Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is Ayahuasca legal in the United States?
A. Ayahuasca contains Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which is a schedule 1 controlled substance that is ordinarily not legal to possess or distribute according to United States law. However, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 make exceptions for people with sincerely held religious beliefs not to have undue burdens placed on them by generally applicable laws that might interfere with their religious practices. The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently upheld this exception for members of the Native American Church. At this time, such legal protections may not be extended to persons who are not under the direct supervision of medicine persons who have been adopted by the Native American Church. CLICK HERE to become a member.
Q. Is Ayahuasca safe?
A. Statistically significant instances of verifiable harmful complications with Ayahuasca are virtually nonexistent. It is much more dangerous to drive a car or play sports in high school. Participants are cautioned, however, to abstain from certain foods and medications in the few weeks leading up to the ceremony due to possible harmful interactions. We ask for sincere and responsible cooperation from anyone seeking to participate in any ceremonies.
To read more about medication and dietary recommendations, CLICK HERE.
Q. Do I have to be a Native American to join?
A. No you do not! You do not have to be Italian to be Catholic, and the same rule apply here, but you must be a member to participte in one of our ceremonies. If you are a member of a NAC that is NOT Oklevueha, you may not be at a LEGAL Native American Ceremony. Always check with www.nativeamericanchurches.org to find out. Don't let someone DISRESPECT the work done by James Mooney, or the sacraments!
CLICK HERE to become a member.
Q. Are we affiliated with Aya Quest?
A. No we are not affiliated with Aya Quest or any other self proclaimed NAC that is not Oklevueha that does not have tribal backing.
Q. Can I get a refund if I change my mind?
A. Private ceremonies require a non- refudable $200 deposit. Our group ceremonies have a $25 refund charge due to bank transfer fees.
Q. I am flying in, can you pick me up?
A. If you are flying in you will need to rent a car, you must be 25 years old and have a valid drivers license.
We CANNOT pick you up from the airport.
Q. I am coming by Grayhound bus, can you pick me up?
A. No, you can try Ubers orr Lyft in the area.
Q. Can I be a Medicine Person?
A. Yes, with the proper training from us.
Q. I am on anti depressants. Can I drink Ayahuasca?
A. No, some antidepressants can take up to 60 days off of them before it is safe. CLICK HERE for more information.
Q. Will this be like Peru?
A. No, We are not trying to recreate Peru. We are offering a North American ayahuasca experience, which means seeking solitude and going inward gently to promote healing and soulful expansion.
Q. Will I purge?
A. Everyone purges in some way, some by vomiting, diarrhea, crying, laughing, tremors and talking.
Q. I would like to watch before I participate in a ceremony myself. Can I come to a group and just observe?
A. No. We do not allow anyone to observe a ceremony because it would interfere with the energy of the group, and would be disrespectful to their privacy. Spouses and partners are welcome to sleep at the oratory with attendees, but they must occupy themselves some other way during ceremonies.
Q. Why are your ceremonies so different than the way they do it in South America? Is there just one right way to do ayahuasca?
A. We work with seekers who are in different stages of the spiritual journey. We welcome those who have sought guidance from other healers, and we encourage anyone to learn from wherever they feel led.
We have worked with many people who have had their first experiences with ayahuasca in South America, and it has given us insight into some of the strengths and shortcomings of traditions such as one might find in Peru. It is not our intention to replace the South American traditions, but to express another form of spiritual guidance that speaks to the North American experience.
We believe we offer a powerful opportunity for healing that affirms the value of all spiritual paths. We strongly caution against limiting one's own spiritual growth by holding rigidly to modalities of thinking that lead you to more questions than answers. If you have been to Peru for ten ayahuasca ceremonies but are still struggling with issues of emotions and the ego, it may be that something in your previous guidance does not speak to you.
Q. I understand you will provide after-ceremony meals for the groups, but will all other meals also be provided?
A. No, we don't provide other meals. The reason for this is some choose not to eat at all, or eat very little before ceremony. We do have fruits and snacks you are welcome to eat at the oratory, but we only provide the one hot meal after ceremony to keep your energy up. You can go outside the oratory for other meals when we are not in ceremony. Berea and Richmond both have great places to eat that are vegetarian and vegan friendly.
Q.What will our day look like on Saturday, the second day for groups? Is there another ceremony?
A.We will have our second ceremony Saturday, after you have had plenty of time to rest from the night before. Some people have trouble sleeping after ayahuasca because of the activity opened up in the mind, so we encourage people to sleep in, read a book (we have plenty), journal, talk with other guests, or go for a walk. We have a great hiking trail at the Pinnacles in Berea at Indian Fort Theater just down the road. CLICK HERE FOR MAPS. Before you drink the brew the second day, we have the second group round discussion and talk about what happened the night before and prepare you for the next ceremony.