“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience”.
Teilhard de Chardin
Although one definition of "spirituality" is the opposite of matter, they are not truly separate things. There is indeed an invisible and intangible world, which includes our thoughts, emotions and feelings, which has a direct effect on our inner world and on our quality of life. In other words, it is better to recognize this vertical dimension of our existence in order to be able to act consciously and on a practical level on our daily horizontal dimension. On the other hand, spirituality is often associated with religion, from the Latin "religare", which simply means "to connect", to oneself, to others and to the Universe. Thus, from our point of view, this necessary reconnection with what is essential can only be made from a direct and ecstatic experience, in the sense of emerging from one's own little self, in order to be able to feel, perceive, and taste, if only for a moment, the subtle nectar of the Higher Self.
In his book Psychedelic Healing1, Neal Goldsmith talks about psycheology, to remind us that the term psychology comes from the root word psyche (from the Greek meaning “soul"), and should become once again the in-depth study of our being. In other words, psychedelic substances that reveal the soul, which have been well integrated into traditional societies for millennia and used in an appropriate context, can play a role in spiritual development or maturation.
As far as we are concerned, we have had the chance to experience this feeling of reconnection with the essential, thanks to Ayahuasca, taken as sacrament in a spiritual context. We, of course, do not mean to say of course that Ayahuasca is necessary to arrive at this state or that it is the only way to get there, far from it. We only wish to share this experience, which has been for us, one of the most amazing tools for the expansion of the heart and consciousness.
What is Ayahuasca?
PhD in Cultural Anthropology, Josep Maria Fericgla indicates in his expert report entitled "La Ayahuasca es legal en España" that: "Ayahuasca is the most common term used to refer to a mixture of plants, in liquid form, with non-toxic and non-addictive effects that has been used for thousands of years by many ethnic groups in South America. Since 1990, its use has spread to urban settings, throughout North America, Europe and Japan, due to its beneficial properties, the result of the psychological, transpersonal and spiritual experiences it provides. The current use of Ayahuasca has spread in the West thanks to growing interest in alternative medicine, indigenous values and shamanism, as well as self-discovery, areas in which the consumption of Ayahuasca proves to be useful to induce emotional and spiritual states of a healing, introspective and therapeutic nature. On the other hand, it has not been observed that the use of Ayahuasca causes any pattern of compulsive use, or generates any psychological or physical dependency, neither in indigenous cultures nor in the West, therefore it can certainly be said to represent no danger to public health ... "2
As far as we are concerned, after having lived hundreds of ceremonies, we would like to add to this definition of Dr. Fericgla, (which you will find in its entirety in the references at the bottom of the text), a more subjective, poetic, even artistic part, to emphasize the multidimensional aspect of this sacred drink.
Indeed, how can we avoid talking about its divine dimension, mysterious and therefore ineffable, which can never be totally explained, nor described in a scientific or objective way. Ayahuasca is often described as the "Abuelita", the little Grandmother, to whom a deep feeling of love and respect is expressed once one gets to know her. Those who drink Ayahuasca, often talk about the magical element, including amazing synchronicities during or after its use, as well as surprising telepathic experiences, to the extent that a researcher has suggested the name "telepathine" to define its active ingredient.
Ayahuasca: expansion of consciousness and pharmaceutical drugs
Anthropologist Jeremy Narby writes in his book, The Cosmic Serpent3, that the knowledge behind more than 75% of the plant-based drugs sold in Western pharmacies comes from indigenous cultures. When in the field, he asks his research subjects from where they have been getting this knowledge for thousands of years, without having waited for scientific progress, which now validates the therapeutic effect of these discoveries. He is always directed towards the shamans, or medicine men/women who explain to him that they have received this knowledge from the very Spirit of the plants, with whom they are able to enter in contact with, mainly when they drink Ayahuasca.
DMT and legal information
Once again, Dr. Fericgla states in his expert report that "the psychoactive substance of Ayahuasca is known to be DMT, dimetyltryptamine which in its pure or synthesized state is banned by the International Narcotics Controla Board (INCB), appearing in Schedule I of psychotropic substances subject to international control, in accordance with the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 and published on the WHO Green List in May 2010.
The legal misunderstanding that currently plagues Ayahuasca comes from the plants that add DMT to the mixture. Since DMT is a widely available in nature (our brain, for example, produces a lot of it every day), the INCB has set a percentage for prohibition and control, well above the percentage in which it appears in its natural form.
Having said that, this UN agency, in its Article 284, clearly explains and names a series of herbs and herbal preparations, such as Ayahuasca, Iboga, Peyote and hallucinogenic mushrooms and others, "are not subject to the control of the Convention of 1971 nor of the Convention of 1988.”
As a result, and emphasizing the legal arguments, the INCB specifically states that plants with DMT, such as Ayahuasca, are not prohibited by international conventions, as they are not included in the annexes to the above-mentioned conventions. Therefore, having no specific legislation to the contrary, Ayahuasca is not a forbidden psychotropic substance in Spain. "
"All religions are like the branches of the same tree.
They come from and they go to the same source:
that of Love".
A world of eclecticism
According to Gandhi, religions are based on Love. He also said that he considered himself, Hindu, Muslim and Christian all at once. In the same way, we aspire to this great universal brotherhood for all human beings, knowing that there are as many possible ways as there are individuals, to live, feel and discover the divine, including atheism, which is also a sort of quest for Truth. All these different ways can be adapted and are interpreted according to the needs of each culture and each era, but also of each individual, so that we may consider it a true democratization of religion and spirituality.
Ayahuasca and Santo Daime
As far as we are concerned, as we mentioned in the introduction, we experienced this connection and this divine experience through Ayahuasca, which we discovered during a festival, in the spiritual context of Santo Daime. According to the definition found in Wikipedia, "Santo Daime is a religious movement originating in the Brazilian Amazon, whose founder is Raimundo Irineu Serra (born in 1892) and who uses Ayahuasca as a religious sacrament. It has been officially recognized in Brazil since 1972, after a study by the Confen (Federal Bureau of Narcotics) and the Dimed (Ministry of Public Health). The report, made by these two Brazilian governmental bodies, concluded that the psychoactive principles contained in Ayahuasca are safe and it had a positive impact this group had on the social integration of its members.
The Santo Daime, originating from a spiritual syncretism, is also defined as a Christian shamanism. Moreover, its eclectic dimension proves its openness to other religions and cultures, as demonstrated by its "Alliance" with other spiritual currents.
The paradox of the Santo Daime
There is a real paradox for us in the Santo Daime, in the sense that the first approach one may have, generally results in a sudden rejection, especially if one has based his research on what they have seen in various videos that can be found on the Internet. This negative feeling of rejection is probably due to the very rigid and structured impression that it can give, as much because of its Christian dimension, as the fact that one of the most powerful psychoactive substances is consumed. In other words, the first feeling often ends with the famous expression: "Beware: cult!
Fortunately for us, we had not done any research before on the Internet!
For if we had, we would probably not be here today to write these words
or to express our deep gratitude for this tradition which has become one
of our best connections to the divine, or one of our best spiritual “plug-ins”.
We would also like to take this opportunity to claim the right to use
Ayahuasca as a sacrament, as well as our right to freedom of religion and
conscience, without compromising public order or public health.
CEU das AGUILAS
Ceu das Aguilas, the Sky of Eagles is the name we have used since the
beginning of our ceremonies, more than 10 years ago, to pay tribute to the history of the land on which we find ourselves, linked to the Native American tradition through the Red Path. We also chose this name in honour of the royal eagles we sometimes see in the sky. One could say that Ceu das Aguilas is the spiritual name of Amoraleza.
The risks of Ayahuasca and Santo Daime
Knowing that Ayahuasca or the Daime has also been called: the wine of the jungle, we feel it is very important to mention here that neither wine nor Ayahuasca nor the Daime can be considered a panacea in and of itself. In other words, in the same way that the consumption of wine or alcohol does not come without risks, far from it, the same goes for Ayahuasca, with the crucial difference that it is not habit-forming nor addictive.
In terms of psychological safety, the use of Ayahuasca is not recommended for people with personality disorders or with a history of mental disorders (bipolar, schizophrenia, etc.).In terms of physical safety, the use of Ayahuasca is not recommended for people taking medication (including certain natural products), or under the influence of any drug that acts on the serotonin system (anti-depressants).
Ayahuasca can have extreme negative side effects if taken with prescription antidepressants or tranquilizers especially those classified as Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) or Selective Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) as well as amphetamines; antihypertensives, diet pills; medicine for asthma or other breathing problems, medicines for colds, hay fever or allergies (Actifed DM, Benadryl, Benylin, Chlor-Trimeton, Compoz, etc.); CNS (central nervous system) depressants; antipsychotics.
In conclusion, Ayahuasca and other psychedelic substances have received a lot of attention, especially due to the many scientific, psychological and therapeutic studies that it has instigated5. While we welcome these notable advances in health, knowledge and therapy, we feel that it is also important to remember their subtle, intangible and therefore ineffable aspects. These power plants, when used in an adequate context and with deep respect, have a true sacred dimension allowing one to live a unique experience that for many users is actually a divine experience. Hence their appeal and efficiency. Finally, we are convinced that Ayahuasca has yet unknown and surprising applications of which few can suspect the existence, such as the creation of energetic vortexes, a sort of mystical particle accelerator capable of awakening the brain of the most skeptic person, releasing in this way, the potential of love that they keep enclosed in their heart. Ayahuasca appears to be a not only a new opportunity for spiritual maturation, but also an excellent tool for the expansion of the heart and consciousness.
If you would like to receive the rest of this article entitled "Native hybrids of the 21st century", please subscribe to the following newsletter.
1. Psychedelic Healing, The Promise of Entheogens for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Development, Healing Art Press, Neal Goldsmith
2. Expert's Report: "Ayahuasca is legal in Spain", by Dr JM Fericgla (in Spanish)
3. The Cosmic Serpent, Jeremy Narby
Ceremonies, retreat and spiritual works at Ceu das Aguilas:
We organise three different types of ceremonies at Ceu das Aguilas:
Shamanic (with the presence of a shaman)
Alliance, an eclectic ceremony combining elements from different traditions