Preparing for retreat


before attending your retreat

If it is your first time to come and work with the medicine ayahuasca, it is wise to take some steps to prepare yourself for your journey. Though there are boundless lists online about ayahuasca preparation of what to do and not do, here are our suggestions:


  • One of the first things we encourage people to do when they decide to come is to begin communicating with the spirit of ayahuasca. Take a moment to honour this ancient benevolent spirit in some form or another. Take a moment of silence and make an offering of your heart.
  • Time and time again we have seen connect in ceremony much quicker and go much deeper as they have allowed for a relationship to begin to unfold.
  • As much as western culture likes to pinpoint the mechanics on how things work, when it comes to Ayahuasca Preparation, a lot of these ideas get thrown out the window.
  • Ayahuasca is a spirit beyond anything else. And when working in the Amazonian Shipibo shamanic tradition, the spirit world is a very real place to do deep meaningful work.
  • Preparing to come and meet with Ayahuasca is a commitment to ones personal work and journey. So take a moment to connect with the medicine before you come on retreat.


  • We encourage people to sit with their intentions for coming on retreat. To ask the deeper questions and reflect on what it is that has called you forward. At the same time we also ask people to trust the medicines wisdom to guide and show that which needs to be revealed. Even if it plays out not in the ways you expect it to, as is usually the case.
  • Intentions are very helpful, but not being too attached to those intentions is very important as it can stop you from surrendering to the process in the way that it needs to unfold in order for deep healing to take place.

Ayahuasca Diet

  • Once on retreat with us, all food served will be a menu that is in line with what is most easeful on the system and best for ceremonial Ayahuasca work.
  • All food is healthy, mindfully created, as well as gluten-free.
  • Your physical ayahuasca preparation before retreat is up to you. However we encourage you to begin preparing 2 weeks before hand if possible.
  • For more on Foods check out our Foods Page.
  • If you have questions about any of these suggestions, please just ask!

Pharmaceutical Medications

  • If you are on any type of Pharmaceuticals it is best to come off of them unless otherwise suggested by your doctor.
  • Pharmaceutical forms of birth control. All women on birth control are asked to stop taking it simply for the duration of the retreat. It is encouraged that women come off of birth control 2 weeks before hand if possible.

Sexual Activity

  • We suggest participants only engage in sex in committed loving partnerships and no casual sex at least 2 weeks before hand. The reason for this is because sexual energy is a very strong powerful energy and when people have sex their energy fields merge.
  • With plant medicine this energy can magnify and so its best to just be mindful of the type of sexual energy you engage with prior to attending retreat.

Note on SSRIs

  • We are unable to take anyone on any form of SSRI medication. This includes anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication, and anti psychotics. SSRI medication is not safe to take alongside ayahuasca and can cause permanent damage to the pineal gland in some cases.
  • For those on mild forms of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication we have had many people come work with us who have weaned themselves off before retreat and not returned to their use post medicine work.
  • For anyone with a serious diagnosis and mental health history or any form of demanding health concern, mental or physical, we recommend one on one work for this with certain curanderas/curanderos. More personalized and attentive care is needed and a group setting is not the right environment for this.

Coaching Services

Integrative pre and post retreat sessions

Post Retreat Integration Coaching

Ayahuasca is one of the most powerful psychedelic healing medicines on the planet. Alot can come up post-retreat. Many arrive home after retreat having experienced such profound transformation that integrating into everyday life can sometimes be a challenge. Post Integration work is about bringing the teachings of ceremony into everyday life. Athena offers a series of coaching calls to support your integration process. Sign up for a package of 3, 6 or 9 sessions.

Initial Session Follow Up Always included post retreat

Frequently Asked Questions

What is our ayahuasca made from ?

Traditional Recipe of only the pure vine and leaf.  Ayahuasca Vine and Chacruna Leaf.  { banisteriopsis caapi & psychotria viridis }

How many people attend one retreat ?

We understand the importance of a tight strong container, and provide intimate retreats for groups of 10-15 participants.

My lifestyle is too busy to accomodate all pre-dieta observations. what should I do ?

If you can eliminate one thing from your diet please remove Pork !