abuse or addiction. Through Ayahuasca, they can feel alive, heightening their sense of self-worth. They connect with a greater being who speaks love and compassion into their lives.

But even for people who haven’t had such life experiences, an Ayahuasca retreat provides a place for people seeking personal growth through an out-of-body experience. The psycho-therapeutic work can be life-changing.

Is an Ayahuasca Retreat Safe? 

The facilitators and shamans seek to help participants and not harm them. The elements of the drink are carefully prepared so that Ayahuasca is safe for everyone. However, participants need to be honest when going through the application process. If you struggle with depression, you need to share that. If you are currently taking medications or have a history of addiction, you need to share that.

In addition, it’s important to follow the protocols established before the ceremony. Don’t drink alcohol, and avoid sugar. The psychedelic drug can be dangerous when combined with other drugs or alcohol. It’s also difficult to predict how the drug will affect individuals, so there are always risks involved in attending an Ayahuasca retreat.

Would you consider visiting a retreat center and taking Ayahuasca for an encounter with a divine being and personal transformation?

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