Ayahuasca and other plant medicines offer a level of knowledge and power that should be accessed only in the right environment and with the right preparation beforehand, and support during and after the experience. These medicines are far from recreational, and must be treated with the utmost respect and care. 

At Arkana Spiritual Center, we make sure our guests feel prepared and taken care of, from the moment they register for a retreat with us, through their whole experience and for months afterwards. Explore each section below to understand the process of working with the medicines, and how we help you have the most fulfilling and transformative experience on your healing journey.


Once you make the commitment to working with Ayahuasca, the medicine starts working on you, before you even arrive in Peru! As a result, you may become aware of difficult feelings and emotions, such as fear, anxiety, or depression, come to the surface in the weeks leading up to your retreat. This is normal, and in fact a crucial part of the healing journey.

It’s important to understand how to handle these emotions if they come up, as well as prepare your mind, body, and spirit as best as you can, in order to get the most out of your experience with us.

As you prepare yourself for the Ayahuasca experience (typically 1-2 months in advance of your retreat), be mindful of the things which have kept these emotions buried. You may find them start bubbling to the surface. If this is the case, the best thing you can do is to have compassion for yourself.

Treat yourself with kindness, allow yourself the space to feel and observe the emotions from a place of non-judgement. Ayahuasca is showing you what you will be dealing with, and it’s important to trust in the process and that the medicines are working on you and will help you through it.

facing your shadow

Ayahuasca can be best described as a very big, very shiny mirror. It’s power and knowledge come from its ability to strip away the layers of avoidance, reluctance, and lies that have covered up our darkness – our traumas, deeply-rooted fears, and negative thought patterns.

This process brings us face-to-face with our “shadow self” – those parts of us that we have buried deeply in our subconscious; emotional and energetic blockages that we may have covered up with alcohol, drugs, unhealthy food, prescription medication, external validation and materialism, etc.

Western medication attempts to solve this problem by treating the symptoms, which only further separates us from the root cause, and keeps us from healing the real issue.

The only way to get through it is to go through it. Ayahuasca shows us the true path to healing is facing our shadow, resolving the inner conflict and turmoil that has caused us to bury and suppress our pain (often reaching all the way back to childhood), and releasing the energy that has been trapped there for so long, freeing us up to feel the full experience of love.


Preparing your spirit

We highly recommend taking the time to prepare your mental and spiritual bodies, in addition to your physical. This may include meditation, yoga, art or dance classes before your retreat. Anything that connects you with your own self, so that you get a deeper understanding of what you truly wish to accomplish during your stay with us.

A close friend of ours once said that many people come to do Ayahuasca thinking they know what their intentions are.. However, upon meditating on the subject, they often realize that their intentions are a bit superficial and what they truly need to work on lies on more of a spiritual/soul level. Ayahuasca works with your subconscious mind and will help you see what truly matters.

We recommend focusing on things which raise your energetic vibrations. You can find a great article on what that means and how to do it by clicking here.

We highly recommend starting a meditation and/or yoga practice to help yourself through your preparation process. Avoid people, places and violent movies, any situation which makes you uncomfortable for at least a week prior, these things will only increase you fear and anxiety.

Feel free to reach out to us at any time if you need support, advice, or just an ear to listen. We have worked with the medicine extensively, so our staff understands the potential challenges of the healing process, and are here for you in whatever capacity you need.