Our ceremonies are conducted during multiple-day healing retreats, in which guests have the opportunity to rest, and take time to reflect on their life in a peaceful and nurturing environment.
The ceremonies can be broken into two phases. The first lasting approximately 12 hours and the second phase lasting for up to an additional 24 hours.
On the day of the ceremony, guests take time to focus on their intentions with the healing work, and write down any questions they have, such as, areas where they would like clarity and healing. Each guest has an opportunity to have one on one Traditional Bwiti counsel with their Healer prior to the ceremony.
At all times during the ceremony you will be closely monitored by our experienced Shaman and support facilitators.
The first phase of the ceremony
The Bwiti Fire Circle, where Bwiti traditional teachings are shared, setting the tone for the healing work. The Healer opens the ceremony, performs clearings and protections for the space and for the individual participants before doses of the sacrament are received. The amount of doses each participant requires is determined by the Healer and customized to suit individual needs. Individual comfortable mattresses with blankets are prepared in the ceremonial space for when guests start to feel the effects of the medicine. Once they are comfortable on their mattress, the guests are given a soft eye mask. Wearing the eye mask helps participants to focus within on the thoughts, feelings, and images that may arise.
Taking Iboga does not make you feel ‘high’ the same way some other plant medicines or substances do. During an Iboga ceremony you are very aware of yourself and grounded in your environment. As you breathe and relax into your body, and listen to the music, certain thoughts, ideas, insights will come into your awareness. Also, it is very common for images and pictures, much like a movie screen, to pass through your mind’s eye, conveying messages and insights.
In most cases, a guest may have an opportunity to have a guided spiritual journey, where the Healer works to help one gain deeper insight into patterns, questions and spiritual truths.
The Ceremony lasts throughout the night until sunrise.
The second phase we call the “Reset Day.”
After sunrise each guest is transitioned to their room, where they will rest in bed under the care of the Healer and assistants. Often guests will stay awake and continue to feel the effects of the Medicine throughout the day, and sometimes into the evening. During this time, it is common that guests will continue to receive messages and insights from the Medicine. Our staff will continue to monitor guests, bringing water, fruit, and light healthy food and counsel as needed. Journalling is encouraged. Guests will eventually fall asleep.
This ends the ceremony.
On the following day, what we refer to as, “Integration Day”, guests feel little to none of the physical effects of the Medicine, although it continues to work on an energetic and spiritual level for many weeks or months to come.
This day is an important part of the process. On this day guests reflect on their experiences, insights, receive counsel and guidance and preparations to assist them for the next ceremony. Group activities and personal tasks are conducted on this day to further enhance the experience.
Visuals with Iboga are different than other hallucinogens. They are much more an expression of your subconscious and resemble an awake dream. They come in waves, the first wave, It involves de-fragmenting and some people describe it as a computer that they can see files being added and deleted in a rapid motion. The physical effects usually take place in the first 10-40 minutes. It can include nausea, vomiting, sometimes a motion sickness that may require you to lie down. Some anxiety or restless mind, due to some nervousness prior to ceremony. This is all very normal.
The first wave is 1-10 hours and you enter a form of waking dream state. Often the visuals here are linked to experiences of the past. Unlike Ayahuasca where changing positions, or if inside venturing outside gives you a different journey or visual, with Iboga it’s best to remain still. The two most important tenets of a journey with Iboga are stillness and surrender.
The second wave comes at the 10-12 hour period. Past events may be defragged and this is the time people describe seeing files of their life, like a motherboard of a computer with things that get deleted that no longer will serve you and additions are the new files that will help you become unstuck. Visuals during this time may be less frequent and less intense. This is the period where the illumination takes place. Some also describe it a the process of being rebirthed. The physical side effects also start to subside during this time as well.
The third wave is a period of more sleep. Your body becomes exhausted after the first two waves and by the third wave is ready for rest and sleep.
We recommend prior to ceremony setting intentions and writing down questions you want answers to. There may be conversations with your wiser self, about aspects of your life that have held you back from growth in all areas. You may be witness to the origins of how this has taken shape in your life. This provides you with the basic understanding of how to unravel these things.
Unlike other plant medicines, Iboga delivers a direct blunt approach. It teaches you what you have been doing wrong, makes you own it and gives you ways to improve. This is the biggest benefit with Iboga, the teachings can be extremely effective, but also quite difficult for those not ready to surrender. With this plant you do not get a choice, you must accept the lessons learned or it will make your journey more challenging.
Iboga journey can last up to 36 hours, so much longer than any other plant medicine. After taking Ibogaine it is difficult to sleep, many people stay awake for long hours after. Not able to sleep will produce some of the unwanted effects of the plant. The exhaustion, nausea, possible sadness and agitation. This is all purposeful as it keeps you firmly anchored in the real life experience and prevents the mind from confusing the journey from dreams. We will assist you with integration, and being immersed in nature after helps immensely. Once you sleep these symptoms disappear and you will most likely experience the afterglow effect, with profound illumination and new found awareness.
We at Bwiti Healing know all too well the ongoing challenges one can face post session and offer continued guidance in person, by the phone or, Skype. We commit to offering continuing support according to client needs in the form of traditional council. Each guest is assigned a personalized aftercare program.
We have additional professional aftercare with certified aftercare specialists in the field of addiction and trauma for those in need of further guidance beyond their allotted aftercare program.