The benefits of sacred medicine ceremonies
Our retreat falls over the Día de Los Muertos celebrations here in Oaxaca and most lodging will book up WELL IN ADVANCE. To avoid delays it is recommended that you plan to arrive no later than 10/26. We will meet and depart no later than 9am on 10/27. (We have an arrangement with a local boutique guesthouse that is temporarily reserving space for us both before and after the retreat. Our transport to the retreat center will both leave and drop off from this location so it’s a good option. There are both private and shared accommodations available but they are limited. (Check out pictures on their FB page: Villa Verde Oaxaca) and email asap for reservations and details.
Who can benefit from ceremony
Sacred medicine ceremonies are beneficial for anyone searching for growth, meaning, healing, transformation and self discovery. Many guests who come are seeking clarity on their path, parents seeking meaning post childbirth, those of us who have experienced trauma, people suffering from anxiety or depression or chronic illness, and individuals seeking peace during end of life events are some of the biggest reasons to work with sacred medicines. However, it is just as beneficial for those of us seeking ways to inspire creativity or unlock stifled potential. Plant medicines are for anyone who wants a more rich, meaningful life and is willing to explore the depths of innerspace to find the answers.
Our mushrooms or “Los Ninos Santos” are wild harvested by the Mazatec people in the mountains of their ancestors in the traditional way. In keeping with their traditions it is consumed around the fire with cacao (unprocessed, raw chocolate) which they believe helps to bring the visions of the sacred mushroom.
We have three ceremonies and three stages of “step”dosaging.
The first ceremony is the “classic” dose (up to 2.5 dried grams). This is the journey that most people are familiar with, which is typified by feelings of euphoria, connectedness, various body sensations, and light visuals. This ceremony helps to open us up to the medicine and begins to heal old wounds, fears and traumas.
The second is a medium/strong dose (up to 3.5 grams). Usually in this ceremony, participants go much deeper in their process with much stronger sensations, visuals and personal insights.
The third is the heroic or “goddess” dose (up to 5 grams). In the goddess or hero’s journey you will take your deepest dive. Armed with lessons and realizations from your previous ceremonies, you complete the cycle of intention that you have presented in ceremony and throughout your week-long retreat.
**Note on dosage range: We are dedicated to offering safe and healing dosages to our guests. Each participant will work directly with retreat leaders before each ceremony to determine the optimal dosage for each individual which means that you can elect a lower dosage at any time.
**Note on dosage caps: Our dosage ranges are capped per ceremony to provide the best possible experience for each guest. We whole-heartedly believe in the power of these medicines to do their work and that overloading our minds and bodies with ultra-high doses is wholly unnecessary and possibly irresponsible. In our many years of ceremonial medicine experience, there is no exact dosage to “heal depression” or to achieve “ego death.” These numbers were created in laboratory settings in clinical trials and offered without the benefit of ceremony. Therefore, we honor the traditions and cap our highest dose at 5 grams otherwise known as the “heroic dose.” Taking sacred medicine is a process of unfolding not a demolition of your mind and spirit.
Music plays an important role in a sacred plant ceremony. It acts as an anchor and guides you through the different stages of your journey. Luz Eterna hand selects its musical leaders with special consideration for the beauty of their sacred music and their experience as a visionary medicine ceremony guide. Instruments such as rattles, hand drums, sound bowls, guitar and violin are employed along with song to accompany and comfort us each step of the way.
Our international group of leaders will share the music that has touched their lives and contributed to their own healing so you will experience songs from Mexico, South America, Africa, Finland and the U.S. as we weave together a sonic tapestry that binds us together.
The sacred fire will be at the center of our healing ceremony circles. It is considered to be our wise “abuelo” (grandfather) and is used as a focal point in which to place our intentions, worries, and prayers. A ceremonial fire is not a typical campfire and is built to exact specifications and tended by a highly experienced and trained fire keeper. To convene with each other around the sacred fire and journey under a canopy of stars is a time honored tradition of our ancestors and a powerful healing tool in and of itself.
The ancient ritual of sweatlodge or temazcal as it is known Mexico, is an act of purification of the body, mind and spirit. It can be constructed of rock, adobe or wood covered in canvas to seal in the heat. Rocks are heated in a carefully prepared fire and brought into a special pit in the center of temazcal. Once everyone enters and the doors of the temazcal are closed, the shaman pours healing water over the rocks creating a kind of steam bath much like a sauna. Just as there are four sacred directions, there are four “puertas” (doors) that mark the end of each period in the ceremony where the doors are opened to let in fresh air and anyone who wishes may take a break or chose to “sit out” a round at this time. During the short periods when the doors are closed, no one may enter or leave, it is a time when four medicine songs are shared each time, prayers made and drums played.
The temazcal is a reflection of the sacred feminine and directly represents womb of mother earth. As you finish the four cycles and exit the temazcal, it is a symbol of rebirth, renewal and celebration.