Updated: Jul 23
With the rise in popularity of ayahuasca, many people find our site when searching for this kind of transformational experience locally. We have a deep and profound love for the power of Ayahuasca for healing and personal transformation, but the earth medicine we choose to work with at Sakrd Retreats is psilocybin mushrooms.
Mushrooms have an interesting reputation in our society as a recreational plant (they're actually not a plant - fungi are now considered separate from plants) when in fact mushrooms are one of the most powerful transformational earth medicines available when used in the right dose and setting. There is now extensive research being done by organizations such as MAPS, Johns Hopkins, and NYU showcasing their use for treating anxiety, depression, PTSD, addiction, and OCD (see Research & Info for more on this). While the research is exciting and promising, it exists within a clinical environment vs a shamanic-based healing modality such as what we offer at Sakrd Retreats.
Everyone's experience will be different but here is a general comparison of a mushroom journey vs an ayahuasca journey.
Type of Medicine On the medicine wheel, both mushrooms and ayahuasca are spirit medicines. This means they are both intended to connect you with a deep sense of oneness consciousness. Both medicines have been used by indigenous cultures for centuries. They are both psychedelic medicines and can help you experience what we call an ego death / dissolution.
Preparation for the Ceremony
Some level of preparation is important for both medicines; how you come into both ceremonies will greatly affect your experience. For both it is recommended that you spend time preparing your mind, body, and spirit in advance - meditation, journaling, and having reverence for yourself and the experience are important. However for ayahuasca, the diet that you follow before hand is extremely critical to your experience. For mushrooms, a clean diet will be beneficial but is less critical to the experience.
How You Consume It
Mushrooms can be taken many ways - they can be eaten whole, made into a tea, ground into pills, etc. There are many different strains of mushrooms - all with slightly different properties such as amount of psilocybin and the type of experience - some may be more visual, some more heart-opening, some more body oriented. The amount you take will be determined by your guide based on many factors. Ayahuasca combines a vine and a shrub and is made into a tea and cooked for a prolonged period of time. Most people will start with one cup and if needed may have another later in the ceremony.
The length of the psychedelic experience is similar for both medicines & music is an important part of both journeys. With ayahuasca part of the process is a physical purge - almost all participants will experience this and it is a part of the healing process. With mushrooms occasionally some people will purge but it is not as common. In both experiences you'll spend time on your own experiencing the power of the medicine and there will be guides available to support you should you need it.
With both experiences, people tend to feel more at peace, more connected to themselves, humanity, and spirit afterward. The experience generally removes blockages to accessing the root causes of things like - trauma, emotional pain, physical pain, a feeling of being stuck, or addiction. It can open the person up to true self discovery, healing, and love.
Have you experienced either or both? Tell us about your experience below!