Ayahuasca being made. Photo by Zoe Helene

Ayahuasca: Why Travelers Swear by This Trip of a Lifetime
by Katherine Alex Beaven

Burroughs called it yage, but the tropical wood vine Banisteriopsis caapi, and the brew it makes when boiled and mixed with Psychotria viridis leaves, has been been known by several names and used for thousands of years across the Americas, within Panama, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia.

You probably know it as Ayahuasca.

One such example (of a poor experience) may be the shaman, Little Owl, who is mentioned in the New Yorker article The Drug Of Choice For The Age Of Kale. Psychedelic Feminist and Ayahuasca advocate Zoe Helene laments to me over the phone, "It was a well-written article, but I wish she would have followed it up by going on a [real] ceremony in the jungle." On a different call, her husband, also mentions writer Ariel Levy's experience, saying that no ceremony he has ever attended has been led by someone who would allow for such disruption (CONTINUED...)

"Helene argues the point that people like herself, her husband, and anyone who is respectfully approaching this plant medicine, and who incorporate their Ayahuasca experience into their lives at home, are contributing to the cultural preservation -- not appropriation -- of this sacred vine and culture." - Oyster

September 2016