“Have you ever tried ayahuasca?”
I was just getting up to leave my sunny spot at a café on the island of Ibiza in Spain when Anthony, a crusty, middle-aged Englishman who didn't wait for an invitation to have a seat at my table, nonchalantly threw out the query.
“Interesting you should ask,” I replied, stuffing my Moleskine notebook and pen into my bag. “I’ve been looking for someone to interview who’s tried it, but haven’t found anyone yet.”
Ayahuasca, a plant from the Amazonian rainforest, has come into vogue lately as a sort of psychedelic healing tool. Today, you can find rituals organized in places like LA and even the Midwest, and “sacred plant retreats” run by Americans and Europeans that bring people to Peru to experience the drug in a supervised setting.
Proponents say that one five-to-six hour “trip” that follows after sipping tea made from its leaves is roughly equivalent to a decade of psychotherapy, but indigenous South Americans have used it for ages in spiritual rituals and as a cure for myriad ailments.
“Take my number and call me. We do the ceremonies in a teepee up on the hill,” said Anthony, waving a finger in the general direction beyond and above my head. “It’s invite only, and I’m inviting you.” Intrigued, but knowing good and well I wouldn’t be calling him, I offered a sincere thank you and headed back to my Airbnb digs.
Why not take him up on his offer? Well, I didn’t get the spiritual vibe off this fellow that I had associated with the ancient herb and its sacred rituals. I still want to interview someone who’s experienced it (and maybe even give it a whirl myself!), but I want the connection to be made in the spirit of enlightenment-seeking and not just getting high for getting-high’s sake. (And sorry, Anthony, if you happen to be reading this and I read you wrong!)
Have you or would you ever try ayahuasca? Do you know someone who has? If so, I’d to hear from you! Send me a note at email@example.com.
I'm Aurelia, creative director here at Swell! This is my space for sharing thoughts and ideas with readers on more topics dear to my heart: Travel, wellness, veganism, and style, and living creatively and compassionately.
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