Preparation

Please take some time to familiarize yourself with the preparations on this page. We are always happy to advise on any individual situations, so do not hesitate to reach out to us about your unique situation.

Who May Not Participate

While these medicines are very safe, not everyone is able to participate in ceremony. If you have a history of mental illness such as dissociative episodes, panic disorder, schizophrenia or similar episodes, bi-polar, or clinical-level depression, please let us know in advance so we can advise you. Also, if you are taking any medications, including over-the-counter medications, especially those that alter brain chemistry, you will need to discontinue their use in order to participate in ceremony. If there is a medicine you feel you cannot discontinue, you must let us know in advance so we can advise you. This is for your safety and to ensure the experience will be of benefit to you.

COVID-19 Vaccines

If you are a recipient of any of the COVID-19 vaccines, or if you plan to receive one of them prior to ceremony, you must let us know. Although this continues to be a developing situation, these vaccines have not proved to be compatible with the medicines, and some adverse reactions are occurring with vaccinated individuals. We will continue to update our guidelines as more information is learned but for now we are not allowing anyone who has received one of the vaccines or boosters to participate in ceremony within 30-days of receiving any dose. Further, if you have experienced any reactions to the vaccine, however mild, you must let us know on the intake form.

Preparing for Ceremony

Medications, Supplements, Vitamans etc.

When we work with these plants we need for our bodies to be as clean and free of other substances as possible. This is both for health reasons and to allow us to connect deeper with the energies of the plants. Therefore, it is necessary for everyone wishing to work with these medicines to stop taking all forms of medications and drugs (over the counter or prescription) prior to ceremony. For most medications, it is sufficient to stop taking them in the week prior to ceremony. However, for anti-depressants and other drugs that alter brain chemistry, it is necessary to stop taking these medications at least one month prior to the ceremonies for most people (and sometimes shorter or longer for certain individuals). Those people who are taking anti-depressants or any other medication or supplement that alters brain chemistry should always discontinue their use under the guidance of the doctor who prescribed them. Many people forget that supplements like 5-HTP and St. John’s Wort alter brain chemistry so please consider all substances you consume.

Supplements & Root Cause Protocol

We fully support and encourage all participants to follow the Root Cause Protocol (“RCP”). All supplements included in this protocol are compatible with ceremony. We are trained in this protocol and have found it to be game-changing for us and those with whom we work to remineralize and balance the body before, during, and after ceremony. If you are looking to resolve persistent health issues or prevent them, we cannot recommend this protocol enough. As practitioners, we can also assist in review of the recommended labs and Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis if you want to dive deeper. For those wishing to implement this protocol, please visit the RCP website and download the PDF for the full protocol for detailed step-by-step instructions. If you are interested in learning more, there are some excellent Podcasts and videos available that we can send. The RCP may be continued during preparation and even on days of ceremony.

Foods

For a day or two prior to any ceremony (up to seven days if you are willing) and two days after the ceremony, it is advisable to eliminate all foods containing tyramines from your diet. Tyramines are primarily found in fermented foods, which includes overripe fruits (e.g. raspberries), kombucha, vinegar, alcohol, sour kraut, all soy products, yeasty breads (e.g. sour dough), aged/preserved meats, and aged dairy. The tyramine content of any food is easily found through simple web searches. You may also look up the low tyramine diet, which will have many details about what foods to avoid. Eliminating tyramines is the only required diet protocol to follow. And, failure to eliminate tyrannies can lead to serious adverse reactions with these medicines.

For those wishing to go further, we strongly recommend that everyone also eliminate foods with a strong signature that can interfere with the energy of the medicines. Such foods include: anything processed (boxed and prepared foods), processed and refined sugars and sweeteners, spices including pepper, onions, garlic, ginger, seed oils, and sour foods. A typical diet leading up to ceremony is usually quite simple and whole-food based. For those people who have special diets such as Ancestral, Carnivore, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, these can all work and we are happy to provide individual advice.

Caffeine

Excessive caffeine (more than one standard cup of coffee per day) is not helpful when working with these medicines and it takes many days and sometimes weeks to fully detox from it for those who are regular or heavy users. If you need inspiration in letting go of caffeine, please listen to this fantastic audio book by Michael Pollan entitled “Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World” (available from Audible). Those who are struggling to let go of a caffeine addiction may benefit from organic cacao, which can be made into a drink. Cacao contains 1/50th the caffeine of coffee, but is high in theobromine, which has similar effects to caffeine but is non-addicting. It is also high in magnesium and one of the main drivers of caffeine addiction is magnesium deficiency. We also like Guayusa, which is a tea from the Amazon containing caffeine and theobromine that is compatible with ceremony.

Products

We absorb 80% of more of anything that is put onto the skin, so if you would not put it in your mouth, don’t put it on your skin. This is especially true when working with the medicines. To the extent possible for a few days prior to ceremony, try to avoid all forms of chemical skin and body care products, including those found in most commercial soaps, shampoos, etc. Toothpaste should be fluoride free and SLS free (we recommend brushing with bentonite clay). Use only chemical free deodorants and avoid wearing fragrances and lotions.

Mental Preparation

It is also important to prepare the mind and your energetic body for ceremony. Therefore, we recommend that you avoid watching television, reading to watching the news, or spending excessive time online. Instead, spend time meditating, practicing yoga, being in nature, journaling, singing, etc. 

Day of Ceremony (Mother)

  • Eat a very light breakfast and lunch, or consider skipping lunch which we usually do
  • No food is to be eaten past 12 pm and no water within one hour of the ceremony (usually around 7-8pm)
  • Keep your body clean and chemical free (no fragrances, strong lotions, or polishes on your body).
  • For women, if you are experiencing menses, or within a few days of your cycle, please let us know when you are arrive
What to Wear and Bring
  • Wear loose, comfortable, and warm clothing as you will be sitting/lying on a floor mat. White clothing is traditional but this is entirely optional. Body temperature tends to fluctuate during ceremony and it is not uncommon to feel quite cold.
  • For group ceremonies we provide mattresses, blankets, and a small pillow. If you desire a sleeping type pillow, please bring one.
  • Bring water for after ceremony in glass or metal bottles. Please do not bring plastic bottles to ceremony. We have fresh filtered water available to fill your bottles.
  • A journal is sometimes helpful for the morning after to draw and write about your experience

Suggested Reading

  • Heal Your Wounds, Find Your True Self by Lise Bourbeau. This book is recommended for everyone.
  • San Pedro Huachuma: Opening the Pathways to the Heart by Javier Regueiro.
  • The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk M.D.
  • When the Body Says No: Understanding the Stress-Disease Connection by Gabor Maté M.D.
  • Civilized To Death: The Price of Progress by Christopher Ryan.
  • After: A Doctor Explores What Near-Death Experiences Reveal About Life and Beyond by Bruce Greyson.
  • The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name by Brian C. Muraresku.

Deeper Readings

Although we don’t recommend these books for everyone, for those who are diving deep into the shadow or exploring the darker nooks and crannies of our humanity, the following books can be very helpful.

  • Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil by Paul Levy.
  • Existential Kink: Unmask Your Shadow and Embrace Your Power; A Method for Getting What You Want by Getting Off on What You Don’t by Carolyn Elliot Phd

Suggested Watching