Ayahuasca #1

I knew she’d call when the time was right.

And she did. Mother Ayahuasca.

The first time I heard of her existence was on a hike in Beaver Creek, CO in the fall of 2016. My soul sister, Rachelle, was visiting for the weekend and recounted to me, as we strolled through the yellowing aspen groves, her experience in Peru with this powerful psychedelic plant medicine. I felt something stir inside of me and intuitively knew I’d meet this mysterious Mother one day, and that I’d know in my heart when I was ready.

Over the past few years, I’ve had several opportunities present themselves, however never did it feel right until one very snowy day in the middle of April just gone.

Sitting in the penthouse suite of my favorite hotel in Denver (thank you a million times for the upgrade The Maven), I received an email from a trusted source, Aubrey Marcus, and it mentioned Soltara, an Ayahuasca Retreat Centre in Costa Rica.

I felt a familiar sense of curiosity and knowing.

I clicked the link.

I scrolled, I read, I clicked ‘View Retreats’.

I checked my calendar against the upcoming dates. May 5th was clear.

I grabbed my credit card and booked.

I received an email as part of Soltara’s booking process and immediately completed the forms they sent in order to assess my viability for the retreat (they review your mental health history, general health and past use of psychedelics). Feeling comforted by the level of care and respect they take with this, I was even more certain of my decision when I received an email soon after confirming I’d been accepted to attend.

It all happened within 30 minutes. I was booked in for the seven day retreat program, which included four Ayahuasca Ceremonies.

And that was it, at my core I felt calm, on the surface I was nervous and scared and curious and many things, but I knew it was time. I was following the bouncing ball toward my destiny. It seemed I’d been summoned.

Still healing from my breakdown last year, from my recent breakup, and generally healing from my life, I was at a point where I trusted the calling and that this would be an important step in the journey of coming home to myself.

I let Rache know, and thanked her for setting me on this path all those years ago, and in a moment of very adult behavior I sent the link for Soltara, and the dates to my Mum and sister. I’m quite certain Mum has no idea what Ayahuasca is, and at this point just nods along with my wild and crazy life. She’s become accustomed to my level of exploration and experimentation, but I thought it best someone knew where I was going.

If you’re too wondering what Ayahuasca is, it’s a brew drunk in a ceremonial setting, consisting of two amazonian plants (the ayahuasca vine and the chacruna leaf) containing the powerful psychoactive DMT (dimethyletryptamine). It’s administered by shamans and healers, and is known to shift past traumas energetically stuck in our bodies.

A common description thrown around is that it’s ‘equivalent to ten years of therapy’.

It may be too soon for me to say, however reflecting on my experience in this moment, I tend to agree.


More to come! This note is the first in a six part series on my Ayahuasca Healing journey. I’ll be releasing one each day, over the week ahead, describing the entire process including the life changing experience I had during my third ceremony.

Sarah Riegelhuth