Maestras Laura and Lila (sisters) share a short description of their healing work at the Temple of the Way of Light. They explain that the principal healing tool / technology in ayahuasca ceremonies are ikaros – the songs of the plants and trees.
Traditionally ayahuasca was not given to the patients during the healing process, although through an evolution in ways of working with ayahuasca, participants now also drink the medicine to deepen their healing process.
However, without ikaros, the work of ayahuasca is limited. With ikaros, healers of the Amazon are able to combine the healing energies of ayahuasca with a plethora of other plant spirit medicines, calling on plant spirits to support the healing process in ceremony, working in combination with (the plant spirit of) ayahuasca. The other plant spirit doctors of the rainforest enable ayahuasca to penetrate deeper into the roots of trauma, psycho-emotional issues, and energetic blockages. Ikaros are like the surgeons scalpels, each one having a different purpose; supporting, cleansing, clearing, cleaning, opening, straightening, liberating, protecting, and illuminating.
Underpinning the Temple’s work is our vision for the incredible mastery of indigenous healers to be respected, legitimized, and honored in the modern world. We aim to cultivate a richer understanding in the West of the Shipibo system of shamanic healthcare and substantiate the efficacy of their ethno-medical traditions.
Indigenous healers have a system of sacred science that has evolved over hundreds of years, coming from a profound relationship with and understanding of hundreds of medicinal plants and trees. In the Shipibo tradition, it takes typically six to ten years to become a fully “qualified” and authorized healer, after an arduous and highly challenging apprenticeship that could be considered a parallel to Western medical school in terms of the level of commitment, energy, and time that is required to complete the education.
By studying in the”‘spirit-assisted” rainforest medical school, Shipibo healers are able to take ayahuasca healing to an incredibly deep level, reaching to the roots of pain and discomfort. This level of healing is not possible when drinking ayahuasca alone and without the vast array of plant spirit medicines, energetic surgical procedures, protection, and overall shamanic mastery of a trained healer.