The Shadow Side of Ayahuasca

Disclaimer: I am not an ayahuasca shaman, psychologist, hallucinogen expert, or mental health expert. I have had 31 ayahuasca journeys over the course of three Peruvian amazon trips in 2014 & 2015. All of these journeys were with indigenous shipibo shamans. I have worked with over seven different shamans over the course of those 31 journeys. Since my journeys, I have put an extraordinary amount of vision on the spaces of consciousness and spiritual forces that land in ayahuasca ceremonies through my clients experiences and through romantic partners who drank the medicine. “Vision” in the context that I will write about on this website is just my internal knowing through my 3rd eye and through my seeing of truth. My “vision” is not the ultimate truth, but it is my ultimate truth. (for now at least as this is always subject to change)

In 2014 & 2015 I dove deep with ayahuasca. I was having a physical, spiritual & emotional breakdown which began in Oct 2013 and after reading some articles on it’s efficacy with depression and anxiety, I decided to go all in. (full story here)

This article is not about my journey with ayahuasca. But there are some important points to set context:

  • All 31 ceremonies were extremely difficult for me. Mentally, physically, and emotionally. Most people I have met have had on average more pleasant experiences with the medicine.
  • I followed all dietary rules and all contraindications were avoided. In fact I ate extremely clean and was on an intense detoxification protocol in 2014 and 2015. 
  • 31 ayahuasca ceremonies profoundly and permanently changed my psyche, understanding of reality, and connection to the Earth. Some of these changes for the better and some of it traumatic that I am still healing from to this day. 
  • I had severe mercury poisoning during the time that I was drinking ayahuasca. This was no doubt a contributing factor to my experience. 
  • My last 10 ceremonies were done in an isolation dieta with no human contact in a very remote part of Peru called Contamana. This is one of the most intense ways a person can consume ayahuasca. 

The light: 

Ayahuasca has massive healing potential and radically transformed my life. It helped me understand toxicity in the body, mind and spirit. It helped me experience self-love. It helped me break through all of the conditioning that I was exposed to in my upbringing. It cracked all filters and preconceived notions about life and existence. It helped me understand that I am not my mind but that I have a mind. Overall, the medicine has had a positive impact on my life, but not without significant downside. Like any facet of the human experience, ayahuasca has a shadow side. 

The Dark: 

1. The first thing is that the actual substance of ayahuasca is quite toxic to the body. Many hallucinogens are, and this is part of what creates an altered state. Through my years of being connected with regular ayahuasca drinkers, I have seen complaints of leaky gut and liver issues from the harshness of drinking ayahuasca regularly. One could say that the toxicity of the substance pales in comparison to the toxicity of just living a standard american way, but I digress. 

2. Ayahuasca is cracking open humans to all that is. The dark and the light. Though new age spirituality preaches love and light, let us not be naive in thinking that this world is devoid of dark forces. There are extreme levels of darkness and evil on this planet. No fear, but no naivety either. The extremely sensitive filter of this reality that is the mind (that we only get one of in this lifetime) is being subjected to massive stress on a regular basis - let alone what the poor thing has to go through in an ayahuasca ceremony. The level of spiritual training and awareness that a typical westerner has is sub-par, and diving into the deep end with a substance like this is simply too much too soon. We need a strong tether to the light and a practice which grounds us (yoga, qigong, meditation) built deeply into our systems before a gauntlet like aya. Otherwise it is shattering and fracturing to the psyche - which is very detrimental to an already fractured and traumatized majority. As a general rule, if you get lost in darkness and lose your thread to the light during your sober days, you will get utterly lost out at sea in an ayahuasca ceremony. 

3. Most ayahuasca centers are spiritual emergency rooms. On average, westerners are very spiritually sick. They come to these centers to find themselves and rid themselves of an illness that plagues them. Whether it be an actual debilitating illness or just the low level loneliness, anxiety, depression, and divorcement from nature that most carry. With all of their mental and physical problems, each individual is also bringing a plethora of invisible organisms into the space. All the forces they are plugged into. All the energies that they are host to. What most don’t understand is that each human being is literally carrying a universe of spiritual forces on them, around them, and in them. Assess the complexity of an internal microbiome with trillions of bacteria, parasites, viruses, cells etc -- and then we can begin to understand what a human being brings on the spiritual planes when he enters a room. The way I look at a human being now with years of spiritual training, extreme empathic ability, and a third eye that has been cracked open through life-threatening illness is basically like this:


Imagine Snow White is visible to the human eye and all the other creatures are on the invisible realms. I personally don’t see everything so clearly (though I train with teachers who do), but I feel everything clearly. (well not everything, but just what my vehicle allows me to at this rookie stage of my journey). And also imagine that instead of cute venison and beautiful birds, the average person is plugged into luciferian beings and dark end energies. Little demon monkeys, monsters, snakes, worms, and spiders (no I am not being dramatic). And of course light as well, but typically the darkness is the loudest and is extremely prevalent in the average human. 

Combine the above knowledge with the fact that the medicine cracks open our astral and etheric body - moreso than activities in our normal waking state. And then one can conclude that drinking ayahuasca with another human being is an extremely intimate affair. This poses a whole series of problems that exist on a spectrum. The more empathic, the more unhealthy one’s brain is, and the less sealed one’s aura is, the more severe the problem. You are bringing in an entire other universe of spiritual organisms into the space, complicating and confusing your already complicated spiritual problem. Now a great shaman will know how to minimize the problem here, but you are still subjecting yourself to all of the forces that everyone in the room carries. And of course subjecting yourself to the intentions, integrity, and skill of the shaman. To put your energy body (spiritual vehicle, temple etc) in the hands of somebody that you know so little about or just read a few google reviews about is utterly foolish. And has a terrible risk/reward ratio. 

Throw in massive purging (energy flying everywhere), anxiety, western neuroses, negative mental loops, an inability for deep calm belly breathing, facilitators who are not maestros assisting in the ceremony - and we are essentially going to bed with everybody else's sickness in the room. It’s a giant shit show. Granted there is the flip side that we are also going to bed with everyone’s light in the room. And it is true and I have experienced that simply being in the same room as another while under the influence of aya can provide us with life-changing codes via osmosis. 


4. Parasitic Entities are the #1 most overlooked issue with ayahuasca drinking. And few understand what is happening on an etheric level. The etheric is simply the layer of the chi or the energetic layer that exists congruently or superimposed with the physical. Typically the human body is designed with a natural layer of protection that will prevent entities from coming in. This natural layer of protection can be broken down through trauma, rape, drug use, alcohol etc. Consuming the substance of ayahuasca is essentially permission to have your etheric layer and crown chakra cracked open. Having one’s etheric cracked open is not necessarily a bad thing - we need this in order to have massive transformations and changes on the etheric level. We sometimes need this in order to have massive purges and releases. But, if you are not hyper aware and the set and setting is not pristine and of the highest integrity, chances are you will be picking up some visitors from the center and taking them home with you. The most common thing I see from ayahuasca drinkers is sucker entities. These are small octopus or spider like creatures that attach to the kidneys and back, and will suck life force for years to come without somebody having as much of a clue. On a regular basis I see people come home from ayahuasca intensives with very damaged etherics. Sure they have life insights, they feel more connected to nature, they want to eat healthier - but their chi is damaged and changed - and can take years to heal from even with the proper help. I have worked with dozens of individuals who are simply trying to heal from the damage they did to themselves during an ayahuasca intensive. Though my experience with entities has been slightly different to the teachings, this book provides the best understanding of parasitic entities. 


5. I have an entire website devoted to the cleansing of the human vehicle on a physical level. It’s how I have made my living these past five years. General toxicity in the human body creates a dirty antenna. As you may know, consciousness is received in this body/mind, not generated by the mind. Drinking ayahuasca without first going through an intense physical purification is like trying to ride your bike in the sand. Or like trying to watch an old antenna TV with aluminum foil covering the antenna. Old rotting fecal matter, heavy metals, parasites, viruses, plastics, and chemicals that have invaded our cells create a situation where your antenna cannot connect to high vibrational frequencies. You can chant mantra and say love and light all day long and throughout the entire ceremony, but if your vehicle is not purified you will be climbing uphill for the entire journey. And the pure spirit of ayahuasca will have a very hard time communicating with you. Through my years of drinking ayahuasca with mercury poisoning, I found that heavy metals act as morphing agents of spirit creating intense mental gymnastics, confusion and chaos in an already chaotic world - preventing the clarity and simplicity of truth from landing. 

6. Having an experience of seeing Jesus, angels, or lights and colors does not fundamentally change anything about our physical or emotional well being. If you are in an ayahuasca circle you’ll hear countless stories about all the visions, bliss, ecstasy, rainbows and unicorns. It’s very alluring and seductive to want to go experience that, but unless something is integrated into our daily routine, it has no tangible lasting effect on our consciousness. It becomes like a dream we once had. The ultimate changes to our consciousness happen each moment, each day through forging our will like sharpening a sword. Building our own thread to the light and strengthening our column of spirit with will and daily practice is the true alchemical path towards freedom. These visions can crack us open to intuitions and allow us to see things from a different angle, but where do we go and what do we do when the high is gone? That question is infinitely more important than having a vision of King Otto putting a crown on your head and telling you that you are one of the special ones.


The absolute purest form of this sacred and magical tool is hardly anywhere to be found. Humans have tainted and toxified the spaces and forces associated with this medicine. What was once an incredible tool for awakening humanity to me seems like an old and obsolete technology. There are cases and people, of course, where ayahuasca provides massive life-changing therapeutic benefit. It’s tough to predict which individuals it will help versus who it will harm. Therefore stating that ayahuasca is “bad” or should not be taken is a foolish statement. It has massive potential but carries a whole host of shadow downsides. One thing I have found to be true over and over again in my seven years of spiritual exploration is that there is no such thing as a neurological free lunch. 

I don’t wish to write extensively about this at this time, but I have also seen my fair share of dark magic, malicious intent, greed and western games to ever go back into this world. 

My life, peace and health has come from slow marathon approaches that require my daily incarnation of will such as meditation, detoxification, etheric cleansing, shadow-work, breathing techniques, and self-love. 

Drinking ayahuasca is something that one cannot ever undo. My advice is to try other more grounded approaches before committing to something so intense. 

If you still feel strongly, do your due diligence in finding a center that has integrity. Of the three that I went to, I can’t recommend any of them. 

I don’t drink ayahuasca anymore. I never will again. 


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