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#1 Posted : 1/6/2010 2:02:26 AM

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I have noticed, in my time at the Nexus, there are a lot of questions about making Ayahuasca brews; and, having personally experienced a profound degree of healing from developing a relationship with the medicine, I want to facilitate a flow of ACCURATE and USEFUL information, as much as possible. There are so many sub-par techniques and downright misinformed recipes floating around; and, the medicine goes so much deeper than just "whipping something up on the stove," I cringe at the sight of "cheap Ayahuasca kits for the party!" and no mention of awareness or preparation.

Ayahuasca is the one thing I do have a considerable amount of consistent experience with, so I felt inspired to put together an informational thread to the best of my knowledge! Hopefully, with enough collective input, we could perhaps even get something stickied?

Everything shared here, of course, is open to improvement, suggestion, modification, dispute. But, there are so many hard and fast techniques for other types of preparations on this board, I feel like there should be one for Ayahuasca, too! She is an AMAZING teacher, and the healing she facilitates is absolutely worth the effort it takes to make a proper brew. Smile

~*Preliminary Cautions*~
Note: None of these cautions are intended to be exhaustive, and I am no qualified professional of any kind. However, there are a few things I felt the need to mention and give examples, for the sake of raising awareness, notably about MAOIs and the body, and the importance of prospective drinkers fully educating themselves before a journey. There are real physical risks, not from Aya, but from other interactions around her presence; one great resource I wholeheartedly recommend is the Aya forums (http://forums.ayahuasca.com).

*Ayahuasca is not a recreational drug: Ayahuasca is serious, sacred, soul medicine and should be respected as such. There is nothing entertaining about the experience, and the rigorous self-examination that results from ingestion is the polar opposite of escapism. On the other hand, many people have experienced a renewed spirituality, connection to life, freedom from depression, creative insights, inspiration, and guidance that can only be described as "from above."

*Medication: Ayahuasca is an MAO Inhibitor. This means she will potentiate lots of other drugs. Combining MAOIs and SSRIs can result in seratonin syndrome, which is FATAL. I am in no way qualified to give medical advice, but if a person is taking anything, check with a doctor to see if it is compatible with RIMAs.

*Diet: There are many foods that are forbidden in combination with pharmaceutical MAOIs, because the body, when MAOI'd, can not break down tyramine. Most people have found the same dietary restrictions to be extreme in the case of Aya, a short-term reversible MAOI. However, there are others who have experienced negative side effects, usually in the form of excruciating, pounding headaches, from things like soy sauce and caffeine. Lots of meats, cheeses, fermented foods (including overripe fruits), nuts, and alcohol, are some of the greater offending foods, but this list is not exhaustive.

*Also, certain other foods are MAOIs of different types, and may or may not POTENTIATE an Ayahuasca experience. Cacao is the most notable; others have reported black currant juice, chia seeds, Cat's Claw, to name a few. If this is of interest to a person, again, I recommend extensive further research; mixing MAOIs can be *FATAL.*

~*Set, Setting, & Setting Up*~

*It is assumed that most people here will be preparing a brew for a solitary journey. For one's personal safety, as well as for the sake of maximizing what a person will "take home" from an Ayahuasca experience, the setting, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual factors must be taken into account.

*The Setting:
-If one is to go to the spirit world, it makes great sense to tend to the absolute well-being and security of his physical being beforehand. Ayahuasca, at sufficient doses for journeying, will stone the CNS. Movement can become extremely laborious; albeit slightly domesticated in approach, I like to have everything I need essentially within arm's reach.
-The Purge: Dear God, get a bucket! A mop bucket double-lined with plastic bags (nobody likes to scrub puke) is a clean and efficient way of dealing with the purge when it comes. Keep the bucket in arm's reach. Unless, of course, a trip to the toilet is in order; then, take the bucket along. Razz This is not a joke.
-Seated, but elevated: Sometimes, people fall asleep under the influence of the medicine. It is best, then, to have a place to lie down where the body can be propped up/sufficiently elevated. I've never heard of it happening, but it's best to take care; it would be awful to choke on vomit while sleeping.
-Other things to consider in the nearby setting: extra pillows, in case one feels the need to roll around the floor; a glass of water; a box of tissues.
-One candle in the washroom provides a soothing light. Blue is my favorite color. White is too bright, and any other color makes me nauseous. Something to consider!
-Turn off the lights, cover clocks, cover windows. Turn off cellphones, and assure there will be no disturbances. The more one disconnects from external lights and noises, the more easily he can tune into the inner fireworks and symphonies.
-Sitter: Please consider safety, and what works best. My "sitter" is just another person present in the house, who understands what I am doing (shares in the sacrament occasionally), and will offer any support if needed. In well over 100 ceremonies, I have only had to call for my sitter twice; but, for those two times, I was extremely grateful to have someone there. If a person panics and feels tempted to call 911--experiencing the process of death is quite common, but not physically dangerous, though extremely shocking the first time--this is BAD NEWS for everyone, the drinker, the entire entheogenic community and the spirit of Ayahuasca. Please, please, please take care, and do not take the sacrament lightly!!

-Diet: Consider weeding out MAOI-offensive foods 24 hours before and after ceremony. It is good to have the stomach totally empty for about 4 hours beforehand. Consider, whatever is eaten may be "eaten in reverse." (Fruit is very gentle.)
-Movement: Take care when moving around! Abrupt movements, even sitting up too quickly, can result in dizziness or a purge.
-Consider: What kind of relationship does one have with his body? The healings effected by Ayahuasca are possible, in part, by viewing the problems from all sorts of angles, energetic, mental, physical, spiritual. She is a doctor who can perform a check-up on all these levels. Consider the relationship with the body.

-The Ego: One of the most challenging blocks to progress is RESISTANCE. The more the mind resists the medicine--which, again, can be absolutely shocking, especially if there is no prior experience of having one's brain poked through and penetrated by a disembodied consciousness--the more likely one is to have a negative, fearful, or "incomplete" experience. To learn to trust, especially when the experience can feel so foreign, is so important to success. Fear is the cause of resistance. Before drinking, then, one should consider:
-Intentions: What are the reasons for meeting the Mother? If one feels frightened, reciting intentions over and over to himself (even mentally) will transform and navigate the experience. Intentions are a flotation device when otherwise lost at sea. Imagine: "I am here to learn, I am here in love, I am here in gratitude."
-Mantra: This may or may not be similar to intentions, but thoughts, sounds, and prayers, can also shift an experience when it becomes challenging. My two personal favorites are the Gayatri Mantra and the Hail Mary. *shrug*
-Breath: Listen to the breath. Focus on the breath. Breath is the most direct connection living organisms have to the universe. Does the breath reveal anything? Does breathing more deeply shift the experience? Breath is absolutely most powerful.
-Guides: Some people invoke ancestors, guide spirits, or the higher self. Never be afraid to ask for help!

-Any emotions lurking in the mind, rest assured, the medicine will dredge up for examination. This becomes exceptionally powerful in the face of repressed pain or trauma. Be prepared to confront any grief, anger, pain, etc. This is an incredibly powerful source of healing, and often a cause of the purge. Aya can move these energies from the body in amazing ways, so when emotions do surface, the drinker can benefit most by engaging a dialogue with the medicine and surrendering into the experience of the emotion. This is tough work!


-SMUDGE!! Smudge the house!! Burn some incense, preferably White Sage or Palo Santo, if available. State some intentions when smudging: acknowledge all the spirits, seen and unseen, all around. Thank them for sharing space. Banish negativity. Ask for a peaceful and undisturbed journey. Even if one is a raging godless skeptic, give it a try. Pleased It is an inexpensive formality that may reveal more at a later date. Smile
-Other things to consider: Intentions (again), love, gratitude. Is one prepared to expand consciousness, learn to surrender, mature the soul?
-Finally, if every person creates his own reality, and the world around him is a reflection of his inner state of consciousness, all ceremonial preparations are symbolic, like throwing switches on a circuit board. While this may mean nothing to the rational mind, the rational mind by annihilated/absorbed into a greater mode of consciousness, which sees plenty of patterns and symbols within ritualistic actions. Take care to prepare. Clean the ceremonial space before ceremony.

~*Preparing the Sacrament*~

*Acquiring the vine:

-There are many different colors of vine available: white, yellow, cielo, black, red, trueno, and more. There are subtle differences between varities. Yellow is often recommended for beginners; this does not mean it is WEAKER in any way; IMHE, this vine seems to have a "balanced" profile of qualities.
-Vendors: There are many vendors out there. It will pay, in terms of satisfaction, in terms of the planet, quality of ceremony, and quality of CONTENT in ceremony, if a person takes a little bit of time to chat it up with a vendor about his products beforehand. Please support materials handled with love!
-Dosage: Impossible to speculate. Realistically, this could mean anywhere between 50~150g, or possibly more, depending on type of vine and the person. It usually takes a few tries for people to "break through" and find a sweet spot with Aya. My personal recommendation is to take a few whacks at preparing a Caapi-only brew, learning how much vine is necessarily for a psychedelic (the vine alone IS psychedelic!!) experience. Start lower, work up in dosage. Systematically determining the quality of materials relative to the metabolism of the body is preferable to roulette--or a "failed experience." It takes a lot of time and effort to make a brew, so it's best not to rush and waste precious efforts.
-Whole, shredded, powdered, extracts? I personally like working with whole vine: there is more time to speak intentions to the vine and put my energy into the sacrament. When whole vine was unavailable, I have worked with shredded, with no noticeable difference. Some people say surface area impacts the rate of oxidation, and therefore degradation, of materials. Perhaps some people also live in places where they do not have the luxury of hammering the vine. These are just my thoughts. (I'm a fan of whole foods. Razz ) The vine DOES reward the extra effort...


*WARNING: The "unmanageability" and "feelings of insanity" in an Ayahuasca experience multiply EXPONENTIALLY with the presence of admixture plants. It is my advice, then, to first brew admixture materials separately, and begin experimenting with them one at a time, after acquainting oneself with vine-only brews. When an experience begins, the drinker is locked down for hours, and an ungrounded experience with too much admixture CAN result in TERRIBLE PANIC. Some common "servings" of admixtures are mentioned below, as INFORMATIONAL GUIDELINES ONLY. One should always begin slowly, cautiously, with any admixture, to determine the strength. One may have weak materials that require twice as much as "standard"--or incredibly powerful, mind-ripping materials that require 1/4 as much. Do not be foolish! The admixture is also sometimes referred to as "the light;" I suggest making the vine a lover and bringing a romantic candle or two for a journey deep into the heart, rather than seeing the vine as something desired and chasing after with the helicopter search lights. Patience is a virtue...

-Chacruna (Psychotria Viridis): The most traditional of all Ayahuasca admixture plants. Contains nn-dmt.
-Brewing tips: Traditionally, the vine and Chacruna are placed into a pot, in alternating layers. GENERALLY, the ratio of vine:Chacruna is 1:1.
-Practical notes: The alkaloid content of this plant varies widely over the course of a day, which makes harvesting somewhat tricky; for this reason, purchasing Chacruna over the internet is hit or miss. Some report Hawaiian as being stronger. The DMT content of Chacruna is lower than most other admixture plants, meaning a higher volume of plant must be brewed.
-Experiential notes: Chacruna is a POWERFUL catalyst of transformation. Visions have included symbols of ancient language, intense presence of the forest, complete ego-death (precluded by insanity), and actual conversations with plants. A very "green" energy.

-Chaliponga (Diploptys Cabrarena): Another traditional admixture plant. Contains 5-Meo-dmt and nn-dmt.
-Brewing tips: Can be brewed together with or separately from Caapi (but brewing separately will allow one to adjust vine:leaf ratios). Chaliponga is much more potent than Chacruna, gram for gram; some people are completely overpowered by 5g. Again, potency varies widely; IMHO, starting around 2g and slowly increasing would be wise.
-Notes of interest: Some have reported success quidding Chaliponga.
-Experiential notes: Chaliponga is "darker" and "archetypal" in flavor. A powerful spirit, with jungle, shamanic, and occult overtones.

-Mimosa (Mimosa Hostilis): A traditional entheogen, un-traditionally used in Ayahuasca brews for its nn-dmt. There are also loads of other "mysterious jungle alkaloids" that are presently not fully understood...
-Warning #1: Mimosa *MUST* be brewed separately from the vine!! It is normal for a sediment to drop out of any brewed plant material after 24 hours or so; in the case of vine and leaves, the sediment may be consumed, but NOT in the case of Mimosa. It can be prepared in identical manner to the vine, only in a separate pot. After decanting for 24 hours, a dark sludge should fall out; the sludge is responsible for most of the ill feelings and bad experiences related to Mimosa. Decant, filter through pantyhose/cheesecloth, and pour into a sterilized jar. Do not drink the sludge!
-Warning #2: Potent and well-prepared MHRB is extremely unforgiving when it comes to dosing improperly. There are some absolutely insane reports on the web about people taking 8g, or even 25g. Prepared identically to Caapi, Mimosa can become active at .5g, and I would never, ever recommend a dose beyond 3g without EXTENSIVE personal experimentation and perfection of brewing techniques. Very little goes a long way. Less is more, and too much light will bring panic. People have used the word "leash" with this plant.
-Experiential notes: The spirit of Mimosa is extremely vocal about global justice issues. Lots of blues, greens, and reds, in color. No "rainforest presence," as with leaves and vine. When approached in appropriate doses, great mysteries of body, birth, and being are readily explored. Those familiar with jungle spice will find themselves very close to home.

~*...and finally, the recipe!*~

*Due to profound cook times, I like to prepare enough for several journeys at once.
*Energy is everything. Do not abandon the brew while cooking to do something else. Energy in = energy out.
*Some freeze materials overnight before cooking, and say this increases potency, for the sake of breaking down cell walls to release actives.

*Setting up: Smudge the kitchen, speak intentions, give thanks. Open a dialogue with the spirit of Ayahuasca, whatever is in the heart. Stay focused on why one has decided to spend 12+ hours at the stove. Pay attention to all the little details: swirls of steam, crackles and hisses from the pot, the smell of the vine. What is seen in the pot? (5 hours later) NOW what is seen in the pot?

*Always cook with stainless steel. Put materials in an appropriate pots. (I like to cook my admixtures separately; drinking them separately, vine first, light ~20 minutes later, seems most efficient.)
*Cover materials with acidified water: pH of 4 is rumored to be acceptable. I prefer 2.5~3.
*How to acidify: NEVER USE LEMON!! It tastes HORRENDOUS!! Some use phosphoric acid, or Vitamin C crystals (I have no recipe/method for these). I worked with vinegar for a long time; white distilled vinegar leaves the least amount of taste (ACV tastes far worse). One generous tablespoon of vinegar per liter of water is plenty acidic. Smile I have found using less vinegar than this results in weaker brews.
*Type of water: distilled or reverse osmosis works best. This water is already slightly acidic, and there are no minerals (or disgusting tap additives) that will concentrate when the brew is reduced.
*I have recently started using a water filter that uses electrolysis to clean the water and digitally adjust pH (KYK/KanGen/Jupiter/etc.). It works just as well as vinegar, but tastes sooo much better. :O
*It is impossible to say how much water is necessary for a brew. Bring the water to a boil, and then reduce heat to keep the water just above the threshold of boiling. Diameter of pots used will definitely effect rate of evaporation. As materials are exposed, add enough water just to keep them covered. Boil strategically; when nearing the end of each wash, obviously, let the water cook down a little further than usual.
*Washes: Do three boils of three hours. If work keeps a person from doing one long cook, this is a convenient way to "break up" the cooking.
*After the initial three hours of boiling, carefully pour off all the brewed water into a new pot. Cover the new pot with an old cotton TEA-shirt to serve as a filter (before pouring into it, of course Razz ).
*Cover cooked materials with fresh acidified water, and cook again for three hours. Filter into a separate pot.
*Do this one more time, cooking for a total of nine hours. IMHE, cooking for less than nine negatively impacts brew potency. Cooking beyond 12 makes brew slightly more tannic, but does not increase potency noticably.
*Finally, combine all three filtered washes, and reduce.
*Reduction requires UTMOST and CONSTANT attention. It takes next to nothing for pots to boil over and all 9 hours to spill across the stove, and dry instantly, only in the pattern of thousands of eyeballs to mock the brewer's carelessness.
*Ideally, one will eventually combine pots, and switch to using smaller pots, gradually reducing the heat, until only a few ounces are left. The taste is the taste of death; the less material there is to drink, probably, the better.
*Also, the further one reduces, the less likely mold or fermentation is to occur.
*Store in sterilized glass jars. Reduced brew can be stored for several months in the fridge, and be frozen indefinitely.
*Pots and pans may look dirty as hell after the reductions phase; this is nothing a bit of organic dish soap and steel wool can't handle. Smile
*Notes on acidifying: there are many cases in which acid is not added to an Ayahuasca brew (traditional Amazonian preparation, Santo Daime, and among others on the net). Some people say this does not impact the efficacy of the brew; in my personal experience, however, it has. There are too many variables at hand to quickly determine what the cause of this may be at the present time. Adding acid will DEFINITELY turn the taste of the brew for the worse (brewer beware, this is not a joke); feel free to consider all methods, and attempt what sounds best to you. If you do have any experiences to add to this subject, please do share them here with everyone! In my personal experiences, tested multiple times, 200g+ of non-acidified water brings only minimal effects, vs. < half the identical materials brewed the same way WITH vinegar would yield stronger results--in MY experience, again, which is not the same as some others' and a subject worthy of much investigation!! There are things to consider: freshness of materials used, source water, cook times, and possibly much more.

Much love and happy travels!! Smile

Finishing note: There is a rich history of customs and rituals that are well beyond the scope of everything I tried to encapsulate here; so, if anyone is thoroughly intrigued by the Ayahuasca experience, I recommend researching more. There are special diets designed to sensitize the body for healing, shamans do so many incredible things with sound, and other plants (neither MAOI nor DMT bearing)... It's an amazing world. Smile

Please chime in!!
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#2 Posted : 1/6/2010 2:14:06 AM
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Thank you! I am going to be trying this route in the future!
#3 Posted : 1/6/2010 2:31:36 AM

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Very nice post, thank you!

Have you had any different experiences with other additives like datura strammonium leaves/seeds or other tropanes?
#4 Posted : 1/6/2010 2:41:39 AM

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Not by ingestion, yet.

I started growing some Daturas and just sitting around them was something else. They've snuck into visions a few times.

Datura, too much or taken the wrong way, can have some rough side effects, like blindness and death. Their alkaloid profiles change by the hour, apparently. I wouldn't doubt this, the way I've watched them MOVE around. Crazy, crazy plants. So expressive and saucy.

I've heard the seeds offset the nausea, and read some intriguing reports about people who have had experience with shamans.
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#5 Posted : 1/6/2010 2:58:15 AM

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Very nice write-up! Thanks so much for this!
#6 Posted : 1/6/2010 3:03:29 AM

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What a great post! Thank you a lot, the post is full of interesting information, and I think it is a very good idea to spread the use of Ayahuasca. The part about admixtures can be extended a great deal. You could add Ilex guayusa, Capsicum frutescens, Psychotria carthagenensis, Justicia pectoralis, Brugmansia suaveolens and Brugmansia sanguinea, to name a few. Nicotiana rustica (Mapacho) is also often used, but I have never encountered it in the brew itself, only as a snortable waterextract, snortable powder and a cigar taken before and after the ceremony.
#7 Posted : 1/6/2010 4:59:57 AM

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Whoah minxx this is great!

Thank you thank you thank you!
Long live the unwoke.
#8 Posted : 1/6/2010 5:18:57 AM

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:]]]] awesome aya thread minx thanks

<Ringworm>hehehe, it's all fun and games till someone loses an "I"
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#9 Posted : 1/6/2010 5:45:58 AM

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Gadzooks. Thank you very much for this.

Unbelievably educational and well presented post. This is exactly why I love this place and spend such an inappropriate amount of time here.
#10 Posted : 1/6/2010 9:07:25 AM

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I'm so happy everyone is enjoying it. Smile

Evening Glory, do you have any experience with any of the plants you've mentioned? I am mentally arranging an "other plants" section, and will add more soon. I've been working with Wayusa on a daily basis for the past year and a half; but, a lot of the other plants, I have no personal experience with. If you have anything to add, please feel free to share, and it would be appreciated!

The informational thread about Mapacho at the Aya forum runs for PAGES and PAGES and PAGES... for getting a more appropriate taste of the shamanic side, I feel like that site is the most appropriate resource.

But there are several major "helper" plants that could use a mention, still...
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#11 Posted : 1/6/2010 9:40:20 AM

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Indeed another very informative post.

Thank you ms_manic_minxx.
#12 Posted : 1/6/2010 1:52:12 PM

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Thanks a lot for this info! Cool
#13 Posted : 1/6/2010 2:38:28 PM
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I have onec used guayusa, but too little to notice any effects. I have quite some of the stuff still lying around but i don't know what would be a proper dose.

Theobromine is not something i would recomend. It makes me a little more 'fucked up'.

I have good experiences with gingko, cat's claw and rodiola as admixtures.

When using chaliponga, i can recommend to combine it with some psychotria to increase the visuals. They go very well toghether.

If you use mimosa, i would recomend to use a cold-water extract, although you have to use much more mimosa then.
It feels much less toxic then when you boil the stuff.

But the greatest thing to me is realy, to have fresh fruit and fruit juices at hand. There is nothing that feels better than to drink some fresh juice when you're coming down.
Fresh fruit and fresh juices realy work miraculously. You can feel how it energizes the body, how your whole body absorbs the lifeforce it provides.
It is just incredible how good it feels.

And have no fear. Face every confrontation and you will receive blessing beyond your imagination. And this is trueVery happy
The Traveler
#14 Posted : 1/6/2010 2:52:00 PM

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Wonderful thread, I made a stickey out of it!

Kind regards,

The Traveler
#15 Posted : 1/6/2010 4:38:06 PM

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polytrip wrote:
I have onec used guayusa, but too little to notice any effects. I have quite some of the stuff still lying around but i don't know what would be a proper dose.

A common dosage is 1-2 teaspoons per cup.

3-4 for a strong effect. It depends on your body.

I personally would use only 1-2 teaspoons, but I am sensitive to caffeine...very sensitive...Shocked.

And, you can steep guayusa for a long time because it is very low in tannins. They are still there, but not like Aya, mimosa, green tea, yerba, etc...
"Within your heart is a lotus, and within this lotus is a diamond. This diamond is the source of creation, and in all the creation, there is only one lotus."

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#16 Posted : 1/6/2010 8:01:04 PM

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Nice thread!

I have just finished brewing some Aya as it happens... its been quite a while since I made my own brew, been nice getting back into it. I added a pinch of Mapacho to this one.
I brewed up some Chali seperately, still not sure if I will keep it vine-only or add the light... most probably vine-only, I need to build up my trust with Aya again. I've had some fearful journeys of late... not just with Aya but also smoked spice.
balaganist is a fictional character who loves playing the game of infinite existence. he amuses himself by posting stories about his made up life in our plane of physical reality. his origins are in other dimensions... he merely comes here to play.
#17 Posted : 1/6/2010 9:25:10 PM

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truly a blessing to the nexus...i had been working with dmt for about a month and a half before working with ayahuasca. i didnt know what to expect or what would even happen, but i was with my good friend antrocles who was guiding me. my work with dmt had led me to begin emptying my cup. letting go, stop questioning...then the next thing i know i felt like i was feeling death. i saw a dragon(s) doing airshows, fixated upon me above ancient cities..orange skies. i lost all sense of self...even coming back i had to feel if i even had a body..its been three weeks since and i am still learning from it...or unlearning. thank you for your wonderful post.

"wherever you go...there you are"
#18 Posted : 1/6/2010 10:53:53 PM


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I don't have anything much of value to add here other then a big thanks!

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#19 Posted : 1/6/2010 11:36:06 PM

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Can you go into more detail about the individual personality traits of the plant spirits such as Chaliponga, Mimosa and Chacruna?

I find this aspect of the Ayahuasca experience particularly interesting. Despite individual variations in brain chemistry it is fascinating that spirits present themselves in a similar fashion to all people, with underlying personality traits. In a way it almost serves as to legitimize the reality of the experience.
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#20 Posted : 1/7/2010 7:56:08 PM

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Location: PNW SWWA
Your time and effort putting this together is deeply appreciated. I have what i would consider allot of experience with spice but none with the vine. I am now fully equipped to move forth and learn what she has to offer. I will begin to brew very soon. Thanks again.
Ice House is an alter ego. The threads, postings, replys, statements, stories, and private messages made by Ice House are 100% unadulterated Bull Shit. Every aspect of the Username Ice House is pure fiction. Any likeness to SWIM or any real person is purely coincidental. The creator of Ice House does not condone or participate in any illicit activity what so ever. The makebelieve character known as Ice House is owned and operated by SWIM and should not be used without SWIM's expressed written consent.
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