In a recent YouTube video, I shared how I have been drinking Ayahuasca on a weekly basis for the last 1,5 years and how it has served me. I mentioned that everybody's journey is different with this plant medicine so naturally, the question came up, how many times do I need to drink Ayahuasca to have a long-lasting effect and deep transformation.
I initially thought Ayahuasca is something that you do once in your life, maybe once a year, and was surprised to find out that there are people drinking a lot more Ayahuasca. So what is the appropriate amount? In this blog post, we will dive deeper into this question.
- How often you need to drink Ayahuasca depends on how deep your pain is and what your intention for Ayahuasca is.
- The majority of the people “need” between 3 – 15 ceremonies in an 18 – 24 month period to overcome the struggle that made them go on the path of Ayahuasca.
- Some need less, others start to see the benefits of Ayahuasca in their life and will start using it as a tool for growth or other challenges that come up in their life
Table of Contents
What are you looking for in Ayahuasca determines how many Ayahuasca ceremonies are suitable for you?
One of the first things you need to become clear on is what are you looking for in Ayahuasca. Are you looking to heal? How deep is the wound? Do you want to break through a limiting belief? How long have you been carrying this with you?
How deep is your pain?
There are people who come to Ayahuasca with a history of drug abuse. Underlying the drug abuse is usually a deeper level of trauma they experienced earlier in life. People with this type of background generally need more Ayahuasca. There is the part of healing the body and the nervous system from all of the damage and imbalances. And then also the healing of the spirit and the soul.
Healing is non-linear. Time does heal wounds, but also depends on how well you care for them in the time of healing.
There are stages of anger, acceptance, forgiveness, and finally making peace with past events that are essential for healing the wounds of the past. And all of these things can happen in an Ayahuasca ceremony. But it is also important to act on it in real life. With who do you need to have a conversation with, maybe even writing a letter can help (you don’t even need to send it).
Will you fall back into certain thought patterns after you emotionally healed them, just because that is the familiar? This is what you are used to. In this case, you are now “voluntarily” reexperiencing the pain and the suffering. Do you have sufficient power, drive, and maturity to withstand that?
What is the typical amount of ceremonies a person needs:
Again everybody’s situation is different and what their objection with Ayahuasca is. Generally speaking, the usual participant will partake in 3 – 15 ceremonies to shift to where they wanted to be. The timeframe for the ceremonies is usually a 1 – 3 year window.
Maybe after that time, a new major topic might come to the person's life’s where they feel the calling to connect with Ayahuasca again. They might start to see Ayahuasca or other plant medicine as something that starts to guide them in their life and it becomes one of the many tools they have at their disposal to connect with themselves and grow. Or they decide that they continue their life path without Ayahuasca. That they have found what they were looking for and do not feel the calling to return.
Either way is great. We are not here trying to convert people to the path of the medicine and this is the only way for spiritual growth and healing.
It doesn't matter how many times you drank Ayahuasca, it is important that you always prepare. Find out more about it in this Blog.
Do you want to dive deeper into Ayahuasca? We created Ayahuasca Retreat Guacamayo exactly for this purpose.
You do not need Ayahuasca!
Also, I believe it is important to state, that you do not need Ayahuasca. Ayahuasca is a tool, a very powerful one, but it is a tool. The medicine you are really looking for is yourself. And Ayahuasca can help you connect with yourself, but there are multiple ways to do that.
I recommend that everybody find different tools for themselves that work for them. Meditation, Yoga, breath work, Reiki, building a community are many different examples that help us create a life full of connection. Connection with ourselves, which then leads to meaningful connections with others that help us feel safe.
Having those different tools is incredible. Sometimes a “simple” breath work session or a conversation with my therapist have been the keys that I have been looking for that I did not encounter in my plant medicine ceremonies. So make sure you keep on expanding and applying your toolbox.
Find out if Ayahuasca is right for you
- Will you be safe physically and emotionally?
- How will you be supported in the ceremony?
- How do the facilitators handle difficult situations?
- How will you be able to process the experience?
- You want change, but will your life be unrecognizable after Ayahuasca?
+ 13 things to consider before drinking Ayahuasca?
More, More, more, western mentality applied to spirituality
Ayahuasca can create awe-inspiring moments, incredible breakthroughs, and deep understanding of our lives so one pattern is to want to go back and go deeper as well. In my early journey with Ayahuasca, I had a ceremony where I deeply connected with myself. The ceremony was getting to an end, I saw a friend go to the altar, and I figured if she can drink more, I can drink more as well. And there was a deeper level of curiosity there for me, what’s next now. She just ended up asking for hapey, but since I was already there I figured, why not, let’s go. And it turned out to be one of the hardest and difficult experiences, purging for multiple hours. In a way I was greedy for more consciousness, I wanted more, and I got my lesson.
Sometimes when participants are deep into their journey they want to drink more. I tell them, yes you can drink more, but make sure you do not drink out of curiosity but because there is a deeper calling to heal certain aspects within.
This applies to how many cups to drink in the ceremony but also if you should join additional ceremonies.
Generally, my connection with Ayahuasca changed when I stopped my hunger for the mystery, wanting to reach the next level or breakthrough but rather just wanted to connect deeper with myself, bring harmony into my life. In a way humbling myself and understanding that it is not about how far you can go and explore but rather about how in tune can you be with yourself.
What is the indigenous viewpoint on this: How many Ayahuasca ceremonies do you need?
Interestingly, the indigenous viewpoint is to drink more medicine. To partake in more ceremonies. They believe that you connect deeper with the spirit of Ayahuasca and it will heal, guide and protect you.
I also think it is important to differentiate between the cultural backgrounds. If you are living in the Amazon, you have the cultural heritage your connection to the Ayahuasca is a lot different then somebody who is coming from the west.
Ayahuasca as a path to growth and self-discovery
Apart from healing, another intention can be growth, which I personally really resonate with. We always have things we can improve on, things we can correct, even things we are not aware, a blindspot that is good to take a look at.
For me drinking Ayahuasca is a lot about growth and self-discovery. And it has served me very well. I feel very connected, I feel the resistance in myself decreasing. Also, I notice generally a deeper appreciation for life and the ability to trust in my path, not needing to control outcomes etc.
If you drink more regularly you will develop a deeper connection with Ayahuasca and you can feel within and know why you are really drinking Ayahuasca, just be really open with yourself.
Is Ayahuasca becoming a crutch or an escape:
If somebody is drinking Ayahuasca 20+ times a year it is a legitimate question if what they are doing is really helping them or are they just trying to escape reality? So let’s take a deeper look at this scenario.
How is your ceremony of life going? The compass on how many Ayahuasca ceremonies you need and how well you are doing.
It is important to remember that we partake in a ceremony so we improve our life. In the end, what matters is how is your ceremony of life going…
- Are you in harmony with yourself?
- What is your relationship with your romantic partner, your family, and your friends like?
- How is your relationship with money, work & and the environment?
These factors determine so much more about how “enlightened” or “spiritually developed” you are and not the number of times you have drank Ayahuasca.
- And what are you doing in your day-to-day life to improve in those areas?
- Are you having the tough conversations, saying no to the easy and do you have the strength to go down the road less traveled but will lead you to what you are truly striving for.
And if you don’t, why not?
Do you comfort yourself by saying, oh I am doing the inner work because I am drinking Ayahuasca. I feel so at peace and in love with myself. Well, is your outer life, and your relationships reflecting that back to you?
How much are you integrating?
So, you had a powerful ceremony, now it is time to take the homework you received and apply it in your day-to-day life.
Now the hard part starts.
- Now it is about letting go of habits that no longer serve you, sitting with uncomfortable feelings, having the courage to let go of the mask and be more authentically yourself.
- Trusting yourself, saying no to people and things that bring you advantages but deep down you know are not resonating with you.
- Can you stay composed when a trigger comes up and respond instead of react?
- Having the courage to trust your intuition and inner voice even if it goes against your logical mind and follow the way of your heart?
- Apologising to people who you have wronged and forgiving people who have wronged you.
This is where the real change starts to happen. And the more you life by this, the better your life becomes.
And you might feel the call to drink Ayahuasca again because these topics are not as easy as they seamed in the moment of clarity in the ceremony. It is ok and good to do that. But it is important to remember why we do it and then also do the work in the ceremony of our life.
Developing a spiritual ego:
It is easy to fall into the trap of the spiritual ego. In a way feeling superior because you are drinking Ayahuasca, because you are doing the inner work. There are people who brag about the number of times they drank Ayahuasca and see themselves as more “advanced” in their spiritual journey than others.
In reality this is more of a defence mechanism. These people want to feel superior because something in them makes them feel inferior so they need an external proof that they are superior to others. This can manifest in sharing how great of a person they are, how much the healed, how difficult of a situations in ceremony they were able to go through.
Eckart Tolle shared he has met people with a bigger ego who have given the majority of their net worth away then people who were working a traditional 9-5. So, if a person feels superior to others because of the spiritual journey that they are on or how many times they have been drinking Ayahuasca, that person has a lot of inner work and healing to do.
Must read Blog: Spiritual Ego after Ayahuasca
Spiritual bypassing through Ayahuasca:
The definition of “spiritual bypassing” is: “the tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks.”
In a way this can happen, and in reality it is obvious to everybody, but the person who is doing it. In this case it is important to have a community around you who are ready to tell you what you need to hear, and not what you want to hear.
In what phase of your life are you in?
Generally, it is very hard to sustain a life drinking a lot of Ayahuasca. First, because of the limited access to Ayahuasca in the west. You would have to be living in South America.
Usually, people who drink a lot of Ayahuasca are in a very difficult phase in their life and they are recovering from burnout, healing deep childhood trauma, drug abuse or whatever thing they are carrying with them.
After a while, they are naturally “forced” away from the medicine because they get a new job, move away, find a new romantic partner or something similar. Whatever “life situation” it might be for that person which does not allow him or her to partake in a high number of ceremonies any more. This is what I typically observe.
And then looking back at that persons situation, maybe subconsciously they needed to drink this high amount of Ayahuasca to deeply heal. And maybe from the outside looking it seamed like nothing was happening and they were not progressing in their life. But maybe they were rebuilding a foundation.
It is really hard to objectively say from the outside what is the best for that person in that moment. We never know what crazy turns life has in store for us.
Why are you drinking Ayahuasca?
I think in the end it comes back to this question. Why are you drinking Ayahuasca? What is your intention with the medicine?
Do you just drink to drink? Is it because you are looking for a shortcut? Because life always turns out to be more difficult than you think and you want to finally find the answer.
Go on and do it. And see what you get out of it. What the message of the Ayahuasca will be for you. And have the wisdom within to understand it.
What is the limit of Ayahuasca:
Ayahuasca is a medicine that connects us with ourselves, and the limit of Ayahuasca is the limit of ourselves. The level that we allow ourselves to go within. To the level that we are open and honest with ourselves.
So the question you should be asking yourself is are you truly ready for the change that you have been asking for or are you subconsciously still holding on to the old personality of suffering you are not ready to let go off…?
Remember the medicine is you, it is you connecting with your heart, having the courage to follow that inner voice. This is the most important. How many times you drink Ayahuasca to connect with that is secondary.