At a guess, I suspect about a quarter of the people we have worked with have asked if they can take ayahuasca home with them, or have it shipped to them, so they can journey on their own in the privacy of their own home. The short answer is that there are circumstances under which this is acceptable, and circumstances under which it is not.
Let’s start with the reasons it might NOT be acceptable to journey at home. To begin with, it is legal to purchase, possess, ship, and use ayahuasca in a ceremonial context if you are a member of Oklevueha Native American Church (ONAC). Generally speaking, it is our policy at Peaceful Mountain Way that it would be irresponsible to allow someone to take ayahuasca at home without a competent guide. There are self-proclaimed medicine men out there who will sell ayahuasca through the mail to someone not having met them at all. This is both irresponsible and unethical.
We understand that many individuals who seek spiritual advancement with Mother Aya have already had experience with other psychoactive substances, and may consider ayahuasca to be a natural progression in their path. Notwithstanding their previous experience, an ayahuasca journey can be more powerful than expected depending on the dosage and the mindset of the seeker. A given journey may be extremely mild or extremely powerful, and no amount of planning can prepare someone for an overwhelming experience, which can be temporarily distressing even under the guidance of an experienced medicine person. Alone, without the support of a trained facilitator, there is the possibility, however unlikely, of serious psychological difficulties and/or physical dangers.
If you are somehow able to obtain ayahuasca, and are determined to take it by yourself without the supervision of a medicine person, at the very least you must use it in the presence of someone you can trust to watch over you. This person must be willing to be comforting, supportive and mostly quiet throughout your journey. They must be able to step in primarily for physical assistance and to prevent dangers associated with vomiting, thrashing, or disorientation. This is by no means the ideal situation, but it is less reckless than journeying in complete isolation.
Now let’s address the reasons it might be acceptable to journey at home, and the circumstances under which it might be done responsibly. Again, it is legal to purchase, possess, ship, and use ayahuasca in a ceremonial context if you are a member of Oklevueha Native American Church (ONAC). You must become a member of Oklevueha before participating in ceremonies. Ask us how to make your lifetime membership more affordable, so you can legally participate in ayahuasca ceremonies with Peaceful Mountain way.
It is necessary for a medicine man/woman to spend much time alone in private study, and this means much time alone in meditation, contemplation and spiritual journeying using entheogenic substances if that is the course of study. Training for a life of service to others through natural medicine and spiritual counseling is not to be undertaken lightly. It requires a disciplined mind, a strong will, a compassionate heart, and balanced emotions. Ayahuasca is a powerful psychoactive medicine, and one’s first experiences with her should be under the supervision of a competent and experienced guide.
It is common, after your first experience with Mother Aya, to feel led to help others in some capacity as a spiritual guide. Even if you will not be using ayahuasca as your means of ministering to people, you may choose to continue to use ayahuasca as your sacrament for personal spiritual growth. This continued spiritual exploration should be done under the supervision of a competent guide, but in order to develop the confidence and self-possession of a true spiritual healer, some spiritual journeys must be done alone. This demands a great amount of personal responsibility, and it must be understood that the person doing the training has accepted any risks associated with journeying alone.
The path of a spiritual healer is not for everyone. It demands sacrifice and conviction. Enthusiasm is no substitute for commitment. The use of ayahuasca may provide great insight on your path, but it is important to achieve a higher degree of awareness before it may safely be taken alone. Using ayahuasca alone at home is not a responsible way to begin this path. Trust your guide or mentor to tell you when you are ready to take this step.