What happens when you bring a group of visionaries together to work with one of Mother Earth’s most visionary teas and receive profound ayahuasca visions? We’ll leave that answer up to your imagination. The long answer is full of big words that hold bigger potential, like transformation, expansion, elevation, heart-centered leadership, and so on.
In short, that’s what we do at 1heart. The people we tend to serve are high-performing Type-A humans. They’re leaders, change-makers, entrepreneurs, ex-founders, current founders, mothers, fathers, siblings, and other driven conscious creators. These people have big dreams, and chances are, they’re well on their way to achieving them.
However, just like 1heart’s CEO learned the hard way, turning a dream, or a vision, into a reality can’t fill the spaces of meaning, fulfillment, self-worth, or self-love that many of us seek to nourish through external means.
But this isn’t a blog post about the potentially turbulent consequences attached to an illusory, external affirmation or achievement that brings to the creator’s life. If that’s what you’re looking for, head to Brandon’s original & viral thought-leadership article, Lost on Purpose.
Instead, this is content about the nature, as best we know it, of Ayahuasca visions. Ayahuasca visions presents Journeyers insights, personal significance, healing, and transformation. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words are woven into an ayahuasca vision?
Unveiling the Ayahuasca Experience
Ayahuasca affects human consciousness and has the ability to induce altered states of consciousness or take someone on a Journey of vibrant memories, sensations, goals, and visions.
During these experiences, participants often encounter a diverse array of visionary experiences that can be incredibly intense and vivid. These visions can range from geometric patterns and vibrant colors to encounters with ancient spirits, mystical beings, ancestors, spirit animals, other beings from the spirit world, or even personal memories. Some even report experiencing a sense of transcendence, unity with the universe, and a profound connection to nature and the spiritual realm.
The Nature of Ayahuasca Visions
Ayahuasca visions can be highly subjective, deeply personal, and influenced by an individual’s unique psychological and emotional makeup.
As one of my teachers once shared, “Focus more on the feeling that came alive during the vision, rather than the fine details this vision articulated.”
The brew’s psychoactive compound, DMT (dimethyltryptamine), is responsible for inducing these visions by modulating serotonin receptors in the brain. And the DMT lives in the chacruna leaves, while the vine has MAO inhibitors that allow our bodies to process DMT and make this not-so-tasty tea priceless in a person’s path of self-realization and intrapersonal or generational healing.
Rain forest shamans, like powerful, reverent healers in the Amazon, have been using this psychoactive brew for thousands of years to induce visions that aid in their communities, families, and culture. In fact, a Colombian elder recently drank yagé, a different strain of ayahuasca, in the Amazon to help a group of government and indigenous rescuers find children that crash-landed and were stuck in the jungle for weeks.
The visions are often described as more real than reality itself as if opening a portal into the subconscious mind or spirit realm. They can be awe-inspiring, terrifying, enlightening, overwhelming, or deeply emotional, guiding individuals toward self-reflection and understanding.
Ayahuasca visions experienced in a safe and strong container can be the change that sets you off on a path of alignment, passion, and community. We’ve seen this time and time again. Because as we see the vast ecological destruction plaguing Mother Earth, it’s almost like the planet is telling us to wake up and get it together so we can work together to build a better world. Visions with this interconnectedness and planetary passion are common too and receiving something like this is one way to shake up your snowglobe.
The Significance Is Subjective
Ultimately, ayahuasca visions are intensely subjective. And it can take weeks, months, or years for that vision to land into a Journeyers reality and all of a sudden click.
This goes to another teaching on visions from a different teacher of mine who says “Visions are simply ideas for a direction.” It’s important not to get lost in the finest details of a vision and commit our life to bringing that exact vision to life. This teaching pairs well with the first because by focusing on the feeling of the vision, an integrated person will allow their feelings to pull them in the direction of this vision that lit a sacred fire in them.
When a person follows their feelings rather than a concrete vision, they become more flexible on their path. I’m sure this wasn’t in Kung Fu Panda, but I’m going to attribute them as the source… just imagine Grand Master Oogway or Master Shifu whispering wisely in your ear, “Be like bamboo. Strong and flexible.” Because those white-knuckling their perfect vision will eventually break when life or their vision asks them to bend one too many times.
Or the perfection of the vision becomes a like a Siren from Greek mythology. This vision becomes so alluring that it never takes on a life of its own. Someone tricks themselves so deeply that the fantasy of their vision is the only life it has. Don’t get caught up in the perfection of the past, even if it’s the most beautiful ayahuasca vision. You were given such a profound gift because you’re the one meant to bring it into the world.
For me, that’s the biggest difference between a vision and a fantasy. A fantasy is a perfect piece of my imagination that only I get to appreciate because it doesn’t have the legs to stand in reality, no matter how strong my mind makes it out to be. On the other hand, a vision is something that can be appreciated collectively. Because a vision can meet the tension of reality and hold its own. Visions crave to meet the physical nature of our reality. Fantasies, like shadows, can’t bear the light of day.
Decades of Therapy in One (or Some) Vision
Ayahuasca visions have the power to heal years or decades’ worth of psychological, energetic, or spiritual scar tissue in a handful of ceremonies. Think about that…
Let’s say someone’s deepest wound or core trauma – that energetic pattern that’s been keeping them small, makes them emotionally explosive, closed down, toxically driven, etc, etc for 10 years – becomes seen, felt, acknowledged, thanked, released, and transmuted into creative, healing energies and stories in three ayahuasca ceremonies. And the average ayahuasca ceremony lasts six hours. So that’s about 18 hours of DEEP work to heal something that’s riddled someone in toxic, and rationally safe ways for almost 88,000 hours.
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
― C.G. Jung
Eighteen hours of soul work with the Mother of all Medicines (AKA Ayahuasca) to unburden oneself from 88,000 hours of baggage, acting out, immense self-doubt, and a host of other not-so-great consequences of generational scar tissue… It’s no wonder many say one night with ayahuasca is like 10+ years of talk therapy. Sometimes I like to say drinking ayahuasca is like going to therapy with God while being coached by God all at the same time. It’s not easy work by any means, and yet there are few things as rewarding as the smile that meets someone’s face as an ayahuasca ceremony closes.
Potential Significance Within Ayahuasca Visions
The Ayahuasca experience is renowned for its potential to evoke profound and transformative visions. For those who embark on this sacred journey, the encounter with Ayahuasca visions can be a gateway to healing, spiritual awakening, expanded consciousness, and personal growth. These visions, often vivid and awe-inspiring, carry significant benefits that extend far beyond the duration of the ceremony.
- Healing and Emotional Release: Ayahuasca visions provide a unique opportunity for individuals to confront and address deep-seated emotional wounds, traumas, and unresolved issues. These visions can bring suppressed memories to the surface, allowing individuals to acknowledge and release pent-up emotions. By embracing and processing these emotions, individuals can experience profound healing, leading to a greater sense of emotional well-being and inner peace.
- Spiritual Awakening and Connection: Some visions can lead to a heightened sense of spiritual existence and connection to the divine. Participants may encounter spiritual beings, and ancestral energies, or experience a profound sense of unity with the universe. These experiences can awaken a deeper understanding of one’s purpose, foster a sense of interconnectedness with all living beings, and inspire a spiritual awakening that extends beyond the Ayahuasca ceremony.
- Expanded Consciousness and Insight: Visions induced by plant medicine can expand one’s consciousness, offering new perspectives and insights into life’s mysteries. They can challenge deeply ingrained beliefs, provide clarity on personal challenges, and offer guidance on life choices. By accessing these heightened states of consciousness, individuals gain a broader understanding of themselves and the world, leading to personal growth, self-reflection, and an increased capacity for empathy and compassion.
- Self-Exploration and Personal Growth: Ayahuasca visions invite individuals to delve deep into their psyche and explore the inner landscapes of their being. These visions can reveal patterns, behaviors, and aspects of the self that were previously hidden or overlooked. By shining a light on these aspects, individuals have an opportunity for self-reflection, self-discovery, and personal growth. Ayahuasca visions can help individuals identify areas for improvement, enhance self-awareness, and foster a greater sense of authenticity and alignment in life.
- Integration and Positive Life Changes: The insights gained from Ayahuasca visions are most impactful when integrated into everyday life. The profound experiences and revelations can inspire individuals to make positive changes in various aspects of their lives. Whether it’s improving relationships, pursuing new career paths, adopting healthier habits, or cultivating a deeper connection with nature, Ayahuasca visions can serve as catalysts for transformation and empower individuals to live more fulfilling and purposeful lives.
These powerful visions can allow a person to explore concepts related all throughout their life in what feels like a moment or two. This byproduct of ayahuasca can be immensely supportive of someone on their personal spiritual journey because, as shared earlier, these experiences allow for exponential growth opportunities in short spans of time.
However, if someone hangs on too tightly to the vision and struggles to ground these newfound and aligned feelings and transformative potentials into their day-to-day habits, visions turn into memories rather than new agreements.
Integration and Personal Growth
While Ayahuasca visions offer powerful experiences, the true impact lies in the integration and application of these insights into everyday life. Integration involves reflecting on the visions, exploring their meanings, and incorporating the lessons learned into personal growth and development. It is essential to work with experienced facilitators, therapists, or support groups to ensure a safe and supportive space for integration.
At 1heart, we’re building a team of integration specialists – from our medicine team to staff members – that can help a person make better sense of their ayahuasca experience and corresponding visions. That said, to be in this position to support someone in these tender moments following an ayahuasca ceremony takes years and years of personal work plus going on dietas to work with their remarkable plant teacher while learning from strong, light-bearing teachers.
That’s another thing to look out for when selecting your ayahuasca retreat… Do the medicine team and supporting staff feel like they’re working alongside you in that they’re also processing their own healing journey and developing themselves to be better communicators, students, and leaders? If there’s spiritual bypassing, don’t forgo that lack of integration. After all, no one is exempt from problems and doing their work, no matter how many ceremonies they’ve been in.
Ayahuasca Visions Alchemizing Into Visionary Art
A blog post on ayahuasca visions wouldn’t be complete without touching on visionary art, or transformation creative expressions born inside and outside of ayahuasca ceremonies.
A renowned South American Native shaman, Pablo Amaringo, is best known for his storied journey into the psychedelic realm which is captured in a book co-authored by himself and Luis Luna called, The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman. He was first brought into the Western world by Dennis McKenna and Luis Luna, who met Pablo in Peru while they were traveling and working on an ethnobotanical project. And as they say, the rest is history.
Pablo brought ayahuasca art to the mainstream, or at least to the culture of Westerners. He’s a Peruvian shaman whose artworks integrate plant teachers. And by working with the wisdom of these plant teachers, he’s able to articulate vivid psychedelic art without any words.
In fact, 1heart is lucky to work with our own visionary artist. She’s an ancient soul and a true force of nature with fascinating and authoritative work whose expressions turn into visionary art and powerful prayers in the form of songs. Her icaros were so powerful one Journey that the CEO of 1heart had to step out of the maloka for a breather.
The Closing Ceremony on Ayahuasca Visions
Ayahuasca visions have captivated the minds and hearts of individuals seeking profound experiences and personal growth. These visions can be both enchanting and challenging, unveiling hidden aspects of the psyche and guiding individuals towards healing, spiritual awakening, and expanded consciousness.
And it’s important not to get lost in these visions. Remember the feelings and head in a direction guided by those subtle sensations rather than a utopian vision.