LEFAIR Magazine SUMMER 2016

Page 82

Ayahuasca — A Guided Tour Through One Woman’s Trip


Writer Lauren Valencia @poshsquatter

rom pop culture to the world of alternative medicine, ayahuasca has been a trending topic lately. Taken as a tea in a ritualistic ceremony, it has been used for centuries in Peru and is associated with intense visions and spiritual exploration. Whether seen on the Netflix series Chelsea Does or in the pages of Vice, stories about people’s experiences with ayahuasca have been capturing the public’s imagination and interest. While individual experiences may vary vastly, there are some common themes, intentions, and outcomes. Like most psychedelic drugs, it has an air of mystery because it can be so difficult to explain to someone who has never tried it. LEFAIR Magazine was fortunate to chat with Anna (pseudonym) and get a first-hand look at the fascinating and occasionally terrifying details of an ayahuasca experience. To understand ayahuasca, it helps to set aside what we may know or assume about other mind-altering drugs like acid/LSD, mushrooms/psilocybin, or molly/MDMA. First off, ayahuasca is not considered a recreational drug. Instead, it is taken as part of a spiritual journey where people are often seeking enlightenment on personal, physical, and emotional issues ranging from addiction to relationships. Consequently, there is no party atmosphere, but rather one of ceremony that may include a shaman, music, and singing. Instead of escapism, think self-reflection. First-timers may not know exactly what they’re getting into, but there’s an expectation of a deep personal experience that may include visions, memories, and other sensory hallucinations.


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