This book is based on Dr. Rachel Harris’s original research which stands as the largest study to date of the ayahuasca underground in North America. Dr. Harris includes stories from her own journeys with ayahuasca and how she integrated those experiences into her daily life.

Chapters explore the shamanic ritual use of ayahuasca, mediumship in the ayahuasca churches from Brazil, the shadow side of the medicine, and the latest research on how the medicine opens the opportunity for therapeutic breakthroughs. The book will help people thinking about exploring ayahuasca to make an informed decision. It will give those who have experienced the medicine creative ways to work therapeutically with their experiences. And it will offer insight to therapists who work with people after their ayahuasca journeys.

Chapter LIST

Chapter One: The Mission

My first ceremony; guided by Grandmother Ayahuasca to do research study.

Chapter Two: New Hope for Healing

First person reports on self-acceptance and love, relationships, depression, anxiety, health, drugs, and alcohol.

Chapter Three: Transformational Medicine

Therapeutic value of spiritual experience; relationship with Grandmother Ayahuasca.

Chapter Four: Magic and Mystery

Indigenous use of ayahuasca; subtle perceptual training; spirit worlds.

Chapter Five: Church Sacrament

Santo Daime and União do Vegetal; mediumship; spiritual bypass; benefits of belonging to a church.

Chapter Six: The Shadow Side

Risky business choosing shaman and unknown medicine; bad trips; rape; Western acculturation of indigenous tradition.

Chapter Seven: To Believe or Not to Believe

Ontological shock; discernment about hearing a voice; influence of therapists’ belief system; ayahuasca miracle cures.

Chapter Eight: Your Brain on Ayahuasca      

Core psychotherapy issue is to be loved and accepted; neurological reprogramming; quieting inner critic.

Chapter Nine: The Perennial Quest

Therapeutic value of mystical experience; shamanic process; subtle therapy with numinous experience; ethics.

Chapter Ten: This Enchanted World

Living in the magical dream world of ayahuasca; communion with nature; gratitude.