Shamanic ceremonies: demolishing myths

Possibly you have heard about the topic and of course, you have been curious. Possibly they have also addressed a lot of doubts and you have heard many myths. That’s why in this blog we’re going to talk about shamanic ceremonies: what they are, what myths surround them and what advice you should follow to take full advantage of them.

Shamanism and shamanic ceremonies

Shamanic ceremonies are ancestral rituals to connect with nature and use its power to connect with yourself and heal. However, there are many myths about it and how the only way to confront a myth is to educate yourself and learn about it, is that we will start this blog, defining concepts and terms about it.

Shamanism refers to the traditional practices with which our ancestors diagnosed and cured human suffering. Its ceremonies are practices that are based on the use of the power of nature and the connection with it, to heal us.

Felipe, from Ikka Casa de Salud, refers to this: to the tradition that comes hand in hand with techniques.

Myth 1: Not everything revolves around Ayahuasca

The first myth to tear down is that when we talk about shamanic ceremonies, not everything revolves around the Ayahuasca. Perhaps this is one of the best-known plants for ceremonies, but it is not the only one.

Felipe spoke to us about many types of silvers, each depending on the tradition to which he responds. In Ikka Casa de Salud, for example, they do not work with Ayahuasca. The tradition of Ikka is Inca and therefore, they work with Andean plants whose uses were learned in the Andes.

The Ayahuasca may be the best known, because many people have taken money from it, we will talk about the best-known case, but it is not the only one. Shamanism is a millenary tradition spread in many cultures with very different colors. Each one has its essence, its lineage and its way of use. Therefore, it is essential that you know well in which you will internalize.

Also, it is very important to understand that this is not a psychedelic trip that you will do with your friends on the mountain. This is an ancestral tradition of healing the body through the soul.

Seeing it that way is the first step to enjoy it in depth.

Myth 2: It’s inspiration and culture, much more than an experience

Shamanism and its ceremonies are traditions of different worldviews. The vision with which Ikka Casa de Salud works, as we mentioned before, is of Andean inspiration.

Each of the practices is a worldview anchored to a territory. And this is a serious issue that must be treated with respect. In shamanism, making use of other inspirations is a crime and is known as biopiracy.

A few years ago, for example, a well known corporation was sued in Europe over the issue. They created oligopolies that prioritized the economic benefit to the spirituality of the ceremony.

That is why complaints of malpractice, scams and the discovery of pseudo-shamans in practice proliferate. And that’s why we must tear down those myths.

Myth 3: Does it generate addiction?

No plant used in shamanic ceremonies is a drug. You will not leave this being addicted. That is the next myth that we need to break.

This is not a game or a psychedelic trip with friends to see colors. This is an ancestral ceremony, not a drug, look for a quality shaman, who knows what he does, so, there will not be any kind of risk.

Myth 4: Will I take some risk?

The same applies for this point. Felipe points out that it is necessary that you understand that, with a specialized shaman, who knows what he is doing, nothing will happen to you.

Felipe resembled him to a doctor: you’re not going to have stomach surgery with someone who does not have a medical degree. The same happens here. Be careful and do it well, be careful so there is no risk.

They are strong plants and ancient traditions. We repeat, this is not a game but with care, and respect, there is no danger.

Myth 5: The ceremony more than the shaman.

The intermediary between both worlds in the ceremony is the shaman. He is the one who connects the spiritual part, from which the energy comes, with our part, human.

This is the one who enters the world of spirits and communicates with them in a trance state to get help in healing.

Felipe says that it is necessary that whoever develops the ritual knows what he is doing. And here we do not just talk about knowing the details and steps to follow the technique.

Here we talk about mastering and understanding song, dance and the history of the mechanism to be used is a plant to be used. The plant is a living spirit that teaches. Therefore, there must be a cultural, spiritual and source of sustenance to understand it in depth.

Respect for the ceremony includes understanding that these are not allusions and catharsis. They are experiments to connect with ourselves and reach healing and healing from it.

Felipe points out that it is part of human freedom to experiment for the purpose that is wanted. But it is necessary to understand that a ceremony is much more than that. It is the experience of a healing based on the teachings of an ancestral culture.

Myth 6: The myth of the shaman.

The shaman is the connection and the guide; however, it is necessary not to fall from it in the myth of the shaman.

It is often seen and believed that the shaman is an omnipotent character, who in some cases is being processed in an idolatry. This is the door of deception, according to Felipe.

The shaman, in fact, is a faultless person before the community. But to believe that he has power is the worst myth of the ceremony. The power is not yours, it is of nature.

With a little knowledge of the culture, you can know when it is an amalgam of contraptions, versus an ancestral heritage of a people.

Knowing this detail is essential to avoid the risks that could be incurred in the practice of the ceremony. We speak the administration of a substance and only those who understand and know their culture and treatment, can avoid an overdose or other risks.

The true shaman is a doctor who knows the dosage and understands how the individual to whom it is administered works. Being medicine, there must be a medical and a spiritual context and therefore it is necessary not to go with anyone or treat it like a fad.

“A doctor is not going to operate in the middle of a lunch, it requires a protocol, the same thing happens with traditional medicine, it’s delicate and it needs to be contextualized.”

Felipe adds that we are talking about a living substance, that has a spirit. This spirit is what helps us to manage anxiety pictures, psychosomatic illnesses and anyone who has a psycho-emotional framework. “El susto”, as the Andean tradition calls it, according to Felipe.

Here the clinical part is prepared from the spiritual and healing is achieved with the technique.

Myth 7: This is not a game

This is the most important myth that we must break when talking about shamanic ceremonies. Felipe is emphatic in pointing out that a ceremony always has to do with the culture of the people who develop it.

In the case of Ikka Casa de Salud, this tradition is Andean, as we already talked; however, ancestral practices are reported in Europe, Africa and Asia. Each one has its own cosmovision and associated technique.

Felipe points out that lately a lot of people have started to see the ceremony more as a hallucinatory “performance” than as an experience as serious as it really is.

So, when you go to find the destination where you will enjoy the experience of the ceremony, do it carefully and with respect.

Myth 8: It’s not a party, it’s a connection with nature.

There is a radical difference between “taking a grass and partying” and living a ceremony as such.

Shamanic traditions are learned in the jungle, in nature. Therefore, the important thing is to look for a ceremony that is connected to it.

In a ceremony in nature, we will be sitting for more than 8 hours, under the commitment and responsibility of the shaman. Only then will we connect and return home, learned about how to modify our external reality, based on the connection with the internal.

This is what Finca Exótica Ecolodge offers you when it invites you to connect with nature in our hotel in the paradise close to the Corcovado National Park.

Contact us so you can learn more about our events and stay tuned for the connection with you and your soul.

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*Andrea Mora Journalist, copywriter and traveler in love with the Osa Peninsula, the best place in all of Costa Rica. You can  find more information at