Holding responsible ayahuasca ceremonies

Our 30 years of experience ensure a safe ayahuasca experience for all guests

Many people taking ayahuasca for the first time are concerned as to how they will handle the effects of the experience. It’s common for people to have feelings of anxiety, apprehension and even fear. These feeling are normal and we fully understand and appreciate your concerns.

At Etnikas we strive to ensure the safety, comfort and protection of all our guests. After 30 years of experience in guiding ayahuasca ceremonies, we are experts in determining the optimum dosage that each person should have. In determining dosage, a shaman, psychologist and doctor work together in evaluating a person’s age, physique, size, sensitivity, medical history, and emotional / psychological state of mind. Our practice has been accredited by the Peruvian Ministry of Health, who have sent representatives that have undertaken the same retreat as our clients. The Ministry certified our retreats as being safe, responsible and authentic.

We are conservative in our approach to dosage but aim for total immersion and a strong visionary experience. Guests are offered the opportunity to enhance their experience during the ceremony by taking more ayahuasca, under the guidance of the shaman, should they feel confident to do so at a critical point into the journey.

The reason that we do not do retreats for longer than eight days (Four ayahuasca ceremonies) is because we believe that to drink ayahuasca in excess takes away from the purpose to which the medicine has traditionally being used. The first ceremony is to invigorate spiritual awakening, the second, to help progress personal direction, and third/four to help engage spiritual healing. More than this can disorientate, cause confusion, or be excessively mental exhausting as the experience is intense and visionary. Many people find their first/second Ayahuasca ceremony sufficient to allow the awakening, direction, and healing to come and do not require further ceremonies. Other people require the three/four ceremonies to achieve their goals, as they have strong psychological blockages or issues. As with all things, “enough is as good as a feast”. Our main priority is that all our guests leave Etnikas satisfied with the results they have achieved.

If you are unsure as to the number of ayahuasca ceremonies you would like to participate in, we are able to help suggest a recommendation based on what you aim to achieve in combination with your personal evaluation.

Before the ceremony we pray together in silence, unifying the energies of the group and allowing individuals time and space to gather personal thoughts and energy.

During the ayahuasca ceremony, a coordinator of the same sex will look after you at all times to ensure your comfort. They provide tissues, assistance to and from the toilet, blankets, water and whatever other requests you may have.

A doctor is on site 24 hours a day during retreats and a nurse in the ayahuasca ceremony with access to a full range of state of the art emergency medical equipment. At the close of the ceremony, they will conduct a physical check to ensure guests are calm and stable after returning from their journeys before going to bed. They also monitors guests throughout the night to ensure their comfort and well being.

Shaman will chant Icaros (Shipibo prays) related to any issues that may have been raised earlier in the retreat, helping to call specific energies. At the end of the ceremony, people are welcome to stay and talk with the shaman or amongst one another.

The following morning, we discuss our ayahuasca journeys in more depth, individually and as a group, with the shaman and psychologist to help interpret a guest’s experiences. A doctor is available on site during the daytime to help with any specific physical complications and for individual consultations if required.

Please bring to the following items with you to the ceremony:

  • Warm / comfortable clothes.
  • Flash light as the ayahuasca ceremony is performed at night.
  • A bottle of water
  • Toilet paper / tissues
  • We provide blankets/sleeping bags to keep you warm if it was necessary.

Please be thoughtful of others during the retreat. We prefer the ceremonies to be performed in silence to allow people to concentrate on the visions. Please do not touch anybody else during the ceremony, unless they ask you to. Shaman may come to you to perform personal work. They may blow tobacco smoke on your head, apply perfume to your hands, or make a personalized chant to you. Please receive this with love as it is a healing work that is being performed.