How to prepare for Ayahuasca Ceremony


A few basic considerations before ayahuasca ceremony can make a large difference in your ability to receive the medicine’s gifts. Then you can more easily let go once you have taken your first cup, trusting in yourself, your guide(s), and ayahuasca, known as abuela or the grandmother.

Diet: Your guide or shaman will most likely direct you to follow some guidelines for several days or weeks before and after drinking. The ayahuasca diet varies in its details but in general avoids heavy, rich, acidic, and spicy foods. Some recommend eating a light meal the morning of an evening ceremony and fasting the rest of the day. Try to find the balance between having enough food to nourish yourself and keeping your stomach relatively empty. This will make the purging that can happen with ayahuasca (diarrhea and vomiting) less uncomfortable.

Sex: Ask your ayahuasca guide/shaman what is recommended regarding sex, and then check in with yourself. Some urge participants to abstain from any sexual activity for days or weeks before and after ceremony; others say sexual activity within a love-based relationship is okay. Whatever you decide, the point is to be mindful around the powerful energies that come with sexuality and what you might be inviting to attend you during ceremony.

Intention: Draw on your spiritual practice to prepare for your first ayahuasca ceremony. Whether it be through prayer, meditation, journaling, bodywork, speaking with trusted spiritual guides and spirit animals — you can set an intention for ceremony. Some like to focus on one word or mantra that can be used as a grounding touchpoint; others may ask specific questions of ayahuasca. Once you have selected your intention, breathing into what you would like to bring to ceremony, take that first sip, and let go.

What to bring: Generally, less is more. After drinking the ayahuasca medicine, you may find it difficult to keep track of and remember items you have brought, and space might be tight depending on the setting. Ask your ayahuasca shaman/guide what is recommended to bring. In general, a few basic items can help you feel more comfortable, such as appropriate clothing and bedding, cushion, and a water bottle. Some participants bring items that can draw specific energies and provide healing, such as crystals, feathers, stones, photographs, etc. Your ayahuasca guide/shaman may invite you to place such items on an altar in the center of the room.

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SOL Circle hosts sacred plant medicine retreats in the jungle of Costa Rica. We have a beautiful hosting center, embraced by the forest and blessed with pure waters. We live here as a heart-centered community by the principles of truth, simplicity and love. We look forward to welcoming you and supporting you through your Ayahuasca experience. Many retreats also include sweat lodge purification ceremonies with San Pedro. Our retreats offer the opportunity for a transformative getaway, a spiritual self-awakening and healing for your mind, body and soul.