Ayahuasca Ceremonies

Ayahuasca Ceremonies

Ayahuasca ceremonies take place in the maloca. The maloca is a traditional Amazonian ceremonial house used for ayahuasca ceremonies and other healing practices. We have two malocas at Dr Sanango: one at our lodge in Jenaro Herrera, and one out in the forest, built by Luco, his sons and wider family. We do some ceremonies at the lodge and others in the forest depending on guests needs. The maloca provides a ritual setting for ayahuasca ceremonies, which follow traditional ‘rules’ of practice that guide the healing. Ceremonies begin at 8-9pm in the forest and 10 pm at the lodge. Participants take their place on one of the mattresses positioned in a circle around the maloca, or in a rocking chair if preferred. We clean and protect the space with palo santo (holy wood) smoke before beginning ceremonies. Don Luco then blesses the ayahuasca and administers to each person individually with the help of apprentices. Participants take a moment to place their intention into the medicine through thought or prayer before drinking and saying “Salud” (“to your health”).  When everyone has drunk the lights go out, as they remain for the duration (ayahuasca makes the eyes very sensitive to light). Participants relax whilst Don Luco begins to sing icaros (sacred medicine songs) to protect the ceremonial space and to call the spirits to help participants. This work with plant spirits and spirits in different realms is integral to ayahuasca healing. Icaros guide the healing throughout, and the shacapa (traditional shamanic leaf instrument) is also played to raise and to cleanse the energy in the space. Don Luco will do individual cleansings (ventiadas/ limpiezas) for participants when necessary to help through the healing process. The maloca is a safe space in which each participant is able to create their own bubble to experience their own healing journey with ayahuasca. Purging is encouraged so participants can feel comfortable to do what they need to do. When the ceremony has come to an end and the effects of the medicine are wearing off participants sleep in the safety of the maloca with Luco and/or apprentice facilitators. Everyone is encouraged to go to the river (or the shower if the river seems too far) for the final cleansing the morning after the ceremony.