They can spend well over 15+ years assisting an elder before they are allowed to carry and share the medicine by themselves.
In Colombia, when the elder feel that an apprentice is ready to become a Shaman, they announce it to him so he can start preparing.
For 5 months he is invited and asked to be impeccable with the way he lives, eats, sleeps, thinks and so on.
A lot of discipline is needed to have a clean mind and body for the initiation process.
Then when the day comes, they head deep into nature and the apprentice is given 1 Liter of Ayahuasca.
(for reference 50ml-70ml is usually what each attendee receives in a cup during a ceremony, so 1 Liter is to drink -at once- close to 20 times what a normal person would)
This is not to be tried by just anyone – the apprentices spend years and years, drinking ayahuasca hundreds (or thousands) of times before they are ready to be initiated.
They go into a sort of “comma” for up to 3 days where their body is left and their soul goes through its process.
During this time, the elder will also drink a bowl of ayahuasca and will sit caring for the body and paying attention to the initiate’s energies.
If during their visions, they all see a crown of feathers above his head, that means that the medicine has approved him to become an Ayahuasca (yage) shaman.
So once he is back, he is given a crown of feathers and becomes a “crowned shaman” which gives him the legal ability to share plant medicine with other people.
Some initiate’s never wake up from this process, and that means they were just not ready.
Their mind and bodies were not strong enough to go through the deep end and come back, therefore they’re not qualified to hold space for other’s healing process.
🧐 And some people still think that a “facilitator” that spent a few months in Peru is ready to hold a profound and meaningful container for the medicine…
Do your research and ensure that the people guiding your ceremony have done their own work.
Otherwise, you’re in bad hands.
If you feel the calling to sit with Ayahuasca, in a container held by Colombian Shamans at a sacred temple in the middle of the mountain forests, please check: