Ayahuasca, vine of the soul – Can a plant give us access to spiritual realms?

AyahuascaI recently published a post about DMT (short for N,N-Dimethyltryptamine or N,N-DMT), which some call “The Spirit Molecule”, and the research Dr. Rick Strassman has done on the subject (click here to read previous post).

Naturally manufactured by the human brain, DMT is apparently found in nearly every living organism, but especially in a plant called ayahuasca. This plant has traditionally been consumed as a brew for divinatory and healing purposes by indigenous Amazonian Amerindian cultures.

Ayahuasca, vine of the soul is a fascinating documentary that follows two Canadians who travel to Peru to experiment the ceremonial consumption of ayahuasca under the supervision of a shaman, Guillermo Arévalo, who operates a center dedicated to that purpose.

An interesting aspect of the documentary is that both participants have very different intentions regarding they journey to Peru, and their experience ends up having a profound effect on both in ways they did not initially consciously seek or even perceive to be possible.

The 52-minute film also explores the possible health and spiritual benefits of using ayahuasca, as well as its possible pitfalls if pursued without adequate preparation or proper guidance.

VINEOFTHESOUL_6 010413;01“Ayahuasca makes you learn,” says Guillermo, a curandero, or healer, known and revered among his people under his medicine name, Ketsenbetsa, which means “echo of the universe”.

“Ayahuasca is a means for man to get to know the different realms of existence,”  Guillermo continues. “The source of all creation makes us see where man comes from, that he comes from space… where energy comes from, in the form of light. We are all formed through a relationship of nature, energy and light.”

Image-978x1024Richard Meech, Director, says that “When I set out to make my documentary Ayahuasca vine of the soul, I had two intentions. Firstly, to awaken viewers to the possibility of a direct experience of the divine through the ceremonial use of ayahuasca, a sacred plant medicine used for this purpose in traditional Amazonian shamanism. And second, I wanted people to see firsthand to what degree the insights and joy that arise from such encounters can be integrated into daily life.”

While ayahuasca may be useful as an help to access spiritual realms, other authors, such as my friend Garry Leblanc, have researched and developed natural means to do so based on other ancestral beliefs – if you feel so inclined, you can find out more on his website, RD-YES.COM.

Ayahuasca, vine of the soul is available on Netflix.

You can find out more on the official website, vineofthesoul.com.

Update, April 28, 2015
Legal Status of DMT and ayahuasca
While it has been know since the early 1970s that DMT is endogenous, i.e. naturally produced by the human body, as well as many other living organisms, this compound has been illegal in the United States since 1966, along with other hallucinogenic or psychedelic substances such as LSD and mescaline. In 1970, DMT was classified as a “Schedule I” drug under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. This means it is illegal to manufacture, buy, possess, or distribute (sell, trade or give) DMT without a DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) license. It should also be noted that “any material… which contains any quantity” of a schedule I drug is itself a schedule I drug under the law – so the plant ayahuasca falls under these terms. Furthermore, since DMT has also been classified as a Schedule I drug under the UN 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, most countries have fallen in line and made it illegal. These dispositions are rather psychedelic in themselves when you consider that DMT is naturally produced by the brain… As David Icke mentions in his book The Perception Deception, “drugs that can kill you and put you spiritually to sleep are promoted and protected by the authorities, but psyche-opening drugs which, if used properly in safe conditions can show you the illusion, are banned.”

About Henri Thibodeau

Freelance writer and translator based in Quebec, Canada.
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2 Responses to Ayahuasca, vine of the soul – Can a plant give us access to spiritual realms?

  1. I concur with your second question, and this is why I would definitely not recommend going “there” without adequate preparation AND proper guidance, which Guillermo seems to be providing. As for what my friend is proposing, you’ll have to inquire further on his website if you are interested, I cannot speak for him. And I personally agree and concur with your last statement – I would add that I am in the here and now, and this is what I have decided to deal with while it lasts – others may wish to follow different paths, which I totally respect. P.S. Thank you for your comments and feedback, which I totally appreciate 🙂


  2. thetruthisstrangerthanfiction says:

    I’m not sure if I’ve seen this documentary yet (I’ve seen the other one on Strassman and his experiments a couple of times though). To the question “can ayahuasca give access to spiritual realms?”, I would actually have to answer in the affirmative, although I would have to accompany the first question with the second question of, “Are those spiritual realms really a place you want to be…?”

    I’m also curious now about what kinds of practices your friend uses in accessing spiritual realms, my guess would be some form of meditation probably?

    Overall, to me what is one of the most central issues in the matter of accessing different spiritual dimensions, whether by ayahuasca, injecting “pure” DMT, or any other shamanic/meditative means, is the matter of the beings one inevitably encounters when entering such realms. I definitely believe they are real, but at this stage in my journey they are no longer something I would ever want anything to do with again…


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