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 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.
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. Are we affiliated with Aya Quest?
A. No we are not affiliated with Aya Quest.
Q. Can I get a refund if I change my mind?
A. The donation you provide is a free-will love offering to the church. Please make sure you are committed to attend ceremony before you submit your offering. In rare instances of need we may decide the return of a donation is warranted. Private ceremonies require a non-refundable $200 deposit to reserve your dates. If there is an extreme need to return a donation, there will be a a $25 charge due to 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 Greyhound bus, can you pick me up?
A. No, you can try Ubers or Lyft in the area.
Q. Can I be an ayahuasca facilitator?
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 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 communion 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 after ceremony. We do have fruits and snacks you are welcome to eat at the oratory, but we only provide one hot meal after ceremony to keep your energy up. You can travel 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 if that is your preference.
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 take the sacrament the second day, we have the second group round discussion to talk about what happened the night before and to prepare you for the next ceremony.
Q. Where do you get your ayahuasca?
A. We are happy to tell people the ingredients we use for our ayahuasca, but of course it would be irresponsible of us to discuss the methods of how we make it or how we source our ingredients. We brew the medicine ourselves so we always know exactly what is in it, and so we can assure our church members that the sacrament they take never contains any unnecessary add-mixtures such as tobacco or dartura. We use both B. Caapi and Syrian Rue as the sources of harmal alkaloids that function as an RIMA, and Acacia Root Bark as a reliable and consistent source of DMT.
Some people describe the B. Caapi vine to be more narrowly focused spiritually, and Syrian Rue to be more broadly focused. We have had enormous success using both concurrently. We do this to put less of an environmental impact on some of the traditional plants that are potentially being over-harvested in South America. We have now used the same recipe for years, and the range of potency has been reliably consistent.
We serve what we consider a medium-strength brew, since we are introducing most people to ayahuasca for the first time. This means that only a very small percentage of people will be expected to have overwhelming responses to the initial dose. Even these extreme responses are manageable with assistance. Most people require one or two follow-up doses over the course of the evening to have powerful responses, although in many cases a milder and more subtle experience can be most welcome for those who are new to the medicine. This is why we hold at least two consecutive sessions; to allow our members to get the sense that each session will be different, even when they drink the same medicine in the same amounts.