Naysha: Different kinds of Ayahuasca

1. Ayahuasca as a vine (physical aspect)

Scientific classification: According to botanists they had found approximately 20 types of Ayahuasca vine.

Shamanic classification: This classification is different from shaman to shaman, tribe to tribe and from tradition to tradition. Some maestros name the vine according to the colour of the flowers, other according to the colour of the vine when they scrape it.

2. Ayahuasca as its psychoactive effect

● The Harakmbut natives differentiate between 22 types of Ayahuasca that they use in ceremony.

● In the north of Peru the vine is defined as: tigre-ayahuasca, rayo-ayahuasca, cielo-ayahuasca, boa-ayahuasca, but they do not agree at all about the characteristics and effects.

The most popular classification for Ayahuasca seems to be:

1. According to the type fo vine

YELLOW AYAHUASCA or MASTER AYAHUASCA is a soft preparation, without a lot of purge and visions. It’s very good for first timers. The visions are soft and the taste is not so strong.

PINK AYAHUASCA or SKY AYAHUASCA is much stronger than the Yellow Ayahuasca and is good for people with a little bit more experience. It is very good for cleansing and healing. It is also known as RED Ayahuasca and is the most popular Ayahuasca.

WHITE AYAHUASCA works mainly in the sexual energy center.

BLACK AYAHUASCA has a big potential for healing and energetic protection. It is not very visual though. Most of the visions are covered by a dense black cloak. It is strong and does a lot of cleansing work. Visions are short but intense.

2. According to the mix

Here we can find differents kinds of Ayahuasca that target a problem more specifically. In the mix a third or fourth plant can be added. This is usually done at the end of the Ayahuasca preparation and which parts of the plant – bark, leaves or roots – will depend on what the shaman wants from the Ayahuasca, energetically speaking.

Ayahuasca + Chakruna+ Tabacco: This Ayahuasca is not one of my favourites. It can be demanding, especially if you have a delicate liver, but it depends on if it is Mapacho or the tobacco leafs from the plant. If it is a Mapacho the mix is very hot for the liver and can create physical distraction. Tabacco is a very powerful plant and spirit and is used for protection and cleaning. I am working on an article about this plant. There are Tabacco shamans in the Amazon.

Ayahuasca + Chakruna + Bobimsana: This is my favorite Ayahuasca mix because the Bombisana plant has the ability to open the heart and get in touch with all the magic inside and outside of us. It is very strong visually and the mareacion (MAREACION is the common word to describe the state one can find in Ayahuasca ceremonies) comes in waves, is strong and then disappears, then is strong again and then disappear. It does so approximately 3 times.

Ayahuasca + Chakruna + Toe: This mix has a very bad reputation, but mostly because people do not know much about Toe. This mix is one of the most powerful mixes, and it is a very visual Ayahuasca, like crystal water. The shaman must know how many Toe to put in this mix, because Toe has a very strong spirit and can be mortal. Toe is in my opinion more powerful than Ayahuasca. Therefore one must be very respectful, do several diets and train to work with this spirit. It is one of my favourite Ayahuasca and I never had any problems with this mix, but I had proper guidance and the shaman I worked with knew a lot about Toe.

Once more: guidance is very important in every Ayahuasca ceremony. There is a lot more to know about this sacred tea.

– Love and gratitude –

Naysha Silva Romero

* For details on classification I used the book: Shamanismo y plantas de poder. Piki EDITORIAL. The translation is mine and I have also added my own knowledge.

Photo: Ayahuasca Vine by Paul Hessell on Flickr

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Naysha: How can you know if Ayahuasca is for you?

Before attending a ceremony it is important to have good information about what are you getting into, especially if you don’t have any experience with visionary plants. Ayahuasca is a tool for opening, cleaning, healing, transforming, diagnosing, revealing and learning. There are several such tools, so how can you know if Ayahuasca is the right tool for you? Ayahuasca is not a magic wand that will solve all your problems. It is very important that you have that understanding in advance so that you are not disappointed with what you get. The plants and the spirit world give you what you need, not what you want.

There are certain things to consider before attending a ceremony.

1. Do you qualify medically to be part of an Ayahuasca ceremony?

If you are taking medication like antidepressants, sleeping pills, antibiotics, or drugs like cocaine, heroin etc. it can be mortal in combination with Ayahuasca, not because of the Ayahuasca itself, but because these substances don’t go together. It’s important that you consult your doctor so that you know how much time your body needs to be free of these chemicals in your blood. There are certain medications that you can avoid 48 hours before a ceremony, but it’s important you check. Chronic heart problems, hepatic and immune system problems should also be considered.

2. Are you mentally ready?

Ayahuasca is not something to mess around with. It is not a recreational drug. It is a strong spirit that will open your perception to the reality. Such information can be difficult to handle for some people – it can blow your mind. It’s very important that you do a ceremony with somebody that has experience working with this plant, like a shaman. If you have mental disorders it is important that you let the person in charge of the ceremony know, because depending on your problem the shaman can better know if Ayahuasca can help you or not. In my opinion people experience mental disorders because:

  • They are too open and and sensitive to everything around then. What they need is to balance the channel or connection again. Shamans for example have learnt how to work with the channel, when to open and when to close it. If you have a mental disorder of this kind Ayahuasca might help, but I haven’t tried it. There are other plants that can help before taking the step of going for an Ayahuasca ceremony. I would personally rather do a ceremony without the person taking the Ayahuasca, just to diagnose the situation and understand how it can be fixed. Most people with mental disorders have an imbalance in the substances in the brain. They have too much or too little, but these substances can be found in nature. Remember that most medications come from plants, some come from animals and some from minerals. Plants help us recover the balance in all senses, physically, mentally and emotionally, because they live in harmony. They are truly connected.
  • Possession. This might sound strange, but in native cultures it is a common belief that people can be possessed by entities of different kinds, because we are living and interacting with different dimensions. This 3D dimension is not the only one. Ayahuasca shows us this. Certain kinds of depressions can be caused by these entities and there are different kinds. There are the ones with a purpose – they don’t manifest or show themselves so much, but they are sucking your vital energy. Their mission is to stop you from your mission in life. They can enter at the moment of birth and it is often easier these days because of all the anesthetics that are used. The well known psychiatrist and hypnotherapist Brian Weiss, who is specialized in regression, has explained that it is at the moment of birth that the soul and the body are truly unified. If the soul is entering a sleepy body under anesthesia, the soul won’t be fully aware about other energies lurking there.

Traumatic situations can also allow entities to enter us, because in traumatic situations you are very vulnerable and open. If you are unlucky you are in the wrong place when you are traumatized and such energies can latch onto you. Other entities can also enter when people play with things they don’t understand, such as Ouija or by taking plants like Ayahuasca without guidance. When you take such plants you open different portals. That is why the shaman does diets as part of their training, because with the diets they get spirit allies or friends that help them in ceremonies. A shaman also learns how to create a safe space and how to hold a ceremony. Most shamans say that taking Ayahuasca without guidance is like going for a swim without knowing how to.

3. Have you tried other tools?

Before attending a ceremony, make sure that your problem can’t be solved in another way. Meditation, yoga and healthy lifestyle choices can help. Remember that you have all the potential to change your life within yourself. The plants help us when we had tried, but can’t change or heal because our blocks are so big. If you feel that you have big blocks that do not allow you to feel or to open yourself to embrace change, then Ayahuasca is something that will really help you. But it is important that you are fully aware that one single ceremony won’t be enough. Sometimes people do not feel or experience anything in the first ceremony, because the first ceremonies are mainly for purging and cleansing the body. It is very important that you do a diet before attending a ceremony, because this will help you clean your body a lot so that the Ayahuasca can work better.

You should also understand that Ayahuasca can help with certain problems, but not all. If the problems you are experiencing in your life come from emotional sources, then ceremonies will help you for sure. But if you want to heal a disease, then you need to take other plants. In that case Ayahuasca can be used to see what the root of the problem is, but because the problem has already manifest physically causing a disease, you will need to diet with other plants. You will also need time to heal. The shaman will know what other plants to do diets with, because in ceremony the spirit of the plants will let him/her know what help is needed.

4. Do you want to learn?

Ayahuasca is definitely a great source of information. It is how shamans manage to know about the healing properties of several plants, because Ayahuasca is a translator for other plants. I call it the Google of the spirits. Ayahuasca has learnt how to communicate with humans. She is the consciousness of the forest talking to us clearly.

Shamans learn about the healing properties of plants trough diets and ceremonies. In the diets the shamans connect with the spirit of the plant and in the ceremonies the plants show the shaman, much in the same way as having a conversation. They look like people, but different, and depending on which part of the plant you want to learn from the spirit appears different. Flowers are always shown as children and it is because they have the highest energy vibration. Roots and barks are shown as adults. They have skin colours and dress themselves with the plants. Chuchuwasa and tobacco spirit, for example, are black and can appear in a female or male energy. Plants have both energy inside, but sometimes one is stronger than the other. Usually the tobacco spirit shows as a black woman or an old man. In some traditions the stories about the first humans explain that they came from a tree and it was a woman. This can explain why the spirits of plants look like humans.

If we are conscious that we are all one, then we can understand that we can experience incarnation as plants, animals, humans and others things during our earth process, since everything that exists has a consciousness.

Ayahuasca help us make our unconscious conscious and through this process we can see, we become observers and thus can find the roots of our problems. With Ayahuasca you will experience death, a small spiritual death where your fears, your ego, your habits and your attachments must disappear so that you can be to reborn again as pure and clean as when you came the first time. Death in this sense only means transformation.

Taking Ayahuasca is a ceremony which begins with the preparation of the Ayahuasca. There are many details that people must know in order to achieve all the benefits of these plants. What do you know about Ayahuasca ceremonies? What you know about ikaros and diets? When the ceremony starts and the shaman starts singing the ikaros, the purging (vomiting) begins and after that come the visions. Visions of your light and your darkness. You will meet your fears, desires and wishes. If you want to grow, to evolve, you must confront them and accept the consequences.

Are you ready?

Naysha Silva Romero

Photo: To Reiterate There Needs to be Artists to Remind Kids that the Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst World is Fucking Bullshit by Surian Soosay on Flickr

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Seeing what you are looking for

You see what you are looking for.

Look at a random group of people. Decide that you want to see someone pick their nose, for example. Soon you will see just that.

If you hadn’t decided that you wanted to see someone pick their nose you would likely have missed it, but since you were looking for it you noticed it.

That is one reason why we have very different views on reality. We are looking for different things and are therefore confirming what we expected to see.

Looking for someone who is picking their nose is harmless, but when we begin interpreting things it can quickly become quite strange. Someone who does not like immigrants will for example find many examples of immigrants behaving badly, but will also interpret situations as such even when that interpretation isn’t resonable.

Photo: Not So Pretty by Emilio Labrador on Flickr

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Spirit in the glass (Ouija)

When I first got in contact with the spirit world friends introduced me through the Spirit in the glass (Ouija). It was my very first tool for such contacts and it is also one that I have used extensively. Nowadays I have other tools that I rather use to make contact, but I still think that the Spirit of the glass has many strengths.

The tool is very simple. You need a glass, a large piece of paper, pens, a candle and friends. In its simplest form you draw circles for all letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0 to 9, a yes circle, a no circle and a start circle. Then you heat the glass, place it upside down on the start-circle, everyone places a finger on the glass and then you invite spirits to talk to you. If you manage to make a strong contact, the spirits will spell out answers with your help by moving the glass over the paper and stopping on certain circles.

A tool for contacting the spirit world

Spirit in the glass is without a doubt a tool for genuine spirit contacts, but it is also one that is surrounded by many strange ideas.

I think it is important to point out that the board, although it may seem very fancy and magical, is merely a tool. Like all tools it has strengths and weaknesses, it has merits and limitations. The tool itself is neither bad nor good. It just is. Our use of it may however be bad or good, respectful or disrespectful, loving or free of love. Choose to have a good intention and to do good.

Spirit in the glass is a tool for spirit contacts. If you do not seek such contacts you should not use the tool. If you want to have genuine contacts in a simple way I would however recommend Spirit in the glass, since it is safe, including and educational. Of course, one should be respectful and serious, but if one is so the risks are small.

Some strengths

Easy to understand and use. It requires no prior experience and most people can partake after a brief introduction.

Educational. Many reach a better understanding when they themselves are involved in channelling. Spirit in the glass is a good tool for practicing one’s ability to channel in other ways.

Including group activity. Everyone can participate and contribute. Compared with, for example, a group séance there will be less focus on one person and more on the group. It works well together with friends.

Some drawbacks

Slow. Other ways of channelling are significantly faster, but are also less educational, including and require specific skills/talents. The amount of information that comes through the glass is limited, but it is common that participants receive more through other channels.

Does not work for people who are shut off. People who are shut off to such experiences are usually not interested in channelling. If they are part of it, it usually manifests as problems in connecting or that the glass won’t move.

Contacts with the spirit world

One should approach the spiritual world with the same respect that you yourself would expect. For example I wouldn’t find it respectful to take such contacts when drunk, to ask silly questions or to treat it like a game. Be respectful and serious, but by all means do have a sense of humour.

I feel that it is ultimately the participants’ attitude and ability to work with the contact that determines how good it will be. There are those who are very ceremonial and sometimes quite theatrical when contacting the other side. When done properly it can help participants to find a common focus, but it is also possible to find focus in other ways, such as with a common goal for the contact.

The spirit world is populated by many types of entities and they often have their own agendas. An overwhelming majority of the spirits that I have been in contact with were pleasant and helpful. Only a few contacts have been pushy, manipulative or nasty. What you need to do when you attract one of those is to clearly say that it is not welcome, and to end the conversation.

Also, remember not to ask questions that you do not want to know the answer to.

Inviting the spirits

How you express yourself when inviting the spirits is important. If you open up by asking “Is anyone there?”, then anyone will answer. By being more specific you can avoid unpleasant experiences with spirits you don’t wish to have any contact with. Sometimes you have a specific person in mind, but you can also be more general in your invitation, such as “Is there anyone here that belongs to me?”.

A friend once compared the situation to a waiting room. All spirits who potentially want to talk to us are waiting there, good and bad. If you have a spirit contact that you trust, that spirit can act as a receptionist in the waiting room and only let good contacts pass. I often find however that our loved ones on the other side are so keen on talking to us that bad energies rarely get through.

Fear

If you are afraid of contacts with the other side, if you think that such things are frightening or if you are worried about attracting negative energies – then don’t try to get in contact with the spirit world. If you are invited to a séance, say no.

If you know someone who you know is scared – do not invite that person to a séance.

If you know that it is ok for you to have such contacts, but that you need to protect yourself – then protect yourself.

If you know that you can have such contacts without any special protection – then it is so.

Read more on the topic of fear and protection here.

Different roles when doing Spirit in the glass

Channel. Some in your group might be more psychic than others. If that is the case the energy will most likely primarily go through them and they might be given additional information.

Leader. It is useful to have someone who is good at keeping the group together and get everyone working in the same direction.

Questioner. It is good to send questions through one person, so that you don’t end up asking different questions at once. You can have one person asking the questions or alternate.

Secretary. It is often appreciated that someone has written down the answers you get. Have someone take notes.

Helper on the other side. With time you will find spirit helpers who want to work specifically with you. In many cases it is an old relative or such. They are often good at locating specific spirits that you want to talk to and can keep bad energies away.

How to do it

Preparation
  • Be safe. Do it with people and in a context where you feel safe. Agree to support and be honest with each other, and not to ask questions that you do not want to know the answers to. Work in a state of mind which is good for spiritual work – calm, focused and sober.
  • Have several friends along. The more people, the more energy, the easier it is to establish contact with the other side.
  • Set aside time and be sure not to be interrupted. Channelling is a nice evening activity, but can be done during all hours. Before you begin you should turn off everything that demands your attention, such as your radio, television, computer and mobile phone.
  • Create a suitable atmosphere. I like to dim the lights, have lit candles and clear the table of everything else.
Working with the board
  • Place the board on the table.
  • Heat the glass over the candle and place it upside down on the start-circle.
  • Have everyone place one finger on the glass; I suggest the left index finger.
  • Have one person invite the contacts that you want and should have.
  • Allow it to come. Sometimes the glass may need a little nudge to get started.
  • Have someone take notes.
  • End the conversation by simply saying thank you, as you would with an ordinary person.
  • If you want to continue you can then invite the next spirit contact. If you want to quit, say thank you, turn the glass over and put out the light.
A few more tips
  • If you want to contact the spirit world it is of great benefit to be properly grounded. If you stand firmly you can go much further in your contact.
  • A person can be good at receiving messages from the spirit world without actually being able to comprehend or interpret them. I have met several people who have a strong contact and find it easy to hear the messages, but who are confused in their interpretations.
  • Scary energies are especially drawn to scared people. It is my experience that such entities are like shadows. They cannot really hurt you, but they can scare you so that you hurt yourself. If you are afraid I think you should refrain from such contacts until you become braver.
  • If someone is the main channel, it is common that that person gets tired first, since s/he is supporting with the most energy.
  • flerafingrarIf you are few participants you can give the glass more energy by placing two fingers on the glass (index and middle finger) or even four fingers (for example, index finger and middle finger of both hands).
  • If it feels like the glass is stuck or pressed against the table, try have the participants remove their fingers one at a time. Sometimes a sceptic will block the energy without even being aware of it. When this has happened to me it has been ok for the person to stay in the room, but without touching the glass.
  • Add circles for repeated contacts. In this way the spirit does not need to spell out the name, but can simply go to their circle to show who it is.
  • Be creative and intuitive when designing your board. I have made many modifications to the original version, some of which have been very good and others unnecessary. Good modifications, for example, have been the circles with smileys and the circles with the words perhaps, irrelevant and both. I added circles for the four elements, but they have been superfluous.
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Breathe in glitter

Breathe in glitter.
Breathe out black smoke.

Breathe in rainbows.
Exhale grime.

Continue until the smoke and grime is gone;
until you are only breathing glitter and rainbows.

● ● ●

I have Milea to thank for this sparkly version of a cleansing breathing exercise. One often hears that one should breathe in light and breathe out smoke until all the dark is gone, but it I find it to be much fun with glitter and rainbows. And you can of course change it to what suits you best.

So go ahead.

Close your eyes.

Breathe in pink bubble gum flavour, kisses, spring air, love, respect, and the smell of freshly baked bread.
Exhale factory smoke, old sweaty gym socks, dishwater, dog poop, anger and envy.

Now how do you feel?

Photo: Breathing out the Warmth by LearningLark on Flickr

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Pruning the hedge

The garden had been neglected for many years when we were invited to work with it. A beautiful old hedge ran along one side of the garden, but with time it had become an overgrown shrubbery. It became my first priority which I met with enthusiasm and a sturdy pair of hedge clippers. The shrubbery scratched me, poked me and hit me in the head. I went home with abrasions, lacerations and bruises.

The next day I was not as eager. Instead I began by explaining to the elves what I wanted to do. I touched the branches and told the hedge what I wanted to achieve. Only then did I begin cutting and sawing.

The difference was like night and day. When I started by telling the hedge and its inhabitants what I wanted to do, everything went very easy and I wasn’t injured at all.

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Cleansing semi-precious stones

As I began my spiritual journey I was immediately drawn to working with crystals and semi precious stones. It quickly became apparent how important it is to cleanse them from time to time. Here is a very basic way of cleaning crystals:

  1. Cover the crystals in natural sea salt and let them lie over night.
  2. Rinse them under running water.
  3. Leave them to dry in the sun and/or light of the full moon.

As with all such things it is best when one is intuitive and adapts how one does it depending on what the crystals want. The method described above is only ONE way and it can be adjusted in a hundred ways.

Other ways that have presented themselves to me is to cleanse the crystals in running water (in a creek or the sea), by passing them through fire or by burying them in the ground. With the simple cleansing exercise above I have often been asked to leave them in the different elements and I find that the best cleansing is when I afterwards charge the crystals first in the light of the full moon, then in the sun, but after that also in the rain and wind.

Raw crystals by LeAnn on Flickr
Raw crystals by LeAnn on Flickr

Different crystals have very different personalities and properties, so one shouldn’t generalize too much, but many crystals will absorb energies as you work with them. I had a wonderful Citrine that I worked with a lot. After a while it would become quite dull and murky, but after cleansing it would shine as if it had stored the suns radiance. The feeling of the crystal would change in the same dramatic manner. When it was dull it was impotent compared to when it had been cleansed.

Many other things, such as jewellery and tools, can be cleansed in the same ways. Again, be open to change the method to fit the specific occasion and thing.

Photo: Citrine by Summer Foovay on Flickr

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Remember this when life gets you down

There will come a day when all that is left of this moment is a memory. With time that memory will fade because you will have learnt the lessons and moved on. Your situation may feel disgusting right now, but there is one thing in life that is truly constant and that is that it is always changing. In all aspects, big and small, it always changes. Where you are today, you will not be tomorrow. What hurts now will not always hurt. When life is really dreadful, when you got the wind knocked out of you – then remember this. There will come a day when all that is left of this is a memory, if even that.

Photo: Be careful getting outta that… by DaMongMan on Flickr

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