Ayahuasca Healing Experience (Medicine Wheel TX) The School of Shamanic Initiation

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18 Reviews on “Ayahuasca Healing Experience (Medicine Wheel TX) The School of Shamanic Initiation”

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Ceremony leader/Leaders
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  • Ceremony leader/Leaders
    Ceremony Location

    I have participated in 3 ceremony weekends with this group. The first two were led by Jessica and were very nice, but after the last, the only one at which Shaba was there, I will never join them again.

    During the second ceremony that last weekend, I was changing clothes, and Shaba snuck up on me while I was nude, and told me to dance and be free and go into the woods (by myself, naked, on ayahuasca?!). Luckily I had the presence of mind not to listen to him. He pressed me on it for awhile, trying to convince me, but when I kept saying no, he then suggested I instead roll around in the dirt nude and pretend to swim. I told him no and to go away at least several more times, but finally I had to basically run away back to the group to get away from him. It was so weird, creepy, inappropriate, and perhaps dangerous, judging by these other posts.

    Afterwards I notified Jessica in writing, and rather than addressing the situation internally, she/they just removed me from their email lists. This was surprising and hurtful, bc I had experienced positive healing and gotten close to members of the group. But it also showed me that the group as a whole works together to cover up any bad behavior by Shaba or the other men.

    There were also many other red flags throughout the weekend with Shaba (mainly him being dominating and controlling, physically forcing someone to take hape that didn’t want to for example), so sadly I will not be joining this group again and would not recommend it to others.

    1. I just created account JUST so that I could comment on your post, Carolyn. First of all, that is SO insanely creepy. Makes me want to vomit. I’m so sorry, from stranger to stranger, that you had to deal with such sick, predatory behavior from a supposed shaman. Vulnerable women come here seeking healing and this is the kind of experience they are going through, only to later have their voices stifled by Jessica to avoid slandering both the school’s and medicine wheel’ reputation. I myself, felt very uncomfortable while undressing because his eyes were unashamedly on me (though I was wearing a sports bra) during the one ceremony I participated in, in 2020. My friend, also at this ceremony, was pulled into his lap and casually groped while we were all deep in the medicine (which, by the way, was noticeably different in taste, looks and strength from one night to the other). She was unable to break away because she was not in control of her body but was so upset about it afterwards because she came to seek healing from her past (sexual abuse from her father). It makes me SO sad. Again, I am so sorry about your experience and I hope karma will prove itself present.

  • Ceremony leader/Leaders
    Ceremony Location

    This review is for The Shamanic School of Initiation’s ayahuasca ceremonies. I have never taken any of their private classes. To be honest, I can imagine that some of those “rituals” can get weird… this school’s approach openly embraces many forms of occult traditions, including their own ties with medicine tribes in Mexico and Peru. That’s not for me. As someone mentioned on here, it is important to remember that you can navigate your own experience. In my experience, this school has never made me do something I don’t want to do. I have declined certain medicines and rituals in each ceremony I have attended. Sananga and Rapeh are not for me! Ha.

    My three ayahuasca retreats with this group have completely changed my life. I know how cheesy that sounds, but it’s true. As a complete 180 in my life, I feel confident in who I am and my abilities to navigate my existence. I understand myself and my family in ways that I will never forget. It has been incredibly liberating. I don’t feel cured of the anxieties I went in to retreat for, but I do feel stronger then them now. I feel like I have the space to hold myself and get through anything.

    While on my retreats, I felt completely safe and supported by the facilitators. But what stuck out to me most was the way our entire group fused together to share the journey. By my experience, this was a safe circle to experience the full range of human emotions. Even some super human ones. Yes, people definitely lost their minds and it was scary. Ok, I was the one who lost my mind and scared myself and everybody else. But I never once felt judged by the facilitators or the group. I was kept completely safe physically. The next day when I got in my head about losing it, the entire group embraced me. It was the most beautiful acceptance I’ve ever felt.

    To be transparent, my friend prompted me to write this review. A few of us, as past participants, are both confused and mortified by these reviews. All we can do is share our own experiences and encourage other people to do the same.

    1. J T

      For whats it worth many people have had great experiences but mostly because Ayahuasca is great it is the true healer not a guru who changes his name to sound more shaman like. It has been well documented what “Shaba” has done to women in Texas and in California. Not, Hape or sanaga weird, taking off your cloths and preforming sexual acts for him on camera wierd or sleeping with him in the same bed, massaging certain women in ceremony, telling multiple women he was their past life husband, many acts of removing clothing, even him removing the clothing himself. Shabas wife was even made aware of the issues at one point, I think the hope was he would turn a new direction and clean up his act once so many women came forward, but it sounds like there is a lot of denial and sweeping under the rug going on from reading a lot of these posts. Hopefully more people involve the authorities in the future. The legality of ayahuasca is a very gray area still, and having people like him that can ruin it for everyone is no good.

  • Ceremony leader/Leaders
    Ceremony Location

    I have been sitting in ceremony with Shaba since 2018. Since then, I have brought my closest friends and family to sit in his circles. Never once have I ever felt unsafe, unseen, or unheard. His approach to the medicine is passed down from traditional tribes in Peru and Mexico. With that means there is a lot of “far out” perspectives. That said, Shaba always teaches that we are our own medicine, that this journey is ours. Rather than telling us what it all means, he creates space for us to decode things in our own way.

    The reviews on here are very disturbing. There are some very legitimate concerns and a lot of nasty rumors. For those of you who were harmed, this is not acceptable. For those of you who engaged in some activities and then later regretted it, my heart goes out to you. That said, I feel it is important that I stick up for someone who I consider not only my teacher, but my close friend.

    Shaba’s name is not Carlos. He also has no association with Ayahuasca CD Juarez. It makes me wonder, are people confusing identities? For example, the pictures below are not of Shaba or his group. I do not recognize the location or the people in it.

    Not only do I trust Shaba, but I trust his wife. I have had the pleasure to get to know her over the past few years. She is smart, beautiful, and compassionate. The allegations of rape are very serious. I am grateful that the authorities were contacted in this regard. But for those who are accusing Shaba of infidelity with his own private relationships is not our place to say. As someone mentioned, Shaba openly talked about having shifted some of his practices after consulting his wife. As of today, they are still happily married. Being a married person myself, I know the hard work it takes to feel the trust and safety required to have a successful relationship. For the people that were harmed or have regrets, you deserve to be heard. But for the people spreading nasty rumors (most of which I know to be entirely untrue), this is not ok.

    While there are a number of negative reviews on here, it is worth noting that Shaba’s facebook has nearly 6000 likes. This accounts for something. I am not accusing anyone of lying. I also see it entirely possible that only a few people could be assaulted or worse off from their ceremony while thousands remain better from them. However, I have to trust my own experience over those of these online reviews. When I saw these, my stomach flipped upside down. I talked to Shaba. I heard his side. I heard about the changes the School made to mitigate these types of atrocities.

    I wouldn’t be who I am today if it were not for my time with Shaba. And I’m not talking about giving Shaba credit for this. I am talking about the value in myself that my time with Shaba showed me. I love who I am, I love life, and nobody can take that away from me. I owe that perspective to my time with Shaba and the hard work I have put into my ceremonies.

    The different tones on these reviews is quite obvious. Some people are on here to be nasty, saying things that are entirely untrue. When I compare these reviews to my time with Shaba and his company, where I feel I should place my trust is clear.

    Ayahuasca is no joke. Ayahuasca is no trip. It is a journey that lasts a lifetime. My heart goes out to each of you along the path. If you ever want to talk about your experience, I am willing to hear you out. There are also other sources of help for integration, like Fireside Project.

    Sending love and light to all of you.

  • Elizabeth
    Ceremony leader/Leaders
    Ceremony Location

    I want to warn about this dangerous predators, This group is closely related with Ayhuasca CD Juarez and a self called shaman Emmanuel Morein, they do ceremonies together with Shaba or Carlos, you can find Carlos and Emmanuel ceremony posts and pictures on their Facebook, I was sexually abused (raped) by them on a ceremony, I already went to the police and in the antidoping test shows some substances that i never consume and don’t even know that existed, seems that they put this substances on me and then took advantage when i was uncouncious, be careful! This people is truly dangerous!

    1. This is very serious. I am incredibly sorry and completely appalled by someone taking advantage of someone in ceremony. I also have a question for you. Are you sure we are talking about the same Shaba? His name is not Carlos ( I will not give his real name here ). He also has no association with Ayahuasca CD Juarez, nor have I ever heard of Emmanuel Morein.

      Moreover, Shaba is not pictured in any of your shared photos. Nor is Jessica. And to be honest, this location does not look like Medicine Wheel TX?

      You deserve to feel seen and heard. I am happy you went to the authorities. Please keep us informed on your investigation.

      If you are looking for other sources of dealing with this trauma, Fireside Project is an incredible non-profit that specializes in working through these types of experiences.

      Aho.

      1. LJ, seems you needed photos of Shaba (Salvador) from Ayahuasca Healing Experience (Medicine Wheel ATX) in association to Ayahuasca Cd Juarez. Front and center with the Didg looks to be Emmanuel, back row 2nd from left would be Shaba. Next photo seems to indicate Shaba was likely serving the ayahuasca at this particular retreat from 2017.

        Admittedly, these photos are 4 years old, perhaps their association is not current but to come on here and comment that he has no association and offering that the fact that you have never heard of Emmanuel as evidence enough to just accept that as fact is frankly unbelievable. To further suggest that because you don’t see Jessica in the OP photos and the location looks off is strange to me. I understand you are perhaps looking for clarification but considering the platform you chose, your comment comes off as a sideways attempt to protect a group of individuals that don’t need your protection and likely never asked for it at best and downright gaslighting of the OP at worst.

    2. Claudia Colarusso

      So sorry you had this experience….I did my research for years and then went to Rythmia Life Advancement Center and continue to attend….The best experience of my life…safe, clean, the real deal with shamans with lineage, not a California group/get-together……You would be safe and happy with this place. Check it out if you plan on doing more ceremonies. Aho…

  • Ceremony leader/Leaders
    Ceremony Location

    The best thing I can say about them is they returned the deposit, but I’d strongly recommend you stay away from these people. After weeks of preparation, I was disinvited from the retreat immediately after I disclosed that I had found the reviews here.

    I gave them ample room for them to explain the situation. I am an educator and I know how it feels to receive unfair reviews under cover of anonymity. They quickly sent back a lengthy and patronizing email that essentially boiled down to kicking me out without further discussion. It is ironic they call themselves a “School”. In my profession, I not only expect but welcome questioning. Responding to it with exclusion and condescension is punitive and manipulative and they don’t deserve the name they give themselves.

    Good riddance, I guess, but I regret the time, energy and planning wasted, and I honestly feel a little dirty after having shared some very personal information with them. Do your research and be safe, people.

    1. I hate not having my full name on here and not feeling safe enough to expose my identity in order to bring certain things to light and warn other women about the dangers they are likely to experience at a ceremony led by Carlos Amaru also known as Shaba, but I honestly fear repercussions after receiving what is known as hate mail, from them. I will keep this short: I do not in any way suggest women attend these ceremonies. You will experience nonsense and you will experience extremely inappropriate behavior only someone with power can continually get away with. How he has this power is a question I will always ask myself the way I ask myself how certain managers and leaders and politicians can have the power they do. alas, it’s a sick world but what you can do is say NO to this group. Thank you for reading

  • Ceremony leader/Leaders
    Ceremony Location

    I was nervous at first because of the bad reviews, but everyone was responsible and respectful. I had a good exprience with there staff. not sure about other experiences people have had, but everyone was so helpful. I guess some people just had a bad experience. the facility was clean and sanitary, and we were all given separate cups to drink out of. The intro was kind of long, but they said that no sexual relationships would be tolerated. I didn’t observe anything like that either.

  • ?

    I am due to join the circle in 2 weeks, Sept. 24 thru 26. Part of me wishes I never stumbled upon this thread but the other part is ready to go in with eyes wide open. I have heard some strange things about Shaba, myself. i’ll keep you all updated -wish me luck.

    1. AR

      So… How was it? I am scheduled for Oct 8th to 11th and reading these reviews I have become concerned.

      1. Kayla

        Hi! I went in June 2021, and I went without seeing any negative reviews. I had an absolutely beautiful time. All the facilitators were extremely loving and supportive, as well as all the people. I personally talked with them and they were very kind an open. I didn’t notice any weird things from Shaba. If you still plan to attend, I say let go of expectation but keep your eyes open because who knows, maybe these people are seeing something true i just didn’t at the time. But overall my experience was positive, but I wish you luck on your journey, go with your gut!

        1. I was at this June 2021 ceremony. I recall the medicine treated you well. It was nice to see a young person get healing medicine. Since this was your first ayahuasca ceremony experience, you might not recognize the dysfunction and unprofessionalism that the facilitators exhibited. Victor seems to be the only exception. I hope you have many more Ayahuasca ceremonial experiences. I do however, recommend you find a different group.

  • CC
    Ceremony leader/Leaders
    Ceremony Location

    My waiver and consent form was not even asked for when I arrived at the location,and I realized I also didn’t pay the full amount I owed (only deposit)so I was a bit confused about the integrity and professionalism. There seemed to be some tension in the group of facilitators which I noticed a handful of the more “aware” participants take note of, it was quite uncomfortable at certain points, way too much talking done by the Shaman and less feeling. Many other details I dont feel entirely comfortable divulging here despite being anonymous but I feel relieved to read that several others have picked up on the issues I did.

  • Pau
    Ceremony leader/Leaders
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    I do not recommend this group. it can be dangerous for the weak.

  • Anonymous
    Ceremony leader/Leaders
    Ceremony Location

    SHABA is the issue in this scenario. This is NOT an isolated case! Many woman have been warned about him from other shamans. One of the ladies at the retreat I went to described similar behaviors. It is worth rooting these predators out of the community of healers so others don’t get taken advantage of. NO ONE should ever have to be traumatized by this abuse of power and trust. Being forced to masturbate for “healing” purposes? Urinating on pictures of parents? COME ON people! The Aya tourism industry is not regulated, making it easy for these sick individuals to do what they please, especially since participants are so vulnerable. Really, what is the point of this “waiver” and “code of ethics” if the shamans and organizers are actually the perpetrators? DISGUSTING!

    1. So sorry you had this experience….I did my research for years and then went to Rythmia Life Advancement Center and continue to attend….The best experience of my life…safe, clean, the real deal with shamans with lineage, not a California group/get-together……You would be safe and happy with this place. Check it out if you plan on doing more ceremonies. Aho…

  • C
    Ceremony leader/Leaders
    Ceremony Location

    Shaba Amaru (his actual name is “Carlos”, hes from mexico, cheats on his wife with his “clients,”and he is NOT a genuine healer-he has ZERO shaman ancestors and I was told by a facilitator that he only spent time in peru as an apprentice. DO NOT TRUST HIM!!!!

    1. Shaba’s name is not Carlos and he actually does have shamanic ancestors through a tribe in Mexico. Are we talking about the same person?

      1. His name Is Carlos. Shaba (Carlos) Amaru as published at top right of this page.

  • Unknown
    Ceremony leader/Leaders
    Ceremony Location

    Dear all — this is the perfect example of an unsafe group. I chose to partake in one last ceremony in Spring 2021, which was fine (I chose to ignore some of the red flags as this wasn’t my first experience with these guys) but I was absolutely flabbergasted by some information relating to the facilitators that accidentally got disclosed to me shortly after. There ended my trust with this shaman, and this group. The cherry on top — someone I know participated in the most recent ceremony (this month) and again I was filled in — again, it was just plain suspicious. Please be wary. Plus, these are NOT actual shamans who are looking after you — they are a few of Shaba’s favorite (if you know what I mean) students.

  • CP
    Ceremony leader/Leaders
    Ceremony Location

    Thank heavens I found this site so I can speak up. I do not recommend this group. I began joining their ceremonies back in 2019 and since then have only experienced inflated prices and malpractice. Shabba is not to be trusted especially in private healing sessions. I thought I could trust Jessica too but I was wrong. I am still dealing with trauma from my experiences with these people. Please do not give them your business let alone your soul.

  • Anon
    Ceremony leader/Leaders
    Ceremony Location

    Shaba controls his minions(not just the participants,but facilitators, too)and sadly I understood how it’s done.He has a really dominating personality which he uses to control/manipulate those around him but so many(both men and women,but especially women)sit in the palm of his hand, eating up his every word, half of them being gibberish at that. One of the participants has a very serious, scary,somewhat demonic reaction to the medicine which caused an entire shift in energy among the group.He wasn’t removed from the vicinity nor was the situation addressed.Shaba got very defensive and even like, angry when it was brought up in the sharing circle the morning after. He hushed one of the other healers,who was wonderful,Victor, when he attempted to address it.Shaba managed to twist what happened,putting a false “positive” spin on the situation which the other group members seemed to latch on to without thinking for themselves.unsettling.I had heard stories about his behavior and affinity for pretty girls through the grapevine but decided to go through with the retreat anyway because I was desperate.I try not to get upset about having made the long drive out for this and don’t entirely regret it,but won’t be returning to this group.no one should have to deal with a sick, entitled,clearly damaged “leader” like this. You should always be able to trust your Shaman.

  • Anon
    Ceremony leader/Leaders
    Ceremony Location

    Shaba controls his minions(not just participants,I’m talking the other facilitators, too)and sadly I understand how it’s done.He has a dominating presence and uses it to manipulate and intimidate.He preys on the weak but too many (both men and women, but especially women)sit in the palm of his hand,eating up every word that comes out of his mouth,a good half being gibberish at that.Please.Don’t choose this group.The last thing you need to be dealing with while trying to heal yourself is a sick, entitled, cocky,clearly damaged “leader”.One of the participants had a very serious, scary, somewhat demonic reaction to the medicine and was yelling at the top of his lungs, causing a complete shift in energy among the group.He wasn’t removed from the vicinity to protect the others,and Shaba and the team refused to discuss it the day after.It was all swept under the rug, even twisted to create the idea of a false “positive”outcome that the group members latched on to like they had no other choice,and I was appalled by that.Shaba even hushed one of the other healers, who was wonderful,Victor, when he tried to address it.Victor was as submissive as a trained dog.How unsettling.I had heard stories about Shaba’s ways (especially how he personally “connects”with pretty women)through the grapevine but decided to go through with the retreat anyway since I was desperate.I try not to get upset about having made the long trip out here to end up feeling this way,and I don’t entirely regret it,but I will not be returning.Those with strong intuition will see past the act.everyone deserves to trust their Shaman. It isn’t too much to ask for.

    1. L

      I was there…. They went over it a bit, but he didn’t “twist” the event. Many people have these type of reactions/outbursts to the medicines. I do though think they couldve handled getting him away from the main circle so the others could have peace as these outbursts are quite frightening. But i dont think they twisted it to be positive, they just didn’t invalidate him for having such a reaction.

      1. Thank you for this reply. I agree. Sharing space for people having difficult experiences is a part of the whole process. If we don’t feel up to that, the invitation to leave circle is always there.

      2. The man that had the attention seeking outburst was very apologetic the next day. His behavior wasn’t a purge per se’. He was just being an obnoxious irritating participant. He seemed to be a little embarrassed next morning. Shaba (Carlos) told him he had nothing to be sorry for. He validated his actions. This is how Shaba twisted the situation. I do not feel Shaba is qualified to lead an Ayahuasca ceremony. I suggest he heals himself and get a job at HomeDepot or something.

    2. I was at that ceremony. This review is spot on accurate. I will never attend again, nor can recommend to anyone.

  • Anonymous
    Ceremony leader/Leaders
    Ceremony Location

    The facilitators did not take my waiver or medical information forms until after the ceremony was over. There were not enough facilitators for the amount of people in attendance. I found this negligent and I think it prevented me from fully being able to feel safe enough to let go for my journeys with ayahuasca over the weekend that I attended.

  • Anonymous

    Strong medicine but issues with integrity and authenticity among this groups leadership

    I attended numerous Ayahuasca retreats with Ayahuasca Healing Experience in 2019 as well as participated in several private shamanic healings sessions and the Shamanic Initiation Teachings. I have not actually sat with Ayahuasca outside of this group to be able to compare how one brew might be next to another but for me, each time communing with the medicine was deeply personal, transformational, and highly beneficial. That said, I entered from a place of personal desperation and did not ask up front about the qualifications of the shaman, Shaba, or the people he uses to help him facilitate his ceremonies. To my knowledge they are not trained by, nor have any of them spent time with the shipibo tribes in Peru. I later learned that many of his facilitators had attended only one or two ceremonies before being placed in their role. Several red flags came up as 2019 pressed on. They seemed minor at the time and I excused their misalignment with my own personal moral compass. The first red flag for me was in their welcome email which includes a statement at the close indicating for participants not to arrive before 5pm as the gate will be locked and no one will be there. I knew this to be untrue, sometimes they are at the venue even the day before so it would be more accurate to say they are not ready to receive guests until after 5pm. So why the lie? It struck me as odd but not odd enough to ask a question or just stop attending. The second red flag came in the summer of 2019 when a participant posted to a public forum that he had been told ceremonies for the rest of the year were full and so he was putting out a request for anyone that might be cancelling so he could perhaps take their spot. I knew one of the facilitators at this time and knew that ceremonies were not full. Again, why the lie? This particular gentleman had attended a retreat but left after the first night because it was a bit too intense. I know Shaba views that as some sort of personal affront so I figured his exclusion had something to do with that but don’t know that for certain and at any rate, I was curious why Jessica and Shaba would use an untrue statement instead of just addressing whatever their actual reason was for excluding this participant. But again, I did not directly address this or question Jessica or Shaba about it. I started private healing sessions in May of 2019 mostly via video calls. There were many beneficial aspects of these sessions. I grew a great deal in self knowledge and understanding of things which had been unconsciously or subconsciously playing out in my personal life and have as such been able to make so many positive changes in my life. There were many rituals which involved dealing symbolically with things of a very sexual nature which never really bothered me since these were typically carried out in private and alone. One ritual however was done directly with Jessica and Shaba and while certain elements of that ritual connected deeply to my personal story, there a few elements that still to this day I cannot tie to me, myself, or my story. I was instructed not to share details of any private sessions with others. I was never allowed to know the details of a ritual beforehand and for this one I was only told that it would be intense. I had one condition which I made very clear to both Jessica and Shaba. I would not participate in the upcoming ritual if anything that would be taking place would be perceived as disrespectful to Shaba’s wife or his marriage. I struggled immensely after the ritual feeling as though something terribly disrespectful had happened and I reached out to both Shaba and Jessica for help or insight and was brushed off by both. I would find out nearly a year later that Shaba did view the ritual as a transgression of his marriage and that his wife experienced fair amount of pain upon hearing the specific details. That ritual marked the end of my private sessions and I began the Shamanic Initiation Teachings. I learned a great deal going through the teachings regarding how I relate to myself, to my family, my community to the earth, And to life. The teachings and most of the private sessions are the only reason I couldn’t give this review only 1 star.. there was genuine benefit in the work I did there. As 2020 began, the teachings for me ended and I had no plans to attend ceremonies though I had many friends still attending. We link up for integrations frequently and Shaba’s preferential treatment of attractive women in ceremony came up as a topic from time to time. I was reluctant to look fully at this because of the benefits I was receiving from the sessions and the teachings. I truly didn’t want to see the shaman I trusted as the stereotypical male healer taking advantage of women who were healing, stealing moments of pleasure or connection from moments of absolute vulnerability. I have since learned that it is somewhat common for Shaba to tell or validate with attractive women that he shares past lives with them, and that they are special. It is somewhat common for him to pull attractive women into his lap in and out of ceremony and cuddle them. I have been one of those women, I have seen him do it with other women, I have been told about even still others. I have never seen or heard about Shaba pulling a man onto his lap, I have never seen or heard about Shaba caressing a man for comfort in or out of ceremony.. when I confronted Shaba about this idea he cut me off and I was put through three months of cold shoulder silent treatment. I get it that we are all human. I’m ok with that. At this point I really feel that this group cannot offer safe spaces for healing for men or women given the integrity and accountability issues they are dealing with.

    1. Anonymous

      I would like to speak with you about my own story which is very similar to yours, If you are willing. Is there any way I can reach you about this?

      1. Hello Anonymous, this is Safe Ceremonies if you send us an email at [email protected] we can put you in touch with above poster.

  • Had Beautiful Experiences Too, But Experienced Them Dangerously Careless In Private Sessions

    First, for ayahuasca itself—this medicine isn’t for everyone, but I can not express how much it has helped me. It’s helped me peel back layers of inauthenticity and put me on the path to being someone I want to be. For Ayahuasca Healing Experience—I’ve been to about 7 of their ceremony weekends, and they were so incredibly nice to me. I was kept so safe. And I will always hold so much love and gratitude in my heart for them. Just make sure you follow the diet so you can keep yourself safe too. ———- For the School of Shamanic Initiation, I went through the first threshold, and it truly helped me gain an understanding of connection to earth, sacred space, and my own power. There are skills I use every day, and I will always be grateful. Just know though if a ritual doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Doing something that feels wrong does not mean the magic is stronger. ———— For the few private sessions I did—I wish I did not do them. Please know any ritual you are given, is symbolism. This means no specific symbol is necessary. The intention can always be achieved with a different symbol meaning the same thing. I blindly did what I was told to do, completely trusting the teacher, so desperate to feel better, even if it didn’t feel right. If it feels extreme, graphic, repulsive—if it’s something you wouldn’t want to tell someone who loves you and who you respect (like your mom or something), decide no, and find a different way. I was told as part of a ritual to urinate on a representation of my mother to mark my territory. I feel sick and hurt and it did not have to happen. But I did it, I was so desperate to feel better I did. But the ritual could have been designed in a way that wasn’t so extreme so I wouldn’t even be put in that situation. It messed me up in the head too—Maybe just tell a photo of her I am creating a boundary? Write a letter? There’s always another way. You can always negotiate a different way to create the same symbol. And I’m so confused and hurt too writing this, because there was so many good things. Like I was told when I think about my mom just be grateful she gave me life. And she did, I’m so grateful. I’m so grateful I was told that. Just please know there is a power difference with a healer/participant and at the end of the day the responsibility is always on the one with the most power, the healer, to be careful. But they can make mistakes too. Just because someone is leading a ceremony or are a healer—they are still an imperfect human. My heart is torn in so many directions— because I did learn so much, and their ceremonies are beautiful. They make an offering with flowers and things people bring and it’s so beautiful. But I do feel like my dignity was compromised with how extreme that ritual was that was placed in front of me. And it messed me up. Why is it bothering me now? There were so many good things that helped me—I did not want to believe something was off. And too I know these sessions and lessons are new—I was in the first group to go through the first threshold, so maybe I was a guinea pig and things can be improved and calmed down to protect people’s dignity. And no one can tell me I am wrong and say that my dignity was not compromised, because I feel my dignity compromised—so therefore it was. It’s convenient too that we aren’t supposed to talk about the rituals. I get with ayahuasca to wait a few days, but these rituals aren’t about waiting a few days. Just don’t talk about them? Maybe if the rituals aren’t for the public to know, maybe they shouldn’t be done? I guess I am angry too. At myself mostly. From now on I’ll do my best to not do something I would not want to tell myself I did. That’s good enough I guess. Self respect. Hard though when trying to heal self loathing. I’m getting there though. I hope things are changed, because there were so many good things too… And I’m not sure where it leaves me, more lessons I guess. I am grateful.

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