Photo by Chris Kilham

Exploring Magical Worlds With Ayahuasca Drinkers
by Douglas Main

“Hear of experiences both miraculous and terrifying, humorous and adventurous, humbling and revelatory, about Westerners drinking ayahuasca,” promised an email I received, pitching an event to be held on Saturday called the “Ayahuasca Monologues.”

“For centuries, shamans have drunk this powerful concoction,” the note continued, “to heal illness, obtain mystical insights, contact spirit guides, and explore magical worlds.”

Your loyal correspondent was intrigued, besides being a bit skeptical. Then again, his Saturday night plans consisted of watching the NCAA basketball tournament with friends, which is not exactly a unique experience. So he went, girlfriend in tow.

The ayahuasca experience is intense, involving colorful vision and encounters with spirits. It can lead to great and profound joy, but also has its difficult moments, said Chris Kilham, author of a book called The Ayahuasca Test Pilots Handbook: The Essential Guide to Ayahuasca Journeying.

March 2015