Our Sacred Burden

This article is a submission for the Ayahuasca Awareness Program, an initiative by the Spirit Vine Center in Brazil. The program aims to help increase awareness of the potential of ayahuasca by sponsoring free ayahuasca retreats every month for people who feel the call for spiritual development with ayahuasca and other methods.

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Our Sacred Burden

My appreciation for the interconnectivity of all the species on this planet has continued to expand as I have aged. Recently, I began reading an incredible book on scientific discoveries concerning trees by Peter Wohlleben.  Seemingly out of a fairy tale, trees have a charmingly nourishing relationship with one another. It was discovered that trees within forests have a network between their roots that allow them to send nutrients to the trees that are in need. The unfortunate neighborhood trees have significantly shorter lives due to the lack of colleagues available to create this linkage. Additionally, it was found that there were frequencies emitted deep within the ground between one another. Imagine if this communication was somehow able to be translated into human language, where we could understand the discourse happening between these trees. If humans were able to dissect the process by which trees organize their society, we could apply this to our own civilization. Humans were notoriously unable to invoke the socialistic ideal into our world without reeking irreparable amounts of damage. Is there an ancient secret humans sorely missed, only known to the arboreal species? Are humans simply too complex to incorporate such an idealistic structure into their environment?  Or perhaps the forests of this earth are more spiritually inclined than our fellow humans. Could it be that their level of consciousness is that much more mature and evolved than our own?

The plant kingdom has prompted a plethora of research and biological discoveries that have been used to improve upon our world. The precursor for aspirin, salicylic acid, can be extracted from the bark of willow trees. This same substance can be used in the treatment of acne. For millenniums, humans have contemplated the oddities of our universe by plunging into their own consciousness with the assistance of entheogenic plants such as ayahuasca and psilocybin mushrooms. Envision the enhancements we could make upon our world if we were able to more thoroughly comprehend the apparent stewardship engrained in the mossy jungles surrounding our constantly evolving humanity. If we could extract the ingredient to the ease with which these mystical creatures do this, maybe we could find more efficient ways of tackling our sacred burden as collective societies to care for those in need.

The symbiotic relationship between consciousness and biology is anything but negligible. Many people have a linear point of view toward spirituality and anything intangible. An expansive mindset can be incredibly beneficial toward improvement upon the self and communities as a whole. Researching such a strange phenomenon could potentially lead to beautiful discoveries that could synthesize change within ourselves for the greater good of the human race. If the trees are capable of creating an integral and extensive network between themselves, maybe humans are capable of a similar feat.

Author: Sarah Rodriguez
“My name is Sarah Rodriguez and I am from Ohio within the U.S.A. I am on an indefinite quest to further expand my knowledge and to improve upon myself. Over the years, I have become increasingly more interested in altered states of consciousness and hope to delve deeper into the human psyche by partaking in ayahuasca ceremonies. This autumn, I will begin a graduate program in public health where I will primarily be focusing on mental health within this field. I have submitted an entry to the Ayahuasca Awareness Program as I am unable to afford the program while attending school. I am confident the experience would not only help me on my personal endeavors, but also my professional ones. I hope to gain insight into the workings of the human mind and use this knowledge to make a substantial impact on the lives of others.”

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Spirit Vine COVID-19 Update

Last Updated: 5th May 2021

As travel has opened up in different parts of the world, we have resumed our retreats since October 2020. In light of the global situation, we are establishing new guidelines to ensure that we provide the maximum amount of safety to all participants who attend the retreats.

We will be following the guidelines provided by the Brazilian government which you can find below, and adding any necessary precautions suitable for the retreats.

In the Itacare area, where we are located, there are very low number of COVID cases.

We will update this section when new information is available.
Content listed here is subject to change.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Brazilian Government Recommendations for COVID-19

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water;
  • if water and soap are not available or when hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer may be used;
  • Maintain at least a 1-metre distance between yourself and others;
  • Wear a mask, that covers your nose, mouth and chin;
  • Practice respiratory hygiene;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
  • Be aware of the situation of your destination and follow the guidelines of local public health authorities;
  • Avoid spaces that are closed, crowded or involve close contact;
  • Monitor your health for COVID-19 symptoms and, if you feel unwell:
    – seek medical attention;
    – stay self-isolated as recommended by local health authorities.

Anyone who wants to enter in Brazil must present a negative Covid RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to boarding the flight and travelers must fill out an affidavit (printed or digitally), with the written acknowledgement to the health measures that must be complied with during the period that they will remain in the country. You can find more information about the affidavit here.

Prior to leaving Brazil, depending on the requirements of your destination country, you may be required to present an RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of your departure. In this case, we recommend you to budget the required time of 4 hours to take the test and get the results in Sao Paulo airport.

Please note that Itacare and Ilheus do not have RT-PCR testing centers.

Spirit Vine Guidelines for COVID-19

If you will arrive in Brazil more than 3 days before the start of the retreat, then you need to do another Covid test (quick Covid test) before entering our center and send the results to me by email.

Spirit Vine Cancellation Policy for COVID-19

If you have paid for a retreat and you are not able to participate for major reasons like travel restrictions due to Covid-19, then you may apply your credit to another retreat of the same value for a period of 2 years.