Frequently Asked Questions
I’m afraid of getting hustled, how can I find a real shaman? What do I do? Where do I go? And, how do I know that I will be safe?
For a thorough nuts and bolts dive into your deepest questions about basic shaman related topics, we recommend the Shamanism General Overview with FAQ here: http://www.jacobsm.com/deoxy/deoxy.org/shaover.htm
Can Ayahuasca really cure depression?
Heroic Adventures should not be referenced in place of the recommendations of a licensed health professional. Information on this website is provided only to relate the experience of a small set of individuals who have had an encounter they felt the need to write about.
With that said, there are many anecdotal accounts of ayahuasca curing depression.
Additionally, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a non-profit research organization founded by a Harvard PhD, has spearheaded the legal framework for hard science’s investigation into the medicinal value of Ayahuasca for many debilitating health issues.
You can find some of the research topics, including Ayahuasca being used to treat sufferers of PTSD, at this site:
I heard that Ayahuasca was legal in France, is that true?
In France Ayahuasca has been at the center of legal battles, as far as it’s sacramental use: the Santo Daime even went to court over it.
This document–links to document in French—Décrets, arrêtés, circulaires Textes généraux Ministère des solidarités, de la santé et de la famille bans possession for most plant material that you would need to prepare Ayahuasca.
Yet, as in the United States, there was an acquittal of the Santo Daime French Church, we have sourced the original document (.pdf download) of the case acquittal here–links to document in French: Cour d’appel de Paris, 10ème chambre, section B, dossier n° 04/01888. Arrêt du 13 janvier 2005 [Court of Appeal of Paris, 10th Chamber, Section B, File No. 04/01888. Judgement of 13 January 2005]
The Following Are Questions We’ve Received Via Email
Retreats in Ecuador
“Hi there, I am currently travelling South America, I am very keen in participating in a genuine ayahuasca retreat/ceremony whilst I am here. I am currently heading into Ecuador and I am doing research but hard to find any reviews or testimonies [sic] of people doing genuine retreats. If you have any advice or know of authentic retreats that would be great. I have suffered depression since the age of 16 … I am now 28 …. I don’t take any medication but I have read so much research on ayahuasca helping depression…. I don’t put all my hopes into it, but will still be a incredible experience. Thank you”
For retreats in Ecuador we don’t have any specific recommendations at this time. Though, there is one article that was submitted about an Ecuadorian Ayahuasca Adventure, you may want to read it.
For information with ayahuasca and depression, if you haven’t read it yet, check out this article: Ayahuasca Cures Depression.
Retreats vs Home
“I tried brewing Ayahuasca at home and I fail to prepare it correctly. I was wondering if you can help me understand what I did wrong. I DO have a lot of respect for Ayahuasca and want to take that spiritual journey this year. Or do you recommend that I go to a retreat instead of doing it at home?”
Do not try to brew and do ayahuasca on your own. It can be EXTREMELY dangerous and frightening. Collectively we’ve taken dozens of ayahuasca journeys with shamans in S. America and would never consider doing it without an experienced facilitator present.
Moreover our team has done many other entheogens at high doses without any problems on their own but would never do ayahuasca in that way.
That’s our two cents for what it is worth.
So, in conclusion, if you can afford it–go on a retreat or connect up with one of the “churches” such as Santo Daime, UDV, that utilize ayahuasca in their ceremonies. You can even find a facilitator in the United States to try ayahuasca in your own home.
The ayahuasca experience is powerful and worthwhile to go out of your way to try but–without proper preparation and guidance i.e. shamanic icaros that move you through the experience; it can be very unpleasant…
Best of luck,
Where Can I Find a Good Two Week Retreat
“My plans are to spend 2-3 weeks in approx March of 2015 for ayahuasca retreat. The research I have done thus far appears to show that the less one spends the worse the atmosphere and caring is for the participants but perhaps I am incorrect ha I am looking at Peru primarily as I have found no Mexican retreats as yet that appear to have caring atmosphere. I live in Texas and would like the cheapest quality experience closest to me but so far i think Peru is the only place that fits that bill. If you have a list please send me same of ‘good’ rated 2+ week retreats thanks very much !”
The most affordable retreats we can recommend in Peru can be found here: https://www.heroic-adventures.com/ayahuasca-retreats/
From my own experience, I’d go with the Gringo Shaman in Iquitos.
He is a bridge across cultures–he understands deeply the native mind of Peru and shamanism in particular. He is genuine and–in almost any other retreat center you go to–they are using his brew (the Ayahuasca the Gringo Shaman makes is bought and served at many Ayahuasca retreats in Peru, and many ceremonies throughout the world).
So you may as well go to the source.
How to Find Ayahuasca in India
“I have heard a lot about ayahuasca. My college mate had first told me about it and we had decided to at least try it once. But after watching Graham Hancock video about ayahuasca I’m totally fascinated and would like to try it and have an experience of my own. I live in india so is there anyway of tracking shamans and indulge in ayahuasca ceremony?”
Hancock’s TedX talk is amazing. And, even more incredible is the censorship battle it started.
Unfortunately, we are not aware of anyone facilitating ayahuasca ceremonies in India at this time. If you encounter anyone, please let us know so we can add them to our list.
From experience, the best way to go about experiencing ayahuasca is to make a journey to Iquitos, Peru and visiting an ayahuasca center there.
We know that is not likely for most people, but it is really the best way to safely experience the magic that is ayahuasca.
Of course, now that ayahuasca is spreading around the world, it is becoming increasingly more convenient to find ceremonies offered, often underground, in most countries throughout the world. Therefore, there is a high likelihood that ceremonies are happening in India, you’ve just got to connect up with the right people.
Let us know when you find a place to drink tea in India.
“Hello..I live in Suriname South America and i was wondering if you also sell the ayahuasca brew.”
Unfortunately we do not sell prepared Ayahuasca. From experience, we think it is best to utilized ayahuasca in the presence of experienced facilitators and apprenticed trained shamans. With that said to each their own. Good luck. If you do come across any drink in Suriname, write up your experience for us, we’re always looking for great new article for the Heroic Adventure site.
“Hi I am visiting Brazil this June with my main intentions being to find a reputable Ayahuasca retreat and heal some deep rooted emotional trauma. This is extremely important to me and if you could help me out I would be so appreciative. My name is C. O’****** and my email address is **********. I am 100% interested and committed to undertaking this journey. Please let me know as soon as you can whether there are any available retreats for this coming June 2013 or early July. Thank you so much-“
We’ve been looking around for a recommendation for you; personally–we don’t have experience in Brazil that we can reliably direct you to.
With that said, I know a guy, M****, who has drunk Ayahuasca over hundreds of times and performs ceremonies himself; Ayahuasca has had a significant positive impact on his life. We met him in Peru. He lives in *****. Yet, in Peru he had mentioned that he liked the ceremonies in a certain town of Brazil that I can’t recall.
You can touch base with him here:
His website is, http://www.xxxxxxxxxx
I’m sure he’ll have some great recommendation for you.
How do i find a “real” shaman and experience?
“Hello, I hope I am reaching the right people. I have always felt drawn to shamans and ancient cultures even though I was raised as a Baptist in the great smokey mounatins n.c. . I seek knowledge, wisdom, and guidance and I would like to sweat and experience a spiritual ceremony with a real shaman. what do I do? where do I go? and how do I know that I will be safe and not hustled ? Thank you for your help”
Thank you for visiting https://www.heroic-adventures.com and your interest in investigating the spiritual path.
The use of ayahuasca is illegal in the United States, except under religious exceptions granted to bona fide members of certain churches–we know or one individual in Kentucky who can help you, if you are seeking to follow your spiritual path in the United States.
On the other hand, for those interested in shamanistic ceremonies, a number of organizations lead trips to the Amazon Basin.
We can only speak from the collective experience of ourselves and immediate friends, as far as encountering an authentic ceremony. The best way to go about it is to got to South America.
Reputable ceremony providers that we have direct experience with can be found in our new retreat directory here.
One we don’t have direct experience with, but that comes recommended is: http://www.bluemorphotours.com.
There was an article about Blue Morpho in National Geographic, the article title is Peru: Hell and Back, as of May 29, 2017 it no longer appears on: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/ though the
author page of its writer, Kira Salak, remains on the site along with a dead link to where the article was (see screenshot below)….
…updated again June 10, 2020 – Kira Salak’s author page is not longer available on the National Geographic site. Our team did some googling and found the author has the post available on her own site, here, though the design is not as fancy as National Geographic.
I hope that helps,
Dallas, TX Ayahuasca Retreats?
“I live in Dallas, TX and would Appreciate your help and guidance in recommending a Ayahuasca retreat locally. Thanks DW”