Warning: Naughty language ahead.
Ayahuasca is the new yoga.
Going to Peru to have an enlightened journey is the new self growth course.
If you haven’t noticed, self growth, self help, and “finding oneself” are trending. They’re a business.
People are spending a fuck-ton of money to heal, discover and experience.
In 2009, James Arthur Ray hosted a “New-age warrior” retreat.
His courses were incredibly expensive—this one being 10,000 dollars—and also incredibly sought after.
He was a well known author and speaker—someone of influence, someone admired.
Two people died as a result of being in a nontraditional sweat lodge exercise. Eighteen others were hospitalized after suffering burns, dehydration, breathing problems, kidney failure or elevated body temperature. Another attendee died after being comatose for a week.
This feels so fucking important to speak about.
So many people are investing in themselves. So many people are taking the time to up tune their souls. This is beautiful and necessary and applaud-worthy.
I love that self growth is “trending.”
I love that yoga is “trending.”
But whenever something is trending, there is a plethora of people who see this as a dollar sign.
Not all mentors and leaders and healers and teachers can be trusted.
Take a five month course and you’re certified to facilitate ceremony.
There is often no screening process in ceremony retreats to see if people have mental illness, depression or can handle the darkness they may find.
People are too fast to call themselves a Shaman, a healer, an elder.
We need to trust our guts, above all.
Do not be an impressionable, mindless minion just because someone sat themselves on a throne and dubbed themselves a healer.
We are all healers.
We also all have the capacity to do great harm when we don’t have the ability to hold space, and when we start doing things for the money.
Do the research.
Heed your gut.
If a voice in your belly says, “I don’t trust this person,” leave.
Ayahuasca is not to blame.
It’s plant medicine—however those who may hold it, or use it or teach with it may not always be a safe space.
We need to acknowledge that there is a business in self care and self growth. It’s a business. Some of it is unfortunately about money. There are some people who are not in it for the right reason.
People are selling Ayahuasca on Facebook.
A shaman in British Columbia was said to have had sex with an underage women during a ceremony.
If you’re planning to take the journey, spend the time, do the research and don’t mindlessly allow yourself to be led by someone who will not walk in their highest power and protect you through it.
We need not be afraid, we do need to be aware.
Author: Janne Robinson
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Wikimedia Commons