Consciousness Technology & Plant Medicine Journey FAQ

Consciousness Technology & Plant Medicine Journey FAQ

Utilizing the world’s ancient and modern technology to help figure things out, overcome fear, and elevate consciousness continues to be invaluable in my life. I have spent over 17 years exploring these methodologies, and finally feel comfortable sharing the specifics of my discoveries.

While some of these technologies such as floatation, holotropic breathing, meditation, and yoga should be integrated into daily life and carry little to no caveat, medicine plant journeys have great potential only when mixed with the right intention, and the proper timing. They are not a panacea and everyone’s actual experience will be wildly different. Because of this reason, I am not recommending any medicine or location for you, personally.

You have to trust your own voice of wisdom and calling to the task. There are many places that offer work with plant medicine, and while some of them are doing great work, others are not carrying the same integrity and can be dangerous. Below is the information I have to the best of my knowledge. Remember, I cannot endorse or recommend anything specific for YOU. These are the following centers I trust for myself.

Huachuma (San Pedro)

Huachuma is an inherently pleasant but very challenging medicine. The primary active ingredient is mescaline, but in the Huachuma preparation the whole plant is used in accordance with an ancient recipe from Chavin. It’s specialty as a teacher lies in spiritual growth through immediate experience, adherence with one’s mission, and healing psychological mal-alignments. For the detailed accounting of my personal experience with Huachuma, click here. There is only one place left in the world I am aware of that follows the ancient Chavin way of the medicine: The Spiritquest Sanctuary.

About SpiritQuest Sanctuary
The sanctuary itself is 200 protected acres in the lower amazon, about a 30-minute motor-canoe ride from Iquitos. The head shaman is a man by the name of Don Howard, a Kentucky-born half Native American healer that has been working with the plants for over 50 years. I have never met a man of greater integrity in this field and would trust him with my life in this and every incarnation for the rest of eternity. He is kind, humorous and immensely powerful. He is assisted by Don Rober, a native Ayahuasquero with tireless energy.

The Huachuma Mesada is offered monthly, lasts 8 days and covers three ceremonies, including an opportunity to snuff the incredibly potent traditional DMT snuff Willka (Vilka). There is very limited availability and as such, all applicants must fill out a detailed questionnaire which Don Howard himself will review. You also get the opportunity to visit many local tribes in the area, which proves to be a highlight of the experience.

The Spiritquest Sanctuary also offers ayahuasca journeys, for details on that, look under the Ayahuasca section.

The lodging is comfortable, with screened-in central cabins, ayahuasca vines circling and protecting the ceremonial space, and excellent, nutritious food. It is still the jungle however, so don’t go expecting hot showers, Dewey pest control, and 1000 thread count sheets!
Here is the schedule of ceremonies available at the sanctuary.

Please patiently review the website before contacting Don Howard out of respect for his time, but if you are ready to discuss going to the center you can contact him through the website.


Called the ‘master medicine’ by the healers of the jungle, Ayahuasca is a deeply physically cleansing tonic that carries the potential for powerful DMT derived visions. Not all ayahuasca participants will experience visions however, and many of the best ayahuasca centers intentionally brew their tea to minimize this aspect, instead focusing on the physical and psychic cleansing aspects. When choosing an ayahuasca center it is of the utmost importance to pick a center of great integrity, and also to be impeccably honest with any medications, drugs, or physical conditions that you are bringing with you. Recent research and years of traditional use has shown that Ayahuasca has great promise for helping to heal both physical and mental addictions and disorders, as well as offering great spiritual insight.

Ayahuasca Centers

Blue Morpho: Named after the incredibly beautiful blue butterfly found in Peru, this is the center I will go to for the remainder of my ayahuasca journeys. The reason for this has nothing to do with a butterfly, but everything to do with the man and the system that he has created. Hamilton Souther, founder and Maestro, has innovated a way of creating a space that transcends the light and dark duality of traditional ayahuasca journeys. It often times turns very hard work into play, while keeping all the transformative power. Check out my recent podcasts with him for more: WPP #47 and WPP #48.

Spiritquest Sanctuary: Spiritquest sanctuary is one of the only places that will allow you to take an active and transparent role in the brewing of your own ayahuasca. It is a ridiculously strong brew for most (myself included) but of course, it is not all in the cup! The combination of shamans available is an impressive collection of wizards with a very good reputation. These ayahuasqueros as they are called, play a very active role in the ceremony, working with the guidance of the medicine to sing songs (icaros) and help the flow of energy.

Ayahuasca journeys at the Sanctuary typically last 8-10 days and include 4 ceremonies. See above for further information on the Spiritquest sanctuary and contact details.

Maestro Orlando Chujandama – This is my original shaman. I have drunk 6 times with him and hold him in the highest regard. Though we have spoken very few words due to the language barrier between us, he will always be a part of my spiritual family. He takes a very active role in his village and is a true healer in the greatest traditional sense. The ayahuasca he brews is intensely physically cleansing, and the accommodations are rustic and close to the jungle.

The most luxurious of all plant medicine centers, this multi-million dollar Costa Rican facility is on the beach a short drive from Liberia airport and the famous surf town of Tamarindo. I sent my two trusted adventurers Caitlyn and Whitney to explore the facility, and they were given outstanding care throughout the process. Maestro Mitra conducts the Ayahuasca and utilizes a variety of tools of the trade including traditional tobacco snuff to open up the body to receive the medicine. The brew is mild but enduring, and this all night ceremony proved quite transformational for Caitlyn, with a beautiful surprise at the end. The facility is fully licensed and has medical supervision on staff. While I cannot give a personal endorsement, I feel confident including this center on the list.


My friend and brother Dr. Dan Engle vouches highly for the Crossroads center in Mexico. He has been there several times and I trust Dr. Dan immensely. This is the place I would go and send anyone in my own familY.


All of these experiences listed on this page can facilitate massively transformative experiences. But without proper integration, the lasting effects will be greatly diminished. In some cases, without integration you may experience an antithetical reaction. I cannot overstate the value of integration. Practices like Floatation, Meditation, Yoga, Contemplation in Nature – All of these practices are extremely important.

For those looking for professional guidance, my brother, founder of Blue Morpho and master shaman Hamilton Souther has put together an integration course on his website. I highly recommend it for anyone experiencing a plant medicine journey. Just watch the videos, follow along, and open your heart, and you’ll be in good shape.

*I would like to note that I have no financial stake or benefit from anything listed above. I have no interest other than to provide the best information I am capable. As I stated in the intro, please do not take my information above as any kind of recommendation, they are simply the facts as I see them. Do with that what you will. Safe and happy journeys, para el bien de todos!

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  • Headed to Ecuador in September. Any recommendations for ayahuasca healing centers in the Ecuadorian Jungle regions.

  • Been to Spirit Quest once a year from 2000 to 2005, drank the medicine several times and each time renewed by spiritual awakening. Closes experiences to communicating with God directly.

    Timothy Doyle
  • It is unfortunate but I can not, will not ever venture into evil demonic data harvesting; “FaceTrap”.

    Blue Alien/
  • Thank you Aubrey. Your info about these plant medicines and centers is really helpful. I personally love huachum- it’s challenging and profound. I love that you linked the video from Hamilton, I think I can use that when I get back from my next experience in the amazon. Do you know much about iboga? You mentioned a center in your article and I’d love to know more. I don’t need addiction therapy, but hear it helps to go deeper spiritually as well – is that true?

  • Thank you Aubrey…this Information is invaluable. I live in South Africa and it seems these plants are making their way all over the globe. We also have experienced men travelling to our neck of the woods to bring healing.
    - Cosmo-

  • awesome! Thanks so much for sharing as much as you do. Great stuff you are putting out there. Makes me believe in a better world!

    Mr Cool
  • Hello Aubrey, your vivid description of your experience at the SpiritQuest sanctuary is masterful – a true testament to the poet in you (I had NO idea…)

    I also love the powerful way in which you describe Don Howard, and I wholeheartedly concur:

    “I have never met a man of greater integrity in this field and would trust him with my life in this and every incarnation for the rest of eternity”.

    All the best Aubrey.

    Nicole Herod
  • You can get his podcast on android by downloading beyondpod, or any other podcast app, and they are free

    Josh Graham
  • Aubrey, may I make one suggestion? Or, sorry, one reccommendation; would you kindly set up your podcasts for those of us who do not have apple/who use android and such devices? I have not heard any of your podcasts, but I would certainly love the abikity to download and listen to them. Not sure how much trouble this would be though I am sure many of us would appreciate it.

  • Thank you. I have been quite curious as to where one may partake in such journeys as all I have been able to do are psilocybin mushrooms in my home town. It’s a start, however I have wanted to go on a more powerful journey; DMT/Ayahuasca for example.

  • Very inspirational so thank you for writing about your experience.

  • Thanks Aubrey for sharing your experiences! Much appreciated!

  • Thanks for sharing John….I am booked in to Nihue Rao in around 6 weeks time. I agree with finding the root of whats going on, instead of “our” traditional band-aid solution. I am excited yet bracing myself at the same time. Bring it!!!

  • I went to Nihue Rao! I had social anxiety, self hatred, and was extremely depressed. I thank God I choose this center because this is not your typical touristy center. They really focus on helping you heal. The people who own the center come from their own unfortunate circumstances and so they know what if it feels like to be in your shoes. I was at the end of my rope and I didn’t want to use anti depressants/ anti anxiety pills because I heard of too many negative stories from them. Plus these pills only bandaid the problem whereas these psychedelic medicines go straight to the root of the problem and help you heal from within. Its been 6 months since I went last December and I feel incredible. It was night and day from how I felt before to now. I can’t recommend this place enough.

  • I just want to say thanks for the retreat recommendations!

    And also, if you can make hemp powder taste good, maybe you can make a future business with ayahuasca brew. ;P

  • Why Thank you kind sir, I will do that.

  • Any recommendations for an Ayahuasca retreat in Cusco?

  • That’s also my reason for not getting on anti-depressants..but by doing that I suffered for years without help. I’ve made progress by working through it, although it’s been very subtle and slow..layer by layer. I hope to go on a retreat in the future

    Metta Morphose
  • dead links for the Spiritquest Sanctuary… maybe the servers crashed with all of this new attention?? either way, thanks for the great information!

  • “Biopark” is a lot of dead links :(

  • I’m so intrigued by all of this and feel like I need to do this…but I don’t want to go alone…I need to find a friend that will go with me! Thanks Aubrey for sharing your experience!

  • I have been to the Temple of the Way of Light twice now and can say that it is a place with great integrity, the food rocks and the curanderos just lovely. This is more of a Plant Spirit Medicine retreat however… it is not just about Aya. You will consult with the curanderos who will also give you other plant doctors based on need. The Maestras bathe you in a floral bath every day at noon to clear your spirit… simply wonderful. I would recommend it to anyone and I am 56, not young… you will be well taken care of there

  • Great stuff, great podcasts and writing. I’m looking forward to seeing more!

  • I understand all about the (ayahuasca) ceremonies, but I’ve heard people that do just one. Others that do 3 or even 5 in a weeks time. What do you recommend for an actual experience/process worth doing?

    Eric Semidey
  • Aubrey you and Joe are two cool mother flickers. You guys have guided me to a path of spirituality. I am doing my part of waking people up and letting my heart guide my way. Shrooms help guide this path and I guarantee one day I will go down my ayahuasca path and let my third eye open. Thanks for everything bro, ill continue to listen to your stories.

  • The medicine by itself will show you the path in case you take more than one

  • hello Guys…. well i’ve been going around in south america for a while and i will share my experience…. i started at the Temple of the Way of Light, and it was all great! we were taken care of….. the next is this…. then i went for a months dieta with one of the Curanderos of the Temple of the way of Light …. i had an experience, his son stopped me from opening my vision, somehow and sent me a spiritual Bug and the Father manipulated my head so i can go back … Luckily, i always listened to my Intuition and My heart and always believed that if there is something i need to know, i will know it! …. well i wanted to share this with you…. i heard stories about Nihue Rao too! …. and i believe this… if i’m leaving my soul into a Shaman that is not Pure whats the Point?! just be carefull!! …. they might seem good! but they aint and it;s very hard to be pure! and purify one self! …. thank you! i wish you a beautiful Journey! … saying all this, trust in God, Divine Intelligence and all is Perfect! follow your hearts! do not be afraid! …..

  • Sarsaparilla contains steroidal saponins, such as sarsasapogenin, which some researcher claim can duplicate the action of some human hormones. ?

  • Hi Aubrey. I’m studying the 1920 and the Smilax regelii also known as zarzaparrilla.. seems to come up every every time the hard drinking 1930s talking about lever problem. There are no studies, but it seems to work?
    I would buy this along with some tests. Onnit on alcohol ?

  • Thank you very much for this.
    What about places to take Iboga? where would you recommend? (and if possible, also, why would you recommend that place?)

  • Is anyone aware of any decent 2-4 day retreats?

  • That the Shamans there are Not Pure Shamans and they are not good Healers …… there are many kinds of Shamans…. an Ayahuasquero for example he just knows how to open visions and prepare the Medicine, a Pousangero he dieted the Warmi Plant and he can just clean but he does not go in very deep, A Visionista opens Visions, Medico Curandero he Opens Visions, He cleans, He gives Treatments, He teaches, He learns, He Heals, and he has got Knowledge of Plants ……. many centres do things for show, such as Plant Baths …. it is very delicate when it comes to plant Baths because sometimes they bath people in female Plants and this is not good for the men because it can change their energy! …. also when they prepare Medicine, their Medicine is not strong Enough! , also when someone is Preparing Medicine for a diet, the apprentice is not allowed to touch the Medicine because this way the one who prepares takes half of it’s energy too….. Many Shamans can sing because Plants teach them this, but that does not mean they are strong enough! also some of them they drink!! or even worst get drunk! which for me does not show the commitment! you can not get drunk and be balanced and a Healer ;p …… Most of the Owners of the centres don’t know themselves about all these things because they are not shamans themselves! this is the thing…. but saying all this, like i said before, it is all Perfect! everyone will experience what needs to experience in a way or another:))) this is how we, as souls will learn! …. thank you very Much! I love you all!:)

  • What have you heard? Its good to talk about these things so people will know before hand what their getting into.

  • Good luck man! I would love to hear you experience! Email me at

  • I dont think you should be spreading rumors, specially if you havent been to the place yourself. Having visited Nihue Rao on two separate occasions, I can tell you that the shamans there are true healers fully committed to helping others with the highest degree of integrity. As a matter of fact, Im going down for a third time this summer to spend a whole month dietando. If anyone i considering visiting Peru to explore AYA and master plants, Nihuerao should be at the top of your list. If you have questions about the place, drop me a line at

  • Are you saying the Shamans at Nihue Rao specifically are not pure?

  • Aubrey,
    My name is Vincent Camps and I have recently contacted you through email and figured I would give this a try as well. As a former college wrestler and now competitive marathon runner I have always been involved in the health and fitness world and it has taught me more than anything to set goals and achieve them. For this reason I chose to obtain a bachelors degree in Exercise Science and am currently obtaining my masters degree in Wellness and Human Performance at the University of Pittsburgh. I am a certified Health Fitness Specialist through the American College of Sports Medicine and am preparing to gain my NSCA C.S.C.S. I would love to work for your growing company and become a partner of the ONNIT brand and get it into the running community. I promise you that you will not find a more determined, hard working fitness professional/runner than me. You can contact me through email at or through phone at 724-998-2323. I am looking forward to hearing back from you and I thank you again for your time.


    Vincent Camps
  • […] if you are in the Amazon and looking for places to drink San Pedro, then check out Aubrey Marcus’s site for recommendations.  I’m also a huge fan and idolize him.  For some background history on this plant […]

    My Journey with Ayahuasca, San Pedero, Vipassana Meditation, Fighting Muay Thai & Living Abroad for 17-months - Am I the Same Person? » Journey to 8 Limbs
  • I love you

    cristina cheibas
  • I agree with Joshua, an mp3 download on your site would be great. I’m on the move and like Joshua I’m not a mac guy and I would love to listen to your podcasts while at work.
    Thanks for the information either way.

  • Got myself visited by the bird’s spirits.. "Strenghten up! " it communicated, “Only then will you invision… for All to fall into place…” Keep courage!! Then, I saw the Hole Spirit through his eyes…

    It crystalized me!.. emerging from a beautiful forest ;)

    M-C Mauffette
  • Aubrey, I really enjoy your pod casts thus far, especially the more shamanic and ethnobotanist characters and spiritual aspects of your journey, I would be interested to hear you talk with some more of those engaged in their own shamanic journeys, Hank Wesselman would be a really interesting guest for your show though he is more into drumming then using plants or derivatives for his journeys.


    Cody Chatfield
  • Thanks for sharing this great information!
    I am very interested in Maestro Orlando’s retreat, what does it cost and how many sessions would this include?
    Thanks beforehand,


    Matías Plada
  • IbogaQuest in Tepoztlan , Mexico is superb …. do your research …

  • Aubrey,

    I just applied as a wholesaler of Onnit. I have a personal development business am looking to sell supplements. I have limited funds for inventory, so wanted to see if you had any suggestions for 3 product combo that you think would be best for fitness and wellness.

    Michael DiCroce

    Michael - Hold Fast The Iron
  • Hey Aubrey, Can you give any recommendations on Iboga centers?

    Will Marvin
  • Aubrey, your email signup here for warrior poet isn’t working. Can you please add – look forward to checking out the alpha brain.


    Brian Self
  • do you know a place in Argentina? Buenos Aires..

  • I did Ayahuasca ceremonies in many places.
    I wish I could recommend on the net, but since it’s not legal in most countries, I can’t.
    In Peru, do yourself a favor and DO NOT go to Nihue Rao.
    The staff people are icy-cold, and condescending.
    The place is not in a great shape either, and for spiritual work it’s essential (for the money they charge they can do much better than that).

    For Iboga – I recommend warmly “Iboga Experience” with Maria & Henry in Holland.
    They are amazing and humble people, using good-quality Iboga.

  • […] information on resources for centers I can personally vouch for, visit the psychedelic plant medicine FAQ on my […]

    3 Pillars of a Successful Psychedelic Experience (That Just Might Save Your Life) |
  • Ayahuasca is a great spiritual experience that helps us connects to our higher self and gives us a life changing experience by personal transformation and spiritual initiations.

  • I don’t consider that an entirely fair statement. The centres listed also have deep rooted . Additionally, these centres give back to local tribes in their area.

    Jonathan Heinz
  • This is what I believe, we are called to the plants and the experience conforms to us, as we do to the experience. It come in right timing in the way that we can receive it best. The race of the shaman has no bearing on the benefit one has with the plants, it happens the way it is meant to happen. Bridges are made in many ways.
    Thank for sharing your take on it.

    Jessica Boodry Rice
  • Hi Wendy, do you know a place in California, US?

  • I find it quite telling that of the thousands upon thousands of curanderos in Peru, our Mr Marcus prefers two gringos. Is his favorite basketball team the Washington Generals?

    Chris Isner
  • Hi Chris,
    Not sure whether you’ve done any psychedelics before, but i’d thought it’d be helpful to share my experience nonetheless.

    I was instinctively opposed to any hallucinagens thinking that our bodies arent designed for, however upon hearing about DMT from a friend’s experience i was inevitably intruiged. I had researched the subject heavily and made sure i had felt ready before taking anything. Probably also best to make sure you know exactly what you’re taking once / if you get anything.

    I’ve done mushrooms and Acid a fair few times, in varying amounts and in slightly different settings. The first ever trip i had was a very mild DMT trip which had only opened my eyes to the wonders of existence, something i needed to experience to only start to lift myself out of the bad place i was in. I like other people was prescribed anti depressants and refused to take them. I’ve also been a marijuana smoker for 5 years.

    The next trip was a pretty intense acid trip with a good friend, who i had only known for around a year or so. For me to jump into and explore the unkown, it was of utmost importance that i trusted this friend for me to feel safe taking something i had no experience of, not to mention this friend had taken acid multiple times beforehand. We smoked some cannabis, both being cannabis smokers ourselves. I believe cannabis can elevate a trip a little, but personally believe it’s better to do without.

    Avoid drinking alcohol, especially before the trip. Where ive had super intense acid trips, i’ve done them at midnight and without sleep since being awake in the morning. The remains of the acid would then be wearing up by around 9 or 10 pm the next day, depending on the strength (these were super strong tabs). After these, i found great difficulty falling asleep, alcohol could be used to help fall asleep at this point (almost 20 hours later) as a very last resort, but i feel it’s counter productive, as if you try hard enough and face your fears you can do it naturally.

    You shouldn’t have this problem with mushrooms, as its more natural and a lot kinder to your body and brain. I have also had no problems sleeping after a mushrooms, however i’ve tended to take shrooms either in the morning or the afternoon.

    The stronger the dose, the more beneficial the trip, and the longer it takes to wear off.

    Always be grateful for your experience and treat all drugs with the utmost respect.

    where you do it is also extremely important and make sure you’re safe and with someone you have absolute trust in.

    Make sure you’ve allowed yourself enough free time to trip, with some time on the other side to allow yourself to reflect on your experience. you dont want to finish tripping and then have to run errands straight after.

    If you’re a cannabis smoker, then i believe its ok to smoke joints while you’re tripping, but dont overdo it, maybe take a few puffs every now and then if you need to. Also make sure you’ve got enough cannabis for the trip if you are going to smoke, you dont want to be having to get some while tripping.

    Experiencing nature whilst tripping is also very important for me. When i’ve tripped at midnight with a friend, once it started to steady itself and i regained a bit more normality, say around 4:30 am, we took a walk to a local field / forest, only for an 30 – 60mins. its also not the most comfortable thing to be tripping and having visions whilst seeing members of the public.

    Fruits like pineapple chunks, mango, melons etc. are amazing whilst tripping, but again, everything in moderation.

    Good medolic music is also very good on mushrooms and acid, it really helps listening to great music with good vocals (if any). I’d recommend some upbeat ‘la belle musique’ hour long sets or kygo.

    Finally in my experience, i’ve had beneficial mushroom trips where it was completely over in 6 hours (intense part was like 3 hours, but still mild compared to the acid trips), and i’ve had acid trips where its over in like 24 hours (with the intense part being 10 hours). Make sure if you do take it, you do it for the right reasons and you allow yourself to let go of the things holding you back and let the plants do what they need to.

    I’ve never done iboga, ayaushca or san pedro, but one day if i can gather up the free time, money and courage to do it, it may have to be ayaushca or iboga.

    Hope that helps. Peace be with you all.

  • May I ask you how many experiences you had with mushrooms/how much you took and in what settings? Were you with friends or alone? did you drink alcohol or use cannabis with them?

    Chris Mcdougall

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