Matthew Mormello, our co-owner and ayahuasquero first became involved with plant medicine in 2011. Since then he has fully immersed himself in the world of ancient sacred traditions and practices. From studying with ayahuasca in Iquitos, Peru to using the sacrament iboga to be initiated into Bwiti in Gabon, Africa; Matt's interest and commitment to plant medicine continues to grow.
When Matt was introduced to ayahuasca through an episode of National Geographic, he was immediately drawn to the sacred medicine. He thought, “This is it, this is what I have to do.” But first, he had to address his addictions and his path led him to the world of ibogaine. Matt was treated with iboga in 2011 on HBO’s VICE TV. After his treatment, he stayed involved by exploring the spiritual aspects of Bwiti and in 2013 he came to Costa Rica to work more intimately with iboga.
When Matthew arrived in Costa Rica, he had his frist experience with ayahuasca and his connection with the medicine was instantaneous. In the years since, he has participated in hundreds of ceremonies, traveled to Peru, eagerly consuming any information he could find or be taught about ayahuasca and it's traditional use. Matt has evolved into a strong ceremonial facilitator. He continues to travel to Iquitos every few months to continue learning and completeing different dietas. His presence during the ceremony is strong and grounding, and his Icaros guide the participants’ experience.
The ceremony will start when it gets dark, around 6pm. The process begins with a cleansing of the ceremonial space and a seal of protection. Once this is complete, each guest will be given a dose of ayahuasca. We will sit together in silence for 30 minutes and once the medicine starts to take effect, Matthew will begin to sing Icaros, or medicine songs. An hour into the ceremony we offer the opportunity to drink more to ensure you have a full experience.
Matt will continue to sing Icaros supported by other instruments including the gong, drum, guitar, kalimba and Jeanae will assist by playing the flute. The ceremony will last 3 – 4 hours and at the end, Matt will approach each participant to close the ceremony with mapacho smoke. If weather permits, we will have a fire at the end of the night to aid in processing the experience.
What is a Shaman?
A shaman is a person who interacts with the spiritual realm through altered states of consciousness.
While Matt would never call himself a Shaman, as he feels that word is overused by people who are undeserving of its title if you ask anyone who has sat in a ceremony with him they will undoubtedly tell you he is the real deal and has an obvious connection to the spirit of the medicine.
Instead, Matt considers himself an ayahuasquero or one who works with ayahuasca. Matthews’s intentions and passion in his work are unparalleled. When researching ayahuasca, there are many warnings about false ayahuasca shamans and scams. While Matt may not call himself a Shaman, there is no question of his integrity and his sincerity in his mission to help others.
It is very important that you feel comfortable with your facilitator as they will essentially set the tone and pace for the entire experience. The energy of the room, the intention of the facilitator, and the music they provide are the most important elements of any ceremony.