The sacred medicine ayahuasca, or yagé as it’s known in Colombia, is a brew of two plants that are native to the Amazon rainforest, the Banisteriopsis caapi (ayahuasca) vine and either the leaves of the Diplopterys cabrerana (chaliponga) or Psychotria viridis (chacruna) bush. The shaman (Taita) prays over and sings to these plants for days as they cook together in water over an open bonfire, and it is largely those prayers that determine the healing power of the brew. When used under the supervision of experienced healers in a guided ceremony, the brew is capable of creating profound moments of introspection, love, clarity, and self-knowledge.
The term ayahuasca comes from the Quechua language, in which “aya” means “soul” or “spirits” and “huasca” means “vine”, therefore translating to “vine of the soul” or “vine of the spirits”. When we commune with this sacred medicine, we get in contact with the part of ourselves that is beyond any mind-created structure or identity.
Ayahuasca contains Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a hallucinogenic alkaloid that induces a non-ordinary state of consciousness. It has a powerful effect on the central nervous system and is thought to increase neuroplasticity in the brain, which is the ability of neurons to alter their synaptic connections. This is what creates the feeling of being rewired from the inside out, increased neuroplasticity offers us the space to create new habits and give new meaning to events and life experiences.
Ayahuasca (yagé) is referred to as the medicine or remedy by the indigenous groups that use it ritualistically. This is because it purges from us that which no longer serves us, relieves us of emotional baggage, opens spaces for new forms of creativity, and helps us break out of thought and behavioral patterns that limit our growth as individuals.
Ayahuasca further helps us connect with our intuition and aids us on the journey from the mind to the heart. We connect with our inner sense of knowing what is right, reaching clarity, and receiving information that relates to our life situation and the actions that we need to apply.
For more information about out ceremonies, see our experiences page.
/ San Pedro Cactus
The Echinopsis Pachanoi cactus is a cactus native to the Andes of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia. This plant is known by many different names: Achuma, Huachuma, Wachuma, Aguacolla, Hahuacollay or Giganton describe what is more commonly known as “Cactus San Pedro” in Western cultures.
In fact, the name “San Pedro” refers to the San Pedro (St Peter) of the New Testament. Since St Peter is the one who opens the gates to Heaven, this name was given to the plant by the local populations to appease the Spanish so that the communities may continue their sacred ceremonies, and as a strong reference to the transcendent states and healing that San Pedro can induce.
San Pedro is known to be a more gentle teacher than Ayahuasca but it is still extremely powerful. Participants who approach the plant with higher levels of corporal and emotional toxicity or stress may purge at the physical, mental and spiritual levels, but it is more common for San Pedro to remain in the body for the duration of the ceremony.
San Pedro opens the heart chakra and produces a state of deep internal reflection coupled with a profound connection to the heart. Participants are guided through the ceremony with prayer and songs.
Kambo is an ancestral medicine that comes from the secretion of an Amazonian treefrog, which is found in parts of Peru, Brazil, and Colombia. Kambo is known as the “vaccine of the jungle” because of its ability to empower the body to heal itself by enhancing the immune system.
Kambo has many benefits. From a physical standpoint, it is the most powerful medicine to detoxify the body and to renew the liver, the liver being responsible for rejuvenating the entire body. Kambo also enhances the immune system; it serves as a vaccine. It allows us to be healthy, to walk our path in a harmonious way. Kambo is also effective in helping people cut their addictions from the root, remove ancestral trauma, and remove blockages from our lineage that have been passed down by many generations.
The effects themselves are physical, but Kambo has benefits for the emotional state as well as the spiritual state. Kambo enters the body, scans it, and releases past traumatic emotions, leaving a space for you to now fill that up with light, love, and good habits. This medicine also works on the spiritual level by restoring our energetic field. All that we attract in life depends on the energy that we emit. As we experience difficult situations, trauma, and negative situations our energy field gets punctured. Kambo restores the wholeness of our energy field which allows us to become magnets to attract all of the beautiful things in life.
The Kambo Legend
Kambo is an ancestral medicine that comes from the secretion of an When the Spanish conquistadors came to conquer the indigenous people of the Amazon, they brought with them a lot of different diseases, one of them the Spanish Plague. The indigenous people in these communities worked with many medicinal plants but were unable to use them to heal from this disease. At the time, one of the main shamans, or the Cacique, came from the Matses tribe. He went by himself into the jungle and he drank the medicine of ayahuasca. During the visions and the effects of the ayahuasca, he saw the spirit of the Kambo frog. And then he started to call the frog with specific frog noises, and the frog came to him and he was able through the medicine of ayahuasca to know how to extract the secretion the proper way. And therefore he brought it back to his people and his village and they were able to heal themselves from the plague that the Spanish people brought. This is how the medicine began to spread throughout different indigenous tribes.
Sweat Lodge, also known as Temazcal and Inipi, is an ancient purification ceremony from the indigenous peoples of North America and Mexico. During sweat lodge, we symbolically move into the womb of Mother Earth to be reborn, strengthened, and renewed.
Sweat lodges are conducted as a group in a dome-shaped hut made of canvas or cloth blankets over a wooden structure built upon the earth. Stones are heated in an outdoor fire then brought in and placed in a central pit. The entrance of the dome is shut, and water is poured over the hot stones while the leader guides the group through songs and prayers. The physical intensity of the heat, the disorientation of the darkness, and the potency of the prayers initiate a state of internal softening and emotional surrender, shifting the participants beyond habitual states of functioning.
In its essence a sweat lodge is a spiritual rebirth where we connect with ourselves through the four elements of nature (fire, water, air, earth), meditation, singing, and prayer. By connecting to our essence, to what was there before our life history happened to us, we are able to shed our past and open space for a new life to grow from within.
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Tobacco is a plant that is attributed much reverence in indigenous traditions. In some Amazonian cosmologies, it is considered to have been the first plant created on Earth, with the coca plant being second. Tobacco represents the divine masculine, consciousness, and our connection with the heart. Every time we light a tobacco cigar we raise a prayer (levantamos un rezo), for our life, for the planet, for our friends and family. We connect with a vision, request, or blessing that we humbly ask for from the Great Spirit, while in connection with our center, our heart.
Tobacco in the form of a cigar is used in ceremony to set an intention and to cleanse with its purifying smoke. It is always smoked with the left hand and is either offered to the ceremonial fire or at the roots of a tree.
Rapé is a more subtle introductory medicine that is used in the beginning, the middle, or at the end of ceremonies. Rapé primarily comes from the Brazilian and Peruvian Amazon and is made with a base of powdered tobacco as well as a mixture of other plants which vary from one tribe to another. Traditionally, each tribe closely guards its rapé recipes.
Rapé helps us to feel more grounded and centered. While some rapé mixes are very good at helping us cleanse the body, others help us connect with intuition and receive information from the astral plane. The medicine is beneficial for those who go to ceremonies yet might not have complete clarity on their intention of what they need to receive from the medicines – rapé helps with this process and discovering what their intention or purpose is. That being said, it’s not uncommon for participants to experience deep emotional releases using rapé on its own.
At Colibri Garden, we work with different types of high quality rapé, which we source directly from the producers in Brazil. Have a look at the selection of rapé blends we work with and sell.
These two medicines are very sacred plant teachers that are from the territory of Colombia. Mambe is a green powder that is made from ground coca leaves and the ashes of the yorumo plant. Ambil is a tobacco paste.
While the tobacco represents the divine masculine, consciousness, and our connection with the heart, the coca represents the divine feminine, connection with Mother Earth (Pachamama), our connection with the throat chakra (Vishuddha), and our capacity to express ourselves and speak our truth. Mambe and ambil complement each other to help us with communication, to be able to express ourselves from the heart, and express ourselves sweetly, eloquently, and authentically to the people surrounding us. These two medicines are beautiful tools to help integrate the information received from all of the other medicines. They are used in the medicine circles part of the pre and post-integration processes.
Sananga is an eye drop that comes from the extract of the leaves of the sananga tree. These drops are used in indigenous groups in Brazil and Peru to improve the vision of the people in the community, especially the hunters of the tribe. Sananga drops can help clean the entire organ of the eye and decalcify the pineal gland – often thought of as te third eye. Sananga treats vvarious diseases of the eyes including astigmatism and glaucoma, it helps the eyes heal and improves sight.
Sananga drops are beneficial to do close to ceremonies because they also help release deep-rooted sadness, anger, depression. Sananga is considered to cure Panema, a spiritual disease that results from the accumulation of negative energies in the body.
Find out more about our experiences here.
It is a true gift for life to experience sacred medicine and yet the medicine helps us only half-way. The other half is up to us. How much of the information received do we apply? It is important that you know that the real work begins after the ceremony – in the ceremony of everyday life. At Colibri Garden we place a lot of importance on giving you tools to be able to plant and nurture your own beautiful inner garden; to be able to connect with your intuition and move past outdated and disempowering ways of being, thinking and feeling.
Have a look at our integration page for more information.