Author Topic: Ayahuasca in Canada?  (Read 2647 times)

Offline Mr.Michif

  • Posts: 9
Ayahuasca in Canada?
« on: February 02, 2021, 02:01:58 am »
Hey everyone, I am new to this website so please forgive me if I posted this in the wrong area.

I recently went to a medicine ceremony for Ayahuasca near my home. It was run by two European men that had studied in a place called Flor Astral in Costa Rica. Apparently, this place was based on the Santo Diame tradition? I did some brief research on Santo Diame, and from what I gathered it is a religion based on the combination of several different religions as well as the Shapibo indigenous spirituality.

They were welcoming, and although inexperienced, they were very transparent about the extent of training they had been through. Because it was just a small group of us, most were close friends, I did feel as though they were trying to run a business or be something they are not.

They charged what they had said the medicine cost them to bring up which was 30, and then everyone chipped in evenly to rent the space we were in. Everyone brought food to share.

I am still unsure how I feel about this. In the way I am learning now, medicine and ceremonies should not be paid for. But I also understand that this medicine is not native to North America and that by themselves they are not able to afford to pay for everyone to sit.

As a side note, I have seen social work organizations paying Elders' salaries to share teachings and hold Sweat Lodges, which I think is a great idea, but still, runs contrary to the idea that ceremonies should not be paid for.

I offered tobacco before I drank, and I asked one of the hosts to use sage that I had picked to smudge the medicine which they did respectfully.

Please let me know your opinions on how you feel about this, I really appreciate the guidance.

Offline Laurel

  • Posts: 150
Re: Ayahuasca in Canada?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2021, 12:54:47 pm »
Oh dear.

I'm sure others will be more eloquent, but this is simply not right. In the first place, the medicine was taken out of context and administered by people who admittedly had very little idea what they were doing. You could have been poisoned.

In the second place, it isn't just paying for a ceremony that makes it a ripoff, spiritually bankrupt, or however you wish to phrase it. It's also a matter of using something that does not belong to you without permission. You seem to assume that if you were where ayahuasca grows naturally, you and everyone you know would be welcome to "sit" and partake of this medicine and ceremony simply because you want to. Some Native people with no values do make things like that available, mostly for the money and attention it brings them. They're generally frowned upon.

This is all very vague because I don't know much about ayahuasca or its culture. (I'm white.) But I've mostly-lurked on this board for many years. I hope you're serious about taking the advice you'll get here, because I don't think it will be encouraging you to repeat this experience. Adding a medicine person to a ripoff bullshit sweatlodge for whitefolks does not make it an inipi, and having someone from Santo Dime present while you took ayahuasca would not have made that right, either.

Hey everyone, I am new to this website so please forgive me if I posted this in the wrong area.

I recently went to a medicine ceremony for Ayahuasca near my home. It was run by two European men that had studied in a place called Flor Astral in Costa Rica. Apparently, this place was based on the Santo Diame tradition? I did some brief research on Santo Diame, and from what I gathered it is a religion based on the combination of several different religions as well as the Shapibo indigenous spirituality.

They were welcoming, and although inexperienced, they were very transparent about the extent of training they had been through. Because it was just a small group of us, most were close friends, I did feel as though they were trying to run a business or be something they are not.

They charged what they had said the medicine cost them to bring up which was 30, and then everyone chipped in evenly to rent the space we were in. Everyone brought food to share.

I am still unsure how I feel about this. In the way I am learning now, medicine and ceremonies should not be paid for. But I also understand that this medicine is not native to North America and that by themselves they are not able to afford to pay for everyone to sit.

As a side note, I have seen social work organizations paying Elders' salaries to share teachings and hold Sweat Lodges, which I think is a great idea, but still, runs contrary to the idea that ceremonies should not be paid for.

I offered tobacco before I drank, and I asked one of the hosts to use sage that I had picked to smudge the medicine which they did respectfully.

Please let me know your opinions on how you feel about this, I really appreciate the guidance.

Offline Mr.Michif

  • Posts: 9
Re: Ayahuasca in Canada?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2021, 03:55:55 pm »

In the second place, it isn't just paying for a ceremony that makes it a ripoff, spiritually bankrupt, or however, you wish to phrase it. It's also a matter of using something that does not belong to you without permission.

How would one know if the people administering it has permission to do so? I know that in terms of Sweats, Sundances and other sacred Ceremonies, rights to hold that space are more clear, even after researching the origins of Ayahuasca, there is a rigorous training period for the Shapibo people to becoming medicine person. But it is more unclear when it goes into Santo Daime because the leaders do not call themselves medicine people, they drink also and call themselves facilitators, and seem more like a Pastor than a medicine person.

You seem to assume that if you were where ayahuasca grows naturally, you and everyone you know would be welcome to "sit" and partake of this medicine and ceremony simply because you want to. Some Native people with no values do make things like that available

I guess this part also confuses me a little and forgive me if I am ignorant to how other Sweats are run because I have only been to a few different ones. I was under the impression that most Sweat Lodges are open to people if they have received the call to walk that path and have a connection that is willing to take them to the Sweat Lodge.

The ones I have sat in, use the medicine in the ceremony that is not naturally grown in the area because it was traded or gifted with good intention. I guess this is another area I have gotten conflicting teachings on. Because tobacco is hard to come across naturally in the wild. I was taught that purchasing at a store to gift my Elders is ok as long as you give an offering for it afterwords and smudge it, letting the creator know your intention. Does the same then not apply to Medicines like Ayahuasca?


Offline Defend the Sacred

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3472
Re: Ayahuasca in Canada?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2021, 06:22:12 pm »
Non-Natives shouldn't be selling this substance or the ceremonies surrounding it.

Even if money were not involved they should not be doing this for people in another country where all the spirits are different and people have no connection to the traditions. It's cultural theft and harmful to both the original cultures, the people placing their trust in them, and the vine iteself.

The vine is now endangered, and the non-Natives selling this lack the cultural context to do it properly, as do the customers who are buying from them. It's wrong. Elders from the legitimate cultures where these traditions originate have reached out to Elders from our communities to plead that we help stop this.

If you search from the main page, you'll find lots of threads on the harm done to the cultures this is stolen from, as well as the harm done to those buying it. Here's just one discussion we had: http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=4585.0

Offline Mr.Michif

  • Posts: 9
Re: Ayahuasca in Canada?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2021, 08:02:55 pm »

https://santodaime.ca/

https://chacruna.net/mestre-irineu-ayahuasca/

After reading that article, it sounded like the man who started the religion in the 1930's did so with the guidance of visions from the creator, as well as support for Shapibo Elders. It is with that lineage that places like Ceu du Montreal were granted permission to carry out what they call "the works" as opposed to a Ceremony.

In many ways, I see at least this form of use, one of the creator's chosen paths for how humans should interact with the medicine. But I am curious how you see this.

Offline Defend the Sacred

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3472
Re: Ayahuasca in Canada?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2021, 09:25:36 pm »
If you plan on continuing to ask until someone says it's OK, that's not going to happen here. We stand with the Elders who protect their sacred plants and traditions, not those who are pillaging the plants and selling out the Indigenous people to make a buck.

If the vine goes extinct due to this commercialization, what then? That's what the Elders we have contacts with are deeply worried about. They tell us the spirits are offended. People are being murdered, going crazy, etc. It's not a good thing.

Of course the people making money off this say different. Of course they claim they're blessed and doing good. Read the other threads. Our group is against pay to pray and exploitation of Indigenous ways.

Offline Mr.Michif

  • Posts: 9
Re: Ayahuasca in Canada?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2021, 10:28:35 pm »
Quote
If you plan on continuing to ask until someone says it's OK, that's not going to happen here

That was never my plan, I'm not looking for affirmation, I am gathering data to form my own opinion.

I just wanted to know what your opinion was on the Santo Daime tradition. Is this a legitimate tradition or not? I thought that was the purpose of the site.

From my understanding true Santo Diame is not a pay to pray but rather a communal sharing of the costs incurred for their works. There is no one claiming to be Elders or Shamans. It is first and foremost a religion.

I agree with what you say in many aspects. And I believe the medicine should be protected, and ethically harvested. And that traditions should be respected and understood.

But again, my question would be: Is Santo Daime a tradition and religion worth respecting and practicing. Can that form of work, from that tradition, be ethical?

And if not, then why do you think that is so if: it is ethically gathered, and there is no one profiting from prayer.

I have differing opinions that were taught from my Elders about plants being traded and gifted even across continents. But that is neither here nor there because of course Elder's will have differing opinions.

Offline Mr.Michif

  • Posts: 9
Re: Ayahuasca in Canada?
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2021, 12:17:45 am »
I found this interesting article https://chacruna.net/ayahuasca-really-desappearing/ . It's worth reading, as it tries to encompass the spread of ayahuasca as well as protecting the indigenous ceremonies and advocating against deforestation.

I am sorry if I come across as terse. I honestly do agree with you on virtually every point, and I think the goal of this community is really solid.

I often question though, if globalization is inevitable at this point, how can the spread of medicines be ethically accomplished. Of course, ayahuasca is a hot topic but even at my own Sweats, I see people abuse smoking cigarettes claiming the act of smoking is sacred, as well as downing cups of coffee when they arrive in the morning (something I myself am guilty of). But coffee is sacred to many groups as well, we just don't think about it very much because people are so used to abusing it. 

Part of my training is to understand how things are kept sacred, from ayahuasca and coffee to tobacco. I do think there is a way but I am still learning which is why I really do appreciate the advice you're giving.


Offline Laurel

  • Posts: 150
Re: Ayahuasca in Canada?
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2021, 11:28:12 am »
You don't come across as terse. You come across as Defend the Scared said you do--as someone who wants permission to do something wrong and who can't listen to opposing opinions. You don't seem to "agree with" anyone here at all, or even know NAFPS very well. (You said you thought sweats were for anyone who wants to participate in one. I hope you know better now.)

"If" a plant is going to die out because infantile Westerners use it to get high, maybe the right approach to take for Westerners is to leave that plant alone and let the cultures who use it as sacred medicine continue looking after it--not declare a free-for-all trip while it's still around. When you hear an animal species is endangered, do you decide to "save" it by buying a member of that species as a pet?

I'd be interested to know who is training you. Is it those same traveling medicine show people who maybe know what they're doing, maybe don't, and who have no right to take this medicine out of its culture and context?

I found this interesting article https://chacruna.net/ayahuasca-really-desappearing/ . It's worth reading, as it tries to encompass the spread of ayahuasca as well as protecting the indigenous ceremonies and advocating against deforestation.

I am sorry if I come across as terse. I honestly do agree with you on virtually every point, and I think the goal of this community is really solid.

I often question though, if globalization is inevitable at this point, how can the spread of medicines be ethically accomplished. Of course, ayahuasca is a hot topic but even at my own Sweats, I see people abuse smoking cigarettes claiming the act of smoking is sacred, as well as downing cups of coffee when they arrive in the morning (something I myself am guilty of). But coffee is sacred to many groups as well, we just don't think about it very much because people are so used to abusing it. 

Part of my training is to understand how things are kept sacred, from ayahuasca and coffee to tobacco. I do think there is a way but I am still learning which is why I really do appreciate the advice you're giving.



Online Sparks

  • Posts: 1151
Re: Ayahuasca in Canada?
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2021, 08:45:25 pm »
I recently went to a medicine ceremony for Ayahuasca near my home [in Canada]. It was run by two European men that had studied in a place called Flor Astral in Costa Rica. Apparently, this place was based on the Santo Diame tradition? I did some brief research on Santo Diame, and from what I gathered it is a religion based on the combination of several different religions as well as the Shapibo indigenous spirituality.

My boldings and addition of 'in Canada' in the quote. So what place in Canada are you reporting from?

Three misspellings in here which confounds googling:

1. Florestral, not 'Flor Astral': https://www.florestral.org/https://www.florestral.org/land

Quote
Florestral Community is located in the lush Forest of Southwestern Costa Rica. We live, work and play in a beautiful location that is abundant in nature, with fertile land and immense potential for growth and expansion. We are an open-hearted community based on friendship and service to Great Spirit, and we are blessed to provide a supportive ground for healing and self-transformation through a deeper discovery of love and oneself.

I am gathering material to start a new topic about that (ad)venture, and will come back with a link later.

2. Santo Daime, not 'Santo Diame': https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santo_Daimehttp://www.santodaime.org/

3. Shipibo is the usual spelling, not 'Shapibo': https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shipibo-Conibo

Although ayahuasca is central both to the Santo Daime religion and to what you term "Shapibo indigenous spirituality", I can find absolutely nothing which confirms that the former is also based on the latter. (E.g.: The Shipibo are not mentioned on the huge Santo Daime website.) — Can you please substantiate your claim?

You repeat a similar claim here:

https://santodaime.ca/  —  https://chacruna.net/mestre-irineu-ayahuasca/

After reading that article, it sounded like the man who started the religion in the 1930's did so with the guidance of visions from the creator, as well as support for Shapibo Elders. It is with that lineage that places like Ceu du Montreal were granted permission to carry out what they call "the works" as opposed to a Ceremony.

My bolding. The article says nothing about "Shapibo Elders" nor is Shipibo mentioned. There is only this:

Quote
According to reports by his followers, Mestre Irineu was probably initiated into the mysteries of ayahuasca in Peru by indigenous shamans (Moreira & MacRae, 2011).

The above mentioned book is available for in-text search here:

https://books.google.no/books?id=E5l0CgAAQBAJ — Neither Shapibo nor Shipibo mentioned anywhere in the book.

Two quotes from the Santo Daime website which show that the Shipobo conncetion is possible, but maybe not so plausible:

Quote
1. "While in Peru and Bolivia, some friends acquainted him [the founder of Santo Daime] with the beverage known in the region as ayahuasca."

2. "Pronounced "ah-yah-waska," the word is from the Quechua language; it means "vine of the soul," "vine of the dead," or "the vision vine." Known by various names among 72 native ayahuasca-ingesting cultures in Peru, Columbia, and Ecuador, this legendary, industrial-strength hallucinogen is used by curanderos, or witch doctors, to heal the sick and communicate with spirits. Many rainforest shamans simply refer to ayahuasca as el remedio, "the remedy.".

Offline Defend the Sacred

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3472
Re: Ayahuasca in Canada?
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2021, 09:28:13 pm »
An Elder from a completely unrelated culture, in a whole other part of the world, has no say over the right use or abuse of the sacred plants and ceremonies of a culture from another part of the world. An Elder from Canada, or the US, or some fraud who set up a drug church somewhere and claims to be an Elder, has absolutely no say over the sacred ways of the Elders who are begging outsiders to leave their ways alone.

It doesn't matter what churches they've set up, or books they've written. It all goes against what the traditional people are saying. The Elders we've heard from are not running "churches" in cities. They're the people struggling to protect their forests, lands, and people from genocide.

And everyone who acts as a spiritual or drug tourist is participating in that genocide, no matter how they dress it up.

Offline Mr.Michif

  • Posts: 9
Re: Ayahuasca in Canada?
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2021, 12:45:53 am »
Spelling has never been my strength. I apologize if that annoys you.

So what I gather is:

.If the medicine is ethically harvested and grown in a way that does not impact the Elders and communities in the areas it is grown

.If it originates from a tradition of spirituality and those traditions are respected

.The medicine is respected and treated in a sacred manner

Then the only issue is differing belief systems, which will always be the case. Thank you for helping me form my opinion. As I said, I wasn't trying to change yours, I just wanted to gather information. I appreciate the insight you've given me.

Offline Mr.Michif

  • Posts: 9
Re: Ayahuasca in Canada?
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2021, 12:47:45 am »
....and there is no one profiting to pray, I will be mindful of this as well if I consider attending any more.

Offline Mr.Michif

  • Posts: 9
Re: Ayahuasca in Canada?
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2021, 03:12:16 am »
Quote
Regarding the origin of the drink, there is much controversy. The religious groups that use it link its use to a mythical and distant past, like the Inca empire; although this can be motivated by genuine feelings of faith, it is interesting to note that this link to a “tradition” and a more remote past plays an important role as a tool for legitimizing the drink and whoever uses it, since the supposed traditional use linked to time immemorial gives credibility to society (an observation that can also be extended to indigenous people). As Beyer argues (2006), in the religious system, it is very important for the social legitimation of any group to characterize it as “tradition”. Furthermore, this connection with mythical and distant roots becomes a distinctive element in interfaith competition and prominence within the globalized scenario of spirituality ( Mori 2011 ). Even beyond native discourses, however, the origin of ayahuasca remains uncertain, which favors the construction of mythic narratives and contributes to giving an aura of mystery to the drink and those who use it.

http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-85872017000300046

Offline Defend the Sacred

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3472
Re: Ayahuasca in Canada?
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2021, 06:25:14 pm »

So what I gather is:

.If the medicine is ethically harvested and grown in a way that does not impact the Elders and communities in the areas it is grown

.If it originates from a tradition of spirituality and those traditions are respected

.The medicine is respected and treated in a sacred manner

Then the only issue is differing belief systems, which will always be the case.

No one said any of that.

You're putting words in people's mouths. You seem determined to misinterpret everything we say, no matter how plainly we say it.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2021, 06:27:36 pm by Defend the Sacred »