Ayahuasca in Chicago
*Note - We do not offer ceremonies or retreats in Chicago, this page is 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 states. 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 an 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 shaman 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.
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 always private rooms and intimate group sizes to serving potent brew with a skilled and qualified ayahausquero, we have considered every detail.
Private Rooms -
Our center is designed to feel like home. It is decorated and furnished like home because that's what it is, our home. Jeanae and Matt live on site year round and are constantly making updates to the center to make it more comfortable for every guest. We offer all private rooms with complete en suite bathrooms. Each new queen bed is fitted with quality sheets and comforter plus 4 lush pillows. Each guest is proved with 2 thick and soft bath towels, a wash cloth, 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 5-star 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.
What is a shaman?
We often get asked 'do you have a real shaman?' and our response is always 'well what is a real shaman?' Our ayahusquero Matt, would never call himself a shaman (which is actually a Siberian word) but he has been a practicing ayahuasquero for years and has facilitated hundreds of ceremonies. Matt travels to Peru every few months to continue his training under the guidance of world renown shaman Don Ron Wheelock 'The gringo shaman of Amazon.'
Matt has completed many traditional plant dietas in the jungle of Iquitos, Peru but feels that in this type of work you are never done learning, you never reach a point where you can say 'Ok, I'm a shaman now.' Matt has made a lifelong commitment to working with ayahuasca and his connection to the medicine is clear. In every ceremony Matt sings strong and grounding Icaros, plays the guitar, drum and gong.
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.