Depth psychology works explicitly with the unconscious—that within us which has been repressed, rejected, denied or ignored. Through dreams, images, fantasies, art, meaning and myth, it seeks to understand and unveil what has been hidden in the depths of the psyche. This is precisely the territory that ayahuasca works, as it unzips the unconscious with remarkable speed and skill, releasing buried memories and repressed feelings.
Ayahuasca works and plays with psyche, passionately and intimately. Depth psychology brings a sensitive, attuned approach to integration work, helping to make meaning of patterns, tracing things back to their origins. Its deep-rooted appreciation for the depths of soul leaves room for the sacred, the numinous, the unexpected—for the wisdom of the plant teachers.
The messages delivered by ayahuasca can be mysterious, and are not always immediately comprehensible to the rational mind, yet I believe they are always rooted in the deeper substructure of your experience as an embodied soul. (No coincidence the word ‘ayahuasca’ translates literally as “Vine of the Soul.”) Acting as a key unlocking the door of the subconscious, ayahuasca delivers a uniquely personal message, tailor-made for your psyche. In the process of integration we work together to decipher the code, situating your ceremony experiences in the context of your past and present, discerning the patterns emerging into the light of consciousness.
Integration work parallels the path of individuation highlighted by Carl Jung, the process through which we grow and develop into our unique self. Individuation is simply psychological integration: coming to know the self, becoming conscious of what’s inside. Through the psychospiritual work instigated by ayahuasca we tap into our deep soul, reclaiming dissociated fragments and drawing together our true self.
There are many pathways into the depths of psyche. Ayahuasca offers a particularly profound and illuminating one. But simply going to more ceremonies and drinking more medicine does not do the work for us. We have to meet this spiritual medicine at least halfway.