AYAHUASCA IN CHICAGO
*Note - We do not offer ceremonies or retreats in Chicago, this page is for informational purposes only.*
Chicago is a beautiful city home to progressive thinking and curious minds. The popularity of ayahuasca is growing all over the world and especially in the United States. The psychedelic movement is making progress across the country. Oakland and Santa Cruz in California have both decriminalized psychedelic plants, Colorado legalized psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. Ann Arbor, Michigan decriminalized psychedelics, D.C. decriminalized psychedelics and Oregon decriminalized psychedelics and legalized psilocybin.
Through these initiatives to decriminalize plant medicine, the possession and use of psychedelic substances such as Ayahuasca, Mushrooms, Iboga, Peyote, San Pedro, and DMT would be the lowest priority of the law, and in the cities that have legalized psilocybin, we are hoping to see therapeutic settings become available to those seeking healing.
While it's true many of these cities have been offering underground ceremonies for years, nothing legal is available yet. You can always find ayahuasca ceremonies in Chicago if you know where to look but you need to be careful and be informed about who is running the ceremonies and who you will be drinking with.
Ayahuasca is extremely powerful medicine and should be approached with great respect.
Chicago ayahuasca ceremonies are often offered over the weekend and can include upwards of 20 people. While some of these ceremonies are led by traveling shamans who are properly trained, many are hosted by inexperienced enthusiasts hoping to spread the message of the plants.
This notion is admirable in principle but irresponsible in practice.
If you find an ayahuasca ceremony in Chicago it is important to ask some of the following questions to ensure you have a safe and therapeutic experience with the medicine :
Who is facilitating the ceremony?
How much experience do they have?
Where will the ceremony be held?
How many people typically attend?
Are there 'sitters' or 'helpers' beside the ayahauscquero/shaman to assist if someone needs help and if yes, how many are available, and if there is at least 1 female present
Where does the brew come from and what does it contain?
Do you need to provide any medical information before participating (you should, as ayahuasca has medical contraindications with other drugs, see our safety page)
New Life ayahuasca has been providing ayahuasca retreats in Costa Rica since 2014. We strongly urge anyone looking to participate in an ayahuasca ceremony in Chicago to find a qualified and reputable center or facilitator to work with. We understand that it may be difficult to leave the united states to attend an ayahuasca retreat, but do not underestimate the therapeutic value in getting away from your environment and giving yourself the time to commit and reflect on your experiences. There comes a great reward from investing in your healing. If you are interested in attending a retreat in Costa Rica, please contact us.
Matthew and I have been partners in this work since 2014.
Everything in our lives has been shaped by Ayahuasca. Not only did she lift us up in our darkest moments after years of battling addiction, but she gave us the purest gift of love in finding each other.
We've had our share of ups and downs. Things haven't always been easy. It's been a long road and we've had to navigate many personal and professional challenges over the years. But at the end of the day, ayahuasca has helped us cultivate a deep love rooted in mutual respect, support, and admiration.
We've turned to her to help us through trials of marriage and personal doubt. It's because of this work that we've been able to grow stronger as individuals and as partners, lovers, and best friends.
We hear all the time from guests that they don't understand how we can do this work, and while we love to help others, the truth is that it's just a happy by-product of helping ourselves. It's our hope that as we continue to heal we are able to better support you in your own healing.
Working with ayahuasca is truly humbling. It's not a responsibility we take lightly. Our program is designed to give you a curated balance of support and space.
Thank you for letting us share the magic.
Over the years we have worked hard to develop quality ayahuasca retreats that encompass a range of healing modalities for the highest therapeutic value without feeling overwhelming or rushing too much into a short amount of time. Our belief in QUALITY over QUANTITY can be seen in many different aspects of our retreats. We have had the opportunity to observe what works and what doesn't in our programs and with that knowledge we have developed our retreats with some key factors that make us stand out against the crowd.
From offering intimate groups of 14 or fewer, to serving potent brew with a skilled and qualified ayahausquero, we have considered every detail. skilled and qualified ayahausquero, we have considered every detail.
Our center is designed to feel like home. It is decorated and furnished like home using recycled materials, repurposed wood and fabric and upcycled furniture. We offer all 6 private rooms & 3 shared rooms with complete en suite bathrooms. Each new king bed is fitted with quality sheets and comforter plus 4 lush pillows. We provide pool towels, bath towels, a wash cloth, soap, shampoo and conditioner.
Our common areas offer plenty of places to lounge or socialize but the facility and property are expansive enough that its easy to find spaces to be alone for quiet reflection.
We have put care into every detail. Our center is far from your typical jungle experience but also not a luxury resort. We offer a comfortable medium of comfort and quality without being too basic or lavish.
We are sure you will feel at home.
Matthew has been working with ayahuasca since 2014 and is our resident ayahuasquero. He guides each participant through the experience with Icaros which are medicine songs either passed down from his teacher or gifted by ayahuasca. Matthew, a highly sensitive and intuitive empath, adapts the songs of the ceremony to meet the energy of the room. The songs of the spirit come to him, and his powerful voice carries them through the space. This is why it is so important to us to keep our groups intimate so that the energetic space is maintained with respect to each individual's experience. Matthew is supported by his wife, Jeanae, who plays the flute. Our intimate ceremonies are offered in darkness, promoting an inward journey to heal the soul.
Matthew has facilitated hundreds of ceremonies and leads with compassion, love, and a deep connection to spirit.
Matthew’s training takes him to Iquitos, Peru multiple times a year to complete master plant dietas and learn the Peruvian ceremonial traditions under the guidance of his teacher, Don Ron Wheelock. Matthew’s intentions and passion in his work are unparalleled. There is no question of his integrity or his sincerity in his mission to help others.
The brew is the most important aspect of any ayahuasca retreat but it is often over looked. It is assumed that at any retreat you will receive high quality and potent brew, unfortunately this is not always the case. Our medicine is made by Ron Wheelock, the gringo shaman of the amazon, in Iquito Peru. He selects his plant materials at a precise level of maturity to contribute to the potency of the medicine.
Our brew is made with only b. caapi and chaliponga. No additives or fillers are used in any way. Each plant used contributes to ayahuasca and if any ingredient were missing, the medicine would lack in its effects. We do not use any datura (toe) in our brew to ensure the safety of all participants.
To ensure the safety of all our guests, we require each potential participant complete a medical screening over the phone with Matt. The medical screening will give us an idea of your overall health and will help us determine if you are a safe candidate for ayahuasca therapy. It also gives Matt, our ayahuasquero, a chance to speak with each participant personally, to develop a relationship and answer any questions you may have.
In addition to conducting a thorough medical screening, Matt and Jeanae are both trained in CPR. New Life Ayahuasca is equipped with an AED machine, which our staff is trained to use.