Yagé ceremony in Colombia and in Peru

In Colombia, the Yagé ceremony with the Taitas is usually an all-night business, in Peru is not. Even though, in the specific case of the Yagé ceremonies part of the Yagé retreat, one may choose to journey for either the entire night, or only for part of it, as one feels more comfortable). Most traditional Taitas will close their Yagé ceremony at around dawn – 6:00 AM-7:00 AM – of the following day, at least when the ritual is not part of an intensive residential retreat (when several ceremonies will taking place in a comparably very short time frame). In Peru, that is an extremely rare, almost never heard of occurrence. The vast majority of ceremonies there close at around 11:00 PM-1:00 AM or, in extreme cases, 2:00 AM-3:00 AM.

While in Peru curanderos will allow women in fertile age in assisting in the preparation of Ayahuasca, in Colombia that won’t be allowed. The space consecrated to the preparation of the medicine is o" limits to menstruating or pregnant women. Many Peruvian curandero/vegetalista shamans, with some due exceptions, will allow menstruating women (“en periodo de luna”) in their ceremonies, singing icaros over them for protection, but not a single Taita will knowledgeably allow that. Both Colombian and Peruvian Ayahuasca brews may be strong and powerful, depending on who prepares them, on the plant additives used, on the length of cooking of the brew, on what is the intent of the ceremony and on who is the intended receiver.