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The ayahuasca ritual

The way in which the ayahuasca ritual will be carried out depends on the tradition to which the shaman belongs. Although there are similarities in the ayahuasca ceremonies that are celebrated in different countries of the Amazon basin, there are also notable differences. Since Peru is one of the countries with the longest tradition of ayahuasquero tourism, many of the people who have taken ayahuasca in a shamanic context have done so in the tradition of Peruvian tribes such as the Shipibo-Conibo, Ashaninka, etc. Ayahuasca ceremonies in Peru are held at night.

Complete darkness makes it easier for the individual to enter the experience due to the elimination of external visual stimuli. Participants gather in a "tambo", a typical Amazonian construction on the ground without walls and with a roof made of palm leaves. The shaman decides how many participants can attend, which is usually a limited number of people.

Before taking ayahuasca, the shaman normally "blesses" the drink. This process consists of singing an icaro (name of the songs that are sung during the ceremonies) and blowing mapacho tobacco smoke (crushed tobacco leaf) into the ayahuasca bottle. Then the shaman gives a cup of ayahuasca to each participant. He chooses the amount according to each person's need, as perceived. The shaman often blows tobacco smoke and flower water (agua florida, a type of perfume with a characteristic odor), before, during, or after the ceremony.

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